Authentic Self Empowerment Blog

Open Awareness (OA) is a flowing moment of pure experience interconnected with the rest of reality – a Holarchy!

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In the introduction to OA, I covered how this mindful mode of perception can help to reduce stress and rescue ‘digital zombies’.
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In this article I will introduce the OA Holarchy — a holistic system of interrelated states, perspectives and dimensions — that includes a theory of how the body, mind and spirit are connected.

Open Awareness Holarchy

A holarchy is a system composed of interrelated and interacting holons

A holon is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part of a larger whole (Koestler, A. 1967). Holons are influenced by and influence larger wholes. Similarly, since a holon is comprised of parts, it is also influenced by and influences these parts. When energy or information flow between holons within a system is compromised, for any reason, the system begins to break down. For example, wholes might not recognize their dependence on the individual parts that they are comprised of, or parts might not recognize the larger holarchy in which they co-exist (Ibid). Cancer may be understood as such a breakdown within the body. Conflicts can arise because of such breakdowns in communication. Crises ensue when such breakdowns occur in one’s psyche.

The technique of open awareness (OA) promotes the embodied actualisation of oneself (and of everyone) as interconnected holons within larger holarchies. To put it simply, we are all part of larger (collective and transpersonal) realities. These larger realities exist because each of us exists. An individual’s personal reality is influenced by the state of the collective and transpersonal realities. Similarly, each individual’s present state influences the overall state of the collective and transpersonal realities. Very simply, OA makes one more aware of their wholeness.

 

The three core dimensions (holons) of the OA Holarchy include:

  1. Personal (embodied)
    Typical states and perspectives: somatic awareness, hindsight, insight, foresight
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  2. Interpersonal (relational)
    Typical states and perspectives: interconnection, empathy, compassion, participatory perspective
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  3. Transpersonal (spiritual)
    Typical states and perspectives: peak states, transpersonal perspective, causal awareness, non-dual awareness

 

Characteristics of the OA experience

The following paragraphs briefly describe the typical states and/or perspectives (each one being a holon) that have been found to be associated with open awareness, as depicted in the OA Holarchy image above.

 

Somatic awareness

When beginning to practice OA, you may start by focusing your attention within the body, e.g., the feeling of the breath flowing into and out of the abdominal area. Through keeping the feeling of the breath in awareness, but simultaneously expanding your field of awareness to include the entire body, somatic awareness (awareness of sensations, emotional feelings and the overall state of the body) becomes enhanced.

 

Hindsight

With somatic awareness in a heightened state, you can more easily track specific sensations in the body or emotional feelings back to their ‘roots’. One can also elicit from the sensations, emotional feelings, or one’s overall state, what is required by the body in terms of health and healing outcomes.

 

Insight

OA quietens the inner ‘chatter box’ or ‘monkey mind’ and induces a state of calm mindfulness. From this state insights often arise, especially when one is seeking a solution to a problem, or wanting to increase the probability of gaining creative inspiration.

 

Foresight

With a quiet and present (and timeless) state of mind, sometimes realisations come into conscious awareness that pertain to potential experiences in your near or distant future. Such foresights can serve as warnings and provide motivation to take certain actions. OA also equips you to more effectively visualise the outcomes that you would like to bring about in your future, thereby enhancing the possibility of achieving those outcomes.

 

Interconnection

OA promotes an expanded sense of self, in which you can experience a deep sense of everyone and everything being interconnected. Quantum physics and most major spiritual systems support this possibility. The universe can be viewed as a dynamic holarchy of interrelated holons, of which you are one. None of the properties of the holarchy are fundamental. They all follow from properties of the other holons and the overall consistency of their interrelations determines the structure of the entire holarchy.

 

Empathy

With a deep sense of everyone and everything being interconnected, empathy toward others flows naturally and effortlessly. You find yourself relating to people meaningfully, identifying their needs and values, as well as being able to truly hear and accept them without preconceived judgement.

 

Compassion

As your sense of connection with yourself and between you and others continues to deepen, compassion arises. For example, you may identify and feel how somebody is suffering, and you typically find yourself approaching them with more care and kindness.

 

Participatory perspective

Emerging from a deep realisation of your connection with everyone and everything, comes the participatory perspective. This view reveals the cocreative quality of all events – from material to abstract and from personal to transpersonal.

Transpersonal Psychologist, Dr. Jorge Ferrer is well respected for his Participatory Vision of Spirituality. In his 2011 article, Ferrer writes: “…the participatory approach holds that human spirituality emerges from our cocreative participation in a dynamic and undetermined mystery or generative power of life, the cosmos, and/or the spirit” (p 2). He suggests that spiritual cocreation has three interrelated dimensions—intrapersonal, interpersonal, and transpersonal. These dimensions respectively establish participatory spirituality as “embodied (spirit within), relational (spirit in-between), and enactive (spirit beyond)” (p 3). Ferrer’s theory provides a significant rationale for the OA holarchy model.

 

Peak states

Feelings of aliveness, joy, bliss and flow describe the peak states of consciousness that can spontaneously arise from an unconditional open awareness. You feel aligned within yourself and simultaneously connected to a vast and exquisite reality. Everything has meaning and value in such states. They are profoundly inspiring and can be transformative.

 

Transpersonal perspective

Transpersonal can be defined as “experiences in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond (trans) the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche or cosmos” (Walsh & Vaughn, 1993). It has also been described as “development beyond conventional, personal or individual levels” (Scotton, 1996). OA promotes a transpersonal perspective through expanding your sense of self beyond ego, integrating a more transcendent and holistic identity.

 

Causal Awareness

A transpersonal perspective involves becoming more aware of the causes of your present life circumstances: personality traits, behaviours, health, relationships (including how you relate to money), occupation, as well as your level of fulfilment, happiness, wellbeing, etc. The transpersonal realm can be thought of as the world of causes, and the material realm (your physical life) is the world of effects. Thoughts and emotions precede manifestation in the material realm, but what causes us to think and feel the way we do? With causal awareness you become more capable of tapping into the preconscious realm. This enables you to not only become more aware of what causes you to think, feel and behave the way you do, but also equips you to be a more conscious co-creator of your life circumstances.

 

Non-dual awareness

Non-dual means “not two”. This primordial state can be thought of as a highly developed state of consciousness, in which the dichotomy of I-other (subject-object) is transcended. In non-dual awareness the ego dissolves temporarily and the experience has been described as “pure openness”, “pure consciousness” and “pure being” (Fenner, 2011). Glimpses of non-dual awareness can spontaneously occur through being in open awareness, however, it is more commonly the result of prolonged meditation and contemplative practice. None the less, OA itself can serve as a simple yet effective meditation and contemplative practice (E.G., Dangeli, 2015 and Whenary, 2012).

 

A theory for how the body, mind and spirit are connected

The three dimensions of the OA Holarchy are each holons with subsidiary holons (expressed in terms of states and perspectives – as outlined above). These are all connected along a metaphorical spiraling continuum, rather than separate levels (as you can see in the diagram above). The spiral depicts the flow of immanent consciousness (bottom-up) and transcendent consciousness (top-down) as simultaneous throughout the holarchy. Seen through a cartesian lens, transcendent consciousness flows downward or inward from transpersonal to personal. Likewise, immanent consciousness flows upward or outward from personal to transpersonal. Looked at from a participatory perspective, both transcendent and immanent consciousness can stem from various co-arising sources along the spiraling continuum. As open awareness develops, eventually the concepts of inner and outer, as well as upper and lower lose significance. Ultimately, according to this model, we are all unique and autonomous expressions of the ‘Whole’. While undefinable in common language, the Whole might be described as both the source and the subject of everything in existence.

 

What does this mean to you?

Through practicing OA, one’s consciousness becomes both ‘embodied’ and ‘expanded’ at the same time. This has potential healing, transformative and heuristic value; being the kinds of outcomes that my clients and course participants have reported since 2004, and which was evident in the research results documented in my dissertation (Dangeli, 2015).

In a nutshell, OA could be described as the process of bringing awareness into the ‘space’ in between yourself and that which you are experiencing in the moment (person, object, sensory perception, thought or feeling). As OA deepens, your experience of this space expands, the subject/object divide dissolves, and you become more aware of the subtler realms, including preconscious content.

Through practicing OA you learn to become comfortable with the unknown. You discover how to tap into the realm beyond your conscious awareness to lead a more productive and fulfilling life, or, perhaps most fundamentally, as Ferrer (2011) puts it: “participate more fully in the mystery out of which everything arises” (22).

 

Introduction to OA

 

OA specific training (online and live courses)

 

OA is a fundamental approach taught in the Authentic Self Empowerment Facilitator Training and it is a central aspect of the Transpersonal Coach Model.

 

References:

Dangeli, J. (2015). Open Awareness Dissertation. http://authentic-self-empowerment.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Open_Awareness-Dissertation_Jevon_Dangeli.pdf

Fenner, P. (2011). Revealing Nondual Awareness. http://www.radiantmind.net/revealing-nondual-awareness-peter-fenner/

Ferrer, J. (2011). Participatory Spirituality and Transpersonal Theory: A Ten-Year Retrospective. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 2011, Vol. 43, No. 1

Koestler, A. (1967). The Ghost in the Machine (1990 reprint ed.). London: Hutchinson (Penguin Group).

Scotton, B. W. (1996). Introduction and Definition of Transpersonal Psychiatry. In Scotton, B.W., Chinen, Allan B. and Battista, John R., Eds.Textbook of Transpersonal Psychiatry and Psychology. New York: Basic Books

Walsh, R & Vaughan, F. (1980). Journal of Humanistic Psychology 20.

Whenary, R. (2012). Living in Open Awareness. http://www.livinginopenawareness.com/LIOA(BasicV).pdf

 

Coaching for TransformationIn this presentation, Transpersonal Coach Jevon Dangeli introduces the 3 cornerstones of transformation in coaching.

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Coaching may serve as an escalator toward transformation by incorporating perspectives and processes that promote expanded states of consciousness.

A transpersonal approach in coaching can help one to identify how they create their perception of reality, while establishing a widened awareness that includes a new, tangible and desirable reality, as well as ways to integrate this into one’s life.

This 17 minute video presentation covers:

  • Can coaching lead to transformation?
  • What might such coaching processes involve?
  • Which criteria promote transformation in coaching?
  • What is the value of transpersonal perspectives?

Continue Reading

chakrasIn this presentation, Transpersonal Coach – Jevon Dangeli describes an approach to coaching the whole person and its applications in various contexts.

 

Transpersonal coaching empowers people to transcend the ego states, mindsets and behaviours that inhibit their personal, professional and spiritual growth.

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This 20 minute video presentation covers:

  • What does it mean to “coach the whole person”?
  • What is the value of a transpersonal approach to coaching?
  • Can spiritual solutions be useful to people with ‘real life’ problems?
  • What is the role of a transpersonal coach?


Continue Reading

Transpersonal Coaching ModelThere’s a way to find your way! It’s not what you think, it’s what you are!
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Transpersonal Coaching empowers people to transcend the ego states, mindsets and behaviours that inhibit their personal, professional and spiritual growth.

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This specialized type of coaching involves a dialogical relationship between a coach and client with the intention to resolve issues in the client’s life, by engaging in processes that serve to transcend the client’s self constructs and limiting beliefs. Typical outcomes of this form of psychological coaching are an enhanced sense of meaning and purpose in life, bringing with it greater clarity and resourcefulness.

The transpersonal coaching (TC) approach is effective at helping clients to overcome the limiting beliefs, debilitating emotions and negative reactions that prevent their success and happiness. This integral approach to coaching makes use of transpersonal states and perspectives in order to resolve issues in any context — personal and/or interpersonal and/or spiritual.

The job of the transpersonal coach is to hold a liminal space (open, receptive and emergent), walking the client through a transformative passage of questioning and helping the client to reintegrate their new, widened and resourceful perspective into their lives. TC processes by their very nature can lead to transformation or spiritual awakening.

TC can help clients to establish the root causes of their issues and then address these through holistic healing interventions. It also includes measures to identify and resolve all other determinants of clients’ problems. Sessions include processes that are both remedial and generative — guiding clients to clear their past and become more fulfilled and empowered in the present.

The TC methodology combines Transpersonal Psychology and Mindfulness based interventions and holistic applications of NLP in order to achieve sustainable outcomes. These three complimentary fields have been synergised into one seamless Transpersonal Coaching Model.

 

Watch a 20 minute video presentation on transpersonal coaching.
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Transpersonal Coaching ModelThe difference between traditional coaching methods and transpersonal coaching:

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Traditional coaching methods typically involve a dialog between a coach and a client aiming to address issues from a cognitive-behavioral perspective. This means that only issues in conscious awareness are addressed and their unconscious causes are left undealt with. Interestingly, neuroscience has demonstrated that our unconscious functioning precedes conscious awareness by at least 1/2 second (Libet, 1983 & 1993). This means that most if not all coaching issues like motivation and procrastination, indecision, conflicting priorities, burnout, overwhelm and performance anxiety are a result of automatic (unconscious) reactions and patterns which occur before conscious awareness. Traditional coaching methods rely heavily on conscious processing through questioning, analysis and tasking. It’s like trying to steer a train by asking someone in the last carriage to change the direction of the entire train. It won’t be so effective, especially not in the long run!

Transpersonal coaching works with the unconscious processes that are at the root of most of our problems in life, yet it does so in a natural, conversational way that makes this approach effective with lasting results.

One of the unique attributes of TC is that the coach identifies and makes constructive use of the transpersonal phenomena that may be behind the issue or which can arise in coaching sessions. This means that clients can relax and be themselves in the presence of a highly aware, competent and caring coach.

The Transpersonal Coaching Model is approved by IACTMIn a nutshell, the Transpersonal Coaching Model makes use of  attention shifting processes to promote resourceful states and responses – despite the severity of the challenge being faced. You can read more about this model here.
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The following articles further describe the value of transpersonal coaching and how it works:
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Written by Jevon Dangeli – Transpersonal Coach, MSc Transpersonal Psychology

 

Live Transpersonal Coach training

 

Online Transpersonal Coach training

 

References:

Libet, Benjamin; Gleason, Curtis A.; Wright, Elwood W.; Pearl, Dennis K. (1983). “Time of Conscious Intention to Act in Relation to Onset of Cerebral Activity (Readiness-Potential)”. Brain. 106 (3): 623–42.

Libet, Benjamin (1993). “Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action”. Neurophysiology of Consciousness. Contemporary Neuroscientists. pp. 269–306.

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The Transpersonal Coaching Model

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Transpersonal coaching works
because it works with the whole person
body, mind & spirit

 

This unique approach to coaching identifies the unconscious triggers and patterns that give rise to one’s current thoughts, feelings, behaviors and their resulting circumstances. It helps people to establish resourceful states and perspectives and then anchor these into the contexts where they experience challenges.

Continue Reading

The mindful remedy for stress and burnoutIn this article I will comment on studies that indicate how mindfulness and meditation are related to resilience, self regulation and purpose. Drawing on research as well as direct personal experience, I will suggest that mindfulness and meditation are valuable to programmes that aim to prevent as well as heal the effects of overwhelming stress and burnout.

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The Healing Potential of Transpersonal CoachingHealing the causes of emotional and psychosomatic disorders through transpersonal coaching.

Exploring how it’s possible and how it’s done…

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This article unpacks and builds on Stanislav Grof’s perspective on how therapeutic applications of a specific category of non-ordinary states of consciousness can have healing and transformative value, especially in relation to emotional and psychosomatic disorders. The article will also cover how Grof’s view of the perinatal stage in our human development can be useful to those interested in conscious parenting, as well as for healing traumatic memories. Comments are made regarding how Grof’s insights and lessons can be put to use in the field of transpersonal coaching. Continue Reading

Stan Grof on emotional and psychosomatic disordersOver 60 years of research by Stan Grof, M.D., Ph.D., indicates that emotional and psychosomatic disorders always have peri-natal, pre-natal and transpersonal origins.

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This 4-part presentation by Jevon Dangeli outlines Stan Grof’s perspective on the underlying factors that give rise to emotional and psychosomatic disorders.
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This presentation is on a piece of the content from the article – The Healing Potential of Transpersonal Coaching

 

Stanislav Grof is a Czech psychiatrist, one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a researcher into the use of non-ordinary states of consciousness for purposes of exploring, healing, and obtaining growth and insights into the human psyche.  Continue Reading

Bouncing back from burnoutBurnout (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual fatigue) is generally considered to be caused by too much stress over an extended period where one looses hope in achieving a desired goal (Shirom, 1989).

The symptoms of burnout spill over into other areas of the affected person’s life affecting their performance, motivation, personal relationships and social life, and can lead to depression, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders, as well as destructive behaviours toward self and others Continue Reading

How we internalise our external reality

the NLP perspective

NLP Communication Model
This article introduces the core concepts of the NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Communication Model – which offers a practical explanation as to how we take information from the outside world into our neurology and how that in turn affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

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Mindfulness, bodyfulness and open awareness Mindfulness, bodyfulness and open awareness are 3 sides of the same coin. This article describes their commonalities and differences, as well as their applications in terms of personal growth and transpersonal development.

As new sicknesses arise and the world’s problems proliferate, it’s clear that new solutions are needed. Many of the significant problems the world faces today, whether personally,- environmentally,- socially,- economically,- and others are issues that stem (at least in part) from a lack of awareness of our multidimensional interrelatedness in the vast web of life. According to Albert Einstein Continue Reading

Transformation in Transpersonal CoachingWe cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein

This article outlines how transformation occurs in transpersonal coaching – a specialised form of psychological coaching that involves a dialogical relationship between a coach and client with the intention to resolve issues in the client’s life, by engaging in processes that serve to transcend the client’s self constructs and limiting beliefs.

Consciousness researchers interviewed by National Geographic in 2009 provided compelling evidence in support of what wisdom traditions across cultures have claimed for ages: that certain transpersonal states of consciousness can have healing, transformative and heuristic value Continue Reading

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