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Begin with an unbinding practice of your choice.

(1.5 The Fire Practice)

(3.2 The Underworld Practice)

(5.2 The Beloved Practice)

Lie down to do the Fire Practice as normal, but this time when the practice is interrupted by a daydream or a drama - an example of a shadow - stop the practice to bind the shadow as described in the instructions below. A practice sheet for reference is available to download at the bottom of the page.

It can take an hour or two to complete a binding practice when first learning how to do it. If time doesn’t permit finishing the binding practice with your first attempt, you will have the opportunity to pick up the practice during the following teaching sessions.

Binding Practice

The Fruit

Using basic words, stick figures and symbols, capture the shadow in a simple image by drawing yourself doing the unbinding practice, and then the scene(s) of the daydream or drama that interrupted the practice, being sure to include all of the details as well as the mental and emotional states for each scene. Keep the image on a single page for ease of reflection. This is the fruit.

The Branches

Next, through the states of mind you can reflect on when you have felt this way before, to include other examples of the same shadow, as either other daydreams, dramas or dreams. These are the branches of the same tree.

The Trunk

Once you have included what you believe is the earliest or first instance of the shadow, you can reflect on all of the examples to give the role you play in this drama a simple apparent name that captures the details for you; and you can see that the branches all stem from a single trunk that begin as a shoot in this first drama. What apparent name would you give the roles played by other people in this drama too?

Now, reflecting on the tree as a whole, and the role you have named for yourself, you can consider the following 5 aspects to begin to see the shadow:

Contraction: when playing the role, do your mental or emotional states get better or worse in the examples?

Failure: when playing the role, do you ever succeed in achieving any of your intentions in any of the examples?

Cost: does playing the role cost you anything in any of the examples?

Absence: what is the most important element around which the entire drama revolves in each example? And does it even feature?

Falsehood: have you been fooled into playing the role whenever you attempt something personally meaningful, such that you get the opposite of what you intend? Have you fallen for a shadow of the real thing?

The Seed/Roots

The first example of the problem is where the seed of the tree was planted in your heart, where the shadow was mistaken for the real thing for the first time, as a false initiation or transmission.

Given that the role is all contraction, failure, cost, absence and falsehood, what would be the real name for the role?

With both an apparent name for your role, and a real name, you can reflect each name off of the other to bring out how they are opposites in nature; one its false appearance, the other its detrimental reality.

We are now at the roots of the problem. Bringing in the other people in the first example of the shadow, can you see them playing the same role? Can you give their roles a more refined apparent name, and a real name too?

And if they are playing the same role, can you see how if one of you is playing an active version of the apparent or real name, the other must play a passive version, and vice-versa?

Once you can see how everyone is playing the same role, and the names accurately capture the nature of the role, then it’s possible to realise that everyone involved was equally fooled by the shadow: yourself in the first example, the initiator under similar circumstances in their past. There is no one to blame when it comes to a case of mistaken identity, and with it the apparent injustice played out by the shadow can no longer be believed. It is only when this is seen that the tree has been uprooted, never to bear fruit again.

Binding Practice Sheet (pdf)

Binding Practice Sheet (Printer friendly) (pdf)