Pamela Wilson asks: When you worry, or feel fear, can you say this to the anxious voice in your head? “You are welcome here!”
BEING THERE: PAUL KAIHLA — Pamela Wilson has many moving parts — part poet, part Gestalt Therapist and part enchantress, in the sense that she can induct an audience into an expansive state using voice and anchors the same way that the late great Milton Erickson did with patients in hypnosis. Featured in the Soul’s Code slide show, Female Mystics, Wilson comes as advertised: I and 60 others were moved by the power of her presence the other night in a simple hall in Berkeley, CA. She held an over-educated and highly-experienced audience in her sway, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones.
Yet Wilson is fond of revealing the ways in which the mind acts as an instrument of opaqueness. It obscures the most elemental fact of life.
What would that be? The degree to which we are so thoroughly extensions of the same fabric of reality, and only show up as distinct personalities when looking through the prism of the world’s gross appearances.
Her inimitable line: “We wear a form.” In that department, the universe has distinctly smiled upon Pamela Wilson.
The Santa Fe, NM-resident has a movie star’s looks but, naturally, doesn’t carry any of the bling or baggage that usually goes with it. She speaks with the gentle, intentional manner of a kindergarten teacher.
If her spiritual starting point sounds too much like The Matrix for you reading these words, lay that at my door. The experience is different when you walk into a room that has her attention.
The mind loves to make comparisons, so here’s one: she is cruising through all of which life presents on the up-and-down outside, from a very deep center on the inside. A metaphor: I strongly sense that her internal experience is like the windless ‘eye’ at the center of a hurricane or tornado.
To make more comparisons, here’s the kind of paradigm-shift she made:
Most of us: The fundamental denizens of reality are the objects we see with our eyes — like the chairs and people in the auditorium — and the thoughts we carry around in our heads about our own situation (and judgements about others).
Pamela: The baseline of being is constituted by nothing — a vast, empty formlessness we humans sometimes call consciousness, or awareness. To turn Einstein’s famous phrase, our belief that we have individual identities and personal stories is a kind of optical illusion of consciousness, which has a mischievous yet playful property.
Pamela helped us take a few steps down that path at the beginning of her appearance. She cued us, during 20 minutes of silence, into observing the streams and loops of self-talk that fill our awareness. If the mental noise in our heads is akin to radio static, she tuned in the channel set on clear air:
Guided by that spaciousness, many feelings arise. A white-haired man who arrived early to sit in the front confesses that he feels centered and present at the moment but fears a chronic anxiety will return after he leaves the event.
Pamela invites him to consider that all thoughts and feelings are made from the same bricks and mortar, or substrate: presence.
Whether they are positive or negative, their natural cycle is to appear and then disappear. Kind of like snowflakes.
What arises as worries, fears and regrets wants to disappear. Yet we have a habit of swatting them back into play with a mental backhand, just as they’re about to dribble off the court.
We “crystallize” anxious thoughts and self-reprimands precisely by labeling with the above tags. No one consciously wants pain: But we effectively render those sensations into habitual pressures by judging them bad. A voice in our head intervenes, places anxious thoughts and self-reprimands in the column of life’s should nots — and seeks to banish them.
The paradox is that the mind’s apparent counter-measures are the very impulse that holds these “negatives” in place in our systems. “There’s no better velcro for identification than opposition,” Pamela responds.
Another way to apprehend anxious thinking, Pamela counsels, is to see the train of thought as a service. The mind has many services — protection services, suggestion services, etc. Accept the first-principle that they are services, not foreign invaders vectoring into your space. No matter what appears, say to that thought-loop, “You are welcome here.”
Pamela makes a beautiful analogy to the satellites and space-junk orbiting the Earth in the Clarke Belt: “Do you think the vastness of space complains that those objects are there? It couldn’t care less. You are that space.”
Step 2 in this two-step, she asks the white-haired gentleman, “Now that you’re here, can you ask that presence that displays itself as anxiety, ‘What are you’? Underneath. ‘Where do you come from?’ “
Our favorite line of the night: “At this moment in timelessness we are all called to act like sages.”
If you’d like more of this style of spiritual teaching, here is Pamela Wilson’s website and schedule of live events
If this spoke to you, here are five similar articles.
- The end of desire II: Passage to India
- Age of Sorrow, Age of Wakefulness
- The New Female Mystics: Run Silent, Run Deep
- Guided meditation: Resting into yourself
- “From my Creative Heart to Yours”: A dancer, writer and artist dishes on her creative process, how to channel your inner voice — and fill yourself with passion and ecstasy