2020, Buddhism, Contemplation, Meditation, Mindfulness

On being – slowed

I lived for a time on a small island in the Salish Sea. I was so used to being in the “busy” city of Vancouver that I would get in my car and drive around the Island a few times just to do something. I’d take the ferry to the next Island and back just for a feeling of busy . I am doing the likes of that again. While trying hard to react and respond with sanity to first The Covid situation and now deep smoke from the disastrous fires along The West Coast of North America … some days working on projects in my little yard, townhouse and on my self, are just not enough. I get in my car and drive around the neighborhood for no good reason. I am in many ways – back on the Island

Babellz Art
Smoke at The Lake 2020

Apparently the neural pathways laid down in childhood stay there for life. My family were not sitting still folks. It was go go go. Lots of car trips, people, parties along with a good dose of parental relationship chaos sprinkled in. The family method to cope with any stressor was to kick into action. A favourite of my father’s was to throw the four kids into a car with The Wife and head down Interstate 5 to California for fun. Just Go was the motto.

I am grateful for much of what the current situation is teaching me but gawd it is not easy. The greatest gains seem to come from stillness and reflection and not action. A complete reversal of my life long strategy. At times I wonder if we are in a chapter of the Bible’s Revelations, experiencing the end of a Kalpa or if I myself will just be taken out by this virus. My mind can run amok pretty easily with it all. .,

I am grateful to the Teachers of Calm who put themselves on Apps like Insight Timer for so many to access. I am also deeply grateful to Sanghas like Insight Meditation Scottsdale.

🌸 Peace

Contemplation, Meditation, Mindfulness

The Collective

As I write this it has been a rather distressing few weeks in the North American social order. Young adults seduced by poisoned internet chats running amok, killing their own people. A steady diet of nutrient deficient “Mind Kool Aid” (created by corporate greed) finally frying brains.

I sense increasing unsettled and anxious feelings in my self and others. The relentless doomsday talk about global warming, Trump, impending economic shifts – psycho killers running loose – all creating anxiety. Caught in some kind of web created by these influences I skipped my meditation practice for a few days – the anxiety grew. I watched mainstream news more. More jumpy feelings ensued. The point is that this chaos – it weighs heavy on my heart and I sense it in the recesses of my mind. It chats away back there – unsettling. I am concerned for my society and the planet. Yet the way things are reported makes me feel helpless. Crazy issues reported with few solutions.

Then I recalled the notion of each of us having a part to play in the the group mind.

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The belief held by some that we share mind – that there is a collective unconscious. While part of the mind is proprietary another part runs deeper and shares components with other people. We all contribute to it and are affected by it. I like this idea.

The Transcendental Meditation (TM) folks are big proponents of the idea. They believe that if many of us practice meditation it will benefit the whole community in a profound way. The Maharishi Effect. Prayer is often viewed as having a similar effect. I decided that I at least have the power to practice meditation and prayer. I Pray that it will be beneficial to more than just myself in some way. So this week I resolved to get back to a 30 minute basic mindfulness practice – every day. Talk about resistance! Still, I made myself sit in mindful practice – daily.

I noticed immediately that I am calmer at the end of my meditation and the day goes better. Clearer in thought – Perhaps this is beneficial to The Collective? It is definitely beneficial to me!

We are living in a complex system with rapid rates of change. Emergent phenomena arising from the system – in good and bad ways. Taking this 30 to 60 minutes a day to create some calm is something I just can not afford to skip.

What a difference it makes to my day. Perhaps it does more.

🌓 Peace

Buddhism, Contemplation, Meditation, Mindfulness

Simultaneous Co-existence

I have come to believe that we are energetic beings existing here materially as we co-exist simultaneously – elsewhere. This belief formed via a meditation/vision where I caught a glimpse of myself as quite connected to a realm beyond. I had a sense of 80% of myself in the “elsewhere” with the rest filtering down a connecting cord into my body. The body – the ‘I’ was experiencing the material world and sharing it with The Elsewhere. As fast as I saw this – it disappeared. Just a glimpse, a moment’s insight.

The vision reminded me of the Chilean scientists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varella. I studied them during my thesis writing days. I perceived in their theories the notion that that mind is not located in the brain nor body. Mind connects through us in relation to others, perhaps – The Elsewhere. I reviewed their writings thinking that I could find a concise quote about their take on this to share here. It couldn’t be easily found and I realized that what I thought they had said was actually my personal synthesis and understanding of their very complex work. I have no doubt over simplified it. Still – something there resonated with my meditative insight. We are more than what our day to day conscious being is aware of. We are not in this alone.

I get to thinking that all Earth beings are looping here in the material world. Cycling our material bits about the constructs of the planet – like water does on earth. A cloud one day – dinosaur pee the next. “Ashes to ashes – dust to dust but Then I get a glimpse of myself coexisting in more than one dimension. A powerful spiritual moment that leads me to believe in the etherical cycle along with the material one.

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Soul Light

PEACE 🌼

Contemplation, Meditation, Mindfulness

Diving in to Spiritual Exploration

I graduated into young adult hood in the 1970’s. Having come from a difficult home life I stumbled around for a decade – youth. I began exploring spiritually in the 1980’s. I discovered The Seth Writings and I was mesmerized. I took my first meditation class (founded in Buddhism) led by now deceased Cecile Kwiat, I took The Silva Method courses and began to use tarot cards. I figured there was a path to enlightenment in these actions although I wasn’t sure what that enlightenment might be! I just was driven to explore. The West Coast was brimming with classes and literature. I dove in.

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Reaching for the sun

Of the many teachings I explored I find the basic meditation class by Cecile the most important. I discovered great information from channeling sources like Seth. The tarot has helped me make decisions/clarify direction and The Siva Method is amazing for training the mind to expand potential. The greatest gains came from Cecile though. Her directions were to sit quietly for 30 minutes a day to watch my breath. Just sit and observe. I laugh as I recall those first few meditations as sitting with my eyes closed, counting my breath, all I was thinking was “All I see is black”! I was very physical and literal then. What the practice did over a long time though was allow me to see that I am separate from my thoughts and That is monumental. I am body, I am mind and I am something more that I call spirit.

I moved a lot in my younger days. I lost touch with Cecile. Her teachings stayed with me as I moved-through life though. I took to counting from 100 down to 1 to not drift off in thoughts. What I noticed was it calmed me considerably. Having grown up in a chaotic home my neural pathways are addicted to drama – the meditation practice settled me down. I returned to it as a means to get clarity over and over. My regret is that I did not commit to daily practice decades before I did.

Peace 🔆