Archives for the month of: June, 2015

It is that time of year again when we agree there is a day when we honor our fathers.  Honestly, I always felt it was kind of hokey to have days like this.  Not for mothers.  But for me, yes.  For me because it has been the single most important experience of my life being a father.  I always felt it funny to honor me for something that was really an honor to ME for being able to step into these shoes.  Huge.  But, I have turned Father’s Day into a day where I think about just how important it was to me to be able to be a Dad.

I have learned so much about us as humans by being a father.  I have learned a second and third time about innocence and innocence lost, about strength, about weakness, and about being human.  I have learned that just as I seek to instill confidence in my children, I have also seen the opposite happen.  It would be great if we could just see parenting in black and white, but it is rarely that.  But that doesn’t mean that it is bad.  It means that it is real.  All of it. The humor, wonder, awe, sleepiness, sleeplessness, joy, sadness, elation, depression, anger and grace…..on all sides and at different times.  And the hardest lesson was knowing when my ability to help my children stopped.  For years you are the very source of life for helpless human beings, and there comes a day when they just don’t need you like they needed you in the past.  And for me?  Sometimes hard, sometimes, but even when they were small I told myself, “They will grow up and will have their own lives…get ready for that exciting moment filled with a sudden shift away from having them in your life….”  It teaches you that as you help a person to develop their lives organically in front of you over a period of almost two decades, it also teaches you that you had better have a life of your own or else there will be a vacuum that will leave you the way it leave some parents….empty.  But the curious thing about being empty is that it leaves a big space that can be filled again.  Our children do not completely leave us….ever.  As a father I feel the deep tie that I feel with my children daily.  There is no way that I can ever really have a life completely without them.  And this is why these kinds of familial connections are so powerful, potent.  When things go great, its over the moon, and when they don’t go great, they can be an incredible catalyst for looking at yourself and your foibles, or what needs to be improved or looked at.  And mostly, it is a call to honesty.  And compassion.  And strength.  And sensitivity.  And love.  And more than just that, too!  Much more.  Thousands of days filled with getting them there so they can get on with their own lives.  Arrows shot from your bow, but arrows that the moment they leave the quiver, are in a way, no longer yours in the way that Gibran referred to in his book the Prophet. Even when it is hard, it is the best because of how real it is.  And I say that even in the depths of illusion and distraction and feelings of loss on both sides, these relationships are the most powerful because they have the power to draw out the best of us as well as the worst of us. For me, it is an opportunity to just see it.  And learn from it.

So for as hard as it can be, for as wonderful as it will get, I wish all fathers the very best Father’s Day, and I hope that this glimmer of gold stretches out into your life as you are reminded why you came here for.  At least, it is one big reason why I came here.  For all of it.

The father looms over each of us in this archetypal way.  For so long we wedded our deity with this….an ultimate, perhaps way too much for one being not to be more balanced….and so father’s loom large.  That we can learn to humanize that image more and make him less unbending and more sensitive and breakable might be a great way to remake him back into our honest image. And if we do, we will have done all of ourselves a great big favor.  Fathers, Mothers, and their children.  We will have allowed ourselves to be more honest.  And happy.

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It is almost instinctual to try and seek to learn, to know, about the realm of our experience that we call spiritual.  After all, so much in our lives are improved by what it is you know, what you can learn.  In the world of fact-driven linear thought process, this is so. But this is not all that we are.  We are much more than this.  It is why I have written so much about absence of technique and method.  It isn’t that there aren’t a lot of things that can clear an energy channel, or bring you to a state of calm very quickly, maybe even raise kundalini.  I am including a quote from a guy who is big in heart and was a little surprised to see this from him since it really does strike to the bone in so many ways.  But it is honest.

Virtually everyone in this world lives like a sheep. The whole population of this world consists of flocks of sheep who are herded by different shepherds. I am not joking when I say this. The founder of Christianity is called ‘the good shepherd’ by the sheep he is controlling.

What is the function of a shepherd? It is to make sure that the sheep in his charge do not stray away from the flock. There are five or six big shepherds in the world [Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.], and each one has a flock that numbers in the millions. These shepherds are the founders of the world’s main religions. All the sheep are branded or painted with identification marks so that the shepherds know which flock each one belongs to. What are these marks? They are the ideas and beliefs that the shepherds impose on all the members of their own flock. Sheep are very docile animals. They have a group mentality and don’t think for themselves. Instead, they just follow the sheep in front and do whatever they are doing.

Looking after millions of sheep is a big job, so the shepherds need lots of dogs to keep their flocks under control. And who are these dogs? They are the priests who run around barking, making all the sheep of their own group move in the approved direction.

Once in a while a sheep will rebel. He will look at the dogs and the other sheep and think to himself, ‘I don’t want to live like this. I want to be free. I want to walk my own way.’

These rare sheep sneak off when the shepherd is not looking [sometimes they must do this secretly in order to escape persecution] and follow their own path. They have an inner sense that enables them to follow the scent of true freedom. Some perish, some get afraid and return to their flock, but a very few walk on undaunted and reach the goal.

I don’t think the sheep who stay in the flocks ever attain true liberation. They live and die following the instructions and promptings of the shepherds and the dogs. The church masses, the rituals, the prayers and so on are specially designed to make you think how wonderful the founder of the flock is and how lucky you are to be in his group.

These big shepherds tell their sheep: ‘You may be miserable now, but if you move in the way that the dogs make you go, we promise you that you will be happy after you die.’

What a gigantic fraud all this is! Why should you wait till you die to be happy? Unending happiness is available here and now to anyone who rejects all the ideas that priests, parents and society impose. When you drop every idea you have ever had, you find yourself sitting on the throne of the kingdom of heaven. The ideas and practices that the shepherds impose on you don’t help you to get nearer to heaven, they keep you permanently away from it. Don’t listen to the shepherds and don’t be afraid of the dogs. Be a lion and walk on your own path. Don’t let anyone impose a belief or a practice on you by saying it will produce results later. If you want the kingdom of heaven, you can have it here and now by dropping every idea and concept in your mind.

  Papaji: Nothing Ever Happened, vol 2, p. 165-166

NOTE:  This post has been revised since it was first written, so if you are returning to a second glance, then yes, there have been substantive changes, and no, you are not losing your mind.

 

I have been away for a bit and have not had time to work much up on the topic of awakening, so my apologies.  I had a wonderful trip to the West coast to celebrate my 50’th year here, and it was a marvelous gift from a wonderful friend who is one of a kind.  I like to travel because I have found that the very location, the particular flow of energy from the earth itself can trigger a different turn of mind or some new realization.   And out there on the Island of San Catalina, it was an energy I was so ready to feel into.  So what a wonderful gift, right?

I have noticed that there are a lot of search inquiries on my blog about flu symptoms connected to kundalini.  I don’t look at my stats enough, apparently, because this is a topic that I may have touched on from time to time, but never directly. So given the interest, I am going to hopefully give you some insight into these symptoms that might make the going a little easier.

As many of you know, I feel that we have everything we need inside of us to discern the manner of our condition and how to heal ourselves. This is especially true in the midst of awakening.  Even so, the sheer volume of symptoms and the fast-paced change can be a lot to take in and try to make sense of!

The Hindus describe the qualities of energy in our bodies as solar and lunar.  It isn’t that your energy is tied to these solar and lunar qualities, but rather it seeks to describe the character of the energy.  It is no different from the Chinese yin and yang. Simply, we have and are aware we have two complimentary energies that we often ascribe a character like male and female, hot and cold, solar and lunar, etc. Sometimes different qualities of energy are needed to help dissolve the blocked material that awakening brings.  A very male-leaning energy (yang) might need the compliment of the cooler feminine to hep move it along (yin).  Sometimes a lot of solar energy can cause stomach upset.  Blocked solar energy, that is.  The answer is to find ways to unblock and let ourselves FLOW.

To illustrate to you how you can know intuitively what kind of energy you need to help bring a fix of healing, I just typed in the paragraph above my feeling that yang energy was tied to the stomach/colon, and is responsible for problems we see there.  But the truth is, I had no outside source telling me this.  I just wrote it and then figured I could find out if this was right…..and if I was wrong, I would correct it.  Want to know what I found?  Look here to read this very interesting article on the type of energy in the stomach and intestines (you will need to skip down several paragraphs….I will excerpt the information for you but the link could prove helpful so that is included also)


http://www.steppingstoneacu.com/blog/2012/08/08/The-Large-Intestine-Transformation-Change-and-Letting-Go.aspx

Traditional Chinese Medicine is all about relationships. The Large Intestine energy also has a special relationship with the Stomach energy, in that they are both designated as “Yang Ming” or “Yang Brightness”. Yang, as we have mentioned, is the active, hot, fiery, expansive parts of our being. (As opposed to Yin, which is the passive, watery, cool, inward parts.) Yang Brightness, as the name implies, are strong Yang energy systems. This means that they are easily affected by heat. This heat may be generated by long-term patterns of stagnant energy, a poor diet, or physically or emotionally toxic environments. The Yang Ming designation also means that we can effectively use these systems to clear pathological heat from the body. Some of the best acupuncture points in the body to clear excess heat are on the Large Intestine meridian.  One of the ways to clear excessive heat (such as a high fever) with herbal medicine is to use herbs that stimulate the Large Intestine to promote a bowel movement and bring the fever rapidly down.

In the excerpt above, the tradition comes from Chinese medicine.  As with all healing modalities, there is always, or tends to be, a leaning in one direction or another towards certain ways of seeing and treating a given issue.  The gist in this article, though, as you may well find, is that yang energy is tied into the digestive track and is probably often responsible for problems when this energy becomes stagnated.  If this is the case, how then do you correct for this?  You move that energy!

These energies become much more intense during awakening.  They can be so intense that they can have very real physical effects.  The question in people’s minds is if these effects are bad for us?  What is important to bear in mind is that when the self resists the flow of this energy, there is always pain, anxiety, etc.  Whenever the self surrenders, the energy flow goes from hard to blissful.  This is the important lesson of this new world of energy. It is simple: don’t fight it.  I guarantee you that at any point at any time when someone is feeling difficulty in the midst of awakening, it is ALWAYS attributed or has its root in some resistance in the individual.  But when you awaken, you don’t just magically enter into it perfectly formed for letting this energy flow through you.  Yes, the INITIAL awakening might have involved a blast of white light up your spine that sent you into a transcendent state for a few minutes or even a few days, but everyone, and I mean everyone, returns to their lives to work at the level of the personality to work to clear and purify all levels of the self into a finer form.  This takes time.  As a result, you can be dealing with the effects from the dross or old material as it exists side by side with this other energy.

Flu symptoms are not unusual.  I had them.  I had them but without the accompanying high temperatures that might tell me this was a real flu.  Instead, I had stomach upset, nausea that would come and go, and even diarrhea which would itself also come and go with no rhyme or reason.  My appetite was effected, and my stomach often would feel on edge at certain stages of the cleansing process.  The observations I made were that just prior to and just after a big release of blocked material, I would get these digestive anomalies.  They would come based in large part to how big the block was.  I found that breath work (I was shown that I should pant like a wild cat….a type of panting that is not unlike the breathing that yogi’s teach to their students when dealing with kundalini), as well as physical exercise, mild foods, and proper hydration were all aspects to my working through these symptoms.

The unique problem when talking about kundalini is that we have what I would call “referred” symptoms that happen a LOT.  I define “referred” symptoms as energetic symptoms that aren’t even physical that get picked up by the brain and then are interpreted to BE a real physical symptom.  The way to tell the difference between real and referred is that when you go to the doctor, they can find nothing behind the symptoms.  In time you will be able to discern for yourself what is real and what is referred.  Many people do go to the doctor in the beginning of their awakenings because they think there is something wrong, only to find nothing is to be found. The real danger in this situation is the doctor who feels he or she must prescribe SOMETHING to make the patient feel better.  The accompanying sense of relief that you get when they give you that piece of paper called a prescription begins to bring relief right away, long before you even buy the prescription.  However, as you may know, the placebo effect is not improved upon by taking drugs that we really do not need, so patient beware.

When I awoke I was having this nagging stomach problem that would come and go with no seemingly good explanation for it.  Of course, I worried about what it might mean since it was unlike any stomach problems I have ever had, so I thought it was something new.  Well, the short story was that it was something new, just not what I thought or feared it might be.  Luckily my doctor did not give me medication, but suggested it was some kind of re-balancing of my system and to just give it some time, watch what I was eating, etc.

In my case, I was having bouts of diarrhea for no known cause.  I would feel a little sick during these bouts, but not as if I had a flu or some bug.  In my mind I thought this could be some unknown effect from something I might need to be careful about.  The clue for me was that each time that I took pepto bismal, the symptoms went away, only to come back about a month later.  This happened a number of times in the six months between my first initial epiphany encounter with nonduality and the sudden rising of the force that came up my spine in serpentine fashion. I simply had not connected the dots yet.

So some strategies for dealing with this

Treat Yourself Right

  • You might want to see a doctor first to rule out anything that might be the root of something physical first.
  • Take simple remedies that will help settle your stomach(pepto worked well for me)
  • Lighten your food intake to include bland softer foods (barley, oats, wheat, etc., for morning)
  • Certain foods will be easier on your stomach than others such as eggs, eggs, high fiber grains

Help Yourself Move Energy

This is what is causing the flu symptoms if it’s not due to a bug.  Learning to move energy and help with blocks is an important long-term strategy

Breathwork – See Pranayama and Hatha Yoga. Using a panting type of breath while concentrating awareness on the solar plexus and imagining the energy rising out of the stomach into the heart, is one important way to encourage energy flow through your body.

Physical disciplines that help to dissolve energetic blocks in your system.  Consider Qi Gung (also called Chi Gong), Thai Chi, as well as yoga all can be helpful in dissolving blockages.  Acupunture/pressure and deep tissue work can aid in energy movement.

I often will simply ask myself why I am having trouble.  As I do, I observe myself carefully, and I zoom in on my feelings as I ask myself this.  It is realy amazing what you can find out about yourself when you are no longer invested in hiding things the way you used to.  Access to the subconscious is much clearer now in awakening.  You might want to sit quietly and ask your stomach or gut why its feeling this way.  FEEL into it, don’t think into it.  Is this feeling reminding you of a feeling you have had before?  As  child?  Or in a certain circumstance?  What do these instances all have in common? You would be surprised just how quickly you can do this type of inner inquiry in order to get to the root of the cause or issue.  This type of work can be very healing and very helpful for you in all other forms of healing work (releasing blocks).  Don’t be shy, give it a try.  🙂

Alternative Methods

  • Diet

Try changing your diet.  You might need a higher fiber diet.  Very high fiber has helped me to deal with some of the fallout from energetic block movement.  In fact, I often use “All bran” as a kind of tonic in the morning and make sure that I eat food high in fiber. Cut down on sugar intake and eat foods that are high in beneficial bacteria.  This aids digestion and also gives the immune system a boost.

  • Fasting

Fasting may help tone your gut.  How you choose to do this depends on you and your health.  There are many ways to fast, some that involve still consuming food.  Some fasts involve colon cleansing.  While you will want to check with your doctor whether fasting is right for you (if you have health issues that could be affected by a fast), there are a lot of resources on the web today about the many ways to fast.  When I fasted, I found that it really helped with my energetic flow.  It helped the energy to flow less hindered.  My fast was a draw-down of food so that I ate half the amount the second day of the fast, then I ate nothing the third day and then did not eat anything for the next three days.  I made sure that I always had water on hand.  I was physically active the third day of my fast, but not excessively so.  I drove on a four hour trip one way and had no problem with being light headed. I found this type of fast to have been very beneficial to me.  Everyone is different, so the results I have may be different for you.  My experience has been that fasting tones my body as well as my mind and seems to help open channels of energy.  Fasting was long considered a way to open ones self to the world of the spirit. You can read up on the history of fasting from a number of different cultural and religious perspectives.

In a story about Pythagoras who was seeking entry into the Mystery Schools of Egypt, he was told that to “be different” he needed to fast, do breath work, and focus on different places in his body (such as the third eye).  Fasting was done for extended periods back then.  When Pythagoras had done as they instructed, he returned a changed man. Did he have an awakening?  Its certainly possible that this was exactly what took place.

This link is ALL about fasting.  Really. An entire site dedicated to it. 🙂

http://www.allaboutfasting.com/types-of-fasting.html

~As in all practice, extremes are to be avoided.  Good luck in your work!

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