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February 01, 2018

Chasing Rabbits, Dark Holes, and Other Forms of Suffering

Tags: Stillness, Depression, Addictions, Suffering, Black Holes

Our minds are like dogs running through the fields chasing rabbits. Just as any small animal darting across the field, or up a tree, catches their attention, the unbridled mind pursues every thought that arises, without discrimination. If we think it up, the mind chases it down. There are thoughts we really don’t need to think, however, and some that lead us down dark rabbit holes. One of the most challenging aspects of personal growth is learning which rabbits to chase, and which to let go.

Our thoughts craft the contours of our lives. Since most of our emotions are elicited by our thinking, the thoughts we choose to think strongly affect how we feel. A person may have voices that, for example, although designed to help them avoid further pain, actually cause more. Addictions have a seductive voice that says, “Hey! Come on, follow me, this will make you feel better!” When we let our minds grasp this thought, and engage in it emotionally, we are off and running. Doubt has a voice that says “Oh no, you can’t do that.” There are paranoid voices that keep us in fear, and victim voices that allow us to rage. When we chase after these thoughts, seduced by their call, we find ourselves taken down into dark passageways. More thoughts await us there, thoughts that beat us up for having listened, thoughts that evoke dark emotions that bring on even darker thoughts. Once we engage, we become tangled in an underworld of knotted roots that refuses to let us go. This is our suffering.

Part of the healing journey is looking within. While our thoughts are titilating, our emotions are downright seductive. Let’s say, for example, that you have a history of being rejected. A friend backs out of a commitment because something in their personal life makes it impossible for them to follow through. You can listen graciously, and let it go, or you can listen to that rejection voice that says “This is because there is something wrong with me.”  Then down you go, sucked into the rejection rabbit hole, fighting with your self to resurface. If you have reached a point in your life where you want to change, if you are tired of being drawn down into these vortices, the first place to look is at what you are thinking, and why. If you have unresolved issues that you have cemented over, for example, they still unconsciously guide your thought processes. 

From the shamanic perspective we are ancient souls having a physical experience here on planet earth. Suffering is one of our greatest teachers on this journey. We can use it to become conscious of what in us needs to heal, so we can evolve past our wounding into empowerment, or we can simply exist, and live in an unconscious hell. If you are ready to evolve, instead of loop around in murky rabbit holes, you must first look at the thoughts that drive your suffering, and then ask why you are choosing to think them. They point to what you paved over, to what has not yet been healed. Once these unconscious wounds are resolved, the higher self, or soul consciousness, can be used to refocus the mind, and suffering becomes optional. Soul consciousness is to the mind what the master is to the dog. It acts as an outside witness, teaching the mind it to wait in stillness for just the right action. We can hear this voice, if we listen, guiding us on which thoughts to think, and which to let pass by. It is always there, but until we heed its wisdom, we will continue to be lured by the luscious rabbits of our unconscious mind, and we will invariably find ourselves trapped within their dark holes. 


Christina Allen, Shamanic Healer, Teacher, and Founder and Director of the Austin Shamanic Center, combines a strong science (BA Physics, MS Neuroscience) background with decades of applied ancient spiritual wisdom (Master Yogi, Reiki Master, Shamanic Healer, based, in part, on Q’ero Indian traditions of Peru). ASC offers profound Shamanic Self Development Workshops, professional trainings, and personal healings. Learn more at

© Austin All Natural, February, 2018.

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