Thursday, December 27, 2012

Finally a plain English introduction to the world of yogic meditation and relaxation : A simple Nuts and Bolts Guide to Meditation and Relaxation

Finally a plain English introduction to the world of yogic meditation and relaxation : A simple Nuts and Bolts Guide to Meditation and Relaxation

This booklet outlines the basics, drawn from across a number traditions. It doesn't try to say that this is the only right way as some dogmatic tomes do, rather it recommends an experiential  try it and judge for yourself approach.

Arwen Jayne is an author of fantasy/sci fi stories with a mix of the erotic and the spiritual, drawing again on a number of traditions.  Her non-traditionalist style is reflected in this non-fiction guide to meditation. The meditations are all simple and easy to do. Background information explaining yogic anatomy and terms that might be needed to help the practitioner further their interest are provided.

The booklet is well suited for those who want to know how to do meditation without the usual overload of religious doctrine.  The spiritual side is still there but it is presented as a way of using meditation.  Its your choice whether you use the meditations to simply relax and find inner peace or to start a spiritual journey to uncovering the oneness that is always present within us all.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The bliss of non-judgmental awareness

Just sitting, enjoying the inner stillness, silence and space.  Being aware of the space around me.  Being aware of the noisy chatter of self, of doubts and second guessing - not trying to interfere with it, just letting it be, without judgement.  Being really aware of the sound, sight, smell, taste and feel of all of it, not just the self  but everything as far as I can perceive with the senses - letting it just be what it is. Not judging. The peace of it.  Wow!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A vision of unfolding space, a waterlily of light

I've been feeling quite a bit tired since Thursday.  At first I thought it had just been an excessive amount of concentration while I was at an interesting workshop. By yesterday I knew I had slight flare-up of my candida problem and I had a mouth ulcer last night.  Still feeling a little run down this morning, despite the cold sore having eased, I took a moment to just become aware of my body and to see what it told me. I was immediately aware of a tension, a straining. I realized I'd been straining after some early experience with meditation on space, silence and stillness. The more I had been trying the more I had been spinning in circles, chasing my tail.

I took a moment to be aware of the straining.  Not to try to diminish it or change it or even control it. Simply to trust that within that experience was a point of stillness.  I surrendered to awareness of that, then the silence, then the emptiness.

A blue light birthed within my mind's eye, as it often does when I do work on the third eye but this was not the intense electric blue swirling vortex I've usually seen.  Rather it was a soft, vast blue, an ocean of sorts.  With that ocean there was suddenly a white light, tinged with green and yellow.  It appeared to take shape, forming petals of an unfolding flower, a luminous waterlily.  I didn't analyse it so I can't say how many petals it had but the vision was breath-taking.  I wanted to photograph or paint it. In the meantime, it seemed important so I'm blogging it and maybe later I can refer back to this when I am able to understand its symbology.

Interestingly, I had a cup of herbal tea after and reread a chapter of Healing with Form, Energy and Light by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. On page 9 of the paperback version he gives the colours of the five lights, according to the Bon tradition. White for space, Yellow for earth, Green for air, Red for fire and Blue for water.  Quite different from the usual colour correspondence but when I applied it to my vision it resonated for me with perhaps the blue being a primordial ocean, the white of the waterlily being an unfolding awareness of the element of space, tinged with groundedness and knowledge that it springs from.  The only thing that was missing perhaps was red which represents bliss in the Bon tradition. I imagine that if that had been in the vision it might have been like flames dancing on the tops of the petals.

I'm starting to feel better now, picking up as the day goes on but I think I'll semi-fast for the rest of the day, to clear the system.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's Plain English Dzogchen: the meditation on stillness, space and silence

I've been exploring non-duality for a year or so now and during that time I've kept coming across the word Dzogchen.  I hate the use of jargon, all the religious terms that exclude those of us who seek to find our own inner peace without reliance on gurus, priests and other external experts. My intuition said that it was important to find out what this thing was but all my Google searches were just coming up with so much gobbledygook   The little I found seemed to point to it being about space and light so I started playing with that on my own.

I asked myself "What is space?"  We don't think about it much.  Usually our brain focuses on form, noise and motion. If you look at the famous Rubin's vase the brain will usually focus first on the vase before it notices the outline of the faces.

Space surrounds everything. It doesn't judge us. It can't be harmed, shaped or molded to our will. Its inside us, within the spaces between our atomic particles, between our cells and inside our body cavities. Its outside us and connects with everything in the known universe  from the room or place we are sitting now to the outer known reaches of the universe. Its essence is spaciousness, silence and stillness.  It forms the ground for all things, motion and sound.

I found that just switching my awareness to the spaces between things was quite calming so I looked at how I might incorporate the awareness into my meditation practice  I chose to do this by working with the senses and with my thoughts.  Taking internal images I visualized them being surrounded by space.  I did this with sounds and smell as well. For touch I just visualized the space surrounding and touching my skin. For me this was all powerfully awareness shifting. I've always known there were five elements in the old healing and magical systems but had never really given much thought to space.

Still frustrated about not finding what I was looking for on the web I resorted to my own library, burrowing through some books I had by Tibetan authors and found a short section in the back of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's "Healing with Form, Energy and Light".  This was short but refreshingly simple so I started looking for what more he might have done on the subject.  A YouTube search on his name uncovered an eight part introductory lecture called the Fivefold Teachings of Dawa Gyaltsen. Again these were easy to understand and I put them into practice right away, finding the spaciousness of mind he was talking about. It seemed to me something worth pursuing further, that if mastered it was a switch I could use quickly and easily anytime I needed without needed a long involved meditation. Just five short minutes seemed to give profound results. I went looking for more and found Awakening the Luminous Mind: Tibetan meditation for inner peace and joy”. Its cliche to say this but this was so clear and simple I really wished someone had given it to me at birth. Life would have been so much easier. Yet despite its simplicity you don't want to rush through it. There is much in here to consider and reflect on. Concepts like the pain body, pain speech and the pain mind and how we can use spaciousness to change our relationship to them. The three things humans do when faced with a problem is denial/avoidance, resisting/trying to change it or simply allowing it. We all know the first gets us nowhere, we keep getting the same problem presented to us. Trying to change the problem saps our energy and resources (I think it was either Bob Frissell or Leonard Orr who said resistance leads to persistence). Finally we can simply choose to see the problem and say "it is what it is", allow it, then shift our awareness to the space around it. Its that shift of awareness that can change our perspective on the problem, even to the extent that with some things we suddenly see "it" wasn't the problem but instead our own image of it and reaction to it that was giving us grief. In this way we travel the path towards integration and oneness.

I particularly like the way Tenzin has given us these teachings in clear, plain English without all the usual dogma that would normally obscure it. You're not required to join a religion to practice it or spend several years learning something else before you can start using it. Like the Kabbalah the teachings of Dzogchen now seem to be being revealed to the general mass of the population, no longer hidden in secrecy and coded language.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Changing the collective mind, changing the world

The world is a mirror, a reflection if you will, of the collective mind. If you want to change the world you need to change that mind. We are all cells of that interconnected mind. Change our own thoughts and they have the potential to spread through the network of the mind like contagion.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Coming to terms with the gap between our wished for view of reality and what is

There is a simple formula for frustration.  First take the reality of a situation thing or person then try to impose on it/them what you think they could be if they reached their full potential, responded to your efforts to control or in other ways complied with what you think could be.  The resulting gap is the cause of frustration. A variety of carrot and stick approaches have been used throughout time to try and bring about change at the individual and societal level: fear, ostracism, monetary gain, social position, prestige, propaganda, conditioning. Sometimes temporary change can be brought about by these measures but remove the incentive or disincentive and what we tried to control usually reverts to its original state or else something unintended.  Its basic physics really, remove the heat from the boiling water and the steam will revert back from its gaseous state back into water.  Sometimes things don't revert exactly back to what they were but are still not what we intended.

There is a temptation to think that things, people and events are the way they are due to simple causes such as a bad upbringing, politicians succumbing to the gravy train, pollution causing global climate change.  Reality is often more complex than that. Bob Frissell in his book "Nothing in this book is true but that's exactly how things are" puts his finger on it when he says that we don't look far enough back in the causes of things. We tend to blame the latest obvious causes in a long string of causes and effects. If a child is bullied we are tempted to look to the bullies as the cause but not what made them bullies.  If we do follow the chain of causes as far back as we can go then we probably get all the way back to the first humans or maybe the ancestors of us and the chimps. So who is to blame for the deficiencies in our world? No-one or everyone?

Our power rests not in attempting to change others but in finding how we ourselves exhibit or influence the very thing we criticize,  taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions, accepting what we are and changing what we can. We can be the very break in the chain of cause and effect that we are seeking. Like it or not what we will choose to change is what will give us the biggest pay back for effort. When we see ourselves as part of a greater connected whole then the usual benefit to self gets broadened out to our extended self, the pleasure and happiness of another is our pleasure and happiness.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Oneness: is it union, merger, loss of boundary - does it really matter?

In an attempt to deepen my understanding of my own experiences of oneness I've been reading what some of the religious paths to it have to say about it. The immediate frustration I faced with attempting this was all the contradictions and of course everyone thinks they've got it right an everyone else has it wrong.

I've listened to Adyashanti and Eckhart Tolle on Youtube.  I've tried to get my head around the different Shiva Hindu sects as well as Advaita (non-dualist Hindu traditions), the gnosticism of Tau Malachi and of course Kaballah.  Conspiracy writers like David Icke and Bob Frissell also have much of worth on the topic. I've tried to compare what they say back to my own experiences derived through meditation, moment in time insights and one experiment with a legal plant substance.

For me, my own experience was a loss of the conditioned self and a loss of boundary between the rest of creation.  It was a realization that I am the limiting factor, the blockage so to speak, creating my experience of existence as a singular entity when the other reality is - vast! It was a realization that I normally experience a world limited by my five senses, my conditioned ego self and co-created by the other parts of myself (other people, animals, plants and the planet) who are just as constrained by their own senses and conditioning, by fear, anger and self doubt.

The different religious views seem to describe oneness in one of three ways:

  • Loss of boundary/ Loss of distinction between subject and object.
  • Merger with the all pervading consciousness (dissolving back into the source consciousness) - the idea is that our individuality was only every an illusion necessary for the divine to experience the world of matter.
  • Union (as in intimate closeness) with the all pervading consciousness (this is the path followed by those who want to evolve to be like the source or cling to it like a devoted lover
Frankly, faced with this confusion of paths where I'm at for the moment is trusting that love is the key to growing and increasing the frequency of the times I experience oneness and that on a practical level I need to look at what I am doing or believing that gets in the way. Accepting some responsibility for the state of the world I experience and trying to observe it without criticizing it.  The most profound idea I've come across in the last few days is that everything and everyone in the world is the way they are because I needed them to be that way and I helped to co-create them that way. I know that before know I wouldn't have been able to accept that level of responsibility or would have even railed against it.  Once I would have said that if I hadn't directly acted upon something then "its not my fault", "I didn't do it" because I saw them as outside of my experience of reality, separate from my own thoughts and beliefs.  Now I'm not so sure - everything is so connected and I believe we are just one consciousness that for some reason has compartmentalized itself.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Heart of Stone by Arwen Jayne - a bit naughty and lot enlightening

Australian author Arwen Jayne has just released her first novella Heart of Stone as an ebook on Amazon At $2.99US it is modestly priced.

On one level this simple, lighthearted and fast paced, very Australian, paranormal erotic romance is a little bit naughty and quite a bit kinky. Underlying all that is a deeper message about love that is all accepting, transcends taboos and arbitrary values and connects us with the all pervading consciousness of the universe.

The heroine Tyra is a soon to be retired librarian.  She is woken in the middle of the night to find her uncle has died and a destiny she didn't know she had calls her to a small Australian country town.  To fulfill her destiny she must find her own liberation and make a bond of love that exceeds normal human limits. Tyra must let go of obstacles she has placed in the path of love and let go of boundaries of self and mortality.  And of course there's an ancient evil out to stop her.

There is some gay sex and bondage as well as left-hand tantra which may be confronting to some readers but no doubt this was part of the author's intention to challenge taboos and arbitrary social values. 

A paperback version is expected out in October 2012 and will also be available on Amazon.  A sequel is expected out in 2013.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chakra Correspondences: Geometry, Number, Note, Location and Colour

Since my successes with third eye mediation earlier this year I've been experimenting with mediation on the other chakras.  The table below is a result of my own observations as well as influenced by numerous writers such as Ted Andrews in Sacred Sounds and GRS Mead's Simon Magus (Mead, G.R.S. (1892). Simon Magus. Theosophical Publishing Society) which contained a copy of Simon Magus's Diagram of Simonian Aeonolgy which is also on Wikipedia and further explained by Simon's "Great Declaration". gives a good overview of the Great Declaration.

I hazard to say that the practice of yoga and meditation are not religion but rather experiential.  As such the experiences of people around the world who undertake this type of exercise, by whatever name they choose to give it, are manifestly similar. For instance mediation on the lower chakras generates a kind of warmth at the base of the spine. It also stimulate the sex hormones. Yoga practitioners seek to raise this energy up the spine to activate the energy centers above. If you have blockages immediately above this chakra then you can easily get bogged down in hedonistic stuff and make no further progress.  I think a better approach might be to start with heart chakra mediation then work progressively outwards, over some weeks, with the chakras either side. In this way the complementary nature of say the solar plexus and throat chakra and then the hara and third eye keep you balanced.  Finally include work on the outer root and crown chakras, connect and balancing them.   I got my inspiration for this polarity approach from Esoteric Anatomy by Bruce Burger. Once you are sure you have adequately worked with and balanced all your chakras then you can do a bottom from the top meditation without fear of getting stuck at any points along the way. The ultimate aim being to connect Shiva with Shakti.  I sometimes use an electronic guitar tuner to help me sound the right note for each chakra.

I make no claims for the following table being definitive.  It is purely what I've worked out for myself through insights and what I've experienced, tried and read. I've tried to take the jargon out of it.  A lot of people get the location of the heart chakra wrong, thinking it to be lower down on the sternum but being a shiatsu therapist I go for where the indent is on the sternum. Also I believe that the location of the root chakra is slightly different for men and women but I'll leave it for someone braver than me to explain that - look it up on Google!  For more information, but full of jargon, try the explanation on Wikipedia

Finally: the number values I give relate to sacred geometry, not the number of petals on each chakra as stated in the Hindu tradition. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When ordinary life becomes meditation

I've started working through Jay Michaelson's "God in your body: kabbalah, mindfulness and embodied spiritual practice".  The first exercise he gives is in mindfulness. I took the time to try this.  I made a batch of my favourite gluten free vegan sorghum scones, doing them as welsh scones on the frypan. I thought about each ingredient as I added it to the bowl: the sorghum flour, chia seeds, psyllium, sunflowers (for crunch), coconut oil and a pinch of salt.  I took a moment to enjoy the stirring, observing the texture and consistency.  I shaped them and placed them in a pre-warmed frypan, turning them when they browned on one side. I made a cup of green tea, plucked a scone from the pan and settled done to mindfully consider it.  What was its shape, colour and texture? I enjoyed the toasty smell and the warmth of the scone in my fingers.  It was crisp but yet had a slight amount of moisture in the heat rising off it. I took a bit and savoured the taste, the texture, the warmth and the flow of saliva in my mouth. As I chewed I considered where the ingredients might have come from, the lives of the people that grew them, the gas that had fired the stove and where it might have come from, the transport involved in getting it to the line of merchants and me as the buyer. I swallowed and felt the food descend.  I tried to imagine it in my stomach and took a moment to savour the satisfaction of having food in my stomach, nourishing me. It was an amazing piece of scone. Surely a better way to "say grace" than a few rote words.

I've thought much about this in the few days since and I've realised ANYTHING can be used as a meditation.  Travelling home on the bus tonight I made the effort to notice the smell inside the bus (no not bad - just bus-y), to listen to kids playing on the floor (trying to neither like or dislike their noise but just to notice it), to feel the motion of the bus as it went around corners, to consider the texture and fabric of the seats and the metal trim - who made them and how? Strangely the whole trip seemed very short.

I'm like a child again, rediscovering the world, the wonder and delight of it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Before and After Awakening: Surrender

In awakening the path I experienced was paved with these stepping stones:

  • realising the limits of the five sense reality
  • mindfulness/being in the now
  • love (compassion, forgiveness, compassion, courage, trust, acceptance), loving others as myself, loving myself as all.
  • surrender
After awakening I know who I really am but a choice I face in every moment is to chose between the ego's "created self" and the "one self" that is everything (and nothing). Its a constant choice in which perspective to operate from and indeed reminding myself that I have that choice. Each moment presents me with opportunities to let go, to surrender - to allow everything to be what it is.  "it is what it is" is an affirmation that applies to people, things and events.  I forgot this today and suffered for it but listening to Adyashanti's talk on surrender (parts 1-10) on Youtube (starts with ) gave me the nourishment I needed to realise this choice I now face in each moment - to surrender or to not surrender and therefore chose to suffer. Adya says this is a stage and eventually there is a going beyond this choice as the choice no longer needs to be made because there is complete surrender.

Studying kabbalah made me acutely and painfully aware of my ego and how it operates to fulfill its needs.  Neuroscience showed me the power of the mind and made me acutely aware of how I create my own reality through what I give attention to. Awakening has made me more acutely aware of how my conditioned self operates and causes me unnecessary suffering. These things were always there but I am conscious of them now, I observe them.

I am discovering how much I prefer experience as a learning tool although I find much nourishment and signposts in what others say and write. I friend told me about the Buddhist concept of "pointing at the moon":

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A simple road map to awakening

My current understanding, based on my own experience and reading is as follows:

The Five Sense Reality
When we're at the bottom we have to get past the materialist-rationalist model that we are taught - aka this is the world as it is - a solid reality that we are born into as sentient mammals, we live, we die - that's it folks! - Make the most of it while you're here!

Getting past the five sense reality barrier
A number of reflections or experiences will get you past this:
  • near death experiences
  • paranormal experiences
  • experiencing the power of the mind to heal or create our own reality
  • or simply a thought - hey! what if what I perceive is like a PC which is limited by what is inputted from the keyboard, webcam, microphone etc.  Maybe what I experience is only a fraction of what there is.
Now just in case we make this leap there are a couple of quagmires or sand traps set up to block further realisation or simply to get us to doubt it.  

Trap A 
This is called the control trap - it is set up to keep you distracted by keeping you busy chasing achievement, money, jobs and education to pay your bills, put your children through school, pay for that mega-expensive marriage your family said you had to have and doing all that stay on the right side of the law, pay your taxes and be a good dutiful citizen. That should be enough to keep you way too busy to find time to escape the suffering and stress of it all.  But in case you do start to this trap has built in fail safes called, wars, economic depression, racial and religious hatred etc. Its basic premise is that if you don't achieve in life you will be a failure, which leads to guilt and low self-worth.

Trap B
This trap is far more insidious. It seduces you with comfort. Spend your life watching movies, drinking at the cafe, holidaying at the trendy five star resort or in vogue destination, buying the new fashions, going to the latest rock concert, partying, yachting on the Riviera etc. Its basic premise is that if you are not happy, not one of the beautiful people, you're a failure, which leads to guilt and low self-worth.  There is all sorts of "help" available to tell you what you need to do to be and stay happy. Actually a certain amount of restlessness and feeling that something is amiss is an indication that you're tossing in you're sleep and have the potential to wake up.

The two traps interact and overlap.

The escape path requires us to realise the nature of the two traps, we can't keep elements of them out of our lives all together unless we want to live in a cave but we can chose not to identify with them. Observe them but don't buy-in to the traps. This doesn't mean you have to give up you job or sailing on the Riviera etc, its not what you do in this world that matters, its how you identify and react to it. Anything can be used for exercises in present moment mindfulness, compassion and treating all as yourself. We start by saying "I love you" and extending it in our minds to include ourselves, those we obviously love, everyone else and everything else.  See the suffering of those trapped in the traps and develop compassion for all of them. This isn't about pity, its about understanding that the "them" is you. You can do this by mentally putting yourself in their shoes, feel what their suffering might be and its burden on them, breathe that it and breathe out love. If this is difficult because you don't like the person, animal or thing that you are focusing this on just remember that they aren't how they have defined themselves either. We are vibration, existing in a field of energy with no boundaries.

Getting past the ego/self barrier
  • Don't seek it, do it ... don't waste a lifetime following what others tell about how to awaken (including this blog post), at best these can only be hints, direct experience is the only way. Our default state is awake to our oneness - to wake up let go of your identifications.
  • Understand what leading edge quantum theorists and other thinkers are saying: we are all one and start living your life on the premise that that is true.
  • Live in the present moment, practicing mindfulness in everything. One pointed meditation and brainwave entrainment may help but should be seen as optional tools, many other ways are possible.
  • Be willing to let go of all your identifications: the reflection in the mirror, your body and its state, your past story of upbringing and life experiences, your goals and desires (as something that exist in the future)...

It may help to envision that these identifications are just layers of clothing that cover the naked awareness of oneness.  Or imagine that oneness has divided itself, within the context of this world, in to different characters so it can play out a game for the purpose of experiencing itself. Its sort of like a sim earth virtual game that can be played multiple times until the player, the one consciousness, works out what variables are necessary for all the characters in the game to realise its only a game and finish the game the way it way meant to be finished - recreating paradise with the power of collective mind.

Levels of understanding beyond that
There are most probably levels to this that I am either not aware of or as yet only dimly guess at. Something immeasurable, infinite and incorruptible...who knows. Getting past the barriers and starting the journey is a good place to start.

Letting Go of attachment to a past awakening experience

After digesting all that came to me during my recent meditation awakening experience I came to the realisation that the next thing I needed to do was let it go.  To keep my mediation present focused I need to keep it free of distraction from expectations and memories of past mediation experiences. Awakening as I experienced it was the result of letting go of identifications of the self, surrendering to the experience and just being in the moment.  I wasn't going to get another experience like it unless I let the last one go - which is after all now only an imperfect memory in the mind - its no longer based in the experience of the now.

I'm still using brainwave entrainment with my meditation.  Now experimenting with Lambda, Gamma and Epsilon brainwaves.  The Epsilon so far seems to be very grounding.  The Lambda gives a sensation of healing and wholeness.

I've been having some amazingly detailed early morning dreams which I don't seem to have any difficulty remembering.  I've had the experience of asking questions of characters in my dreams that I've got answers to - usually driving me to a bit of googling the next day. For example, two travellers who rescued me from some pursuers and healed me told me, when asked, that they were sifu.  I googled that one expecting that it would be somehow related to a nomadic tribe or some sufi term but it turned out to be a Cantonese word meaning master (as in an apprentice's master).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pineal gland/ third eye awakening

After some weeks of one-pointed meditating on the third eye I now realise there is a fourth level or stage to this meditation.  Getting past the relaxation, the light that plays on the screen behind my eyelids and the sense of spaciousness I found my self dissolving - at least my ego self.  This was startling to say the least.  It didn't last long - just a glimpse.  The next day I was reading some David Icke.  After all the conspiracy stuff in the middle of his books he usually gives some paractical solutions at the end. I can't find the exact quote but it was along the lines of "you are not your name, you are not your story, you are not the reflection in the mirror".  As I read those words it was like a light flash in my head and a great weight fell off me - I finally "got" it - it was no longer an abstract intellectualisation.  I went to bed to sleep on it but woke up at three in the morning feeling again like I was dissolving and at the same time ecstatically happy with tears streaming down my face.  I was like that for what seemed like and hour or two.  Finally I had the presence of mind to say to myself - "just breathe", "witness it". I felt truly grateful for the experience.

The next day though I felt deeply restless and in need of reassurance about what I had experienced.  I got on the web looking searching for information about nirvana but that didn't do it for me I think because so many writers equate nirvana with a bliss state and that wasn't it for me - it was more a falling away of the conditioned self revealing what is always there underneath all that, although some say the Buddha called it "cessation" which seems to me more applicable.  Tried searching on "Samadhi"and yes there did seem to be some levels of this that described it and what I was feeling afterward.  Then I came across writers like Andreas Mamet, Adyashanti and Nirmala who seemed to be describing it - something called a Non-dual tradition.

Andreas Mamet says in Sutras for Contemporary Times that there are awakenings that come from one pointed meditation on four of the chakras: the hara or second chakra, the heart chakra, the third eye and the crown or top of the head.  They apparently differ in quality, third eye awakenings presenting in a "clear and luminous" way.  My intuition says to work my meditation next with my hara for stability and balance. Especially as it took me nearly a week after my awakening to stop feeling like a bit of flotsom slopping around on an unsettled sea.  Mamet says that "when consciousness really happens it comes at you with the subtlety of a nuclear explosion" and that "the event leaves one reeling and dealing with this explosion and the need of connecting it with the continuing ordinariness of life, which does not stop".  I can really resonate with this. I am very glad that it hit me just before a five day break but even then its taken all of 9 days to get a little steadiness back.

I think to be honest that one could achieve this state without mediation - an "aha' moment where the veils of conditioned reality fell off. Possibly also through a near-death experience.  But I can only relay my own experience of how it happened for me.  I certainly don't see it as an end in itself, more of a beginning and I intend to keep meditating and learning from it. Certainly there are no initial outward changes in my ordinary everyday conditioned self/persona - may be there won't be, may be there will - does it really even matter to me now. One thing I've noticed as a consequence though is I feel a whole lot less fear of death and loss. The contradictions on this planet I now see as "they are what they are", there is not a sense of being in opposition to those contradiction.  I'm going to have to weed a lot of the books in my library that I now see as a lot of twaddle.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pineal Gland Mediation: spaciousness and letting go of the analytic overlay

As described in my last post I've been doing pineal gland mediation using a mix of techniques from those outlined by Jill Ammon-Wexler I experienced three stages to the mediation:

  1. Relaxation - Breathing, letting go muscle tension, forgiving and letting go any baggage or future fears and slowly bringing the wandering mind to the focus point of the meditation
  2. Focus - focusing on the third eye and becoming aware of colours played on the screen behind the closed eye lids and awareness of sensations which a friend tells me are called "Nyam" in Tibetan Buddhism.  Then letting go of my attachment to these things, releasing all expectations and assumptions about the meditation session and going into next stage
  3. Spaciousness - one of the best descriptions of this I found on a page put out by Krishnamurti Australia "The meditative mind has no horizon... Meditation is opening the door into spaciousness which cannot be imagined or speculated upon... Silence and spaciousness go together. The immensity of silence is the immensity of the mind in which a center does not exist. The perception of this space and silence is not of thought." 

Russell Targ in Limitless Mind pulls ideas from Dzogchen to explain the distinction between conditioned experience and naked awareness as it relates to the experience of remote viewing.  Naked awareness arises when you let go of analysis, memory and imagination (the analytic overlay) and simply experience, naked of conditioning or expectations.  I think this has direct application to mediating where the need is to:

  • let go of the past and future and be mindful in the now (this includes forgiving the past and letting go of fears for the future in preparation for meditation).
  • let go of what we are told to expect in meditation, including this blog post
  • let go of our memory of previous meditations that might give us expectations in the present
  • witness the experience rather than analyse it
  • quiet the imagination.  If shapes or colours appear on the screen behind the eyes I don't analyse or try to interpret them or try to imagine greater detail in them. Just observe, let it be and let it pass.
Some of the Nyam, or sensations, that I have experienced so far during meditation, at random times and not all together, are:
  • a tingling over the third eye
  • a tingling over the crown chakra
  • skin crawling sensations in the scalp
  • a lightness around the eyes
  • a lightness in the head - not as in light-headedness - more like a cool, relaxed lightness.
  • heat in the body, particularly the hands
  • and a headache centred on the third eye, which I only go once and I think this came from getting stuck in the focus stage of the mediation, that is not releasing.
All these nyam are potential distractions, I witness them and let them pass. The time I got a headache I just stopped the meditation and had a break from doing any more mediation til it passed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gluten Free Vegan Scones

Pre heat oven to 220C
In a mixing bowl put
1 cup sweet sorghum flour
a table spoon of chia seeds
a table spoon of psyllium seeds
rub in about two tablespoons of coconut oil into the mixture
Add just enough water (usually only a tablespoon or so) to get a mixture you can knead in your hands. The mixture must be firm.

Shape into scone size amounts and put on a tray, greased with coconut oil and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the chia and psyllium to swell - this creates a semi-raised texture. They still won't rise as much as true scones but they are yummy and for non sugar eaters like me the sweet sorghum flour makes them taste quite sweet.
cook for 20 minutes
makes about 5-6 smallish "scones".
Blueberries or other flavourings can be added to the mixture to vary.

Learn a language using visualization

Certainly vizualisation shouldn't be the only method you use to practise and learn a foreign language but it can be a very effective way, especially when you're somewhere native speakers of the language are rare.

I'm currently enjoying an older out of print book called "Breakthrough Greek" to develop my understanding of modern Greek a bit further.  The beauty of their approach is using short dialogues with explanations on the facing page. I first read the dialogue through without reference to the vocabulary or explanations and see what my brain can work out based on what it already knows or can guess.  Then I read the vocab and explanations and reread the dialogue and practise saying it out load.  I've already learnt the alphabet but if I was learning that too I would write the passage out.  I then visualize having the conversation with another person. I mentally substitute some of the words with others I know. If the dialog covers stuff that's very new to me I leave it for a day or so then come back to it - this gives my brain time to have rewired. When I do meet a helpful native speaker I try some of it out.

Pineal Gland meditation part 2: surfing the brain

This is about my third week of meditating on the pineal gland using the techniques outlined in Jill Ammon-Wexler's ebook on the pineal gland. What I've learnt so far is not to try too hard or get hung up on the results. If my mind wants to wander then I let it muse a bit, valuable insights come from this, then I gently steer my focus back to resting my minds eye at that point between the brow. Sometimes the indigo colours I get at the start of mediation elude me and when that happens I surrender all expectations and either send love from my heart chakra to my third eye or do a breath through my nose and sending it towards the third eye, down into my abdomen and then breathing out through the mouth to really let go.

Once I'm "in" and my focus locks on then so far there seems to be a couple of distinct stages.  The first stage is experiencing the colours and lights on the screen behind the eyes.  This is heightened by wearing a light proof mask and using a darkened room.  I got a mask off ebay that has built in therapeutic magnets for the acupressure points and this seems to help greatly.  What I experienced last night during this phase was a world of light and an awareness of my body as light.  I experimented with how different thoughts and feelings and attitudes affected this light. I can't quite find the words to describe it yet.  The second phase I've experienced when I do a long mediation, about 40 minutes in the screen show stops and there is a sense that there is only consciousness and there is a sense of being everywhere and nowhere. Struggling to express it - it seems to be a loss of the sense of locality.

I'm still sometimes using Brainwave Tuner app on my android tablet, which I updated last week from the lite to the full version. The best one for me has been the sleeep induction which use to take me to the edge of sleep but I don't let myself go to sleep.  From my reading about brainwaves this would seem to be the best way to get into the delta waves of lucid dreaming or insights.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What if we wake up tomorrow all sharing the one mind?

What if...?
If we woke up tomorrow and we were all of one mind what would it mean?
If we could heal anyone by simply loving ourself and them as part of ourself?
If we could pull any idea we were interested in from the unified field of consciousness?
If we didn't need to protect ourself from ourself?
If we could travel anywhere in space and time with simply the thought?
If we didn't need even half of what we now need, let alone desire...?

If positive thinking is about visualizing an outcome and then giving thanks for it as if it already exists in our lives then maybe this is something worth pondering.

Experiencing Pineal Gland Activation Week 1 results

I've been been using the diet and exercises in Power Up Your Brain - Perlmutter, David, Villoldo, Alberto for some weeks and then read  Pineal Gland and Third Eye: How to Develop "Conscious Self" Psychic Abilities  by Jill Ammon-Wexler which gave me actual techniques to use to activate the pineal gland. I also availed myself of some brainwave music using the Android application "Brain Tuner Lite".

What I've been doing on almost a daily basis for about the last ten day is 
  • lying down
  • listening to the "self-hypnosis" setting on the "Brain tuner lite" program
  • starting out with a few minutes of alternate nose breathing (to balance both sides of the brain apparantly)
  • then when my arms start to ache from that I just put my arms down at my sides or do the hand position (mudra) the Jill Ammon-Wexler recommends.  Relaxed I close my eyes and breathe in through my nose, focusing my breath up to the third eye and then releasing the breath out through my mouth.  I do this for a little bit until I'm suitably focused on the third eye and deeply relaxed.
  • then my own innovation is to send loving thoughts to my third eye and just rest my awareness there seeing what I see on the screen behind my closed eyes.
The first few times I tried this nothing special happened and then about the third time I saw swirly colours of indigo, almost an electric blue - really quite pretty.  I am ware I must not get fixated on such effects but at the moment I'm using it as feedback that I'm doing the right thing.  After the first time this happened I got nothing over the next couple of days.  The two reasons I put down for that is that I was trying to hard and the other was it was the middle of my work week (lack of time and too much work stuff on the mind).  At the end of the week I had more time and determined I was going to give it my best shot and go really deeply into it even it took some time to really relax and clear myself of expectations.  This time I got the colours again. I tried twice more that day and got the same results - the later times without the brainwave music and mudra.  I think the brain is starting to learn the pathways and its getting easier each time. Today it was quite easy to achieve and even with my eyes opening and not trying to meditate I can still focus on my third eye point and get a sense of what I feel during meditation. The colours during meditation are now more sustained - not just the occassional flashes.

What I don't know is what to expect if I keep going with this - so I'll have to do some research on the web and just keep experimenting.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The cloud computing brain

As usual, I have been reading a number of books in tandem:

  • Power Up Your Brain by David Perlmutter and Alberto Villoldo
  • The Source field investigations by David Wilcock
  • The Fourth Awakening by Rod Pennington and Jeffery A Martin

I started reading The Source Field Investigations back in December and I'm still picking at it. To be honest I haven't found it an easy read but it does contain some ideas worthy of further exploration. The structure of the book is essentially a compilation of little known science, quite a bit of it by russian scientists. It has a chapter on the pineal gland.  Frankly I don't see the author's comparison of the shape of the pineal gland with a pine cone.  I certainly would have been more interested in knowing what the Egyptian hieroglyphs beneath the Vatican's giant pinecone statue said.  It did however get me thinking about that gland as a possible of gateway for communicating with the source field, a hypothetical field of "something", possibly energy, possibly vibration, possibly a universal consciousness that surrounds and emeshes everything in the known universe.

"The Fouth Awakening" is a novel in which the hero is a Timothy Leary style multimillionaire who believes in the power of positive thinking and who tries to get his ideas across to a female sometimes journalist who has regrets about giving up her high flying career for a marriage (that resulted in divorce) and children who are now leading lives of their own.  The fourth awakening is the concept that we are about to take an evolutionary leap as a species, from symbolic communication to non-symbolic communication.  Further information on the ideas contained in the book can be found in a non-fiction book written by one of the authors, Jeffery A Martin, called the God formula. In the novel they are trying to speed up the supposed evolutionary event by stimulating certain portions of the brain.

I greatly enjoyed reading "Power up your brain" which was well written with clear general reader level explanations of how the brain works. The intent of the book is an integration of David Perlmutter's work in the field of neuroscience with Alberto Villoldo's shamanic healing methods. The book outlines a number of practical exercises and a nutritional regime aimed at stimulating brain healing and connection with a greater reality.

One of the exercises in  "Power up your brain"  is the "Invocation to Create Sacred Space"

Alberto has used this invocation, with variations, in a number of his works.  In form this is a fairly standard ritual used to define a circular area, to create sacred space, by honouring six directions: east, west, north, south, above and below. I like to also honour my heart center as the seventh direction.  I am not providing the detail of the ritual here, surfice to say Alberto starts his ritual in the South, honouring the great serpent, then proceeds to the West to the Mother Jaguar, North to the ancient ones and ancestors who have gone before us and then to the East, the great eagle that sours above the high mountain peaks. The next stage of the ritual asks for healing of the mother earth and honours the Great spirit above.

It occurred to me, while practising this ritual that

  • the Sepent of the South equated with our reptilian brain, our automated habital responses, the beat of our heart, our breath, all the things that we rely on the cerebellum to do.
  • the Mother Jaguar represents our animal brain (the limbic system) that powers our emotions, our desires and at its most basic: feeding fighting, fleeing and sex.  This is the part of us that can feel stressed and drives us to protect ourselves and pursue pleasure.
  • the Ancient Ones of the North equate with our Neo Cortex, our ability to reason, reflect and to express ourselves in words and symbols.
  • The Eagle of the East equates with an ability to sour above mountains we have only started to dream of.  

My intuitive guess is that the layer of brain that will empower the eagle aspect of ourselves is one that we are yet to evolve or yet to activate.  Could the pineal gland, once active in us, be like a plug connection into a universal "cloud computing" level of consciousness that exists only in the spiritual realm?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Zucchini, carrot, shallot and sorghum fritters

To make these I put one each of a zucchini (small), carrot and shallot (all three chopped up) into a blender with enough water for the blender to blend easily.  Then pour into a mixing bowl.  Add seasoning (I use a veggie stock).  Add a heaped tablespoon of chia seed (adds omega 3), add a heaped tablespoon of psyllium seed (improves texture and adds fibre) and then add enough sorghum flour to thicken the mixture.  Let the mixture rest for a minute as this gives time for the chia and psyllium to swell. Use a scoop or large spoon to take good sized dollops of the mixture and add to a fry pan that has been preheated and seasoned with coconut oil or rice bran oil (the latter cooks a little hotter so make sure it doesn't burn). When browned on one side flip over and do the other side, don't need a lot of cooking, just enough to hold them together.  Serve warm with fresh salad pickings from the garden ... eg some sliced cucumber, sliced tomato and fresh purslane ( a highly nutritious and tasty weed).

Making the switch from individual to universal consciousness

Having waded through about six months of beginner's and intemediate Benei Baruch classes on the Kabbalah (I think I actually got more out of their youtube videos though) as well as augmenting with my own reading I've decided what I've got from it is as follows:

  • everything we do is for self benefit! (even giving to charity makes you feel better about your self)
  • up until recently most of us have been caught up in the illusion that we are alone in the shells of our skins, egos, unique and trying to control everything in our perceived environment (to our own advantage)
  • recently a lot of us have been starting to wake up (whether through kabbalah, brain science, the human potential movement, the fourth awakening or plant teachers...) to the fact that consciousness is not in our brains nor is it confined within our mortal bodies. 
My consciousness is a part of great cosmic sea of consciousness, diamond net of Indra, source field... whatever name you wish to call it (some might call this "God" but I'd rather not as I think that unnecessarily complicates things and attaches too many thousands of years of misguided dogma). This sea of consciousness contains everything and in some way which is beyond my understanding is in any part of it (holographically perhaps) everything. This everything is energy vibrating but doing so at different frequencies, the very fast as spirit and the slower as matter.  There are no boundaries within it ... just areas of slower vibration or faster vibration (a bit like a weather system).

Now the really neat bit is that I don't have to give up doing everything for self benefit (you can't any way as its just plain human nature) - I just have to realise that my "self" is everything and do "everything" for self. This is the true meaning of "love everyone as your self" (including your friends and enemies, beings of stone, beings of plant, beings of four, six and eight legs etc) for everyone is you.  This is the origin of Mayan saying "you are another me".

So shed your artifically constructed boundaries: give way to the yourself in the queue of the supermarket as you have as much right to get out quickly as you do... if you catch my drift.

They say that all this is something that you can't explain ... you can only understand when you experience it for your self.  So experiment: use visualisation, affirmations, act as if this model of consciousness is real (whatever works for you) and see what you think about it.

At the moment I practise daily visualising love and acceptance for my body contained self and then I extend that visualisation out in onion layers to include family, then neighbourhood, then work and so on until I visualise the whole planet and everything on it and then out to the galaxy and the universe.  All the time ayaing "I love you, I accept you as you are", all the time knowing that I mean just one extended entity. Its also easy to extend this across time and space (to everything past, present and future in all dimensions and all universes).