The 9 Breaths: Breath 8

3 questions?

1. Why is Breath 7 only for sleep time?

2. What is Prāna?

3. Can we really wake up from the long sleep of death?

Answers:

1. This is a special practice which is most effective if done while you are waiting for sleep to come. This is perhaps the most powerful moment of the day – as you prepare to die. Each sleep is a small death from which we are reborn. As you prepare to fall into sleep, your eyes automatically gravitate towards your Third Eye, the power centre between your eyebrows. If you follow these instructions, you can become not only Master of your Dreams but also Master of Death!

2. We breathe in Air which is, as Science tells us, composed of the vital gases we need to survive on Planet Earth. But it also contains an element of magic which allows us to be vital and to breathe without effort or even consciousness. Prāna is energy from the Cosmos which created you. It is invisible and unmeasurable by the crude mechanisms of Science, but it is your Divine link with the Universe. Shiva’s special way of breathing and thinking about breath connects you with the Universe!

3. Human Beings are energy manifested in flesh and blood. Your origin is spirit, energy, and energy can never be destroyed. It exists eternally. Remember that ‘time’ and ‘space’ are intellectual concepts not reality! Be assured you will always exist and so Shiva teaches you how to live in that special way!! You are in the world of form in order to contribute to the balance of the whole cosmos before you return to the invisible world.

Please visit the series to catch up with today! If you seriously want to make bonds with the Universe, this is a progression, not something you can just dip into! The 9 breaths are published consecutively so they are easy to find here in Nirvana Linden. You can also find them at Niume.com – urls below.

Introductionhttps://niume.com/post/264747

Breath 1https://niume.com/post/265632

Breath 2https://niume.com/post/266432

Breath 3https://niume.com/post/267922

Breath 4https://niume.com/post/268886

Breath 5https://niume.com/post/269810

Breath 6https://niume.com/post/271614

Breath 7https://niume.com/post/272641

Important points from Breath 7:

* We are going to deeper and deeper levels with each breath. Think of an onion: the peripheral skins and the tender core!

*There are many ways to use your breath in any situation you may find yourself in. You don’t have to go on retreat to a monastery. Daily life is the best spiritual training place of all!

*Prāna is magical. It is contained in each breath if you are devoted sufficiently to it. Attention is exclusive! Awareness is inclusive!

*If you become Master of your Dreams with Breath 7, there will be no more dreams because reality and dreaming will become one!

*We can choose to be either a victim of life or a Master!

*Death is a vital part of life. So embrace it each night as you sleep. It leads to the next stage of spiritual evolution!

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Shiva’s 8th breath requires your utmost devotion.

So far, you have developed a scientific approach to Shiva’s 9 breaths. But now it’s time for you to know the knower!

 

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You may be able to be devoted to a Christ or Krishna, an Einstein or Pythagoras, a Descartes or Renoir. But Shiva demands now that you are devoted to yourself.

Your body is a Divine temple which you have been invited to inhabit during your human stay. It is sacred and holy. And you are not alone in it – the Divine is there too.

Therefore, treat your body form as the abode of the Divine.

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Each intake of breath – the down (in) breath – is received, not only by ‘your’ body but by the Divine.

Each output of breath – the up (out) breath – is witnessed, not only by ‘your’ body but by the Divine.

Each turn of the breath – at the bottom and top of the circle – is experienced, not only by ‘your’ body but also by the Divine.

Do everything in your ‘man-moments’ and in ‘man-space’ with the Divine and as the Divine.

There is no separation!

You are the Divine!

 

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Shiva says:

“With UTMOST devotion, centre on the two junctions of breath and KNOW the KNOWER”

 

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You may consider ‘yourself’ to have a scientific mind, but be certain that science is nothing, is incomplete, without the Knower! And who is ‘you?’ It is only a mundane creation of ephemeral Mind!

This is another opportunity to glimpse the tricky interfering Mind and turn away from it.

It limits you!

It generates fear!

Your TRUE NATURE is unlimited and utterly fearless.

 

Inspiration: Dwell on the notion of the Divine during the day! It is a glorious truth that we are each Divine and each unique, but we are in the process of becoming Divine once more during our training in human form. Interfering Mind will throw a spanner in that naturally turning wheel if you are not mindful.

Surely you want to live in a divine way in your divine body?

 

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Wonderful images courtesy of Linden Thorp and megapixyl.com

See you tomorrow for Breath 9, the final Breath!

 

But don’t worry, I’m going to publish each breath again in the following days so that you get a second chance at uncovering your True Nature and becoming Divine once more!

The 9 Breaths: Breath 7

3 Questions?

1. How can the breath make us able to effectively play our role in daily life ?

2. How can the breath break our tendency to become attached to what we think is ‘reality?’

3. How can maintaining your attention on your breath while involved in activities help you to be born anew?

Answers:

1. Activity out in life distracts the mind from its domineering tendencies anyway. But if we know the secret power of our breath, and therefore our True Nature, then we play our roles with ease and there is no sense of futility or tedium.

2. Breath is our indissoluble link with the Universe and so our Divine origins as spirit. Breath brings air into the body but it also brings life force or vitality – Prāna – inside. This cosmic vitality shifts us away from the mundane and limited view of reality the Mind synthesizes.

3. You will not get drawn out of your vital centre into the mundane role and all its absurd antics! Attending to your breath will keep your native spirit alive and awake. In other words, you will not be playing your part on auto-pilot while deeply sleeping!

Introductionhttps://niume.com/post/264747

Breath 1https://niume.com/post/265632

Breath 2https://niume.com/post/266432

Breath 3https://niume.com/post/267922

Breath 4https://niume.com/post/268886

Breath 5https://niume.com/post/269810

Breath 6https://niume.com/post/271614

Important points from Breath 6:

* If we stay attentive between the down (in) breath and the up (out) breath, lingering at the turning of the breath, we will be renewed.

* Entering into the activity you are doing, remember that you can be at the same time. Breathing at the periphery and at the centre: letting the breath touch your centre.

*You are required to play a role in society, in the dream of daily life, which is the Drama of your Life’s body. To do this successfully, we must choose from an extensive wardrobe of masks and not identify with the role! We are merely actors going through our paces. But we carry our reality, our core, with us at all times and the breath is the perfect way to access it.

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Shiva’s 7th breath is meant only for sleep time.

Throughout the preceding breaths we have gradually been going deeper and deeper through the levels of consciousness, across the bridge of the mind into the vast field of awareness.

 

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While waiting to fall into sleep, give your attention to your Third Eye between your eyebrows, and be aware of the rhythmic circle of your breath, the turns from down (in) to up (out).

The air you take in from the universe contains all the nutrient gases you require to live fully, but in addition, an intangible energy from the Cosmos called Prāna. Be aware of Prāna flowing in to you and up to your crown, then showering down and moving closer to your heart, to the centre of your body, until sleep comes.

Remember:  attention is exclusive, awareness is inclusive.

 

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As you begin to fall into sleep behind your eyelids your eyes gravitate towards your Third Eye naturally, so rest there easily, and breathe in the background. If, when, you allow this to happen, you will become Master of your Dreams. And actually, there will be no more dreams because dreams are the very fabric of life. In other words, there will be no separation between your dreams and reality.

 

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Now you are Master of your Dreams, you are also Master of your Death.

Sleep is a small death from which you are reborn, and death is simply a long sleep. You will awaken from both because your spirit is composed entirely of energy which is indestructible.

We can choose to spend our whole life as a bewildered victim of it. Or we can become Master of it through Shiva’s techniques.

In fact, you can become a creator of your dreams and turn away those dreams that are unwanted.

Remember, we are beings of 2 parts: the periphery and the core. We can become Master of both of them and so realize exactly our mission in the world of form.

 

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Shiva says:

‘With intangible breath in the centre of the forehead, as this reaches the heart at the moment of sleep, have direction over dreams and over death itself.’

 

 

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Buddha, along with many other Spiritual leaders, became Master of both during his Enlightenment using Shiva’s tantric breaths. He knew his birth and his death exactly. He precisely predicted the moment of his birth and the moment of his death.

He was attached to nothing on the visual plane so lived a sublime life of freedom and passed into a glorious sleep of death, the PariNirvana, both of which brought the whole of existence to a standstill. This is highly symbolic!

Inspiration: To sharpen your faculty of attention, gaze at a candle flame or a beautiful flower, a wonderful image or creature, for 3 minutes without moving or blinking. This will activate your Third Eye between your eyebrows. This is the power centre of the Divine. Put aside some moments to do this in your favourite place now! Don’t think or talk about it. Just do it!

 

 

 

Wonderful images courtesy of Linden Thorp and megapixyl.com

 

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                                                      See you tomorrow for Breath 8!

 

The 9 Breaths: Breath 5

How can a tiny gap in the breath lead to enlightenment?

How can we gain freedom from the enslavement of the Mind?

Why did Buddha Gautama take 6 years to know his breath, not just the passage of it? And why did this knowledge lead to enlightenment?

These are some of the questions that may have arisen during the previous 4 breaths. Now for some answers.

If you want to start from the beginning of this series then go to:

Introductionhttps://niume.com/post/264747

Breath 1https://niume.com/post/265632

Breath 2https://niume.com/post/266432

Breath 3https://niume.com/post/267922

Breath 4https://niume.com/post/268886

Important points from Breath 4:

*Breathing stops when danger is near, as does mind!

*The small self (only a daily utility) disappears at such moments so that we can glimpse the True Self.

*We cannot practise the Breath! Each one is a performance.

*Zen Masters have utilized Shiva’s 5th tantric technique of eliciting unexpected reactions from their disciples exactly so that they can glimpse their True Nature.

*When breathing pauses there are no desires, no quests, no cravings, no small fragile self.….because the Mind also stops. The Mind is the personification of all these distractions.

 

 

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Shiva’s 5th breath is the pinnacle of his Tantric techniques because it involves the Third Eye.

But to purify the mind before we start, it is important to understand that there is no effort involved in attaining spirituality! We are tricked into thinking that it needs a huge effort because we are not spiritual beings; that we have lost something so we need to compensate by adding something new.

This is mistaken. You are already there. You are divine already. No long journey is required to find what you are looking for. This ‘attainment’ is not something you will realize in the future! It is here and now.

How can mortal man create the divine from scratch? It is ever-present and infinite. You are the truth and simply need awakening from your deep sleep induced by the tricky Mind. Shiva’s techniques are designed exactly to do that.

 

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Your spirit is hiding from you in small things, for instance, the tiny gap as your breath turns from down to up and up to down. It is a treasure hidden because of long and dominant habits of identifying too much with delusional things like personality, clothes, skin colour, religious convictions, etc.

Only a small effort is needed to uncover what is already there. The future is hidden in the present.

Your longing to be pure and spiritually evolved has created a barrier to your seeing your own True Nature. The clouds that cover the sun are only temporary. A man who is blind can receive simple surgery to enable him to see because the seer has always been there.

 

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The difference between ‘awareness’ and ‘attention’ is important before we contemplate the Third Eye. Awareness is inclusive perhaps involving many things; Attention is exclusive – it only has one focus.

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Now, bring your full attention to your Third Eye between your eyebrows. Focus it strongly on this place which is the seat of the Pineal Gland, a magnetic mechanism of the body. As you still your energy at this point, 2 things will happen:

1. You will begin to witness your thoughts instead of thinking them. In other words, you will cease to identify habitually with them. Instead, it will be as if someone else is generating them. This focus will create a distance between your small self (utility of daily life) and your thoughts (vapour that disappears the moment it is thought).

2. You will feel the essence of your breath vibrating. This is known as prana – vitality. Science says we breathe chemically rich air: spiritual insight says that we breathe pure life.

 

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Then Shiva says:

‘Attention between the eyebrows. Let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light.

 

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The essence of the breath, the prana or vitality of the Cosmos, will shower down as light from the crown of the head, and you will experience a rebirth or recreation.

3 minutes of gazing in complete stillness at a beautiful flower or candle flame will activate your Third Eye and light will shower down.

The Third Eye is the mechanism of hypnosis, the closing of the gap between dream and reality.

 

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Inspiration: Doing is important, not just thinking about it. This meditation is something you deserve to free you from the slavery of your mind. Just do it right now instead of talking about it.

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                                   gorgeous images courtesy of Linden Thorp and Megapixyl.com

                                                             Join me tomorrow for Breath 6.

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positive reflection wellbeing spirituality

The 9 Breaths: Breath 4

When does your breath stop automatically?

When there is danger or great fear, whether in your dreams or in so-called reality.

It is important to remember that breathing and mind work together. Your mind stops in synchrony with your breath in such situations, therefore this is a golden opportunity to look behind the screen of so-called reality.

If you want to start at the beginning, please go to:

Introductionhttps://niume.com/post/264747

Breath 1https://niume.com/post/265632

Breath 2https://niume.com/post/266432

Breath 3https://niume.com/post/267922

Important Points from Breath 3:

* Children breathe deeply exclusively in their abdomen – this is the secret of their totality, their joy and energy. They are existing in or close to their true centre.

*When the breath is static or turns from down (in) to up (out), we are here-and-now in our totality.

*Breath is the bridge to our real centre, to reality, to full awareness.

*The more your breath touches your centre, the more your life force will fuse with the energy of the cosmos, your divine origins.

*When we are in the shadows of negativity, we are divided. We can only live partially if we breathe shallowly, and the upper body is divided from the lower, the angel from the animal.

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Breath stops when there is danger. In tandem with the breath, in such situations the mind also ceases to move in its monkey fashion. Danger galvanizes us and forces us to realize that the small self is simply a daily utility and it can vanish easily.

This is a tremendous resource to get a glimpse of our True Nature.

 

 

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This is why it is important to take risks in your life.

We tend to over-cherish ourselves, over-protect ourselves with our ego shield. This is a function of living in large urban populations unfortunately.

 

 

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Breathing is not something we can practice. Each one is a live performance. But by approaching breathing in different ways, we can feel something different with each performance.

 

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Shiva’s 4th breath has become the basis of Zen teachings in Japan. Ferocious Masters behave in unexpected ways with their pupils to shock them into feeling the breath stop, and so to grasp the power the small self can hold over us. Shiva, the utterly unpredictable, was an expert at living in this way.

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Shiva says: For the pure, the pause when the breath and the mind stop is commonplace, is ever-present.

 

NO desiring. NO seeking. NO looking elsewhere. NO divisions.

 

This is when the mind stops and the bridge of the breath opens up to us. We can easily walk smoothly across it to bask in the vast field of human awareness. We are free to take up our rightful place in the Universe.

Inspiration: Impurity is completely within your control by using the sharp sword of mindfulness. Watch, witness, each of your thoughts as they arise – if they are negative or critical, envious or fearful, just turn away from them. They emanate from the small scared self not your True Self; from the victim of life not the victor. All speech and actions originate in thoughts, but thoughts are never in the present – they are always in the past or the future, both of them man-made concepts not to be confused with reality!!

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      Wonderful images courtesy of Linden Thorp, Mariko Kinoshita and megapixyl.com

                                 Join me tomorrow for Breath 5 of the 9 breath series.

The 9 Breaths: Breath 2

Main points from Introduction: https://niume.com/post/264747; and Breath 1: https://niume.com/post/265632

* Shiva is the Indian God of ‘transformation.’ His techniques were inspiration for the Buddha’s enlightenment, and they can be for you too.

*Tantra = unconscious transformation. No so not need to do any changing. be exactly as you are.

* Your breath is the bridge between your body and the universe. ‘You’ are not required to breathe – it happens in spite of you – so simply watch it as if you are watching the breath of someone else.

*Noticing the gap between the down (in) breath and the up (out) breath will open the doors to the ‘Kingdom of the Spirit.’

 

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In Breath 1, you noticed by watching that your breath moves in a perfect circle and the down (in) and up (out) breaths are two halves of one complete breath.

You also noticed by watching and staying exactly with the movement of the breath, neither ahead or behind it, that within that circular movement there is a ‘gap’ or ‘turn’ from down to up at the bottom of the breath, and from up to down at the top of the breath.

In Breath 2, we will watch this ‘turn’ more closely.

 

 

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The Earth’s breath becomes part of the body when it is entering you and leaving you, but when it turns from down to up and up to down then it is no-body, no-mind.

A good analogy for this turning is a car, motorbike or electric bicycle. A motor-driven vehicle has gears, low and high, hill-climbing-hill-descending, etc. The turning point of your breath is like neutral on your gear stick. Neutral has to be passed through to reach all the gears.

 

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The human mechanism is extraordinary, cutting edge, miraculous, at its peak. It is composed of many gears: sleep gear, anger gear, smiling gear, laughing gear, etc.

As you change into a new gear, your transmission must pass through neutral. Perhaps the best example is sleeping. As you prepare to sleep, there is a gap between waking and falling into sleep. There is a turning point which you can never catch – you are awake and then suddenly you are asleep and watching your dreams!

In this gap, you are neither body, nor mind, nor mechanism. You are pure energy or existence – the energy of the Universe.

 

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As you experiment with this type of awareness of your breathing, you will notice that moving breath is connected to mind, and if your breath stops for some reason, then your mind stops.

Our breathing is conditioned to be plugged into the electric current of mind, so breathing and thinking have become connected. But if you unplug from that habitual connection, then the thinking ‘monkey’ mind stops.

 

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Shiva says:

As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to down – through both these turns, realize!

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You can take complete control of your car with these moments of awareness! You can take control of your 70 million cells, your 70 million connectors to the universe. You can realize 100% of your potential in this way!

You have opened the door to the Kingdom of Spirit if only a crack, for a split second!

 

Inspiration: Please let this notion swim around you during the day ahead to prepare you for Breath 3 tomorrow.

Your body is divided into two: the periphery which we know well because we are always looking outside through our physical eyes; and the centre or core which we do not know well. To touch our core we need to close our physical eyes and open our spiritual eyes inside.

 

 

Images courtesy of megapixyl.com and Linden Thorp

The 9 Breaths: Breath 1

 

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Important points to understand from the introduction to this series:

* The 3 layers of the being are: the body, the breath and the soul/spirit/heart.

* Focusing on the breath, sensing it in the abdomen, allows us to both look ahead at worldly/daily life and back towards the heart, our origin, our True Nature.

*Breathing is not taught. It is therefore ultimate and mysterious knowledge. It is every unique being’s secret bond with the universe.

*Due to the infinite kindness of Planet Earth and our masterful biological adaptation, we have unlimited supplies of oxygen to sustain our human life. Only Planet Earth provides the conditions in which we can thrive, ‘here’ and ‘now.’

If you would like to read the Introduction, please go to https://lindenthorp.com/2017/02/23/shivas-mind-turning-techniques/


Background:

These precious techniques are inspired by Shiva, ancient Indian God of ‘Transformation.’ He predates Buddha, providing him with the breathing techniques to become enlightened sitting under the Bodhi Tree 2600 years ago.

Shiva is non-intellectual in his approach, unlike Buddha, so he uses Tantra to help us attain the truth. Tantra is internal in that no conscious changes are needed, unlike Yoga which conscious and systematized using prescribed poses and systems.

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Your breath is a bridge between the body and the universe. If that bridge is weak or broken then we are not really alive. In other words, your breath touches the core of your body and, beyond you, the universe.

Mostly, we take our breathing mostly for granted, assuming that it will continue on without us. Therefore, you are not breathing, because you are not required! Breathing goes on in spite of you!

So, do not consciously change the way you breathe. Breathe exactly as you do usually, but for this purpose you are going to simply watch your breathing as if someone else is breathing and you are observing.

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Feel air or breath touching your nostrils as it enters you. Let it in. Welcome it. Relax your eyes, looking down at the end of your nose, but do not close your eyes completely so you can stay alert.

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Know that your breath follows a circle not parallel lines (which never meet) and you are going to follow that circle keeping exactly simultaneous with it, neither ahead of it nor before it, as you watch.

Go down from the top of the circle with it, staying exactly with it, and then notice the bottom of the circle as you start to go up towards the top again. Both down and up are 1 breath.

Make the circle as large or small as you like. There are no rules and it is impossible to compare your breathing circle with anyone else’s because it is unique.

 

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After watching your breath as the circles come and go, as many times as you like until you are comfortable with this sensation, stopping whenever you like, pause. Shiva says:

 

 

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O Radiant One: the experience of your true self, your True Nature, may dawn between the breath coming down and the breath coming up: in other words, at the top and bottom of your circle as your breath turns.

 

This is the truth! The breath going down is death: the breath coming up is rebirth. Noticing the gap in between allows you to touch the centre of your being and so the universe.

Spending time watching your breath, doing nothing because remember you can breathe without you, allows you to cross the bridge of your body to your soul. You are ‘now’ and ‘here’ each time the breath turns! There is no past! There is no future! There is only your uniqueness in the universe. This is reality!!

You have opened the door to the Kingdom of the Spirit.

 

 

Inspiration: Using breathing we can turn the mind away from compulsive seeking outside, from desperately trying to acquire the knowledge of others, to find our own unique treasure within. We can turn the mind from its habitual desiring to non-desiring.

This now-and-here is our true happiness and contentment.

 

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                                  Images courtesy of megapixyl.com and Linden Thorp

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Join me tomorrow for Breath 2. Please contact me via the comment space below if you have any questions, problems or comments and want to share them with other readers. Or, if you prefer, contact me by email at: lindenthorp@gmail.com

Atisha and the 7 mind trainings: try it for yourself.

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Atisha, Indian in origin, spent his whole life spiritually liberating Tibet.  It could be said that he founded Tibetan Buddhism which it is estimated has about 350 million adherents today – about 6% of the world population.  He is highly unusual in that he had not one but three highly realized masters – Dharmakirti, Dharmarakshita, and Yogin Maitreya.

One of his most precious teachings is the ‘Seven Points of Mind Training.’  These are merely fingers pointing to the moon – the fingers are not the moon –  so once you have opened yourself to these very practical ways of liberating your spirit from the prison of your mind, please forget about them.  They will work their way into your unconscious mind and assist you in singing your own song and dancing your own dance. In other words, once absorbed they will polish your true nature, your Buddha Nature until it shines out into the universe. The mind creates all of our miseries in human life, so by following this formula you can become free of it.

It is important to say at the outset that this article represents my response to Atisha’s wisdom.  I am simply a valley echoing it into your heart.  I am simply an objective messenger passing the wisdom on.

1 : Learn the Preliminaries:

a) Truth is being – we are already immersed in it.  Humans are truth.

b) Mind is a Barrier – the perpetual film playing out in the world distracts us from what we actually are.

c) No-mind is the door.  Atisha called this Bodhicitta (to be explained later) – by putting aside the mechanism of your mind, you will attain the unattainable. 

2 : Think that all Phenomena are like Dreams

The seer is never seen, the experiencer never experienced, the witness never witnessed because we are always looking outwards.  What truth can there be in a dream?

3 : Examine the Nature of Unborn Awareness

We were not born and we will not die. We are pure energy. We are pure awareness. We can use this awareness as a crystal mirror.

4 : Let the Remedy Itself Go Free on Its Own

It is our habit to cling to what cures us, but for what reason.  Once your are cured be in full health. You can forget the remedy and be grateful in every moment of your perfect existence.

5 : Settle in the Nature of Basic Cognition, the Essence

Do nothing. Relax into your True Nature, your Buddha moments. There is nothing to do.

6 : Between Sessions consider Phenomena as Phantoms

If you have to move away from your meditation, your True Nature, remember that you are walking into a dream and participating in it with phantoms.

7 : Train in Joining, Sending and Taking Together; Do this by Riding the Breath: Three Poisons = Three Bases of Virtue

Breathing is being so breathe each borrowed breath carefully.  First, breathe in the suffering, ignorance and darkness of all humanity. Hold them in your heart to transform them with compassion.  Then breathe out the pure joy contributing it to the whole of existence.

We can convert the 3 poisons – greed, hatred and ignorance – into the 3 virtues by overcoming Aversion, Attachment and Indifference. The 3 poisons will be converted into 3 nectars with this simple technique. This is No-Mind – Bodhicitta – the Mahayana ideal of liberating all beings.

 

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The above is not philosophy or religion, but sheer science.  So, experiment. Try it for yourself.  In this way, you can experience your True Nature. At first, you may only get a passing glimpse, a faint scent of something.  This is the energy of your true beauty and fragrance. The fragrance of your unique Truth

I will focus on each of the 7 stages in the Soul Management daily meditation over the next 7 days if you would like to join me.

 

images courtesy of megapixyl.com

nirvana-linden-logo1

 

 

Making Images: the greatest test of all for humans

3a0d9fd4-ac13-44d8-82a3-1183d7090482_post

Humans are actually taught to make images to symbolize or represent almost everything – for remembering, for recognizing, to navigate, and so on – and we excel at it. This aptitude to bring to bear rich imaginations and wide vision in our daily lives is one of the things that differentiates us from animals and plants.

But actually, this often becomes an abstract route to creating our exclusive way of seeing the world. It literally forces us to identify, to stamp ‘me’ and ‘mine’ on that mind moment, and if we are not mindful we may become attached to such images, mistaking them for reality.

1

This temptation to ‘identify’ with the images we constantly create is our major test as humans – our conditioning and DNA (countless ancestors who have lived distant to the sacred) lead us to etch a clear line between reality and the imaginary, to make a distinction between the visible and the invisible. Also, we unknowingly consign ourselves to experiencing life always from the sidelines, via concepts and archives.

But many of us have never even heard of this ‘test’ which means that we have fully and unconsciously turned our backs on our divine mission. Instead, we favour and over-cherish a synthetic ‘self’ invented by the dictatorial intellectual mind. This is pure ego and arrogance: some would say it is the dark side of human beings, our personal ‘Satan,’ our samsara. It is as if we are constantly resisting the gravitational field of love and goodness. These resistant consumers are the norm in modern life, whereas those who live lives of surrender and desirelessness are increasingly rare. Most of us are attracted to those who are similar to us because we somnambulate through a spiritual wilderness.


Science informs us that human beings have evolved physically as much as they can; in other words, that we are at our peak as a species. But evidently, our spiritual evolution is badly retarded. As a result, most of us are not truly happy and neither is the world at large. We are restless, insatiable, destructive and primitive, unable to create harmony in our social groups for the most part and constantly craving artificial stimulation or oblivion.

In our short-sightedness in life, most of us convincingly conceal our terror of death and disappearance. But this endemic fear has caused us to lose the use of so many subtle tools available to the higher mind: the mind of ‘grace’ (Christian) or emptiness (Buddhist) or moksha (Hindu). Instead, we invest all our energy in the visible, the intellectual and in acquiring. We give over our precious human existence to shopping, possessing and questing for attention, and as a result, we have become major stakeholders in the worlds of materialism and sensual satisfaction.

Given our huge stake, it is logical that we sit back in our high comfortable chairs, flicking switches and frittering away our time viewing visual collections. Logic?  Another resistance to what is natural.


We may even make images to represent our own minds: for example, the iceberg with its small tip showing above the water surface and its mass below, symbolizing the conscious mind and the unconscious mind respectively. Or the onion with its tender centre and its layer upon layer of ever-hardening skins. Although these may be useful to try to appreciate or recognise the difference between these two contrasting aspects of our mind, they do in fact separate them from one another in an Aristotelian way.

By attaching ourselves to such images, we are unwittingly identifying with them and so coaxing our contrived ‘self’ to acquire and possess compulsively. In actuality, there is no ‘self’ to identify with anything material because we are beings of energy made flesh for the express purpose of evolving spiritually.

It is preferable then to avoid making or encouraging these images even though they may seem to ease understanding. Ironically, understanding in its original sense is connected to listening not looking. Perhaps, rather than finite blocks of black and white as captured on screens and pages and in bold framed linear scenarios, there is only a boundless greyness which floats and fleets in whatever shape is needed to embody the essence of love and full awareness. Our existence in human form is only an unconditional listening, a subtle flickering of our essence of light.


If we give up trying to pin down our feelings, cementing them into our foreground, crying out for witnesses to come forward and acknowledge us, asserting our view to others, we might realize that the field of awareness is infinite and has no boundaries, no images or archives. Then we can quietly coalesce in the field needing no images or intermediaries at all.

By closing the busy outer eyes so addicted to colour, shape and orientation we can close the image albums and lock the archives, walking away to our real home beyond all concepts created by the human mind. Then we will be able to clearly hear the sound of reality moving and merging, the concrete sound of infinity and eternity, of goodness and the divine.

True understanding consists of universal unconditional listening during which nothing is pinned down, nothing is owned and everything becomes one. We embody love with our true nature enabled only by the privilege of breathing air granted from the universe. Everything else is simply arranged only to stimulate the intellectual mind.

1

‘We shall know each other by our deeds and being,

and by our eyes and no other outward sign save

the fraternal embrace.’

Above is a verse from the Cathar Creed (1244), The Church of Love. The spirit of life is played out whilst silently respecting everything on the material plane though not identifying with it; accepting everything but quietly supporting those who need support. It is clear from our human history that ‘identifying’ and ‘possessing’ destroy and engender greed and ignorance. Using images is, in a way, an attempt to possess aspects of the visible, to keep them for reference as a source of knowledge.

The medieval mystic Cathars possessed nothing material, not even the Bibles showy Roman Catholics had become slaves to. Indeed, all the great spiritual adepts dispensed with material supports. Instead, they did what was natural and wholeheartedly embodied their spirit of compassion and humility.


I have deliberately positioned myself in my life in a different culture (Japan) in which I cannot easily read or write or even understand the society around me. This is the most precious opportunity to stop making images and concepts. I notice that I am not using my mind in the same way as I did living in my native culture because it is often impossible to make interpretations of my environment here.

As I wander down crowded streets decked out with loud kanji, katakana and hiragana neon signs so characteristic of Japanese cities whisked aside by bicycles mounted on the pavement and bustling people pushing through the crowds, I can often only listen deeply and breathe. It is no use bringing out my image albums and brandishing metaphors and idioms because they are meaningless in a culture which reads the air instead of dissecting and deeply analysing ideas.


Here, it is often impossible to imagine what is going on in other minds around me because there is no pattern I can predict, no pictograph I can possibly imagine, and no inherited template. I can only embody my love.  Mostly I float around having sealed away the intellect allowing visions to temporarily occupy me. I rely only on my ancient senses to help me to navigate.

In my life here, there is only the field of awareness. I am the terraced shaking paddy. I stand in sluiced rice rows, paddled by ducks and frogs. I am activated by tremors from the inflamed warts of the Earth’s crust below me. I am harvested and bundled, eventually finding my way into famished stomachs.

Here, I have dramatically learned how not to be separate from anyone or anything in a Land created from the hair and kimono of the million gods. 

To interfere with this seamlessness for even a second to create an image, to snap a shot, would make me gasp for air!

1

Images: courtesy of megapyxl.com

Bird and web – Alisen.com; Sensing Energy between palms – Nikkizalewski.com; Man hunting. bushman’s prehistoric cave art – Wilad.com; Three geisha – Razvanjp.com; Cosmic Transformation – thefinalmiracle.com; Iceberg – Luislouro.com; South and North pole and all things related – Stuidoclover.com

nirvana-linden-logo1

Song

Cover Picture

‘There is a room around this song.’

Shocked, she wondered who thought of that? She asked who put this room in this library of other rooms to hold all the songs? It is called a ‘college of music,’ but an original college was a partnership, like the word ‘colleague’ today, not a huge institution with a whole unique ethos, surging forward, attracting fame and sponsorship, competing with other such urban necessities. Walls within walls, never still.

First everything is encased, captured. Then we must build a wall around it to hold it still, to make it stay so we can perpetuate it. Even the strings of this magical instrument ‘the piano’ that I am permitted to caress only the black and white teeth of are secreted away beneath designed wood, constructed, boxed. Must I play with these limits? Must I be held back? But wait! Questions are also constructed, their answers filed away in drawers.

Then suddenly amidst all this obsessive division, we will begin the song.

I have seen your face once or twice appearing and disappearing through doors and mirrors, your wine red lips, the hushed eyes of others with voice, the mutterings of your reputation, your talent. The light of you switches off and on again as you perambulate through the banal between songs, eating and drinking of necessity, speaking if spoken to, but saying as little as possible. You have always known that speaking the mundane is the poison, and you have found the perfect antidote in song.

You appear in this room indicating with your paper mantras – your score, as a talking point to get started, holding on to it scarcely with singing fingers. My mantras stand upright on the music desk only touched at the edges, but yours are cradled against the opaque skin of your forearms. Both are heavily marked, pencil, scratches, another kind of mantra made with numbers and symbols in Italian.

Before we start, oh how I long to get started, must there be this kind of foreplay? We both know that the poison is slowly killing us. Should we prolong the suffering for the sake of others? Should we stay to be like those who have not taken the antidote? Comfort in numbers, not to stand out for fear of being condemned as arrogant, or different?

The poison of containment behind walls and below roof tugs hopelessly at the fixed anchor of time. The tyranny of the visible, the prolongation of object permanence well into adulthood. Close the door, the drawer, the coffin lid, and now it’s gone. And the demented denial of the invisible, the inaudible, the untouchable, all the time the clammy jacket of space squeezing us tightly, holding us still until we are certain we really exist.

They do not realize that the poison of our ignorance and blindness hold us back, confine us, suffocating because we monopolize oxygen and are terrified that it will run out.

But once the learned conventions have been delivered, we can concentrate on the mirrors, polishing them up, breathing on them, rubbing, and they soon start to reflect. No decision to make about which of these miraculous antidotes to apply because they all work. The pages of scores are vague references, tacit, of no more concern so tossed aside.

We begin. We breathe as one in gratitude for the loan of just this one breath, and then the next, one at a time: gratitude and breath are key conditions that will make the antidote work.

I will start the song with breath-placed bent fingers perched on the cool ivory. Their tips are singing and they are calmed by air which convinces them that their nails should not tear away the wooden confines boxing in the gorgeous strings.

Seated beneath you, I am thrilled to be the soft underbelly of our union. My legs and feet drive the pedals, operate the dampers, quickly ‘on’ and ‘off,’ to promote the resonance or stop it summarily. I must be master of the used air in this song’s room because breath is required between strings and dampers, one for each key, an airiness which keeps the vibrations regular, oxygenation of the felt pads. Breath is also necessary for the highest treble strings, fine, taught, connected to the heavens; and the lowest bass, thick, loose, connected to earth which I never need to dampen with my foot pressure.

The convention of vocal song says that the accompanying instrument will start to set the mood. But I fail to notice the start because the antidote is already working. I am no longer conscious. ‘I’ has disappeared, leaving behind only poised fingers and forearms to weight them down. Fingertips and joints ripple and pivot, merging with you even before you let out a sound. There can be no human insubordination now.

The ethereal kiss is a delusion in the showcase of romance. The poison of possession, of fixing each appointed victim completely still with lips and arms, of pressing body weight, of the burn of skin friction and static. Crude, abstract, a stab in the dark, mirrors filthied by the poison and no antidote in sight.

Separate humans jammed together, confined, last-ditch, crammed in drawers and behind doors.

Conversely, this airy kiss of fingertips on strings is the perfect reflection of yours on lips like wild geese. Air and sound are only an apparition in the visible.

Making images : our major test as humans

 

iceberg-2

Humans are actually taught to make images to symbolize or represent almost everything – for remembering, for recognizing, to navigate, and so on – and we excel at it. This aptitude to bring to bear rich imaginations and wide vision in our daily lives is one of the things that differentiates us from animals and plants.

But actually, this often becomes an abstract route to creating our exclusive way of seeing the world. It literally forces us to identify, to stamp ‘me’ and ‘mine’ on that mind moment, and if we are not mindful we may become attached to such images, mistaking them for reality.  

3ee781d8-c379-4df8-9fe6-b813e7d79055_post

This temptation to ‘identify’ with the images we constantly create is our major test as humans – our conditioning and DNA (countless ancestors who have lived distant to the sacred) lead us to etch a clear line between reality and the imaginary, to make a distinction between the visible and the invisible. Also, we unknowingly consign ourselves to experiencing life always from the sidelines, via concepts and archives.

But many of us have never even heard of this test which means that we have fully and unconsciously turned our backs on our divine mission. Instead, we favour and over-cherish a synthetic ‘self’ invented by the dictatorial intellectual mind. This is pure ego and arrogance: some would say it is the dark side of human beings, our personal ‘Satan,’ our samsara, It is as if we are constantly resisting the gravitational field of love and goodness. These resistant consumers surround us in modern life: those who live lives of surrender and desireless-ness are rare.

impermanence

Science informs us that human beings have evolved physically as much as they can; in other words, that we are at our peak as a species, but evidently our spiritual evolution is badly retarded. As a result, most of us are not truly happy and neither is the world at large. We are restless, insatiable, destructive and primitive, unable to create harmony in our social groups for the most part and constantly craving artificial stimulation.

In our short-sightedness in life most of us convincingly conceal our terror of death and disappearance. But this endemic fear has caused us to lose the use of so many subtle tools available to the higher mind: the mind of ‘grace’ (Christian) or emptiness (Buddhist) or moksha (Hindu). Instead, we invest all our energy in the visible, the intellectual and in acquiring. We give over our precious human existence to shopping, possessing and questing for attention, and so we have become major stakeholders in the worlds of materialism and sensual satisfaction.

Given our huge stake, it is logical that we sit back in our high comfortable chairs, flicking switches and frittering away our time viewing visual collections. Logic? – Another resistance to what is natural.

south-and-north-pole-and-all-things-related

We may even make images to represent our own minds: for example, the iceberg with its small tip showing above the water surface and its mass below, symbolizing the conscious mind and the unconscious mind respectively: the onion with its tender centre and its layer upon layer of ever-hardening skins is another. Although this may be useful to try to appreciate or recognize the difference between these two contrasted aspects of our mind, it does in fact separate them from one another in an Aristotelian way.

By attaching ourselves to such images, we are unwittingly identifying with them and so coaxing our contrived ‘self’ to acquire and possess compulsively.  In actuality, there is no self to identify with anything material because we are beings of energy made flesh for the express purpose of evolving spiritually.

It is preferable then to avoid making or encouraging these images even though they may seem to ease understanding. Ironically, understanding in its original sense is connected to listening not looking.  Perhaps, rather than finite blocks of black and white as captured on screens and pages and in bold framed linear scenarios, there is only a boundless greyness which floats and fleets in whatever shape is needed to embody the essence of love. There is only an unconditional listening, a subtle flickering of our essence of light.

a17af518-725d-428e-acf0-d32be05101b7_post

If we give up trying to pin down our feelings, cementing them into our foreground, crying out for witnesses to come forward and acknowledge us, asserting our view to others, we might realize that the field of awareness is infinite and has no boundaries, no images.  Then we can quietly coalesce in the field needing no images or intermediaries at all.

By closing the busy outer eyes so addicted to colour, shape and orientation we can close the image albums and lock the archives, walking away to our real home beyond all concepts created by the human mind. Then we will be able to clearly hear the sound of reality moving and merging, the concrete sound of infinity and eternity, of goodness and the divine.

True understanding consists of universal unconditional listening during which nothing is pinned down, nothing is owned and everything becomes one. We embody love with our true nature enabled only by the privilege of breathing air granted from the universe. Everything else is simply arranged only to stimulate the intellectual mind.

img_1062

‘We shall know each other by our deeds and being,

and by our eyes and no other outward sign save

the fraternal embrace.’

The above is a verse from the Cathar Creed (1244), The Church of Love. The spirit of life is played out whilst silently respecting everything on the material plane though not identifying with it; accepting everything but quietly supporting those who need support. It is clear from our history that identifying and possessing destroy and engender greed and ignorance. Using images is, in a way, an attempt to possess aspects of the visible, to keep them for reference as a source of knowledge.

The medieval mystic Cathars possessed nothing material, not even Bibles which showy Christians had become slaves to. Indeed, all the great spiritual adepts have dispensed with material supports. Instead, they did what was natural and wholeheartedly embodied their spirit of compassion and humility.

bird-and-web

I have deliberately positioned myself in my life in a different culture (Japan) in which I cannot easily read or write or even understand the society around me.  This is the most precious opportunity to stop making images and concepts.  I notice that I am not using my mind in the same way as I did living in my native culture because it is often impossible to make interpretations of my environment here.

As I wander down crowded streets decked out with loud kanji, katakana and hiragana neon signs so characteristic of Japanese cities, whisked aside by bicycles mounted on the pavement and bustling people pushing through crowds, I can often only listen deeply and breathe. It is no use bringing out my image albums and brandishing metaphors and idioms because they are meaningless in a culture which reads the air instead of dissecting and deeply analyzing ideas.

three-geisha

It is often impossible to imagine what is going on in other minds around me because there is no pattern I can predict, no pictograph I can possibly imagine, no inherited template. I can only embody my love and float around sealing away the intellect and allowing visions to temporarily occupy me, while relying on my ancient senses to help me to navigate.

There is only the field of awareness. I am the terraced shaking paddy, standing in sluiced rice rows, paddled by ducks and frogs, activated by tremors from the inflamed warts of the Earth’s crust below me, burned and bundled and finding its way inevitably into famished stomachs.

Here, I have dramatically learned how not to be separate from anyone or anything here in a Land created from the hair and kimono of the million gods. To interfere with this seamlessness for even a second to create an image, to snap a shot, would make me gasp for air!

sensing-energy-between-palms

 

Images: courtesy of megapyxl.com
  1. Bird and web  – Alisen.com
  2. Sensing Energy between palms –  Nikkizalewski.com
  3. Man hunting. bushman’s prehistoric cave art –  Wilad.com
  4. Three geisha –  Razvanjp.com
  5. Cosmic Transformation –  thefinalmiracle.com
  6. Iceberg – Luislouro.com
  7. South and North pole and all things related – Stuidoclover.com
  8. SoundHealer’s web banner – Nikkizalewski.com