Archives for category: spiritual healing

I have been increasingly busy lately with a relaunch of my business, a “redux” that takes into consideration the tools we now have for doing business remotely. The internet represents a giant shift in how we communicate, connect, do business, and live our lives. Not good or bad (not yet anyhow), and those who can learn to harness it will find their way down this new path.

These last two years have been marked with my designing entirely new work in my creative medium, hot glass. The old wasn’t tossed, just added to. In the process I shared the new work on Facebook, and watched as my base grew. This period represented some of the most productive periods in my life creatively since founding my studio in September of 1997. Literally scores upon scores of new works were brought forward. There is still more to bring forward. Goodness sakes.

While Awakening appeared to tear me down, it also released a lot that was not necessary. So much change, some extremely rapid, some slower. But what made it impossible for me to create in my medium at one stage became the very thing that vaulted me forward. I am left praying that the universe offers up all the right people in divine timing for the next chapter of growth upcoming, because I will need just the right kind of people who can be a part of the studio to help it move forward.

For a time I considered that the intelligence within this energy had no care as to my welfare, but I found that I was wrong. It just wants me clear and aligned, the rest are details. Turns out I may have been sabotaging myself without fully realizing it.

As a result of all this work, which has transformed my studio practice, I have been running to keep up with the pace. I just haven’t had time to write much unfortunately, so you haven’t heard much from me.

In the last few months, a very interesting thing happened. I was about to cancel my subscription to Gaia after subscribing to this online channel for a few years. As a result, I was trying out videos I might not have tried otherwise. One was called Soul Power with Carolyn Myss.

In it she described a series of archetypes in personalities. All are universal and regardless of culture, and each responds in exactly the same way for everyone when working through the shadow side of them to begin embodying them in a positive polarity. She began describing one archetype that I knew made up a part of my own inner landscape. When she made the prescription for how to release the shadow aspect, I found myself very quickly reaching into her words and being able to put her words into an inner action in a radical act of forgiveness for what my ex-wife had done to me and my children during our divorce a few years after awakening had come. It was like the flip of a switch on a large part of this issue. I will also explain that none of the bad things would have happened to me had I simply made better choices in a spouse. To do that, I would have either been healed already, ir not reacting to the elements that subconsciously triggered me. I will also state here that I certainly had warning signs from my subconscious through dreams and quite bizarre signs (one just before stepping out to get married), so there is that.

I found also that a relationship I had after my divorce which ended up involving someone who acted in spookily similar ways towards me as my ex resulted in a release of that person from a small but persistent hook in my karmic life. I could actually feel the hook release. I could then feel my energy reach a calmer state, with a feeling of more balance and solidity which followed. My energy later began peaking back into those highs of rarefied pranic-induced states. But calm now, no longer turbulent.

The voice spoke:

When you accepted or believed in your own limitations, you naturally attracted others with complimentary limitations which then served as a foil to your own self-imposed limitations dictated by those beliefs. When you let those limiting beliefs go, you gave up the hook along with the sinker that weighed you down. Naturally, forgiveness was the fulcrum that shifted this within you.

I could feel my own essential energy flood back with the admonition to not look back. “Flee the burning building, just leave. The whole world is a burning world, with everyone trying to keep their beliefs carefully in place as they cannot see the flames all around them. Their immolation will be their own lesson, just as it was once your own. Just go…” And I did just that. A feeling of relief followed. I had this feeling that with that weight gone that I was now more than ever myself, free from entanglements, freer than I had been before, at least. That voice said sonething about how I had handed my own energetic essence to those peole for misuse. I misused it myself, too. I came away with the distinct sense that they will now be missing something they thought was theirs. A sucking sound, a rebalancing happens, and a new more real path will open to them without my energy to feed on. I’m not sure if that is how it will really play out because I also want to remain optimistic for the best outcome for everyone.

It reminded me of an experience I had after getting out of college. I had gone through a relationship with someone who experienced a deep trauma partway through our relationship while she,was away during the summe on a trip to Europe. We wound up going our different ways after school, and about six months late, I had a dream in which I dreamed that something, a cord perhaps, broke free from her. I found myself strapped into the cockpit of the space shuttle as it shot up into space. The feeling I had then helped to illustrate how our energy can become enmeshed in others and remain that way, acting as a drag on our systems all the while. I’m in a very different place than I was then, so the experiences were different and yet they also shared clear similarities with one another.

Many things got easier in the wake of this most recent release. Still other issues rose to the surface to be looked at, but this is a great improvement. The path of clearing continues and with each one I can see more clearly and less through a glass painted with belief.

It’s interesting how quickly things change, though. Behavior changes, habits change. Some remain, but they aren’t the ones that are causing grief or upset. It will all get done. And each time, a clearer channel of perception, a better ability to see things as they are. I remain humble and watchful for that which remains.

Part of this issue I released appears to have been related to abundance. Gearing up for a studio event, there seemed to be one hurdle and challenge after another. It made me second guess myself. Was this the universe or my higher self telling me I needed to get on with my healing work for others, to write that book that has been nagging at me? No, it wasn’t a message, it was my own energy getting in the way all along. The release came, and despite all of the technical glitches with the roll-out of a complicated new site, people began piling on shooting my profile upwards almost all on their own. No, it was working. Instead of losing customers over glitches, I began gaining them. People called in to have orders shipped who could not attend in person, or who couldn’t order online because of some odd glitch in the site that remains to be figured out.The tables were turning.

The event resulted in my nearly selling out of work. And here I was fretting over having made too much. I could have made twice as much. Leason learned. Sometimes we really do need to suspend belief if we are to see things as they are. I had it all wrong. I had to get out of my own way.

While incredibly busy, I find my thoughts are more systematic. I feel less scattered and I am able to plough through what needs doing more easily. There is less second guessing, although the volume of work was itself a remaining tail of the old way from around the time this healing took place, which was also near the time that this studio event was planned. What’s more: I feel blessed with this time and these creative gifts that I get to share with my community to help others realize their own capacity for being inspired, be it learning glassblowing in classes or buying something from the gallery as a treasured gift. People sent me photos of their piece sitting on their dining room tables or the one lady who showed me her glass collection just to drive home how she really was an enthusiast when it came to glass. That was better than any sale I could have ever made. It was like their inner child felt brave enough to peek out to show itself. The heart glows in moments like those.

Our nature is essentially creative. All around us we see its positive and negative effects (because even waging war is itself a creative activity at its root-as much as it pains me to say). It oozes out of everything we do, and yet so many of us throttle it back. When released, we glow.

People say that kundalini is sexual energy. What they miss is at its root, prana is wildly creative. It does not have the limits placed on it as those we impose on ourselves. We do not realize how limited we are, all the result of our having shut down our inner creative flow. So if prana is focused through our sex, it feels sexual, but it also flows through all other channels and corners of our being. Its only because of how shut down sexually that we are that the enegy feels like its coming to get us in a sexual way. If you remain open and stop clutching at it, that intense sexual awareness softens and changes character. It becomes buoyant, less troubled, less clutching, and gripping. You realize this can be used for anything and you are only experiencing the tip of the tiger of prana. Instead of grabbing, open your arms. Open your heart, open your mind, and open your body together all at once. I will bet where the energy feels intense is where healing remains.

I don’t know what tomorrow looks like,and I recall I have over a hundred draft posts I could publish, one a week for almost the next two years if I needed to. I know that if things keep getting better, I will be able to use the relative calm of January and February to sit down and thrash out this book on early Christianity. Maybe if I can get every piece of research sorted out it might be easier than I fret over its being. I have learned a lot about the early church and how different Christianity really was from what it is today. A secret lies at its core, though, and its time that this secret is released. I feel like I am faced with completing these things, that it is time to just get on with it. This book, that voice says, is one big life purpose. That is daunting, so I hesitate. It tells me the way forward is how I always move forward: ignore what I think others might think and do it how I feel in my heart it needs to be done. In a way, the book isn’t for anyone except me, one of my final testimonies of my hourney through countless incarnations. If I make it into some stage production, I freeze up. If I write it like I am writing it to myself, everything about it changes. It seems to just flow.

I hope you will read the newest interviews, all in the menu’s at the top of the page. I think they help to show how awakening is experienced through our glorious (not illusory) individuality. I am so glad the people who took part did so. We are not all identical Buddha’s. We each are experiencing this phenomenon through the inviolate validity of our own souls in motion and in time.

Finally, I leave you with this inspiring video that puts a fine enough point on all of this. Namasté.

Included at the top of this blog is the next interview with Cynthia. I hope you find it helpful in your journey to remembering what you are.

Each interview has been given their own page so that they remain front and center on the page, making them easy to find. My thanks to Cynthia for taking the time to provide this resource for others.

These interviews are with people who have had what is commonly called an awakening, or an awakened kundalini. So far, everyone interviewed has been hip deep in the experience for a handful of years. That isn’t to suggest in any way that those new to this aren’t as informed. I know for myself, I am grateful to have kept a journal my first few years (I thought it would help me keep up and maybe figure it out–ha!) because it has helped me to remember just how the early experiences were like. For perspective maybe.

If you would like to add your voice to this growing body of information, I welcome your participation. I do this just to do my part to help others. You can email me and I will forward the questions to you. Sometimes I will ask follow up questions that I think may be relevant or to try and clarify some points for readers. In some cases, I am curious to know more.

Info@staffordartglass.com

Blessings,

~Parker

The interview with Ian is now up and is now permanently installed on its own page, which you will see along the header for the blog.  My thanks to Ian for being willing to go along with this project. I hope that it helps folks gain a broader perspective based on those who have been going through it.  ❤

 

We all are familiar with the seven major chakras that are situated along the torso of our bodies, but would it interest you to know that there are many thousands of minor chakras all through the body?

The ancients knew, who developed their understanding of the subtle energy system known by the Chinese as the meridians and naddi by the Indians, that this system carried chi or prana. This subtle energy system also had the ability to record or contain emotional energy that would then serve to effect the proper flow of the subtle energy. This is the energy of both life and consciousness. Releasing this blocked energy helps to make for a more peaceful and authentic life (more naturally enjoyable).

In the Indian system, one worked to clear this material as a precursor to raising kundalini. Doing so, they contend, makes awakening the kundalini, our hidden energetic potential, a less chaotic an affair. As Westerners, though, we tend not to have these practices available to us, so we often have to go about it differently. Lucky for us, kundalini will help clear the stuck, knotted, or blocked energy (albeit in a more intense fashion for a time).

Most often when we speak of chakras we think of the major seven, but as I have pointed out here before, there are many others. The energy we call prana is itself conscious. The more that we tune that in, the more we can be enriched by its limitless knowledge and potential.

The swami’s of India teach about knowledge that does not come from the senses but comes through ones consciousness, which is itself a sensing means for the knowing that can come from “tuning in.” It makes sense, then, that clearing away the detritus within can help you to see and feel more clearly. As Westerners, we are catching on a bit late, but we are catching on.

I have known people who were unable to do this clearing work. Their minds are clouded by the material that masks their inner perception. I can say being with these folks is challenging because they cannot see what is truly there and they feed off perceptions colored by their innermost emotional baggage. Do you want to be that person? Many teachers point to this as an absolute necessity to do asap. I concur. It takes time and patience, but you also have all the time in the world.

What you do today stays with you as an indelible accomplishment. Plus, what you do not finish now can be picked up in your next life. If my experience is any guide, you will pick this work up again in another body and what you release now wont be there when you pick it up again (hint: this work is too important to the soul not to continue with!). If you begin and develop a strong enough interest, it will carry through. Plus, you may be reading this because an earlier version of you in time was involved in a similar pursuit.

I have noticed a keen interest taken in the posts I have done on leg chakras previously. We have them, but little is said about them. Because of how little they are covered, not much is known in a popular way about them. You can find several posts on this subject by using the search bar and it will take you to those.

In one post, I describe each chakra in the legs and what energies in consciousness that they align with. This post is for people who are used to meditation and are able to sit quitly enough to begin to feel into their energy that we call prana or chi.

I will point out for those interested that the points in the legs where energy can get stuck can often be effectively released by a good body worker or massage therapist very often. This is done by way of deep tissue massage along with the practitioner who can sense of feel where the stuck energy is. I have found some very accomplished energy workers in this field. There are othee methods such as Chi Kung (also spelled Gung), acupressure and acupuncture.

Not long ago I described a healing meditation that could be used to arouse prana for helping to heal blocked energy through a simple position of the hands together. You could say that the hands help to enrich and activate prana in the body when you can wuiet your mind and place your focus only on your hands (no “doing”).

In the meditation which I refer to as a foot “mudra” it is possible to begin to tap into the awareness that you have of the energies that flow through the legs along with the energetics of consciousness that reside there in feeling.

There is something that happens at the subtle level when we bring hands or fingers together from each side of the body. The existence of mudras acknowledges this. What happens when you bring your hands together like this on an energetic level is you are joining the energies, in part, of the whole field of your energy body in the upper torso part of the field. We call this Ida and Pengali, the masculine and feminine. While there is a large channel of these two running up the torso alongside the central channel called the shushuma, there are channels in the arms and legs that also have these lines or channels in them (because consciousness exists as a result of the union of these seeming opposites in ourselves, even at the level of the energy, which merge moment by moment to generate all phenomenon).

When we place thumb and index finger on one hand together in a mudra position, what happens is we are joining the circuitry from different parts of the energy body in that region together. If you can dial up your sensitivity to feeling your energy, you can feel a subtle difference energetically and in consciousness between thumb and index finger touching than, say, your thumb and middle finger. For those who try this and don’t feel anything, my suggestion is that you need to try tuning in more. Get quiet. Let your thoughts quiet down. Feel your energy. You may only feel the edge of something at first, but given optimal conditions of introspective curiosity and a receptive openess to feeling your own energy, you can tune this in like a faraway radio signal more and more. You accomplish this less by trying and more by allowing, letting down those noisy barriers you didn’t even realize you had. I know this is supposed to be about the feet, so here we go.

If you want to try this “mudra” as I call it, simply sit with feet uncovered and place them together. You might want to calm down and center yourself by performing some breathwork which is well suited for this. I have always found breathing like how we breathe when we are asleep to be highly effective because it signals to the body that you are relaxed. It is a great trick.

Slow steady breath in, hold it for a two or three count, and let it go in a slow steady exhale. Pause at the bottom for a second or two, and repeat a number of times. You will find yourself feeling much calmer in no time. You can keep a slow gentle breath throughout this exercise, and how long you do this is up to you.

There is nothing gained in feeling uncomfortable. I know some yoga practices teach you to deal with feeling uncomfortable in the hopes of your being able to stay in a given position for long periods, but my experience has shown me that you will be much more succesful if you can adopt a posture that you will remain comfortable in so discomfort doesn’t even enter in. There is nothing honorable in feeling physical discomfort. When prana flows at a high enough level, you will experience supreme bliss. This is what all methods are there for. There is no reason to climb a mountain in boots that make you feel like you are slipping and falling. The point is reaching this beautiful place as efficiently as possible. So be comfortable because you will want to keep at it more. When you realize that cosmic consciousness is for all of us as an aspect of what we are, you might begin to appreciate how we are all the same deep down. We are each like glasses filked with water. Qualitatively, what is the difference between the water in your glass and the water in the ocean?? The only difference is in quantity. You are a bit of the cosmic. All water knows itself and the drop knows it is also the ocean. It is a beautiful thing and it waits for when you are ready. This work can help you along the way…

I have done this posture before and I have had others who are like me in terms of their awareness of their energy in their bodies, and the results have been interesting when I have asked them to take this position. I discovered this position in meditation when my inner voice told me to place my feet together.

So sit like this, quiet mind, letting thoughts coming and going without getting hooked on any one thought, and feel your energy. Just feel. Feet together, breathe to calm your mind and body. Don’t try to do anything or force anything in your mind. This is all about checking in a little more deeply than you are used to. By not trying to make this into anything, see if any sort of impressions begin to arise without your trying to turn them into anything. Don’t judge, just observe. You can keep your breath gentle, deep and slow, if you want.

Take note of what you feel or what seems to express in your mind. You are just a reporter here, so you can take this time for yourself to simply observe.

In work like this it is sometimes possible to encounter the effects of blocked energy. You could feel the edge of an emotion that might get stronger, but let it come and don’t feel like you have to break through anything. Let them be like air bubbles that float up to the surface. Try not to react negatively to what you feel or may seem to feel; your emotions are like thoughts. Thoughts are the result of your reaction to something, but it may not be the whole story, so do your best not to get hung up on what you feel or see. Often just being aware can cause them to dislodge and rise.

I think of the legs as aligning to our most problematic emotions, but also to the simpler and more primal ones. They can be expressed in a positive or negative polarity and any energy stuck down there might be pretty hard, but this is why I am telling you to be as neutral as you can be. I think it is fair to say that many people have a hard time bringing the light of their awareness to this region both in their bodies and their consciousness because of this. Bear in mind that anything troublesome that you might feel is only energy which has gotten stuck in a negative polarity. That same energy is waiting to be turned to its positive pole through a simple act of forgiving yourself for whatever that energy represents. It is easy to turn hard into soft if you remain detached and keep your wits about you. On the other hand, you should always consider your comfort zone and know when enough is enough. That said, with each exploration, you can gently push the envelope bit by bit so that in time you make progress through this deep dive into yourself.

For those already familiar with energy and who may have awakened kundalini, it may be that this work may feel intense. I found myself wanting to turn away from what I felt the deeper I went, but I also found that by simply bringing the light of my awareness to this place that I shook things up, like how a spade turns old hard earth. Each exploration was a benefit.

I have also performed this posture with hands clasped together at the same time, which is akin to turning all currents, save the crown and root, into themselves. Since there isn’t a lot that seems to be taught on this position (one form of yoga expressly states not to use this bound foot position while others do), I would be interested in whatever it is that you find yourself experiencing.

There you go. I hope that this adds another wrinkle that you can try discovering. If you try it let me know what you think. If you liked this post, let me know by hitting the like button. I’m never sure if the things I find interesting get through the same way with others, so it’s helpful to get feedback.

~Blessings~

P.

There is a lot being said about “toxic masculinity” and on the one hand, it is a good thing. It means there is a growing awareness of the problem that men have throughout the world. On the other hand, most discussions revolve around how bad it is without much in the way of solutions. It is bad, but saying it doesn’t do anything to change it. We should (and can) do better.

The problem with so many of our issues is that we often use the same approach or reaction to them that are involved in the dysfunction itself. Huh? What this means is we don’t really address the problem. We are fighting fire with fire. We tend to get caught up in reacting and stay in that reactionary space.

Talking about racism, or violence, toxic masculinity, or any of our other ill does nothing to fix them so long as we come to the table with our feeling of fear about them. That is where the discussion is right now in the main. Fear? It doesn’t look like fear to hear people talk about it. It probably more accurately sounds like anger, right? But as any psychologist will tell you, or as any thoughtful person intuitively senses, anger comes from something. Want to guess where it comes from?

Fear breeds anger and anger breeds hate. It is the same with nearly every dysfunction that humans experience. And yes, most feeling people who are expressing about toxic masculinity have fear tied up in them. People are afraid of what a toxic male might do, and they are angry about this fact. The blogs are full of how much people hate this about men. Are you seeing now how these feelings are all intertied? But feeling this is only the first step. If you are only at the reactionary stage, you are doing nothing to help be part of the cure. This is a nonstarter that will leave us on an endless merry-go-round. We have to learn how to approach it differently.

The way through and out of this is the opposite of our fear. That is love. Love brings compassion, and compassion stills our fear and opens us to understanding, or at least the possibility that we can. The way to solving toxic masculinity is by probing it and seeking to understand its roots through a mind and heart that is open, and you cannot have an open heart when fear, anger, or hate are present. We need to learn a different approach if we are to ever resolve this issue…or any issue like this. This is step two.

I have experienced many of the inputs that drive toxic masculinity. Some of them have to do with the roles that we as men have been saddled with. These beliefs about what a “real man” is supposed to be are often the very things that give rise to this toxicity. This toxicity as it is called, is the result of unnatural beliefs about manhood, beliefs that unnaturally chain men as they grow and learn about masculinity. These inputs, the behaviors coming from our culture that inform males from cradle to grave, come from all sides of life. It happens early in life, usually from the moment a baby boy is brought home after having been born.

We are all culpible in this failed effort at raising males to be better adjusted as human beings. The influences are so pervasive that a male born to an enlightened household will still probably grow up having friends who give him a picture of what they believe being masculine is all about.

This means that women are helping to form these beliefs in our sons in a number of ways, and men also perpetuate them by believing that they are important enough to internalize and pass on to their own sons. We are all involved in this. Men do it as much as women do, the only difference is that women complain about it when they see the results of the behavior in their male children and the men they are either friends with or are married to. Men, because they are the ones internalizing the beliefs that lead to emotional toxicity, are just less aware of it for the simple reason that when you are the one with the belief, that belief serves to blind you so you don’t see it as well as a bystander can. How many times have you seen a man behave from a toxic place and maybe apologize but then go on to continue with the same reactive behavior again a little later? The problem is that if you are a bystander you are often only seeing symptoms, not causes, and you are reacting to those symptoms rather than doing what I prescribed earlier, which is what will lead us more dependably to the source of the problem so that it can be fixed. Men, for their part, have so internalized something that they know is poisoning them, but seem powerless to do anything to change it. To remove the bite from this poisoned apple takes what might seem a herculean effort. I observe that it requires patience and love.

To explain this issue, I have a video that is brave and brilliant, that I hope you will take a moment to look at. It is a TED Talk, which means that it isn’t long, and the speaker gets to the point. What she explains, as a sex worker, are the problems she sees with men that need to be fixed. What needs fixing involves a change in what we believe masculinity is all about. We know there is a problem, but reacting to it only guarantees that the problem remains. Once you watch it, I will have a few words to put this into perspective as it relates to my life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7xLfeTytns

So one of the biggest problems has to do with how we create a belief about what being masculine is about. Real boys don’t cry, mothers calling their sons their “little man.” These are the beliefs that become internalized. They are literal poison to mens hearts, minds, and souls.

In my marriage my wife described our son as her “protector” when he was all of two years old, a signal to him that has had disastrous consequences for his mental health and well being later in life. I know the causal link to this relationship dynamic because I was able to see how it began innocently at age two with my son, and continued through his growing years into adulthood. I saw how a child grew increasingly neurotic and troubled, and when his mother and my relationship began to dissolve, he became polarized by her bad boundaries with him so that his and my relationship also dissolved. His mother’s divorce became his divorce, too.

The problem with this is that while it might feel good to have a child that is exhibiting these traits, they can have disastrous effects on children in the long run. A child should not be called upon to be a caretaker, that is the parent’s job. For another, when all a child has is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Without his being able to understand what being a protector meant for him, this behavior served in his life to always side with his Mother and anytime she had a challenge, difficulty, or dissagrement, he was swift to come to her aid. Any time his Mother or I were not in agreement, guess who reflexively sided with his Mother? My son did. This created a sense that his Father, who loved him very much, might well be a threat. He was a child, really what did he know? It sounds like such a laudible trait, doesn’t it? He went on to have girlfriends, some of whom he felt were his job to fix or protect. It meant that he was naturally drawn to women who needed help. There is nothing wrong with helping a person, but when it is something that needs to be done on a regular basis, there is something amiss in that relationship. In our rush to follow our inner programming, we don’t always see the forest for the trees.

In this type of codependent dynamic, the male derives a reward for his behavior as a protector, making him feel important, and the female has a male that is attentive to her many needs, some of which are (in my life) based in uncertainty, anxiety, and fear (in the case of a codependent relationship). The male is in his own way also anxious and fearful (about being accepted), but most often neither are self reflective enough to even see whatis at the root of their behaviors. When you base a relationship on those qualities, you are effectively getting painted into a corner where both people remain in the pattern with little benefit to trying to break out of it.

This is one outcome of toxic masculinity. A boy is asked to do something completely counter to his own true nature because society expects it of him. He internalizes the behavior because of his desire to be accepted, and he suffers as a result. He is alienated from a father who loves him and he grows up angry and rageful because a child is simply ill-equipped to act like an adult. I can tell you that in my experience being mother’s “little man” or “protector” warps a male child’s heart and mind.

Males thus raised will wind up acting out because that boy or teen (or adult) is actively suppressing his truer nature, and his acting out is in turn hurting others, and the cycle continues adinfinitum. The problem is that he was brainwashed into believing that what was “out there” as a problem (the nail to his hammer) is now inside of him. A child doesn’t know how to properly protect anyone, so they are flying by the seat of their immature pants. Whoops.

The way out of this is to stop raising children like this to begin with. That means acknowledging that boys need to show love, compassion, and feel safe feeling their emotions instead of putting on a false act of pretending they are tough saviors and hero’s. Little boys are not little men. They are as tender and as sensitive as their female counterparts. The only difference is they are taught in subtle and overt ways that they should be something that does not fit them. Women are taught similarly, but with a completely different set of expectations. We dislike those roles on both of the ends of the spectrum, right?

When parents demand that their sons “man-up” or play the tough guy, they are robbing their boys of their humanity and their childhoods. The results are like what happened to my own son. This happens even without the dysfunctional element that was present in my particular situation.

This kind of programming isn’t always overt. Sometimes it is small, subtle, and often goes unnoticed. Thousands of miniscule things add up. When my then-wife came to me telling me with swelling pride about how our two year old son was her protector, I felt a stab of caution and concern. My impulse was to tell her that this wasn’t the kind of thing to be encouraging in my son. I thought how she would feel defensive if I did that, no matter how kindly I chose my words. I also thought that it was just a phase and that he would grow out of it, so I didn’t say anything.

I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING.

Would it have made a difference? 20/20 tells me no, but you don’t really know for sure. I could have educated myself as a first-time parent and then sat her down, imploring her not to encourage this in our son for his own sake, and shown her the studies. I did not do what many parents probably have also not done down through the ages. We just kept kicking the can of paternalistic toxicity down the road.

I find that I often ask myself what I could have done differently. I always wished that he would suspend his disbelief in my love for him and spend time with me away from his Mother, something I knew could short-circuit the pattern of denigration she engaged with my children in an effort to destroy my relationship with my children during our divorce. She wouldn’t be able to comment on our time alone together without any degree of accuracy, which might be enough, I thought, for him to be able to see what a lie all of this was. That never was able to happen. By that time, my son was a walking poster child for so much of what is wrong with men. The thing is, I had married with an unacknowledged desire to be the knight in shining armor. You can never save a person who is not ready to be saves, who is not ready to grow and change out of old patterns.

Toxic masculinity is front and center for me in my life. There is no glossing it over. I know how it has affected me, I know how it has affected my son. We are all responsible for the fallout from it.

Reprogramming Our Men

Once programmed, men need safe places to be able to explore their God-given humanity. They need patience and they need to feel safe from being ridiculed for feeling in a sensitive way. Our culture is saturated with this false view of masculinity. When men have to suck it up when women get to gush and emote, you know there is a problem. Criticizing a man for being reactive only causes him to dig in to his old programming more. If you find yourself going for that stoic cowboy, then you might become part of the problem. Please don’t do that to anyone, man or woman.

Men have to take the reins and make an effort to not perpetuate this programmed set of responses. Men need to support other men by not trying to shame other men for being tender, or sensitive. Men must learn to hold the line with their women they are with and call out any effort they make to imply that they aren’t being manly enough, with false equivalences. Yes, it will mean walking away from women who exhibit these behaviors, but don’t look back unless there is real awareness on their part and an exhibited desire to begin changing their own programmed views and responses. A woman like this is not worth losing you soul over.

That said, a woman has a potentially fantastic power over a man to disarm and beguile him. Men are known to do anything for the woman he loves. This means that if a man is with a woman who has healthy boundaries, is not herself tied to the old modes of what being manly is about, she can, through grace and a gentle hand, show him the way to her heart if that way harmonizes with his own innate humanity. No false expectations, no tough guy bullshit. Yes, we are tough because of how we are built, but our hearts are as tender as anyone else. The problem is, you wouldn’t know this to look at most men. I promise you that it is there. The soft touch with great patience is what is required. You also have to know that you sre suited for this kind of work.

It will take time, but each encouraging word and action will have an effect. We can change this, but it wont change by just being angry about it. We have to love ourselves back into our existence and never again fall prey to the false beliefs that got us here.

Imagine what it could do: men whose natural aggresiveness is expressed in a more natural way where that aggresiveness is no longer laced with anger and rage. Men who are more sensitive, and less controlling. A man with something to prove often lacks the necessay approval of himself and will go looking for its substitute which is approval from others. By teaching him not to trust his natural instincts, he will look to someone to supply him with the false instincts that so far hasn’t served them well. All of this can be turned around, a cosmic 180º turn, but it needs to be important enough to begin integrating new behaviors based in authentic emotion instead of our culturally foisted ones. I say this as a man who has been through it.

The way through is with real love, not a false sense of compassion or anger and upset over it. Lets get this done for our boys.

Awakening and inspiration share very similar attributes, and are to my mind siblings to each other within the self.

To reach each, the path or method is so similar. The inspired state requires surrendering everything that does not belong, that will hold you back, not push you forward. Inspiration is thought of as that elusive state that cannot be forced. Artists and creatives go “looking for it.” Popping on a CD, taking a walk, maybe some coffee in a corner of the shop scribbling, waiting for the mood to strike. You look or wait for it like an elusive jaguar slipping through the dense underbrush…you never know when it is going to show itself. One waits for it expectantly.

When it does arrive, you are letting it in, not wresting it to the ground. When it comes, it is as if you are invincible, on top of the world. Anything is possible.

In truth, inspiration comes when we allow ourselves to be dissarmed, when we let go the monkey mind that chatters away. You don’t force inspiration the same way that you don’t force awakening. Why is that?

Inspiration isn’t a rational process at its core. It may suit up using rational decisions…which instrument to play, what key, what time signature, or brush or color. But all of those things are subjects of inspiration, subservient to its need, desire, and play. Inspiration is, or can be, an utterly unbounded state in which anything is possible but only one thing can usually be done at a time. An entire year’s worth of creative output can be conceived in moments like these. I know that this is often the case for me. I have to pick and choose the things that have the best use of my time. Much is similarly discovered when one is awakened. Worlds emerge in both the inspired and awakened state. Why?

Both inspiration and nonduality are deeply rooted in creativity. All forms of it. People describe kundalini as a libidinous force, but I experience it as radical creativity in all of its forms. The desire in the physical for the beloved is itself a creative act of love…that creates new life. Curious, too, how we have so much shame surrounding that part of ourselves. Curious as well how little our cultures honors the arts. The powers that be prefer to make money selling war machines. So easy, so uncreative, so destructive. A world upside down. One expands, the other contracts. For now, this is how this world is.

We must fill it with the juiciness of our art, our music, our photography, and the love that is present in both inspiration and in awakening or nonduality. We must do this without cheapening either of them but making them even more precious…inspiring others even if they cannot hold a note, or paintbrush or a meditative state (yet).

So if you want to know awakening, know your creative impulse because that is the tail of the cosmic tiger.

I found this to speak so closely to my experience, what I strive for, what I have encountered, what I strive for more…truly, not as effort, but as what naturally arises as the self is purified more and more. More work to do, but his words are so on point…

https://wp.me/pyZzR-227

Sleeping, slumbering, rolling deep within is that part of you you always suspected must be there, your link to the infinite.

Bigger than you, scary when it first comes, its resources are amazing. Like a deep ocean, an aquifer moving silently beneath your awareness, the path to its ineffable reality lies in the innocence of your heart, the desiring of your soul, a few chance encounters with eyes closed or an event that shakes you out of your workaday world. It is like a mystery, and yet there it is, shining new in each moment that you find it. Or did it find you?

Letting go puts you in its grip. Dissolving the rational allows it to step forward. Now this is usually where most “normal” people stand up with raised hand, seeking to interject a “Yes, but!..”  But what I am explaining to you is not business as normal.  Humans have, for centuries, sought to control by way of the rational, and this, I will point out, is precisely the problem.  Anyone, most great teachers in nonduality have pointed, who seeks to go this path will find only trouble and difficulty.  Shoals await you in such an effort, and this is where many remain.  No, the path forward is letting go of those tendencies that have hung us up since forever.  The way to cosmic consciousness, this larger stream or sense of presence, does not lie through the limited rational mind and it’s left brain.  Instead, it is the right mind or brain that has the demonstrated capacity for handling the broad sweep that is cosmic mind.  Listening, expecting miracles, bids it to come near. Every single teacher, every single experiencer all comes back from this experience and explains that this is not a thing tied to “doer-ship.” Are you getting the picture?   Wiping your slate clean is how it can communicate with you, or rather, perhaps even better, letting go of what it is that you think you know is one of the cracks in the wall between the mundane and the ineffable. Let go the small to grasp the big, and yet it is no grasp, no trying. It is the one that can bring you so much.

People struggle saying how hard it is. Only if you let the rational and its playmate, ego, have its way. This teaches you how not to be so you can BE. It is a great windswept silence that returns you to those places long forgot. So simple, this is no place for a linear mind. This is our multidimensional nature. How could anything so linear as the rational left brain ever hope to guide you? You need the nonlinear, holistic part of your mind, which is a mirror for that part of your eternal consciousness to channel and express itself through this body, this self. Learn its secrets which are breath, movement, and quiet intuition. The Sophia within.

When awakening came I saw that there was another part of me, clearly tied to both body and mind, that had come on line.  A switch flipped, a new world of a kind, a very new kind.  Awakening is not some kind of exotic, it is not tied only to consciousness.  The body must also follow, as it is a mirror of consciousness.  I observed that my ability to see the bigger picture increased significantly to the point of increased intuition, and psi ability. These are the symptoms of awakening.  The Hindu call these siddhis, and they have been extensively reported by those in eastern traditions as well as those who are awakening today more or less spontaneously.  We also know that the two hemispheres of the brain are oriented differently.  One deals largely with linear processes, handles language, and does not show a masterful ability to tap into feeling.  The right brain, however, is not linear, but shows every sign of being able to process many streams of information at once.  The left brain abstracts, finding the most important aspects of an idea or object and it highlights those.  Very useful for certain things.  The right brain, however, is able to see the whole picture without any need to abstract.  This is one reason why artists are said to be “right brained” which is that they “draw what they see.”  However, the right brain does not appear to have an ability to pinpoint the important aspects of this big view.  It is the right brain that has the capacity to comprehend cosmic consciousness.  Remember, the right brain is not here judging or prioritizing. It is this capacity that makes the right brain so good at this “new” state of mind because it is less apt to be biased or creating some sort of preconceived bias which would color what the whole mind or person thinks they are seeing.

Perception is not done at the level of the physical senses only, but it is has been shown to be “formed” by the individual as that person “thinks” about what it is that they believe they are experiencing.  As a result, you will get all kinds of explanations about what people think awakening is.  Luckily, we have a host of pretty specific symptoms to help this hold together pretty well, but it also leads to a lot of speculation based on thinking.  This is both good and bad, a double-edged sword.  As one remains unbiased in what they think they are experiencing, the more the phenomenon leaks through over time and informs the individual.

If you would like a primer on what it is like to have the left hemisphere shut down for a time, I recommend that you go to YouTube and watch Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED talk entitled, “A Stroke Of Insight” which describes her experience of how a stroke in her left hemisphere left her, a neuroanatomist, without many of the functions of her left hemisphere.  What she describes in her talk is nothing short of a brush with samadhi, and samadhi is the cornerstone experience of awakening (or is eventually once the person has gotten a handle on this new kind of state of being).   You can see her talk HERE. So what is the point in this little brain primer?

Let the rational observe. Let it watch from a distance. Don’t let it get any ideas. Take notes but don’t pretend that you know. The more empty you are, the more you can be filled by it. The more empty that you are, the more you can be guided by its great mystery and power. The more you have it figured out, the more it eludes you. Consider the choice you might not usually take but that keeps bubbling up around the edges of your awareness. That is the corner stone that most toss away as unimportant.

You have this, but to gain it, you must let it all go in order to grasp the bigger. It is like embracing the wind. Now let it it take you. This befudles most people and sounds like wishy-washy bullshit.  But this time, it is not.

There is a sleeping giant within. So many never find it because the way to it cannot be known by what you know. Instead, feel. Who wants to do this?  TO learn how to orient yourself to deep feeling would also mean that the closet within your consciousness that we now call the subconscious would suddenly be opened.  That is terrifying to many people because, as Carl Jung has said, people will run from this their whole lives in order to not face up to themselves.  But there is more on offer here than a blast from the dark past.  It is a kind of existential deal on offer that has the power to free you, to remake you, to save you and resurrect you (to the degree that you avail yourself of its power which I note is greater than your own). Open to mystery, and trust that it will come, a giant ready to merge with you to lift you into a new awareness. Let it do the work. It has all of this. It alone is perfectly suited to take care of anything that feels beyond your ability. Trust. Ask. Wait. Be patient. Believe it could come, and it will.

 

POST SCRIPT – There are myriad methods and means to aid in awakening.  Ultimately what these methods achieve is a bringing together of the opposites within awareness and the mind.  No method is some kind of magic, but aims at bringing a person to a certain state of feeling.  This is why awakening has been so elusive to so many for so long.  The answer is not in patting your head and standing on one foot.  It is not only in breathing, it is not only in visualizing a force rising up the spine, but rather tapping into the primal feeling state that actually knows the way.  More people have awakened as a direct result of becoming inspired and led along in that state to reach a whole new level.  Ultimately, something breaks down within the vigilant left brain and a stream begins, first a trickle and then a blast that can be both bizarre and bewildering while at the same time life-saving.  Every culture on the earth has described this experience in one form or another, emphasizing some aspects of it over others, but it is clearly not something that comes about because of a religious viewpoint or belief, but as a result of a hitherto poorly understood mechanism within every single human being.  That said, it has been found that a religious framework often serves to help or assist a person through this process, but it is not required.  It is also true that some fundamentalist ideas held within numerous religions can  lead to demonizing the experience, resulting in misunderstanding this gift.

In my journey, the breakthrough that I made was in realizing the role of feeling in cosmic consciousness. I saw how backwards the world is. Instead of understanding feeling, we eschew this in favor of “thinking things through” or using the rational mind over the part of us that has the capacity to plumb the depths where the transcendental dwells.

We are taught to think but we are not taught to feel. We certainly are taught how to be emotional, but no one teaches or points to feeling as important (let alone superior to rational linear thought) because people are ignorant of what this means. This is like casting pearls before swine. No one sees its value and everyone is afraid of being criticized for such simple “thinking.”

Learning to feel is the most important thing you can do. It is what arouses the sleeping woman and man to life. It is what arouses kundalini, even. As you feel deeper, you open your consciousness to more energy. It can be analyzed, but not grasped by the rational self. It is so simple a child could do it, which is why those who do teach about it describe a simpler state or type of being to know more deeply. It isn’t fashionable by those who want to keep their grip on the cramped quarters of the rational, but it can in time can show you the superconscious side of you, a remarkable part of you that you have always been.

Using this part of you can confer peace (often gradually for most) because it is such a simple way to be. It is here, as the zen master Taishen Desimuru said that, “all the sand of the deserts flows through your hands.” You gain All by being simpler and quiet as you turn on your capacity to feel. This is different from emotion. It is a depth we all have.

By being in the rational mind we get confused by words. Here, in this video, Jiddu Krishnamurti answers a question about the existence of God. It isn’t until the 15:30 mark that he homes in on the important part of all experience. He isn’t talking about whether God exists at this point, but is pointing out how to BE in order to understand the world and consciousness.

When he says “word is not that” he means you have to move out of the thinking mind full of ideas about things and move to the part of you that loves with all of your heart and being. That gives your consciousness the means to take a word like “tree” and enter the place within that connects with the tree being discussed. Of course this can happen if you allow yourself to do it. He is saying, you must turn to this other part that is in you to know these things. You have to turn to your feeling self, your capacity to FEEL. And THAT is the simple but potent door that we open ourselves to the All. Here is the video…

Words, like belief, can be prisons or liberators. Breath can show you the way….a deep simple innefable truth existing beyond reason. An inner compass that resides before the prison of belief held me. Be careful of your words, like your beliefs, for like the gods and goddesses, they will reinforce each other, catching you and convincing you of its small truths as it stands in the shadow of the one great Light.

Beyond belief is that place within me, within you and the All, where we meet where we are, you and I, stripped bare of pretense. Written in the heart of a Child, these sparkling consequences tell us of truths simple in their acquisition. Beyond reason, curled up within the fiery portals of becoming, it beckons to you, promising to ruin you for anything but its great soul-saving promise.

It holds out promise, it’s hand, that we might drop what we hold now to embrace this new world within us. It asks everything of us to discover what will remain, what abides in its deep portals of bliss which has always been the physician to our undoing, redemtion, and inward discovery.

It is beyond belief.

Let it go. To feel it means letting loose your grip of what you think is real. It is at once terrifying and the deepest comfort, the more you let go the more it fills you and animates you. Whispering in your heart it welcomes you as so much leaves you in this upside down world. Set right, set on fire, it meets us in this place. The great healer has come to you.

I know that I was made to bear this fire, to bring it down through myself in a simple act of forgetting. It asks me to let go of the things that limit me. All belief, bias, notion. “Forget what you think you know; you cannot know the gods with your mind or memory…” is what it says. It opens a portal through feeling, through the She, and through her I see a brilliant channel into those realms of fact but which are beyond all belief.

The divine asks us only one thing: feel truly, deeply, because that is where it waits for us. This is the stair, the ladder which we seek but are held back by in our rational minds that speak in the grammar of uncertainty and the syntax of fear. Letting go of it, I turn from dark to brilliant, fiery, possessed of myself, possessed of you, no need to ask why. It just is.

You meet me here, this garden of the gods and goddesses.  Fiery is the soul of creation and what animates it. Constantly burning away the impure, returning us to a renewed state of ressurection. Can you feel how such a simple grace in him responds to the grace within you? Can you feel how they each speak in the mute syllables of bliss? The cantenaries of desire? Can you see how he and she turns around in a spiral ever upward, endless in scope, forming worlds? So simple the Ida and Pengali become the rails of the ladder and we rise both alone and together. Every entry into this sparkling realm was as if we had never left. He touches her in the center of her heart and says, “There.” Her head falls back with such a truthful reminder.

Breath tells more truth than a million beliefs. It explodes illusion, turning you and I inside out, returning us to that brave realm of sacred fire and boundless joy. What you are brings out what I am in those places…

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