29 Sep Coming to Wholeness
Tale of the Day:
Dissolving the everyday sense of the ego
“I’ve been at this hypnosis conference for 3 days now, going in and out of trances, and that simple thing you said just put me into the deepest trance yet.” ~ Participant at Mark’s workshop at the Hypnothoughts Live Conference, Aug. 2015.
This summer I was invited to give several presentations at the Hypnothoughts Live Conference in Las Vegas. The conference was attended by about 600 people—hypnotherapists, hypnotists, NLP practitioners and others interested in personal growth.
In my 2-hour presentation, I introduced (with permission from Connirae) the first of Connirae Andreas’ Wholeness Processes. As part of the presentation, I guided the group through the process, and demonstrated the process with a volunteer from the group. The group response to this process was really positive, but unfortunately the audio recording had major technical issues, and thus wasn’t made available for purchase after the presentation.
I asked for a copy of the recording and found that, though the sound quality was pretty poor, I was able to hear well enough to write up the following transcript of the demonstration I did with the volunteer from my group. She had a very deep response to this process, so I wanted to share with you what happened. Keep in mind that before this demonstration, I had already been presenting for an hour and a half giving a foundational understanding of these processes and also guiding the group through two explorations of the first wholeness process. If I were working with someone in a client context, I would also be laying some important groundwork both before and while guiding them through the process (though it would take much less time with a single individual than with a group in a training context).
If you have little familiarity with the wholeness processes, you may want to watch Connirae’s free video introduction to the first wholeness process before reading the transcript below. I hope you find the following example interesting and useful.
Transcript of demonstration by Mark Andreas at the Hypnothoughts Live Conference, 2015:
[Several people raise their hands to volunteer for Mark’s demonstration of the first of the wholeness processes. Mark chooses one of them, and she comes and sits with Mark at the front of the room.]
Mark: [Talking to group] I want to demonstrate how we can use this process for a personal growth kind of thing, like “Oh, I got angry there and I’d really like to have a different reaction. [Turning to volunteer, Sharon]. So, Sharon, I invite you to think of some mild situation like that, where you’d like to feel a little different response. It might be some relationship where you felt…”
Mark: “OK you’ve got one. And we don’t need to know what it is, so you can just go ahead and step back into the experience for a moment, and maybe say a word or two about it, for example is it frustration or…”
Mark: “OK frustration, great. And notice your experience of the frustration, where do you feel it?”
Sharon: [Gesturing to the center of her chest.]
Mark: “OK, right here. [Mark gestures to the same place on himself]. So now we just notice the sensation quality of the frustration.”
Sharon: “It goes from here to here.” [Gesturing from her chest upward toward her neck.]
Mark: “And does it have a color to it, or a texture?”
Sharon: “Variations of color.”
Mark: “And is it the same density throughout?”
Mark: “And now it’s a true statement to say, ‘I am aware of this sensation.’ So where is the ‘I’?”
Sharon: “Right behind my eyes, literally behind my eyes.”
Mark: “OK great, and so now you can notice the sensation quality of the ‘I’ right behind your eyes. So you can begin by noticing the shape; what shape is it?”
Sharon: “It’s a rectangle. Like brick shaped.”
Mark: “Ok, so it’s a rectangle, brick shaped. And is there a color to it?”
Mark: “And notice if there’s any difference in density, or…”
Sharon: “Same density.”
Mark: “OK, same density. And now we’re going to do something a little different. So noticing the sensation quality of the sensation of the ‘I’ behind your eyes—black, brick-shaped, same density. It’s also a true statement to say, ‘I am aware of this sensation that is right behind my eyes, black, etc.’ And notice, ‘Where is the I that is aware of this one?’ ”
Sharon: [Gestures about one foot in front and above her head.]
Mark: “OK so it’s up front. And notice the size, shape, etc.”
Sharon: “It’s grey, like a little cloud.”
Mark: “Great, now go ahead and just notice. Before we do anything, I want to once again invite you to connect in with your experience of awareness, that is just naturally throughout your body and around you. [We had already explored our subjective experience of ‘awareness’ as a whole group, otherwise I would have guided her into her own direct experience of what I mean when I say ‘awareness.’ In this case I knew she already had her experience of awareness from earlier, so all I needed to do was invite her back into the experience]. Just the effortless awareness that is. And there’s no clear edge to it. There’s no place we can identify where, here, you can hear a sound, but on the other side of that you couldn’t. And when you’re ready, you can just notice what happens when the sensation quality, up here sort of like a little cloud, [Mark gestures so the group can see he’s referring to the second ‘I’] is welcomed to open, dissolve, relax, in and as the fullness of awareness, throughout and around, and you can just notice whatever you notice.”
Sharon: [Lots of emotion visible on her face, tears in her eyes, then gradually she shifts to relaxed facial muscles and slower, deeper breathing.
Mark: “Yeah… and I’m going to just speak to the group for a bit, and you can continue to just notice whatever you notice. [To the group] So here is where it’s really nice to, here’s where you want to just allow whatever happens to happen, and not move on too quickly. This is where the healing happens. [Turning back to Sharon] “Yeah…. [Mark’s phone rings in his pocket] And I’m aware of my phone… Well, I’m glad the only class I interrupted was my own. [Laughter] So whenever you’re ready, Sharon, you can open your eyes, and you can also invite that this can continue to happen in its own way even as we continue on. It can do what it does. So are you open to having any questions from the group?”
Mark: “And feel free to not answer. [Talking to group] Please, no questions about the content of her issue. But if you have any questions about Sharon’s experience in the process…”
Participant: “How many I’s were there?”
Mark: “There were two.”
Participant: “And how did you know?”
Sharon: “The one right here, [gesturing to the second ‘I’ that was above and in front of her head] as soon as you [referring to Mark] suggested it, that opening really happened. It just, phooooooo, [fingers gesturing like rain droplets falling in front of her]. It dissolved, almost like rain, actually like mist that just came down. And then this one started changing behind my eyes [gesturing to location of the first ‘I’].
Participant: “The one that was like a brick behind your eyes?”
Mark: “And how is it now?”
Sharon: “Um… it’s just… I mean it’s still back here [gesturing behind her eyes], but it’s soft, it’s just soft.”
Mark: “OK, so now the next little bit. You thought we were done. [Group laughter] Go ahead and close your eyes, and notice that little bit remaining that’s just sort of soft now. And now, just notice what happens when the sensation quality of this little bit remaining, is invited to open and dissolve, relax, in and as the fullness of awareness, throughout and around.”
Sharon: [Head drops several inches forward. Facial muscles become very relaxed and breathing slows and deepens].
Mark: [after a bit of time] “Yeah… Can you share a little bit about your experience?”
Sharon: [Laughing as she opens her eyes] “That was amazing. I felt like I dropped down into a, just dropped down into something really deep, instantly. And everything… I just sort of felt this red, kind of like little electric lights just went off for a little while right back here [gestures on either side of her eyes with her fingers moving like electricity arcing in from each side]. It was like purple with all these little, like blood vessels, going ‘vvvvvvvvvv’ all pulsing. And then, I was just like, Ahhh, OK, that feels a bit… [visible relaxation in her face]. I don’t know how to describe it.”
Mark: “And one other thing to check in on, that I would invite for you, is to go ahead and close your eyes now, and just notice, is there anything at all remaining of the initial sensation that was frustration?”
Mark: [Speaking to group] “And that’s not always how it is, but often when you do this, the initial sensation is actually just no longer there, once the ‘I’ is integrated.”
Sharon: “When the ‘I’ dissolved, and when this was dissolving [gesturing behind her eyes to where the initial ‘I’ was], my awareness went into the other person [referring to the other person in the memory of frustration that she’d started with]. I was suddenly, like, aware of her… her experience.”
Mark: “Oh, OK, interesting. So your awareness of her expanded as well.”
Sharon: “Yeah, so I went out of me being in my situation with my frustration and going to suddenly being in her experience.”
Mark: “Oh, OK. So it included not only your experience, but her experience as well.”
Participant: “In a positive way?”
Sharon: “Yeah, it let me recognize her. Like, ‘Wait a minute, what’s her experience in all this?’ Then it wasn’t about ‘I.’ ”
Mark: “Uh huh, interesting… Yeah, thank you.”
Participant 2: “I… for a minute I think I tranced out, and I just missed the question that you asked her, so, I got the first part, and I saw what happened to her. What was the second piece of the process that you did?”
Mark: “After the initial question from the group, and then when we came back?”
Participant 2: “Yeah.”
Mark: “It was just noticing… So I’ll just say a little bit about finding… like sometimes there are layers of I’s.”
Participant 2: “Right.”
Mark: “And often an indication that there’s going to be another one, is if the initial one is kind of dense. Dense or dark or small. And so then it can be useful to go for another layer of ‘I’. And you might go for several more layers. In this case it was pretty light, fluffy, so OK great, that’s generally a sign that this one’s ready to integrate. And going back to the hand metaphor, it’s sort of like, sometimes this is what’s going on. [Makes a fist with his right hand, and surrounds it with his left hand]. It’s not like this, [removes left hand from fist] but it’s more like this [surrounds fist with left hand again]. So if we try to, if we just go the one layer of I, it may be totally relaxed, but it’s not going to integrate if there’s this going on [gesturing with hand surrounding fist] is one way of thinking about it. And once we’re here [again motioning with hand making outer layer] then it’s easy, and then often once this one integrates, [removing hand that was surrounding fist] this one may already integrate on it’s own [opening hand that was making fist]. Or there may be a—as in this case—a softer sense of it. And to answer your question, if there’s anything remaining of the sensation of the previous ‘I’, then just noticing, OK what happens when the sensation of this is welcomed to open, relax, dissolve, in and as awareness.”
Participant 2: “So you dissolved the outer layer first, then when she was ready, you invited her to dissolve the inner layer?”
Mark: “Yeah, just kind of going back down and checking, where is it now, and whatever is remaining, the invitation. And if there was something remaining of the initial frustration sensation, going in and inviting that to also integrate… And even if there’s nothing you can even—just to cover all bases—you can say something like, ‘Even if there’s some element that you’re not aware of, remaining, that can also be welcomed to open, dissolve, relax, integrate, now.”
Participant 3: “I just had a comment. I’m an analytical person, I’ve been doing hypnosis for 20 years, I started doing hypnosis full time this past year, and I’m struggling slightly with myself, there seems to be a lot of noise because, I always look at hypnosis scientifically, even energy work. I look at it from a physics perspective, and this is the first time that I’ve personally had an experience with something that I don’t have an explanation for. So I find that interesting sitting here with all this noise saying… One, this is very strange to me. And number two, for me to even say anything about this is pretty unusual for me, being an inner-type person. But number three, really having no explanation, not being able… that’s very powerful, I find that extremely useful and interesting.”
Mark: “Great well thanks for sharing your experience…”
Participant 3: “Yeah absolutely,”
Mark: “And I look forward to…”
Participant 3: “It even sounded a little strange to me. To be honest with you, like, when I’m saying this, I’m like, ‘Wow, this is sounding kind of strange right now.’ ”
Mark: “Oh, I feel the same way. [Group laughter] So I’m glad you’re able… you’re just willing to notice your experience, and let me know what happens when you play with it more.”
Participant 3: “Yeah I will, absolutely.”
Another participant: “Yeah I’m an engineer, so I understand. We have to understand everything, so if there’s an anomaly, we have to go back and do it again to figure out what’s going on.”
Participant 3: “It’s hard to quantify. It’s very strange.”
Mark: “Yeah, yeah. Great, thanks for sharing.”
Sharon: “Well, can I just comment on that. That just seemed so simple, and honestly. I dropped so deep in that last minute… I mean that’s why I kind of laughed when I came out of it like, [laughing] so simple and phooof. Wow!”
Mark: “Thanks for sharing that. Yeah, that’s been my experience and I think a lot of people’s experience, too, is um, it’s like, it’s… it’s easy.”
Sharon: “Yeah, it’s like it really short circuits. There’s this “you” that’s trying to figure things out, and then suddenly it’s like dzzzt!”
Participant 3: “Exactly, that’s how it was for me too. Because I’m not a good subject when it comes to hypnosis, when it comes to trance and that sort of thing, and I’ve had several classes where people were teaching and were like, ‘Wow, you’ve got a lot of resistance.’ So something about the words of ‘allowing’ and ‘awareness’ just, for whatever reason, like it really worked.
Mark: “Mmmm, nice… nice.”
Participant 4: “If we want to find out more about this process, is there a book?”
Mark: “There’s not a book yet, but you can find out all about online and in-person training with Connirae Andreas at WholenessProcess.org. And you can set up in-person sessions with me at www.markandreas.com. Well thank you all for coming, I really enjoyed it.”
Participant 5: “I also have to say, this is one of the only classes where I’ve actually been hypnotized, you know? By one of the trainers.”
Mark: “Oh, yeah, great. Well I’m glad. Thanks.”
Sharon: “It was really great. It usually takes me a while to get into a state like that, and I just dropped right in.”
Tool of the Day:
Introduction to the first wholeness process
Most people find they need to be guided through this process several times before being able to guide themselves. This is because much of this way of working is reliant upon subtle language phrasing that makes a very big difference in people’s experience, but is often hard to pick up on at first. For this reason I suggest you start by watching Connirae’s free introductory video of the first wholeness process. If you want more after that, check out the links below:
To learn and experience most of the wholeness processes, you can attend the live training in Boulder CO this November with Connirae Andreas, where I’ll be present as a coach. You can also find out about Connirae’s other wholeness trainings around the world or get Connirae’s online training. You can sign up for a session with Mark at www.markandreas.com or call 303-810-9611 for a free 15-minute consult.
This transcript made available to you with permission from Connirae Andreas, developer of the Wholeness Process. Copyright © Connirae Andreas 2007.
Names other than my own have been changed to protect individual privacy.