CAMP COLUMBIA, Thetis Island, B.C. JULY 13-15, 2007
Cynthia Bourgeault

 Loss of mind is not the loss of self – can come as mercy to give ourselves to deeper pathways. Deep channel of consent is the good harbour from which we enter into the ocean. We carve the channel to the ocean by letting go and letting go and letting go…

There is a certain amount of resistance in us to letting go. Very few of us are willing to let go of our darlings. The epi-centre of letting go is pushing through this resistance. There is a moment of conscious consent. See your life as an opportunity to practice this gesture of letting go.

Stupid suffering begins when you are caught in likes and dislikes – don’t need to go with your likes and dislikes, just notice them. Don’t follow likes and dislikes with your energy and become identified with them.

Saturday July 14, 2007 4:35 p.m.

Life is all practice for the final great letting go. With practice, letting go becomes your instinctual first response.

Inner letting go and surrender are different from outer letting go which is a shrug (“whatever”). The result of inner letting go may be that you realize you have to stand your ground on the outside, but you will do it in a way that is less attached to outcome and less inclined to demonize the other.

You find a confidence that you will be able to find yourself in the now – Con (with) fidere (faith). A lot of what takes confidence away from us is ego, the stage fright which sabotages our own effectiveness. Simply do the next thing you must do.

We have a choice between stupid suffering or conscious suffering. Spiritual work relieves you of stupid suffering. – “suffering” subfere – to hold up, to bear.

Stupid, neurotic suffering is self-imposed through being identified with your false self programs – this is known in spiritual tradition as “sleep”.

Somebody else can do you harm but they cannot cause you to suffer unless you choose to suffer because you are identified with your neurotic stuff.

Identficiation = putting your feeling of “I” into something or getting your feeling of “I” from something. If you want to unmask identification, get in the way of the thing with which a person is identified and watch the explosion.

Most identification is unconscious. To the extent that our unconscious identifications dominate us we will suffer plenty.

Anything you do from a state of identification has a built in mis-timing to it and will always create a backlash.

It is not about the rightness of your cause, but about not hiding in your causes. Don’t allow your causes to alienate you from the beauty of God that is in the other.

If I dis-identify do I stop caring? We are used to looking at our psycho-drama as the sign of compassion. We are so used to drawing the energy of life from identification.

As attachment ceases to be your motivation, your actions will become a reflection of compassion absolute.

You get free from neurotic suffering to the degree that you get free from your attachments.

It is easy to recognize when you are attached to your station in life or your position. It is the more subtle identifications that are harder to see – identification with ideas, virtues, spiritual causes we think we are upholding all emerge from a whole level of unconscious conditioning. We send out our patterns. If you want to stop being miserable, accept the challenge of that.

Consider the person who has wounded you to be the messenger. You can use anything that occurs as an opportunity for spiritual growth.

The cure for ersatz suffering is not to replace it with happy feelings, but a conscious acceptance of real suffering – how? Don’t try to do this with attitude but by staying in the situation without moving into a position of brace.

Before going into judging, stay inwardly unclenched; nothing is going to drive you into a state of inner brace – maintain at all costs the inner core of soft opening to what is.

Start with an intense commitment to allowing softness and yieldedness to be your being.

The urgency of self-importance says you have moved out of centre.