Nectar of the Gods

[ A friend of mine wrote this and posted it on a private website we both use, many thanks to him. I have been enjoying it, so here it is, lightly edited. Enjoy !]

Here’s a meditation directly inspired / adapted from Rupert Spira’s Feeling-Imagination approach which he describes in Transparent Body, Luminous World.

It’s important not to wonder whether this is believable or “true”. I hope you have beautiful, nourishing beliefs and I do not want to undermine them.

RECIPE

(A) Getting to where the meditation is possible:

  • Find enough time and a quiet place away from people and noise; get into a comfortable posture and close your eyes to enable seeing-imagination.
  • Smile and realize that while the world outside will go on doing what it wants, the inner world is bigger than the outer one.
  • Relax with long, slow breaths to calm the body.
  • Don’t try to fix uncomfortable thoughts and feelings – just note them until they go.

Do (A) for 15-30 minutes, or as long as you want or need to until calm enough to try (B).

(B) If the body-mind has become fairly quiet:

  • Stretch out, imagine your body is hollow, and focus on the soles of your feet. Imagine that some warm, golden liquid gently penetrates the soles of your feet.
  • Imagine this as viscerally as you are able. ( If you want to try this as a devotional meditation, imagine that The Beloved wishes to bless you — how marvelous is that? ) Watch how the liquid gets through your skin and how it fills your hollow feet and ankles.
  • Slowly watch the way it permeates the rest of your body. Do it as slowly as you can. ( Revel in how fabulous it is that The Beloved wants to take a tired, anxious body and fill it all with THIS.)
  • Watch each part of your body filling up with the liquid s-l-o-w-l-y.
  • When the liquid has gone all the way up into your head, it comes out of the top of your skull and drips down onto your skin.
  • This point reminds me of Psalm 133‘s vision of a heaven on earth, so I smile.
  • Now the liquid covers all your skin and extends outwards. Soon you see that the whole of the world outside is also enveloped in the liquid. It is warm, utterly without fear, and perfect.
  • Then magic could happen. Look closely at the inside and outside of your skin. The warm liquid is on the outside, and on the inside. This makes me think of Psalm 139.
  • Slowly, consider whether it possible that your skin isn’t really there. Is it all the divine golden liquid, both inside and out? ( Where is the Beloved, and where are you? )

After soaking in the paradox of boundarylessness for as long as you can indulge, come gently back.

Photo from here.

Posted in Love, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

I thought practice would get me somewhere

I thought practice would get me somewhere

it didn’t

somewhere just appears

practice arises within it

I thought mantras would bring me cool experiences

they didn’t

mantras became an expression of the inexpressible

in love with being itself

I thought that peace in the still of meditation was “it”

it wasn’t

peace held within it spontaneous joy

a hair’s breadth away

waiting to be found

bubbling up

seeping into

all the cracks in this life

that thoughts

cannot

caulk

shut

Photo from here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

The Holy Goof

The Holy Goof by Garyji, an original contributor

He was known as the Holy Goof mainly because he mostly sat around doing nothing much and he had a lot of spiritual books scattered around the cabin he shared with his three sons, who were known by the locals as Little Goof, Medium Goof, and Big Goof, based on their age and physical appearance.

There wasn’t much to do at the Holy Goof’s place, so every once in a while the boys would complain that life was boring and that there really wasn’t anything going on.

The kids in town would often sing the same refrain and so the Holy Goof simply wrote it off as just another inherent part of the human condition.

Finally, though, the Holy Goof had enough of the boys’ complaining. The next time the boys started to bitch and moan about there being nothing to do, the Holy Goof sprung his little plan on them:

“OK, boys,” he announced, “I’ve got something for you to do.  And the first one who succeeds in doing it, is going to have won a great prize!” The boys were all ears.

“When I say ‘Go!’ I want you boys to try to find the thing that can’t be found and the first one to finds it wins the game. The rules are that you keep strictly on your own, you can’t enlist anybody else’s help or advice, you must stay within the confines of the property, so you are not allowed to venture into town.”

After thinking it over a little bit, the boys looked perplexed so the Holy Goof attempted to alleviate their confusion.  “OK,” he said, “I’ll give you two hints to help you on your way, but don’t expect any more since these should be sufficient for you to find what you’re looking for.  It is not where you think it is, and it is where you think it’s not.”

Thinking that they had ample clues to find the thing that can’t be found, the boys headed off, each in a different direction, hoping that they would be the one to find the thing that can’t be found and win the great prize that awaited them. 

Three hours passed when the youngest boy, Little Goof returned very dejectedly to the cabin, threw himself on the floor and cried, “This is bullshit!  I looked all over the place and didn’t find it!  I’m beginning to think that the thing that can’t be found doesn’t even exist, or at least it’s nowhere on our property.”

Another 3 hours passed when Medium Goof sauntered in, plopped down on the big couch in the cabin, and said simply, “I give up.” Looking over at Little Goof’s cheerless countenance and getting right away what that meant, he added, “I couldn’t find it either.”

“But I gave you two big hints! ” said the Holy Goof.  “That should have been enough! ”

“Well,” said Little Goof, “I looked everywhere I thought it was and you were right about that, it wasn’t there.”

Middle Goof then chimed in. “I didn’t bother with looking where I thought it was, since I already knew it wasn’t there. But I didn’t find it in places I didn’t think it was either, so the whole thing was a bust, as far as I’m concerned.”

Finally, just as it was starting to get dark, Big Goof returned home with a wry smile on his face. The two younger boys immediately queried him.  “So what happened?” the youngest boy said.  “Yeah, did you find it?” the middle boy asked.

Big Goof, sat down on the couch next to Medium Goof and leaned back and put his feet on the coffee table.  “Yeah, I found it.” he said with a slight chuckle.  “It was right where I thought it wasn’t.  Of course it took a while before I was finally able to get that it wasn’t where I thought it was and it was where I thought it wasn’t, but once I got it, I knew the prize was mine.”

The two younger boys didn’t have a clue.  “Maybe if you had stayed out there longer, you might have discovered it yourself.  Then again, you might have spent all night looking for it and still not have found it, so maybe it’s better that you gave up when you did, who knows?”

“In any event,” said Big Goof, “the game is over and I’ve won the prize.”

“So let’s see it!” the other boys said in virtual unison.

“I can’t show it to you. “ the older boy responded, “You have to see it for yourself.”

“Well, how can we see it?” asked the youngest boy.

“Yeah, where is it?” the middle boy asked eagerly.

“I’ll give you two hints.” the oldest boy replied.

“It’s not where you think it is, and it is where you think it’s not.”

The Holy Goof just looked on … more than faintly amused.

***

The entirety of this original post was contributed by my friend Garyji, many thanks to him !

Garyji

Photo of boys from here.

Posted in awakening, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Veni Sancte Spiritus

Grew up Roman Catholic.

Left the church many years ago.

Spiritual practices here really have had nothing to do with the Western traditions since.

A few weeks ago, heard a friendly acquaintance of mine give an amazing talk on how Christianity had touched his life, the Christian practices he had observed, Christian experiences, especially involving the Holy Spirit.

This talk sent me down a few lines of inquiry:

  • How am I relating to the tradition I was born in to ?
  • Specifically, how am I relating to the Holy Spirit ? ( a big part of the talk involved the Holy Spirit)

The answer to the first question: I am relating poorly to the tradition of my birth.

In a very general way, spiritual types fall somewhere on the continuum between the devotee ( bhakta) and the seeker of insight ( jnana ).

The flavor of Christianity I grew up in as I then knew it was heavy on the devotion side. I failed to develop much devotion, and when I left Christianity, it was with relief that maybe there was a completely other way that I could “practice” and “make progress” with. (them’s jnana words for sure (sic))

Oddly, for the first time in my life, I felt that I knew what God wanted me to do, specifically, to start practicing Buddhism. The turn to another path opened up to many jnana-friendly practices, such as meditation, to which this disposition was much better suited.

I never forgave Christianity for letting me down, and then “blaming me” for my failure.

Not God. Not Jesus. Not the Holy Spirit. Christianity itself: the religious system that people built and ran for all these many centuries.

This was a bit of a surprise, as are most of these hurts when suddenly unearthed.

It sounds absurd on examination: only we blame ourselves. Nonetheless, there it was.

So, seeing the stuck energy for what it was, feeling the old hurt, forgiving self, forgiving other, releasing everything, and it was finished.

A previously hidden chunk of dualistic appearance disappeared from this perception.

The answer to the second question turned out much more open and interesting.

Experiences at Catholic Mass of strong energetic shifts around the altar when the Holy Spirit is invoked ( part of the liturgy ) are a palpable, beautiful and resonant experience of something indefinable, both powerful and subtle.

Other experiences of energetic fields around Catholic relics or in chapels I have attributed to the Holy Spirit aspect of the Triune God; the active principle in the physical world that supports those who call upon it.

Not feeling that I had given the Holy Spirit a fair shake when I was a Christian, I began practicing a mantra to the Holy Spirit;” Veni Sancte Spiritus “= Come, Holy Spirit ! focusing on the heart chakra while so practicing.

In meditation. Veni Sancte Spiritus!

All throughout the day. Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Falling asleep at night. Veni Sancte Spiritus!

How beautiful !

A remarkable softness emerged out of the empty spaciousness, centered in the heart chakra.

Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Perhaps I found a spark of devotion after all.

Veni Sancte Spiritus Chant

Photo #1 from here.

Photo #2 from here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Wholesome Practice

In 2001 I received Usui Reiki attunements to the “Teacher” level.

Usui Mikao, Originator of Reiki

Sitting quietly in someone’s living room for part of 3 Sunday afternoons after taking a class was all it took to invite the Reiki energy to move through this body-mind. In Reiki-speak, to be attuned to the Reiki energy. It required very little time and less effort.1

One of the beautiful things about Reiki is that it came with the development of a 6th sensory modality. Some people already have this modality, and some develop it through other means.

(Some people do not develop it, and the degree of sensitivity does not alter the actual effects Reiki has on living systems4. )

Am referring to the extension of the sense of touch outside the physical body. This effect alone permanently changed what the world felt like. Solid objects were no longer quite so solid if you could feel inside them or through them. Way cool !

So that was “outside”.

Looking “inside”, what does it mean that this has come to me? For I don’t recall how long after the attunements, I would check each morning to make sure the Reiki energy was still there. After a while, I finally accepted that I had in fact become a life-long channel for the Reiki energy; it would not fail to come when called. It still comes, many years later.

More importantly, this beautiful practice freed up the “stuck in my head” syndrome and got much more attention into the body. More than worth it for this benefit alone.

The practice of regularly and frequently sending Reiki at a distance also immediately began to alter this one’s sense of what does “far away” even mean?

Visualizing people or events not physically present and then sending Reiki also prepared this mind for the visualizations to come in Tibetan Buddhist practices.

Distance Reiki was my first version of loving-kindness practice, and it brought great delight into this experience.

Reiki could also be used to create an “energy screen” between you and someone emitting “negative energy”. ( anger, manipulation, etc.) The Reiki screen was incredibly effective, so much so that I used it infrequently, feeling that it interfered with compassionate identification with the other person.

Reiki also proved effective for quickly reducing topical pain2 and stopping blood flow from cuts.3 It is good for other things as well, a handy energetic multi-tool, but these examples from among many first leapt to mind.

Many thanks and a deep bow in gassho to Usui Mikao sensei, the historic originator of Reiki, and to all the teachers of the Usui lineage who have since passed it along !

Reiki The Healing Touch by William Lee Rand
  1. To call anyone a “Master” of Reiki is misleading, implying they had achieved something difficult through years of work, education and experience. It also implies that Reiki is a challenging skill to learn. Neither one is true. Reiki is not so much learned as received. Once you start using it, it teaches you. There are even distant attunements where the attuner is not even in the same city or country. You can get even attuned in your sleep !
  2. Many crying children I have been close to over the years quickly became calm as the pain and shock from a bump or scrape were soothed and dissolved by the Reiki energy.
  3. In 2002 a wood chopping accident resulted in a quick trip to the closest hospital ER. At the rate the freshly cut thumb was bleeding, the car would have been rather messy. Reiki completely stopped the profuse bleeding within seconds, and the pain was surprisingly minimal.
  4. Some research on Reiki here & here and here. Anecdotes can be found here.
  5. Today Reiki is widely recognized as a valuable complementary therapy in hospitals and hospices.

The Usui photo came from here.

If you are interested in this topic, a good place to look further is here and here.

The William Lee Rand book shown above was used in our training class.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Dyscalculia

As an adult who freely and easily worked with math and numbers every day for years, to suddenly start losing this ability felt quite strange.

None of the symptoms listed for dyscalculia applied except one: I was becoming “numerically dyslexic”.

An example: early one evening I stopped at a gas station to gas up the car. Glanced at the pump number – a bold 6 inch high number. Looked away. Looked back. Clearly saw the same number. Entered the convenience store and paid for the gas. Came out and tried to pump gas. No gas. Checked the pump number for the third time. It was not the same number than I had twice clearly seen.

The paid for gas was in a different pump. I moved the car to the correct pump which fortunately was empty. In retrospect, I might have noticed that the number I saw was out of sequence, and could not have possibly been “real”.

What is the cause of dyscalculia ? Ideas mostly apply to brain differences in children and come with a host of cross difficulties handling or remembering math-related words and concepts. Some elderly people may have dyscalculia as a symptom of dementia. In rare cases it may be caused by a brain tumor. None of any of this applied in my case, but I had to call the condition something if I was going to look for a treatment.

After mentioning my dilemma to a friend of mine who teaches Kundalini Yoga, he pointed me in the direction of Dr. David Shannahoff-Khalsa, a pioneer in the application of Kundalini Yoga techniques in a clinical setting for treatment of specific mental disorders. In Shannahoff-Khalsa’s book Sacred Therapies, he describes a practice to help dyslexia. Close enough.

In Kundalini Yogic philosophy, dyslexia (and perhaps dyscalculia) are viewed as a disorder of internal communication. One part of the brain does not convey information correctly to another part. The remedy: practice a specific Kundalini yoga kriya every day.

A kriya in Kundalini yoga is a combination of posture, head position, hand placement, eye placement, breathing and / or mantra recitation.

Every morning. for 6 minutes a day, I practiced the kriya from Shannahoff-Khalsa’s book to ameliorate the symptoms of dyslexia.

For 103 days straight.

It worked.

Symptoms disappeared.

Numbers looked like what they really were again.

I cannot thank my yoga teacher friend, and also Dr. Shannahoff-Khalsa enough.

Gas station from here.

Man practicing pranayama from here.

Sacred Therapies book cover from here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Oncscathed: Primordium

The Lymphatic System

Everything has a beginning.

Before the beginning came the antecedent conditions.

Creation of cancer requires some conditions to arise in the body first.

While some cancers show a clear connection to genetics, Lymphoma shows little.*

Lymphoma does shows correlations with environmental toxins, such as glyphosate herbicide.

But really, whatever the trigger, it has to involve the new cancer cells evading the immune system.

So something is askew with the immune system.

How does that happen?

Apparently, prolonged acute stress 18 – 24 months prior to diagnosis is a common immunosuppressive event, according to the psycho-oncology site.

So was there an event in that time or close to it involving prolonged stress ?

Yes.

An odd concatenation of events that peaked at my place of employment from March through May of 2018, consisting of radical changes to my work duties at a time I was not prepared to deal with them. In summary:

  • A more experienced colleague left suddenly, and I was assigned part of his work load without feeling that I had adequate training or experience. The work was very mathematical, technical and challenging, some of the most advanced work in our field. I felt out of depth.
  • We had just gone paperless. A familiar workflow suddenly became highly disorienting with no paper file / fixed point to refer, I felt lost. It required a great deal of concentration to keep track of where I was in the on screen process, an exhausting development that left little energy for anything else. This did not improve.
  • On or about this time I developed adult onset dyscalculia**, a little understood condition where ( in this case ) numbers started to appear as each other, transpose and change autonomously. 5s became 3s, 3s became 8s, 4s became 9s. I had to check everything I saw and everything I added three times – twice was not enough. This bizarre and time consuming affliction gave rise to much continuous anxiety, fear of being labeled, and a deep concern whether I could still function competently at all at work.
  • By May, I left the position with a heavy sense of failure.

The above took place 11 – 13 months prior to initial diagnosis.

Am pretty sure that that two month period from March to May of 2018 was the immuno-suppressor that allowed cancer to get loose in the body.

There is nothing else on the past horizon that fits the bill.

My unskillful responses to these continuing environmental stressors led directly to the development of cancer.

Failing to ask for help, ( an error I would repeat the next year in the cancer journey) not trusting others to understand or believe my problem, and reacting from fear rather than responding from wisdom.

An expensive lesson !

Maybe this one has finally been learned for good.

*Unless you are a golden retriever, which have a genetic predisposition to NHL.

** Not unheard of in children, or in early stages of dementia. Also may be caused by a head injury or brain tumor. None of these fits this instance.

The lymphatic diagram is from here.

Numbers are from here.

 

Posted in cancer | Tagged , , ,

Oncscathed: Of Two Minds

No journey would be complete without some wrong-way turns, some questionable outcomes, something that the hero’s superpowers don’t work with, leaving him ( or her) to rely on their personal virtues, intuition and situational/self assessment to overcome adversity.

In this case, it started out simply enough.

There was an off-label drug which is used to encourage the immune system to greater activity. This drug, which had been prescribed for me by a doctor and I began taking twice daily ( per instructions) had a strong secondary, psychological effect.

The effect was hyper-alertness / hyperfocus with heightened reactivity.

In short, I was wired.

Every day.

The effect was cumulative.

By the end of 9 weeks, I could no longer recognize the base personality in everyday activity.

“I” was saying and doing things that are not characteristic of stable, mature adult behavior, much less of PNSE.

The drug-based wired personality had come to occupy the “driver’s seat”.

The wired personality needed to go, and the drug discontinued due to unacceptable perceptual disturbances and exaggerated emotional responses.

It was like throwing some unwelcome guest out of the house, only the house was my mind.

Am happy to report that the original personality, the more stable, more mature personality started to reassert itself quickly once full recognition had happened.

The pills flew into the trash.

Have wondered if some mental illnesses may feel like a stranger lives here and is making decisions and mistakes that “I” will have to answer for.

Have also noticed little written about the effects of psychoactive drugs on PNSE.

What a strange and curious dead end episode along the way of the cancer journey.

The comic pic is from here.

Two minded man from here.

The dead end sign is from here.

Posted in cancer | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Onscathed: Seeing Clearly

The hardest thing about the descent into the cancer world was a surprise, like almost everything else in the cancer journey.

It wasn’t “faith”, or physical pain, or even a lack of resources. (this time, at least)

Paradoxically, it was not even hard to put into effect.

It was hard to see.

After stalking off into the verdant jungle of phytonutrients, enzymes, chlorophyll-enhanced mineral supplements, juicing and veganism that constituted the first impression of the alternative cancer sub-world, it got harder to see much of anything past what I was doing today, and the very next supplement or practice to add in.

So as I focused all the free time and energy and resources available on “killing cancer”, and as the disease progressed and the body started to get rather thin, the most obvious course of action eluded awareness.

Post flight from the conveyors of the paradigm of poison, I was working on this problem “alone”.

Many authors made for good company, but the body still got skinnier.

Turning away from one kind of professional “help” led to a contraction, a closedness toward asking for help from anyone, even those medical professionals more closely aligned with my values and worldview.

This needed to be seen through and released; moving out of the contracted state and then reaching out to the available professional services in the alt-cancer medical field.

Once I started looking, it was quite easy.

There are several alternative cancer treatment facilities within a day’s drive; some within commuting distance.

When I brought enthusiasm to the clinic’s expertise, the healing process began immediately.

But first, sine qua non, there had to be seeing that I needed help, and then reaching out for the help that was available..

Cancer was not going to work out as a solo project.

And that took a little while to realize.

Experience is this one’s greatest teacher, even through illness.

Photomicrograph of B Cell lymphoma

Jungle photo from here.

Photomicrograph from here.

Posted in cancer | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oncscathed: At the Crossroad

The day I received the diagnosis from the biopsy: malignant.

Right there metaphorically appeared a crossroad ahead.

One direction led to conventional chemotherapy. And the sickness that comes from the toxic effects of chemotherapy.

Another direction led to early death through taking only palliative actions: I might expect maybe 5 years, on average, although some people live longer, others less. No way to know which group I would be fall into. And I would be increasingly weaker and skinnier from the symptoms of the cancer.

A third path led to the most unknown of the three ways; the murky realm of alternative treatments, whatever they turned out to be.

No direction appeared to beckon.

Time to sit with this.

Then back to the first questions.

What is life? Why do I value it ? If I am to struggle to keep it, I must know why I want to stay here. Everyone dies, maybe this is my turn. That’s OK. But if I am to rage against the dying of the light, then I must be clear on motivation. So what do I value about the life I have?

This reexamination took a while, am not sure anymore how long.

At the end of it, I knew which way to go.

First photo from here.

Second photo from here.

Posted in cancer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment