Archives for category: coping

Its pretty amazing to me just how big the stats are on people searching using kundalini and flu symptoms. This has been going on for a number of years on several blogs that I have.  It is consistent across the board.

 

This tells me that kundalini awakenings are going strong and that people are concerned most with this, next to a handful of other observations related to awakening.

 

I dealt with this a lot during awakening and my sense has always been that prana as a force has a stimulating effect on the body, yes, obviously, but it also creates some irritation as well.  I felt this irritation before the full rising of kundalini in the form of stomach upset and mysterious bouts with flu-like symptoms that affected my intestinal track.  It is normal.  Along with this I also found a lot of other bodily fluids being produced that I felt were the direct result of this stimulating effect.  I could be wrong, but my sense has always been that these fluids were being produced as a way to protect the body from further irritation.  When prana flows at such high levels, I think the body does what it can to deal with it.  When I had gut trouble in the beginning, I used pepto, which always made it go away for a while.  I think that similar stomach coating methods can be helpful.  Just a little something to provide comfort.  At the time this was happening, I didn’t know it was related to kundalini.  I even went to the doctor for it.  He showed nothing of concern, and suggested it was just my natural system adjusting to something.  All good, he said.  And a week later: boom!  Then things began making more sense to me.

 

My sense has been that this is part of what is called “solar” prana, or the masculine side of the energy.  When I looked it up on some Chinese medicine sites, sure enough, they described solar energy in the gut related to Qi flow and its effects, most notably irritated bowel, production of mucus, etc., as a result of this stimulation effect.  So yes.  Normal.

 

This begs the question, at least in my mind, of how to deal with this?  My first thought is to focus on the feminine energy, the yin side to this for comfort.  It has what is called a “cooling” effect.  On the one hand, the masculine energy can clear and heal a lot of things, an energy that I like for letting things go having to do with blocked energy, but it is only one side of the equation.  While the yang energy is good at pushing through stuff, you also have to work the other side of things, by really going deep in another more “feminine” shakti way.  Push out, draw within. Part of a cycle of innermost creation.  And this cycle is what makes consciousness whole.  We each have both, so don’t be afraid to explore it.  It will also connect you in to issues and balances that will help you in your process.

 

How you are able to anchor the feminine energy will be something that you connect well to, your own inner associations.  You will FEEL “her” in you, so the trick will be how to explore it more.  It might be that simply thinking about the feminine, looking at images of goddesses, dakinis, or yogini’s can do it for you.  Sometimes just reading something about the divine feminine….meditating on the moon and its symbolic nature in your own mind as an archetypal symbol loaded with meaning….deep rivers, the dark side of our being, a deep void pregnant with possibility might do it.  if you are actively experiencing awakening you wont have to go far to encounter her.  She resides along the left side of your body and then as she moves up into the neck and the head, the energy does a flip as it goes into the “zero” state, where the flow moves into what I calla “flux” condition where its polarity changes.  It meets in the head and the hemispheres of the brain mirror this.  Right brain is holistic, sees the big picture, is diffuse, vast, wildly creative, but also needs the direction of the left in order to create a focus within that vast field.  Learn how the energy works in your consciousness and body.  I think that this will help if you do this kind of work daily.

 

The other thing you can do is to look at what the Eastern traditions say about foods that are good for yin.  These will be described as “cooling” in nature.  Before I knew about this type of diet I was approached in a vision by my guardian and he showed me an image of several foods.  One was eggs.  That was the protein I was to eat for a while because meat was giving me a lot of trouble.  Then alongside the egg was a slice of cantaloupe. “Really” I thought. But I tried it, and by golly, it really helped to calm kundalini effects a LOT.  In fact, it put me into this very calm blissed-out state.  It was like a drug.  This only lasted for about a six month period for me, though.A year later I came across an article on a site that described that eating melon was very good for calming and “cooling” kundalini down.  Well there you go, right?  Along with melon are other foods like cucumber which are supposed to be good.  I found myself not eating meat and eating a lot of eggs, fruit and light uncooked vegetables.  I also found that a couple of years later that raw jalapeno would really even me out and put me into a similar blissed-out state as the cantaloupe had a few years prior.  Again, this was synchronized with where I was at the time.  Jalapeno does not affect me the same way as it did then when kundalini was stirring me so strongly with all those blocks to clear out.  You might want to listen to your intuition, consider lucid dreaming and mediation to get messages about the best things to try.  Trust that you can discern these things. Whatever the way is that works best for you, the information is there and it can help you out a lot if you can learn to trust that this can happen.  Sometimes just being aware that you can do this is enough to begin grabbing that informational tiger by the tail.  Heavier foods have had their place for good grounding, but there is also a time not to be grounded completely.  Sometimes you have to go waaay out in order to do the work, right?  So go.  Do.  And then, get your grounded state in so you keep balance in your life.

 

The other side to all of this is that during rapid block removals you can feel achy.  It feels almost like you are going to get sick.  This is a good time to let the junk flow through you.  it is a bit like the “hair of the dog.”  When I had rapid removal during Qi Gung work, I actually felt clammy and sick for several weeks.  Then, just as a block was getting ready to move, I would feel sick a little to my stomach.  This always became a sign that I was moving energy.  At this stage, it can often be the result of what I call chakra energy movement where the force of the chakras are moving many blocks in a given region of the light body instead of individual blocks.  This is more a wholesale kind of removal.  You can often be dealing with a whole cluster of blocks being removed at once and this was always where I got flue symptoms.  It was a lot to deal with, so symptoms emerged.  But instead of this being a situation where I was being made sick by the junk floating through me, it was more its last hurrah before it was gone.  So think of it as a positive sign and that once it all moves, the flu feelings will recede until the next big series of blocks go.  You will likely find after a few years of this that things quiet down and you begin experiencing blocks moving more from the meridians than the chakras.  They are ALL moving out of the meridians or the nadi, but the chakras are creating these powerful stirrings of the energy in certain areas that sweeps all that stuff up and out.  Let it do its work!  Its good! Just know that this is simply a reaction and you are not getting sick.  If it gets bad enough, consider minimally invasive ways of calming and creating comfort for coating the stomach. Teas, honey, even yogurt or milk if you can handle that.

 

Drink plenty of water, too. I know it sounds simple, but your body is working overtime.

 

 

yoanu.comSource:  yoanu.com

 

Do you find yourself having trouble with much of the music out there today that gets airplay over the radio waves? Do you find yourself having trouble with your old play lists that you listened to before awakening? Old favorites that have just….fallen away?

Oh so much changes, doesn’t it? I know that at a certain point in my process, I could no longer watch certain movies or even listen to certain kinds of music. So much of our world is drenched in this vibration of hardness, and it shows in the music we listen to. I recently began to reflect on all of the really great music that I have listened to over the last ten years that helped me to find a place to be where I could still listen to music without going into the wrong kind of overwhelm.

 

So if that has been the case for you, I have a treat or two hiding in here for you!

 

I have a list. It is in truth, a lot of different stuff, but its been selected because it has at different periods of time, helped to support me in my process.  Some days, I just could not listen to ANYTHING deeply rhythmic because, awakening.  But other times, I NEEDED that deep beat.   But mostly?  I needed something that wasn’t drenched in the drama and BS of popular culture. Some of the music is great for work, yoga, meditation practice (if you use music at all) and for just getting around through the day. I have selected out all of the things that didn’t put me in a funk and that usually tend to lift me up or helps to put me in one great zone or another (some very quiet and subtle). I don’t know about you, but my tastes range all over the place, and what suits me one day does not work the next. I have all kinds of play lists often just to suit the mood. So the list….it ranges all over the place, too. I hope you can pick up a few things to add to your sonic tool box. So sharpen your pencil, take down some names and head over to i-Tunes to listen to the free samples, or try them on YouTube.

 

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, and there is a lot that is not included because it might only be one great song on one album, but this should be something to get you started on a new sonic-mind space groove. Note: everything I am listing, except for a few noted exceptions, can be found on i-Tunes. Injoy!

 

What’s your favorite music these days?  Care to share?  I’m expanding my list on a daily basis and would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Elephant Revival. An eclectic blend of styles rooted in folk, but without slavery to instrumental styles that hem them in. My favorites from their most recent album Petals are Peace Tonight, Petal.



Their album These Changing Skies is their second most recent album and it’s worth taking a look/listen because the sound is a little different in some ways, while staying true to their quiet calming meditative music. In some ways, there are songs on this album I like even more than their most recent Petals. Make sure to check out

Birds and Stars, and Down To The Sea – I do have to admit that these soft-sided works often get a little much for me; I like some variety, so Down To The Sea feels a little turned inward, but I am sure you will like it in the right pairing, right? Also, Rogue River is worth listening for a bit of unexpected bluesy variety on the same album. Rogue is a bit hard in the lyrics, though.

 

Here is a link to one of their songs on youtube:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LgHDFHzMI4

 

Jai-Jagdeesh. Taking a sudden turn into the Bakhti vibe, there is the work of Jai-Jagdeesh who blends western with Indian sensibilities. This is good for those who want longer songs, more contemplation, less just easy listening, but often delightful and uplifting. Her album I Am Thine is made up of mostly long six to eight-minute tracks that help to keep you in the groove. I liked the first song on the album Aad Guray Nameh. And while the title track I Am Thine might be pretty popular, I liked Om Namah Shivaya Raam more because it departed from the more mellow rhythms and had a more bluesy feel, which is always interesting to me from a creative standpoint. Her earlier album Of Heaven and Earth has a little more upbeat feeling overall, and might be worth a listen.

 

Bachan Kaur is another artist whose work seems to be designed for yoga. Her album Anahata has a very folk feel, but this is not because it has traditional folk instrumentals, often just a guitar and a sitar in the background. Her work is spare, but if you want to have a fifteen minute tune, her work could be just the ticket.

 

Mirabai Ceiba is a duo that blends an interesting range of instrumental styles. I found myself grasping for a way to describe their sound. The best I can say is that it is a Celtic-meets-Latin feel. I find that I’d like their work without the singing because the instruments shine so beautifully on their own. Their albums Sevati, and their most recent Sacred Love Meditations, along with several others, are all on i-Tunes.

 

Matisyahu is less meditative music as it is something with a positive message. It has a reggae backbone, toss in some world, and you are done. Light is one of his recent releases and personally, I like the track on Light, One Day the best.

 

Trevor Hall has a great message, and isn’t into the trancy eight minute journey’s, which means that Trevor is a bit like Matisyahu not so much in style, but in that they have a rhythmic instrumental style that lacks the rawness often present in music of this type. I like Trevors music a lot and I find I pepper my play lists with his stuff when I need to break up the longer “trancy” stuff with something that has a nice beat. His last two albums Kala and Chapter of the Forest are two you should start with and explore his earlier work from there. I wouldn’t call his work yoga music though. Its really nice thoughtful music with soul.

 

This is his Youtube channel:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96SGUEnI2uw&list=PL11s0VhvKvosz9kjROX5j11NrnP8meHCJ

 

In a similar kind of rockin’ vein is Michael Franti. Again, his stuff might be too fast for some yoga, but his message is supportive and strong with his hi-hop reggae blended style. In fact, his music is often really great to dance to. His most recent album is Soulrocker.

 

Deva Premal was music I listened to when I did my Qi Gong practice. Her music has a contemporary backbone but well within the New Age style. The focus is on her voice, which she uses very well for create rich landscapes that can help carry you along in your work. It tends to be faster tempo than, say Bachan Kaur. If you want a really wild sound scape, try her Tibetan Mantras for Turbulent Times. This album is most definitely for trance work, if you ask me. Much of her work tends to be mantras sung in the Sanskrit.

 

NOT ON I-TUNES: Now for one that might be hard to get to, but at a certain point in my work, especially meditation and Qi Gung, Vyas Huston’s Victory Over Death fit the bill. It’s a bit severe sounding sometimes, but when its good, it can be really good. I copied the file twice and burned a disc for listening for long periods since it is one giant circle of mantra (but somehow, it doesn’t listen as repetitive because of how the phrases are paced out with the music). And to be fair, he isn’t singing mantras, but reciting a prayer whose words can be found on other sites dealing with Huston and his work.   I was introduced to his work by my teacher Robin and I was able to copy his disc. If you do Thai Chi or Chi Gung, you might see how the pacing of his recitation works really well with the moves of Qi Gung (which my teacher Robin presented to the rhythm of his piece, which is almost half an hour long-perfect for getting in a number of important moves in the Gung).

 

When I went looking for his work on i-Tunes, it didn’t show up, and honestly besides a Youtube video, I am not sure where to tell you to go to get it (if you like it). Vyas is mentioned on the internet here and there, so maybe you can get lucky (and maybe share back here for a link?). Let me know what you think of his work! Until then, this is the link to the youtube that has the piece on it (and a few images that are a dead-ringer for places where I live):

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv4DcBDNwI8

 

 

Moksha (featuring Kanchman Babbar). If you want something in a similar and perhaps more traditional vein, try these Vedic chants by a chorus of 21 Brahmins. Just type “Moskha” in i-Tunes and it should be the first choice that comes up and give it a try. All of the chants are done in a pitch and style that does not vary except the mantras being chanted.

 

Odesza. So nice. One album worth listening to is In Return. First track: Always This Late. This is not meditation music per se, but its great texture and a sonic landscape for….running, working on writing (if the vibrations match what you are doing), cleaning, dancing (?)and heck, maybe even an active yoga routine. Check them out and let me know what you think. Very upbeat, bright, and lovely vocals with a definite electronic backbone to it all. I own their work.

 

 

Emancipator. Another electronic trance groove kind of sound-scape in a similar vein as Odesza. See their album Seven Seas, safe In the Steep Cliffs, and Soon It Will Be Cold Enough. I like their stuff. I have a few of their songs, too!

 

Peter Gabriel. I know, “isn’t he that pop artist who was once with Genesis and did Shock the Monkey?” Yes! If you listen to his music, you will find that all of his work has a driving desire towards awareness. He is a modern Gnostic in my book with his revealing More Than This. He is a kind of revealer of important issues concerning our place in the world. While his music has hit the charts and has had a lot of play, giving his music a listen to revealed, at least to me, a great depth of comprehension about spiritual issues. His album Growing Up, which was also released as a DVD of his live concert (in France, if I remember correctly).   While his work with Genesis was more in the pop/rock vein, his work began to mature once he broke from the band. Some of his work gets hard and even edgy, but some of his songs, like Signal To Noise are dealing with the issue of disinformation and seeking truth. His music was indispensible at a certain phase in my awakening. Blood of Eden speaks to the union of the opposites in consciousness.

 

  1. IZ. Also known as Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Iz is Polynesian and has a beautiful melodic voice that he matches with equally sensitive lyrics. Iz is no longer with us, but he has left a number of albums like Facing Future, and Alone in IZ World. His is a Hawaiian experience.

 

Yoga Music Co. These folks create music expressly for yoga. Might be worth a try. If you want a quick intro, you can go to youtube:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij28wzJMijI

 

I am not sure if they are i-Tunes but their web site is www.yougamusicco.com. I liked what I heard!

 

For that matter, there are a number of channels on youtube now with music like Yoga Music, so it might be worth a listen and a little seeking to find things that you like.

 

Deborah Van Dyke is a chanter and her work is, as you might have guessed, very repetitive, but these are mantras after all.

 

In a more melodic and musical vein is the work of Donna De Lory, a mix of English and Sanskrit language styling.

 

So what music do you like? Please feel free to share and we can make a nice list for others in desperate need of a sonic transformation!

 

Until next time,

 

-Parker

NOTE: This is part two of a two-part work that details the marks that have emerged on my body throughout my awakening process.  I am finally including this information here in the hopes that if anyone else encounters them that they can rest assured that they are not losing their minds and that all is well.  If you are finding this and would like to read the first installment please click HERE and a new tab will open and you can come back to this installment once you have completed the first part.

Continued from the previous…


 

When I awoke and saw this burn on my hip, I was at a complete loss as to how to explain any of this.  How had I managed to burn myself and never even notice?  If I had burned myself, I reasoned, whatever had burned me would have burned through my clothing. I would have noticed this kind of burn.  It would have been a circular or semi-circular object.  I would have clothing that was burned through near the hip.  As I searched memory, I had not been in the kitchen or near anything that was hot enough to create a burn like this.  It just wasn’t adding up the morning I got up and saw the mark plain as day as I sat on the side of the bed before my feet hit the floor.   I knew there was no way I could have gotten burned just lying in bed asleep.  No sharp objects, no chemicals had come into contact with my body in the last week. And a burn?  I would have noticed it.  I would have felt it.  I would feel it throbbing, begging me to put something on it to ease the pain. This was a complete mystery!

 

Over the course of the next couple of days I shot the same mark several different times in a variety of different light just to make sure that I had captured it.  Had I been branded? A friend later suggested that maybe I had been branded, but perhaps branded by spirit. Had I been taken out and abducted?  Why a burn?  And why didn’t it hurt?  Why didn’t it behave like a burn?  It simply faded over a period of about three days with no marks, no scaling of the skin, no itching, no scarring at all.  There was no evidence of bruising or abrasion either. It was a complete mystery…at least as the time.

 

Below, see a close-up of the mark.

aut_0024

 

The Second Mark

The next photo is of a mark that manifested in 2012 after I experienced a powerful heart clearing.  This was the third such clearing that I was aware of, which suggested to me that this was the third kosha, level, or dimensional aspect to be impacted through the clearing process that kundalini helped to facilitate.  In the case of the mark at my heart chakra, it took a number of days before this mark emerged. Prior to that, I felt a powerful magnetic effect of energy surrounding my heart center that I can only describe as a beaming energy that was moving outward from my heart center.  It is worth noting that I had two years prior to this had an experience with an angelic being who reached into my heart center in a kind of psychic surgery where he pulled out what felt like a part of my insides.  All of this was energetic in nature, but felt very physical at the time.  While he had his hand in my heart center, I was on fire with an unbelievable pulse of love that radiated throughout my entire being at a pitch that I could scarcely believe was even possible.  It was this experience that initiated a series of powerful heart openings that continued over the following three years that resulted in a number of releases of old ancestral, physical, karmic, and emotional material from my field of awareness.  Once the release came that resulted in the mark in my heart center, my heart felt more different than it ever had.  It felt as though I had a beaming light shining from the center of my heart.

heart-mark-72-dpi-copy

This mark began as a single circle and over a period of months as my heart center grew or expanded, a second lighter circle developed on top of the first.  This had the effect of two hoops or circles making a figure “8” on my chest.  I did not take photos of this new or expanding of the mark on my body.

I noticed that when I looked at it in the mirror over that year that the circle took one a look as though it was a circle with many smaller flames encircling it.  It reminded me a lot of the image of Shiva dancing and being surrounded by a circle of flame.  In fact, this mark was different from the first in that it was more like a series of marks making up a circle.  It also has the effect of being like a string of red burn-like marks strung together, which the picture above illustrates.  Again, this mark did not come about as a result of a fungal infection like ringworm or psoriasis and has been a mark that at various times reemerges when I am moving strong heart energy. I can in fact feel its presence all the time, but it gets stronger at different times. Besides the burn mark shown earlier, I have never had these strange burn marks that I could not account for.   If anything, the marks are more like the result of my body being slightly irritated by the energy across the skin, perhaps more like how electricity might burn the body more than anything. Could this be a reaction to strong pranic energy flowing through the heart chakra?  It’s interesting to me that it is so small; this ring feels like it corresponds to the central channel, the shushumna as it transits through the heart chakra because my heart chakra takes up nearly my entire chest now.  There is an emergence of the most brilliant part of the heart center that starts at the center of my chest and radiates outward.  This ring corresponds to this most intense center of energy (and might be a slight overloading of energy that irritates my skin?).

heart-mark2-72dpi-copy

Enter a caption

What I do find interesting is that in my inner work I discovered a characteristic of prana while working with a Kahuna healer one day.  When I am having her work on me, I feel very relaxed and secure and I often drop into a deep trance state in the hopes of facilitating the energy she is moving in my body.  As I looked down into my meridian system I noticed something I had never seen before, which was that each energy line was surrounded by a series of other lines, like a bundle of fiber optic cables surrounding a central sheath.  The mark on my chest is very similar to how the channel looked when viewed in cross-section (I am able to use the inner eye to get all kinds of views of my body ethereally, including what is essentially a cross section view). But I don’t know if this is connected to this discovery I made with my healer or not, and will be something that I will be bringing up with healers in my area to see if we can develop this further to see if these bundles can be further looked at to work out ways to work with them for moving energy and for healing work. So much to ponder and consider!   All of this, no larger than the size of a dime.  This is one reason why I think that this mark corresponds to the central channel and not the entire chakra because in both the Indian and the Chinese methodologies, the channels are described as quite small.  The Ida and Pengali (which are nadi, or channels, for prana) are said to be as thin as the hair of a boar, for example.  Each of the spots or flames are themselves closer to that size while the central core or inner circle is more in line with the shushumna channel size.  I bring this all up because this might possibly be a way to study the anatomy of the energy body (until a scientist or engineer gets curious enough to build a device that can detect and read prana in the body!). So given this size of these channels, does this circular mark correspond to the diameter of the center channel, the shushumna?

channels

 

If you would like to learn about the nadi, which are many, and the larger system of energy that transmits prana throughout the body you can begin with a pretty good wiki article first.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadi_(yoga)

 

What I have noticed is that my chest continues to feel different.  It even seems to have had an effect on how my skin reacts to this energy.  Radiant, glowing almost, there is an abiding presence of all that I have worked to bring forward within myself.  The energy, though, seems to have a slight irritating effect, which is mild, but is ever-present.  Sometimes it can lead me to want to scratch or rub it, which can also make it sore very easily.  I have to remind myself not to touch it, but to be aware of it, to feel what this all represents and the change that it has brought into my life.

Marks Are Not A Given Nor A Necessity

I don’t think that you have to have ANY physical manifestations of awakening in your life to prove anything about your awakening experience.  In fact, the central phenomenon of awakening that is most important to my mind is the Presence that emerges and never goes away, which is itself, at least to me, a higher dimensional aspect of who and what we are potentially, and that this Presence can help to bring great change in our lives if we allow it to do its work.  This Presence can bring awareness if we can be humble and if we can be honest with ourselves.  Then, it burrows deeper into us, integrating and clearing as it goes.  Resist, and it too will cease its development, its movement ever-deeper.

I also consider the great likelihood that I may have been a mystic Christian in an earlier life and either knew of, or experienced, some aspect of stigmata before, and this may be part of why I am experiencing these marks as I have in this life. Or not.  I will give you a couple of examples of how past life experience can inform our experience in the here and now (hoping its not too far a jaunt off our beaten path of the marks of awakening).

Thirty years ago, in an effort to project consciousness out of my body, I was approached by a serpent with the face of a man where the face of the snake should have been. This serpent was coiled and was floating in the air.   This face looked decidedly Mayan.  In the projection, I was being told that I needed to project my consciousness into the form of the snake. I looked at it and thought how odd an image that was, because I knew about a Mayan God name Quetzalcoatl, but always imagined it to be a winged or feathered serpent, not a floating serpent with a man’s head.  I wondered why it was that I would experience this image, obviously connected to Quetzalcoatl, in the way I had.  There was a reason for it, I just didn’t know what it was, at least not right away.  Later in life, however, I would have a series of dreams that revealed to me that I had lived as a Mayan in the Yucatan Peninsula and probably had some experience with this same god.  In my studies in art school, I came across a nearly identical image of Quetzalcoatl I had not seen before in the Museum of Natural History in Mexico City that depicted him in just the same way I had seen him during my projection work.  I also read later about Quetzalcoatl and found out that the priests who worked with this being were said to be visited by this god and would be taken on spirit journeys. Curious, that, I thought.  It was exactly what I was being told to do when I was younger, yet I knew nothing about Quetzalcoatl.  Not at least in this lifetime (and not until I took a course in college later simply because my curiosity had been piqued). And in still another interesting turn, that lifetime spent in the jungles of Palenque would bear upon many things that would take place in a life in the future which is the life I am living now with the whole “end” of the Mayan calendar-round in 2012.  Life is not without its interesting coincidences, and seems to be woven into a dynamic fabric where one life informs another in useful and coherent ways.

In an odd twist, I also found out a year after my experience with the seraphim that visited me while reading up on Christian mystics that there was an account written about a seraph who visited one Christian mystic which was strikingly similar to my own experience.  The mystic was St Theresa of Avilla. Theresa wrote about her experiences, and the account was similar, right down to the side that the angels would come to her and how the seraphim had pulled her insides out of her while she was “on fire with a great love of God.” While Theresa offers no insight into why the angel did this to her, I suspect that this was nothing short of a kind of “operation” performed in the etheric with the matter of the meridians, prana, or chi as the substances or systems that were being worked on.  All of this sounds crazy of course, unless you have seen and felt these systems for yourself.

440px-ecstasy_of_saint_teresa_september_2015-2a

Ecstacy of Saint Theresa by Bernini, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome

What I am saying is that I think that we may have a predilection toward certain experiences over others depending on our own turn of mind, reincarnation background, beliefs, and our constitution.  Some of us may need this “surgery” while others may not.  Some of us may “remember” the lost or ancient gods and goddesses as they seem to make a return to us in this age.  If I could count the number of people who I know who have had some significant experience with Isis, I would have a large room full of people who all know an important aspect of this woman who once walked the earth, who taught, and who was revered above mere saint and reached goddess status.  Lying deeper within us are these memories.  We are often just too busy or unaware that they exist.  Awakening can be enough to shake them loose in us and bring us face to face with these forces in the healing and resurrection that is this experience.

For some time, I have resisted putting these images up because I suspected that there would naturally be those who would be skeptical.  However, I know I am not the only one, and I place these images not for the skeptics, but for those who may have had unusual or baffling physiological changes taking place within them that might seem alarming or strange to them. While all of this takes place in the context of a grand sort of unraveling and rebirth and a coming to know one’s self in a new or expanded way, we also remain physical creatures with our own frailties sometimes.  Everything is as it should be.  And things will continue to change along a path that is certain and for your own betterment.  Believe in yourself, your own inner voice, and the authority placed there by the divine!  The universe, while neutral, is set up to allow you to succeed if you just know how to be authentically in the world. Others might not understand it, or might not even get it.  And this is, in its own way, part of how things are.

Finally, and lastly, I would add that for some time I considered that this phenomenon might not be unlike some of the burn marks that are common amongst those who have experienced abduction phenomenon.  I hesitate to put it too front and center in all of this because of how loaded all of this is. Having a few things in my own past experience that have made me wonder about the nature of my et experiences in my earlier life, I often consider the very possibility that some of the et encounters are themselves not entirely physical and belong to a range of experiences not unlike those experienced in awakening.  That is, that they may be a form of out of body experience, or inner “synthetic” reality which the ancients knew and wrote about at some length. Now I know that for some people, these are traumatic experiences and it can be hard to hear someone suggest blithely and perhaps unknowingly that they might not somehow be entirely physically real in the normal sense.  But I ask you; what is real?  Do you actually know what is real?  It is curious to me that the early Christians (Jesus in his “secret” teachings to his disciples) knew about these beings and described them as a spiritual agency that behaved more like spiritual parasites than god-like beings (although they behave in both cases as if they are on this kind of level). While mainline Christianity barely mentions them, the newly discovered documents in the Nag Hammadi do, and it is there, in the Hypostasis of the Archons that so much can be discovered about them and how similar they are to our modern et experience in certain strands of the phenomenon.  What books like this describe is a phenomenon with beings that fit the modern et abduction scenario perfectly, and are too similar one to the other to dismiss out of hand.  I suspect that in these cases, we may have a presence that is psychic or spiritual in nature that could be so present and powerful enough to create effects in us in just the same way that hypnotists have been able to cause burn marks to emerge on their subject’s bodies.  It is also likely or possible that what we have seen is a kind of transiting between dimensions so that physical dna can be taken, while in other cases, their presence is more of an internal nature.  What is sure is that these beings behave more like shape-shifters than anything we normally know in our world.

I know that such a mention might seem far afield to you, but I suspect that all of these things may cross at a place where body and mind might have a lot to tell us about ourselves and the capacity for us to release or express hidden or submerged memory, emotion, or knowledge when a thought or feeling contains sufficient force to manifest in these ways.  And it is here that burn marks emerge along with a few minor other types of markings as well.  We may yet be only on the edge of understanding the full breadth of what all of this means or is about.

So the marks of my awakening are my own.  Others have experienced them, and still others may experience them in the days, months, and years to come.  I simply want you to know that all is well, it’s just your body expressing a truth or a knowing or awareness that it needs to get out for your conscious mind to see.  In the case of my first burn mark, this took place just prior to the full rise of kundalini.  However, I will remind my readers that my awakening was gentle and gradual (taken in phases or steps).  I had a six-month period where the full power of awakening was released in distinct stages through my own inner practice and hearing a voice inside of me that guided me.  I was brave enough to not think I was going crazy and I listened to that “voice” or inner prompting.  As a result, it led to what I think was a much gentler form of awakening that could help others to awaken more peacefully and with less worry or fear.  And still, even then, it was quite a wild ride because….well….kundalini.

Finally, in sum, I would like to add one small point that might be why the first mark emerged as it did.  Ten years after that mark emerged on my right hip, at a time when I had removed layer after layer of piled on junk from my consciousness, I found myself at a place where I felt like I had reached nearly the end of the material I had worked so diligently to remove after this decade of inner work.  As this vista came into view, I have noted that it is in this same location in my body that the single most difficult block has remained. I have learned a lot about what this represents in the esoteric systems that describe it.  This is the point, an acupuncturist once observed, that resided along a meridian line that was tied to the gall bladder.  Being solar in character, it could create specific digestive problems aligned with this hot or solar energy (which I have had throughout awakening related to bouts of nausea and even diarrhea in the first six months of the awakening process).  Here in the hip, so close to the root chakra, along the yang energy line, we have masculine energy stuck in a realm having to do with nurture and a sense of safety, and personal abundance.  Here, too, is very likely the emotion of both fear as well as anger, stopped up in a block, held in tension without a place yet for the psyche to know how to let it go, and which can be felt as an almost physical sensation which no physical doctor would be able to ever detect unless the block were to manifest as a physical condition such as illness.  So in the last few weeks I have received guidance on the inside that has told me what next I need to do to neutralize this last block.  This is ultimately bringing in the feminine yin to balance the masculine and neutralize the block and to heal this last rift which has been so stubborn.  I suspect that blocks can be this way; the easiest and least activated are likely to go first while the more dug in and most activated ones remain until the end.  But by the time that day comes and one block remains in a field that has been cleansed, having even the stubbornest of blocks does not feel like an impossible feat to remove.  I know that when I can bring up all the right feelings that I need to both acknowledge and move through, this block, like the hundreds before it, will also go into the ether as it is transmuted back into a clear and brilliant body that has been my life work here these past number of years.  And maybe the crescent holds some symbolic meaning for me. It might have been the image of the seers of old, or emblazoned on the heads of priestesses and priests in Atlantis, Egypt, or pre-Christian Europe. Perhaps once this cycle is complete, I might just find out.  Until then, it’s for me a sign of the times playing out on the intelligence of my body.

Until next time…

 

 

©Parker Stafford, all rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied or republished without consent of the author.

remedy.jpg

In the first years of a spontaneous awakening without a practice or even understanding of what kundalini is, there is first bewilderment, then a settling into the rhythms and peculiarities of this new life.  You begin perhaps by learning that this has a name, and once you do, you probably gobble up as much information about it as you can.  The process itself, though, shows you that a lot of change is taking place in a very short span of time.  The chakras are pierced, opening, and then much more susceptible to the stirring of pranic force now moving more forcefully in the body.  Old things bubble up and lift away one by one, the energy is impacting your bodily systems “amping” up adrenaline, cortisol, but also dopamine, sexual hormones of testosterone and estrogen, as well as endorphins in the mix.  In a period of mere months it is not unusual to feel as though you have gone through what might feel as only achievable through years of traditional talk therapy sessions.  Things heat up, the process continues, and the light body releases what seems a vast backlog of stored emotional material that makes up the karmic load for the person.  The soul enters in, samadhi is experienced, incredible states of bliss are known, and the self feels as though it is being reformed, healed, and brought to a new understanding of its place in the order, the design—now revealed—of the cosmos.  All of this is rich, rewarding, and wonderful amidst the backdrop of such great energetic intensity.

Over time, the self most often begins its struggles with the trappings of ego.  We all seem to come to it in our own way when we are ready (or not entirely ready as the came may be). This is often marked by what is termed the Dark Night of the Soul, more a period of time than a singular event which is where the “rubber meets the road” in coming to terms with how the self was ordered prior to awakening. This is due to an arrangement of the psyche where ego was once front and center, and then is slowly – perhaps painfully – pushed into the background by the sheer force and immensity that is now facing it. Ego is simply being outpaced by cosmic consciousness, and the cosmic has to move now.  As necessary as it is, most call this a death because of how traumatic it is for some people (at least while it is happening).  This is, though, a very necessary stage to reach in order to catch the “new gear” that our awakening selves require, which is loosening the ties to the part of the linear self in favor of the nonlinear holistic self. As an aside, I will say that this is only “necessary” when our ego is already so centrally focused in our awareness—not everyone will need this “death” whose ego is already not so front and center, but it will happen naturally if it is needed. This ties directly into how the brain itself carries a mirror of or for the cosmic within it that allows it to process cosmic consciousness and its sweeping vastness (which is the right brain, which I write about a lot in other parts of this blog).  When this happens successfully, cosmic consciousness is no longer  overwhelming, or a fearsome struggle. It is a shift (not a death). It just becomes the new normal. Things become easier over time, and this new gear comes into fuller use.  The mind quiets, there is a greater sense of peace and understanding that this new condition, the awakened self, involves.  I wont say that all is perfect peace, but things are much easier, especially for those who awakened spontaneously. But with it comes, perhaps, a place in experience that is what I think of as the “now what” state.

Many people experience this state at one time or another.  With the incredible bliss comes crashes, and the yo-yo effect I mentioned in my previous post related to comping with kundalini.  Some call it “rubber-banding” or “contractions” of the self into its old familiar pattern. You have been to the summit, you have had incredible insights, the world has been turned on its head, and events now take on a different form in their creation.  You know that your own consciousness is absolutely creating so much of your life experience as evidenced by synchronicity, and other events very similarly aligned by way of their significance to what you might think of as your destiny are popping up all over the place. But in seeing behind or through the veil that is so often described as being a part of awakening (the veil that separates the different parts of the self— conscious, subconscious, as well as superconscious) you perhaps see into the very simple source code that runs all of this, the very engine of creation….the twin energies that are now alive in you that have been described in many esoteric traditions as the “Shakti and Shiva” union, the “I am one with the father and mother” described by Jesus in the so-called Gnostic texts of early Christianity. All of these traditions are simply pointing to the union of opposites within consciousness that make cosmic consciousness possible.  But in knowing this, its almost as though there is this “what now?” moment at one point or another.  You can reach a point where all of the old ways of being no longer hold their interest.  Your body, too, might have been so impacted by the intensity of the physiology of kundalini that it creates a physiological form of doldrums within you, too.

If you have a karmic draw to certain people, those engage you and keep you in the intensity, but when you begin questioning even these powerful draws, this too can fall away and you enter into this very quiet place that is increasingly so new that it feels like a land of no more turbulent storms, no more drama, only you and the Tao, the persistent Presence of the All emanating throughout creation.  You no longer have as your god the dramas of the old life.  The battle standard is put away, and the world becomes cause-less.  It is a good place to be, but it can feel like a loss sometimes. As Westerners, we are extremely unfamiliar with working with life in this way.  This is very similar to what the Zen Buddhists describe as “zero” which means neither for or against anything, a place of no agenda, a point many observe as being where you can more clearly glimpse the truth of your own life and how the world is (to the degree that we each are capable). I think that being able to reach this place is actually important for the still-deeper blocks that remain as the deeper blocks that even our own intellect or compassion is outpaced or eluded by.

This can manifest or come in as such a stillness that it puts you off, making you feel at a loss as to what to do.  When you know how things work in the world instead of thinking that you do by taking a side or an agenda, and you lose your investment in ego, the need to go on another crusade just drops away.  We are, I think, so accustomed to making life into this dramatic play that we are in (it makes us feel engaged and fully in on the game) that when it changes, it can feel like a kind of loss of sorts.  Maybe less a loss as a feeling of having won the world, you have also given it up in the way you had lived in it before. You actively lose so many things that you thought were important that had been driving you so hard and for so long, and this loss can leave you feeling like you are resting in a windless still-water world with no up or down, no “this” or “that.”

The part of you that corresponds with the super-ego, that I knew to be something I called the “watcher” (Osho uses the same term it turns out) is a higher order version of the earthbound ego, but without the restrictive qualities it places on us, helps to drive this feeling of detachment.  Its incredibly useful when learning to surrender and to let all of the old memes drop away. For some of us, detachment can be hard sometimes.  You see the drama in the world and this super-self ego says “There have been wars….there will be more wars….there will be drama, and still more dramas; they will come and go, and drama will unfold as it has done in the past….this is all a drama that repeats for those who need to work through their own junk….keep moving through it….just keep moving and be like a passerby.” And it is this state, that without bliss, can feel hollow or empty.  It can lead to depression, and it can feel as though everything you fought so long and hard for in your previous life has less and less meaning (because it is supposed to mean something, right?). The things that fulfilled you before no longer fulfill you now. This could be a crisis or it could be a remedy.

I can tell you that this is a big adjustment.  I can also say that when this took hold of me (or I took hold of it), I found that this happened after years of very intensive releases and the dropping of ego in the midst of a 24/7 awakening experience that had proceeded for five to seven years.  I had incredible insights daily, unbelievable synchronicities that would boggle the mind, as well as difficult challenges as I learned to drop more and more of my own karmic material. It felt like a very real victory to have been able to release so much material.  But it left me with a “blah” feeling as well. There was so much change and so fast!  Once I was able to reorient myself, I found that in my own experience, there was more material to work through, another layer lying deeper still in the substratum of my awareness that I could not see in the previous cycle of releases.  All of this happened when I was able to release the easiest material and had swept through all of the major chakra centers and through the five koshas, or layers, within each chakra (it is said that we have five, and my own experience has shown me that this corresponded to numerous clearings of the same chakra over and over but at different “states” of the energy).

What I found for myself was that the material that remained was much more fundamental and even primal in nature, the blocked energy that lay in the root for me that had to do with childhood nurture and my feeling safe and secure in the world in a material way.  The point I noticed was that the blocks that remained were the ones that had been the most activated and were the most fresh.  Since they were the most commonly activated, they also were he least understood or really “seen.” These were blocks that had been triggered during my very difficult divorce just a couple of years after awakening began. As a result, I observe, they were the blocks most difficult to let go of. These seemed to now lay in a substratum of my psyche that was the most irrational, most fundamental, and also the most difficult to get at.  Yes, I had had some very challenging times doing the work up until this time with blocks in the heart, throat, crown, and the solar plexus, sacral, and root. It all seemed like a mammoth effort that spanned seven years.  Now it seemed as though I reached some plateau and while I knew there was more to do (I could feel it pretty clearly in my energy body as tension, pain, or resistance), things had slowed down a good bit as I felt like I was literally chipping away at a stone now instead of these big sweeps of release. It was here that the “blahs” entered in.  I think that this is one stage where I could have gotten stuck really easily had I stopped paying so much attention to bringing in the forces of change in my body.

What I know is that this was not some end, but merely the beginning of another chapter.  I would meet friends who would be in the same place, a signal to me that life was a great mirror for me in telling me where I was.  As I sat helping a friend move through a guided meditation, I realized that the visualizations I was providing were just the ones that I needed to use in order to get deeper into my own rooted issues.

Desire is such a double-edged sword. It can drive us powerfully to discover and to find what had been a mystery only moments previously.  It can also serve to hold blocks in place, too, because desire that is not pure is being colored by our many blocks.  We wind up wanting things or being drawn through desire to our very own karmic material, which are the things that cause us trouble and are not good for us (even as we crave them).  It can feel like a trick to us that karma creates chemistry, but being double-edged, I observe that if used properly that it can also free us.  This is very much in keeping with the soul of what tantra is, the part that is about the lightening bolt of realization through using desire as the crazy wild energy that can move mountains (and no, I am not talking about using it for sex, I am talking about using it for supreme bliss).  It has to be used as honestly as possible, though. It can also burn the mountains down. Over time, I note, that desire itself transmutes as our own karma clears.  I suspect that it is an adjustment period, and desire itself is not the bad thing so many point to. For as much as the wise ones (you know…just about everyone who speaks out about spiritual matters) speaks out against desire, I do not align to those views at all. I think that we simply do not understand desire and how our karma takes it over.  While I speak as though its something being done to us, realize that all karma is based on a choice, a decision that we once made in the past, so it isn’t like we are helpless at all in the face of our own seeming karmic battles.  It isn’t that desire itself is bad, it is that desire is so pure a force from the divine that it flows through everything, even our own blocked material.  Animated in this way, old desires that we know aren’t good for us rise like phoenix’s from the ashes.  We get upset with ourselves for having fallen for what seemed like a merry-go-round (which of course it is).  Clean up the material that desire flows through and desire is free in a way that perhaps few (including his Holiness the Dalai Lama) have  yet to experience.

I know that this might seem like a u-turn on the path of having lost direction and passion for life, but I know in my heart that even the Prime Creator of the All lives in a sublime state of desire.  Its desire birthed all realities, all worlds, all possibilities.  Desire was what moved it to create in the way that it did.  Its release of us and our potential from its own dreaming was itself the orgasmic surprise just before a moment of sheer risk of losing it all, that by releasing it, it might just all float away like the children we birth who leave home and exit our lives. There is, I know, a vista ahead of us where, freed from our shame and guilt and glitches, is an experience that is beyond limits.  I know it sounds grandiose, but in truth I am talking about being bowled over by a cup of tea or a sunset, or dinner out with friends.  The simplest of moments looking out your window becomes a sheer miracle.

What I am saying is don’t turn away from desire, but examine it. If it seems as though it is causing you trouble, it is a sign that there is more material that needs clearing out.  I can’t tell you the end-point in this simply because it is new ground and we are all traveling together.  But its the next big thing, I think.

Surrender

Awakening can be a sudden and bewildering change that pushes a relentless process of clearing stored emotional material, ultimately with the light at the tunnel being a better more peaceful life with bliss as the centerpiece of this new level of attainment.

Right?

While the “rise” of awakening can be a very quick event, it instigates a transformative process that can be years in the making.  One of the big challenges among the many that come with awakening is how to BE in the world.  Most specifically, after awakening, how do you go on doing what you have always done?  So much is irrevocably changed within you; how you see, how you respond, how you interact with the world around you. Its a big shift that brings with it a lot of self examination about what it was you have been up to for all these years. Often you can be left feeling at odd ends about your work, your relationships, and how to move forward with awakening as the “new normal.”

Most importantly to bear in mind is that everything has changed. Trying to go back to the old way tends to repeat old patterns and methods.  This is a wonderful opportunity to be brave and leap into the breach, into the void of the future in a new way. I know as well as you do, that if you are going through awakening there is a new aspect being brought to bear.  This new “element” within the self is discovered while awakening.  It is itself the nonlinear, more feminine aspect within consciousness.  It is what I think of as a missing link in our own awareness and consciousness that sparks great change. You can see just how big a change it is because this unfolding of this part of you results in events happening differently. You are interfacing with reality in a different way, or perhaps I should say, in a much more efficient way than ever before.  Like what you think has a way of coming to pass very quickly.  We refer to this as synchronicity.  It is in fact a kind of “upgrade” to our own native ability to co-create with reality.  You create your reality. Now, though, its just a touch more seemingly magical because of this added and once missing element.

So the trick, I find, is to not try to go back to the old ways. You have been changed.  Period. Let the new filter into you and as a result of it, even though you are different from the masses, you will feel a flow and freedom as well as wonder joy and awe about this new life. And the more that you are able to anchor this sense of being within, the more it surrounds you in your life.  Slowly, or even quickly, your energy body is released, cleansed, of the hundreds of hitches that has gotten caught up in the co-creative cycling that is your karma. Letting it go clears the decks and makes thing easier in direct proportion to the mass of inner material released.  You are now better able to NOT know what the future holds, willing to ride the wave of bliss and maybe even find how perfect things happen when you are in this zone.  Trusting.  Happy.  A little breathless, intense sometimes, hard at other times, too, yes, but getting better and better.

But.  Sometimes you want to take what you may still love to do and adapt it to your new life. I can tell you that in my own experience, so much changes.  If you are a business owner like I have been, being able to steer the ship in a way that supports you in basic ways as well as all of the new ways can be a daunting task.  This is where listening to the force within will guide.  I was an artist in production. Nothing got done that I did not myself do. I worked 80 hour weeks and loved it, and yet I brought to the work a lot of issues that disapeared once awakening came along. I was left lost for about a year, bereft of creative juices, new ideas, or even the drive, the old fire in the belly.  Intuitively, I knew that the fire in the belly could be supplanted by a different kind of fire.  It would attract a different kind of client just as it would support my new life. Before I went in a very linear fashion, a rather rational approach to all of this. But post awakening, I saw a world of new opportunities for collaboration and leveraging my brand as well as my own creativity by working with others with similar interests as mine.  I found that instead of being so aggressive, I simply did what I had always done; let the work speak for itself and let the chips fall where they may.  If I needed someone to help market the work, someone would come along in perfect timing.  It has always happened this way.  I don’t go looking for resources, I am now attracting them magnetically. Less about money and more about having fun and enjoying life, I have opened the door to a world of possibility.  I simply say, “bring me the highest” and for the time and the place I am in, it almost always has. All of this requires me to step back and let the universe work its magic. This involves faith I think.

Along with this change is also what I experienced as my mind entering into a persistent state of stillness and quietude.  To get there, I had to ride some pretty serious waves of bliss for extended periods. This took place over about a two to three year period that culminated not in ego death, but in what I call ego rearrangement. Its important to understand that there is no such thing as ego death. Those who use it are trying to explain what feels like might be a death, but is in truth a gentle but tragic-feeling change that asks us to allow ego to drift into the background.  Once that is done enough, the self will feel immense relief as well as a number of new benefits to consciousness and how you feel on a day to day basis.  But for a time, there is also a kind of “spacey” quality to your mind.  I forgot things very quickly.  On the one hand, the chemistry behind this was important for letting go, but try getting through a day with a long list of things that need to be done.  I have found that I make written lists so that my bliss state remains without any feelings of tension or anxiety about missing something.  I can say, though, that there were many times when I was in that “daze” of the quiet mind that I would end up being in all the right places, a little embarrassed to realize that I had forgotten an appointment even though I was there at just the right time.  I found that the more I let go, the more flawless this worked. But it didn’t work every time.  I was not always in the perfect flow, so being able to set up a note system has been a nice way to remind me when I am soaring through the day.

I was pleased to find that this state of mind was described by Zen monks as the goal of reaching samadhi.  It was a necessary precursor, they said.  This is often referred to in Buddhism and the Vedic tradition as the “empty head” or “no-head,” suggesting that the normal operations of the mind as a linear thinking rationalizing organ have been disrupted. In my own experience where I have carefully observed the chemistry at work in my body, I identified the chief compound involved in this surrender state as being primarily dopamine.  I arrived at this as a result of a lot of careful research and study into the effects of dopamine as well as opiates on the body, and all opiates have had an analogous enough effect as dopamine since the signature of bliss in the body is far more complex than any one compound- this includes hormones as well as oxytocin, and even small amounts of adrenaline in order to modify the spacey quality inherent in dopamine).J. Krishnamurti described that he went into a “declutched state” where his mind simply refused to work.  He would often forget names, would look at himself in the mirror and simply not recognize who it was that was there (this happened to me several times).  This state persisted for some time, and while it moderated later, he retained an aspect of it throughout his life. And I think that its a necessary state to have in order to deal with cosmic consciousness.  You simply cannot rationalize your way through your day and expect to get through in one piece.  Linear thought becomes the short-order cook in your life, very good for specific short-termed tasks, but terrible for the bigger stuff.  The Zen master Taisen Deshimuro explains that people who are rational and “mental” have a lot of trouble with awakening.  They have trouble just being a monk, too, but its because they  use the mind in a way that is no longer compatible with awakening. You just need to be much bigger than the narrow linear mind. You have to be bigger-hearted, more soulful, to navigate the energy in greater peace.

For as much as I like to be my own boss, awakening sparked in me an interest in working with others, so I have.  I have been able to bring to my work in teaching something that few teachers do.  School is still very much a mechanistic process.  Some of it is necessary in order to teach technique in art, for example.  You simply have to learn how to lay down paint well, or to know just how to move a tool across a surface in order to get a smooth surface in clay.  This is what dancers study for years, what ballerinas will repeat endlessly in order to train themselves to be the best they can be. Its important, but its only one side to the coin.  Along with this is the human soul that is part of our creative expression, and how we access creativity.  Instead of teaching through pressure and the fear of deadlines, I create an environment of freedom that includes personal responsibility to ones own work.  To be an artist, you cannot hope to succeed if you don’t have discipline within you as a choice instead of imposed from outside.  So doing this work, while very different from how I was trained, I have used and I have hoped that it will yield results for the hundreds of students whose lives that have transited my own through my work. As more and more students “come back” after graduation by asking to be ‘friended’ through Facebook or through other forms of social media, I see how what I do has been catching on.

Creativity goes crazy when it is stripped of fear and is instead infused with joy and wonder.  Something very special happens.  And I have been dedicated to supporting this way of teaching because I know how great it is to experience creativity in this more expansive way.  Each of us has genius inside of us.  I know you might not agree, but I have seen it when someone pokes their heads out of their own fear and desire to play it safe.

Another aspect of my teaching work has been to do group projects so that my students can realize a much broader range or scope to a finished work.  The result has been that we have made hundreds of pieces for an installation, larger-scale work that has grabbed a lot of attention by other students and faculty as well as the world at large.  By learning how to collaborate my students also learn how to work with each other in an interesting dynamic that involves give and take, as well as making choices and going with them.  They do less overthinking their choices while in the process and learn how to follow their instincts, an important non-rational aspect to creative work.  Ultimately, my hope is to empower my students so that they might develop greater confidence in themselves and use their experience with me as an example for something they want to do later in life.

Collaboration means inclusiveness.  If you find yourself hungry for working with groups of people as so many who awaken do, you might serve as an inspiring presence that suggests that while the way forward may not always be known, things have a way of working themselves out perfectly when we let go of expectation and just throw ourselves in projects with joy and enthusiasm.  It might be that your work sustains you but you find that it is not terribly rewarding.  I think you have two choices, either you find a way to work so that its more interesting, or you find something beyond your work that fills the bill for you.  Between my creative work and the five sites that I manage for it, my spiritual work and the three blogs I manage for those writings, along with my work teaching and being a father, I find that life is just packed. I am constantly tuning and fine tuning my inner work in order to harmonize with a life that continues to change and clarify.  Things change as they need to, and the timing always seems to be just right.  I know that when I say I go with the flow that it sounds like I am somehow inactive, it is less that I am inactive as I am at a deeper level very engaged in the river of my life in a way that does not involve the same level of physical manipulation needed.  I am simply not pushing the river as much, but finding ways to be “like water” (thank-you Bruce Lee) and to use the flow of my life in as harmonious a way as I can.  I’m human, so its not perfect, but in the imperfection lies an opportunity to know more about myself as long as I am willing to be honest with myself.

The answer to coping may not be in trying to do things the old way, but to navigate life in a new way.  This new way may require you to have faith, to not always know what the future holds but to find that the more you are able to suspect that a”bad” outcome one day is just setting you up for something not yet in your present. I recently had a pretty significant equipment failure, but instead of letting it get to me, I saw that there had been a series of these odd little glitches happening that made me feel like I wasn’t supposed to be doing the work I was doing.  For reasons I do not know yet, the work that I would have done had the failure not happened, probably wont be needed.  Thus, this has given me two additional days away from my production work in order to get ready for an open studio event.  I have learned that when I go with this flow, there is always something that comes along that shows me that had it gone differently, it would not have been “right” or that the flow of events were perfectly arranged in the way they were for certain other events to happen as they did.  Without the equipment failure, I would have missed something, or something important would likely not take place.  I don’t know what that is, but I have faith that everything is unfolding as it should.  In the old days, I would be banging my head against the wall.  The flow of events have been sufficient to put me where I need most to be.  And sometimes the right place is not something that I might even want or recognize as important at the time, but often winds up being significant in some important way.  So the job that you lose, which is seen as a tragedy, also means that you wind up taking off time and find yourself swimming in a pool with someone who is to be a major player in the next chapter in your life.  Had you not lost your job you would not be swimming in the pool at just that moment meeting your new contact in perfect timing. These things happen with great frequency the more we can open ourselves up to being available to them.

What you might lose, you also win.  There are compensations in this new life.  Limits tend to go out the door as you ask yourself, “What can’t I do?”  And that is just the spirit, right?

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