Daily Meditation: blow on your divine spark

Leave knowledge and experience behind! Walk into the vast light field of awareness to kindle your divine spark.

Your Lands, Stories and Songs

screensometime spend a day with no structure to climb into. 

the range of templates and masks is overwhelming

just like throwing a switch

or opening a closed door.

instead stay in your own temple of goodness

and beauty

timeless and placeless in the field

and gently blow on your divine spark 

fragile self

View original post

Temple Chronicle: 10th February

knowledge 1

It is only the conditioned mind, the bridge or verandah around the house as it is sometimes called, that is sustained by knowledge and cannot tolerate any other kind of sustenance. That clinging, that fastidiousness, is a massive block to freedom.  It is the spoiled child in all of us!

It is impossible to live via knowledge alone, always in its shadow, deeply longing to create it, to possess it, to make it permanent. It is only a ‘means whereby,’ a raft, a rope bridge to cross the roaring torrents threatening to overcome trapped angels. Knowledge consists of useful and fascinating patterns, but it is a digression to make its analysis and amassment our life’s work. Instead, we just need to immerse ourselves in shifting across that unstable bridge and stepping into the infinite field of awareness. Or, simply open the door of the house, and walk inside.

‘Attachment’ needs to be our major concern in our lives as humans. We live mindlessly, constantly searching for a warm place to rest then dozing off there, only to be awakened suddenly by a crisis, a demand, an accusation, a parking ticket, the wisdom of a master. But why do we crave warmth and the oblivion of sleep, intoxication and excess? Why are we desperate for a change of scene, something new, a thrill or the presence of a jester. Dozing and feeding the senses in the pleasure gardens of life is a procrastination, so as Gautauma Buddha and Jesus and all the gurus did, we must go forth now, right now, to find the middle path for ourselves blowing them a kiss as we go.

Tomorrow? Yesterday? They are figments, contrivances, thrown up by the conditioned mind. ‘Nothing is Permanent!’ we are told, and we know it in our knowledge base, but we never actually experience the raging torrents of the energy river beneath us as the masters have.

There is no logic behind a smile, a loving word, an aria, the aroma of nutmeg. Why would we want to turn them into stone libraries, and probably never look at them again? We have bred cultivated versions of flowers in order to preserve them on our human terms, but they are synthetic when compared with the native species that only botanists record the individuality of. Millions of unique seeds, blooms, dead stalks and roots eternally fluxing through infinity – this is giggling of our natural world.

We can inhabit the natural world and unlearn all the knowledge and experience of the mind world by lingering in the stillness and silence between loving encounters. What a glorious tapestry! Stepping into true nature, stillness, silence and the vibrating pulsing energy of live love.

knowledge 5

NB:  please be sure to let go of these words and go beyond for yourself!

Daily Reflection: Alchemy

Alchemy

You can clearly see magic and beauty in nature,

but you make yourself separate and distant from your origin.

Metamorphosis is a constant occurrence there,

astounding, and accountable to no human. 

You similarly have seasons and phases,

mystical tides and solar eclipses,

the forcing of the demented soul through torrential fire

to reveal only the pure gold of nature’s first child.

alchemy 2

see:  https://touchyourhearteveryday.wordpress.com  for Daily Meditations and Reflections.

Temple Chronicle: 6th February

 

ellipse 2

It is entirely possible to become attached to practice, to achieving and succeeding, either cheered on or envied by our Dharma siblings. It is a human characteristic to compete with others, but it is not natural because it involves a separation. These distinctions that we make when comparing ourselves with others both outwardly and in our own mind secretly are imaginary. Status and its indicators have become a requirement of modern life, and in achieving that status many of us come to believe that it is due entirely and exclusively to our own effort. The mind gets carried away with itself and forgets all the myriad conditions that allow us even to take a breath of oxygen.

In short, we are liable to place too much emphasis on achievement and success in human terms. This is perhaps inevitable in our huge urban communities in which most people have a strong survival instinct for themselves and their families. The way these large groups are managed also provides perfect conditions for self-centredness to thrive: we are forced to comply with education, health and governing systems, often abdicating responsibility for ourselves and so losing contact with our own hearts and talents.

To adapt to and flourish in these situations that most of us cannot avoid, we need to treasure ourselves without over-cherishing, so that the ego does not become an impenetrable but transparent screen. If we are intimate with ourselves, entirely self-honest and appreciative of our innate goodness, then we can use the mind as a bridge to pass into the limitless field of consciousness. There, we can live each moment without escaping the suffering, without creating a gap between what is suffered and the one who is suffering. They are not different. We don’t have suffering like a possession, we are suffering. We are suffering. But it is the habit of the mind always to be at the side of our experiences, interpreting, analyzing, judging.

Loving-kindness or compassion is the main constituent of our nature, so if we let the mind fall away and stop all resistance to what is natural, extending it universally to every being we encounter in daily life requires little effort. We imagine that we have to do something, to achieve, to struggle, to reach out in kindness to others. But there is nothing to do. We only have to be.

Breathing is a wonderful practice in this respect. Focusing on the breath closes down the doing, achieving mind. The breath links us to the universe, so the Buddha taught this as his first meditation. Without borrowing oxygen from the atmosphere, our lives would be impossible. It is the basis of chi, fundamental life force or energy. Breathing occurs automatically in the majority of creatures when a demand for air is made. The breath is invisible, so it links us with the infinite invisible and natural world and removes our arrogance. Watching the miracle of the breath rising and falling takes us into our unique core in the same way that sound does.

Sitting together with sangha members, she watches her breath and listens to the voiceless voice of the Dharma. There is no duty, no guilt, no comparison because there is no achievement to make or end to gain. Allowing air inside where it is purified, then the detrimental gasses expelled, makes her part of everyone else and the master. The master breathes with them all linking them to the spiritual current of the Buddha-dharma. Breathing with the Buddha as he reached enlightenment under the Bodhi tree out in the field of all awareness. Breathing as a Buddha. Benefits and concerns have no place in the breathing field.

self-knowledge 2

 

 

 

Status

Temple Chronicle: 5th February

 

higher mind

The objective of all Buddhist training, of any spiritual training, is to first become a better, happier person, and then to look after other sentient beings, developing unwavering respect and compassion in that pursuit. The majority of humans aspire to ascend and so get clarity on themselves and their place in the world. They have deliberately sought a method of getting control of their negative emotions so that they can allow their natural goodness to prevail at every moment.

According to the Buddha, we are each a stupa, a shining tower to house the essence of the Great Truth (Tathata {Skt} Shinnyo {Jpn}), but the divine can only work in us when we are empty of delusions, self-serving desires and attachments. There are numerous ways we can ‘practice’ to realize this emptiness, but there is a danger that we ‘practice’ with ego, becoming attached to the practices themselves, forcing and striving to achieve these states. The word ‘practice’ is unfortunate in many ways because it implies imperfection, apprenticeship, and an impending performance. However, immediate realisations are numerous in the same way that performances can be spontaneous and their performers unknown.

This struggling against the current of the natural, this shouldering and manipulation and grasping by religious means, is perhaps burying our true nature even more deeply. Aspirants in Japan must start from scratch in terms of their faith, so are often initially benefit seekers, believing that they can acquire protection and benefit from the deities. These expectations are ingrained in the popular Shinto practices, and the line between Shintoism and Buddhism is quite blurred. So, they often barge into zealous practice, giving it their best for a probation time, and then, if they are not happier, wealthier and wiser, they may go on to try some other faith path.  These tactics often come from fear and superstition in my experience.

It is interesting and at the same time quite shocking that human beings often long to wipe clean the slate of their beings, to erase everything so that they can be reborn, totally transformed. Many of us view our thinking as flawed so we block it, hide it away; we experience a frisson of guilt at having such thoughts and then bury them, perhaps forever. We have rendered thoughts permanent and visible as everything and everyone else is. But it is possible to just let our thoughts appear, let them surface as detritus or debris in water. We do not need to condemn ourselves for having so-called bad thoughts, in the same way as we do not applaud ourselves for having so-called good thoughts. Thoughts are epehemera.

It is impossible to wipe the slate of our human existence and our spirit entirely clean, unless we synthesize amnesia or undergo brain-washing. Instead, we can adapt and accept – making the effort to free the flow of the water of our life. We humans are essentially beings of light, formless tennants. Water is similarly formless; in its natural state it flows wherever it wants to, wherever it can. Sometimes over-zealous practice can freeze that flow, fixing our nature into a glacier. Emptiness is the free flow of our waters, which are healing and cleansing, refreshing and exuberant.

Once we did not need to make an effort to keep our divine flame alight by spiritual practice. We were truly living out our original nature, flowing freely, merging with the fluid natures of those around us in loving harmony. Then, we learned to utilize the intellectual mind to interfere in this natural process, and our blindness began, leading us to go our own egocentric way towards the secular and personal power.

We may meditate, we may reflect, we may take empowerments and initiations, we may doggedly follow the letter of our teacher’s advice, but we must not lose sight of the truth, the suchness, which is deep inside ourselves, inside our unique stupa. We must not rule out the possibility that our ancestors were divine beings who handed on their divinity through the generations to us, and that in simply being, sitting with ourselves exactly as we are, that spark will burst into joyful flame once again.

The master invites us to appreciate ourselves, our inner beauty, while at the same time making certain we are completely honest with ourselves.  What are we really feeling?  What are we imagining we are feeling?  What are we hoping we will feel?  This is the true basis and function of meditation. Before embarking on a spiritual path, we must come face to face with our deep selves, naked, so that our true nature will be revealed.

Do we truly feel the icy stab of the first pail of water poured over our own warm flesh? Or do we feel it vicariously as our Master pours it? Do we rise before dawn with our entire consciousness, 100% present, in order to watch the reality of the sun rise in the sky, the sun rising inside our sky? Is it really our true nature which takes the prayer beads now, in the centre of the moment, completing it with all our might? Is our stupa dedicated and perfectly purified in order to embody the light of the great truth?

Mindfullness engenders enlightenment.

stupa

Temple Chronicle: winter austerities

Kobo Daishi

The morning air is fresh, the severe coldness has receded for a few days.  But it will return. The edifice of the temple reposes as the sun rises. I want to write about my daily life here living in the Shingon temple precinct: devotions and insights, spiritual signs and moving towards emptiness and beyond.

She has gone, thinking she had not woken me, but I felt the duty and devotion rising in our rooms, borrowed rooms like our breath. I heard the sluicing of water, and the whispered chants deep in the shower room. Cold water poured over head and alternate shoulders, a chant for each small bucket full. Kneeling on salt. Shivering and moving without control in a jagged way. Rising. Sitting again. Rising.  Her mind breaking the imaginary ice on the barrel the way the Master actually did.

What is it that wakes you?  She says it is ‘Gohozenshin Sama,’ that she just asks them before she sleeps to wake her.  They are the fierce and brave Guardians of the Law in their towers outside the temple inner sanctum.  The Guardians of the Heavens and the Earth that make it possible for us humans to walk the pathway, to seek the way.

She walks before dawn through the centre of the white 5 story apartment buildings arranged like cakes on a beach. The sky is heavy and ice-clad.  She walks quickly wearing temple shoes, decent, soundless, repeating mantras, and holding her fluorescent orange dustpan and brush both with long handles. She rustles as she walks, the white plastic bag shivering. She is going to brush the temple precincts in preparation for the Buddhas to walk there.

She has told me about her ancestors indicated in meditation training.  They were mountain ascetics living wild in the forests of Wakayama, pacing up and down narrow pathways made by raccoons and red deer, ridding themselves of their ego minds.  They sheltered from nothing and no-one, taking refuge only in their spirits connected to the universal source.  Standing in pouring rain and blazing sun with oblivious stomachs, slowly unlearning, de-culturing, de-conditioning. Solitary, in human terms, in caves, climbing trees to pick seeds and nuts, and confronting gongens, evil emanations,  then driving them away with sheer determination in a stare. No human distraction for 20 or 30 years. But some of them were so lonely they committed suicide.

She industriously brushes the leaves into piles, stuffing them into her bag using a torch in her mouth. It is still dark in front of the main temple gate; the guard-house quiet, young men in suits snoozing and taking 15 minute shifts throughout the night, then changing into their white ablution robes, and chanting at breakneck speed to squeeze the sharp pain of ice out.

Yesterday, Baba, her guiding parent, came for tea.  Talk of the schedule and the spiritual goals this year.  She lives 5 minutes away on the south side of the temple where she carefully watches her charges, advising them on their daily life, on how to wake up to the spiritual aspects of existence. Her eyes see the bald truth and she’s not afraid to relay it even though it may hurt. Fearless, but thought of as insensitive and un-Japanese by many.

She has devoted most of her life to these teachings, the teachings of Nirvana. The wide world is encapsulated inside her temple precincts, so there is no need to go very far outside. Sharp questions are asked about the regularity of visiting the temple whilst on holiday, and how many hundreds of certain mantras were said on certain dates.

Today we will go to the city temple to meditate on the tenth floor on an office block. This period of austerities is softened because the masters did all the severe training. We will ride in a comfortable car and an elevator thanks to them paving the way. Gratitude must fill our very nostrils especially during this 2-week period.

Gassho

 

 

THE GRAIL WITHIN

This is a response to Gille Asselin’s inspiring comments on today’s show – ‘Nurturing the Spiritual Spelunker in All of Us.’  (http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/87522/the-search-for-the-inner-grail)

Dhyana mudra

The grail within is not a physical entity although we can express it or channel it by using mudras, or gestures. The opening of the hands in the shape of a cup or goblet, or lotus, at the level of the heart is powerful connection with the Air and Ether. For me, one of the most potent mudras is the Dharmachakra mudra representing the turning of the wheel of Dharma for Buddhists and Brahmins, which was common in the Golden Era of Human Beings when the gods walked among us.

This is the gesture of complete balance, hands resting in the lap, fingers interlaced, thumb tips touching lightly, at the level of the navel chakra, connecting us to the Earth. The shape created by the hands in this meditative pose, symbolizes the oval, or ellipse, of the whole universe, through which all energies can flow freely back and forth. It could also be the wide mouth of a chalice tipped forward so that the substances of the universe pour back into the Earth, replenishing all we have selfishly taken.

coolamon

 

The Church of Love

The Church of Love

 

 

The Cathars made predictions and promises related to this search for the grail within. Below is one of the more mysterious codices of their Church of Love creed written 700 years ago. I believe I was there, involved in writing this, and that one of my missions today in our troubled times, is to try to exemplify it, to use abstract words to try to touch the rim of the grails of those who read this.

 

I also mention the tireless emptiness of indigenous peoples. Their grail -actually  the cup or coolamon (carrying bowl-see above) of the universe – has never been within until so-called civilized people tried to force it inside, under the poison of roof and window and separateness.

The Church of Love recognises that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemic act for conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.

This creed was created 700 years ago at a time of little hope for the survival of the Good Christians. The Catholic Church was determined to destroy the heretics. They even diverted their armies from the Crusades in the Holy Land to Languedoc in South-Eastern France to finally eradicate them. Such hatred and slaughter is still remembered by the people of the Carcassonne, Toulouse, Beziers and Narbonne, their vivid targets during a 20 year period. It is estimated that 30 thousand civilians were massacred, and several hundred Parfaites (Cathars) or their sympathisers, were burned at the stake to ensure that they went straight to the fires of Hell.

The Romans had no idea that for the Cathars there was no single flicker of fear of pain in such a death, only the joy of knowing that they were at last freed from the Hell of life on Earth dominated by the Bad God, the Catholic God. They knew with supreme confidence that the flimsy veil of death would be lifted easily, freeing their spirit, their essence, to go where it was needed in the infinite and eternal dimensions of the invisible world.

The ‘supreme transmutation?’ The ‘ultimate alchemic act?’ The early Christian teachings exemplified by the Good Christians, were gnostic (2nd/3rd centuries). In other words, they contained ‘secret knowledge’ not simply ‘knowledge.’ In Buddhist terms this is ‘Esoteric’ or ‘intuitive’ knowledge, the secret initiations made by master to pupil in a continual unbroken line from the Buddha, not ‘Exoteric’ knowledge anyone can discover from books or academics. Gnostics is a term used for those who consider the material world was created by Satan, or a Demiurge, so instead choose to fully embrace the spiritual world. Such seekers were and still are aspiring for enlightenment, salvation, oneness, a state of perfection, and they achieve this by altruistic acts to the point of personal poverty, sexual abstinence, and finding sources of wisdom in other human beings.

If we regard the mind as all, the absolute and only way we perceive the world, then the lower frequencies are represented by the material world, flesh, time, and an imperfect, contrived world. But the upper frequencies are represented by the divine soul and perfection, the eternal and infinite, the visible and the invisible, well beyond the limitations of time and space. We can all access our higher self by putting down the masks, and so opening up to our true nature.

There are consistent features of the gnostic blueprint for life on Earth:

  • the supreme divinity is remote
  • emanations or appearances of further divine beings occur
  • there is the  illusion of a Creator and/or demiurge which we must transcend
  • the world out of reach is essentially good and we are trapped in a flawed world
  • a complex cosmological drama in which a divine element falls into the material world and becomes trapped there
  • the possibility of the divine being reinstated through a process of individual and so collective awakening.

The key notion is that those trapped on the material plane may cause an instability in the fabric of divine nature.

In Buddhism, everything is ephemeral, is constantly changing. Nothing is static and so we need a supple non-reactive mind to cope with this. Everything disappears or perishes eventually in the view of visible humans, except their faith and unconditional love, and other invisible and eternal energies. It could be said therefore that there is alchemy and transmutation at work at every moment.

As a Buddhist practitioner, grappling with attachment to human life, I was once fascinated by how unaccountably different photo images of myself were, and then through a dream I realised that I could see karmic changes and adjustments, and imprints from other lives became clear to me. So, I assembled a collection of images of myself and pinned them to a board in no particular order. Were they really all the same person? Then, like a thunder-clap, I could see the instability of my form in human flesh. I became totally convinced that in any second my physical form might be extinguished. As Van Gogh said about his self-portrait, ‘This is not me; it’s a poor copy.’

depression

The partnership between humans and their consciousness, and the Heavens and Earth, is an important element of all religious practice. The Buddha stressed the importance of making bonds with the universe by using certain mantras and mudras which enable us to become one with the universe. Here it is perhaps important to mention ‘interpenetration’ which Buddhists use instead of monotheistic-style prayer. If we are to be included in all aspects of the Universe and not separated away as aliens, then we can focus our attention on another different constellation of energy and exchange ourselves for that energy. Energy after all is transmutable, can flow if it is liberated from its imposed ‘permanence.’ In fact, the aureole (a circle of light around the head or body of a deity) and the halo in Christianity are still used to remind us of the spiritual origin of all things manifest in the material plane. As above, so below, as Gilles mentioned.
reclining Buddha aureole

The mind is all in Buddhism. So, we can learn to use it to penetrate and ignite an exchange. We may interpenetrate with those in pain or suffering loss, taking on their sufferings and healing them, taking on their negative karma, as well as donating our accumulated virtue and merit to them. A Mahanyana Buddhist takes a vow to stay behind in samsara until all sentient beings are liberated.

Likewise, the Cathar energy or spirit is a constant presence in the invisible world especially today during their revival 700 years on. Becoming one with the universe is the principal aspiration so that we are not separated away from it by our own synthetic views. The ‘supreme transmutation’ is surely the moment at which no synthetic views remain; in other words, ’emptiness.’ When the cup is emptied of every last drop!

alcheringa

Indigenous peoples are supremely integrated when they are living traditional life according to ancient tribal laws handed down orally, and fully absorbed in protecting the precious Earth and all its inhabitants. This is sacred work in One heart with the universe. But when their integration is interfered with by developed peoples they become unstable, torn out of their oneness, or rapidly ‘disintegrated.’ This has happened repeatedly during the history of so-called ‘progress,’ but it must never be allowed to happen again as the balance of the Earth depends heavily on the wisdom and protection of its ancient peoples. Where we moderns have failed miserably, self-consciously trying to be heroes and tame the earth for our selfish purposes, indigenous peoples have preserved the Dreaming Lands and they will save us all in the end I am convinced.

ninija, my spiritual guide, who I helped to move back into traditional life from a government settlement, is almost torn out of the Lands by the lusty pursuit of lumaluma, white-fella ghost. He woos and enslaves her with his bottles of alcohol and nicotine, his promises, and is determined that he will become her Holy grail once he is inside her. Eventually, she escapes from his relentless taunting and cajoling, and returns to the Burial Grounds so beautifully prepared by her people, led by Gina-granddaughter. The spirit of Ginger-son (her son found dead of drug abuse in a telephone box in lumaluma’s city) approaches quickly and she must brush off pesky lumaluma so she can officiate at his glorious Djang (final release of the Spirit from the Body).

It is dusk and ninija and gina arrive at the Burial Grounds to a resounding cheer from their people. But almost immediately ninija drops her head, lank hair covering her eyes so that she cannot look at them.

There are no ears or eyes in her beneath her flaxen hair, constantly falling into her face. ‘Here,’ eyes are absent. Eyes mislaid. Eyes that belong to Rock, crave Sky, catch green Fish in Waterhole, can identify the camouflaged body of giant Lizard from its desert hide and kill it dead with a boomerang. But, ninija no longer has eyes for ‘Here’ and ‘Now.’ She has left them somewhere in lumaluma’s city; somewhere in lumaluma’s hollow; somewhere in his bottle.

And there are no longer the ears of ‘Now’ and ‘Here’ in ninija. No listening stillness like a sheet of bark on which the Desert paints her sounds. No knowing the tread of Emu, of Wombat. No hearing the season’s changes in the Wind as Rainbow Serpent prepares to move on his thirsty journey back to the ocean after making white-fella Dreaming site. No hearing his shiny belly making new Waterholes as he slithers.

ninija, great Traditional Landowner, has walked away from her Lands. She has gone from ‘Here’ and ‘Now’ with her people, with her joyous gina by her side holding tight to her hand. Instead, ninija is in a time and place of ‘Then,’ of ‘There.’ She looks and looks, frantic for ‘Now’ and for ‘Here’ at this ceremony. She searches for the wild, and the living with the wild, and the strong and ample of ‘Now’ and of ‘Here.’

….She walks unsteadily. There are no words on her lips, in her tongue, for she must not speak until ginger-son has gone on his way. Her words whirl like boomerangs behind the black Rocks of her eyes, inside words. She whispers, ashamed, raising her arm and moving it slowly across the beloved Burial Grounds.

‘i look your body paintings my people. Strong marks of Kangaroo, or Wombat, Bandicoot, of Platypus and the white Sea-Eagle in the Wet. Red Ochre. Black of Burned Wood. Bark brown. You make many-many Fires of Casuarina for big smoke to carry off his Spirit at the Djang. You make coffin. Paint with Emu. Stick on feathers you find. Cover with Paint bark. You dig long trench with many digging sticks where we can clean ourselves when we frighten away mokuy Spirit, bad Spirit.

            ……ninija is bewildered. Her painting sisters pull her to the women’s area so that they can begin to paint her chest and neck with Ochre and Ash marks of Pelican Traditional Landowner. But she waits inside just like white-fella, and asks questions just like white-fella.

She sits back as the paint is daubed on her skin, wondering if ‘Now’ is about to be dropped at her feet from the beak of white Cockatoo.

As the women skilfully use Hog-tail brushes to stipple her feather markings along her shoulder blades, she wonders if ‘Here’ will be continued in a drop of sweat dripping down her neck.

She is with her sisters as always, but she is waiting to take ‘Now’ and ‘Here’ on the end of the long Rootail brush as the first circle of cool mixed Ash and Ochre is painted around her neck. The women sing in adoration of their Pelican leader, gondwan, craving to receive just one glance from her enlightened eyes, but there are no eyes for the ‘Now’ or ‘Here’ or ‘the Lands’ in ninija.

The ceremony goes on around her, but she is absent. And worse, she is breaking the sacred Laws on yet another count, for she must put all her heart into ginger-son’s journey, his new life in the Spirit world, not into the broken and discarded body and its human life story. That is not ginger. That is old Snakeskin, Lizard tail, Beetle-case. His perfect smooth Spirit will leave behind his wasted and empty body.

Ninija closes her drowning eyes and tries to track down ginger’s Spirit as it approaches the Burial Ground, listening across the miles and miles from lumaluma’s city. But suddenly, unbidden, she is consumed by immense fear and panic as the shiny doors to her fleshy heart, installed without permission by lumaluma, slam closed! Fear and panic because of white-fella’s meddling.

She cries out inside, her voice splintering with white-fella doubt, with white-fella alien questions. She can no longer feel or see or hear or smell. She is being torn out. She is being separated from the Desert Mother. She is being shifted away from the antics of the Sky Heroes for the first time ever.

That something stealing her away from ‘Here’ and ‘Now’ sits behind her. It is dressed in a black theatre cloak. It wears a wide-brimmed hat. It has heavy black boots of shiny leather. Then, by some magical process, some mixing of her special powers and lumaluma’s ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy,’’Now’ and ‘Here’ suddenly appear in the long, manicured, beckoning finger of lumaluma.

Consolamentum

Now is certainly the time for the ‘supreme transmutation!’ There are no questions and were never meant to be. If we remain with our higher vibrations we go way beyond such intellectual trinkets. We too like ninija can integrate into the whole! We must, because now is the time according to the Skies! We can each offer up the contents of the Grail, our unique contribution to the Heavens and the Earth.

(for more from ninija see ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day’ by Linden Thorp – http://www.sbpra.com/lindenthorp/:http://www.amazon.com/author/lindenthorp_inthefield)

New book – to be released in July 2015 – ‘Glorious Death: Glorious Life’

Buddhists and Cathars jacketThis book is based on the series of articles which I wrote last year about my experience of both the Buddhist teachings and the Cathar Creed. Through my spiritual development I am now able to add a third comparison – that of the faith of indigenous peoples, as 25 years ago I was privileged to be able to live briefly with a tribe of Australian native people and be involved in helping to move back to their traditional lives deep in the south Australian desert. This book is inspired by attitudes to death and so to life: to our eternal existence as spirit energy in the invisible world, and our physical life in the world of matter, the visible world.

This is chapter 1.  The date of completion will be end of July 2015.

1: blueprint

Everything we encounter in our lives is embedded with crucial messages for our spiritual progress. If we can notice, interpret and apply them in all our living moments, then we will be able to be truly and lastingly happy and perfectly content. Imagine such a comprehensive curriculum, custom-designed for our development as a fully alive and enlightened human being for the whole span of our human life, laid out before us. It is a blueprint, and if we are fully aware of its dimensions and able to act on them, we can use it to build ourselves into a fabulous indestructible beacon to shine its light into infinity and eternity, way beyond the limits of the human world. This light will be visible in both the quirky mists and tides of the visible world, and the vast quintessential clarity of the invisible world. I have seen the light of many with my own eyes.

Before describing blueprints and beacons in detail, these aspirations for happiness and contentedness, which are not necessarily in line with those of all human beings, need to be justified. I write this work from a strong desire to share the way with all beings so that they might get the tiniest sense of their own full and lasting happiness, live some moments according their true nature, and learn to eagerly embrace the glories awaiting them at their death.

As children, before we become intellectually complicated and our conditioning becomes unconscious to us, we are often truly happy, secure, basking in the love of families and adults in general, with the promise of future life unblemished. Children are often so pure, free of complexes, and totally at home in their bodies. Then as we develop into adults inhabiting densely populated societies and communities and abiding by their rules, we compromise our true inclinations and become immersed in living up to the expectations of others, and in seeking their approval.

While we are negotiating the minefield of the human world as adults, our dark side emerges behind the masks that we are forced to wear to fit in. It is natural that we unconsciously or consciously resent the suppression of our natural urges and preferences, and become respectively either passively accepting or aggressively anarchic.

It becomes difficult for most of us to trust others, and to deal effectively with negative emotions such as envy, greed, covetousness, and lust. So, it is common to become isolated from ourselves and disaffected, or else we succumb to temptations and live in immoral ways, always in rebellion, or worse.

Aspiring to live comfortably, in full health and free of worries, surrounded by people who love and accept us for who we are, and to be able to feel satisfaction in the way we have lived our lives by the time we die, is surely unequivocal and universal. We aspire to goodness and happiness because we are intrinsically good and naturally happy. The pressures of living in large social or urban groups and communities is the greatest challenge of all which we are ready to face at the time our spirit becomes flesh.

If we can remain positive, emotionally unattached to matter and self-honest at all times, we will keep the divine flame alight for others and our mission will be complete. Then we can return to the invisible world as spirit, as energy, to take up our place in other dimensions, in infinity, eternity and divinity – known by the enlightened as ‘reality.’

Ancient Indian history tells us that there was a Golden Age of Humans, when the gods and holy beings dwelt among us. Our divine spark was burning brightly because civilization was young and we were pure and innocent like young children often are. As a result there was no need of intermediaries like priests or shamans to contact the spiritual world, because we actually were highly evolved gods and holy beings. In that epoch, our accumulated mistakes and bad deeds as a race of humans were few in number, and so no pay-back was required to balance out the energy in the world. The Universe demands balance because it is constructed from invisible energy, not matter as we see it with our human eyes.

These notions above have been highly criticized, called ‘nice words’ skillfully used to cover up the dark and dirty reality of what some people believe to be real human nature, ie. the opposite of good and bright and honourable. But some would say that these criticisms are the words of the devil, of evil incarnate; that they represent a force intent on destroying the light, of creating a block between the mind and the human heart. This dark view can possess people, can wag their tongues without their conscious consent, and is contagious, spreading out to corrupt others.

Each human being makes their own unique view of the world according to their own energy and environment. Add to this our inheritance from ancestors and earlier versions of culture and evolution in which they lived, and we have another blueprint we are born into human life with. We are born into a family, and each family carries with it a history, a certain energy or set of proclivities, which are usually perpetuated through the generations.

Modern science informs us that we inherit DNA from our parents and they from their parents and so on, and that we cannot change this unless we take dramatic steps with surgery, drugs or other medical intervention. This is combined with the rules and structure of the culture, religion, climate, gender, class, etc. we arrive in. It is perhaps easy to see how people become separated from their true natures and their dreams, and live in a shell of compromise and insincerity.

We see those around us who have ‘lost’ themselves. These foundlings act as if they are slumbering or intoxicated by life, swept helplessly on the highs and lows, buffeted by their luck or misfortune, blaming others and over-cherishing their fragile selves. Our objectivity allows us to apprehend how their inner life is incongruous with their outer life, but we must learn ways to be able to see our own incongruities from vantage points inside. We must also accept that every human being is a reflection of ourselves, and cease arrogantly separating ourselves away as ‘different.’ There are no ‘differences’ because we are all made from universal energy, which knows few boundaries.

Many people become so adept at wearing a wardrobe of different masks to cope with each social situation they must participate in, that the masks grows into their face and they can never remove them. Spiritual training can provide the tools to first detect and then remove the masks occluding our self-sincerity, so that we can live according to our true nature and eradicate all conflicts and friction.

The universal quality of our true nature is unconditional love and all its irresistible trappings – tolerance, patience, generosity, honesty, putting others before ourselves, and understanding. We know this as children and can often put it into action because of our innocence. Then gradually the ego develops to enable us to live in the world of suffering, and we accumulate experience, which, if viewed without delusion, we are told by others, can turn into wisdom.

However, I have realized that we must first and foremost listen to our own voice. Also, that wisdom is a bright sudden light, not always something we have to work for diligently, filter by trial and error, to achieve by ploughing through synthetic concepts of time and space. We are wisdom. We are love. It is imbued in every cell and skin pore. All we have to do is nothing – no thinking, no striving, no sweating or self punishment. The Buddha called this ‘the Middle Way,’ the Cathars, medieval mystical Christians, called it ‘formlessness’ or ‘being,’ insisting that ‘we (humans) are the way,’ and the desert dwellers of Australia call it ‘the Dreaming,’ and the ‘now-and-here.’

Some intrinsically know that their spiritual quest is to find their true nature, which has been buried beneath many layers of all types of conditioning. As a young child, I knew this through the devotion and unconditional love of my grandparents, and I aspired to it even then. They were often on their knees praying for others and the world, their gorgeous eyes filled with tears of joy, and their every move was dignified and humble. With living examples of such qualified guides in my life, I realized that the first stage of the search is to reconnect with our true nature by perfecting our spiritual blueprint; the second stage is to transcend the blueprint and the form of that guidance, and expand our greater awareness of all dimensions of life.

I have spent my life in this endeavor, taking some wrong turns, growing tired and sometimes distracted by the irresistible force of human needs the gravitational force field of materialism and self-image. But I have been fortunate that I could always snap back to realizing the emptiness and transience of all things, and appreciating my privileged and divine origins.

During my human life, which I am certain is the culmination of many others lives, I have found three such legitimate blueprints to integrate with my inheritance and environment. This composite allows me to realize my aspirations for goodness and everlasting happiness.

The first blueprint is from practice of and aspiration to the full range of the brilliant teachings of the Buddha – the beginning, middle and final period of his ministry. As I mentioned, I was the legatee of the devout Christianity of my grandparents, but after they died when I was a young adult, I realized that I had been practicing to please them and that modern Christian dogma did not reach me. At that point, I turned to Buddhism from an intellectual perspective, started to study sutras and doctrine, and was deeply touched by its genius.

Then gradually, I became able to accept the invisible, spiritual aspects of Buddhism and put away my books and my intellectual curiosity. Instead, I cultivated emptiness through mindfulness and meditation, and attempted to live in a way that did not create any more negative karma. Karma for my purposes in this work concerns actions, either our own in present life, or those of our lineage of ancestors through the passage of history. There are bad and good actions which evolve from good or bad thoughts. We know this instinctively, and if we endeavor to think and live in a good way, then we avoid creating negative karma for the future. This is the principle of cause and effect: all thoughts and actions have an effect somewhere in the organism of the universe we are part of.

The second comes from a close reflection of the Cathar way of life, and the creed they left for us to reveal in 20th century, 700 years after they were exterminated as heretics by the Roman Catholic Church. The Cathars, also known as the ‘Good’ and the ‘Perfect’ (Les Bonnes, Les Parfaits), were a late-medieval sect (12th-14th centuries) of mystical Christians, who lived according to the original teachings of Jesus Christ, the spiritual Christ. So little is known about them because they worked tirelessly behind the scenes, quietly ‘being’ as ordinary members of society, but tirelessly tending to people’s spirits and helping prepare them for glorious death.

According to their creed recently rediscovered to initiate a 20th century revival of Catharism, we do not need to wave banners about our beliefs because that is the human visible way. Faith is an invisible quality, it is formless, not bound by its intellectual concept or time, or visibility.

The third blueprint is from my direct experience of living with an indigenous tribe in the desert lands of south Australia. I was involved in assisting them to return to traditional life after a long period of hijack by European settlers in Australia who were determined to ‘civilise’ them. The elders and children of this tribe had decided to return to traditional desert life deep in the scorching interior of Australia. Their leader, Ninija, initiated me and became my spiritual guide, imparting desert wisdom and how to live directly and fully in the field of awareness.

Her way of being, integrated fully into nature and rarely involving making concepts except out of compassion to understand self-professed ‘civilized’ people, convinced me that we live always indirectly because the tool of our intellect is so well-honed. We rarely experience reality directly, fully, as the desert people do every moment of their desert lives. They have mostly not set foot in the prison of the mind even to visit, and so have a variety of other tools at their disposal, e.g. prediction, telepathy, intuition, vision, healing, and many more.

At first sight, the possible combining of three unlikely blueprints into one offering true and everlasting happiness and allowing our human goodness to surface, may seem unlikely. However, if we view the human way before the diversity and pluralism of modern ages overtook us, as one united belief in goodness, in light, in unconditional love, within each of us, then we are united, in one heart, breathing one breath. Once, we had no need of intermediaries to guide and connect us with the invisible domain, and our divine flame was burning brightly.

But my blueprints are transparent and so can be easily superimposed on each other to make a composite, because human faith is invisible, is universal, is divine and originates in love. As the Cathar Creed of the Church of Love quietly indicates, “Its members shall know each other by their deeds and being, and by their eyes and by no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace..…It has no secret, no Arcanum, no initiation save the true understanding of the power of love, and that if we want it to be so, the world will change, but only if we change ourselves first.”

I hope to show you in this work of creative non-fiction – “true stories well told,” (Lee Gutkind) – how my composite blueprint works in daily life. This is my story, my view, and I am unashamed to assert that fact. It does not aim to be a scholarly work laced together with the views of experts or spiritual adepts. I try to write sincerely, much in the way that the early mystics like Shantideva and Sylvanus, et al, wrote. The platform I write from is my life as a sincere seeker of spiritual insights, a devotee of mysticism, and above all an appreciative tenant in the body I have inhabited during my human course. I have always realized that my skin is the only thing to physically separate me from the invisible world.

As already mentioned, we find ourselves in the midst of the human world of suffering and loss, sickness and dashed hopes, exactly because we are being given a golden opportunity to liberate ourselves from that suffering, distorted view of life. It is probably our only chance, because it is said that being born a human is exceedingly rare and difficult, as the struggle to emerge from the womb exemplifies. Living for the most part in secular societies, remote from our original divine spark and purity, we have become disconnected from our basic constituents of unconditional love and compassion. So, we have to train spiritually to regain what once came so naturally to us, and the invisible world puts such trainers into the world so that we can find our way to them.

In my life, I have learned not to consciously search with my eyes for these trainers, but instead to listen for their voices. This may seem difficult to understand if you have never experienced free-falling through your life while detecting and then heeding spiritual indicators. If we look with our physical eyes, we may well be searching with the human ego, in a self-serving way, with the hidden agenda of success, status and satisfaction in human terms. But if we open up our heart and realize that spiritual elevation and compassion are the real and natural goals of the human species, then the invisible world will arrange everything. It is simply a question of accepting and listening to the whispers from your own heart, the seat of your intuition and of your higher self. There have been many such whispers during my life, so perhaps I can help unravel this conundrum a little.

In my childhood in northern industrial Britain in 1950s, I was brought up in a typical lukewarm Christian household and attended a Christian school. My grandmothers were devout Catholics all of their lives and wanted to hand their faith on to me. I adored them and wanted to be compassionate and constantly loving like them. One day, I was listening to the radio with my father and brother as we ate lunch together. The presenter was talking about someone or something called ‘the Buddha.’ I remember thinking that I had never heard this strange phrase before, and that as it had the prefix of ‘the,’ it must be something very impressive like ‘the Queen’ or ‘the Prime Minister.’

The talk went on to say that encountering the teachings of the Buddha was, ‘as rare as a turtle paddling through the great ocean encountering a piece of driftwood with a hole in it, and then swimming up to the surface and putting its head through the hole to look at the sky.’

I did not know what ‘teachings’ were at that age, but this notion was stored away inside me until the day I actually did encounter the Buddhist teachings as a young adult. I had no experience of or knowledge about Buddhism, and there were no Buddhist practitioners in my life. Much later, when my grandparents were deceased, I turned away from Christianity and by a series of coincidences found myself attending lectures about the Buddha at university. These teachings so necessary to revealing my full blueprint had been indicated when I was about 7 years old, and I had caught something spiritual, invisible, which would transform my life. I went on to aspire to their wisdom for the next 40 years, and eventually they provided the means whereby I could go beyond them.

Another striking example is how I came to be in Japan where I presently live and work. Much later in my life I was myself teaching at a university, again in the north of Britain. I was assigned as coordinator to a large group of Japanese female students for an intensive summer course. The professor in charge of them was friendly and we became good friends during that time. One day, she asked me what my dream was, and I revealed to her that I had always wanted to live in Japan having taught many outstanding and special Japanese students during my teaching career.

To my total surprise, a few months later, she sent me an email recommending that I apply for a position as visiting foreign teacher at her university. I did and was selected out of a large number of candidates. So, I started to pack up my belongings and send them ahead to my new life in the Far East. My friends and family thought I was demented giving up my secure life in England to go to an unknown culture almost six thousand miles away. But I knew that this was something I had to do.

I applied for a visa from the Japanese Embassy in London, and was summoned to collect it once it was ready. Whilst I was there, I asked if they had any posters of Japan that I could display in my new office. They regretted that they only had one of a beautiful temple in Kyoto, western Japan, the area I was going to. I duly packed it away and set off East.

A key person in my smoothly settling in was the international secretary at my professorial residence in Kyoto, and one day I invited her to come to my apartment for coffee to thank her. She was surprised to see a sizeable golden Buddha image, which I had brought from Myanmar en route to Japan, where I had had an audience with a Burmese Buddhist Master. She told me that she was also a Buddhist seeker, and that she would like to invite me to her temple one day.

I did accompany her and to my amazement found the core text of her sect was the very last of the Buddhist teachings, the Nirvana teachings. I was stunned, as having worked my way unconsciously but systematically through what are know as the early and middle period teachings, I was perfectly ready for the final teachings as the welling up of tears indicated. I committed myself there and then and started to practice Japanese Buddhism, which I had hardly ever encountered before in the west. These final teachings given by the Buddha from his deathbed were indeed my final teachings. The ancient mother temple of this sect, Daigo-ji, was situated in the mountains of Kyoto, beautiful, loaded with spiritual energy which I connected with immediately.

Later, my friend who had become my spiritual teacher by this time, visited my university office. She walked in and stopped still in her tracks as she looked up at one of the large posters I had on my office wall. It was to me an anonymous temple, one of 30,000 in Kyoto, acquired from the Japanese Embassy in London, but to her it was her mother temple, Daigo-ji. Before coming to Japan, I had never heard of her sect, a branch of Shingon Buddhism brought from China in 9th century to Japan by Kukai, known as Master Kobo Daichi. But out of all the thousands of temples in Kyoto, this was the image I had acquired from London. We were both speechless. The spiritual messages were screaming loudly, unmistakably, and I had managed to hear them and take action with my human body.

In terms of my second blueprint, I am filled with gratitude that my spiritual partner while living in Europe, at exactly the right time in my short human life, had the means and unconscious wisdom to make my second blueprint a reality on my behalf.

Almost 20 years ago, I had the great privilege to live for several years in a tiny village in the remote eastern Pyrenees, on the Mediterranean side of the mountain frontier between France and Spain. It was a simple life, mostly sequestered away from the media and other worldly distractions. I was practising the Buddhist teachings at the time, but entirely on my own among Catholics, without either designated Master or sangha (spiritual community). It was a heavenly location, with unhindered views of untouched primeval forests and stunning peaks.

The village I lived in was medieval, abandoned by young people who had moved to the cities to make a living, and mostly in ruins. Climate change had caused water sources to dry up so it was quite difficult to survive the long hot summers there. In the hottest times, people’s kitchen gardens, often their main source of food, suffered unmercifully, and water had to be brought up the mountain in tankers on a daily basis.

My long days were spent restoring and cultivating a huge medieval garden to try to provide all the food we needed, and making the carcass of an old farmhouse more habitable. Early mornings were spent exercising on the sandy roads once trodden by Les Bons or Les Parfaits, the Good, known by medievalism as the Cathars, and nowadays used as short cuts by shepherds and vineyard workers. I had never even heard of Les Parfaits before arriving there.

In forest clearings, beautifully preserved Roman Chapels could be found. In the cliff faces of deep gorges, hermitages were perfect shelters. And from the valley floors, fortresses expertly balanced on high crags, would intermittently come into view against the cloudless sky. The whole environment had once been dedicated to religious devotion, and now I found myself, a religious devotee also, in an ideal spiritual environment.

As I looked more closely at the beliefs of this mysterious Christian sect viewed as heretics by the mainstream Roman Catholics of the time, I realized that their practice was not dissimilar to the Buddhist way. At that moment, I remember being so relieved that I did not need to jump on the sectarian wagon along with everyone else, because to me, all spiritual pathways are valid and share the same values. It just depends on your karma as to which guise your practice takes.

I am certain that all denominations of faiths long for the sacred to again occupy the waking and dreaming moments of human beings, as it once used to. We all battle, whether directly or vicariously, with samsara (the Buddhist term for the human world), or what has become know as the ‘secular world,’ the realm of human desires and self-induced suffering.

I would go so far as to say that my spiritual blueprint had demanded that I was transported to these mountains to tread the footsteps of the Cathars as they fled from the relentless hounding of the Church of Rome, or ‘of Wolves’ as they saw it. I dreamed many Cathar dreams, both subtle and gross, during my stint there, and came firmly to believe that my ancestors had been Cathars. As it had been for them, reading snippets of their lives, each of my own days became a triumph of good over evil, and the thin veil of my death, which they believed was the sole thing separating beings of flesh from the spiritual world, threatened to blow away at any moment.

I recently realized part of my Cathar dream in publishing a novel called ‘Veil,’ which is a transcript of my life there.

One of the things that branded the Cathars as heretics in the eyes of the Inquisition forces sent to the mountains to accuse and dispose of them, was the belief that men and women were equal. The Roman church has always excluded women from key positions, and perhaps always will, but many eminent Parfaits were women. Buddhism has become similarly gender aware, though in ancient India, women were somewhat whimsically excluded from enlightenment, and are still treated with caution by many sects. My present Nirvana guru is a woman, and despite her rank as overall spiritual leader of a huge world-wide sangha, certain predominantly male Hinayana sects in Thailand and Myanmar, are not allowed to touch her!

The origin of the Cathars remains mysterious, recent research showing that they probably hailed from central Asia or perhaps further east. My spiritual instincts tell me that they were likely Buddhist propagators en route from India traveling along the Spice and Silk Roads, who found their way west, and ended up in direct confrontation with the monopolist Catholics of Europe.

As hinted at above, one of their most striking beliefs is that the world is a battle place between the forces of good and evil, and that as humans we have to make our choices about which side we are on. Buddhist samsara – something which flows on relentlessly until beings attain Nirvana, or the extinguishing of and freedom from all cravings, could be viewed as the world of evil we desire to be free from. The Cathars rejected the Christian crucifixion and baptism outright as the devil’s propaganda. They believed in the laying on of hands and that everyone was fundamentally ‘good,’ or possessed True Nature instead. They rejected the romanticized story of the bearded carpenter born in a stable of an immaculate birth, predicted by three wise kings.

In the Buddhist scheme of things, we work to be liberated from samsara, the human world of the 4 sufferings : birth, illness and suffering, old age, death, and in the Cathar scheme, from the flesh housing for our divine spirits, by the lifting of the veil of death. For many indigenous peoples, their traditional lives are already enlightened. They are integrated fully into reality, their intellectual skills redundant there because the spirit prevails, the spirit of their totem, the natural species they are born into.

The desert provides all they need so they do not become attached to visible material items, and they can clearly hear the spiritual messages in their Lands. They are not distracted by status, money, lust or fame, and their human lives are a training ground for the glories of death. They long for death and the final Burial Ceremony known as the Djang.

The Mahayana Buddhist teachings focus on emptiness. They express human life as a projection from the mind of the individual, like a constant replay of a video, and train us to turn off that video so we can find reality. I believe the Cathars had a very similar approach to living in the human world. Using prayer and contemplation as Buddhists use mantra and karmic cleansing, they took refuge in the pure and positive light of the spirit of God as Buddhists take refuge in the three jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. The Australian desert people, as custodians of the environment and guardians of the Dreaming stories which appear in the lands, spend their days visiting Dreaming sites and singing the sacred songs to celebrate the heroes. Abiding faithfully to the desert laws and rituals, they remain pure, integrated and focused on protecting the planet and ensuring their survival and spiritual lineage.

My third blueprint is the result of experience living with Australian native peoples in the south Australian Desert. Again, this came about completely by chance during a two-year world trip I made in the mid-nineties. I knew of the shocking history of these people and the destruction of their civilization by white missionaries, my ancestors, but it was only when I was actually there face-to-face with them that I fully realized the implications of their demise.

I was a member of a group of Europeans assisting a tribe of elderly and young aboriginals to return to the center of Australia, the country finally designated as their ‘Lands’ by white rulers. They were leaving all social and financial support especially so they could return to their traditional life, a life of survival, entailing living rough, close to Mother Nature, their creator. So many of their young adults had been abducted and sanitized by white landowners to become their slaves, and in the process of losing contact with the Lands and their Dreaming heroes, they had fallen prey to substance and alcohol abuse. This often resulted in painful and undignified deaths. Such interference and wholesale conversion of these wise and spiritually evolved desert people to western ways, suffocates their natural spirits. In their traditional life, they are not dominated by concepts such as time and space, they do not work or wait, they do not hide themselves away from the Great Mother Nature under roofs and behind glass.

In the desert, I got insights into how to avoid making concepts altogether, and how to live directly in the field of awareness. I learned how to respect and accept, and to have no attachment to anything, to move with the weather, fully accepting that the natural way was the best for the thriving of the planet. In their natural element, these people are fully happy and content. They watch the land for dreaming stories and indications of how to become spiritually perfect. Nothing else matters apart from the learning of spiritual lessons in human life so that glorious death will come quickly and they can go on travelling in the great sky of existence. The travellers light small campfires as they go which the ‘civilized’ intellect has given the label of ‘star’ to, a word which does not exist in any aboriginal language, or in ethnic languages on the whole.

Three spiritual leaders. The God of Christianity – one God, omnipotent, the Father, the spiritual Christ, present in all beings and all things. The Buddha, all spirit and giver of the laws of ever-present Dharma, eternal, indestructible, Father and Mother. The Creators of the Dreaming, Mother Nature and Father Earth, Lord of all totems, eternal and indestructible.

My life has been blessed by the presence of all three of these emanations of goodness and things natural, and their means whereby. This combination of concepts and systems has brought me to Heaven, to Nirvana and to the Dreaming. Now all cravings are extinguished and I have reached true and lasting happiness. This is the story of going beyond, or letting go, of actually embodying universal Love and transcendent Wisdom.

Following are the codices of the Cathar Creed.

The Church of Love has ‘no fabric, there is no membership, save those who know they belong.

It has no rivals because it is non-competitive.

It has no ambition; it seeks only to serve.

It has no boundaries for nationalisms are unloving.

It is not of itself because it seeks to enrich all groups and religions.

It acknowledges all great teachers of all ages who have shown the truth of love.

Those who participate, practice the truth of love in all their beings.

There is no walk of life or nationality that is a barrier.

Those who are, know.

It seeks not to teach but be and, by being, enrich.

It recognizes that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are the way.

It recognizes the whole planet as a Being of which we are part.

It recognizes that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemic act for conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.

It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice but in the subtle realms of loving.

It salutes all those in the past who blazed the path but have paid the price.

It admits no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than the other.

Its members shall know each other by their deeds and being, and by their eyes and by no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace.

Each one will dedicate their life to the silent loving of their neighbour and environment and the planet, while carrying out their task however exalted or humble.

It recognizes the supremacy of the great idea, which may only be accomplished if the human race practices the supremacy of love.

It has no reward to offer here or in the hereafter save that ineffable joy of being and loving.

Each shall seek to advance their cause of understanding, doing good by stealth and teaching by example.

They shall hear their neighbour, their community and the Planet.

They shall feel no fear, feel no shame, and their witness shall prevail at all odds.

It has no secret, no Arcanum, no initiation save of the true understanding of the power of love and that, if we want it to be so, the world will change, but only if we change ourselves first.’

I learned during my time exploring the sandy pathways of Les Parfaits in Languedoc, while practicing as a Kadampa Buddhist, that before the Cathar martyrs were burned at the stake, that they secreted this creed in a cave not far from where I was living. It predicted a revival 700 years later, stipulating that those born in the nineteen fifties, sixties and seventies would lead the revival. I was born in 1952.