The Mind is a Dangerous Neighborhood

Michael Naumer 1942 - 2001

Michael Naumer
1942 – 2001

Scanning for Gratitude
It all started with the white showing through
on the hole in your pocket.
Of course it started before then,
but the hole is when things
really began for me.
I watched the white go back and forth
in front of me
as you did the room,
talking, sharing, inspiring-
calling us forth.
I sat in the front row all
wide open
and watched the white;
pondering how it could be possible
that the white showed through.
I imagined sewing the pocket.
I imagined all the willing ways
of getting that hole sewn.
I dropped down lower
and sank inside the
experience of a white rip
on black pants.
Then it all began.
I got it.
It didn’t matter.
None of it mattered.
White, black,
white on black…
Holes, wholeness…
There you stood
in your
living the practice
of it not mattering.
It was then that it truly
for me.
I relaxed,
I paid attention.
Never have I been
so grateful
for a
in a pocket.
For Michael Naumer, with immense gratitude & love, by Katrina Mayo-Smith Aug 2000

“The purpose of the course is to reveal those structures which inhibit our authenticity and full self-expression in relationship, and provide a structure of inquiry which shifts our purpose of relationship to one of satisfying self development.” Michael Naumer

40 Principles, Tools, and Aphorisms from Michael Naumer:
• Consciousness is that which recognizes itself.
• Everything changes. Everything happens in cycles. Everything contributes.
• Everything contains within itself the seed of its apparent opposite.
• Everything is important, and nothing is significant.
• There are no accidents.
• Things are not happening to me, they are happening for me.
• Do I want to be right, or do I want to be effective?
• Am I available for what I say I want?
• What is my part?
• Expand to include and have it contribute.
• There is no meaning in reality. Truth does not mean anything, it’s just what’s so.
• No good deed goes unpunished.
• The mind is a dangerous neighborhood, don’t go in there alone.
• Our baggage is the material we need to transform. We need our stuff, we just want to become objective about it so we can deal with it.
• If you are going to be there, be there. If not, go someplace else.
• Whatever you hold as “this shouldn’t be,” you energize its continued existence.
• What you can’t choose you have to hold as burden.
• Where you are the most wounded, you are the most accomplished (or, where you stumble is your gold).
• When you get your limits you get your maturity.
• When you diminish another person, you lose their ability to contribute to you.
• As long as you have to live inside the tribe you cannot be a leader.
• As consciousness rises, significance drops away.
• The universe is not oppositional, only our minds are.
• It is all, all working.
• It’s better to ride the horse in the direction it is going.
• It’s not about me. It may have something to do with me, but it’s not about me, or my value. Nor is it about you, or your value.
• Do not assign emotional responsibility to another. They don’t cause it, they only occasion it.
• Gathering evidence: the way in which we organize our resistance.
• Get the debt out of relationship.
• Relationship will not fill my gap (and that solution then becomes the problem).
• There is a difference between taking a stand and being a stand.
• Position creates opposition. When I take a position, I have to defend it.
• When you have an agenda, all that’s left is manipulation.
• Context determines content.
• Attachment produces dependence, dependence produces complaint. You can’t get to satisfaction from complaint.
• Complaint is an abdication of responsibility.
• Expectation shuts it down.
• Love is the recognition of the equal in the other.
• People are miraculous surprises.
• Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.

In Tribute to Michael Naumer
Michael Naumer (1942–2001) was a brilliant man who devoted much of his life’s energy to teaching people how to create loving, connected relationships. Joe Dunn, who had the privilege to study under him in the mid-1990s, credits Michael with helping him to vastly improve how he approaches not only his relationships but his entire life.

Michael and his wife Christina founded the Relationships Research Institute out of their shared passion for understanding what it takes to keep a relationship healthy and vital. Hundreds of people participated in their powerful, life-changing seminars.

Catherine Sevenau, Michael’s assistant for the three years prior to his death, describes what it was like to take his seminar for the first time: “The course was about transformation. It was three intense days of awakening people to their conscious and unconscious beliefs. I was rocked, inspired, pained, and touched—but most of all, my thinking and way of seeing my relationships and myself were completely transformed. I came out of that weekend with a heightened awareness and some practical tools that forever changed me.”

Michael’s words live on in the hearts and minds of the people who were fortunate enough to have known him. “Love is the recognition of the equal in the other,” he liked to say. “When you diminish another person, you lose their ability to contribute to you.” And, “Are you available for the relationship you say you want?”

In the spirit of keeping Michael’s wisdom alive, we’ve chosen to honor his life and teachings by presenting some of his inspiring ideas in this book. We hope you’re moved to put them to use and, as Michael would have said, “transform the process of relationship from a game you can’t win to one you can’t lose.”

Excerpted with permission from The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships by Mali Apple and Joe Dunn.

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  1. And thank you, Michael, for having such a profound effect on my life, even after your death.

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