I ​​would like to live in the here and now, but I live from one dot on the horizon to the next dot.

I meet a woman in practice. For the sake of convenience I call her Silvia. 
A conversation unfolds. Silvia indicates that in her life she always has a tendency to be 20 steps further than she is now. She finds it difficult to live in the here and now. She actually lives from one dot on the horizon to the next dot on the horizon. And this doesn't only take place in the field of her work (the next step on the career ladder), but also in relation to relationships. 

She says: "I just can't stop it ..., I am always busy with the next step, I constantly make pictures in my head about my work and about a new relationship that started some time ago. My coaching question is how I can be in the here and now."

I invite her to share more. She talks about a new relationship. From the start they went straight into the depths: a totally new experience for her. She indicates that she wants him to come closer, but that she is also afraid of it. Like him. He has let her know that he has fear of commitment through an earlier stifling relationship in his life. At some point she jokingly invites him to join her family on a family weekend. She knows in advance the answer he will give, so she says: "I don't ask you, but I share with you that my brother joked around that this weekend is perhaps the moment to get to know each other." The invitation from the brother of Silvia immediately triggers a feeling of suffocation in Silvia's friend: there is tension on his throat, he feels pressured. "You really don't have to come along, says Silvia to him, I didn't ask you anyway..., I just shared what my brother have said." 

After this meeting, she notices that she is in the grip of her mind. All sorts of thoughts haunted her mind, which makes her doubt whether she should continue the relationship with this man: "Is there a future for us? Not only does he keep the relationship at a distance, me too." 

I ask Silvia what her pictures (thoughts) are: bring them all into the light, what is haunting through you? "Well, Silvia says, first and foremost, I imagine what this fear of intimity  means for our relationship in the nearby future..." Then I think: "Gee, this man is very damaged..., and I don't want to be his therapist..., but we do have deep exchanges, that is very nice..., and it also comes to me well that he has a form of fear of commitment..., then I don't have to cross the bridge myself..., and... if I'm very honest..., it feels safe that he keeps distance, then it can't go wrong..., because there is a strong thought in me that it will go wrong again." 

She continues: "Yes, I see that the thinking machine is going on, I see that I am completely absorbed by all those pictures, all those thoughts, but I can't resist, the mind just goes on. I would love to live in the here and now. Actually, I myself break what is there now (nice exchanges) by constantly anticipating the nearby future."

"Yes, I say, I feel your energy..., it lacks confidence..., I feel that you want guidance, certainty, clarity... and that isn't possible, because the situation is as it is. And besides that..., life itself is also insecure by nature: you don't know what the next moment brings, so no answer is possible." 

It resonates: there is no trust. She bursts out crying: "If I start to trust now, I'm so afraid to get the lid on my nose." She is crying. I give her the time to feel her grief. After some time I ask her what she means when she says she is so afraid to get the lid on her nose. "That I can be hurt," says Silvia. What does that look like? What are you afraid of? I ask. "I'm afraid he'll pull out the plug." What would be his story to pull out the plug? "Well, I am afraid that he thinks that I am not good enough, that I am not worthy of his love." And then? What are you afraid of? "That I'll stay behind alone." Yes, that's what I feel, I say, you closed your heart at some point in your life, like him, you are so afraid of being hurt..., I feel that you are led by a conviction: love is not there for me, no one who really wants me, I just stay behind.

This remark triggers a flood of grief. I feel compassion for her and invite her to fully allow the old pain. After a while I ask: "Do you realize this is child pain? It seems that in your childhood you picked up the message from your parents that they didn't really love you, which you have translated into: I am not good enough, I am not worth it." 

Again she bursts out crying. She says: "It resonates 100%. As a child I sometimes thought that I had been adopted, despite my birth pictures as proof." Stay with your grief, I say, feel where it is in your body, bring all your attention to this pain and let it melt, don't go to your head, to stories. After the necessary shocks of intense grief, it is quiet again in Silvia. 

Yes, I say, this is the pain you have been carrying with you for a lifetime. And where you act from. This pain has never fully seen the light. And existence is very gracious to you, by bringing this man on your path, giving you the opportunity to melt the pain of the child you were. This pain makes you always take refuge to your head: there is no trust. At some point in your life you have closed yourself: you long for intimacy and openness, that is your heart. Everyone's heart longs for connection, for proximity and contact, but the pain of not being loved is still there." 

I will now return to the question you came in with: "How can I be in the here and now?" There are several ways. First of all: let this pain melt, which has become clear today. Every time when fear and doubt is triggered and a compulsive tendency arises to make pictures (thoughts) about this relationship, turn inside and feel the pain that lies beneath the pictures: everything is uncertain (that's right: life is uncertain), I don't know what to do (that is true, you can't know, the flow of life is not predictable), shall I go on with this relationship (that will naturally become clear in time), I am so afraid that it goes wrong, that no one will be there for me, that I stay behind (the pain of the child and existential pain: a deep sense of loneliness). When you have felt the pain to the root, it evaporates. Then the tendency to make pictures (the thinking machine) can still be triggered, but you will no longer be held hostage by the mind, it is then possible to be present: you see what takes place in the mind. The Self (Consciousness) looks at the self (the mind). You see the story that takes place in your head. And then look total: view everything that is being performed by the mind, from the beginning to the end..., be present..., look at the whole movie that your mind produces..., realizing that you are not the story, but the lamp of awareness, who sees the story. By fully consciously observing the antics of the mind, the pattern is completely illuminated and at a certain moment it goes out. Is it a new situation that triggers you, a situation that you can't let go of (it keeps you busy): look, observe what happens, what do you say, do... and research on a quiet moment what is touched, what convictions (pictures) have been triggered. Don't concern yourself with what the other person did right or wrong. Don't concern yourself with what you did or didn't do well: that is not self-research, that is the mind, that wants to declare the other guilty and/or yourself. Don't go to psychological analysis and explanations. Simply bring everything into the light, that is self-inquiry: let the lamp of Conscious Being shine on the convictions and fears until you reach the pit, the pain point (see previous blog). 

Sometimes seeing through the trigger is enough to see reality as it is, sometimes more work is needed: feeling the original pain as it happened in you today. How does that pain feel? The pain of not being loved, the pain of loneliness. Don't go to statements and stories about your youth. Go to the pain that lies behind the thought that you often feel that you were adopted: no one who loves me, loneliness. Let that pain melt. And then your heart opens and it is possible to really enter into an intimate relationship. 

And realize the impact of your process on your partner: everything you clean up has a healing effect on him and on everyone you connect with. That is great, isn't it? 

Another way to get out of the head is: being present in the here and now. And I see/feel that the lamp of awareness is no longer completely veiled by identification with the mind: you see, you notice that you always take refuge in your head, to explanations, to doubts, distrust. Don't judge this tendency, it is not personal, it is collective, we have all been raised in this field of fear and shortage. And it's already a lot that you see the inclination. The majority of mankind doesn't realize that they live continuously from this field, from the mind: in the past or in the future, but not here and now. They are fully identified with the mind, with their thoughts and emotions, which they consider appropriate (my story). 

And change begins with seeing, with awareness. So great that you see the inclination. The exercise I want to give you is: return to the here and now. Every time you notice that you are in your head, bring attention to this moment. This is not easy, because it is a deeply ingrained groove: the head as a survival strategy to prevent hurt, the head that wants grip on a situation (relationship) to prevent disappointment and pain, the head that wants clarity and certainty what is impossible, because life is uncertain and open, so it is not predictable. 

And that reminds me of Nisargadatta, a spiritual teacher who died in 1981. Do you know him? No. He came to liberation by consistently applying a simple instruction from his master. Every time there was identification with the mind (I am the world, this personality, the body, my faith, culture, my thoughts etc.) he brought the attention back to the original principle, to the 'being' principle, the 'I am'. To that which is..., beyond the mind..., beyond all assumptions and beliefs that are claimed by the ego (I am so and so). If that falls away from us..., the identification with the mind..., what is left? That what is: I am. And after I am... it is quiet, no interpretation, no hold on anything: openness, no identification with the mind, that is Life. I am..., there is no more to say. Every time there is a tendency to go into a story, a story about yourself or about the other, a story about the past or about the future: return to I am, to Beingness, to just being. This ends the session. She is very grateful to me. "How is it possible that we came to the core in such a short time," she says. Yes... sometimes it goes like that..., you're a ripe apple. 

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes

Darkness is the absence of Light.

I listen to a satsang from Osho. Below an abbreviated and edited view. 

Darkness is the absence of light.
You can't fight directly with darkness, with lonelyness, fear, sorrow, hate, anger or isolation. The reason is that all these things doesn't exist (only in our mind). They are the absence of Light, just as darkness is the absence of Light.

What do you do when you don't want the room to be dark?
Try to understand: don't do anything directly with darkness. It will not work. You can't push it out. You yourself can't dissolve the darkness by being busy with it (thinking about it, analyzing, worrying). Why? Because the one who is busy with is, is the darkness itself: the mind (ego). So there is no way to make any arrangement with the darkness. The solution is that you do something with the Light. Bring Light in the darkness and the darkness vanish. A small candle is enough to fade out the darkness in a room.

Don't touch the darkness, don't think about it, because bottom line: it doesn't exist. It is simply an absence of Light. Just bring Light (awareness) and you will find no darkness at all. 

You can go on fighting with darkness your whole life and you will not succeed to banish it, the darkness will remain. So work for the Light. And anything that was it's absence (fear etc.) automaticaly disappears. Light is awareness, light is the energy of the heart. Bring awareness in the darkness: just see what is there, without any judgement, without any resistance, total neutrality.

The day after I listened to the satsang, I went to a singing/dancing workshop. After a few hours there was a break and a possibility to rest on a mat. I am lying next to another woman. She offers to put a blanket over me and get a cup of tea for me, I feel her caring energy, nice. After being in silence for some time, I get up to drink my cup of tea. A conversation arises between her and me. 

She asks: 'How are you now, 5 months after the death of your daughter (she died in the summer of 2016)? I response: 'I am okay'. 
She looks at me: how is that possible? 
She invites me to tell something more. 
Well, of course it is a great loss, but it is a gift to experience what 8 years of spiritual development has brought me. In the end you only know how the flag stands when you are tested by life. 

She asks what the gift is. My answer: That the loss is being carried in a natural way. So I don't say: can be carried. No, it is worn, there is no resistance to experience pain. It is there, it is as it is, sometimes there is sadness, emptiness, sometimes there are tears, that is all, point, no drama. 

Isn't that a great gift? That such a big loss is being carried in a natural way, without resistance... I feel blessed and I am grateful for the inner strength that has arisen in me in recent years. 

At some point I ask her how she is doing. She indicates that she is not where I am. She experiences a lot of worries, tension, problems. Everything feels heavy and dark, she says. She shares a few of her concerns. I feel compassion for her. 
Yes, I say, everyone is tested in her/his own way in life. For me it concerns a loss of a child, but what you share is also not easy. Children who no longer want to see you after you have been divorced from their biological father, no work, almost no income and you have to take care of your parents. All in all, that isn't easy as well. 

I feel that she is fully identified with her problems, with the darkness. And in answer I share the essence of the satsang of Osho. 

Wonderful that the essence of a satsang, which I have listened to the evening before this workshop, can now be passed on again. 

Darkness is the absence of light, I say. Feed the light, don't fight with the darkness. Do you see that you are completely absorbed in your worries, fears and problems? That doesn't help you. 

Come home in your heart, in the neutrality of the heart. You can spend all your life with solving problems, with 'processeing the darkness', but that doesn't solve the darkness. We create the darkness ourselves, caused by identification with our thoughts and emotions. 

Strengthen the Light: let the Light shine on that which is dark. You are not the darkness, you are the Light, come home in your heart, in trust. And existence is at your side, supports you, even though it doesn't seem that way. Maybe it is possible that you can do some babysitting or cleaning work to generate income... 
She shares that working with children is her profession, but she isn't accepted anywhere, because she is overqualified. And in addition, she also feels resistance: she had recently entered a day care center where she registered how the childcare providers dealt with the children and she wasn't happy about that. She admits that her look is quite critical. 

I can hear that, I say. Do you see that you 'choose' for the darkness? Not that you do that consciously... You are set to it, programmed, you have learned to look at your circumstances in this way... Another view is also possible. The same situation can also been seen from a positive side: you notice the caring side of the childcare providers towards the children, but that view doesn't exist in you. 

You only see one side: the darkness. And life is not one-dimensional. The way you look at the relationship between the childcare providers and the children, is also the way you look at all your personal circumstances: your view is 'dark'. 

What if you exceed light and darkness? What if you don't opt ​​for one side (the positive attitude of the leaders with the children) and also don't opt for the other side (the negative approach of the leaders with the children)? 

What if you look from the heart, from awareness, from neutrality? 
Then you don't reject anything, you just observe without judgement. Compare it with the energy of nature. 
Why do we find it so nice to be in nature? 
We enjoy nature, because nature doesn't judge, it is neutral, it knows no good and bad days, it doesn't judge when you walk over the grass and stamp it flat, it has no opinions if you choose certain trails and neglect other paths, it doesn't feel any pain if you embrace one tree or consider it beautiful and ignore the other trees.

That is the quality of neutrality, the quality of the heart, the quality of 'being' with what is, without putting any label on any circumstance. 

Identification with thoughts and emotions (which means that you are convinced that what you feel and think is'true') gives a charge or load to circumstances which are essentially neutral. 

I sometimes say to people: place yourself on a stage. 
Life with all circumstances and your view of it takes place on that stage. All those worries and fears are set on the stage, but you (Boeddha nature, the heart, awareness) are not on stage, but in the hall. Take a seat in the hall and look from the hall to what is happening on the stage of life.
That hall is the space of neutrality, of Love, of Light. Everything is as it is..., you look at what is happening on the stage from love and compassion. 

Don't work with your problems, but strengthen witness consciousness, strengthen the Light within you, the light that always shines, which is not the same as the light of positive thoughts and emotions that are perishable, as well as negative thoughts and emotions, they come and go. I am talking about that source in us that has nothing to do with preference or rejection, with positive or negative; these are still labels, opinions and assumptions. 

Come home in your heart, then you experience compassion, love and trust: everything is as it is. Then the knots that are still in the heart melt and the resistance to allow pain dissolves, because you realize that you are not the pain.
The pain is only darkness created by the mind, by memories, by conditioned programs (beliefs), by identification with your thoughts and emotions. When you come home in your heart, the circumstances are the same, but 'your' view is neutral. 

I see that something comes in from what I share..., there is a gradual shift. 

After our exchange she says to me: thanks..., you really helped me... And I want to thank you for being so open that I could share this with you. Without this openness, this conversation wouldn't have taken place. 

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes

Go where the wind takes you..., not my will will be done, but Your will.

I do voluntary work for half a day per week (2015-2018). 
I support a trainer in his work on a frequent basis, together with another volunteer(s).
Last week, the trainer told me that he had asked several volunteers to support a colleague at another location. His colleague has no volunteers at all, so she has no support in her work. 
The trainer let me know that all the volunteers he had asked reacted in a negative way. Then he asks me if I want to assist his colleague. 
My first impulsive reaction is: 'No, I'm enjoying myself here with the other volunteers, and with one in particular (we have a lot of fun together), and I also just started again after a short period of absence after my daughter died.'

The following day I receive an email from the trainer:
Ha Caroline, 
I understand that you enjoy working with X. But I would like to invite you once again to help my colleague on Friday. Just for once, without obligation, then you can meet each other. Something (intuition?) tells me that it will click well between you two.
With kind regards, 
Well, what do you do in such a situation?
What do you let yourself be led by?

Do you let yourself be guided by your own need, your personal will: 
I like it, fine cooperation with other volunteers and I also contribute in supporting the meeting. 

Or do you allow yourself to be guided by existence itself, by the current that existence takes in the form of a question by the trainer? 

Are you moving where the wind is taking you or do you respond to personal desires, expectations and needs? 
Everything is possible..., nothing is right or wrong. See from which you move, that is what matters.
I recently listened to an awesome satsang by Adyashanti: Beyond the Personal Will (to be found at www.adyashanti.org) and read his book 'Jesus, the mystic', a book in which Adyashanti shows how important events in the life of Jesus run parallel with different phases of spiritual awakening.
Adyashanti indicates in the satsang that after awakening there are years to follow where the personal will gradually dies out... until nothing is left and complete realization takes place. 
He also indicates that this extinction of personal will (the ego) generally takes years..., so strong is the power of personal will and the illusion of a separate self (identity).

I give you an explanatory quotation from his book (Jesus, the mystic) about awakening itself (page 235): 
'We rise above the identification with the ego and the mind, we realize our true nature of being divine. But when you transcend something, this doesn't mean that what you transcended has gone somewhere. 
And so we come into the time of trials, when life gives us (...) situations that help us (…) to embody what we have realized. 
When we have gone through many trials that teaches us to embody spirit (Divine being) - and this stage often takes a few years - we come to a deep and intense sense of calmness, of well-being.'

And that is where I am (autumn 2016): in the years of trials and the extinguishing of personal will. A very big ordeal occurred this summer (2016) when our daughter unexpectedly died at the age of 28.
I will write about that at a different time. 

A very small 'ordeal', I would rather call it a small 'test', is the question that the trainer presented to me. 

I wrote an e-mail to my fellow volunteer, which I enjoy working with every Friday. Below you will read a part of the mail: 
Well..., a great pity that we no longer see each other on a frequent basis, but I can also look at it from the perspective that existence triggers this flow (this explicit request from the trainer), besides the fact that we naturally every now and then can drink a cup of coffee after our meetings that will take place at the same time, only at another location which is close by..., and I also want to contribute where I am needed..., from the heart..., what is beyond personal interests and needs. 
Well, X, I didn't expect that it would unfold the way it unfolds..., talking about expectations... what my previous blog was about..., but I'm flexible enough to move with the flow of life... So I'm going to assist the other trainer next week..., which way it goes..., no idea..., but I'll keep you informed.

And then the time has come. I meet the other trainer on Friday at a new location. And again some small challenges arises: it is initially freezing cold in the room (the air conditioning couldn't be switched of) and the windows are covered with sturdy net curtains so that there is no distraction for the participants, and also no contact with the outside world (with nature) and the lighting of the space leaves much to be desired. In other words: I clearly don't improve on space and atmosphere.

Okay, I say to myself: that's the way it is. Next time I dress on it..., this is where existence brings me. 
I give the support to the trainer that is needed and I clearly feel that the request for help didn't come out of the blue: I am needed here and I feel that I want to give her the back up that she needs. 
The next day I mail the trainer, who asked me to support his colleague, that from now on I will help his colleague.

And so it goes..., if you no longer allow yourself to be led by your personal will, but by the heart, by existence itself…

That's the flow of life..., if you voluntarily hand over the helm..., then you go where the wind takes you... 

For some time there is almost no resistance anymore when life invites me to move with the flow of Life itself.
Yes, I notice the tails of personal will and also the tendency to attach (I liked it to work with the other volunteer, because we had so much fun together), but there isn't much needed to let it go. 

The key is the heart: the heart is open and is touched when the trainer asked me once again to go along with his colleague and that made the movement possible.

In all other cases (if the heart is not open) the 'choice', whether or not to move, comes from the mind or from personal will: let them find another volunteer, I will not leave. 

Or we move along, because religious currents asks us to practice certain virtues such as servitude, charity, calmness. 
Then the movement also doesn't come from the heart, but from the head, the ego: I have to do well, I have to be friendly, I will practice unconditional kindness (as if it can be practiced, who is practicing it: personal will?).

Or we say 'yes', we can't say 'no' because we want to be liked. 
Even then the movement doesn't come from the heart, but from a learned program from our youth. In other words, the personal will remains intact. 

It is therefore not possible to make a project of dismantling the personal will, because the motive from which you then move is the personal will itself (I am now going to break down the slave driver in me, the personal will with all its desires and needs).
Who is the 'I' who intends to do this? 

The only solution I see for the extinguishment of personal will is the opening of the heart. And that is what consciousness coaching is about and is meant for: the transformation from head to heart.

Not my will happens, but Your will..., the will of Life itself, beyond the ego, beyond the imaginary "I" who thinks that she/he can control life (personal will).

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes

Sharing and investigating hurt in relationships.

Sharing and investigating hurt in relationships: what do I mean by that? Below I describe an opportunity for each form of relationship to investigate hurts by sharing openly and sincerely. In the presence of the other you share what lives in you while the other listens; then the roles are reversed: you listen and the other person shares.

As long as we are identified with the mind, as long as we still consider our thoughts and emotions as 'true' (I am right, you are wrong), this exercise will be perceived as tough by both 'parties'.

Showing yourself fully during sharing requires openness and vulnerability, which isn't an easy task for many people, because the heart is not yet (fully) open.

And listening to the other person is also not easy. Before we know it, the mind functions, causing all kinds of thoughts (it is not true what you are saying) which undermines the connection with the heart.

Clear agreements are essential to give the emergence of mutual understanding a chance. Understanding of the motives and pain patterns of each other that led to the conflict.

So you agree with each other who will be the first to start with sharing and how much time everyone gets for the sharing and inquiry in presence of the other person.

You could start with 15 minutes per person, but it could well be half an hour, so that the person who is telling can quietly examine and share all the aspects (see previous blog).

The other person listens, is present and tries to hear and feel in what is being shared (which is not always easy when the person is talking about you). What is her or his experience of the situation?

Sometimes there are silences..., let it happen, don't assume that the one who shares is ready. You don't turn the roll until the time, that you have agreed upon, is over. In the silence, other aspects can still pop up or are further being explored.

The listener has the task of being a field of attention. The listener is not supposed to ask any questions to 'help' the other person if he or she falls silent. Keep listening, in silence, until the time is over. Then turn the roll without any evaluation or exchange about what has been said.

It is quite a challenge to remain 'empty' as a listener.
All kinds of opinions, judgments, emotions (mind) come by while you are listening to the experience of the other person. It occurs that you feel the urge to interrupt the other person to tell him/her the truth..., your truth: no, it isn't true what you are saying, it didn't go that way...

The question is whether that is the case. Do you see it correctly? What makes you assume that your interpretation of the conflict is correct and the interpretation of the other is not?

Why should one coloring of reality be correct and the other coloring not? They are both colorations or interpretations, both for those who share and for those who listen.

Do you realize that there is no right or wrong or truth at the moment that there are interpretations?

If you really realize that, then you realize that you are both a prisoner of a 'story', a story that the mind predicts you, a story that seems 'true' to you and 'true' to the other one, but it isn't, it's a story. Yes, that story can be painful…, that's true, especially if you believe in it.

Before we realize it, we are convinced that we are right and we blame the other person. We aren't aware that these accusations aren't about the other person but about aspects of ourselves.

We accuse the other person of selfish behavior (you don't take me into account at all) without realizing that we don't take ourselves into account, because we have learned from childhood that the other person gets priority. So you don't express your need or you even don't know what your need is or what you want... and you automatically adapt to the other person. 

Sharing can lead to an investigation into what these accusations we have about the other has to say about ourselves: I blame you for not taking me into account, but I discover that I haven't expressed enough what I like or consider as important..., I went along with your need and put my need aside, so I am actually angry with myself... that I let this happen again... that I didn't take responsibility for my need by speaking up. And then I say that you don't take me into account ..., and then I am angry with you, but that is not true, I find out that it is I who don't take myself into account, actually I should be a bit more 'selfish'. And I realize that it is also possible that we both have a different need at a certain moment..., that doesn't mean that I have to adapt to you in advance (what I automatically do as a result of the upbringing) or that you need to adapt to me..., we can then decide how we deal with the situation.

Well, it is not easy to free ourselves from the story that we have been completely identified with (you behave selfishly), but it is very essential to grow in consciousness.

So: realize what is going on..., you don't see reality as it is, neither the other one. A conflict means in advance: distortion of reality, you look through a colored pair of glasses at the other one and the other looks at you through colored glasses..., and you both believe what the mind previews.

If you take the above as a starting point, then sharing and inquiry in the presence of the other person can be enormously fruitful. 
If both 'parties' understand at an essential level that they don't hold the truth (which doesn't exist at the level of the mind: each person has his/her interpretations), if both 'parties' realize that they are responsible for the glasses that they have (colored glasses), if both 'parties' are willing to investigate the judgments and reproaches we have about the other, then sharing and examination in front of the other person is a great gift, a blessing.

Sharing in the presence of those with whom we are in conflict is therefore a tough exercise, but also yields a lot of self-insight and intimacy. There is nothing going underground that can blur the relationship. Everyone gets the space and the time to investigate what is going on. There is understanding for everyone's world of experience, the connection is cleaned up and the noise disappears: o, now I understand you, you come from that perspective, o..., that was happening in you..., that conviction was triggered from which you reacted so angry. There is again a clean slate.

Sharing leads to a deepening of contact, friendship or cooperation, but this is only possible if we are really willing to put our ego aside (I am right, you are wrong). We have to be willing to open ourselves completely so that we can feel and hear ourselves and the other person.
Try to listen from 'the void' (without the mind), from the heart.

If that 'emptiness' is not yet present in us, then it is important to see your judgments/opinions while you are listening to the other person: see the judgments, but don't act on it by disturbing the other person or by blaming the other when it's your turn (then you're a prisoner of the mind again, a prisoner of your story).

By the way: it doesn't mean that the story is 'true' or that you have to 'agree' or 'disagree' with the other... It isn't about 'true' or 'not true', everyone has her or his own interpretation, that's all.

And to be very precise: the goal of sharing is not to throw a bucket of mud over the other or spit your gall. No, then you haven't understood what is the basis of sharing and inquiry: examine and share the deeper motives and pain patterns from which you reacted as you reacted. And last but not least: to meet the other person and yourself on a deeper level from which mutual understanding unfolds.

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes

Justice: What would you do if ...?

"Sometimes you have to stop thinking so much and do what your heart is telling you."

Tell me what you would do? 
You walk on the street and you see an old woman being robbed by a man. What are you doing? Are you going for it? Do you stop that man? 
It is not right that an old grandmother is being robbed, is it? 
Then you have to intervene as a human being, right? 
You will not let that happen, right? says the one I speak during a meeting. So you intervene, he says, you go to that man, you give a few blows and pull that bag off him, which he just stole, but during the fight he falls badly on the street and becomes paralyzed..., what is justice then? Is it fair that the person who stood up for the grandmother is arrested? You have to do something when you see that happen, right? Then you can't help it that the other guy falls badly?

What would you do if you are placed in such a situation? he says to me. 

Before I can answer, he comes up with a following situation. 
Imagine that a woman is raped before your eyes. That is very intense, isn't it? If she is raped, she will be traumatized throughout her life, she has to go in therapy, because she no longer dares to walk alone... So you go for it, you will not let it happen, right?
You stop the man and give him a few punches.
Then the police come and they arrest you, I can't understand that... that's unjust? You have to intervene if you see something like that happening in front of you. 

What would you do in such a situation, he says to me, I am really curious about that.
I feel the dilemma of what he outlines about justice... 
Well, I say, it is not so simple... Yeh, what is justice? 
No idea, I say.
But what would you do in such a situation, he says. 
I really don't know, I say. I really don't know what I would do at such a time. Maybe I would intervene, maybe not. I can't give you the answer right NOW. If I answer NOW to that question, then that answer comes from the mind (a virtual reality that says nothing about Life itself). 
The answer that I give is conceived, it comes from the mind, it doesn't say anything about what actually unfolds when I am confronted with such a situation, so what is the use of answering this question? 
Every situation is different, even if it seems the same (grandmother being robbed), so the reaction to such a situation is unique. 

How can I predict in advance what the reaction of me will be? 
No idea..., apart from what is right or wrong..., because what is justice? Justice is a subjective fact: it is just how you look at it. 
Do you look at justice from the victim's glasses? Or from the perpetrator's glasses? Or from the eyes of the police and Justice?

And what if you wouldn't wear any glasses? What if you perceive reality as it is, without assumptions. What do you see then?

Some time ago, my partner came across a situation as described above.
I will describe it below.

He walks into the hall of the station and a man comes out, who seems to have stolen some clothes out of the shop (the alarm bell went off). 
The ladies of the shop walked behind the man to stop him. Coincidentally, at that moment my partner just passed the shop and before he knew it, he is facing the 'thief'. 
And..., what happened? I said to my partner. 
The 'thief' started yelling at me. 
What did he say? 
He said: Well, pull your weapon then? 
I say: You don't mean that, and then, how did you react? 
My husband said: I have no weapon (and he looked straight in the eyes of the 'thief'). And then? I said. 
The 'thief' shouted to me again: Well, grab your gun then? 
To which my husband once again said to the 'thief': I have no weapon, just look... (he rubbed his coat and pointed to his pockets, no weapon). 
At that moment this experience ended for my partner, the railway police had arrived and took the 'thief' with them. And my partner continued on his way home. Did you expect that you would react like that? I said. No, it just happened... His answer resonates..., and we think we can determine our reaction in advance... Were you afraid when the 'thief' yelled at you? Well, I felt a bit of fear, and yet I stopped...
Who or what determined that he remained standing on that spot? 

Who or what determines what happens at such a moment? 

Is there an 'I' that determines and can think in advance what you are going to do on such a moment? Or does Life determine what your reaction will be, Life that flows through you?

Quite often my children ask me: what should I do if... And then they outline a certain future situation (perhaps this study is too difficult for me, what do I have to do then?). 
And often my answer is: you are ahead of a situation that doesn't exist NOW, you are already busy with a future that isn't, a future that you don't know..., so what's the point of getting there already..., if the situation arises, trust that an answer will unfold, an answer that is right for you. 
More and more the children comprehend what I indicate. 
Yes, Mom, that's true..., I'm already worried about a future that isn't there. It's just like that, I say.

Go where you heart takes you. Follow your inner voice. 

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes