Category Archives: Silence Practice

From Silence Practice to Inner Constellations & Sound

(This Chart may only be used with prior permission from Laura Madsen)

Silence Practice classes have increasingly focused on refining our capacity for inner-awareness through deep listening and attunement. As this function stabilizes in the group dynamic, subtle energy-movements in our nervous system become palpable and increasingly conscious. The Inner Constellation Mobile (ICM) below emerged in the most recent Silence Practice series as a map of the sacred territory of our inner life. The ICM is a simple map of the movement of two basic energy-systems within our nervous system. With a willing awareness, these movements are physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually perceptible.

This shift in Silence Practice focus is effective immediately.

Basically there are two nervous systems in the body that constantly inform us: the conditioned nervous system (through Inner-Constellations of culture, family, and human history); and the unconditioned potential  of the Soul’s movement through the Inner-Constellations of spaciousness and listening.

Both of these movements are experiential when we learn to slow down thinking and become energetically-attuned through deep listening. Both experiences “feel real.” When the conditioned nervous system is experienced as energy rather than an unconscious impulse, our nervous system experiences increased spaciousness.  This movement opens us to the uncondtioned potential as new insights, generous/uplifting emotions, and/or trusting/open sensations in the body.

Many of our life-experiences are grounded in the conditioned nervous system, and are therefore habitual. Initially, slowing down to actually feel these can be disarming and uncomfortable. As a culture we are habituated to turn away from inner-discomfort, however subtle. This makes it difficult to sustain the unconditioned potential of the “Soul’s” movement within culture. Our success in this regard depends upon our ability to consciously “be with” conditioned aspects, and to listen (pray, open) to the higher dimensions of our Soul. In order to facilitate the integration of these energy-upgrades, indiviual and group Sound vibrations are an implicit part of the PhD research thesis.

The traditional word for the coherent movement of the ICM is Grace. It is where we experience “problems” as no longer being in the way because we experience them in relationship to a larger whole (of the Soul’s movement in God/Source). It is this movement that allows us to move beyond conditioning in a compassionate and spacious way.  When we no longer reject the pain of our human conditioning (in self or other), we become increasingly available for the movement of our Soul.

The ICM Map emerged at the end of the Spring 2018 Silence Practice series. I have experienced this Group Constellation practice as deceptively simple and powerfully transformative. As with all the previous Silence Practice series, I look forward to exploring this recent emergence with you. See lauramadsen.ca for the upcoming Class description.
with love,
Laura
For contact: Please leave a comment below or call 1(604) 222-4111

Entanglement & Spaciousness: The Delicate Dance of Embodiment

Painting by Keira Madsen

Much has percolated both personally and as a facilitator following the recent Fall Silence Practice series, “Restoring Structures in Consciousness.”

Firstly, I am grateful for the structure of exploration that each Silence Practice series seems to provide for myself and for other willing “pioneers.” The most sacred gift we can give each other lies in our courage and willingness to explore together “beyond habits of the known.”

What makes this gift sacred? Because it lies within the Mystery of our innate (known/ experienced) belonging in God/Source. Why are courage and willingness required? Because this gift also comes with the most rigorous challenge of all – the challenge of “meeting ourselves” exactly where we are.

What is challenging about “meeting ourselves” exactly where we are you might ask? After all, I am a nice person, my relationships are good, and I am happy most of the time. I rather like myself the way I am and others seem to as well … except, maybe sometimes … something deep within me surfaces that … mmmm … ????

That questioning is the entry-point for the timeless spiritual question: “Who Am I”?Indian saint Ramana Maharshi offered this inquiry to his disciples as a foundational practice.

Within this wholehearted spiritual question lies the opening to the spaciousness of an authentic inner Journey. This is where our willingness and courage emerge from a previously unknown source within us, and begins to grow. As Jesus said, it only takes a “mustard seed” (a small opening/beginning) to grow Faith (and Faith exists beyond the known).

Silence Practice is always a movement towards an already-present spaciousness within. If this spacious experience is one we wish to live our life through, then we begin to engage in an “embodied spiritual practice.” Only within the rigour of an embodied spiritual practice do we begin “meeting ourselves” exactly where we are. Here we experience the inevitable entanglements of the “conditioned” or “identified” self, and how much they are at play in our life. This is the land of “shadow” (Carl Young), the unconscious, the unseen aspects of the conditioned self, all the places where we have become entangled.

In a deeper spaciousness where embodiment is also a priority, we begin to see and experience patterns of energetic entanglement that we have been participating in unconsciously. Compounding our ability to see this level of unconscious participation, is our determined identification with these entanglements as us. So the letting-go nature of Silence Practice can feel like a death-practice, depending upon where our identification is focused.

This delicate dance between entanglement and spaciousness is the razor’s edge of an embodied practice. It requires a willingness to practice in the face of fear and resistance. If we do not face this, we are likely to choose a less embodied form of practice where we do not “meet ourselves,” but rather “escape ourselves.” It has been my experience that many people who speak about spiritual practice are referring to the latter.

If I do not understand and experience that the foundation of my entangled-self is a young place of self-preservation-at-all-cost, than I may also be unaware of its endless antics of camouflage and obfuscation when faced with the naked vulnerability of inner-spaciousness.

In order to restore these entangled structures, we must first meet them and touch them exactly where they are. This becomes possible with the natural relaxation of the nervous system and increased consciousness that spaciousness provides. Only within the generosity of inner-spaciousness does the delicate and beautiful dance of embodiment begin to unfold. It can feel miraculous.

I have learned again and again, in the past 7+ years of facilitation, that this is the reason that an embodied (grounded in and through the body) spiritual practice — by its very nature — is one of deep humility and surrender. These two fundamental gate-posts of embodied spiritual practice, draw from us a willingness and courage that we didn’t know we had.

The delicate dance between entanglement and spaciousness has only one certitude: it will surprise, challenge, and delight you again and again — in increasingly new and subtle ways. In a very real sense, I am most own best student of Silence Practice. To use Richard Bach’s quote, “we teach best what we most need to learn.”

This fills my heart with gratitude. Namaste.

Please comment in the section below if you feel drawn to do so. An embodied practice is strengthened by engaging with others who share the same interest.

with love, Laura

Restoring Structures in Consciousness

Art by Keira Madsen

As we choose again and again to re-align ourselves with the depth and spaciousness of Inner Silence, “structures in consciousness” naturally begin to reveal themselves. These structures within which we co-habit could be described as “constellations,” “unconscious energy-agreements,” or “morphogenic fields.”

However we choose to name them, our awareness of these structures is key to their restoration. Learning to simply “be with” the emotional, mental, and physical flavours inherent within these constellations can be a challenging practice. Intentional group practice is an ideal place for this Awareness to surface within us. It broadens our capacity for relational wholeness and depth. Conversely, lacking an of awareness of these influences tends to create fractured relationships and distance.

Our most influential constellations are established in childhood as “family constellations” and “cultural constellations.” As a result they can “feel” quite “normal” to us. (i.e., That is what life is and who I am.) We wear them naturally until we begin to realize that these constellations have a momentum of their own within which we have unconsciously participated.

Witnessing — sans judgement or reactivity — the powerful influence these patterns carry within ourselves and the collective fields we share, is a pivotal experience for both our spiritual and human development. While we respect their influence as part of our human history, and therefore our connection to our ancestors and the human condition, we begin to recognize that they are not the only story. To our surprise and delight, we discover that our increased ability to witness and presence these “structures in consciousness” is, in fact, a gateway to a Whole New Story.

The inspiration for birthing any new story throughout human history has never arisen from recipes of the “already known.” They often emerge from a spacious willingness to be influenced by something (yet) “unknown.” As we engage more regularly in the spaciousness of Silence Practice, a natural relaxing of these habitual structures occurs. Sitting still with these habits is similar to a detoxification that also activates deeper structures in Consciousness. I tend to feel this in the body as an increased sense of “place” in this moment, or an “easeful sense of belonging,” or “a flow sensation” in my body. When I work with private clients in “staying with” and “touching into” these structures, they also experience contact with them in a similar fashion. Practice like this within a group is especially powerful.

The spacious Awareness of Inner Silence grows an “experiential Perception” that emerges as a willingness to “make contact” with “what is.” The Beauty of a non-reactive “Witnessing Presence” begins to emerge in our awareness. The influence of this contact  is profound. It grows a particular capacity for Intimacy within our Heart. We notice from time to time, that we are “hearing and seeing” (responding) differently — no longer from patterns of separation, denial, or fear. or  The serene clarity of the Witnessing Presence allows deeper contact with “structures in consciousness” within ourselves first, and eventually with the world around us.

With the willingness to practice, habitual “structures in consciousness” appear less finite and real when they are witnessed within a spacious consciousness. Experiencing that these “structures in consciousness” are a conditioned or learned response and not the only reality often evokes a sense of lightness. We can have the distinct feeling that we have somehow broken through — or at least glimpsed — a different reality. Fairy tales and myths compare the limitations of these “structures in consciousness” to casting a spell.” Seeing the “spell” or habit with increased clarity allows us to move within a more spacious awareness.

As the Constellation or Structure in Consciousness becomes less fixed or solid, we find that we have more energy for exploring new territory. This is the energy of Restoration. It is a natural consequence of the “letting go” action of Silence Practice, and the discovering of the Witnessing Presence within.

The 10-week Fall Practice Series will focus on the relationship between the Spaciousness of Silence and the Restoration of Structures in Consciousness. For more detail and to register, please go to the Group Sessions menu or lauramadsen.ca. Early registration with 20% discount ends on August 29.

Namaste, Laura