Welcome to the Space that always is…

Breathing Workout…

Lately I’ve been exercising too much, yet again! You would think that a lesson would have been learned, that the vast humbling related to pushing the body about via strenuous exercise would be no more.

Yet, on most days, I breathe in, breathe out, with steady, rhythmic flow. Sometimes the breath is even deep…what, you don’t think breathing is exercise?

My hour long yin yoga meditation and breathing program is in full effect. It does to me, though, what a marathon does to the neophyte runner.

I sit in a simple meditative posture (think static (unmoving) cross legs with a twist -without the active and forceful postures of mainstream yang-style yoga). These simple meditative postures are accompanied by deep breathing (called ujjayi pranayama and often referred to as the ocean breath as it sounds much like the incoming and outgoing tide when practiced correctly)

Ujjayi Pranayama means: victorious breath, for in using this breathing practice, one rises over the habitual conditioned states of mind. It is an ancient yogic breathing technique -that on the physical level – based on Western science studies: relieves tension, diminishes sense of pain, relieves headaches, lowers blood pressure, decreases phlegm and much more.

Yet on the more psycho-emotional and spiritual realm, ujjayi pranayama breathing increases the prana or life force, which naturally calms the mind, keeps the focus on the present moment, and stimulates the subtle energy body.  I truly feel this style of breathwork brings the soulforce or our true Self to the forefront of consciousness.

After practicing for an hour and because of whatever organisms and karmic forces are working on this body, I often must take a nap.

So let me assure you once again: breathing is exercise-at least for this guy!

As I stated in the last blog, our Age or Yuga (an Epoch or Era showing the Consciousness of man’s evolution of Soul) is one where lack of consciousness tends to be the predominant aspect for most humans. Lust and Greed rule the day.  As one sage called it: Woman and Gold–so as to warn his monastic disciples to maintain continence and celibacy.

Spirituality in the West today is of an immature variety because in our current Age, we are only about 27 percent conscious-you might say. Most of our attention is still on filling ourselves with ego-centered things as much as possible: Sex, money, activities, or other acquisition that ‘I’ can add on to my list of experiences, like a notch on a belt, a checklist – or getting higher up some illusory man made totem pole…so I can have enough for ‘me’ or perhaps ‘me and my immediate family’.

This is the way of things now. There is nothing inherently wrong in it, just the way things are.

And spirituality is in an infantile stage. Our new age culture in the West likes to take the ancient and timeless teachings, many of which came from the Age of Truth (Satya Yuga) and mold them into our fledgling culture. In this way ego simultaneously calls the timeless and eternal teachings outdated but also twists them to fit into whatever spiritual belief system one currently holds.

No matter what form of religion or spiritual path one is on, whether it be: avid Sunday churchgoer or Gumby-like yogic practitioner–and everything in between – most Americans have a very superficial spirituality, especially when measured  against a true lover of God, a being who lives, practices, worships, meditates and prays 24 hours a day.

American spirituality is likened to a bird who has just gotten wings and finished its first 5 second flight but thinks it is an ace flyer or a man standing next to an oven that is preheating but feels they have been baked at 450 for an hour.

Take this account of a true lover of God–to make the point a bit more clearly:

“…an ordinary man couldn’t have borne a quarter of that tremendous religious fervor (that he underwent). It would have burned him up. I had no sleep at all for six long years. My eyes lost the power of winking. I said: ‘God is this what happens to those who call on you?’ I saw that the body didn’t matter – it was of no importance. Finally God appeared to me and comforted me, freeing me from all fear…”

We all live in our own world; a world created by the mind (thoughts and beliefs). The thought-free state is in truth the natural state. Then we no longer inhabit the world as a separate entity, nor create a world by our beliefs.

The world them becomes what it is in reality: Oneness—all is the Absolute Consciousness-GOD.

 

 

One Letter…

One letter can make a huge difference in a word.

Try refuse; garbage, right?! Yeah, I know, it can also be someone unwilling to do something.

Now, what about substituting a ‘g‘ for an ‘s‘. Then we have refuge; a sanctuary or place of shelter.

In our less-than-conscious culture, we put much emphasis and seem to find some kind of bizarre sense of safety in the fleeting, transparent refuse that is thrown at us and that which we seek on our own.

Yet we discard our true refuge – as Soul or the True Self – putting very little attention on cultivating our essential nature.  Once you awaken to the eternal nature of Soul, all of the seeking turns within.

What you once sought, falls away—all the refuse.

What you never thought about (Soul), you begin to see is seeking YOU. As one great Master said:

“…The searchlights of your senses are outside, that is why you love the senses…but the moment you reverse the searchlights of your senses inward, you will behold the Maker…”

And once we behold the Maker, life is never the same again.

We are living in the Epoch where most of earth’s human inhabitants are residing in darkness. Not the darkest time but still quite dim. Humanity during this Age of Dwapara Yuga, are like men standing in the bright sun with black blinders on, asleep to the brilliance, too busy with all their tech toys and focused on their own self interest.

The Yuga’s are a 24,000 year cycle of Consciousness, wherein man goes from darkness of the last Kali Yuga 700 BC to 1700 AD, to the light of the Satya Yuga (or age of Truth)–which takes place again about 7700 AD.

According to a great sage, this Age of ascending Dwapara will last for another 2000 plus years—slowly but surely man will wake up to his Brilliance, Light and Love. The egoic, self interest will turn to SELF interest, that is: the realization of oneness with all life. Man will no longer seek for more and more possessions, experiences and things but realizes that all he needs is within.

After Dwapara Yuga comes the Treta Yoga and an increasing build up of light which culminates in the Age of Enlightenment (Satya Yuga).

In the Kali Yuga Christ came to wake up the dark Age. Today, we have a few more Christlike beings who live from SPIRIT but very few truly awakened ones. In Treta Yuga, more human beings will be awake to their essential nature until finally the long Satya Yuga arrives again to bring deep harmony and the Kingdom of Heaven.

We need not wait for these Ages are timeless really. They are within each of us. All of us have a great light that is eternally shining and calling us to our true Home. We must only remember our divine heritage.

Travel…

The Spiritual Masters say we (as soul or the Self) never really travel. The body is simply a covering and a conveyance device, just like a train, car or plane. And God or the Pure Consciousness simply moves us (soul) about as needed. That’s why the Masters say to put our luggage down (surrender) since the train (God’s Will)  moves each particular body to the destination via ordained and Divine decree.

That said, my adventurous excursions to foreign lands, recently came up in a conversation with my beloved wife. I was exploring the possibility of moving to a meditation retreat center in Nova Scotia, Canada for the entire summer. A mystified smile and no nonsense practical reply came quick:

“No way, it’s way too cold there!” Then she added the kicker!

“You know, you really haven’t had much luck health-wise during your travels.”  I began to defend my journeys for about 30 seconds, painting them in a grander light…then I caught myself.

A recollection download spewed forth from my lips:

“Puerta Vallarta, Mexico 1985: Montezuma’s revenge;

1996 India: bloody dysentery;

2005 New Zealand: 1080 Chemical poisoning;

2009 Kanchanaburi, Thailand: Tiger bite shingles virus.”

I stopped and sighed deep, then said:

“Wow, I’ve really gotten hammered on my travels. And since the 2009 Thailand trip, I haven’t had more than a few months of good health and that was when I was getting 10-pass ozone treatments every week.”

So now I wait and let life unfold and do my best to be at peace, embody kindness, keep the heart open and try not get into too much trouble.

Each moment I know what I need to know.  And even though I don’t get to participate in cardiovascular outdoor adventures anymore; thrills still come every day during meditative communion and associative inner adventures of the spirit, caring for the dying and writing.

That is good enough for me.

Unplugging the Car…

My car is officially being unplugged from life support.

This is a very easy decision to make. It seems not even the junkyard wanted it. They offered all of 25.00 dollars for the vehicle.

I thought with the high price of organ donation theses days, perhaps a few hundred would come my way. They can get that from one fender but no, lowball city for the local wrecking yard.

Now, a human life, being unplugged from life support whence in a coma—a much more challenging dilemma… For, miracles do happen even with the worst recovery prognosis.

If the person has an elaborate POLST (Physician order for life-sustaining treatment) filled out this decision is made much easier. IT is clearly written down what the person wants in this situation.

Of course, intuition and spiritual angelic interludes may require one to delay making the final decision for a short while, while watching for said miracle scenario to kick in but ultimately the wishes of the one in a coma (or other situation) is clearly indicated.

 

Doctors have long over-prescribed antibiotics. My daughter’s little guy, Paxton, has had multiple ear infections in the last year. Apparently his little ears (he is 20 months) are always full of fluid, so they are going to put in drainage tubes. (Of course this does not get at the root cause of what is taking place but may alleviate some of the suffering).

She says that antibiotics always seem to help, meaning the little guy gets better.

But here is the thing: Most doctors to not do cultures to see if there is actually an acute bacterial infection which might be responsible for whatever ailment we have.

They simple prescribe an antibiotic of their choice. And their education comes mostly from the pharmaceutical representative that gave them a good deal on the medication. Absurd, right?!

If the child or adult does not get better, the doctors prescribe different antibiotic, then another– until either the immune system kicks in or said infectious symptoms disappear.

Still, both doctor and patient and family are left without knowing  what was causing the acute reactions/symptoms to begin with and the pattern is never resolved.  Fever, etc.

The root cause is never found: fungal infection, virus, etc–food intolerance that continually lowers the immune system (And this is no joke since our foods are laced with so many chemical food additives and pesticides sprayed during their growth).

And to repeatedly treat a child (or anyone) with a chronic-recurring infection which may be fungal or viral to begin with, is malpractice.

We have a huge antibiotic overuse issue and doctors have still not learned-AT ALL!  For if they have not cultured and found the actual bacterial culprit and treat a virus with antibiotics, it will lower the immune system further and have no beneficial effect. If they treat a fungal infection with antibiotics, (which are fungal compound), we are actually feeding the fungus and it will GET WORSE.

With super viruses and antibiotic resistant bacteria on the rampage, this kind of irresponsible medicine by the mainstream Western Medical Establishment is outrageous.

Hanging on & Letting go…

“God proves the devotee by means of severe ordeals. A washerman beats the cloth on a slab, not to tear it but only to remove the dirt.”    -the regular saying of an obscure saint of the early 1900’s.

I have a vision of that saint. In said mystic inspiration, this truly-humbled, majestic being is walking about the countryside, wearing only a simple loin cloth, harming no one, yet radiating a profound peace. His gentle, yet powerful voice is piercing and distinct; he speaks only of God, though a good portion of the time he remains in silence.

Most of the village folk think he is crazy.

A few courageous and lucky ones, those with an intuitive receptivity, approach him. They sit close and the nearly-ceaseless, inner banter of their minds subsides, this redundant drivel is replaced by an enthralling presence which lifts them out of themselves. These fortunate few are catapulted into true wealth, a transcendent wisdom and fathomless love. The saint’s lunacy, his socially-bizarre behavior is now seen as the real sanity, a divine madness, like an eternal elixir that soothes the discontent of the heart.

If you read enough anthologies or biographical sketches of authentic spiritual Masters, there are many common attributes related to the sacred journey or what is sometimes referred to as the: pathless path. For they tell us, that truly, all we have to do is remember our divine heritage.There is nothing to do. We must simply be.

One of the common aspects in these recollections of the lives of Masters, relates to the trials and afflictions pressed forth on the human frame, aka-the body. For almost all of us on the planet have human body-related issues at one time or another.

How we view these manifestations, our angle of vision, is most essential.

For the sages and saints point the way to freedom, to truth, love and compassion, no matter what kind of havoc is being wreaked upon our transitory bodily vessels.

On a recent night and early morning, the Almighty Washerman put this frame straight to spin cycle. I awoke on said morning, 2 am or so, peering at the clock with a bedside flashlight, not wanting to step from the covers quite yet. The nausea alarm clock had sounded, like a ear-piercing train whistle. It was the time of the liver and that right epigrastric darling was moaning or was that the sound of his overworked side kick, Mr. Gall-Bladder? The brain fog rolled in with a droning tinnitus. My eyes, filled with fluid, steam and debris, the remnants of microscopic storm troopers that had turned the blood cells into a sluggish cesspool. So I laid there a little longer, like a mortally wounded soldier on the battle field.

Activated charcoal through the night had reduced the enemies numbers but the blood cells were still acting like geriatrics.

I got up in stages. First turning to my side. Rest, pause. Then pressing myself to sitting, I take a breath. Leaning forward I slowly rise to vertical and amble-drag two short steps to the nearby activated charcoal bottle. I take a couple more tabs, as if a drunk popping aspirin, then push the tea kettle switch and get the ginger root, peppermint leaf and fennel seed ready for a super strong steep. Moments later I push a few dropper’s full of gastro calm tincture onto the tongue, toss down some Triphala –a famous peristalsis enhancer, while eyeing my acupuncture needles.

Soon, the famous Stomach-36 is pierced, a point for gastric concerns: nausea, vomiting, stress and fatigue. I should be like an ancient Chinese warrior and wear a leather sash with stones that press into these two points, whenever kneeling down to rest. These points, one on each leg, are located 3 inches below the knee near the tibia bone.

I lie down on the padded floor mat to further inventory the damage.

Then a wave of pure presence dawns, it overtakes everything else. All the sensory apparatus, and thought streams, dim into insignificance. Suddenly I not interested at all in what is happening with my human frame. Consciousness expands and mind identification with the body-idea and its assorted maladies flicker and then begin to recede, becoming less and less urgent, less and less real and no longer personal.

Meditation, the natural state appears at the forefront, not some obscure backdrop.

Just watching. Witnessing the last of body identification and stray thoughts. Inquiry happens: Is it real? Does it last? Is anything really happening?

Breath. More space….the previous body symptoms now appear like the distant sound of a dove.

Then a two bowel movements arrive, the intestines are overworked garbage men. And then a 3rd urge to defecate approaches or was the body about to vomit?

More toxic debris is eliminated from the organism. Relief arrives for the human frame but it doesn’t really matter anymore.

My practice routine for end of life caregiving is now complete. It’s time for work.

The body is following the ordained wishes of the Divine; and more and more I see this clearly. So why bother with over-managing body-symptoms, requirements and the like?

I drive the 12 miles of country road, the Empire Grade short cut, straight to my client’s house.

Lloyd, my 88 year old retired, physicist-astronomer is just eating breakfast, his usual oatmeal. It’s 10 am. Recently arisen, Lloyd does not look up or recognize that I have arrived. I leave him undisturbed to eat for now, as distraction during meals often results in spillage.

His wife, Sue, informs me of the latest with Lloyd…up four times in the night, urinary incontinence, her agitation and feelings come out sideways through story and words. Though severely sleep deprived, she forges on with her plans for the day: errands, and taking a 94 year old woman to lunch for her birthday.

Minutes later, Lloyd and I are together, just the two of us. The high intensity energy that Sue carries drives away.

It is quiet, almost serene.

Lloyd is fading more and more. He begins to fall asleep for a few minutes, then wakes up, attempts to focus and be active. His ability to drive his body organism is not working. His willfulness was never running the show. This truth is setting in, though Lloyd has to exhaust the willfulness conditioning and accept the bodily decline. If God’s grace bestows more, he might realize that his true being, the soul is untouched by that decline.

He’s not quite there.

This little disorientation cycle continues unabated for some 30 minutes. The brain and bodily organs are shutting down; perhaps this is an early indicator that Lloyd may soon fall into a phase, a realm wherein normal human communication is no longer possible.

Was there a change in medications, is it lack of adequate sleep or a progression of Parkinson’s symptoms? These are practical considerations that get addressed later after Sue returns home.

Deep down, I realize it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is caring for Lloyd with compassion and love. So I touch him often, with a gentle hand here or there, coax him silently towards a deeper surrender.

He is a grandfather. All of my clients are soul grandmothers and grandfathers. I love them all, no matter the personality quirks or the ease of our relating or depth of connection. Each one of these sweet beings, that I’ve had the great privilege to care for, are in truth divine relatives.

Later in the afternoon, after his nap, I hear Lloyd awaken and try, disoriented as he is, to get up from his chair. I walk from my nearby perch, squat low by the side of his chair and talk to him, one hand as if attached to his upper arm, like a needle transmitting an injection of calm.

“Hi Lloyd, did you have a good rest?” I soothe, pausing and letting silence reign. “You seem to be a little confused or disoriented. What are you experiencing?” I continue.

Lloyd struggles to come up with words. His eyes are rolling around like shifting pebbles; his tongue darts about in grotesque distortions. He is a man adrift in some misbegotten and foreign world. Finally he manages to speak; it comes out as a complete non-sequitur:

“I just wish I could live 100 years more…” I do not hear him correctly.

“You wish you could live a couple years more?” I repeat back to him.

“No, 100 more years!” He smiles, fixing his gaze now firmly on me, in somewhat lucid eye contact. I chuckle softly.

“Yes, wouldn’t that be great!?”

 

 

 

 

The Donkey is Tired…

As one well-known spiritual aspirant once said:

“Brother Donkey, that’s how Saint Francis referred to his body, just a beast of burden to carry around his consciousness. (For Consciousness is the real and eternal body).  In the end, what does the body matter? The only thing that matters is our love for God.”

Saint Francis considered the mortal body, the human frame a burden. He turned ascetic, gave away all money, wore only a small cloth, and consumed but meager amounts of food.

He dragged the donkey-body around.

I get what Saint Francis meant when he referred to the body in this way.

For this donkey- body is tired.

The body, this mortal human one, has become such a burden now. I drag it along until that Ordained time of departure.  I will be quite happy when the donkey body drops.

For now, I spend most of my spare time in seeing the insignificance of the body.  Like a car, this transitory body lasts only so long, then it goes. In my case the going is of the slow variety. What does it matter, 6 months left, a year, a few more years?

When you realize that the body is not the Soul and the Soul lives eternally, there no need to fuss endlessly about the body? Whatever actions or expressions the body needs to make, it will. I trust that. Sure, you take care of the basic needs of the body but that is easy.

When you give away identification with the body, true relaxation sprouts forth from within.

That is the Soulforce–which is something most of humanity is not even remotely acquainted with.

Tag Cloud