Working with Negativity

We are working with transforming our negativity, deeply.
We can experience ourselves impartially, feel our experience physically, abide with it. This is who and how we are. 
We can put the energy of our negativity; worry, inner talk, judgement, inner considering, suffering, fear – into our presence, sensation.
When our reaction is very strong, habitual, feel we can’t control it or it just keeps coming back – We can ask for help. Open to help. For example, the violet light of Rafael, healing us emotionally.
All of this applies to ourselves and our ‘gossip’ about ourselves as well. 

“Our identity does not depend on anything outside of ourselves but arises from the quality of our inner state itself.”
Resistance to unpleasant situations is the root of most suffering. At times we have to surrender to uncertainty. 

A short story from Madeline Gold, previously read:
” Lord Pentland and I are talking before heading over to the Foundation for the evening’s activities.
“What will change the world?” he asks. I complain in false modesty, “I don’t know, I have a narrow mind.” “No,”‘ he says, “you have a broad mind. What will change the world?” He asks again.
“Conscience?” I venture. “No,” he says. “Emanations will change the world.” He wants me to understand the effect that emanations have, that my emanations have. It is a different way of seeing the world, in terms of energy and vibration, rather than actions. Rather than seeing change in terms of action, morality, judgment, or duality, to understand it in terms of the unseen.
Maybe today and tomorrow I can emanate a little more love, a little more joy, a little more finer something or other.
In fact there is a lot of wisdom being spread right now, readily accessible, teachers telling truth. Mr. G. said stopping war, even if it were possible, wouldn’t be the thing. Maybe it’s in the change of vibration.”

Working now

The times we are in are unprecedented, how to work now, even thrive during these times.

One – We live a good deal of our lives in sleep, in a world of self-mechanicality. Living and being based in a higher world, the natural world, is the necessary first step in our transformation.

We have to let go of our stories and thoughts from our personality that keep us in world 48. Thoughts of being inadequate in this work, powerless, having no energy, dealing with psycho-emotional not spiritual things. This constant tape loop in our heads, emotions and body keep us stuck.

Or the opposite – For some, feeling great now, taking advantage of the times, where the pride, arrogance and self-importance is the tape loop.

We can separate our self from our self. This is our work. By observing our self  stories, stories of our history, lies, images, feelings of inadequacy, tiredness – or their opposite. All of it needs to be separated from. This is our work and whatever technique brings you this separation is good.

Two – If you are under the weight of what is going on, don’t add negativity to it. Go out for a walk, exercise. Get the blood flowing, the body moving. This is important, whether you are feeling down in the body, mind or emotions. If you can’t sit, concentrate, don’t have energy, feel scattered, get your blood moving.

Three – This is a time of opportunity. Sit and work in order to establish a touchstone of being, of your inner life in yourself. Sit and concentrate until you arrive at a place where the pull of the personality is not so present. Establish this over time.

And Then – Open to the higher, the finer in you. Learn to be in a completely receptive mode. You have to let go of everything; Your pride, feelings of self-pity, inadequacy, negativity, history, body tiredness being in control of you, worry, fear of the future and unknown. Just be, with no doing, expectation, let go of your story. Help is possible, open to it.

We are all in the same boat. The presence of the group, of the work itself can be of enormous help. Finer energy and worlds are present here and now. Always.

Working Now

A few thoughts on a beautiful day.

A good time to work, to be positive. So many of you are, I am. So many in society, paranoid, negative, understandable, but too bad. Don’t get caught up in the consensus trance of fear, insecurity and suspicion. Yes, be safe, but importantly, be positive and grateful when you can.    

The world is wrestling with the virus but with much more; climate change and the future of the planet, authoritarianism, the new age of internet and globalization, the deep nature of gender suppression and racism – With what it means to be human!

Something new may be struggling to be born. A time of spiritual crisis and spiritual flexibility.

500 years ago, during a time of great change, John Calvin and Martin Luther dealt with new forms of communication and scientific discoveries, different but with parallels to our time.

Old structures, forms of Government, religion as we know it, are bankrupt or collapsing. Something needs to be envisioned and built.

It is harder for people to hide now. There is an old saying that ‘When the tide goes out you discover who has been swimming naked.’

How is our Work relevant now, how do we work to serve the future?

A few thoughts:

Resistance to unpleasant situations is the root of suffering. We have to work on ourselves to be able to withstand what is coming, to be present, responsible.

We don’t get to choose our difficulties, but we do have the freedom to select our responses. In the moment, do we have the courage to be with our inner life.

Hope is knowing that we are getting help. That connection is key.

We have to presume we do not know as much as we imagine we do. Be ok within the unknown.

Can we forsake our self-image and all the posturing about who we think we are!

The do’s and don’ts of our work are important, but we have to be compassionate toward ourselves. It is a time of stress, we work, struggle and also need to be loving to ourselves.

Many ask about Prayer and making it real:

We have to be present to pray. In general, if we are present deeply, others do not bother us. We can pray and concentrate.

Our prayer needs to be localized in the here and now. We need to collect, to assemble our disparate forces into a point of concentration, into our relaxed being. We pass into this attention and pass over our psychosomatic self. Our breath, emotion, mind, sensation, in rhythm with our inner life, our spiritual life. We are after something that is beyond us, but within us. At the heart of this is mystery, something beyond our knowing—Not a being, an essence or an object.

The triumph of love in the midst of suffering is at the heart of our work.

Some people want to be informed, not transformed. The courage to be in the moment is key.

This is a meaningful time and it is meaning that will inspire and hold us together. In situations like this, meaning is a vital medication for the soul. A time of connection and inter-dependence.

Wish for yourself and others:

May I be well and happy.
May I have no fears or sorrow.
May I be healthy and free of illness.
May I live calmly and peacefully.

Working with Suffering

Dear All,

We work with having equanimity, being calm, staying present.

But how do we work with the pain and suffering that is in the nature of the pandemic, that perhaps strikes home.

My daughter Hannah’s husbands brother Bahi has the virus. Just out of hospital with double pneumonia. Because his respiration is ok and he didn’t need a ventilator, he is home with pneumonia in both lungs. Everyone I know in New York knows someone who has this, or who has passed on from it.

Passover Seder on Zoom with all my family from four different locations. Strange times indeed!

The ‘new normal’, the uncertain future, being in lock down over time, are all difficult to deal with.

How can we work with our suffering? We have to bear what is in front of us, what is going on within us. I have to see and be with myself, see how my energy informs and allows another part within to become active.

As Madame says,

“I suffer from my lack, my incapacity. I struggle to stay in front, not to prevail, but to observe the constant changes in myself. With this staying, an energy of a higher quality develops, a more conscious attention. A new feeling appears when the conditions of suffering are accepted, even wished for. I accept my powerlessness and I suffer. In this staying in front of my insufficiency the energy intensifies and becomes an active force that obliges the passive force to obey.”

We have to be with our suffering, grief, allow it to flow. It connects us to a deeper part of our self. To a softer, less egoistic side.

There is a saying that if the heart is broken, it is also broken open. Our world isn’t shrinking, our self is.

We are in a time of mystery and solidarity. The mystery of suffering is unanswerable, but allowing the suffering and pain to lessen the hold of our egoism and self is important.

Meaning is more than telling stories about how good came from some grave evil. People see suffering as  punishment, as a judgment on a nation or society, as an opportunity, as part of a story not our own.

We can interpret the present moment, not just endure or escape from it. If we simply seek to pass through all this in hasty expectation of a return to normal, perhaps we are missing the fundamental point.

What ultimately in our Aim. Survival yes, but more. Who am I, what is the meaning of my life, of life on earth, how can our pain and suffering bring us closer to our true self. We have to make sure we are transformed, not just informed.

Speak to you this evening at 7.

Be well.

With Love,

Active Listening

Our Theme is Listening. Listening consciously, listening not from automatic personality, listening from three centers.

Listening to others – Not answering inside—not judging–giving space—being receptive–really hearing.

Not just with others, but sounds, hearing what the ear is picking up. Active listening. Listening Consciously.

Many I’s

Our theme is seeing our many I’s. It is not possible to see all our I’s, but ‘we can notice how many of our daily activities keep us from our lifetime goals and aims.’

Why are we in unprovoked denial? Mindfulness, from the word sati in Pali and Sanskrit, means to remember. Being present is to embrace life, its richness and blessing as well as the painful and tragic.

If we wish to be present, develop an inner life, be happy, we have to embrace our suffering as well – I understand this is counterintuitive. Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Important distinction.

Let us be with our experience objectively, not become that which we experience through our lower centers and self. This is our aim and the beginning of freedom. Seeing our I’s is seeing the sway likes and dis-likes have over us.

Notice how many of our daily activities keep us from our lifetime goals.


Our theme is working with Identification. ‘Something attracts our attention, stimulates us, or we dislike something, or we have a feeling of pain or pleasure, or our curiosity or intellectual activity is stimulated. Equanimity is the radical acceptance of not-knowing and a means of not taking everything so personally. Unhooking is our theme.

One can never emphasize too strongly that nothing is gained by avoidance. Only by exposing oneself can one arrive at anything. If I dislike some situation and I avoid exposing myself to it, I am no longer free and I even throw away the chance of freedom.’

We should attempt to be untouched by bitterness, self-pity and victimhood.

Identification is losing ourselves in what we are doing or in our imaginary world. We are often identified by our need to be busy, to always be doing.

In particular we are observing our identification with impatience and complaining.

Next week’s meeting is on Christmas Eve, Monday December 24th at 7pm. We will do a short exercise, speak about our work that evening in relation to the true meaning of the day and then wander around the city together. Bring change for a bus/taxi as we will travel and walk together around New York.

This year I want to address a theme: ‘The World Situation as it is now and the relation of our work and our group work in particular to the world situation’. We will explore this from time to time and focus on that theme on the work weekend of June 1st – 2nd.


We lose ourselves by becoming absorbed in events, emotions, thoughts and other people. We become interested in something and a second later we don’t exist anymore. We lose ourselves and our impartiality.

Identification is taking things personally.

We are often not aware of our identification or our likes and dislikes, they are invisible.

We can identify with anything – with people it is inner considering; with our possessions, ideas, self-image, and so on.

Identification is one of the six negative triads, it is the world of delusion (96), the extreme negative of Freedom; Identification is the ‘false freedom’.

From JGB: “Gurdjieff said more than once that this teaching originates from a conscious source. To understand it we have to be able to approach it consciously, to be able to approach it through and not from the machinery of our ordinary selves.”

Work on seeing Identification in our daily life. See it in the moment; work with sensation in separating from it; can we see impartially. What effect does this have on our energy in the moment.

The Work Day

I wanted to summarize the work we did together during our day this past Saturday.

Continue doing the Morning Exercise and for those who were present Saturday add on the new section. If you have questions about this let me know.

We spoke of the importance of staying within our atmosphere during the day and that self-observation meant that we are aware of ourselves being aware. It is not just seeing something or someone with awareness, but seeing ourselves as we see.

We spoke and stressed the importance of spontaneity in our lives, having a ‘spontaneous mind’; the ability to laugh at ourselves and maintain a healthy sense of humor. “Spontaneity is the striving that is non-striving and allows a higher power to act”.

In a moment we may feel Gratitude, not because of any reason. Or experience a Joy that has no cause, not the satisfaction of desire.

We worked with Zikr Dayim together. If you are moved to work with this, do so during the day, good to do for 15 minutes at a time with the holdings.

We also worked with the exercise of ‘voluntary passivity’. Do this after the Zikr if you wish, or at any time. Truly let go, be completely passive and allow.

Be grateful to everyone and try not maligning others.

Try not make unimportant things important.


Work with the Morning Exercise I-Me-Am and use it during the day as you can when waking up to become more collected and present. It is important that our waking up not only be in our minds, our thoughts, but also that we wake up in our bodies through sensation as well as feeling the presence of our emotional center.

When we are asleep and identified our aura, the energy of us, goes out to whatever we are identified with, gets sucked away from us. When we are present and gathered in our atmosphere, present to ourselves, our collected energy stays and feeds our inner life and higher connections. Try and be aware of this each day.