About Silence & Group Inner Constellations

All of my group and private work is dedicated to cultivating our relationship with Silence and inner-Stillness through the process of integrating “what is.” The revealing movements of our Inner Constellations, combined with the healing resonance of Sound, cultivates an inner-harmony. An experience of “being home within ourselves” comes with knowing ourselves– shadow aspects and Light. As we come to know ourselves more deeply, compassion for the conditioned structures in ourselves and others naturally increases.

The Inner Constellation mobile (ICM) emerged out of 10 years of studying and facilitating Silence Practice in everyday life (see Silence Practice thesis in the menu). The ICM provides a safe container of slowing down and feeling/sensing through the nervous system rather than through our habitual narratives. What has space to emerge in this context is the deep relationship between unconscious patterns (of family, culture, and human conditioning through time) and the innate Spaciousness of Soul and Listening. Given the right environment a beautiful movement occurs where Soul mingles organically with conditioned habit.

The group dynamics in an Inner Constellation provides an astounding field of healing for everyone in the group. I do not use the term “astounding” from ego as I literally feel that I have been gifted with this work. Much like an artist who feels their work comes through them, but not from them. It is my responsibility to attend to the development of the ICM in the world, but I do not feel that it is mine.
I have experienced – and witnessed – a profound transpersonal healing in this simple process of allowing “the nervous system’s intelligence” to provide information about our inner landscape. The grace and beauty of these Inner Constellations lies in their uniqueness. I have now facilitated over 50 ICM’s and no two have been alike. I continue to be humbled by their grace and beauty.
Paradoxically, the Soul’s beauty becomes more visible as we know ourselves. The truth does set “the God within us” free. But only a willingness to acknowledge the shadowed trauma within has the power to reveal and sustain our Soul’s embodiment. A collective “truth holding” field is naturally healing because it opens us to ourselves as we truly are.
I feel this kind of integrative collective work is needed at this time. The trauma that we experience belongs to all of us. We all have influence on the creation of our collective field that we call “the world.”
We are living in a time of increasing trauma, as well as an emergence that awakens new paradigms of consciousness. This is exactly how the Inner Constellation work came about— it emerged through me like a streak of lightning! We need each other to realize these emerging paradigms. We carry both “the problem” and the answers within. We just need to see and experience them, which is what emerges in an Inner Constellation Mobile.

At the root of the Inner Constellation Mobile is the practice of Inner Stillness and Silence. I cannot express the primacy of our relationship to these better than John O’Donahue:

Silence is one of the major thresholds in the world. . . . Meister Eckhart said that there is nothing in the world that resembles God so much as silence. Silence is a great friend of the soul; it unveils the riches of solitude. It is very difficult to reach that quality of inner silence. You must make a space for it so that it may begin to work for you. In a certain sense, you do not need the whole armory and vocabulary of therapies, psychologies, or spiritual programs. If you have a trust in and an expectation of your own solitude, everything that you need to know will be revealed to you … Silence is the sister of the divine. ~ from Anam Cara

Regular Reminders of Stillness

Stillness reminders in my life have come in the form of people, places, and cultural structures. Without their blessed influence, I would not have been able to maintain some semblance of connection to inner-stillness and Silence throughout my life.  Listed chronologically, I am profoundly grateful for:

… my parents, Don & Bette Hicks, who purchased our beloved Shuswap Lake summer property in 1958, before they even owned a home. It was here, in the abundant natural beauty of the area at the time, that I experienced regular states of inner-stillness and Silence.

… our family doctor Jim McKeen who began loaning me spiritual books at ten years of age.

… one Sunday school class taken at the age of 12 which exposed me at the right time to the astounding gospel teachings of Jesus. This event awakened a lifetime of passion for the Universal Truth at the root of all Scripture. From ages 12 to 15 years, reading before bed, I managed to read the entire Bible — a practice that grew a deep awareness of the sacred current within the nervous system.

… my first meditation and energy-healing teacher Lewis Bostwick who, through the Psychic Institute of the Church of Divine Man, taught that our relationship with God was one of attunement and energy flow. He taught meditation as an energy awareness, and supported the development of intuition and spontaneous knowing, while being grounded in the body.

… Doug and Naomi Moseley who, through their steadfast commitment to exploring unconscious “shadow” material, created a safe environment for shadow patterns to surface for exploration and integration.

… Lalitha and Lee Lozowick of the Western Baul tradition. I discovered that the turbaned dream-presence in my mid-20’s was a none other than the their Guru and “hidden saint” (of Tiruvanamalai, India) YogiRamsuratkumar. His phenomenal Presence is the Source of the most profound Mystical experiences of my life.

… the Vancouver School of Theology whose academic structure allowed me to combine my love of Scripture  with the daily practice of Silence and inner-attunement. With this academic precision and rigour, I was able to design a Research thesis “Surrendering to Silence: A Heart-Centred Practice” which has turned into a facilitated group practice since June  2010.

… Mystic-in-the- Marketplace teacher Thomas Hubl, whose transmission and integrity is astounding. He walks his talk like no other Western teacher I have met.

… participants in my Silence Practice groups and (more recently) Inner Constellation groups. The openness and yearning of participants continues to draw “the deepest heart-knowing” from within me.

… a Spring 2018 PhD Research thesis exploring The Inner Constellations of Silence and Sound (see PhD Research on this website).

… my husband who, although not obviously on a spiritual path, offers his love and support. In the past decade, he has graciously shared our home as a spiritual sanctuary.

About Silence 

Silence is a practice. Like any practice, it begins with intention, patience and time.
At first, Silence practice seems only to consist of observing our restlessness: all within us that resists Silence.
Silence is a deep-listening/surrendered practice.
The ordinary (thinking) mind resists Silence.
And yet, the body’s sense of aliveness and well-being thrives within the elegant Spaciousness of Silence.
Initially, Silence is most effectively learned within a group setting.
Eventually one finds the resonance and connection to Silence within one’s own nervous system. We realize then, that it has been there all along.
Silence is delightfully intimate, although the context for this intimacy exists from within a spacious relationship to the whole.
Even when practiced alone, Silence is a relational intelligence.
From within the depths of Silence, we discover authentic ways to engage in Life with relaxed whole-heartedness.

An Intimate Encounter with Silence

I was alone in my Vancouver kitchen on a rare sunny mid-November morning in 2012. While enjoying the everydayness of a cup of tea with family dog Rosie by my side, something substantial landed within my awareness. At this point in my life I had been facilitating Silence Practice groups for a couple of years following the completion of a 2010 Master’s Research thesis entitled “Surrendering to Silence: A Heart Centred Practice.” What I did not realize at the time, was the depth of commitment and consequent awakening this regular practice would initiate within me.

I had experienced many major and minor shifts in consciousness before, but this one had a solidity to it — like I had crossed a threshold of some kind. It seemed as though previous mystery-glimpses had now rolled into a solid view. I also experienced a deep knowing that my life did not “belong” to me; that my True Life, my Real Life, my most Alive Life belonged entirely to the experience presently flowing through my awareness.

The more I surrendered to It, the more I became It. How delightfully circular and joyously playful. At the same time that we were “one,” we were also two. At this point my “thinking” mind had receded and all of this felt abundantly natural. There was no questioning or second-guessing. I was not separate from what I was experiencing, and yet “I” was enjoying it.

My heart beat faster. Rushes of vital energy flowed up and down my body and out of my arms. My body was light and alive, and yet solid. The lightness seemed to come from a diminished resistance in my body: I had no personal agenda in this moment, so it seemed as though I could just be there in a sort of suspended and “held” way. Rosie, the cup of tea, and I were held in the same timeless moment. My heart raced again in response to this beautiful congruency, accompanied by a pulling sensation in my chest. My eyes brimmed with grateful tears as I recognized how deeply I am held in this Beauty.

I also knew, with strikingly calm clarity, that I was not the identified-self I had strived to maintain for most of my life. From the perspective of this spacious awareness, the “identified-self” was thin, frightened, meagre, and ghost-like. With sadness, I could also see that this “ghost-like” self had kept me occupied for much of my adult life. Although I have been aware intellectually that I was not that, I seemed to be caught in an endless battle with it: and the more I struggled, the more entangled I became.

Abruptly this beautiful harmonious awareness was broken by a sharp familiar voice within me, “You’re making all of this up”! I recognized this voice as the all-too-familiar voice of fear. I felt a slight heaviness enter my chest. My breathing became more shallow and contracted. I became aware that the middle of my back was hurting. I was also shocked to see that 3 hours had passed in a space of time that I thought was about 20 minutes. I had had an encounter with timelessness in my own kitchen, with my dog Rosie by my side!

“You have a Choice.” I was brought back to the threshold of this expansive encounter by a calm inner voice that seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere in particular. I noticed how much vitality disappears as entangled habits of fear and resistance re-surfaced in my awareness. They seem so very real, and yet they cost so much. If I do have a choice, it is clear that there is only one sane choice. It becomes, as the Buddhist’s say: the choice-less choice.

You can contact Laura Madsen by making a comment below or by calling  1 (604) 222-4111

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