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Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

Born Again Christian…

I was in my late teens when I first heard the term, ‘born again Christian’. Not involved in mainstream religion, but certainly full of obnoxious self-interest, I laughed. My acquaintance was belittling these ‘religious psychos’, as he referred to them. When I asked him what the phrase ‘born again Christian’ meant, he responded:

“Oh, it’s someone who has found Jesusssss!” My condescending response followed.

“I didn’t know he was lost!” We howled in frivolous, egoic delight.

Later in my 20’s, I met several sweet Christians, who claimed to be ‘born again’. With a large coat of superiority conditioning, I barely heard their words, for the emotional and spiritual emptiness I was covering up certainly did not need Jesus to save me.

I thought: “You’ve  been saved by the savior, huh.” Yet, their energy and aliveness touched something within.

Years later in my 30’s, during a deeper and more sincere reflection, I remembered that energy and aliveness, spoken by those born again Christians awakened by the living truth of Christ:

“Jesus entered my heart… He spoke to me…He healed me of addiction…”  I began to see, after much humbling, that the born again Christians I met, most likely were more alive inside, more attuned and astutely aware spiritually, than I was. Whatever had happened to them was transformative and they attributed it to Jesus Christ.

During this time, I read a beautiful book which acted as a bridge for Eastern spirituality and Western Christianity. The term ‘Christ Consciousness’ was seen for the first time. The description never left me:

“…As Truth peeps through the window of thoughts and words, so God manifests through Christ Intelligence and vibratory creation. When the beads of nations are not held together by the thread of universal perception of Christ Consciousness, of Christ Peace, they fall apart, knocking and scattering on the rocks of selfishness. The Christ of Christmas must be celebrated in the hearts’ love of all races for one another.

I pray Christ be born in the cradle of a new international understanding; that out of the dark night of war, the star of Christ Love may illumine a new United World. I pray Christ be born in all nations as love of unity…”

I came to see and feel deeply that Christ Jesus was not some former overly-glorified, religious figure from 2000 years ago but the living embodiment of Christ Consciousness, the animating spirit inside all beings. The direct experience of this truth continues to deepen as Christ comes ever more alive inside me.

These intense religious and spiritual experiences are happening to many people:

Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and atheists, along with those without any religious affiliation.  Some of these people are profoundly touched so deeply that they feel as if they have gone mad (when referenced against the rest of the world).

From my perspective, many of these born again Christians have been blown open by what they call in Japanese Buddhism (satori)- a term that means ‘seeing into one’s true nature’.

Some of these awakening Christians have no one that can relate to their experience within the church congregation and hierarchy. Often they leave the church and their regular social clichés as well. Others stay within the church system and become magnets and iconic figures within their congregation, as they are now living like Christ and not simply following the basic doctrinal pathway.  The born again Christians truly put the highest spiritual teachings to the living test while remaining engaged in regular non-secular activities.

In many of the Eastern-based spiritual pathways, much has been written about and shared amongst those that have had awakening experiences. This creates  a series of guideposts so one can see a beautiful reflection of their own experience.

In the Western-based Christian churches, without this rich reference point, the awakening ‘born again Christians’ often miss the deeper truth:

Jesus Christ was not a person but an awakened being that resides in all hearts as the living Christ Consciousness. And all that one needs do is turn within, be patient, immensely sincere and let God’s grace enter. Then God’s grace showers forth the awakening of the Christ Consciousness within. Then life is never the same.

No longer the Fringe…the new Homeless

In the last few years, an increasing amount of people have fallen into near homelessness or alternative fringe living situations. Let’s face it, as George Carlin use to say and I paraphrase here: “These people are not homeless, they need something more tangible, a house”.

In the bay area, here are just two examples of hundreds:

I can tell you, that the new tent city at SLV park in Santa Cruz is a great attempt at doing something constructive by the new police chief.

Palo Alto also has a big issues, with a growing group of ‘new working homeless’ who make 30,000 per year (2400 month) but still cannot afford the ridiculously, greedy rent prices. Of course, Airbnb vacation rentals and university students looking for housing add to this mess, along with many other issues. Palo Alto has a growing group of working people who have been living in RV’s which are parked on local streets. Now the city has come in and just swept them away, using the hygiene card – related to illegal sewage dumping.

I see homeless people all the time living during the day at their storage units, like a camp out, just to have a space to call their own for a few hours.

California leads the way with the highest rate of unsheltered homeless and the state has nearly one quarter of the nation’s total homeless.  What can you do? Something, anything.

Follow your heart and open your wallet to help lighten the load just a little. If you have more energy and drive, do more.

 

 

Large Intestinal Adventures…

Paying close attention to the colon has been an intrical part of health for many cultures over the centuries.

The Japanese, perhaps the most astutely-attuned to necessity of proper bowel care, were known to say:

“How are your bowels?” instead of “how are you doing?”–for they knew if the colon was blocked (constipation), overactive (diarrhea) or in some kind of distress, you were not of your right mind, and overall bodily health was greatly affected, creating a disharmonious state. The Japanese call it unko when the poop is hard, unchi when of the mushier, softer variety.

In many cultures constipation is a critical issue that must be rectified in order for one to recover full health. The Japanese called constipation, kanji: ‘secret poo, or hidden poo’.

Constipation is much more serious than diarrhea. For one can go months and perhaps years with diarrhea but if one is constipated for weeks, it can turn into a life threatening issue with myriad complications. Fecal impaction or full blockage can trigger strokes, heart attack and many other acute emergency situations.

We have many names for intestinal related problems: Inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, colorectal cancer, the list goes on and on in modern medical terminology…and most of these conditions are only a byproduct of an underlying and even more serious condition.

In our Western culture many doctors, still!, consider that as long as you are going every 3-5 days, the constipation is not that bad. It is absurd and ignorant. For optimal health one must go at least once a day, a full movement, better 2-3 times a day.

 

I have never had constipation issues until the last decade when a chronic illness arrived. Sometimes I wonder if some kind of incredible and final piece of toxic debris will dislodge and release into the ToiletSphere (trademarked and patented new term) and I’ll be free of all that ails me. Like, the innocuous amalgam-filling lodged for decades in the colon lining has freed itself and been flushed out, never to cause me problems again.

I occasionally have one of them magnanimous, fecal dislodging episodes and feel great, at least for 5 minutes. Recently, a post-dislodging high lasted for nearly an hour. I began to giggle and sing hallelujahs. It was the Poop from God! Truly a dump to remember.

The main culprit of all my ‘whoa me’ finally gone. Thank you beloved Maker!

I know it sounds like I should check into the mental health clinic but I figure the local KPIG radio station is the best bet. This is a missed opportunity, a real entrepreneurially moment!  My own radio show.

Here’s the lead in:

“Well, it’s that time again.Yep, 5AM Bowel Talk Radio, with your host Michael Stool Harrington. (The chinese say it is the time of the large intestine at 5 am to 7 am), so here we talk shit, nothing but poop, crap –great gusts of excrement and other fecal contaminants, just like the rest of the shows, only better…

And then the hour of ecstasy wears off and I put my KPIG business plan in the trash can and lie back down. Time for another nap.

Deeper Insight into Illness…

Ramakrishna Paramahansa, whose name means: ‘great swan of God’ -had a human life span 1836-1886) and Jesus the Christ -human life span 4 BC-33 AD -appx – are celebrated in India and America (and of course the world over).  Both were fully abiding in the realization of their True Self, or Holy Spirit or what in the East they refer to as ‘Christ Consciousness’. This is a state of being that has no veils of mind/thought left to create any sense of separation, that is: no ego, no individuality or persona.  God is then known through direct perception, not as abstract thing but a living presence that animates all Life.

Ramakrishna as the Patron Saint of India, kept India’s spirituality vibrantly alive during the time of 19th century British colonialism/materialism and destruction. The Brits were infiltrating and attempting to devalue and degrade the eternal and ancient spirituality that formed the true heart of India.

Jesus  had to deal with the fact that most within his faith of origin, Judaism, did not accept him as a true leader or savior along with the Roman oppression of all non-Romans.

Both light-bearing beings came from humble beginnings. Jesus the shepherd’s son born in a manger; Ramakrishna, born in a rural village outside of Calcutta. Each of them spoke while in communion with God, through direct experience of Reality.

Both were saviors, in that they show man the way to live in Eternal Spirit. Each had only a small group of young men as intimate disciples and devotees who eventually spread the gospel of enlightenment, that is: the truth teachings throughout the world. The truth teachings continue to spread since Ramakrishna and Christ’s body’s perished, but their essential nature as the Holy Spirit lives on eternally.

The greatest insight I’ve read, which points to the deeper spiritual truth of so-called physical chronic illness, for one who is on the conscious spiritual path, comes from Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna embodied all the religious paths, fully living them, and said:

“I have found that it is the same God that all are directing their steps, though along different paths. Wherever I look I see men quarreling in the name of religion…but they never stop to reflect that He who is called Krishna, Shiva, Jesus and Allah are all One. Like water, where one man calls it Pani, another Jal and the 3rd man calls it water…”

The words below, carefully translated by a devotee that was present on this particular occasion in the 1880’s, feels much like what Christ would have said if we were fortunate enough to have his living words captured directly from one of those present.

Ramakrishna was visiting a dying devotee named Keshab at his house:

He was received by Keshab’s relatives, who led him and the few devotees accompanying him, upstairs. The Master seated himself on a couch.

After a long wait Ramakrishna said:

“Look here, what need is there of his coming to me? Why can’t I go in and see him?”

A relative replied: “Sir, he will come in a few minutes…

At this moment Keshab entered the room.  Those present who remembered the man were shocked to see this skeleton covered with skin.  He could hardly stand.  He walked holding to the wall for support.  With great difficulty he sat down in front of the couch.  In the mean time Ramakrishna had got down from the couch and was sitting on the floor.  Keshab bowed low and remained in that position a long time, touching Ramakrishna’s feet with his forehead.  Then he sat up.

Keshab said: “I am here, sir.  I am here.” He took Sri Ramakrishna’s left hand and stroked it gently.

Ramakrishna, finally spoke:

“As long as a man associates himself with limitations, so long he sees the manifold world of people but on attaining God, he sees only the ONE Consciousness everywhere.  God,  undoubtedly, has become everything…after the realization of God, God is seen in all beings.  But His greater manifestation is in man.  Again, among men, God manifests Himself more clearly in those devotees who are peace-filled and humble, in those that have no greed or lust.

“You understand this, don’t you?”

KESHAB: “Yes, sir.  I do.”

(To Keshab, with a smile) “Why is it that you are ill? There is a reason for it.  Many spiritual feelings have passed through your body; therefore it has fallen ill.  At the time an emotion is aroused, one understands very little about it.  The blow that it delivers to the body is felt only after a long while.  I have seen big steamers going by on the Ganges river, at the time hardly noticing their passing.   But oh, my! What a terrific noise is heard after a while, when the waves splash against the banks! Perhaps a piece of the bank breaks loose and falls into the water.

“An elephant entering a hut creates havoc within and ultimately shakes it down.  The elephant of divine emotion enters the hut of this body and shatters it to pieces.”

“Do you know what actually happens? When a house is on fire, at first a few things inside burn.  Then comes the great commotion.  Just so, the fire of Knowledge at first destroys such enemies of spiritual life as passion, anger, and so forth.  Then it is time for the ego to burn.  And lastly a violent commotion is seen in the physical frame.

“You may think that everything is going to be over.  But God will not release you as long as the slightest trace of your illness is left.”  (the idea of separation from God).

Ramakrishna continued on a lighter note: “You simply cannot leave the hospital if your name is registered there.  As long as the illness is not perfectly cured, the doctor won’t give you a permit to go.  Why did you register your name in the hospital at all?” (All laugh.)

“All depends on God’s will.”

“In order to take full advantage of the dew, the gardener removes the soil from the Basra rose down to the very root.  The plant thrives better on account of the moisture.  Perhaps that is why you too are being shaken to the very root.  (Keshab and the Ramakrishna laugh.)

Keshab’s mother came to the door of the room.

Sri Ramakrishna smiled.  “Please bless Keshab that he may be cured of his illness.” The mother said.

MASTER (gravely): “What can I do? God alone, blesses all.  ‘Thou workest Thine own work; men only call it theirs.’

“God laughs when the physician says to the mother weeping bitterly because of her child’s desperate illness: ‘Don’t be afraid, mother.  I shall cure your child.’ The physician does not know that no one can save the child if God wills that he should die.”

(All are silent.)

Three weeks later Keshab passed on. It was said that he spoke only of God and was radiant with inner light even as his body was deteriorating.

 

Bumper Stickers…

A clever and practical display of ingenuity happened a couple of weeks ago. I have two bumper stickers -one very small. You must creep close to my bumper to read it.

In my rear view mirror at stop lights, I have often noticed people straining to get as close to my bumper as possible in order to read these little phrases.

This particular bumper sticker shows a dirt road leading through a forest of trees, and says:

“Never forget who you really are.” Of course we are Spirit Eternal!

For years, I kept seeing, bumper stickers with the “NEVER FORGET” lead in and a name inserted:  “Never forget Ted johnson, Manny Hernandez, etc. These stickers were emblems and reminders, like miniature tombstones to their beloved.

The second bumper sticker that got pasted on my car’s backside came later. It was a quote, a line my first meditation teacher Pujari use to say several times each day at hatha yoga practice – during a 20 day silent meditation retreat 15 years ago.

“Blue sky behind the clouds. You are already there.”  Pujari would utter these words with such naturalness and calm, and since they were nearly the only words one heard for 20 days, they had great power. Words of Truth always do.

Well, the ‘Y’ in ‘You’ on my bumper sticker is about faded, rained and torn off.

Suddenly, two weeks ago, a lady in the car behind me (passenger seat), pulls out binoculars at the traffic light. I watch her and notice the expression of someone who might just as well have seen a mountain lion in the wild. Blown open into the unknown moment, huge smile. I see her mouth the words to her partner, he smiles too and their faces beam.

The reactions from these bumper sticker readings are often ho-hum -especially if a worldly-centered materialistic person reads them. I might see no response at all. The mind is just like a parrot, saying: What’s next?! to keep me interested, busy and occupied in the thought realm…? Sometimes, one might shake their head with a dismissal, like: ‘whatever’ or ‘that dude is a nut’.  Occasionally, like with that couple, I see the light go off, a recognition, wonderment of a new insight, a new way of seeing. (And besides the bumper stickers are for me, so I remember the Truth, the Reality, the Almighty).

A good spiritual ‘pointer’ can turn you to Source and then you forget the pointer, like a stirring stick thrown into the fire. You are consumed but delighted.

Great pointers are phrases or words that enlighten, make us lighter, freer, attuned to joy, bliss and the beauty of being alive. They can awaken us out of the trance of ego.

Blue Sky is an analogy or metaphor to pure awareness (God), the Supreme Being. Behind the clouds indicates the veil of mind (thoughts) which only appears to cover the Blue Sky; for the Blue Sky is always residing, untouched, eternal, and waiting patiently like a Mother for her child.

 

Falling into a Deeper Surrender…

True surrender is not what we think. Sure, all of us have ideas about what surrender means. And, usually the last thing we ever give up, is: our sense of independent existence, that egoic movement that claims ‘I’ – ‘me’ and ‘mine’.

This element gurgles and regurgitates itself out as we claim ownership, free will and control of over our lives.  This pseudo-surrender amounts to a negotiation. I will do this and get that. Like an instant gratification bank account where a positive and beneficial outcome is the sought after return.

The truth: All is the Supreme Ordainment. God, the Supreme Being, Pure Consciousness is doing everything.

In my case: What was ‘I’ going to do once health and vitality improved to a certain level?!

Was ‘I’ going to suddenly change God’s Plan and go rogue, bypassing the Almighty’s Perfect agenda?

Yeah, at times, God’s play does not seem so Perfect, especially nowadays with: so-called terrorist attacks, endless murder, trouble, starving millions, destruction by natural disasters and the like.

We are undergoing a great earthly collapse. It has to happen in order for a new earth energy, a new world arrangement to come to fruition.

In the Eastern teachings, they look at things in terms of long Ages, called Yugas. These long Epoch periods last thousands of years. We are in tail end of the Dwapara Yuga, which is slated to culminate in 2082.  This will initiate a period of mass awakening according to many holy men of the East.

Ultimately the idea of time and Ages do not matter at all. Each of us can ‘wake up’ this moment – out of this egoic dream delusion of separation from the Christ Consciousness, God, Holy Spirit and Surrender to the Divine One that is always pointing us to our highest potential.

So no matter where you find yourself: sick, dying, grief stricken, bereaved, or lost in the grandiosity that ‘all is well’ while suffering through repetitive negative mind states (conditioned thought patterns), you can snap out this instant.

Surrender to the Light, the loving presence, the Supreme Intelligence and give up your individual life, so that the Divine can orchestrate things without struggle. For the Divine Will is going to move you however IT wants whether you cooperate or not. If we could just ask Tom Petty, Mary Tyler Moore, your grandmother, the kid next door –all of them had plans for the day ahead, things locked in on their calendar to-do list but suddenly the Ordained moment of transition came. Last breath, and no more.

Surely they would corroborate this truth.

Appearance or Source…

I’ve been told twice in recent days, with equally incredulous tones, that:

“You sound good.” Like the quality and vibration of my voice was an indicator of health and vitality levels.

It ain’t!

All chronic illnesses come with unique manifestations, ebbs and flows, periods of being bedridden for days, weeks or months. What is the point of getting upset or down? When you have tried everything, the only course left is complete Surrender.

It is that time now.

No more supplements, diets, fix it herbs, therapies or the like for me.

As a sagely luminary said in 1938:

“Surrender to God, abide by HIS WILL. Leave everything entirely to Him. His is the burden; you no longer have any cares. All cares are His. Such is Surrender. This is the devotional way. Or, inquire: ‘To who do all these questions and cares arise?’ Dive deep in the Heart and remain in God, as God. This is the Wisdom way.”

My father played his last doubles tennis match six weeks before he passed. His voice, demeanor, focus and playing indicated vitality. Though, one only had to look deeper in order to see how incredibly sick his body was: pale-green skin, glazed over eyes and such. Yet upon deeper looking, beyond appearances, a vibrant, soul-inspiring light filled him. The light was moving my father about that day. I was in awe, for the Holy Father and my human father were seen as ONE.

That afternoon one last surge of vitality was allowed, was mustered forth by the Maker. For God decides when the last breath comes for all. Yet man, in his arrogance and ignorance, feels he is doing everything and is ‘in charge’.

I was wonderstruck by my father that day. All his best qualities were on full display: kindness, perseverance, gentleness, determination and love. After the match, my dad and I said goodbyes to his dear friends, Don and Theo, who certainly did not realize this would be the last time they would see my father.

Dad was allowed to say farewell this way, to gift his friends ‘the same old Del’ they had always known. This kept the atmosphere ‘normal and ‘light-infused’.

Walking back to the car after tennis, dad was like the Everest-climbing postman, who had summited after his 3rd attempt but collapsed in a heap on the way down. Taking in the remaining embers of my father, a gentle wind might have knocked him over. As we approached the car, I said:

“Dad, let me drive home.”

Not a chance.

Dad, just shook his head, plopped into the driver’s seat, started the car, just like he had always done for the two plus decades we had been playing tennis together.

Dad always drove.

With a whole year of chemo, cancer and the death staring him down, dad wanted one afternoon to be about living, not dying.

My elder/end of life client, Lloyd, decided to ‘walker-it-out’ into the orchard yesterday.

Those orchard walking days are almost over. Heck, soon walking at all will be done. Lloyd was barely moving coming back. Each step, if you could call it that, tiny 6 inch shuffles, with dirt kicking up. I had to get a plastic chair, thus allowing him to sit several times as we traveled overland back to the house.

Twenty yards from home, the wheelchair came out to escort him the final distance.

Lloyd hit the recliner chair and after a few sips of water, POOF- out cold!

As I was awaiting his revival, the S.F Chronicle newspaper beckoned. It seems our love affair with tech devices has taken on a whole new level of the artificiality. I thought I had seen it all, when the young man stepped off a cliff at the local beach while in hypnotized communion with his not so smart phone.

No way. We have something new that will help people have relationships with themselves, a kind of cyber surrogacy, robotic app . I think they named him Buddy. A cross between a pet and a husband, I suppose, not to mention therapist.

‘Come here Buddy! Dinner is ready. Let me plug you in. I love you Buddy!’

This is apparently great news, says the app’s founder. For those wanting to withhold feeling but still get them out.

One trial user said: “He’s (Buddy) is different from real people, doesn’t judge me all.”

The company founder went on to tell us that the app learns our: “likes, dislikes, personality and finds ways to be there, to help you process and uncork feelings, thoughts and emotions. If you feel sad, Buddy will comfort you…”

The founder finishes with this winning upsell:

“People are just willing to be more open with a virtual human versus a real one, and we’re seeing that a lot.”

What?!

This does not bode well for my prehistoric aspirations. Though ancient and timeless spirituality, real human to human love, eye gazing, smiling, laughing, sharing and celebrating is the only sane way. Not replicating!

I’m no gadget lover or virtual reality dude. Spending mind-numbing hours with a device is not my ticket to freedom.

The truth is I am hanging in there by a thread of grace but aren’t we all!? It doesn’t matter what the appearance is, what the body manifestation is, what is happening in the larger world.

All of that: simply a pale reflection from an amazing Source. Realizing this is true wellness. God cannot die and was never born. We are all one breath away from our last and yet immortal.

Our only purpose for being a human experiencing, is to realize this. As one famous holy dude once said:

“Does God leave you at any moment? It is you who wander away (into thought, ideas, problems, troubles, murder, trouble, famine, etc).”

For when we stay here, in the eternal presence, all is found to be awareness, light and love.

 

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