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Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Writer's pictureRudy Bauer

Co-Emergent Process

From “Advanced Psychotherapy Seminar” – March 21, 2007 Talk given by: Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Transcribed by: Michelle Mae Edited by: Erin Johannesen, M.A., M.D.

We’ll stay with our eyes closed for a few moments…focusing in.  We’ve been listening to one of the vajra songs.  A lot of different yogis sing one:  Namkhai Norbu has one, and Kunzang Dechen Lingpa has one.  That [vajra song we just heard] was Chatrul Rinpoche’s version, whose voice transmitted shaktipat.  These songs are spontaneously in the awareness of the practitioners as expressions of their realization.  Chatrul Rinpoche’s song goes like this: “AH HO The melody of timeless awareness, utter lucidity, free of all elaborations, the web of unceasing magic, the display of oneness of oneness, Sovereign Lord of all the mandalas, the Lake-born Vajra,” – he makes his salutations to Padmasambhava – “grant us the single blessing to realize that all appearances are the dharmakaya, pure awareness itself.  The outer environment is the ground, the gathering place, co-emergent with Being itself.  Everything you see and experience is Being itself in you and through you and around you.  Within it, [are] all the assembled deities of the naturally occurring vajra form; in the youthful exuberance of the inexhaustible, supreme bliss, we dance the dance of the immutable song of the primordial, unborn sound.  As we, brothers and sisters, are gathered here, joined together by karma and aspirations, partaking of the celebration, enjoying the wealth of supreme bliss and luminosity, I offer my single aspiration that we may all meet again as one, gathering for the celebration in the palace of the lotus light in the pinnacle, pure realm.” 

We’ll focus on that [this portion of the song]…  It reminds me of the dream Michelle had of being at the celebration, and at that moment Kunzang Dechen Lingpa dies and transmits to her, through the breath, the shakti of awakening – at the feast.  These feasts are very ‘part and parcel.’  So we’ll hang out for a few minutes, and we’ll go further into becoming aware of our own awareness and deepening our understanding.  I’ll talk a little on that phrase “co-emergent” that the song sang to.  We’ll call it “concomitant experience of the field.”   

So first we suspend our minds.  We’re all gaining expertise in the cranial vault method, which is a method not only for ourselves, but also for other people, just to suspend our mind.  Then, as we become aware of awareness, we experience the intensity, the rigpa, the excitatoriness, and as I read last week, as we become aware of awareness, what they [Dzogchen Buddhists] call rigpa implies intensity and excitement.  This is of particular importance, this rigpa.  It is creative dynamics of awareness and the creation of experience.  Out of this rigpa, this self recognition, creativity arises, the shakti arises.  Excitement implies that the system can be more excited and operatively more operative.  This intensity, this rigpa – and we can become more cognitively appreciative, meaning knowingness -- enters deeper into all phenomena experiencing the field.  So there is a degree of intensity.  That is why in practicing Tögal, [Dzogchen term for the gazing practice of ‘leaping over’ or ‘direct crossing’] we’ve paused again to increase our intensity in a completely relaxed body.  We have been experimenting with it as couples [dyads] and using some particular methods.  These methods only have any sense whatsoever if we realize they really don’t mean too much at all.  I’ll read again from the Supreme Source [Chatrul Rinpoche’s song] of pure and total consciousness that says:

“Oh great Bodhisattva, focus on the sound.  I will explain the true meaning to you.  I am the supreme source, the ultimate nature of awareness, and the fundamental substance of all phenomena; the ineffable essence from that very beginning is a sphere. – Sphere precisely indicates that which is already transcendent to concepts. -- The teachers, the teachings, the assemblies, the students, the epochs, and places all arise from me and remain the primordial sphere.  For my nature is this sphere.  My nature is the field.”

  To sense it is the experience of the field, of the oneness.  In doing so, as we become aware of awareness, just like we are right now, we discover easily that our mind is not our awareness.  My mind is not my awareness.  My awareness is not my mind.  Then, with that we are free to make the next discovery:  That my own awareness is this vast field, vast and multi-dimensional.  We establish ourselves in this field. 

This field, this sphere, begins to infuse the mind and organize the mind.  We bring the mind into the field, and, ultimately, it becomes the field.  It [the mind] actually is the field, but as we actuate it, we bring it into the intensity of experience which is necessary for completion.  As we bring it [this intensity] into the body, which comes with the mind, into the field, the field infuses the body, and the body actually becomes the field as well.  The body is the field, but it’s ma-rigpa, not an excited manifestation of the field.  So, we excite it.  We intensify it, and the field becomes the body. 

The next step then, as you and I bring forth the field… we enter it, we hold it, it’s on top of us, in us, and around us, and then we become it more and more – AHAM AH – I am becoming what I am.  This becoming of the field is a co-emergent process.  You think about that practice we’ve been doing.  That is a co-emergent practice.  This is a co-emergent process.  This becoming of the field is a concomitant process, which means it happens on both sides.  As you enter deeply into and become the field, and you become one with the field, it comes forth between you and the other [as it’s happening in you, it brings forth the field in me, and as it’s happening in me, it brings forth the field in you].  That other can be another person you are with, a room you are in, or anything and everything – you and the other, you and the world, you and the place.  The true oneness is between you and the field.  As you become the field you experience the field in the other.  The other experiences the field in you.  Then it moves.  You begin to experience the other as the field and the other begins to experience you as the field.  Thus, the oneness is between you and the field – one field and two configurations.   So there is a moment when you become less of an entity, and you start becoming a configuration – one field and many configurations within configurations.  The configuration of the field is you and me, this room, this street, and this city.  It is this world, epoch, and moment.  It’s all these worlds within worlds. 

Together, we are practicing a skillful means.  Skillful means is a very distracting thing.  A lot of people say forget about that stuff because if it becomes number one, you will never, ever experience what is there.  The skillful means, whether it’s a visualization, a picture, or a person, is a powerful distraction from the innate essence.  It’s very tricky.  That entire text of the “Supreme Source” is about the distractions of skillful means, whether it is texts or mantras.  So, even as we practice this, if you go into right or wrong, you then become a dog – good dog, or bad dog.  On one level you are practicing skill, and on the other level you must be beyond the polarities of good and evil, right and wrong, and better and best.  It’s very tricky.  This is tricky stuff.  If you don’t have that awareness that it is tricky, you will be duped, if not now, sometime.  You have to be really careful.  That means that ultimately the guru is your own inner awareness.  As soon as you forego that [awareness] and place it [the guru] into someone else’s hands, even if it’s a great being, you are in trouble.  The great yogis will constantly hit you on this topic.  That is how Swami Muktananda would do it.  You had to take the authorship into your own self.  In meeting him and in entering that devotional experience, it had to be that which was beyond him, which is consciousness itself.  It was very tricky meeting him because he would zoom in on that.  He hated transference.  “You think I’m your fortune teller?  You think I’m your mother?”  In that way [in taking authorship], you will be in the field and not in a fantasy. 

That [this talk so far] is a preface to what we will be practicing again.  The skillful means that we have been practicing together is a very direct method of bringing forth the field in each other in a co-emergent manner.  As the field emerges in you, it emerges in me.  As it emerges in me, it emerges in you.  As it emerges in me and you, it emerges in the room.  At the field emerges in the room, the field emerges in me and you.  By that ‘me’ I’m talking about when any of us does that with another person.  If you understand this, you can really gain expertise in this and be of help.  If you don’t understand this, you will stumble.  You will get trapped by the energies.  This [immanent co-emergence] doesn’t happen out of necessity.  That is why we are attuning and responding to that [field] dimension.  The intensity of the field reflects levels of attunement, levels of resonance, and levels of extension.

Everybody here is very good at receptivity.  As we learn receptivity of awareness, more fluidity arises, but the other side of receptivity is the phallic [taking action] component.  This is why we are talking archetypically.  One is receptive, the other is phallic.  We are not talking about equipment here or ornaments.  We are not talking physical.  This [archetypical ‘languaging’] is a way of working with awareness.  At times when you are working with a person, you can extend your field through them.  That is useful to do because in the extension of the field through a person, the field arises in that person out of resonance.  That is what we are doing when we do these little things like placing your hands under the clairvoyant points and taking a person’s head into the heart chakra.  Out of the co-emergent field, you are actually having that person able to experience, in the body, the field of energy, space, and light.  That is a step of beginning to experience and see awareness, not only in your own body, but in other humans.  Until that takes place, you are not really quite in the drama.  Your toe is in the water, but you aren’t in deep yet.  It’s great to experience it in one’s own self, but in the bodhisattva posture, you will remain an idealist if you think it’s all in you. 

If you go further, however, and begin to experience that [co-emergent awareness] in other human beings, especially people you are close to, you and they will be liberated.  This [awareness] is not just a solipsistic experience.  As you enter and experience the luminous light of the heart center, as you are going through that person’s body, those katri channels [in you and in the other person] will become activated, and primordial energy, innate energy, the quantum moment, comes through your heart and through your eyes.  There is a resonance that helps bring it [the energy of awareness] forth.  So, we’ll re-do this [particular practice] in a very concrete-operational way.  As we do that, we also stretch the body [of the other person] up a little bit.  Then that same light of the heart starts really echoing and pulling forth the energy of the field in that person all the way through the body.  As that is happening to that person, it must be co-emergent in you.  Unless you are in the field, nothing is going to take place.  If you are in the field, it’s more probable that the other person is in the field and vice versa.  It’s a co-emergent experience.  This is how you want to understand this sort of thing.  It saves you from thinking [that] you are the doer. 

The other thing we have focused on is the importance of the cranial vault method.  It’s not only a wonderful gift for you, but for other people too.  If you don’t practice it, you should not be in this seminar.  It’s like you aren’t using what is being given.  Practicing it for yourself will help you gain the power of both suspending your mind and [bringing] the instruments of your mind-- like memory, thinking and feeling… the whole sha-bang – fully into the field.  Then the field can really come forth with ease.  Your mind will come back awake, and you can integrate it into that field.  Initially, the mind is the field…but it’s an awareness field that’s focused on a lot of other things, and these things imprint themselves on the mind.  When, however, it [the mind] gets focused on it’s own self, it becomes liberated.  It [entering the field] does take a suspension [of thinking, of being only in the mind].  If the mind is not suspended, this entry becomes very hard to do.  The easiest way to do it [to suspend the mind] is by [doing] the cranial vault… but that is not the end of it, or you’d just be sitting in a blank state.  We want to integrate the mind so we can really be in this world in an awareness state.  That is how we really become a free person for ourselves and for other people.  As we do the cranial vault method, we also go down and follow behind the ear and go all the way down like so.  It feels very good when you feel it because you will feel openings.  A lot of times, if you are getting a lot of shakti, it gets stuck in your neck because it’s a tiny part of your body.  With the cranial vault method, you can take the shakti, or resonant energy, right down the center.  This is not biblical [miraculous].  You take it [the shakti] right down the center, and that will give the body more space.  If there is more space, then more energy and light emerge.  By gaining an expertise in the cranial vault, you can go down the body, and that begins to open the inner heart essence, begins to open the doors.  There are a lot of doors, little veils, between my body and the inner heart essence, and they start dissolving.  There is no force whatsoever in the cranial vault method.  It is the void, pure awareness, doing its thing with a tiny bit of intentionality. 

You can also go down the back of a person because it opens up the Kundalini centers down the body.  You can use the wrists as they are highly sensitive centers.  When you touch a person with your wrist, it is extremely powerful, but gentle.  You resonate with that [energy], and you can help open the centers there.  The better you get, the more you can do it from a distance.  Yet sometimes you have to be a little bit close.  If you are intruding on the person and don’t have the interpersonal sense of intrusion [that is, you don’t sense your own intrusiveness], you will be a flop in this undertaking.   If the person senses any intrusion, they will close up.  If you smell bad, they will close up.  The issue in all this stuff has to do with intrusion; if you are intrusive, or if your energy is too intrusive, nothing more happens.   So, you have to watch yourself:  Though it looks like you may be doing it, your presence may be intrusive.  Being in the field helps you to not be intrusive.  The more space you feel, the more refined energy you feel, the more light you feel, you will not be intrusive.  If it’s not working for you, you actually have to practice meditative awareness everyday.  With the exception of some very rare people, this [co-emergent awareness using skillful means] is a cumulative experience.  For most of us, it’s like learning typing.  As you practice everyday, you will gain it.  If you miss a few days of practice, you will find yourself regressing towards the mean.  If you practice everyday, you will bring it forth relatively quickly because the support we have is from the archetypical dimension and from teachers in our own traditions.  That is why when you do the cranial vault you feel the energy coming through you.  If you use your own energy, you are going to die.  You use the energy, not your energy.  

Sometimes we go to the side of a person and pull the side of their head towards the heart.  Remember last June we also focused on the side of the head when we talked about the Nath yogi tradition of ear splitting [literally creating a large hole or slit in the earlobe so energy may more easily enter the body] and ‘PHAT’ [a vocal practice of cutting through].  The practice of pulling a person into the heart center is originally from the Hindu tradition, but the tantric practices and those of Dzogchen are very similar.  The ears are considered – any openings such as mouth, nose, and eyes -- are considered as direct ways of entry.  So again, you are transmitting; these practices are actions of transmission and resonance.  You pull a person through the heart center, and the energy goes through the ears and into the body.  It opens up more space and light.  You can feel that energy moving through the body.  You do that on one side and then on the other [side].  This practice is skillful means.  There is a pragmatism in being in the field.  We will be exploring another dimension in time, as everybody comes up to snuff. 

So often we touch the navel area with three fingers to activate the three channels in there.  That activation brings the energy up to the center of the heart.  Then, we should be able to open this place here in the center of the chest.  When that area opens, then the energy comes up.  Out of [our experiencing] resonance and love, the inner heart essence starts to open.  There is another thing that can happen for a person.  Some of you are feeling this happening already.  All of this experience is in the field.  If this activation is successful, it’s in the field.  If the map is in the field right now, then I really know the field is the teacher that reveals the field to people.  It’s nothing special about the basement; it’s the nature of the field itself.  Some of you are going to start feeling a lot of energy coming up.  You have to let your stomachs hang out a little bit to feel that chi arising.  It can feel like rolling thunder.  You feel it coming through your body and into the space of your heart.  The phenomenon that you begin to experience is that the lower center and the heart center are one.  That is a fantastic experience.  In a certain way, love and sex become exactly the same.  By sex I don’t mean two people, or one’s self, or any variations of the physical act.  As Longchenpa says, one of the problems is that people ‘over-genitalize’ sexuality.  Think about that.  This is not anti-sex or wishing celibacy on anyone, but you want to have the freedom of the non-genital dimension of sexuality.  Ultimately, that freedom is the Kundalini shakti arising through your body.  When I saw that statement, I really knew that Longchenpa was talking about this practice in the right way.  You have to free your sexual energy so it can be full and powerful, but with moments of ‘non-genitalization,’ or the shakti is going to stop and not come forward like it can.  So as this energy arises, it might feel intensely sexual, but it doesn’t have to.  There is a rolling quality to it.  It rolls up the body and comes up to the heart essence.  This rising of the energy does not foreclose sexuality.  The results will deepen sexuality.  It will bring sex and love to oneness for us.  As we go with this, there becomes only one chakra, just like the heart and head become one chakra.  This will follow after the heart and head become one.  It feels exactly that way.  Anatomically, nothing happens.  We may experiment with that, but it’s not a question of a gesture, or touch, or even a question of intentionality.  It’s the question of unfolding awareness for that person.  Okay, let’s take a break, and then we’ll form couples [dyads] and listen to that great vajra song again…

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