FAQ

Has change ever happened while you were feeling good? We do not have to feel bad to change, as I am sure you know from your own life experiences. Actually, feeling bad more often demotivates than motivates. Negative emotion can “wake you up” from what you don’t want to what you do want, and point you toward your potential for joy, but the moment you notice and use it, you no longer need it. Wallowing in it is a different thing and is never needed. Since discovering the joy within, I have not done that and still have experienced wonderful change nonetheless; for me its just that the bar was now higher and so change did not go from negative to good, it went from good to better. Finally, it levels out where not even change is desired, as peace and equanimity are already the case (and yet change still happens).
What does “to heal” mean? Does it mean to feel good (in the now and in every now)? Would it mean to stay with the present joy that is only available here, now? Does “healing” mean to get or receive learning, understanding?

Our learning, understanding, can only come from taking on a different, wider perspective, now. Suffering is by nature a very narrow perspective. An open, wide perspective comes with feeling better (and vice versa). Feeling better is done now, and learning comes now. “Going into the past” replays suffering now, re-lives the suffering now, it narrows the now and will bring little or no understanding of suffering now.

There isn’t even any such thing as the past. It is just your memory of the past; it’s just a thought now. Don’t let a memory of the past be your identity in the present. You know the past, now, without needing words, without needing to tell the story (which can trigger associations and pain in others, too).  Practice feeling good, practice Alchemy, and sustaining it, then reflect on a past situation. People have had major “ah-has” doing this because there is more wisdom available, and also because when we feel better we are far more receptive to the learning that does come.

If you started feeling good, and you acknowledged it as real, would there be a problem now? (Would you still need to go “into the past” now?)

Beyond getting lessons, you are whole and healed when you stop thinking that you are not, and that does not need time or the past. In fact, it requires that you stop dredging up the past to suffer over now. If something you cling to from the past is repeating in your present, use Alchemy in the now, in this present moment, where it is the most powerful. It is also the only time you can use it.

No. I cannot teach or write about Zen, and you cannot learn Zen just by reading; it is something that you must explore with a Zen Master. The Alchemy of Love and Joy™ is a practice of mindfulness, choice, and non-attachment. Zen is much more.
The body has its own built-in pharmacy and works to keep us healthy but extreme, extended suffering can drag it down. Negative thinking-feeling is manifested physically; the body and mind are not separate, and if one has suffered for a long time, the  chemistry of the brain can change, as happened to Dad. At that point, medication (hopefully combined with re-learning how to feel good), may be needed. Ideally, we’d avoid this extreme. Dad was on antidepressants, and they did not stop suicide.
By the time you are aware of the thought, you already had it, and you are already feeling the effect. (You probably noticed it because of the negative feeling). Did you control that first thought? You can’t change a thought that has already happened. And while we are at it, go ahead, try and force a good thought on top of a bad feeling. It doesn’t work, does it? Instead, just notice the feeling, and move your attention from it onto something better feeling. Then good thought-feelings will easily follow.
Important for what? We are not denying human emotions, however this sounds like a justification for suffering. What if “being human” meant we could primarily be free and joyful? Nobody who has ever partially or completely eliminated suffering (and there are people who have), has “suffered” from it. When we drop believing we must suffer is when we experience the great healing power of love and joy.
When your attention is on a negative thought or feeling, that is where it is, on what you don’t want. This is very simple and direct.

In this practice I have found that I do not need to ask people what they don’t want. There is enough knowing (without them speaking it, and without my asking) for them to know that. What is more challenging is knowing what they do want. You get good at what you practice, and the more time you spend on the habit of what you do not want, the harder it is to get in touch with what you do want. And as a society, what we don’t want is what we have been practicing and teaching people to focus on.

An astounding number of people have difficulty knowing (or expressing) what they do want—not because they don’t know what they don’t want, but because they know it too well (and nothing else). It is becoming apparent to me that this single habit (focusing on the unwanted) may be one of the greatest contributors to suffering, and it is also the most exciting opportunity for simple, dramatic, magnificent, and lasting change, as you make the positive direction of The Alchemy of Love and Joy™ habitual.

Suffering is not “bad,” as in feeling bad “should not” happen. Thinking that it is bad is what binds you to it. It is just another experience. Just notice it, and use it to find your freedom of choice and joy of being. Use suffering for the only thing it is good for, to point you toward joy. —Seek Joy!

Is enjoying feeling good easy? Is a life time of suffering easy? Are you going to believe that bad thought-feeling into being and put it in your way? Do you want this thought more than you want to feel good? How does “It’s not easy” feel? If not good, then do the practice, and ask yourself: “What do I want, instead of ‘It’s not easy’”?
No. Imagination is the slippery mind, and that nice beach could all too easily include the lover who left you as they run away in the sand with someone new. Alchemy is not about imagination. Imagination is about the past or future, or something other than what is now. Alchemy uses the power of now. Past memories (or future or unreal imaginings) are weak compared to that. Don’t think about what you had, or what you want to have in the future, to base a concocted feeling on.

Imagination can only rearrange whatever is already believed known; it can only rearrange that which you are already limited by—a snarl of memories and false perceptions and needs. With Alchemy something not previously seen can be known—as what was always already the case, so it needs no imagination.

Images, thoughts, sounds, and even smells may arise in the now, but do not seek them and do not repress them. Ignore anything that does not feel better. Your job is to keep your attention on the good feeling and enjoying and appreciating it.

No. It may some day be adopted as one of the techniques because I am a Master NLP Practitioner, and I have distributed the practice to everyone free. However, I have requested that it be known as The Alchemy of Love and Joy™ because beyond the simple questions there are many key understandings in this book that are integral to the practice, and which enable you to make powerful use of the questions.

I don’t use NLP much now because many of the techniques employ “going into the past,” often triggering suffering, and I have found I do not need to do that (people are already far too good at suffering). I do use some very powerful personal NLP skills in facilitating The Alchemy of Love and Joy™ and some of the “in-the-moment” NLP techniques.

After the questions came to me, I realized that the first question was similar to an NLP question, but with one tiny but very massive, critical difference. In NLP they use the word “want,” for example, “How do you want to be?” And want implies: (1) you don’t have it, and (2) that it is something, sometime, somewhere in the future. So even if you get temporarily jazzed up with a few good-sounding words, it is not truly believed, it is not fully embodied, and it is still only how you “want” to be.

This is why I am very particular about the words and their order in the question: “How does it feel?” That means right here, right now, and directs attention into the body, into the feeling, and away from thinking. In order to answer it, you must go inside and feel it; you must shift state.

When working with people, because they are not already feeling it and due to habit, they sometimes change the question and ask, “You mean how do I want to feel?” or “You mean how would it feel?” Those are in the future and attached to some need, and can be quickly mentally answered with mere thought and without a shift in state, so I immediately correct that and repeat, “No, how does it feel?” They quickly get the idea. This question did not come from thinking up a good question to ask. It came from remembering how I actually went into the body and felt for what I wanted, now.

If anything, Alchemy is most similar to “being in the now.” No doubt my understandings and what I share have been influenced by everything I have ever read, heard, and learned in my life; however, The Alchemy of Love and Joy™ has its own truly spontaneous birthing story. It arose from my accidental “discovery” of how to stop my own suffering; it arose from experiential alchemy.

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