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

Temple Chronicle: 27th February

reality

Our human lives may bounce around on an unpredictable ocean – our emotional responses to the incidents and occurrences in daily life combined with our karma, both bad and good, and the emotions of others around us also creating incidents and occurrences, and their karma. We never know how the weather will change and we are rarely prepared for its storms or for the becalming or sea fog. We are not in control because we allow external circumstances to control us. This is the conditioned mind, reacting and forcing responses, compulsive, not content, and it seems that there is nothing behind that unrelenting action and respite, action-respite. So we become afraid to look. In the end, we blame and protest and perhaps even try to resign from life. Our happiness seems as short-lived as a warm sunny day when there is no trace of a cloud in the sky.

This drama of our life is a like a fast-moving dream which we think we can only stop by waking up. But we never wake up from it because we have allowed it to become our reality, our view, our way of seeing and being. The only way we can wake up is by taking control and changing the way we see everything: in other words, by investing in our neglected ship and its equipment, especially the sails, instead of the ocean and the weather.

The first step in that process is quelling the continual dialogue perpetuated by the media and perhaps by people around you. You need your own vacuum of silence and stillness so that you can truly look inside. You need to appreciate yourself, and examine your sincerity with yourself because the revealing of your original core, which has been temporarily submerged, depends on that entirely.

Honesty expresses honour and virtue. If we are dishonest with ourselves our core becomes unstable. Honesty wakes us and others with its strong scent. It will allow your divine flame to burn more brightly, and then you can go forward and enjoy restoring your ship, repairing or replacing its sails, making new ropes, scrubbing the deck, and pumping out the bilges.

When you set sail on life again you can deal with any kind of extreme because you are equipped. Your core is stable and glowing, the weather is always tolerable and you accept its changeability without flinching; your ship is somehow part of the ocean now.

And then you wake up from the terrible dream forever and move on to the next phase of the restoration of your core.

human potential 2

 

 

Thank you dear followers. This series of posts will have lasted for the entire month of February. It represents Buddhist Winter Austerities and spiritual training in Japan, a time to cultivate wisdom, and I have learned so much from the discipline of writing everyday for you. I apologize if I have swamped you with posts, but I hope that you can allow at least some of the notions to work for you in everyday life. Future posts will be intermittent.
May you be truly and enduringly happy for all of your days immersed in the vast ever-changing ocean of energy.

 

Temple Chronicle: 24th February

incongruence 9

I have no need to consciously meditate or pray or recite mantras, to sit carefully before exquisite images and light and incense, arranging time to sit and the particular mind to do it with. Buddha, Jesus, Mahavir, Mohammed never self-consciously sat to offer themselves to the deities, because they knew they had nothing to offer as there is actually nothing in the world. Once I make conscious gestures I must examine the motivation behind them. It is dangerous to make myself separate in such an act.

Of course, I may seek to quell the tormented mind in a beautiful sanctuary, to take refuge, but images can distract me if I gaze on them with emotion, surveying their materials, adoring their form, and ultimately becoming dependent.

I create something which can be dispersed in an act of total generosity, empty of attachment. I create a deity of mud, moulding it with calm un-grasping hands and momentarily worship it – make it worthy or divine – then I throw it back into the river or ocean so it can be dispersed. In this way, I connect directly with the energy river. I make a worthy momentary image and then give it back to the Earth, to the invisible realm. I make a beautiful feast with empty motivation to momentarily make it worthy before I throw it into the forest. I cook a banquet with no agenda except love, and then feed my loved ones making the produce of the Earth worthy before they consume it. Everything is energy and vibrations made sound and light. There is no need to interfere with it: I just leave it alone. This is my true nature.

Our individual good energy temporarily housed in the flesh in the world of form is a prayer, a meditation, a mantra in itself. But with our arrogance we interfere and rearrange trying to make meaning from it. There is no meaning in or of energy.

It is. So be.

energy

Courtesy of Gilles Asselin: wisdom from the Hebrew divinities

Elohim

Stilling the Mental Body

The Mighty Elohim Speaks on the Seven Steps of Perception, p 36

The mental body is two-fold. It is the receptive consciousness into which the Pattern comes; then, it is perceived, accepted, and when it has been grounded in the mind, the great creative power of the mental body begins to act in a controlled, channeled and rhythmic manner. It creates around the seed idea the form thereof, cutting out of Universal Light the pattern which is necessary to enable that form to become a manifest expression.

Then the mental body summons the feelings and asks the light thereof to flood through that thought-form rhythmically until that form is filled and lowered into etheric substance. From the etheric substance, it is lowered into precipitate manifest form. The rhythm and uniformity of the nourishment of your pattern and design will determine the speed of its manifestation; will determine the quality of your thought externalised; will determine how long it will live in this world of form, and will also determine the blessings which such a precipitation will be to the rest of this race.

There is nothing new under the sun!  If we open our spiritual eyes, all the patterns we can ever need are there!  

 

Temple Chronicle: 7th February, 2016

healing 4

She dreamed that she was talking to a group of people, looking into the eyes of all her spiritual children, when slowly, outside her control, her own eyelids closed and she could not open them ever again.

There was panic all around, urgent movements, many different fingers touching her arms and shoulders, voices of such tenderness and tears rising in the air.  But she continued to talk from her sincere heart, and gradually the sobs and cries died down. She invited everyone to close their physical eyes as she spoke.

‘We need to close our physical eyes so that our inner spiritual eyes will open. For the physical eye, though a remarkable anatomical evolution and a powerful tool, sees only through the graded lenses of the ego. The material world becomes the only reality that it can perceive.  It is blind to the vast invisible world which is our real home.’

It takes practice to be able to look into the physical world with spiritual eyes.  To gaze without taking possession, without categorising or judging, without accumulating worldly status and merit.  To perceive directly instead of interpreting, making copies. The desperate craving of the worldly human incarcerated in constant suffering while careering towards oblivion in their death is acute.  They cannot let go, always hedging their bets, having reserves, in case they are left with nothing and fall into an abyss created by their terrible fear.

This way of looking can dominate in the presence of sacred images.  The serene Buddha images and altar adornments are rendered permanent by the physical eyes; continual shots are taken by the acquisitive camera and then archived.  The master carved sublime images of all emanations of the Buddha so that disciples could overcome this kind of obsessive greed and self-centred cherishing.   The spirit does not need to rely on memories and labels, or stored images.

We have the choice to gaze on these images without greed so that they connect us firmly to the spiritual world. In this way, the spiritual eyes are wide open. Holy sculptures are manifest as permanent in their gold and bronze inside man-made temples exactly so we do not possess them. This is for our spiritual growth.  The Buddha is mere energy just as we are.  We give this powerful energy the name ‘Buddha’ but that label can be abused. To find enlightenment we need to let go of it and allow the power to merge with our own power. To allow all divisions disintegrate.

When will she have paid all her debts?  Debt is such a negative state which worries and disturbs the natural equilibrium.  Debts to parents, to masters, to husbands and wives, to employers; an endless queue of beneficiaries. They make an elaborate maze in the mind which we get trapped in.  This cannot possibly lead to spiritual liberation. If we are in touch with our divine origins, if the flame is lit, then we naturally give to others, we trust unconditionally, we breathe with a genuine smile, and we truly love people because we are not separate from them.  Debt makes us separate and exacerbates the suffering of samsara.  It suspends us in murky water above the mud so that our lotus cannot bloom freely.

If we are motivated to practice spiritually from our thoughts, then this is flawed.  Thoughts are dead things which obscure the truth: They are worthless in spiritual terms.  Spirituality is living organically, is only being in the great stillness and silence.  If we manufacture thoughts of a religious kind and then use them as our propeller, we are creating everything from our side.  This is not the truth, the suchness, the shinnyo, but we can habitually mistake it as such.

And if we merely imitate the masters, cloning ourselves in their likeness, then we are ignorant of our individual mission, our unique spirit. The master engraves Buddha images not only in physical form, one bow for each tap of his chisel but in each disciple’s heart.  We can embody that heart in each moment of our daily lives, living as Buddhas, undistracted by the trivialities of the worldly mind.  This is the only way we can change the suffering world because our environment in the world of flesh is exactly a reflection of our minds. And if our minds expand into the field of consciousness, then the world will truly be a Buddha world.

She is restless in the temple precinct because she is attached to it. It has become her temple and everything is invested in it. Her living space, though full of light and the warmth of loving kindness, has become oppressive because of the outside view.  Beige concrete buildings with identical balconies, impede the view so that she cannot see beyond them to the mountains.  This way of viewing the environment is bedded in her DNA, has been the way of looking of her ancestors for aeons. The view reflects the mind, so she is keen to change it and live in a penthouse. Never content, and she will never be so until she lets go of physical dimensions.

May she put aside her physical eyes, open her spiritual eyes and so live with panoramic vision now and here, plum in the centre of the moment.

May she climb the temple steps of her own divine heart where ownership and mementos are unheard of.

spiritual practice

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: 2nd February

healing 3

 

The moon is perfectly round.  It is segmented during its cycle so we may only see certain parts of it, but always the segments are divisions of an object which is perfectly spherical.  This perfection represents our true nature, our Buddha nature. It exists in our deepest consciousness, in the submerged mass of the iceberg.

The sky moon is virtually indestructible. Its light is constantly radiant although it is not always available to human eyes. But the moon in the sky is merely a representation of what is within each of us – our true, cool nature, calm, unconditional, silent and still.  External disturbances need not deter its loving, accepting consistency, just as meteors and solar storms cannot destroy the moon.

Today, the master reminded every one of their inner moons.  Disciples were encouraged to embody their glowing beacon for the benefit of people around them, exactly so that others would be inspired to contact their own moons.

One man talked honestly about his negative emotions and his arrogance.  Has grandmother had become seriously ill and so he spent as much time as possible with her.  But he found her suffering and the sadness of her impending death too much to bear at times. Then he remembered the positive light of his inner moon and with it the realization that his negative feelings about her pain and hopelessness were not connected to the reality of the situation. Those negative feelings of intolerance were attributable to his selective ego.  So, he smiled outwardly instead of wincing inwardly, able at last to display his sincere feelings.

That day, his grandmother told him how she was able to benefit from his clear strength, and that it, in turn, gave her strength and dissolved the fear that pain and the unknown can engender.

We underestimate how knowing we are about each other.  His grandmother could sense his negative energy. It actually accentuated her fear and pain.  But once he had allowed his lunar radiance to shine through, she was bathed in it. His moon then lit her own inner moon.

These subtle energies are concealed from us if we are always loitering outside our divine nature, regarding the sky moon as an external object, a commodity we can possess. Outside, we compulsively filter reality to our own liking and the levels of our tolerance.  Inside, it’s all simply a question of ignition; our moon can light up countless others through our very presence in the human world.

Innate faith, like language and culture, is embedded via the influence of those around us and our environment.  In Japan, spiritual feelings or energy have for so long revolved around duty and custom that most people first have to learn how to peel away the layers so they can contact their inner moons. Then they have to understand and accept that they have the power to influence those around them.  The heavy conditioning of modesty and humility in social life often covers individual potential from view.

So, she must continue to go often to climb the temple steps and catch a glimpse of the rising of her radiant moon.  She will attend until her last breath, repeatedly mistaking determination and devotion to the masters and other beings for her own inner radiance.  It takes time to establish faith in oneself when the seeds were not planted as a child.  She must plant them methodically by hand, and wait for their unpredictable germination.

the moon

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)

Trapped Angels

ellipse 1

There are so many varied stages to the spiritual experience, and it is for each of us to live through them on our own terms being sincere with ourselves every second. Hopefully we can share those transitions with others, but for the most part, we need to be silent, shifted away from such trivialities as thought, removed from the mind-field of making comparisons, and avoiding the white knuckles of attachment to the sacred teachings because they are merely a means whereby.

We can be inspired to elevate ourselves by words, ideas and by texts, but we must always remember that they are entirely abstract. They are indirect and so necessitate our correct interpretation, no matter how beautiful they may seem. We can allow them to touch us deeply, but they do not constitute our faith, our core, our true nature. They are risky accessories which if we lose our self-honesty for a split second could put us out of balance. So we have to learn to roll away the parchments, close the books, and live entirely according to ourselves, because only we humans are the way. It is for each of us to listen deeply to our mission directly. Such accessories can amplify or distort such messages.

Sacred chants and melodies built on ancient mantras in forgotten languages are more concrete, as their vibrations can amalgamate with our own and so set in motion desirable rhythms. They deep meditationare invisible, not interpretable, and so they prevent us from manufacturing concepts and then becoming attached to them. Our base human emotions are capable of rendering these sacred means into commodities, false realities or rafts, which convey us to a fixed location in the eternal, irrepressible surge of energy that is existence. We must leave the raft behind for others to use. We must close the book. We must listen to our own vibrational patterns.

Experience, it is said, is needed to bring us closer to true happiness and to have wisdom, but this can become fixed also, creating pride and narrowness. Unless we are mindful in our thoughts and words, carefully monitoring them to find a middle way, it is quite possible to create very damaging experience, which we then turn into stone out of the craving of the lower mind for permanence. For experience to be of value I have learned not to always leave it behind me like a snail trail in a linear model, but to meet it head on as the ellipse of our living moments is completed again and again. Experience has the potential to be as lifeless as thought if it always relegated to the past. Similarly, Dharmakayapredictions of elevation into the future according to prescribed systems and stages, can splinter the moment. Ever-lasting nowness is not subject to the shallow concepts of time and space. We must step beyond them into reality.

In true stillness and the great silence we can feel that the thin membrane of the skin is the only flimsy barrier between the inside and the outside. The skin pores are two-way valves so that the inside and outside become one. Similarly, the veil of death is the only other flimsy separation between the visible and the invisible. This unique feeling ‘nowness’ is reality, beyond all interpretation and comparison. It is our true nature.

Giving to others without conditions is our true nature. If we deem our human form truly Scan 4impermanent then there is no impediment to giving our lives for others for we are bestowing pure spirit or energy to one another. This is our mission. After all, the Universe and Nature gives us a chance at human life without a second thought. Due to our special qualities of divine and unconditional love, our human form then gives us the perfect opportunity to express them.

We can give of the material world because it is simply a means for us to express our divinity. But as the visible is the opposite of the invisible, and everything in the vast invisible world is reflected in the environment of matter in which we find ourselves manifest, we can succeed in our human endeavours if we notice those reflections in reality without interpreting them. We must find balance, the middle way, between our base human mind, which reflects the delusional nature of matter, and our higher mind or true nature, which reflects the invisible reality or truth of the Universe. We embody both the human and the invisible, constantly going between them to find a middle path. We must accept both equally, connecting them together to create a never-ending web of goodness and light.

We humans are indeed angels and can very easily get trapped in the world of matter because we struggle to make meaning and in so doing we may become oblivious to the subtle energies of our origins. The two-way valves in our skin pores can get blocked with such crude materials, so ellipsewe must strive to keep the divine tides ebbing and flowing despite the limitations of the mind of matter. If we do not stay awake during our visit to this dangerous material world, we may become blocked and it will become almost impossible to escape and go back to the source.