When we can see the story in what seemed real, the real reveals itself like a satori.
Do not be satisfied with the stories that come
before you, unfold your own myth.~Rumi♥
Recently we were at a retreat of our small community, ChittaSangha, a group of some 25 plus facilitators, consultants, entrepreneurs working in the field of consciousness.
I have always been fascinated with how what seems so real is almost always a story.. especially if it causes pain. And also if it causes pleasure. Truth, as we know, lies in the region beyond pain and pleasure. ‘The Work’ of Byron Katie has helped many of us see this with great clarity. Many ‘aha’s’ have resulted just looking at how its all a story.
One of my close friends and fellow-traveler, Arjun Shekhar, an author has written a new book on Stories. He took us through a very interesting process to get us to see the story in a situation and hence ‘get real’.
Interestingly, in a previous retreat what he had shared had inspired another blog post on stories.
I found the process to offer a good texture and while the Katie process is elegant and simple and profound, Arjun’s approach adds a little spice and color to seeing stories.
He asked one of the Sanghis (members of the ChittaSangha) to volunteer and to share his perspective on a situation which he found challenging in working with Sanghis. And then that was gently subjected to some questions :
Is it a true story?
What’s not in the plot?
Are the conclusions drawn accurate? (Time non-linear, causality??)
What feelings spawn the story? (‘What story spawns feelings?’- my sense)
What are the unarguable facts?
Are the things not adding up?
What’s the Real Game? (more whole)- from a helicopter view..
What is the moral of the story? (take-away/ insight/ new perspective/ learning!)
We all looked at the initial story and how these questions revealed a greater texture of reality, a lot of which had not been looked at. It also created a safe way in which to examine something, which could get personal. After all – it’s a story!
We often jump to conclusions, make assumptions, judgments, blame others and oneself, assign causality without actually knowing the truth. The framework of a story and questions (which are non-threatening) can create a safe way to explore and discover the layers of reality.
As a facilitator I was observing this process:
Different perspectives get revealed like pieces of a jigsaw where previously a piece was felt to be the whole.
• Versions- pieces of the jigsaw
• Wonder- Learning/ Seeing newly
• Unarguable ‘facts’ / Feelings in the moment
• Questions to reveal it
• Realisations as they emerge
• What I am seeing and learning about myself/ life/ human mind
• Appreciating what is emerging
• Helicopter Viewing helps
It is indeed fascinating how the story begins to crumble as we examine it and the satori is inevitable.
So long as one is willing to really ‘see’, learn and let go.
Arjun Shekhar, a dear friend took us through this process which forms aspects of his new book. Thanks, Arjun!