Star Tripping

fractal-764928_1280

In star spanned dreams I ventured

Through time and space unending

No point of reference I saw offered

For time existed no more

And distance was beyond measure

How small my being and unknown

Until next I was present in all

Consciousness spanned and joined

With all stars, galaxies and universes

The atoms of my being ceased to be

And were dispersed through infinity

Their true home, boundless

Spread through the vastness

Yet condensed to the singularity

Of one knowing point of existence

And in the majesty of all,

Looking back towards me

As a reflection, I saw your face

So we created existence, you and I

Together with all sentient beings

Through the desire of thought

And we gloried in the structure

Of a creation built of love.

Spaces of Eternity

Desk_Space_W_11

Does the green field grow old?

Never under skies of azure blue

But in minds suffused with grey

Seeing not the grace of being

In time standing still to dwell

Upon the moment, feeling.

 

Lost in the spaces between trees

The beauty of vacancy, emptiness

Yet In which lies the truth of being

For it is in the pause of void

That sight opens outwards

Beyond the illusion of mind

 

See the interval beckoning

The parting between each blade of grass

The silence after birdsong before the storm

Even here in tumult the heart beats

Spaces between breaths

Mark the cessation of time

 

Pause and feel the pulse of life

Each atom, each star, waiting

For consciousness to arise

In the realm of understanding

Between mind and matter

Knowing, aware of stasis

 

Does the green field grow old?

Now answer to the blue sky

It does not age when the eye closes

And true vision opens, as witness

To creation from beginning to end

For in the beginning, I am.

Shown The Narrow Way

september-in-the-forest

Follow me
leave the wide straight road
find the narrow winding path
with unknown end
the course of mystics
saints, artists and poets
through age upon age
on the ultimate quest

Come with me
as I guide you through trails
long trod by brave souls
past dark caverns
and bottomless pits
darkness that tempts
along the way
but do not fear

Hold my hand
until we reach the treasure
the unfolding of beauty
fields of light we now walk
in warm sun amongst
soft grass and flowers
of every hue and colour
bright and joyful in life

Follow me now
to the eternal forest
though no sight of sky
there is light, see
from the trees themselves
stop and listen awhile
to the wisdom
of their ancient language

They tell of a time
before time was, before the fall
they have seen all that is
and all that will be
know this when you sit with them
they will give you solace
in grief or pain
these quiet watchers of eternity

Come let me show
all creatures in peace
the bird plays with cat
the chicken with the fox
and deer with lion
free from fear of man
no death nor killing here
true nature returns

Follow me now
to the clearing and sit awhile
speak of what you have seen
recall you left no footprint
remember how all are equal
free from the blinding shroud
of man’s technology
and machines

Now friend you know
I am glad you followed
but this place is not for us
no, you must return
to write, compose or paint
tell, all who will listen, what awaits
when they turn away from folly
to the truth of spirit.

In ages past
we lived free from burden
pain and fear of death
we walked and left no mark
we lived by the energy in the air
in love with the earth and all living things
to this glory we will return
I give you this promise

Go now friend, and show the way

PEACE and LOVE

Meditation made simple

multicolored-abstract-background

 

Introduction – The act of meditation is simple, yet at the same time it is a complex subject. In different forms it has been a part of all belief systems down the ages, though in many it has been the reserve of the mystics or shamans and not the general populace. But common prayer is also a form of meditation if the mind is engaged correctly.

Here I take a brief look at simple meditative practice, its purpose and an attempt to resolve perceived problems. As such it is aimed primarily at beginners or those in the early stages of practice but without a teacher and who are having difficulties.

 

What is Meditation? – First, let’s demystify it. Forget about gurus, cross-legged yogis, new-agers, tree huggers or ay other preconceived images you have of the practice. Meditation is actually an innate ability that most of us have lost as we have been consumed over the centuries by the egoic mind of thought, analysis, self aggrandisement and protection. Added to that our lives have grown ever more complex, the central cause of which is our desire for material gain. In a similar way people believe they must search for God. We have never lost God. God lives within us as has always been the case, but we have become desensitised to the presence, and so it is with meditation.

The rational thinking mind was a tool for us to use, but has grown into a monster by which we identify ourselves. It is not who we really are. Meditation brings us into contact with our true selves and the present moment, a place of stillness and silence, but it is not static. Within that still place dwells all energy, all creation and all knowledge. Every moment is the seed of life.

The aim of meditation is to bring to awareness the consciousness of who we really are. To ignore the incessant chatter of the mind, to step back from it and dwell for a period in the timeless realm of our inner being. The sense of peace and understanding this brings, the connection to all of life, the entire cosmos, is beyond compare and simple meditation can be used to enhance our daily lives and the lives of those about us. The more we meditate, the more we retain the knowledge from our meditations that the lives we lead are often a very shallow representation of reality and so our actions and reactions, and our interpretations of the world, become ever finer, our judgement clearer and our negative impact upon ourselves, others and the planet is reduced. We begin to become attuned to life. Meditational practices can move on to more complex manifestations, yet the simple practice of stillness and mindfulness of the present moment can lead to full enlightenment It is simply a question of time and practice.

 

Simple practice. – let me reiterate, meditation is an innate ability and doesn’t require technique or method. There are methods per se, but don’t confuse methods, which are merely a pathway, with the state of meditation itself.

Sit in a comfortable, straight-backed chair, adjust the chin position to achieve a straight back and settle into a stance of poise where the spine supports itself, not the back of the chair. It is possible to simply lie down. We need to achieve relaxation of the physical body and this can be done by working our way down from the head, through the arms, down through the torso and finally our legs and feet using our mind. Focus on each part of the body and relax it. One useful technique is to first tense and then relax the muscles.

In time this conscious practice is not necessary, the act of commencing a meditation and stilling the mind will automatically calm the body.

Now comes the part many have difficulty with, stilling the mind. Beginners often complain they can’t stop their thoughts. You can’t stop your thoughts; you can only control your response to them. Most are the idle chatter of the physical mind or the protestations of the ego. They won’t go away, but in time, with regular practice the chatter will reduce, one of the long-term benefits of mediation.

I’ll digress for a moment to use two analogies. A typical mind is like the effect of throwing a handful of small stones into a pond. The resulting ripples are random and confused, as is the mind. If you could get the mind quietened, similar to throwing one stone in the pond, one thought, how much do you think you could achieve by increased focus?

The second analogy is useful in seeing the relationship between focus and interrupting thoughts. You are watching and concentrating on a TV program, this represents the focus of the higher self. Your pet dog wanders in and starts vying for attention, he represents the egoic mind and he will try to disturb you away from something he doesn’t understand. You can engage with the pet, in which case your focus is destroyed or you can ignore it in which case it will eventually go away.

So this is how we deal with thoughts, we step back and simply observe them, they will come and go but we must try not attach to them, this comes with practice. If we step back and watch our thoughts, who is the watcher? That is your higher self, your true self.

The way we meditate then is simply to let our thoughts come and go while ignoring their content. Ways to assist are to focus on the breath, a candle or a spiral pattern; this provides an anchor for the mind/ego to keep it entertained while freeing our higher selves to experience the stillness within the present moment. To use breathing, become aware of each breath, the in and the out, and the pauses between. Let the breath be natural, don’t force it, just be aware, observe it. We then allow our true consciousness to dwell in the present moment, resisting any thoughts to ponder the past or future. Aim for 20 minutes but any duration is beneficial to begin.

 

Difficulties – Many complain of restlessness or interrupting thoughts. The ego doesn’t like meditation, it has no control and will try to convince you of its futility, it is scared. Persevere, it will get easier and the ego will grow weaker. The benefits to health and well-being are immeasurable.

Meditation is simple. It is not difficult but it does require daily practice, some will find it easier than others. You may feel a lack of progress, but don’t give up. A 5 minute session where you believe you didn’t relax and focus is still progression, you tried and the practice counts.

My description of technique here is brief, first because it really is actually very simple, and second because the purpose of this post was to provide an insight into meditation and potential difficulties encountered. I will be writing more about meditation in future posts.

For more help and guided meditations Allison Conway, a wonderful on-line friend, has spent much time and effort on her blog in providing some excellent meditation podcasts;

 meditation-in-difficult-situations

meditation class for beginners

Spiritual Awakening and Meditation

Spiritual awakening can be a fast or slow process. For some, an extraordinary event, or tragedy, can trigger the start; in others, it takes an accumulation of years and experiences in life. It often begins with curiosity or a feeling that something isn’t right. The view of the world foisted upon us is false, there is more, so much more. We may become discontent in the early stages, a sense of being out-of-place.

One is drawn to certain books perhaps, or starts the search for truth in some other way. Many become attracted to various ‘New Age’ philosophies or learn about different belief systems. They search out esoteric literature trying to find the solution in words and symbols.

For me it all began at an early age. My mother became a spiritualist, a long story which I won’t go into here. I was brought up with knowledge of life beyond this earthly one, and evidence to back it up. For many years I quested further, reading book after book, immersing myself in ‘knowledge’ and, so I believed, wisdom and understanding. I read about the magical, mystical aspects of Christianity, hidden and lost teachings, the Celtic tradition, Egyptian and Jewish mysticism, and many others. I read about the power of the mind and its possibilities. Then something changed, a realisation that it is direct experience which counts, not knowledge.

What do I mean by ‘direct experience’? That which is gained through dedicated prayer or meditation. Let me make an analogy here with chocolate. Knowledge is the scientific understanding of its chemical composition; the reaction of the taste buds, what compounds induce those sensations, the source of the cocoa, the plant, its varieties and growing areas, the manufacturing process of a chocolate bar and so on. All of which pale into insignificance once one actually eats the chocolate, delighting in its smooth, sensual texture and exquisite taste. Once one has that experience, no amount of knowledge about its manufacture is needed. Knowledge without experience is purely academic and empty. Knowledge is interesting perhaps, but secondary to experience.

Knowledge of other realms and dimensions, the connectedness of everything that is, the creative spirit which pervades the entire universe is as nothing compared to actually experiencing it, and if experienced, then the knowledge is not required. Meditation was the road I took to search for intimate experience, the way used throughout the ages and through all clutures. Once again I searched, flitting from one method to another like a butterfly going from one flower to the next, never spending long enough in one ‘system’ to gain anything much of value. In time another realisation occurred through inspired understanding; the method is not important, nor, actually, is a method necessary.

A few years ago I came across the teachings of Eckart Tolle and searched in vain for a ‘method’ in his works. There was only one, very brief, description of meditation. Eventually I got it. The experience of ‘the Now’ is meditation itself, there is no method! To live in the now is to live in meditation.

Another resource I came across through an interest in Buddhism can be found through this link The basic method of meditation In its explanation of the various stages it gave me the clearest understanding of the basics of mediation which I have ever come across and once again pointed to the fact there is no method as such;

1. Sustained Attention on the present moment
2. Silent attention on the present moment
3. Full sustained attention on the beautiful breath

To take the first glimpse, for a few moments, of that ‘sustained attention on the present moment’, to surrender to the moment with no attachment of thought to past or future, is a revelation and reletively easy to achieve. Finally it all fell into place; the understanding of meditation as a practice towards spiritual enlightenment, the ‘power of now’ and that there is no method per se !

Many people ask ‘how do you meditate’, they want a method or system. Sure, there are techniques for relaxation, which is a prerequisite for any meditation. But after that one only needs a basic idea of what meditation is; the disassociation with random thoughts enabling the higher consciousness to realise itself and the universe. Many complain that they can’t stop their minds from thinking about things. We cannot stop our minds from thinking, from working, what we have to control is our tendency to latch onto thoughts; we must let them pass without attaching to them. Eckart Tolle gave a great analogy in a talk; you are the host at a large dinner party and your job is to greet the guests as they come in. The guests are your thoughts. You greet each guest then let them pass and move on to the next, you cannot afford to engage in conversation with each guest.

There are higher levels of meditation beyond the basics, for which some guidance is necessary, but everything can be achieved with the dedicated practice of the basic methods.

Theses are some of my thoughts on meditation based on experience and practice, your views are always welcome in the comments. Thanks for reading.