Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dreamchaser

Sarah Brightman has done it again.  I attended her Dreamchaser concert tonight and was blown away by the performance her, and the rest of the performers, accomplished.  The theme of the show was based on space, and the space programs both in the US and Russia which has enabled us to explore the cosmos.  Images flew across the giant screen behind the musicians on stage of space stations, and planets like Europa we may visit one day in the search for extraterrestrial life, images of astronauts and cosmonauts, and giant arcs of electricity while Sarah nailed each note perfectly.  

Sarah's costume changes were numerous, and seemed to be artistically coordinated with the lighting and graphics being displayed.  I felt as though she was focusing, or even attuning, to an archetype of a planetary goddess.  The platform that elevated her above the stage, and the elaborate dress and hair pieces she wore, were similar to paintings of devas I have seen in ancient holy books.  That image coupled with Sarah Brightman's powerful angelic voice and the musical harmonies and beautiful backdrops touched my mind and soul deeply.  If I had to choose an ambassador to space it would be her.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tao Te Ching - Verse 23


As translated by Ralph Alan Dale in Tao Te Ching A New Translation & Commentary ©2002

Speak few words, but say them with quietude and sincerity,
and they will be long lasting,
for a raging wind cannot blow all morning,
nor a sudden rainstorm last throughout the day. 
Why is this so?
Because it is the nature of the sky and the earth to be frugal.
Even human beings cannot alter this nature
without suffering the consequences. 
When we sincerely follow the ethical path,
we become one with it.
When we become one with the ethical path, it embraces us. 
When we completely lose our way, we become one with loss.
When we become one with loss, loss embraces us. 
When we sincerely follow the Great Integrity,
we become one with it.
When we are one with the Great Integrity, it embraces us. 
But when nothing is done sincerely,
no-thing and no one embraces us.


The original author of the Tao Te Ching, Lao-Tzu, stated that in ancient times human beings, just as every other species, lived in balance with the Great Integrity.  The Great Integrity can be used as a synonym with the concept of Tao.  It is the dynamically linked reality devoid of our ideologies and symbols.  After reading Lao-Tzu's messages, I have developed a stronger feeling that humanity has lost it's way, and must return to a harmony with Nature if we are to find joy and balance in our lives.  Understanding what Nature is, and what we are, is the same thing since we come from Nature, and we are made in it's image.  Defining who we are is as important as defining what Nature is, and how we relate to it.  We must become co-creaters with Nature, with the Tao, instead of attempting to dominate Nature, or dominate each other.  One way is creative and positive, while the other is destructive and negative.

I have noticed a recurring theme in eastern philosophies is balance.  Yin and Yang is one example.  If we find an area of our life out of balance, it affects every other area in some way.  Discovering and correcting the imbalance is a spiritual priority in many philosophical and mystical schools of thought.  The passage I quoted above points out one aspect our personalities that may be vulnerable to this imbalance, sincerity.

Lack of sincerity leads to  lack of reaction to our actions.  A sincere person would inspire others to be sincere like them, and respect what they are doing or saying.  An insincere person has the opposite affect on others, and inspires them to not respect them, and instead ignore them.  Sincerity is a passive power we all can cultivate and eventually use to hone our personalities and how others perceive us.  Sincerity increases our harmony with others, and the natural world around us.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Undiscovered Country

I have met, and spoke in length, with people who have claimed to have had powerful unexplainable experiences that changed their life, or have changed other people's lives. I have personally witnessed these phenomenal events myself. My mother was in a horrible motorcycle accident and broke many bones in her body. One of her legs was so damaged that eight separate doctors said they needed to amputate it, but she resisted. She believed that through her mind she could heal herself, and she did. A ninth doctor noticed what she was doing, and supported her through the process in the hospital. In his words he thought it was a "miracle" when she was able to walk again.  Scientists are researching these phenomenal events now. One scientist that believes we have a sixth sense that spans the Earth is Roger Nelson.

Roger Nelson has been researching this topic for thirty years now. His Global Consciousness Project has found evidence that quantum random number generators can be affected by major global events that affect humans. Some of the strongest deviations in random number generators happened during the 911 trade show tower attack, and five hours right after President Obama was elected as president of the United States. There are over 340 individual experiments running at the same time over the planet, and the odds are a billion to one that you would have so many deviations in such a short period of time. There have been other deviations recorded associated with global events as well.

Another scientist that has delved into these unknown areas of conciousness is Alfred Rupert Sheldrake. Early in his career he studied plant development, trying to understand how plants formed their vascular systems as they grew and reproduced. His conclusion was that auxin, a plant hormone which scientist believed was a key factor, is in a circular system and does not explain why plants develop the way they do. Sheldrake denies that DNA contains a blueprint of morphological development. He also concluded there must be some form of memory that is contained in the organism, perhaps given to it by the parent plant. Sheldrake calls the storing of this information morphic resonance.

One test Sheldrake performed was having a person sit in a chair facing a particular direction. He sat behind them in another room with a glass window where he could look at them. Using a CB radio, he would periodically ask them if they thought he was staring at them. He would sometimes stare at them, and other times close his eyes and think of something different. Test subjects had surprising accuracy at detecting if they were being looked at. This supports the idea that our bodies are surrounded by morphic fields, an invisible extension of our sensory perception. Our minds work through extended fields, that link us to other people, and organisms in our environment.

Research has also been conducted in psychic communication by Dr. Michael Persinger. One experiment he conducted involved exposing one person to stimuli, while another was not exposed to any. Both test subjects in rooms 20 feet apart wore helmets that had the same magnetic fields. The hypothesis leading this experiment was that human beings use a form of communication like birds and whales that is tuned to the magnetic environment they are in. For example, birds use the magnetic fields of the earth to determine the path of their migration. The tests revealed that if you expose one person in a different room to a flashing light, the other person in the other room could see a flashing light as well. This test revealed there is much we do not understand about the human mind, and our senses.

There is an overwhelming amount of scientific, and documented accounts, available to us now explaining these topics. Is it wise to dismiss them all entirely without at least reading them for your self? Throughout human history, if a person chose to seek knowledge outside of the mundane world they lived in, they would need to leave their community and find a library in a distant land, or a guru, or temple, or become a hermit to meditate, and explore these issues privately without distraction. Today, arcane spritual knowledge can be transmitted instantly to your home computer through the internet, and revolutionary ideas can be exchanged and communicate without a censor preventing it. Photos and documentaries allow each of us to witness first hand what is occurring in remote areas of the world. All you have to do is reach out, and open your mind, and then reach within to realize the possibilities.

Sources of Information:
Spirituality and Philosophy

http://www.amorc.org/
The Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis is a non-sectarian organization of men and women who study the mysteries of life. The gateway to the mystery schools.

http://www.spiritualworks.org/
Spiritual Works is an organization that helps to bring light to those who are in the dark about spirituality. We provide information one can use to overcome difficulties and challenges in your life and bring balance. We provide tools: audio, books, videos, and information that one can use to assist in your journey. Our mission is to bring more awareness and self-realization. We hope our information can bring a positive change to people's lives and make a difference in the world.

http://gnosis.org/welcome.html
The Gnosis Archive contains a database of ancient documents with powerful messages that have been hidden by the early Christians in their struggle to define their religion. Most notably, the Nag Hammadi library contains thirteen codices and fifty texts that were thought to be destroyed by the early Christians up until 1945 when they were discovered in Egypt.

http://www.blossomsinthespring.com/
Blossoms in the Spring distributes quality products teaching Chinese Qigong and energetics. I have tried a few Tai-Chi DVDs from various sources, but the DVD made by Terence Dunn titled T'AI CHI for health is my Favorite. Blossoms in the Spring distributes this video, and many others, including books. Their website is a great source for teachings from the East.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Purification and Renewal

The Hopi Indian nation amazingly have retained most of their culture and language despite being conquered and influenced by Europeans.  We would be wise to listen to the wisdom they have preserved throughout this turmoil.  The Hopi are thought to be descended from the Anasazi, who existed around 1500 B.C. and resided near central North America.  Their ancient ancestors adapted to nature in a way that was organic and inventive.  We have much to learn from these people.  The Mesaverde cliff palace is one of the most notable achievements we can witness to this day.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mesaverde_cliffpalace_20030914.752.jpg#filelinks
Purification and renewal was what the Hopi elder predicted for America where his nation has dwindled down to a shadow of it's former self.  I have come to believe that the story of Columbus and the decimation of the Americas by the Catholic church was like a 600 pound gorilla no one noticed in the room of history I was taught in High School.  Columbus is celebrated as the messiah of the United States in U.S. classrooms, although that dogma is dispelled in your first American History course in college.  Seeing through myths that politicians and religions use to justify their positions and distract us, will open your eyes to all that we lost in the Americas.  

The genocide against the Native Americans in South and North America was horrific, and never should be forgotten.  What many forget is there was a second genocide against Nature during that same time.  Almost all of the forests were clear cut in North America, and many animal species were hunted to extinction.  The rivers and lakes became polluted, and the air became poisonous.  We struggle with these problems to this day, and despite some progress in regulation and legal circles our air is still poisonous, and our water ways still polluted.  Many of the old growth trees in North America are still under constant threat, and require yearly legal battles by Earth Justice to preserve them.  Save the Red Wood League has purchased large amounts of land to preserve what is left.  

The Zen and Tibetan view of nature is similar to the Native American view, that we must find balance if we are to survive as a people.  This is also explainable in scientific terms if you read E.O. Wilson's books on where we are headed as a species on this planet.  No matter which angle you take, all indications point to an extinction level event in the near future.  To realize that our extinction as a species is man made, and that we still have the opportunity to prevent it, is what compels many to rise up against the ignorance and the powerful right now to stop the end time from approaching.  

If 2012 is the end of the age of Pisces and the start of the age of Aquarius, and this is the era that we are to grow as a people into a more utopian society, then a central part of this new era must be the realization that we must find balance with nature if we are to survive.  We must find a way to reconcile what we want with what is sustainable.  We must also recognize that everything we do, everything we don't do, has an effect on everything around us.  The price we pay is not only in currency, but in survivability.  Just because we can not account for this qualitative concept, does not mean it does not exist.  Thinking this way is a bit less shallow than the the current mentality in our populace, and is difficult for some to understand.  We are all capable of deeper reflection, and of growth, all it requires is inspiration and momentary dedication.  Speaking with each other about it, and meditating on these concepts will be one of the most powerful methods to spread understanding to our communities.  Removing our past beliefs that humanity is not connected to the Earth and each other, and realizing we all are connected and responsible for the heritage of our species and countless other species on this plant will be the fundamental change that is required if we are to survive this perilous time. This is the time of purification the Hopi elder mentioned.

As the weather on our planet worsens, and the real effects from our neglect and greed manifest, a natural awakening will occur despite the propaganda, and opportunity for positive change will present itself.  I believe this will be the time of renewal the Hopi elder spoke about. Ironically, we may revert in many ways to the way of life of the Hopi someday.  All the death and pain the Hopi, and millions of other Native Americans, endured might have been for this great European philosophical adolescent period.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Dalai Lama and Peace of Mind

This afternoon I attended a gathering of over 10,000 people at the Long Beach Arena where His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama gave a talk on the theme: "Peace of Mind in Troubled Times."  Driving into the arena parking lot I noticed that people from all walks of life came to see him, and listen to his teachings.  There were new Mercedes Benz cars, Limos, hybrid cars, and beat up old Toyotas.  Some dressed in business attire, some dressed in traditional Indian attire, and some people came in shorts and a tee-shirt.  There was also a diverse ethnic population attending, with people speaking Hindi, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and many other languages.  There were senior citizens using walkers to get to the arena, and many young people were there as well, which especially inspired me.  There were translation services at the event, so you could wear a headset if you spoke a different language, and tune into a translator through it.

After finding my seat, a Tibetan flute player came on the stage, and played a wonderful song using a flute that a Native American gave him.  The musician said the song he played was to give us the feeling of the wind in the Himalayan Mountains where his home in Tibet is.  Now that China has invaded and occupied Tibet for so many years, a vast transformation has taken place in the land and culture, and the old Tibet which existed unchanged for thousands of years has almost vanished.  I am sure it has been a very long time since that musician was allowed to be in that land since Buddhism is not allowed in Tibet anymore, and the song he played is one of the few precious ways he is able to remember, and visit, his homeland in his mind.  The song played had an extra dimension since it was played through a flute a Native American made for him. Tibetan Buddhists and Native Americans have both been forcibly removed from their land, but still struggle to keep their cultures and religions alive despite the enormous social and governmental pressures they still contend with.

Richard Gere introduced the Dalai Lama before he came on the stage, and pointed out that in a time when so many evils exist in the world, so many wars, so much destruction, there are still so many of us interested in peace.  10,000 people in Southern California filled this arena just to hear the Dalai Lama's thoughts on how to develop, or maintain, our peace of mind in these troubled times.  It reminded me of the anti-war protests I attended in San Francisco prior to the invasion and conquering of Iraq by the United States of America.  During the anti-war march, my brother and a couple mutual friends of ours, stared down one of the main avenues in San Francisco, and were deeply moved that so many people came together to prevent violence in our world.  That same feeling appeared in me today when the Dalai Lama took the stage, and we all stood in respect and respectfully applauded him, and the ideals he teaches.


One of the most powerful thoughts the Dalai Lama taught today was to cultivate our happiness in our minds first, and leave our attachment to material items as secondary in priority.  His point was to develop serenity and peace with ourselves, so that it can manifest in others.  The people in the West have as many problems as people in the East, he said, and the main difference between the two parts of the planet is the West has a bit more advanced living areas, and technology.  Money and power is an illusion, and can be taken away as fast as it is obtained.  Yes, we need shelter, food, and a social life with our friends, community, and family, but we do not need the best house on the hill, or a expensive automobile, to define who we are to the people we care about.  We should instead focus on our mental inner peace, and our character, and the rest will follow.

To be happy one must focus on our well being psychologically, and emotionally.  Our intellect can be used in many ways, but if it is used for greed, anger, hatred, or jealously then it becomes destructive.  Having money may provide you with excellent facilities, and great medical care, but your mental well being may suffer due to the stress which comes with obtaining that material wealth, and protecting it.  Living a moral and ethical life, based on logic instead of emotion, and using our intellect to create instead of destroy, will provide a strong foundation for the rest of our personality what ever it may become.  It is our choice what we decide to create, what to spend our time on, and what we decide to neglect or destroy.  It is just like technology.  Technology can save lives, and destroy them.  It is how we use it that makes it morally correct, or immoral.

As I have aged, and become a bit wiser, this concept has became more important to me personally.  From a subjective angle, arguing with others to intellectually force them into thinking the way you do, or acting the way you do, is possible, but it has little long term value, since most people will revert to what their nature and personality dictate.  If you live as an example to others, and practice what you preach, other people will be affected by their objective vantage point of you, and decide for themselves if the way of thinking and living you follow is right for them.

I also remember the Dalai Lama stating that he believed in Marxism, since it increased the well being of a greater number of people.  Although, he admitted that it was the corrupt greed of the people who were in the government which makes Marxism almost impossible to practice.  The Dalai Lama also distinguished between the equality that Karl Marx taught in his political theories, and the harsh government clamp down on free speech of Vladimir Lenin when he attempted to implement the political theories of Marx.  He used this period in history as an example to explain why we must all act as a community at the grass root level now to create change in our governments and the world.  The Dalai Lama explained how many governments are focused on controlling thought, and dissent, and are not able to change how they operate enough to solve problems that occur in societies they govern.  He also pointed out how hypocritical the rhetoric can be by explaining how the Chinese government traditionally labelled people in the United States as imperialists, but now have become imperialists themselves.

The Dalai Lama emphasized the concept of compassion and correct thought by explaining how all religions have beauty within them, when the followers of the religion practice, and live, in a moral, and correct way.  He also pointed out that even secular individuals have the same beauty within them, and if they live a moral life with compassion for others they are no different from anyone who believes in a religion.  Being ethical, humble, and compassionent does not mean being neutral and without action.  For example, when someone harms another person in any way we still are obligated to correct that person, and explain how their actions have affected people around them.  However, we discern the differences in our mind and must always remain moral, and not return violence with violence.  This is a universal truth found in most holy books for many religions.

The Dalai Lama also told a story about a friend he has that is a Catholic monk, who he has exchanged many thoughts with over the years.  He mentioned that his Catholic monk friend even practiced some Buddhist meditation techniques, and has occasionally inquired about Buddhist concepts.  When the Catholic monk asked the Dalai Lama about emptiness, the Dalai Lama said, "You worry about Catholic problems, I will deal with the Buddhist ones!"  Everyone laughed in the Long Beach arena when he said this. The Dalai Lama explained that it takes at least 20 years for someone to learn the basics of Tibetan Buddhism practice, and around 40 years to really grasp it.  He doesn't expect, or require, that people he cares for in this world to learn his religion to make them his brother or sister.  Right action and compassion are the keys.  Compassion in all things, so our actions are just, and all of us can start to bridge the gaps in our minds to each other.



Friday, March 9, 2012

A Modern Day Mystical Poet

When most people think of mystical poetry, the first name that may come to mind is Rumi, a Persian Sufi poet that lived in the 13th century AD.  Although, Rumi is not the only one, there are others, and even modern day poets.  For example, Saul Williams is a modern day mystical poet.

I saw him, and his band, in Los Angeles last night and was deeply impressed with their performance.  Saul Williams educational background has prepared him to be a performer, so he has the basic tools to carry a crowd, but what is unique is his originality of music and words.  The music that was played was definitely western: drums, keyboard samples, electronic synths, and brass.  Although, the way the music was brought together created a collage of different eras and styles, so that you can not instantly categorize, or label, the music being played.  If this was intentional, or not, the effect is that the audience is not able to expect a particular type of lyric to fit the music being played.  As a result, Saul Williams is able to be more organic in his vocals, more inventive, and place spoken word inbetween the musical pieces more fluidly.

Saul Williams spoken word seems nonsensical to some, but to others it has meaning, deep meaning.  If you have read greek mythology or occult literature, studied astrology or Tarot, and meditated on the meanings of it, then you may start seeing the meaning in Saul's poetry.  However, not all of his poetry is mystical.  Some is more down to earth, and descriptive of mundane reality.  Some of his poetry is also mental, and takes the listener through the subjective and objective points of view.

Last night at the concert, when Saul stopped the music and started talking to the crowd in a relaxed way he said something that remained vivid in my memory.  He said, "I don't know what to say to you all.  I guess I am saying what you all want me to say." Then someone in the crowd yelled, "Tell us the truth!"  Saul replied, "I don't know truth, I talk about the truth sometimes though."  This is a very mystical statement, almost Zen like.  To admit your own senses and ego obscure pure truth, allows one to see your own ignorance, and points the way to self realization which is the journey to find Atman: the deathless,  birthless,  eternal,  and real Substance in every individual.

Some notable works of Saul Williams is the movie Slam and his album Amethyst Rock Star.  He has published seven music albums, five books, and contributed to many projects over the past two decades.  You can find highly artistic videos for some songs he has recorded on YouTube.

There was also a full moon last night, which was apropo, since Saul ended the show with saying, "I look to the sun, but follow the moon."


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Change


In the Kybalion, it is written, "Under and behind all outward appearances or manifestations, there must always be a Substantial Reality. This is the Law. Man considering the Universe, of which he is a unit, sees nothing but change in matter, forces, and mental states. He sees that nothing really IS, but that everything is BECOMING and CHANGING. Nothing stands still-everything is being born, growing, and dying-the very instant a thing reaches its height, it begins to decline-the law of rhythm is in constant operation-there is no reality, enduring quality, fixity, or substantiality in anything-nothing is permanent but Change."

When you look around at the world, and see these giant structures mankind has built, such as freeways, high rise buildings, giant rain gutters where there were once rivers, do you feel they will endure forever? Perhaps, you feel they will persist a couple decades at least. In the span of an average human life time, most of these structure will remain in some state or form. Although, it seems that Mother Nature wears away at them, cracking the concrete, splitting the walls with rain, blasting the metal with air until it corrodes and falls apart, bleaching the colors away from all things man makes until they are white as the light of the sun. Nothing in this world lasts forever, and knowing this, we should embrace the concept entirely if we want to fully attune to this world we have covered in concrete, and the infinite universe it resides within.

Changing who we are is an artform, and requires much thought and wisdom. We all evolve as we age, gaining more insight as we explore this incarnation. This is the passive evolution, which affects us all. However, there is the possibility that we can choose to also employ an active evolution, that is very different in it's nature than passive evolution. Allowing the world to consume you, changing you randomly, and forcing you to react, is hazardous and can sweep you away with the tides of societies many forces. Mastering how you evolve, or at least participating in the process actively, is far superior.

It seems the most powerful thoughts required to change one's self persona occur when you focus and meditate. Meditation can occur when you are simply lying in your bed, or when you rest against a tree, or even when you are riding in a bus or car. All you need to focus on is visualizing where you are in your life at that moment, and attempt to understand where you are going, and why. Create a deep objective vantage point in your mind of where you are right now, so that when you are not in a meditative mental state, the memories and realizations serve you as you transmute your mind into something higher through correct action. A mental point of reference is important for the process of active evolution since as we change, it is much like drifting out to sea. If we loose sight of the land, we can loose our sense of direction. Maintaining a frame of reference allows us to plot our course. Each meditation you perform is like discovering another lighthouse on the shore, guiding you to the next port of awakening and self-realization.