Cool People I Know: Edward Mannix III

edwardI met Edward when he became my roommate/tenant at my newly-bought old house in South Austin in 2006. Although he only lived at the casita for about six months, we’ve remained friends over the years and have marveled at the course each of our paths have taken. Back then, he was working in the financial industry and I was delivering take-out, partying too much, and preparing for my first year as an elementary school teacher.

Fast forward several years, and Edward had quit the financial biz and moved to Bali, where he met and married his life partner and authored a groundbreaking spiritual manifesto entitled Reinventing Truth. It’s all about the common and pervasive pitfalls that many of us encounter on the spiritual path, from writing-off negative experiences with the concept of “the silver lining” to desiring to eradicate one’s own big, bad ego.

Last year, he published his second book, Impossible Compassion, which posits that the most powerful force on the planet is each individual’s capacity for compassion. Edward outlines a simple, unique method of personal and planetary healing called Directed Compassion. He also works one-on-one with people in person or via phone or Skype using Directed Compassion technique, which is a visualization meditation with the intention to forgive and give compassion to younger versions of your self in order to heal old wounds.

I experienced a session with Edward in which we focused on my brother’s drug addiction. It was a very positive experience, and I felt lighter and more relaxed afterward. His books are straightforward, user-friendly, and focused on sharing personal practices with the reader, in addition to explaining interesting theories on interlocking karma.

In Impossible Compassion, Edward recommends going back to early childhood in order to let go of old wounds. I personally have no real negative memories of my childhood. My first conscious negative experiences to which I could apply Directed Compassion were around age 14… So I asked Edward, should I just start there?

His reply:

“The key thing is to trace back the feeling you are feeling now about the issue you are focused on and to trace it back to the earliest and/or strongest time you felt that same feeling before, even if the circumstances of the memory seem totally unrelated to the present situation. Most often, I find we are working with childhood memories, but I have found that on occasion memories from teenage years are the right ones to work with. A memory from the age of 14 is not per se too old to work with, but I would want to be pretty sure that there was nothing older and deeper before beginning to work with 14 year old version of someone (or myself if this came up in self-practice). This is pretty much a felt sense situation, meaning, you should just know when you’ve found the right past episode to bring out and process. Worst case you start with the “wrong one” and during that process you maybe stumble upon the deeper/older issue, and then you can process that one too. As long as we keep our intention focused on resolving the issue, innate intelligence should help us unravel the ball of yarn, get to the root of the issue and transform it with compassion.

One other thing about this – sometimes we end up accessing birth memories or infant memories which are beyond the reach of our ordinary memories. I had a session not long ago with a woman whose parents separated when she was around 1 year old – this was obviously prior to her known memories, but this experience really broke her heart, and this initial heart break has created/promulgated a pattern of heart break throughout her life that she has been unable to address and basically had very little chance of addressing without going back to the source of the wound. Essentially, all of the causes of our adult problems have their first expression prior to our age of physical maturity – sometimes first expression happens in the early teen years, but most often it is in the single digit years (8 or 9 is somewhat common, but most often is 5 and younger).

I hope this additional info helps, and thanks again for blogging about me and my books.”

I highly recommend Edward’s books and absolutely agree with his message that compassion can heal us, both individually and collectively. Learn more about Edward’s teachings at edwardmannix.com.

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