A.I.R., Sedona

Go to next Chapter . Back to main page of Course .


The Sedona Method and the Guardian of the Threshold

After twelve months of living in the inner-dark of the cave, the emergence into physical light felt like going through a second birth. The searing pain of the light when it hit his eyes, and the burning when it touched his skin made him think he was mother and child in one, for indeed he had experienced the disorienting agony of his own rebirth. He had faced those shadows crawling up from his internal Stygian dark...and won?...

He could never be quite certain. That Centaur was an enigma to be sure. "Go directly to this town," he had ordered. "Stay on the path do not deviate," he emphasized, his nostrils flaring and his mane bristling as he spoke.

The Hero had sat at the entrance to the cave until his sensorium could handle the new-old world. Everything was different. Everything was alive and danced with an inherent luminance which he had first encountered in the deepest parts of the cave. This luminance had given light to his inner-shadow world. But now, to be out amongst the living things the upright things of this world was overwhelming. He wanted to run through the grass with abandon, letting its long stalks caress his exposed flesh. He jumped to his feet about to give in to inner exuberance when he heard the Centaur's admonition again, "Stay on the path."

How hard could it be?

The road was straight from here to the town, but wide enough only to accommodate a wagon and rider on horse abreast. As he walked, certain things began to catch his attention and his sight would telescope towards them, revealing their rich detail. The sweet promise of a tree ripening its fruit by the gods he had not tasted anything like that in months! He could conjure up in his mind the taste, the sensation of sinking his teeth into it and savoring its flavor on his tongue. It was but 20 meters away and "Stay on the path."

What was that? In the distance he could see the smoking ruins of a farmstead. Was the farmer and family still alive? Perhaps he should go see, and after all he was the Hero wasn't he? He would be expected to "Stay on the path."

As he continued onward, he could look down a gently sloping hill to a small pond. There were three people in the water. From here, they looked androgynous. They were signing and dancing, their movements hypnotic, their voices enticing. He meant only to look, only to tarry a moment enjoying them from afar. How much time had passed? How could he have not noticed that he was moving towards them? The sound of thundering hooves broke the spell. He had deviated from the path, and he could hear his teacher approaching Speed tearing through grass and brush...

**********

The Sedona Method was created by a man named Lester Levenson, and I have found it to be of immense help in my personal growth. Sedona is an excellent method for getting people to experience the here and now without attaching a story to experience. It helps the Hero to heed the voice of the Centaur, placing one foot after the other directly on the path.

Thoughts rise into awareness, and then leave, or try to leave. Most of us though, upon becoming aware of a thought, immediately attach a story to it. Usually this takes the form of a story from our past, which then conjures up all sorts of feelings and emotions associated with that story. The fact is, if we could simply allow the thought to arise into awareness and then allow it to leave (which again, is what it "wants" to do, and is in its inherent nature to do), we would not have a vast majority of the problems and strife that we experience in life. For the initiate, the Hero, this becomes keenly important, as each wayward thought and its conjured emotions would seek to draw him away from the path.

I am not saying that one needs to become an automaton when it comes to feeling or emotions. The faithful Hero still desires, still feels. His emotions have always been active, and will always be present. Emotions are a fact of life, and are indeed a necessary part of it, for without them we could get nothing done. Yet so many of us feel that our thoughts or the associated feelings they dredge up in us belong to us, or are us, and we become trapped in an enticing illusion, mindlessly following the arresting song of the sirens which are just beyond our grasp. Forever losing ourselves in the sirenic harmonies of desire-feeling-expression/suppression, the mundane person has no idea what they really want, and the Hero is liable to lose his way. Again, the Sedona Method resounds the alarm to "Stay on the path," giving the Hero the mental fidelity he will need in order to process any distractions that arise along the path. Sedona correctly shows that all of our actions are born from the desire to experience one of four conditions: Safety, Approval, Separation, or Control.

The sirenic harmonies of desire-feeling-expression/suppression are usually first heard in conjunction with some external object or stimuli. You experience something which causes a sense of want, hope, or perhaps even shame. Pausing along the path to observe something in the distance, you ought to keep your feet planted and stay put while you process that which distracts you. Instead, you all-too-often seek to satisfy your fancies by acquiring an external item. The truth is though, that the external item will never bring happiness. It might seem like it does for a moment or two upon its acquisition, but quickly enough, your mind has drifted far from the path. A new want surfaces (which is actually a new form of the old want), and eventually you are carried away altogether by the provocative promise of fleeting external distraction. Rather than continually losing yourself in your feelings and emotions, the Sedona Method gives you the key to this dilemma: YOU ARE NOT YOUR FEELINGS OR EMOTIONS! They are but the conjurations of your awareness! With this wisdom, the search for external items ceases. The Hero maintains control of his course, and while he may stop to process the emotions he feels along the path, he will not lose his way for he no longer hypnotically identifies with his desires, nor does he seek their external resolution.

Of the many emotions we experience, Sedona teaches that there are 9 emotional states that are inherent in any human being. They are: Apathy, Grief, Fear, Lust, Anger, Pride, Courageousness, Acceptance, and Peace. That we all can feel and experience these emotions is undeniable. If you read the name of each, one by one, pausing between each name to meditate on the word, it will inevitably draw up into memory situations, experiences, and feelings that resonate with that word. Yet again however, none of these sensations are YOU. They may be called up, and then just as easily dismissed by focusing the mind on something else. While emotions may be conjured, You, the true You, can not be called up or dismissed, for You are the awareness which perceives all we term emotion, desire, situation, experience, and feeling.

The above may be hard for some of you to grasp right now, and others will grasp it intellectually but not viscerally through the nervous system. At present, that is alright. The concept has been introduced to you, and by working the A.I.R. practice you will be able to move into a new perception. With persistence in practice you will acquire more and more control over the emotions and desires that you decide to act on. You will wrest control of your attention, and be able to heed the words of the Centaur, "Stay on the path."

In helping you achieve this control, the Sedona Method has five central questions that it requires you to ask yourself:

  1. What are you feeling (or believing) right now?
  2. Could you welcome or allow that feeling or belief?
  3. Could you let that feeling or belief go?
  4. Would you let that feeling or belief go?
  5. When?

**********

As the candidate approached the closed city gates, his mind wandered for a moment. After his failure earlier on the road, he was surprised that the Centaur did not berate or scold him for leaving the path. The Centaur simply said with a twinkle in his eye, "The dancing trio ensnares everyone."

Within three paces of the city's gates the ground began to shake violently in front of the Hero, as a welter of earth erupted before him. It seemed that the chunks of earth were caught in a wind vortex, as they twirled violently in the air. Pieces began to slam thunderously into each other, disjointedly adhering to one another. It took a few moments for a cohesive form to coalesce from the chaos...

There before him stood an earthen giant, no doubt a brother of Antaeus. Through the fissures and seams where the chunks of earth joined, the Hero could see a fiery fluid coursing through its searing innards. As it turned its gaze upon the candidate, its hollow eyes filled with liquid magma. The candidate felt himself freeze in place a bolt of fear ran through his body and it seemed that it took a force of conscious will to get his heart to begin pumping again. "Run!" His mind shouted, and that would have been his next act, had not the reverberating pressure waves forming from the Creature's words cemented him in place.

"HERO!" he bellowed with sarcasm. "So the Centaur has sent another aspirant to be my noonday meal! Another flesh-bound morsel for me to roast in the fires of my gut. Armed you with a sword and lance, he has? Then sent you merrily on your way to your death. This is all he has done. A sword and lance... HAH! He has filled many with his lies, telling them that they were wise and strong enough to face me, to pass this threshold, and face what lies in wait on the inside. All before you have failed as you are about to. They lie to themselves. Tell me Hero," the Creature said with a contemptuous bass growl as it leaned in, the stench of its fetid breath invading his lungs, "What are you feeling now? Do you feel the upwelling of courage and righteousness the Centaur promised you?"

"I feel Fear," the candidate shuddered in response.

The Creature moved ever so slightly. Yet this subtle movement would have spoken volumes to the initiated, because the Creature was taken aback by the candidate's answer. Almost confused to hear this Hero give him the token no one yet had discovered, "Hmm," it grumbled. "Your fear, you wish to supplant it, yes?"

The candidate thought for a moment, then answered, "It would be foolish of me to seek to hide from that which I feel. I do not seek to run from it, but rather embrace it, that I might know and understand it fully I welcome my fear."

The light in the Creature's eyes began to dim a little. Then, as if it had decided upon a new line of questioning, it ignited with laughter, "So you seek to use your fear as a shield? To study it endlessly, to suckle at it as if it were your mother!? You'll never let it go!" it roared. "In that case, I will eat you SLOWLY. This should be interesting..."

"In knowing one side of myself, I have the ability to know its opposite, and the power to move to the opposite I could let my fear go."

The Creature became irate, pounding its fist into the ground, causing the earth to undulate in concentric ripples like waves on the ocean. "You are no son of the gods you are but a man! Come now little man, not even of a distant lineage of the gods, fear is inherent in your species! It is the central theme of your soul! All of you want life simple, comfortable, as little work as possible, you constantly deny the truth of your nature..."

The candidate, felt a twinge of doubt course through his mind, his body, his being. The Creature was right. How easily had he strayed from the path on the way here, all to just listen to an enticing song and see scintillating flesh. At that critical moment he remembered the twinkle in the Centaur's eyes "The dancing trio ensnares everyone." Ensnared he had become, and yet... he was at the end of this part of the path. Gotten back up he had, stood tall and learned from his mistakes. "Yes," he said resolutely "I would let go of my fear "

"Liar!" the Creature roared so loudly that it canceled the sound of its own voice, and instead the candidate felt the word rather than heard it. "You will roast in my innards, and know torment for eternity," it said with dark, decadent glee. "Let go of your fear!? Only in death! When will you ever perform this miracle?" the Creature asked as it opened its mouth and lowered it over the candidate's body.

The candidate could feel the heat, his skin blistering in the flame. The roar of the internal inferno made the Creature's previous cries seem like the purring of a kitten. In the center of that torment the candidate gave a one word answer, in a resolute, steady, even-toned voice:

"Now."

Dust. Not an explosion, the Creature just dissociated from itself and its dust fell silently to the earth. Interestingly, the dust did not touch or cling to the candidate or his clothing.

The gate to the city opened. He could see a path with torches stretched out before him, with a slight incline into the dark. "Great, another cave," he thought.