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August 14, 2006

The Hoffman Process

"Do you think I would benefit from the Hoffman Process?" I heard him ask.

"Do you have parents?" She responded.

"Of course!"

"Then you'll benefit from it."

Unless your parents were enlightened beings, unconditionally loving and accepting to themselves and all others, in all circumstances, or unless you yourself are enlightened, then you'll benefit from the Hoffman Process.

Witches took freedom from persecution, blacks took freedom from slavery, women took freedom from suppression, and homosexuals took freedom from humiliation. But are they really free? Do witches not perform their rites hidden in darkness? Do blacks not call each other niggers and act like slaves? Do women not judge each other, calling themselves whores? Do gays not humiliate themselves in their repulsive campness? We are physically free from our parents, but do they not still hold us in their grip?

Our parents were there to protect and guide us, but we made them into God. From them we learned how to be human, and how to survive. Some still think that their parents are God: my parents were perfect, they say; my childhood was perfect. And it was perfect, but now is the time to find out who you really are. You are not what your parents wanted you to be, who they thought you were, or who they thought they were. You are a pure expression of love, unique in all of history, here to do things that have never been done, to be fully in the flow of your own creation.

I am in recovery. Recovery is a term used in twelve-step programs. People who are handling their alcohol or drug addictions say that they are in recovery. I am in recovery from memory loss; I temporarily forgot who I was; I go to my twelve-step group to help me remember. The Hoffman Process has helped greatly with my recovery. I believe that most humans are in recovery, whether they are aware of it or not.

Woven into us, into our sense of self, are thoughts, beliefs, and feelings which we learned from our parents. They either taught them to us explicitly, implicitly, or by example; implicitly by the way they looked as us, spoke to us, or treated us. Many of these things that were taught are untrue. We know that they are untrue because they cause suffering. Life is a synonym for love and in love there is no suffering. So life with suffering is a lie, a pseudo-life. If you suffer, ever, it is because you believe lies.

They didn't mean to teach us lies; they didn't know what they were doing. If we knew that these beliefs were untrue then they would leave us because they would seem so obviously, even hilariously, untrue.

If I told you that gravity pulls things upwards, you might laugh and tell me that I was lying. You could even test it, you could try placing a glass of orange juice upside-down on the ceiling and see what happened. It wouldn't work very well: the orange juice would end up on the floor and the glass would probably hit you, and break on the ground. Let's say, then, that you were a little innocent child, who believed everything I told you. How about: this is the right way to drink orange juice; the glass is supposed to hit your face; you have to catch as much of the orange juice in your mouth as you can after you pull the card away from the rim; glasses are supposed to smash; you have to keep buying new glasses; you have to keep clearing up the mess. This is what happens: a complex web of beliefs that are constructed to support the underlying untruth.

Why does believing that gravity pulls things upwards not work very well? Because it is in opposition to one of the fundamental laws of nature: at the macroscopic scale, objects are attracted to each other in proportion the product of their masses and in inverse proportion the square of the distance between them. By far the biggest and closest object around here is the Earth, and it's beneath our feet.

Why does believing that I am worthless, that I don't deserve, that I am unlovable, that I'm wrong, that I am less important, that I'm not doing it right, that I am ugly, that I'm geeky, that men hurt people, and so on, not work in my life? Because these beliefs are in opposition to the most fundamental law of nature: there is only unconditional love; a hypothesis, confirmed repeatedly through experiment, that will someday undoubtedly be expressed with an equation relating to that of gravity.

I didn't know that I held many of these beliefs before I did the Hoffman Process in February 2006. As I became aware of them, I started to see how they had adversely affected me all of my life. In the language of the Hoffman Process, these beliefs, thoughts, habitual feelings, and ways of being are called patterns. The Process provides a framework in which these patterns can come into awareness, and then through a number of steps, be transmuted into healthy ways of being.

It's recommended that you wait for six months after doing the Hoffman Process before making any major life changes, because the Process takes time to sink in. For this reason, I decided to wait the same amount of time before writing about the Process, so that I would have a clearer sense of how I had benefited from it.

I have felt far more optimistic, enthusiastic, happy, content, peaceful, and grateful in the past six months that I have in the rest of my life. I have been in a state of almost constant peace and contentment. There have been times where I have been less content, but they have resulted in increased awareness and have passed quickly.

Before the Process, I hadn't realized that I was seeing the negative aspects of my parents in the people around me; blinding me to their true nature. After the process, I found that people seemed to have changed, including my mother; I was no longer seeing the negative internalized mother of my childhood; I could see the real human being that she is. I am very grateful to be able to see my mother while she is still alive.

The Hoffman Process is an eight day residential workshop where you intensely and thoroughly examine and transform unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior into healthy ones. It's an incredible life experience also. There are so many amazing things that you do on the process that make it an unforgettable experience. It's one of the most incredible things that I've ever done.

I did the Hoffman Process in the UK, at Florence House in Seaford in East Sussex. It's a beautiful old house a couple of minutes walk from the beach and chalky cliffs. The food is delicious, and for the cost, a week spent in that house, with that food, would be a bargain; so to top it off, you get the most valuable thing of all thrown in: the Process.

I find that after doing the process, it's now doing me; I almost automatically notice patterns and transform them. Not only has the Process given me a sudden and large increase in awareness, it has also given me powerful tools to continue on my path to permanent contentment.

Link: Hoffman Institute International

"This is very inspiring; I've passed it on to a friend who would benefit greatly from the Hoffman Process. I think I will do it too." — Kelly


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