Freedom from Suffering

Before I met the Balanced View training I did not even think freedom from suffering was attainable. Ha ha :-). However, I discovered that by relying on open intelligence there was freedom from suffering amidst experiences of physical and emotional pain. I discovered that the suffering is created through my own resistance and that nothing can actually cause me suffering. I discovered that no amount of pain whether physical or emotional has any influence on who I truly am and that all appears in, of, as, and through great bliss.

It is really beyond anything that can be imagined with the mind that has been trained in reification. Only through trust in my teacher and the teachings was I able to experience this gradually. I will be forever grateful for the skilful guidance of the teaching that leads to increasing absence of suffering.

Fearless in Fear

I see now how much I was afraid of before discovering the Balanced View Training. What would or could happen that I didn’t want to, that I’d have to do things I didn’t feel like doing, social anxiety, confusion and sadness. Life felt like it was more about actively avoiding things I didn’t want to experience than anything else; constantly categorizing everything into good/bad/indifferent like a robot on autopilot.

My partner Max and I had attended a number of in-person Balanced View trainings, mostly in California, and we decided I would attend the next California gathering alone for the first time. I’d be journeying there from Vancouver, Canada; ~16 hours of driving taking the fastest highway, and 25+ hours taking the coast. We have a hybrid car that makes driving a good money-saving option, so this is usually how we get there.

At first it seemed okay that I’d be driving there alone, but as time crept closer to leave, the fears got wild: What if someone rapes and kills me at a rest stop? What if I run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and my phone is dead? What if I’m driving perfectly but someone suddenly swerves into me from oncoming traffic? All the absolute worst scenarios were raging in my head, and I found their intensity very convincing! I wrote my trainer Mia about it, and that was a good move. Fear kept arising, but something in me knew I should still go for it regardless of how intense and relentless the stories were.

The trip began with a perfect opportunity to relax when I was sent to secondary inspection at the border, standing in what looked like a snaking amusement park line for more than two hours before speaking to a border guard who was to interview me. I ended up showing him my website on his computer and talking about art I make, nothing heavy about the situation or talking to him. The thoughts of where I should be by now or all the time wasted standing in line amazingly wasn’t the focus or what I related from.

When I was free to go, I just felt happy to finally be on my way. I listened to Balanced View talks most of the time, and that was immensely helpful. If fears or frustrations arose while driving the busy highway 5, listening to the talks naturally reminded me that I didn’t need to go with that data, and in fact there was nothing wrong with the data itself or experiencing it.

The training was beautiful, and a new experience to be there without Max and see all was well. Driving home went just as smoothly as getting there. The border guard on the way back gave me a bit of a hard time, but luckily not to the point of sending me to secondary again! I made it home safely and was greeted by my sweethearts Max and Sprout.

A year later when the training was offered once more, Max couldn’t get the time off work, but I was again in a position where I could go. This time, I looked forward to the journey by car and was excited to take the scenic route along the coast; taking my time over a few days driving only 7-9 hours per day, sleep in my little makeshift bed in the back of the car, and enjoy the many incredible state parks and beaches along the coast of Oregon and California. My only vivid resistance was crossing the boarder, given my experience there and back last time. But I knew I was going even if they sent me to secondary inspection both times, so just planned ahead for that and left a bit earlier than I usually would.

The morning I was to leave, I felt so tired and lazy about it, and thought over and over that it would be so much easier to not go at all or have to deal with cold border guards and waiting in giant lineups. Max assured me I’d have a good time once I was out on the road, and he always seems to be right when he makes proclamations like that. I let my heart lead the way and drove into the unknown.

I was in a car lineup to the border for about an hour and a half; the perfect amount of time for all the worries to intensify! Imagining all the time I’ve waited in the border line plus if they send me to secondary, that would officially be too much and would affect the rest of my trip and where/when I can stop and that is not good, etc. Once it was finally my turn though, I breezed right through without issue. Yet another potent example that intensity of data or what has happened in the past doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what will happen now.

Once I reached the 101, as Max had assured, I was happy to be there. I listened to Balanced View talks, music, podcasts; enjoying the more easygoing flow of traffic compared to the busier interior highway while surrounded by trees and awe-inspiring beaches along the way. Sleeping soundly in rest areas, I’d wake up and go for little morning hikes on nearby trails before finding coffee and driving to the next nature spot. Every moment of the way I felt so fortunate to be in the position to enjoy the drive and its nature, and be heading to a gathering that has powerfully exposed and opened me to so much with every attendance.

At one point on rustic highway 1, I noticed there were more miles to the nearest gas station than I had left in fuel. I remembered our car goes into pure electric mode if it’s driven under a certain speed and not going uphill, so I kept under that speed and watched the little “EV” letters light up whenever possible. Eventually, the amount of gas I had left slowly surpassed how many miles were left to the station! As it did, I was relaxed but alert, not knowing if the EV plan would work, but again remaining open and responsive without panicking. Such a nicer way to face whatever arises.

The San Rafael training was perfect. Each time I attend, I see how far I’ve come. To no longer be afraid of feeling or experiencing anything, this is what I’m doing this for, and why I keep participating. Every direct result never fades or is forgotten once recognized, with nothing to memorize or struggle to keep in place.

On my way home, it was still sunny when I reached my designated rest stop, so I spontaneously felt like driving more. I drove until about 11:30pm and happened upon a quiet moonlit campground parking lot with a washroom. Waking at 7am, I drove until I reached home at around 9pm that night. Crossing the border was again a breeze, and no lineup! The highway heading home from the border has a huge open area where you can see so much of the sky at once, and I feel like every time I’ve come home from the training, the sun is piercing through the most immense and beautiful clouds.

I was greeted by Sprout, our new kitty Boo, and later my sweet Max when he got home. And oh, the best shower ever! The surreal feeling of being home after a trip always elicits deeper gratitude. Gratitude for the trip, gratitude for home and everything in it, and most of all gratitude to see fundamentally I’m always home even if the scenery changes.

Thank you dearest Candice for offering the California teachings, and great gratitude to my trainer Mia and partner Max for their kind support and encouragement to dive (/drive) into the abysses that seem too scary. I am forever grateful to keep discovering fearlessness in fear with the easeful support and encouragement offered in Balanced View.

Heart-break opening up into self-love

Dear friend,
Thank you for taking an interest in the Balanced View Training. It is the best “thing” that happened in my life and I’d like to share a practical example of the benefits, one that is current in my life.

In relation to ending a long-term intimate relationship, I am experiencing all the normal data streams: rejection, grief, anger, depression, sadness, bitterness, confusion, regret, disappointment, betrayal etc. etc. – you name it 🙂 Quite some time has passed since this relationship ended, but the data are occasionally still coming up, freely and wildly. I see two major benefits in relation to this experience:

1) I am not so much commenting on myself for “still” having these data. I can see in retrospect that I used to keep my mind on such a tight leash, always censoring and correcting its content in different ways according to what I expected of myself or what I perceived society expected. Like now, I probably “should” be over this person and not think about them anymore. I would always tweak my experience in different ways and try to box it into what a “good person” should be. Now, I feel I am completely opening up to life exactly as it is. In this I find great self-love. I feel like a cosy child who is perfectly fine just the way she is, and who does not need to be corrected and analysed in any way. It’s like I have come more to terms with the fact that my mind is wild and wholly and not subject to being corrected or tamed. I don’t need to get rid of the grief, but neither do I need to emphasise it.

2) Through the daily support of the Four Mainstays empowerment network of Balanced View, such as copying text, writing to my trainer, watching media and hanging out with community friends, I am finding that inseparable from the data, however I define it, is this immense, immense love, the deepest intimacy with life and with myself and a sort of wild happiness for everything that me and my partner share. The data is somehow becoming clearer, but in becoming clearer I see it already when it arises and in that moment I have gained the ability to rely on the open, spacious intelligence that pervades it and recognise the ease and power that is always on. I see that this data, in being so reoccurring, is becoming integrated into my everyday experience and a very normalised expression of the complete life-power that is always on – as opposed to some sharp, painful anxiety that I desperately need to get rid of. Amazing!

Today for instance, I see I have had all the data labels that I mentioned in the beginning, but I still feel that it has been a perfect day, filled with purpose, cheer and safety. Wow. The best thing ever is the bliss of not collapsing into data but staying ever-more open, however that looks. I am excited to continue living this life of increasing safety and power and I deeply wish it for everyone who wants it too.
Much love, Beate.

Perfect trust and guidance!

Before I came to the Balanced View Training I remember I felt like a victim of life’s circumstances, having a disease (reumatism) and often much pain in my body. I came to the Training five years ago, and how stunned I was to see the wonderful videos at Balanced View.org.

The profound impact it made direct!!! How the Trainers and participants shared so clear and completely true, shining so bright and powerfully in all their unique way!!! completely wonderful to see, hear and subsume!!! This inspired me to go deeper in to the Training.
I found that The Four Mainstays empowerment network give me the perfect trust and guidance to live much more at ease, even with pain of the disease, and all feelings of being a victim. With the wonderful support of The Four Mainstays I don’t see me as a victim today, and I am empowered to be everything I can be, living in much more love for myself and all!!
With Gratitude Per

Becoming stable, loving and happy :)

Before I met the Balanced View Teaching, I had a history of wrecking relationships due to being overwhelmed by the strong emotions of jealousy and envy.

I once threw my best friend out my house in a fit of jealous rage because she seemed to want to spend more time with another friend.

In intimate relationship, there was always one woman I was sure my partner was attracted to. I would obsess over this woman, comparing myself to her, analysing every interaction between her and my partner, always coming to the conclusion that she was far superior to me, and my partner was going to leave me for her. I would collapse into states of worthlessness and misery. Especially I would do this in public places like at parties where my partner and the woman were. This brought a great deal of suffering and disharmony to the relationships and always resulted in them coming to an end.

In addition, there was also the jealousy of female friends for their gifts, strengths and talents. I had such negative thoughts and belief systems about my own capacity, I always felt other women were better than me and I would often try to replace the data of worthlessness by competing with them and saying things to put them down and make myself seem better. This made friendships with women difficult and sometimes impossible. I could never understand why.

The Balanced View Training introduced me to open intelligence, the most powerful force of intelligence, benefit, clarity and love which unites us all. I completed the fundamental training called the Twelve Empowerments. This training empowered me to see how and why I was causing all this disharmony in my relationships. Just through following the simple steps of the training with the support of amazing trainers, I was supported to relax with the strong emotions of jealousy and envy and to let them flow on by. I was empowered to recognise open intelligence.

Overtime, with the incredible support of the Four Mainstays empowerment network (short moments, trainer, training and community), I have come to see that the data of worthlessness, which I so desperately wanted to avoid because it didn’t feel safe to be worthless, is open intelligence and is actually my power to be of great benefit to all.

The Balanced View Training has taught me to rest mind naturally for short moments whenever I remember. When data of worthlessness arise, which can come up in any interaction, rather than getting lost in jealous/hateful/miserable stories about myself and others and acting from this, I can take a short moment of open intelligence, just resting naturally and let worthlessness be as it is.

I experience the most incredible results from this practice. I experience such a powerful depth of compassion for myself and for others, understanding completely the reasons why we cause suffering. This has gifted me such capacity to love myself and others, just as we are, and to relate with an open and loving heart even when feeling completely worthless in relationship with another.

Stability, relaxation and happiness is now my every day experience, and just naturally being this way contributes so much benefit to all my relationships, and to any circumstance. I have beautiful relationships with my family and friends. It is just so wonderful to see how easy it has become to relate with people, each interaction an opportunity to share love and to support each other to shine. Intimacy has become much easier and enjoyable because I no longer believe there is something wrong with me and so I can be open, perfect as I am, enjoying the closeness that comes about with myself and others, the trust that builds and the beautiful capacity to contribute to each other, seeing more and more how I can be of benefit to myself and those I love.

I am so grateful to Candice O’Denver, the founder of Balanced View for offering this Teaching, and to all the trainers and participants who support me along the way. Just from continuing with the practise of short moments and the support of the Four Mainstays, life and relationships blossom in the most beautiful, powerful way.
A gift for all beings!

With great love,
Jess

The Harmony I always Wanted

In the Balanced View Training I have learned profoundly life-changing and essential skills to have easeful relationships and to live my daily life in the way that I always wanted.

From being very young, the most important thing to me was harmony, but I did not know how to bring it about.
For most of my life I thought that talking about emotional states was the best way to have harmony in all relationships, and it was so sad and frustrating to see that it never really worked.

Now more and more it is easier to see that talking about data is not helpful. Instead, to rely on the short moments which are always here and so easily accessible is really potent and incredibly dignified.
I love it! I am so grateful that I can choose this dignity and respect more and more often. To be supported in that is so precious to me and I never take it for granted.
 
I love that everything in the Teaching points to the gentleness of one step at a time, and that it is always possible to rely on natural care and perfect love, that it is always possible to make amends and relax right here no matter what we have said and done up until now. That has been so powerful to me, and crucial in harmonising the relationship to myself, and as a result it has transformed all my relationships.
 
To see that I never need to be attached to the comments, judgements, opinions and ideas that stream is a complete blessing and makes everything so much kinder and dynamically fun, truly beneficial without any effort.
Thank you with all my heart. Gaelle

Invest in a peaceful society

The other week when I was going with the bus and queuing before me in line there were two kind teenager boys about to buy a ticket. It turned out that they didn’t have money topped up on their card. One was going to buy a double ticket for both of them, so kind! However the bus driver told them to get off. I stopped them and told them that I will buy their ticket, no doubt about it! I asked the bus driver if I could use my bus card to buy a double for them. It turned out that I could not.

– Ok, then I will use my credit card.

– It will be expensive.

– It doesn’t matter for me. I want to buy their tickets 🙂

– There is an extra fee of 10SEK per ticket.

– That’s sounds great!

It was almost like I was not allowed to buy their tickets. When the bus driver started to run the ticket machine it didn’t work for some reason so they could pass for free so it turned out to work well at the end. They thanked me with such a beautiful respect and a man after me followed me and took the seat next to me and said that it was a generous act of me and he wanted to chit chat on the way home.

It wasn’t for any other reason than I was simply thrilled to help and support. I invested the money in an act of generosity, actively and spontaneously chose to live a life with an attitude of gratitude for the benefit of all. It think this is completely awesome! What a game changer for me! Shifting the focus from wanting, earning and keeping money, to rather use the financial means to invest in a peaceful society.

This is completely thanks to the Balanced View Training and to dearest Candice. To dare to take this step of just going for it and naturally it happened without any particular thoughts around it. It felt good!

Like A Sweet Lullaby

From as back as I can remember, one of my challenges in life was dealing with sleep deprivation. Being deprived of sleep felt as a heavy load on the body and mind.

It has been more than ten years since I met the Balanced View teachings and since I have taken comfort in the Four Mainstays, Balanced View’s empowerment network; some 18 months ago I became a parent to a lovely baby that has a hard time sleeping.

I recall the times where we would wake up very early in the morning after waking numerous times at night and not sleeping much throughout the night, taking him early in the morning in the stroller on the gravel paths, awaiting the magical moment when he’ll fall asleep. It was summer time and extremely hot outside, not much shade around – learning to rest naturally was, and still is, such a precious gift at times like these – lacking the support of the Four Mainstays, would have resulted in the known reactive state of mind, which would have made things much harder for us all. The support of the short moments practice has been so very valuable, to the degree that it completely changed the colours of the image of parenthood.

I wish to dearly thank Candice O’Denver the founder of Balanced View, the Balanced View trainers and the worldwide Balanced View community for ongoing hearty support.

Love Gil

Being in the Right Setting

I’ve found through Balanced View that we ‘learn’ to be in the right setting i.e we learn to listen to the free audios, read all the free books, participate in all the current BV activities. I can now choose to set aside all the thousands of tapes and and books and lectures on psychology and meditations etc that I have been part of my life for more than half a century. I have drawers and cupboards full of such things.

I have taught meditation classes for years and have been involved in countless spiritual activities, seen many spiritual teachers who I have followed for years, and now this simple straight forward teaching emerges, I just live more simply, take short moments and relax. This last I have always given lip service to but suddenly I realised what is truly meant.

We have to seize the power of the mind, no hang ups any more, and then one lives without tension and all that arises from short moments. Great! Short moments have helped me immensely. I can now be relaxed instead of being impatient or angry in situations where I would otherwise have “blown my top.” So simple, yet suddenly even though I’ve heard it over and over again I suddenly ‘get it’.

Thank you Candice, thank you all my trainers, thank you Balanced View.

Love, As It Is

For most of my life, it seemed obvious that the goal was to find those handful of special people who “got me”, love and interact only with them, and to hell with anyone else.  As a child, I had one best friend at a time, and a few other second-bests to call on if my bestie wasn’t available.  One by one, those best friends and second-bests drifted away, and the urge to find a special someone who appreciated and knew me inside and out—and would never leave—carried into my adulthood.

After a couple of tumultuous longterm relationships, including a marriage, I decided the other extreme was true: I didn’t want to be in a relationship at all or invest any energy or care into others.  If we drifted, cool.  If we kept hanging out, cool.  It felt freeing after a life of thinking I needed someone else to be complete, though that also missed the real mark.

Then I met my current partner, who I have been with for 7 beautiful years now.  The second or so time we hung out, I remember telling him I didn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone; just wanted to meet people and have fun.  But something about him was unlike anyone I had met.  He really looked me in the eye, he dressed comfortably and confidently, he was relaxed and open in a way I’d never experienced someone be.  Things organically progressed, and a year or so into our relationship, he started sharing videos from Balanced View with me.

Through Balanced View, I was introduced to so many people who had the same radiant, authentic relaxation my partner had.  It was magnetizing, even with initial fears of the unknown.  After joining a number of clarity calls and participating in trainings, I connected with people I knew from those offerings over Facebook and email, experiencing that same open relaxation in them even though we were just exchanging digital letters and images on a screen.  I could honestly say I loved people I had never met in the flesh.

Eventually my partner and I started attending in-person Balanced View gatherings in California and Sweden.  Being with so many relaxed, open-hearted beings in one place was an incredible—sometimes overwhelming in the beginning—experience.  I found and still find myself falling in love again and again with so many amazing friends and mentors who show me what is possible; what it is to be truly themselves without any bullshit or fronts.  A falling in love that is very ordinary where I am not afraid of it fading or ceasing, or that it has to look a certain way.  Seeing that true love subsumes all the ideas I held about it; that it’s already the case between us—as us—as human beings.  Not elusive, or something that only a special few can hold with me like my intimate partner, family members, or friends I see regularly face-to-face.  Wow!

More and more, I find myself feeling love for and connecting with people I don’t conventionally know at all.  Fast food clerks that take my order, someone who I help pick up groceries they dropped on the street, a tourist asking me for directions in my home city..  Sometimes I’m struck at the heart to speak with others and recognize our inherent connection, whatever we’re talking about or however many or few words we exchange.

If who I’m talking to isn’t outwardly pleasant or open, uncontrived compassion is more and more obvious.  Through the incredible encouragement and support from Balanced View over the years to not run away from my own afflictive thoughts and emotions, it isn’t a mystery to me anymore how someone could act out from the data they experience.  I did for the majority of my life, unaware of another option.  If someone is rude or awkward, I’m no longer fooled into thinking there is something fundamentally wrong with them or me, and can more spontaneously see what is helpful and what isn’t in any given situation.

There is something astounding and powerful about speaking openly to another human being with no strings attached on either side. Not needing each other to change in order to feel okay, and everyone taking full responsibility for their own thoughts, emotions, and actions without dumping them absentmindedly onto others.  I get this in spades through my interactions with participants in the Balanced View community, and evermore naturally with anyone in life.

I’m eternally grateful for this opening to love as it actually is.  Thank you all, love you all.