Below is a Q&A with Dhyana Stanley, author of The Human Experience is the Dance of Heaven and Earth
1. What is your book about and why did you write it?
The book, The Human Experience is the Dance of Heaven and Earth, is a guide to realizing our natural sense of well-being and then stabilizing in that. And I wrote this book because I felt drawn to write it. Writing has always been an important part of my life – something I’ve always enjoyed – and after the realization had stabilized to a certain point I felt drawn to write it.
2. Can you explain what you mean by our natural state of well-being and how you would tell someone they can sense it and then stabilize in that sensing?
What is natural is innate to us and it feels like home. This is why we all seek a permanent sense of well-being because we’ve all had glimpses of it and it feels so natural. What tends to happen, however, is that when we do glimpse peace we believe it to be caused by something so then it seems conditional. If we look at the night sky and we feel a sense of well-being but then we believe it is the fresh night air, the clear sky, the open space or maybe we believe it is the act of getting out of a noisy house that has caused this sense of well-being then it will be fleeting. If we believe well-being is conditional then that will seem to be true but it doesn’t mean it is true. We can only discover what is actually true when we drop what we believe is true. When we drop our conditioned views about life we then have the opportunity to sense that which is unconditioned – and universal. And as we trust and confirm what we know to be true over and over again, love reveals itself and stability takes hold.
3. How much of what you share is direct advice versus helping people come up with solutions on their own?
What I’m sharing is more like an invitation rather than advice. I am inviting people to look at what they are now experiencing differently than they’re used to looking at it. So I don’t want anyone to believe what I am sharing but for those who somehow sense the truth of it I invite them to see for themselves. Most people look at life through what they think or believe about life. So they are largely experiencing life through their conditioned views. That’s how most humans live – being tossed about by whatever they happen to now believe. If a person looks at the night sky while believing the thought that his boss is a jerk then he is not truly open to life now. He misses it completely and experiences only what he now believes. So what I’m sharing is quite radical because it is an invitation to look at life directly. And by looking at life I mean more of a sensing of life.
4. How is what you are sharing different than traditional therapy or counseling?
Traditional therapy usually involves attempts to heal who we think we are in order to one day sense well-being – all of which can be helpful to a certain extent. It can help us feel a bit more comfortable and become somewhat more functional, for a while at least. It can help us overcome certain fears to some extent but until we discover our permanent sense of well-being fear will continue to hound us. Therapists invite their clients to fix themselves through questioning their assumptions about the validity of their fears and anxieties. But what I’m inviting people to do is to question their assumption that who they truly are needs to be fixed at all. This is a very radical. I understand that some people may find it absurd to question this assumption but what is really absurd is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. And as someone who earnestly tried to fix myself for decades – it just simply does not work. We will never feel fully at home here and now if we do not realize our most fundamental nature – which is not flawed in any way whatsoever.
5. Do you incorporate any psychology at all into what you share? If so, how? If not, why not?
Understanding the psychological conditioned sense of self is very helpful in seeing through it. When we consciously sense our natural state we also come to see that the psychological, conditioned, flawed sense of self is not true – and this clear discrimination between our true sense of self and our false sense of self is essential for stability to take hold. But seeing through the psychological sense of self is different than using psychology to fix what we believe is broken. Generally, traditional psychology looks at the mind and behavior from the foundation of brokenness. This is understandable because when we feel divided and conflicted inside it makes sense that we would believe something is not right with us. But we must go deeper than beliefs – even that one – to discover what is prior to all beliefs. We mistake the feeling of brokenness to mean that it is us that needs to be fixed rather than realizing that it is just the way we are now seeing ourself or life that needs to be fixed or seen through fully as false. Traditional psychology is an attempt to fix us so we can one day know our natural joy but the moment we see life as it actually is joy reveals itself naturally.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
As long as we are here in this human experience there is no end to the unfolding of truth. One belief that causes a lot of unnecessary confusion is that when the realization of truth strikes us we believe that will be it. Many believe that when they’ve realized the truth they will be transformed instantaneously – all unconscious patterns will dissolve and they’ll flow through life seamlessly. This belief keeps many continuously seeking because they don’t trust what they have already found. But when we trust what is unchanging then we come to realize that the changeful is not separate from the unchanging. We realize they are one and the same and then we can finally enjoy the changeful aspects of this whole human experience – and of our human expression as it continues to relax and expand to more fully reflect its true essence. We don’t suffer any of it because we are always looking from and as the unchanging.