I have been an ardent seeker my whole life, but my seeking was singular in the sense that I always felt that whatever truths might exist for me to discover would be somehow found within. I was not always like this, for when I first felt that deep urging within me, I was all of nine and knew that something, some great secret, had somehow been hidden away from me, and from all of us. I did not know then that this secret was hidden away within each and every one of us, and so I sought to find the answer outside, in the things which were hidden or taboo. My reasoning was that if there had been something indeed hidden, it would be likely hidden in those places where we had placed taboos on their access somehow so that no one would bother go looking. This seemed most plausible. By age thirteen, though, I began to sense that somehow this was not without but within. It began with an intuition about how we sense reality and the role of the individual in sensing this reality. It expressed itself as the world not being quite what it appeared to be and fueled an almost conspiratorial sense that things were not quite the way we thought they were. In very short order I would read a book that would speak many of these core intuitions back to me. It was a book by Jane Roberts and her trance personality Seth who proclaimed that we create our own reality and that our sensing of reality is itself very personal, individual, and while we each see the same tree and sky, we also choose to see it a certain way. It is this choosing that would become the basis for the undoing of so much inside of me when I experienced awakening many years later. I did not know then that our own inner biases about HOW we though the world was would play so heavily in what I would eventually come to face.
I have, perhaps, as a result of my own journey and predilection for seeking within, have always sought the source of things and not just how they seemed to appear either directly or through the lens of our own bias, our own karma. Bias is easy enough to overcome, but karma is harder. Karma, though, I have learned, can be completely undone and is the greatest liberator of all, for its bias lies deeper yet within us and moves without our awareness always. By bringing the force of awakening to the fore, it was enough to also bear awareness in greater degrees. Surely energy is consciousness and consciousness is awareness just as awakening has shown these years. It is also curious that we do not simply do what we wish to do, but to do what we are, what we are in our larger context, which itself is not always glimpsed in the day to day but in those often rare moments when we feel an acceleration of consciousness and begin to see things in a larger context, an undeniable one, and the self begins to turn within itself so that it sees things from a different perspective, often a more honest one. If yoga is about union, then what is the purpose of all of the positions and methods and poses? Its a highly developed system, and so if union is the goal, then what is it that yoga does on a physical level to feed into us a sense or feeling of union? And what is union? That may sound like a too-simple question to ask, but it is what I know is a question that has all kinds of realizations that go unnoticed by many for the very fact that if yoga worked so well, we would all be experiencing a deep abiding sense of union. True union resolves us back into our authentic selves, beyond karma, beyond bias, beyond what we have adopted based on a fear of how we think we should be or ought to be. If there is a false self, then it is this self. Otherwise, all that we choose to be is the gift we have received from the Creator which is that of freewill. Saying something is false is like saying we are not being honest with ourselves, and if that is the meaning, then it is true. So much of awakening is about unwinding the great cosmic spring of our vitality to find that the spring was wound the wrong way. The current of energy reverses, the world changes, we follow a new path which others do not always understand, appreciate, or value. Much of what we do, then, becomes a silent prayer, a silent process that is true to no other but our own selves. The self re-learns, remakes, is destroyed to be rebuilt again, but built in a manner that is more honest, true, and satisfying.
The essence of union is the removal of all that divides you from this one thing that your consciousness rides upon, is carried by, and is a part of. Through an awareness of self, of ego, through the left brain operations of object and self, we create an appearance of separation that only exists as a kind of conceptual construct. But like all constructs, once erected in our consciousness, it begins to work like all constructions work; unaided and with fidelity to the rules under which it was installed with in the first place. Beliefs are this way and if you have any question about the power of belief, all you need to do is look at how a country can move its populace to war under the slimmest and weakest of pretenses. It is all a carefully understood process that involves the left brain and ego. It is amazingly simple to do and it is done very well by those with an understanding of it whether conscious or not. These things are the manipulation and creation of belief and it is ego that identifies with them and will hold onto them for the simple truth that ego is installed centrally in most people rather than peripherally. This is why upon awakening and the movement of ego away from the central font of awareness that those thus awakened are much harder to manipulate in this way. The old process no longer works quite as effectively. It still works to the degree that ego rests near the center of the self, but less as ego moves to the back of the bus. When you go through awakening the sheer force of the energy now moving in your awareness shifts and changes these beliefs and positions…..and even then, it can be a mighty struggle for some to undo the programming. For me, I unknowingly struggled with this shift in me for many months until ego was gradually shifted to the side of my awareness so that it did not act as controlling agent in my consciousness as it had previously. It was then that greater union was possible for the simple reason that more had been moved out of the way to allow greater flows of energy to move in me. Simple.
But this was all done without yoga as one commonly thinks of it, and yet, all that I have done has been a constant process of it. Every day I sought union within, quietly, silently, feeling into those places that served up a sense of resistance and letting kundalini wash away the resistance. I will say that I did do Qi Gung as a moving method for helping to assist in removing blocks. While we may want to think of awakening or kundalini as some exotic energy that is entirely nonphysical, it is not It makes up everything here and is wed to the physical just as it is wed to the spiritual. So what we do in the physical can create an effect on it just as how our thinking and feeling can have an effect upon it as well. It is not one or the other, but both. the body is the soul IN FLESH. Both sides of the coin benefit from the presence of life force, of prana moving through them and is the result of sound integration of it within both. So while I know that physical disciplines can work if you know what they seek to achieve, and sometimes even when you do not, some of the methods are there to guide you to a way of feeling. Kundalini is always here with us. What makes the difference in feeling it is our awareness. So how does a posture help with awareness?
As I have said, I do not do yoga, not as one would normally think of it, and yet if the core of yoga is to be known or understood, my life has been the very essence of it. I am aware, however, of lives spent in the East. I know that I have spent many lives in silent meditation. All of it has helped in what is happening in this life I am sure. But I am more than a Tibetan in Lhasa or in Angor Watt. I have sat atop mountains in California’s Yosemite Valley and watched as the Thunder Beings moved very quickly towards me, beings that spoke of a day in the future when the earth would be going through changes, a time when the “Great Wheel comes full turn.” It was in experiences such as these that I was shown that I and the Thunder Beings were in truth one and the same, that my higher self WAS that self and that through accelerations of consciousness (which some called “altered states” which is a term I do not like for how misleading it is), our own consciousness expands to become aware of larger dimensions of itself and of reality. It is curious and telling that I have no other recollections from the past that served to bear such incredible flows of energy, of consciousness, into my awareness as simply sitting atop a mountain crying for a vision as that experience with the Beings in the storm did. For me, it is a lesson to my own self here and now that by simply removing that which divides us, we may inherit our birthright, or realize it in the moment. It waits for each of us as surely as the dawn.
All of this has led me to the inescapable conclusion of how consciousness works and how we have access to still larger realms of awareness, which is a recall of what we truly are in all of our potential. These experiences, for me, help to form a core teaching or reminder of what we are and that as humans, we contain a lot of material that serves to block our view of this world waiting to happen to us through an act as simple as becoming aware.
In my life I have observed the function of two sides to our awareness and both of these have corresponded to the left and right hemispheres of our brain. One side of us is incredibly restricted in what it can do and how it processes information, but it is a necessary agent in our lives. This part of us is the left brain operation and the brain itself mirrors a certain part our own consciousness. This part of us is necessary for being able to get anything done that is sequential in the world. Without it, we would not know what comes next, or how to put a clock back together, make logical and sequential rationalizations. The other side could not be more different because it sees wholes instead of parts. It has the capacity to ponder the infinite and does. It is not so restricted as the left but it also does not have all the answers either. It might be able to glimpse incredible realms but it wont know how they work exactly. That is the plodding job of the left brain. And yet, these two worlds can be made to converge, in UNION with one another, to create a cooperative sense of realization.
When union, these two sides of us can serve to create a new synthesis. Their union is the essence of creation. You see it everywhere you look where opposites, attracted, merge and there is an explosion of energy. Always. Sometimes the explosion is destructive, sometimes we consider it creative. And yet, when the two currents of consciousness within us merge we call it inspiration. We see the world anew, we break ourselves out of our old conceptualizations in order to consider something different. This merging is in no way within the box at least for that brief moment when the incandescent energy of union happens, the kind of orgasm of the mind which is the same orgasmic energy we feel when we awaken, something that is the result of UNION. It is the same when a woman and a man make love. It is so with all forms of union whether conceptual or physically literal. This union can happen within the self, within couples, groups, and even institutions, all in accord to how they are made to move energy. While the union of sex may feel different from the union of the self, a similar kind of energy is created and is nonetheless just as liberating. Energy is energy and it takes on different effects as it moves through the different wheels of our own energetic realization, which we have come to call chakras. Even the chakras, themselves, are “lobed” to carry both masculine and feminine energies, the yin and yang.
Why My Yoga Does not Bear Kriyas
It is interesting to me that it is mentioned that those who awaken experience something called kriyas, a kind of involuntary movement in the body which is a physical feature of assisting with the flow of energy through it. While I have experienced some of these, I have not experienced them a lot. I have thought about this and it has occurred to me that the reason why these jerking motions have not happened so much is because my own consciousness has been focused on moving this energy within it in less physical ways. I am aware because of my work in art that there is a subtle flow of energy and an interaction between left and right brain in order to bring about what we call inspiration. The energy is moving through less physical channels and is being assisted through the self and the neurophysiology. I am not here to say it is preferred because I know that there is no one way to go about this, but only to point out that this is one tool that can exist in your toolbox for how to assist in e greater flow of energy through you. Certainly, physical movement helps. Sometimes it doesn’t even need to be Qi Gung or yoga. Just MOVING the body helps A nice walk, a run, or even just moving your arms around so the core of your body is not so rigid is very freeing to energy. Because so much energy is taken up in what I’d call more dream experiences, not literal dreaming, but in subtle accelerations of consciousness, I tend not to experience so many of these jerking movements.
At a certain point, which I identify with the period of time in which the ego was moved to the side of my awareness more (to the back of the bus as I often say), I began to experience these very quiet and expansive states of awareness in which thought itself was entirely stilled. Over time, this stillness of thought has become more of a feature of my makeup. It isn’t that I can’t think, I do, but that there is simply less chatter and more….observation….of everything. This was first introduced to me many years ago while I was driving late at night and saw in my inner vision a presence that was practicing this “quiet presence of mind” as he looked back at me. I found at the time that I could not practice this same quietness of mind and found the encounter to be interesting but also beyond my ability. In truth, I think it was within my capacity, I was simply not living a life that was conducive to that sort of thing. But I am glad that the presence who came did at least introduce it to me. Only later did I see the same face on the back cover of a book on Japanese Zen and in that same book the person describes the same emptiness of mind and quieting of thoughts. it seems it is a pretty universal experience. What I think I was afraid of was that it would empty me, that I might lose something of myself at the time that this happened. We seem to fear obliteration, and for as much as some monks and yogis seek to do just that, the self continues to be. And not just be, but it evolves as we ourselves are aware of still “higher” states of awareness where there is another identity much like our own here now, but more advanced….perhaps more refined. The sense of self and ego is an important part of what we have created for ourselves here. However, learning to move some of it into a more harmonious position is itself what has aided in helping with still deeper ranges of union within the self and with others.
Everything Can Be Yoga
For me, everything has become yoga, but it is not itself a physical exercise. I do not sit on a mat, but rather I observe quietly and intently as my hands move together to wash dishes, or to make tea, or to rake leaves. My yoga creates a space of presence that is not mental only but is like a presence that opens up the cover to a deep well where my soul enters into the moment so that small self and larger self merge and experience union within, which brings bliss. As I give myself over, I realize that this feeling of yoga, or union, is like giving myself to a lover. I feel the yin current in my consciousness open unabashed to show me how to open to the universe of me and the All by simply surrendering so that world womb may touch soul womb so that my yin womb may feel all of this in ladder-like fashion as heaven descends into me. This is, you see, the secret of Heiros Gamos, the union of the two currents in us, in consciousness, in our bodies, and in the universe. It is all of this, undivided, and yet our own consciousness, by not being in union, chops up the thread or current so it SEEMS to be separate. When I give myself over to it, all thought stops and feeling begins. This is why I find the words of so many teachers who speak of feeling as being the enemy. What do these poor minds know? The way to the All is through feeling! And yet, unless you yourself have experienced this enough to know it well, you might be tempted to believe these very authoritarian people who have entirely missed the boat. I suspect it is because they still are caught up in the thousands of years’ worth of paternalistic and left-brained functioning that has gripped our species for so long. I hope that they themselves can feel this rich and delicious experience of the feminine side of their being without fear or queasiness and know that we are all like this….that you cannot experience the feminine as a male and not be able to know the All. You can’t just feel it a little….but the more you feel the feminine, the more you can feel the ALL. And it isn’t because the feminine brings the missing pieces, but because she has been hidden. Its been buried under layers of denial and chauvinism for centuries, millenia. When the yin side is opened, we feel it so strongly and identify it as kundalini because all of us, women and men, have become so used to the masculine awareness. The feminine current has nearly been lost on the planet. And I am sorry for those women who are reading my words. I know it might seem like I do not know the truth of your own experience AS female, but what I am writing about it the yin current, which has the capacity to bring the deeper range of the feminine experience into the world. Yes, women are here and yes they do experience a wide array of perspectives by simply being in flesh as female, but there is a vast amount of feminine awareness that simply does not exist just yet in the world. It is like a woman holds a cup of water, which is her feminine nature and thinks that this is what she is, but what I have seen and felt is that she is a vast surging ocean, unlimited and wondrous. If you reflect on the world and its ways, you will surely realize that this surging sea has never had any real place here because all of us, women and men alike, have been so shut down. What matter does it make when I look at the world of women and see such vast seas churning silently and without awareness, within them? They would all get mad at me to presume, as a MAN to say such a thing. Truth is, we just are not aware of just how dumbed down we have become, or how limited we have been in our experience of the feminine. And one more thing; I suspect that we have done all of this for the very reason that SHE feels so incredibly good. Suckling at the breast without a fear in the world, feeling her depths in love, being carried away within her is pure ecstasy. And loss of control. Our world has been a model of control….rigid control that you don’t begin to appreciate until you feel this restless sea churning beneath you….churning beneath all of us.
So my yoga is tantra. It is this moment by moment attempt, at least, of seeking union within. It isn’t even about sex, but about larger archetypes and energies that we can learn from and evolve with, and how integrating this into ourselves actually changes the patterns IN OUR CELLS. If we have lost our ancient knowledge of the feminine, then it is here in such a place that we can find it. Silently, as I move my hands to the coffee pot, I feel the yin current move through me and I feel a stab of bliss that is like a petal opening deep within me that pushes all the petals behind it open. It is like being taken, seduced by this warm presence that makes me realize that I can be opened entirely, taken apart entirely, loosened and cracked and given a means to flow more surely. My own masculine is like the force that opens up ancient creek beds so that my own vital force may flow down into the sea and know itself as itself connected to still larger portions of itself. This is my union, this is my yoga and none of it is done through any movement of the body but in a quiet realization that MUST happen here or else it cannot be realized in the physical. And I wont say I have it all worked out, for just as a creek must join with larger portions of itself without any resistance, so too must I join larger portions of myself without similar resistance, and just as a creek learns to know it is a might river at other parts of itself, so too do I realize what I am in its larger context. Ego is not always so agreeable, or the self so courageous. It is like any discipline, a practice where I slowly but surely release the blockages in my own cellular and etheric memory so that I wipe the slate clean so that I might dream something anew. Until those old programs are running, I am a prisoner in some fashion to them.
Last night I had a dream that helped to illustrate what I have known for years now, which is that it is possible to reset our inner programming and erase ancient patterns by connecting with those aspects of ourselves which do not have such patterning. A life lived on another planet, seemingly foreign to us, could well have been lived in order to pick up an example of a template that could be used “later” by a self waking up. Certainly our world does not have a lot of good examples for how to be enlightened. Perhaps it can be reintroduced from somewhere else. I am not sure that it can be found here on this planet since so much of our journey has been one of collective self loathing, manipulation, murder and mayhem. By being able to culture a new template, we can learn how others have managed to do it and escape that very precarious position in evolution where technology begins to outstrip our own commons sense. I think if you look around you can see the trap that our own technological advancement has brought. And yet, we work hard to not let that impact us negatively. Sometimes we give in and do silly things. And yet, this is our story. Maybe we will get our act together and grow a world that is just and compassionate and much more awake and aware of itself, its connection to all things, and how it is only existing within a small portion of its physical potential.
There is nothing more important to me than to do this, this type of yoga. It is quiet and requires no teacher or guru, but it is true and makes me realize we all have this amazing resource at our fingertips. It is what we seek, what we yearn for, what we hunger for and it is only as far from us as the beating of our own heart. The authority does not exist outside of you, it is well within you and will work if you simply let it have a voice in your life. Authority from the past may be in error; things change, we change, the world changes. Not everything is as rock solid as we think. Some have said what I did was not possible, to awaken as I did, and yet, thousands have awakened in just this “impossible” way. So what voice do you listen to? Clearly, the best voice is to listen to your own. Have courage, it will lead you where you need to go. Indeed, it has led you to this place, reading this here and now.
What do you think it is telling you?