Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Attachment to technology.....

It's 4.30am and I am writing my blog. Last night my computer died and instead of doing some investigation I went into other option mode in terms of thinking about how I was going to write this blog and keep my integrity. The moment I woke up to my mobile alarm I had an insight that all that was wrong with this laptop was that the extension lead had not been plugged in and thus the dying of my laptop was nothing more than the running out of my battery. Duh! my niece would say if I told her this. If it didn't work then I would have gone into work extremely early and written it from my work computer. This is not me being obsessive about this blog it is a form of discipline that is essential for development of the spiritual path. Whether that discipline is getting up early to read or meditate it is part of the path. Why? It is because it brings into direct experience the clash of the ego personality with the soul. The first little voice urging one to rise early and then the second much louder one urging the opposite. Recognising and not indulging this second louder voice is an essential part of developing the spiritual path. Few spiritual insights or intuitions are given while the ego personality is running the show.

I notice that writing this so early in the morning has a flow and ease that I have struggled to find at night. The words seem to come easier. How different writing is to meditating. I feel powerful and free when writing. When meditating, I feel that I am trapped by my own unrelenting thoughts. I have thoughts writing this but they are ordered and manageable. The thoughts that come when I sit down to meditate (only this form of meditation) are haphazard, relentless and largely unconnected. It is rare that I receive any spiritual insights or intuitions through meditation. These come when I am quiet and mindful, just thinking gently about something that I may have read.

Set off for work, once again driving. Going past the park I resolved that next week I was going to walk to work. There is no excuse for me to deny myself the nurturing of nature when I go out walking. It's my last week wearing trainers at work which is good because I don't have to carry a change of shoes. I went for a walk at lunchtime and felt the fallen leaves crunch beneath my feet. Even when the leaves are dead they can still give pleasure. But then I know that nothing truly dies, it only changes its form. I remember being fascinated by the properties of water when I was studying science at school. Water can be frozen to form ice, the ice can thaw and it is back to water. Then that water can be boiled to form steam. This was proof to me at an early age that nothing gets destroyed, it is only the form that changes. I consider it to be the same with us. Our form changes throughout different lifetimes but the energy structure remains constant. The energy structure of our soul and spirit remain constant, it is just the vehicle that houses the soul that changes

This morning I heard a disturbing report on obesity. It is alarming to think that soon 50% of us are going to be obese. The cause was attributed to the way we now live compared with how our ancestors lived many years ago. But I would suggest another reason for the rising obesity. It seems to correlate to a loss of spiritual awareness in many people. I think that this began happening around the time of all the scandals around the clergy and paedophilia. If you're anything like me that would have come as a huge shock. It is one of those shocks that has the power to rock the foundation of the world that we have created.

I remember when the news came out that an Irish bishop had fathered a child. Compared to other stories this is mild but at the time it was devastating to most people in Ireland. When there are shocks like this it is important to stay steady and think about it calmly and rationally. The impact it had on me was for me to commit even more deeply to a spiritual and not a religious path. But for many the spiritual baby was thrown out with the religious bathwater and in its place came obesity born of materialism as people turned to the material to fill the gap left by the spiritual. It is only my view and as such can be taken or left but I feel that there is a strong connection between not developing the spiritual side of ourselves and the body becoming out of condition.

There may be another reason why the body is not designed to be obese. I have spoken often about the energy that rests at the base of the spine and will rise when the time is right. This energy is the emergence of the spiritual body. It is the result of thinking about, practicing and putting effort into developing the spiritual. The kind of body that is necessary in order for this energy to rise naturally and safely is not an obese body. I don't know for sure but I don't think that this energy that heralds the shift from human to spiritual can rise in an obese body. The rise of this energy signals the seeing through of the design of human. I know that since I started in earnest looking at the 'me' as human and the 'I' as the soul and focusing on making the 'I' stronger and the 'me' weaker that I have lost weight. This wasn't always the way. For many years I was more overweight than I should have been for my age. I know that you can argue that I have been a good attender at the gym and working out and I agree that this has an effect, but I think there is something more. The gym can complement an active spiritual life but it can't compensate for it. But again these are just my thoughts I don't claim them to be the Truth only ideas to be considered.

I arrived into work and my inner voice said 'go to canteen' (usually authoritative three words!). Since being back I have been breaking a habit I have had for many years which is to go and have 'something' in the canteen before work. It didn't matter if I already had breakfast at home. Since being back at work I have resisted that habit and it hadn't been too bad. This morning the voice was insistent and relentless. I gave in and went in to get a cup of tea. The minute I walked in one of the women who work there gave me a wide beaming smile and said 'where have you been, I have missed you'. I was so taken aback because I have never spoken much to this woman except to be polite. She continued 'I always asked where is that girl who used to come in for the porridge every morning! This made me laugh and my heart opened up to her so much. I was so happy going up to my desk to begin my day's work.

It was the same story from lots of people today welcoming me back. The strange thing is that two years ago I had exactly four weeks off to go to be a bridesmaid for my friend in Sydney. I remember coming back and nobody saying anything like this to me. Does the fact that I was away having an operation bring out more compassion in people than simply returning from holiday. I don't know but this week has brought so many unexpected and lovely comments from people and my soul has been basking in it. It has also showed me that it's not necessary to always speak to people for them to feel connected. Connection comes with feeling and not with words. This has given me the confidence not to be afraid to be silent with people.

In the past silence with people was something that made me feel uncomfortable. I now understand that it's not speech but a sense of Presence that connects one soul to another. I had to speak to one of my committee members about an issue and I had such a lovely feeling when he said at the end of it 'it's lovely to have you back'! I am so unused to having people tell me openly that I am valued that it's all been quite overwhelming. I don't feel it with my family and as a result I don't feel it's deserved from others. After all my family know me best and if I don't feel valued by them it's hard to see how other people would value me. I understand that it is this thinking that is at the root of low or high self-esteem. I had a story that my level of self-esteem depended on how highly I was thought of within my family. I see now that it is only a story that is not true or based on any concrete evidence. With this insight I have the choice to give it up and welcome the value given to me by others sincerely and wholeheartedly which is what I have been doing.

What I have also noticed since I have been back at work is that I seem to understand what is going on a bit better. We had a team meeting yesterday and my boss was outlining a vision of where she wanted the team to go. While she was speaking pictures of what she was talking about formed in my mind and I had a clarity that was missing in the run-up to the operation. Yesterday I could see the picture she was trying to give us. Whether I have the left brain abilities to be able to deliver what she is expecting...only time will tell that. I have the ideas and can see the bigger picture but when it comes to the delivery via excel spread sheets and graphs I am completely out of my league.

I came home and put in place my other promise to myself which is to learn to cook. I did cook at home but my creations weren't a great success. Last night I made Lentil curry and how different it tasted back in London. What is it about how everything seems to flow in London and it's all such a struggle for me when I return to Ireland. It should be the opposite. Yet I think the fact that I was born and lived in London for 11 years before being uprooted to Ireland has meant that it is London I consider as my home and where I am most comfortable. I have always struggled with my identity. Am I Irish because my blood is 100% Irish, or am I English because I was born in England. I used to consider myself Irish because I was always treated as Irish when I went home. I had thought about going home to live and in preparation for this I enrolled to attend a conference on leadership which was to be held in Dublin. I thought it would be a good opportunity to network.

The conference lasted for three days. During one of the morning breaks for coffee I heard a voice saying 'where is the English girl'. I looked around thinking 'I didn't know that there was anyone English at this conference'. As I did I caught her eye and she said 'Oh there you are, I'm going to take Mark the American to do some sight seeing, would you like to come'. I was reeling with shock. It was the first time I was seen as English and my world collapsed. Immediately I was propelled back to my days at a catholic boarding school where I was made different and bullied because of my English accent and I was devastated. I had never thought that I would return to Ireland and be considered English. In England people consider me to be Irish and never pointed out that the fact that I was born in London meant that I was English. I experienced a new love for England and the English. After this conference I shelved my plans to return home to Ireland. Now so many years later, if I do return to live in Ireland I know that I will be seen as the 'English woman' and that will be OK now that I have prepared myself mentally for it. Before the conference it was the last thing I would have thought of.

I consider this to have been a lesson from the universe telling me that the time was not yet right to return to live in Ireland. Messages come from the universe if we are alert and aware enough to receive and act on them. I know that things happen in life because they happen and I don't have involvement with them and to some extent this is true but events also give you the direction to go in life. For me it meant living in London for a little while longer. I wonder though if I will ever reach that point where living in London no longer feels right given how much I love living here.

Went to bed last night immensely happy and grateful and whether it was the power of these feelings but it triggered another bout of the bodily shaking that I have written about before. I have complete and total acceptance of this as part of spiritual development because of how I wake up feeling the next morning which is totally calm and relaxed, ready and eager to enter into another day. I do wonder though why it only happens at night. When I stayed in an ashram in Delhi the yogi that ran the ashram used to meditate in the early hours of the morning and I used to join him and the other people who were staying there. After a few minutes meditating his body would move around in a circle, quite rhythmically at first but then after a while the movement would become very jerky. I watched this fascinated by the secret and power that is contained within the body. It looked like there was something deep within him that was jumping up and down. I know that this reads a bit bizarre but I am trying to recollect exactly what it was like. After a time jerking the body would return to a gentle circular movement.

When he emerged from the meditation he didn't seem any different to the way he was before he started to meditate. I experienced him as having a lot of ego which showed itself when he was talking to people about things spiritual. He was dismissive of those who held different views to him. This acceptance of difference is vital on a spiritual path. I am uncomfortable with someone who proclaims themselves to have access to spiritual energy and yet are intolerant of those who voice opinions that are different to what they believe. There are many paths but only the one End. No path is better or worse than the other, they are just different. However, the energy that is at the base of the spine of everyone is exactly the same....

I think I've written enough for now. So I will go and get things ready for the penultimate day before the weekend....

No comments: