Friday, 30 November 2007

The message is always the same......

I brought my friend to the airport in the early hours of the morning. Her sincere gratitude to me for doing something which didn't cost anything to me gave me a feeling which is unlike any other. Once again it brought home how rich life is when it is about contributing to making other people's lives happier. I have found through experience that my life only works when I forget about me and go out to others. Everywhere the message is the same, do onto others as you would like to have done onto you'. This is because at the most fundamental level there is no separation between me and others. So when I am kind or generous to another I am also acknowledging that worth to myself.

Since I was young generosity has been a strong personality trait in me. Part of it has come from the Buddhist emphasis on transcending the ego by being generous and unselfish. But when did I decide that this was going to be a quality that was going to help me to win in life. As children when we decide to take on a quality like generosity it is total. There are no half measures so I was generous in absolutely every situation and to everyone whether they deserved it or not. I was thinking about this the other day and I realised that I took this quality on when I found myself in an Irish catholic boarding school and I was this young girl with an English accent among others who had a different accent to me. Immediately I knew 'I don't belong' and in that instance I decided that in order to survive I had to be generous. The result was that I gave everything away. When my parents came with food to the school I would go around giving it away. The generosity was an attempt by me to try to belong. Thus has it always been. I saw with crystal clear clarity how this generosity was an attempt to buy my way into belonging. I have done it in every situation I have ever been in.

The limitation of this though is that there is a lack of straightness in communication. To be generous for me meant that I couldn't be straight with people because that wasn't generous. I saw this so clearly and the impact that it has had since I was a teenager. I have been generous with people who haven't deserved my generosity and as a result I have been used and exploited on a number of occasions. People will always sense when a quality is there to make up for a weakness and thus may exploit it. A quality that is developed to cover up a weakness, in my case of feeling 'I don't belong' can be seen to be a strength but the truth is that it is also a weakness.

I saw this so plainly and after sitting with the impact of this for a couple of days have created a way of being that goes beyond this quality of my personality. This new way of being is to be straight and direct. I wrote in this blog last Saturday about my assisting agreement which was all about me being straight. Then I didn't understand why I found it so difficult to be straight. Now I understand that my strong quality of generosity which was driving me would not allow it to be. For me at that time straightness equalled a lack of generosity which my identity would not tolerate. The assisting agreement began the process of cracking it and then working with the people in my seminar group to identify the elements of the ego personality which comprise each one of us as humans and the event that happened which resulted in us putting that quality into place to survive did the rest.

Generosity is never going to leave me. It was a quality I put in place when I was young to survive in life. But now I have a choice in each situation whether or not to be generous. Now my generosity will come from a place of strength and not of weakness. I no longer need to be generous to cover up my fear of not belonging. This is a huge discovery for me and once again demonstrates how many and complex are the layers of the design of human. It also doesn't take away from my realization that there is no separation between myself and others so that when I am generous to another, it is also to myself. This will not change, it can't because it is a fundamental truth and a powerful law of nature. I now though have the choice around generosity whereas before I was driven. In choice there is power, being driven has no power even though to an onlooker it can seem powerful.

This showed itself at work today when I was more direct with people than I have ever been. I am so inspired by the technology which Landmark Education provides that I was sharing myself and this discovery with wild abandon. Usually when I share myself my quality of generosity was running me and I couldn't be straight because this was being aggressive. Being aggressive was totally against the quality of generosity. The result was that oftentimes my generosity felt like manipulation. Communication is often felt as manipulation when it is not straight and direct.

As a result today at work was so different and I felt a freedom to communicate directly and honestly about what the Landmark technology offers people as an access to power, freedom and full self-expression. I talked about this insight I had into the quality I took on to survive and the impact it has had and what I am now creating. I shared not to talk about myself but so that somewhere in something I said that my work colleagues would see what is possible for themselves and make the move of transformation for themselves. I cannot do it for another, nor would I want to because this is taking away the power of each person to do it for themselves. All I can do is show a way that I consider to be the most powerful and quickest route to the discovery of human and then the transformation to the spiritual.

After work I met a friend for a drink and was also direct with her. The result was a new closeness which was lovely. I was her bridesmaid when she got married in Australia a couple of years ago and she had once said that she felt she couldn't be herself with me. Last night she said that had all changed and she felt comfortable with me now. This just shows that when we can be in control and choose and not be driven by forces that we are not even aware of that this awareness not only transforms our own quality of life but also the quality of life of those around us. This is the proof of transformation. Once again it's not about me, but is about me in relation to others.....

But don't just take my word for it. Try it out. Do one generous unconditional thing for another. It doesn't have to be big and observe the effect it has on you. For me I don't take anything on until I have direct experience of it. Up to then I will listen and ponder but it is only direct experience that makes it real....

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Telling it like it is.......

In the early hours of yesterday morning I wrote briefly about the dark place I was in. Afterwards I felt much better. This is because I wrote it how it was and in that writing I acknowledged it for how it was. I didn't write a long and complicated explanation or description for why I found myself there, I was just there, the why or how wasn't important. I walked through the park to work and the familiar presence of the leaves and the trees gave the usual calm. I was where I was, it wasn't right or wrong, good or bad, it's just where I was. It was this acceptance without doing anything to change it which resulted in the stillness I felt which then turned to transformation. The result was that I arrived at work upbeat and happy.

I had a performance appraisal with my boss which I had been dreading because I have felt in recent weeks that my work has been slipping. To my amazement I was able to come up with a couple of ideas for pushing some areas of my work forward which surprised me and delighted her. Now I have to deliver...... Afterwards I wondered where the confidence had come certainly wasn't there yesterday. But then again mystics have constantly said that there is no past, there is no future, there is only NOW, this moment, what is NOW. My NOW yesterday was dark and I wrote that. I didn't look to the past or the future to explain or describe why I was feeling that way. I didn't hide by taking a spiritual sentence and explaining that. I told it how it was and in that honesty something shifted profoundly for me and for how I was around others at work. This is what the journey is about shifts in my own quality of life that benefit others, not shifts in my life for me alone. Shifts have no power if they don't transform the quality of my life and also the quality of life around me and ultimately the quality of life itself.

In a few minutes I am going to collect my friend and drive her to the airport. She is going to visit her family in Thailand for 4 weeks. For today why not take on being honest and telling people exactly how it is.....not how we would like it to be....or why it's not like it should be. I have discovered that this 'wanting things to be a certain way before I can be happy' is strong in me but there's nothing wrong in this as long as there is the awareness that this is a trait of mine which doesn't always serve me.......

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted.....

I'm in that familiar dark place such that the effort to even write this to maintain my integrity is proving too much. The inner shifts that are happening are intense and I know that I must stay with this darkness. Not to push it down by being busy but to stay with it. I discovered something that has propelled me once again to this dark place. Part of me wants to write about it but the other part is so resistant that for now I will let it sit within me. Perhaps in time it will find its way out when it's safer.

The kindest thing I can do for readers of this blog today is to give a link to a video interview that Manuel Schoch had with an American radio programme. In his quiet and unassuming way he says a little of what is going on for me at the moment.

Here's the link

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

The power of energy......

It is not possible to do intense energy work of the kind I did last Wednesday and Thursday with the Swiss psychiatrist, neuroscientist and mystic without it expanding some area of consciousness. I have found work much tougher since taking these two days out to train my consciousness to expand. I know that 2 days doesn't sound like a lot to be so unsettled after but when you have complete faith and trust in the teacher then there is a readiness and an openness to receive that does produce results. I have found this along every step of this path that nothing will be asked for without permission first being sought. At every stage I have been given a choice as to whether to continue or stop. Today was a particularly tough day. Still fresh with the memory of how childlike my consciousness is I arrived into work somewhat wary. Walking through the park had been great as once again I allowed my consciousness to expand so it could realize the essential oneness behind the illusion of the separation of separate trees. The perception is of many trees, the reality is that there is only one.

Soon the guy who had shone a light on my slowness in picking things up arrived. He must have been thinking about what had happened because he immediately came up to me and said how 'yesterday was only a bit fun, just a laugh'. It was a laugh to tell me that 'gullible had been taken out of the dictionary' and watch my face as I fell for it totally. I explained to him that it was embarrassing and asked him to stop it. He said he would and I felt much better as a result. I'm still very wary of him though and every time he came up to speak to my work colleague did not get involved with the conversation. He tried to draw me out a couple of times I wasn't going to take the risk of going there again.

At lunch for some reason I felt really restless. I remembered the Reiki woman who I had had the powerful Reiki treatment from and wondered again if the shaking that I had undergone has in some way affected and is effecting my brain. She is the best person to help me to understand what had happened. As I thought this I immediately had a memory of something that a student of Manuel said in a book she was written of nuggets of wisdom he has said when he has trained his students in time therapy. He says in 'The little book of time therapy 'you want to understand because you want to control things' page 10. I remembered this and thought how true that is. It is difficult as a human not to want to control things by understanding.

When I understand I feel I am in control but this is not what the journey from human to spiritual is about. It is about what he says on page 29 'being vulnerable is the readiness to let everything come towards you no matter what it is. It is the readiness to not react when you get hurt'. How much of a challenge is this. Not to react when we are hurt. Reaction to hurt to me at times is something that happens below the level of my self-awareness. But this is the training, training in inner observation so that nothing comes from reaction but only from choice in how to react. I have written somewhere before that hurt is never about the object or person that hurts me but is always about what is going on with me that I am allowing my consciousness to be hurt in this way. Every hurt is a lesson in deeper self-observation.

Speaking with the Reiki therapist she explained that the energy work had been powerful and this kind of work is usually done in a retreat setting where the energy can ground itself and be balanced. The immediate contrast for me of returning to work having opened deeper an energetic channel was resulting in the confusion and uncertainty I was feeling. After the phone call I felt better. I was tired though which I knew had nothing to do with being up at 5.30 am to write the blog. I was tired because I am resisting the work I am doing because I feel strongly that I am being called to do something else....but what. Earlier in the day I had the thought of going to live in Switzerland and study with Manuel at his centre there. But later in the day the strength of this idea disappeared and as I write this blog I don't feel any urgency to leave my life in London.

Part of my unsettling was also that I hadn't heard from the guy in the gym so when work was over I sent him a text to see how he was feeling. I've created the possibility of being light and easy which I can be in text messages. I am a writer, it comes easy! He answered and then suggested coming over. This was not in the game plan because I had already made plans with a friend to go out with her for a birthday drink. So much for integrity, my first thought was cancel her and tell her we will do it on Saturday, but then I remembered the importance of integrity and being true to what I said I would do as the foundation for power that I texted him back to say I couldn't but suggested this evening. In true male form...I didn't get a definite yes...aagh.

I am giving this example to show how easy it is to fall into the trap of not having integrity. Yet I know that if I had phoned my friend to cancel the drink and he had come around that something would have been missing. It has been my experience that on those times when I haven't honoured my word in something that life hasn't gone well. So tough as it was last night.....I went for the birthday drink with my friend. I disciplined myself with the wine and this is why I am up this morning early, in fact I woke without my mobile alarm going off. I am going to finish this and then get ready for my early morning spinning class.

I have Manuel's book beside me here at the computer and I have opened it at a page where he deals with being vulnerable. These days this is how I am feeling. He says 'to be vulnerable makes you strong. Holding yourself back only leads to more misery'. This is similar to what Landmark says 'it is in sharing myself and being and showing myself as vulnerable that I will grow in strength'. To the intellectual mind this doesn't seem to make any sense. This is because the mind does not do vulnerable. It describes and explains so that any threats in the environment can be recognised. To be vulnerable scares it because in vulnerability there is a complete letting go of control. Another nugget from this little book is 'whenever you try to protect yourself rather than be vulnerable, you only weaken yourself'.

To take this on and practice it with intention and determination is likely to make you strange to others. This means no self-defensiveness of any kind. No justifications, explanations rationalisations. For me it causes a conflict because to stand up for yourself in something is to acknowledge your own self worth but in the journey from human to spiritual it is to remain stuck. I think the secret is to speak straight without making a person or situation wrong. To be vulnerable under attack by being straight and non-reactive. tall an order is that. Yet it is important to trust that there is something in what Manuel is saying and to have the faith to 'try it on and see'. That is the beauty of this path, suggestions are made, they are never put forward as beliefs. I don't speak about beliefs because beliefs can create aggression as then one defends beliefs to the death. To have faith is not to have belief. Faith is faith, it does not create beliefs or if it does this is down to the human consciousness and not to faith itself. Faith is possible and should be allowed to exist without being mixed up with beliefs.

Now....I'm off to get ready for my cycle spinning class which is also my time of non-doing meditation!....

Monday, 26 November 2007

Meditation.....another form of 'doing'

It's not as early as usual so as a result this blog entry is not going to be as long as usual. Once again my ego personality won out over my soul to a certain extent. I had a call with my seminar group before leaving for work and walking through the park I was reflecting on what makes up our personality. How did we arrive at who we think we are. Who we think we are can be seen like the wave on the ocean. We focus on the form of the wave and think we are that individual and separate and yet what is important is not the wave form but the water of which the wave comprises. When it comes to the human what is important is not the physical form but the essence of consciousness which comprises human. Consciousness just IS, it can't be forced.

Manuel Schoch in his new book 'Bitten by the black snake' says something that I found extremely interesting. He said that the ego can never become enlightened. Enlightenment comes when the ego falls away. So the ego, me and mine can never become enlightened. For many lots of effort is spent in trying to bring enlightenment to the ego, this will never happen because enlightenment is the discovery that the ego is an unreal structure and therefore can never be the route to enlightenment. It is the same with meditation. Using meditation to achieve enlightenment for the ego is doomed to failure. Whenever we sit down to meditate with the thought of desire to gain enlightenment the effort is doomed from the start. Any and all thoughts of desire block enlightenment.

Paradoxically as it may feel the desire for enlightenment blocks its achievement. Meditation which is done to 'get somewhere' will not work. This resonates with me. It gives me a possible explanation for why I find it so difficult to meditate. I think this is because I am always evaluating it in terms of how deep into my consciousness am I going. This constant witnessing and evaluating requires effort and effort and concentration kill the expansion of consciousness necessary for spiritual awakening.

Today at work I had another example of not only how literal I am but also how gullible. I was royally set up by one of the guys and when I realised I just felt such helpless frustration. How is it possible for me to be so literal and so gullible. It is scary and yet it is part of an innocence I have which gives me an openess and receptiveness to spiritual ideas and experience. I have the innocence of a child when it comes to absorbing spiritual insights and experiences. Manuel says something very interesting about innocence and compares it to being humble. He says on page 47 'Innocence is something you cannot be proud of, but you can be proud of humbleness, and once you are proud you cease to be humble'.

From my own experience this is so true, I am not proud of my innocence and child like way. It often leads to me feel frustrated and wish that I was different. However I also recognise that by being like this that there is more chance of me experiencing more because the innocence brings with it a certain level of confusion. It is only in the midst of confusion that growth is possible. There is no growth in safety, security or knowledge. It is reassuring for me to read words that mirror what I have felt for such a long time. Yet it makes work a tense place for me. Instead of me being my usual trusting self I will now communicate with this guy from the position of not believing one word he says. In that way I won't be caught out being gullible. It goes against the grain of my nature to be like this because my natural leaning is to trust and be receptive to what is said to me but this is a way for me to survive. The trouble is that my reactions are so immediate. It will be a good training for me to observe first and then react. This is the whole training - inner observation of outside events to create the space necessary for the expansion of consciousness.

It was the last evening of my one of my seminars last night and I was sad when it was over. I have gained such a lot from this one. It gave me the tools to create a future of possibility that is not solely about me and my concerns. The shift from it being all about me to creating a possibility for my life and well-being that will inspire others enabled the ending of a long destructive habit I have had. Now instead of going to the gym to look good, I am going to go to make a difference to everyone I meet and say hello to. That is the empowering context from which I am going to live my life. This is the life of the human to recognise that nothing works until we shift our fundamental thinking from ourselves to others....then everything works...

Sunday, 25 November 2007

To see Auras......focus on space

I woke naturally at 4am this morning and just lay in bed looking out at the trees silhouetted against a dark sky. I lay there totally contented with no thoughts in my mind. I had woken on Sunday morning in a strange mood. I got up and dressed and went to the gym as usual. I knew that the guy from the gym wouldn't be there because I had got a text from him earlier to say this. My own reaction to this was interesting. If we hadn't broken the boundaries of friendship I wouldn't have given it a second thought, because we did, the mind went a bit mental with thoughts like 'he's trying to avoid me', even though I have absolutely no valid reason to think this because I have known that he hasn't been well for a while.

I observed myself thinking these thoughts and then laughed. With that laughter all of the anxiety disappeared. I am convinced that I don't laugh enough either at the way my thoughts can run me unless I am constantly aware and vigilant. Also to laugh at the absurdity of life itself and the thought that I can be in control of anything. I had no control over being born, I will have no control over when or how I die so why do I think that I have control over anything else that happens in life. To pretend to have this control is I think the ultimate absurdity and irony of life. I have found that life is much richer at those times when I give up any illusion of control and just let go and trust in a bigger benevolent picture that will be magical if I get out of the way!

It was such a lovely bright sunny day that I decided to go for a long walk through the park. Walking along I remembered what Manuel had said about seeing Aurus. Leaving aside the impossibility of being able to do this if you have any inner aggression, to see Auras you have to focus on the space around a physical form and not the form itself. The brain is so used to focusing on the physical form. It takes re-training to get it to focus on the space around the form. It is the amygdala in the brain that focuses on the form and it does this to identify whether or not the form is something that is going to help or harm us.

To focus on space requires the activity of the formless part of the brain, this is the Third Eye or an area located in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. For me to see an Aura around a form, I have to turn my attention to the space around the form and not the form itself. Walking through the park I tried to do this with the bark of a tree. Instead of focusing on the bark itself I softened my eyes and looked at the space around it. What did I see....nada. I accept that this is not going to happen the first time and it's now down to me and my self-discipline to make my brain work in a different way. However there is no guarantee that I will ever see Auras, some do with this training, many never do.

During my walk I received a call from the guy who is leading my seminar. He asked me how I was and I said great, 'I'm walking in the park and the sky is a beautiful mixture of blues and pinks'. He said 'yeah, yeah, I got that the sky is blue and pink, so what are you doing about sharing yourself and the breakthroughs you are having'. I had to laugh, the blue and pink sky was at that moment the most important thing to me and I shared that with him so he might get a sense of the wonder that I had as I looked at and connected with the sky, but it seemed to be lost on him as he reminded me of the 'doing' of life. Left to my own devices I would be in 'being' mode all of the time. I have to be careful though that 'being' is not a strategy for 'lazy'. When is 'being' being and when is it lazy. I look around me and everyone seems to be so busy 'doing'. I 'do' and get things done but never in that kind of stressful frenetic way. I have no stress yet everything seems to work, or if it doesn't it is because I am in some way pretending and not being authentic or straight.

I spoke to my parents last night and I am so immensely grateful that my dad is as good as he is. He's an amazingly strong man and my mum is so generous and giving. I can see the character of my identity of being independent, strong and generous as being very much modelled on them. In this day and age when so many of my friends have lost their parents I am so grateful to the Divine that mine continue to live. This is such a great gift for me.

Monday night is the last night of one of the seminars I am doing. This seminar with the distinction of not making things significant has been life changing. From doing this seminar I have been freed from a destructive habit I have had of turning to food for comfort when stressed. Since the age of 15 I have battled with this and have had many many breakdowns as I tried to overcome it. What I learned from this seminar is that victory comes not in the fighting but in the surrender. Recognising that something is not significant reduces the power it has over you. I surrendered and stopped fighting and in that instant something shifted. From comfort eating which I used to do regularly since I was 15 I haven't done it at all over the last four weeks. I know from the way that energy works that all of that energy that was trapped keeping that destructive and soul destroying habit in place is now free to do other things....So watch this space....... I have also created a context for my life and my vitality and well being that has nothing to do with looking good so that I can persuade and manipulate others into doing what I want which was a very subtle intention that was hidden from my view. I didn't know that this was what I was doing but it was which is why I couldn't have the body I dreamed of, I wanted it for the wrong reasons!

What this seminar has confirmed to me yet again is the age old ancient truth that if you want something for yourself you have to first want it for others. By only wanting something for yourself, or to want something just to look good to others (for our own ego) means that the journey to getting it is always going to be a struggle. There is an inbuilt mechanism which will prevent any power being given to someone unless there is a sincere intention to use it without ego for the benefit of others. This seminar more than any other has shown me this.

While I wanted a body that looked good because I wanted to influence others this was denied to me. It was denied to me by my destructive habit of comfort eating whenever a craving that was bigger than me hit. Once I shifted this context to having the body that will aid in fulfilling on my goal of the transformation of others and of life itself, suddenly this destructive habit has been transformed and is no longer something taking up any of my energy. This is not theory on my part it is my direct experience. To me it proves once again what I have always said, don't want something for yourself, but want it for the benefit it can bring to others.....then there is more chance of you receiving it. To want something for another with a pure heart and sincere intention is to want it for yourself and to have far more chance of getting it.

I had an example of this yesterday. I was walking up the street and there was a guy who was collecting money for children with special needs. I walked past hiim saying 'no sorry' and then a couple of more metres up the street stopped and thought 'you know what I can'. I doubled back to him and put some money in his tin. He was so delighted and his smile and acknowledgement gave me a really great feeling as I continued walking. I went into a number of shops and had a connection with people that I know wouldn't have been there if I hadn't forgot myself and doubled back. Before I did that I was wrapped up in myself and my thoughts, then I got out of it and did something unconditionally. It is the act of unconditionally giving which created the shift for me. By forgetting about myself for that few minutes I benefited myself, such is the paradox of the journey from human to spiritual that I am using this blog to describe...albeit somewhat clumsily at times.....

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Being straight....without being aggressive

It was good to get back to my usual Saturday cycle spinning class. The combination of music, rhythm and meditation in the early morning really sets me up for the day. I returned home to get ready to go to my assisting agreement. A friend called me and usually I would be not present in the conversation because I would be thinking about leaving to get there on time. This time I chatted fully and at a natural point in the conversation explained that I was doing my agreement and had to be there soon. This resulted in a natural 'oh you'd better go if you're going to make it'. I said 'goodbye' and set off. For some reason I thought that the agreement started at 2pm and it was almost 1.30pm when I set off. To be in integrity I called the office and explained that I was going to be late. I did this to be in integrity just in case I was late.

But I knew that I would arrive in time. I didn't know how this was going to happen but I knew. To my amazement for a Saturday the road to the centre was almost clear!, this is unheard of in London. The result was that I arrived in plenty of time. What I had totally forgotten was that my agreement starts at 2.30pm, so I arrived at two minutes to 2! This is symptomatic of my mind at the moment, it seems to be just going through the motions of human life. My consciousness though is definitely somewhere else.

I arrived into the centre to find that there were no notes left for me for what to do. I immediately felt irritation rise and my immediate thought was to walk out. The ego raised it's haughty head with thoughts like 'this is no way to treat a volunteer who has given up a Saturday afternoon'. With this thought came upset and another thought quickly followed 'me making phone calls when I'm upset just doesn't work, the last time there was complaint in about me'. There was a woman at the next desk and I said to her 'this doesn't work for me that there are no instructions left to tell me what needs to be done'. All she said was 'I got that, I have lots of names for people who need to be called if you want to do that'. I said 'yes' but there was huge resistance. Then I saw something that my manager has been trying to get me to see since my agreement started 'I want things to be a certain way and I get upset when they are not that way'. I expected instructions to be left and I got upset when they weren't. Wow.....What would my life be like if I could create some flexibility around this and not expect everything to be a certain way, that would be so freeing. Freedom from upset amazing is that.

In spite of this insight I was still upset. I set about making phone calls and surprise, surprise, nobody was in or it went direct to answerphone. Then a woman came over, she had just had a call from my registration manager with instructions for me that I didn't understand....aagh.... He had spoken about names in a folder. When we got the folder the names he had given were not there. My patience almost at breaking point and my legs threatening to have a life of their own and walk out with or without me I persevered. Another phone call to the registration manager established that he had said one thing but really meant another. This just added another layer of frustration on top of what were layers of upset. I could see that this was going to be a very challenging day. If I came out at the end of this 3 hours without any scars it would be a miracle.

We found the required list of names and then there was another instruction to call people to be experts but to be an expert he/she has to be registered for the seminar. This threw me into more confusion. How do I invite people and then say there's a requirement. I saw a woman who I was told was a seminar leader and I went up to ask her how to do this. During the conversation I told her that I felt it was being manipulative to invite someone and then say 'by the way before you can do this you have to be registered'. She said that the manipulation was in me and that all I need to do is to be straight. She gave me an uncomfortable demonstration of how it would come across as manipulative and it was so apt. I would say things like 'the thing is to be an expert you have to be registered, and therefore it's a requirement'. She showed me how to be straight by saying 'we would like to invite you to be an expert. An expert is someone who is registered to do this seminar, would you be interested in registering, yes, no, yes, thank you for being an expert, no, absolutely fine'. When she said it, it didn't sound in the least bit manipulative.

I knew then why my phone calls to do this were not successful it was because I was not being straight. To me being straight is being aggressive. This was how I viewed being straight. She gave me a great way through. She said 'the next phone call you make, tell whoever you are speaking to that you are here to have a breakthrough in being straight and ask them to tell you if they feel you are coming across as being manipulative'. Wow.....what brilliant guidance this was. It made a complete difference to the next conversation and at the end of that conversation the woman had registered to do the next seminar and be an expert.....all of this came from being straight. I know now that being straight is not the same as being aggressive. I know now that I can be straight without it coming across as being pushy or aggressive. This is a huge learning and I would not have got that without the assisting agreement. By being straight I allowed others to be straight with me in that they either wanted to register or they didn't and either way was perfectly OK.

At the end of the evening the guy who was working at the next desk and is a coach on one of the programmes came up to speak to me. He had been late arriving for his agreement and then had taken the work which the other woman had given me to to do which had pissed me off. He asked if I had anything to say before I left. I said 'your lateness had an impact on me and on the other woman who was here' and I was pissed off with that. He then talked to me about the insight I had had earlier about the power there is in flexibility and not always wanting things to go a certain way.

To be flexible enough that when they don't go the way I expect or want, not to get upset but to genuinely be able to be happy with the changed circumstances. I know that I am a long way from that because of how upset I was yesterday when things weren't the way I expected them to be. Especially when I had told my registration manager when this was done before that it didn't work for me. For it to be like that again for me meant a lack of respect. But I know that is just the meaning I put on it. I know though that the whole purpose of an assisting agreement is about discovering things about yourself that are hidden from your view so that they can be seen and given up to be powerful in the game of transformation. I can't be powerful if my energy is tied up in upset because things weren't the way I want them to be. There is no power in upset all there is is a making wrong and a looking good, the power comes in a flexibility which is genuine and not a flexibility that comes of pretending that things are OK when they're not. That's not flexibility, that's repression.

After the agreement I was tired. Discovering hidden things in this way is exhausting and not so comfortable. But I remember what Manuel said about the consciousness not only expanding to experience joy, bliss, peace but also expanding so that things that are not so comfortable to look at also emerge. I write often about the joy, peace and bliss which is deep within me and so to balance I have to expect and accept what emerged yesterday. I am so grateful to have the assisting environment which enables it all to come up. As always it is not about anything being wrong, only about things that don't work. It's not wrong that I get upset when things are not the way I want them, or I won't change direction if things are not a certain way, but when I don't show flexibility I am not powerful and as a result my consciousness does not expand....

This blog is concerned with the expansions of consciousness that result in spiritual awakening. Each time we see something limiting and give it up some consciousness that has been frozen is freed. It is freed to work towards the upward expansion of consciousness that results in spiritual awakening if that is the intention. The process of freeing frozen consciousness is firstly to recognise and take responsibility for something, then get the impact on how it has affected life, and then give it up and create a new way of being that is empowering and powerful. In this way the consciousness is freed and is then powerfully redirected to developing the consciousness that is necessary for spiritual awakening......

Friday, 23 November 2007

To more important than to know....

I found myself waking up with the memory of the 3 energy streams that I had learnt from the consciousness raising training I had done with Manuel. The stream of sadness which goes from the base of the spine to the heart seemed to be strongest. I felt a little frustration that my memory of the direction of the fear stream was not strong and I didn't remember how that flow went. I intended to go to the gym but it seemed more important to write this blog and to put everything that I did into it.

I had the morning off because I had both a dentist and a doctor's appointment and decided that taking the morning off as leave would be the best. My mind was a bit vacant as I tried to decide where to park and I found myself taking a couple of wrong turns before I got to where I wanted to. This was strange because it is my local area which I know very well. Parked up and went into the dentist. I'm having treatment to try to prevent gum disease. It involves implanting a anti-bacterial perio chip deep within a tooth. There's no guarantee that it's going to work. I was delighted when the dentist said that it was working and that he was very pleased. So was I but then again why did I ever doubt that it wouldn't. The body will follow the mind and when the mind is calm, the body follows. It still obeys the law of old age and dying but in terms of physical health, there is no reason for illness when there is no energy frozen in the consciousness.

After the dentist I waited for the doctor. It was as I thought. When I explained that a referral to the centre from the GP would cost the Primary Care Trust over £1700 the answer was that it was not a justifiable use of money which I totally agreed with. The doctor told me that she had spoken to a number of people about this and the view was the same. If I had any symptoms of Asperger's that I would not have been able to get to where I am today even if that world is now beginning to crumble.

I spoke with her about the Landmark programmes and like me she saw these as the most powerful courses I could be doing. It was quite funny because she has asked me to come back to her after I have finished my seminar with a short list of how I have benefited so she can begin to look at the possibility of referrals there. I was delighted to hear this because I am a stand for what these programmes make possible in terms of expansions of consciousness. I had parked the car at work after the dentist and walked down to the doctor. It was a bitterly cold day and I knew that I was going after work to the launch of Manuel's second book called 'Bitten by the black snake' in Piccadilly. Suddenly I remembered that I didn't have a nice jumper to change into after work and I had a voucher for a shop close by. I had been looking for a long black one for a while. I walked in and asked where these type of jumpers were. The lady pulled one from a shelf which was exactly what I was looking for. Delighted I saw that it was also on sale. She seemed surprised that this one was on sale when a grey one identical to it was not. I bought it and was delighted.

The reader may be asking why is she writing about something so trivial. I do it to show what happens when there is an inner knowing that a teacher has been found. Ravindra Kumar has written a book called 'Secrets of Shaktipat'. Shaktipat is the secret path for the awakening of Kundalini Shakti in a disciple through the power of the Guru'. When I was in India in 1997 I met a man who I immediately knew was a Guru. When you are in the presence of these people there is a knowing that is without doubt. This man told me looked at me intently and said he had something to give me but it wouldn't be ready until the next day at 2pm. Ever wary of the tendency of some Indian people to dupe westerners and ignoring the strong inner voice which told me to trust him I asked how much it would cost me whatever it was he was going to give me. He said '10 rupees, a donation, I will say you are one of my students'. I agreed to go back the next day.

The next day came and I was far away from where this man lived. My resistance was strong not to return but the deeper part of me kept urging me to 'go get it'. On the way there I felt this urge to buy this man some Indian sweets. I don't know why but I did. When I got there I offered him one which he took graciously and refused anymore. He then handed me what looked like an oblong object which was covered with red cloth on a chain to me and said 'with this your life will improve'. I had no idea what he meant but I thanked him. I then had the most overwhelming urge to take his picture. I asked if he could and he said 'yes'. I took the picture and went on my my way. I saw him a few times after that walking around Varanasi and I was always struck by the grace with which he moved. He would always acknowledge me but no more.

I returned to London in March 1997. It was in 1998 and 1999 that I experiencedthe rises of energy which I have spoken about and which are the reason for this blog. I never connected the possibility that what this man had done had perhaps given me a Shaktipat initiation until I had finished editing the book on Shaktipat which I did for Ravindra Kumar. The moment I had finished this which was 6 years on from my time in India I remembered what he had done and what he had given to me.

The ironical thing was that only up to the week before I had the object on the chain. The chain had long been broken and I was doing a bit of a clean out. I picked it up and thought 'I don't need that' and threw it away. Then a couple of days later the memory of this man and what he had given came back. From that moment all I could think of to do was to return to India to find this man and thank him. Also to give him some money because he hadn't taken anything and what he had given to me was beyond words. But how to find him. All I had was a photo. My determination to return to give thanks was stronger than my fear of not finding him so I booked a 2 week holiday to India in 2004. I arrived in Varanasi and set about looking for this man by showing people his picture.

Many just shook their heads but then one man said 'I know this man'. I said 'will you take me to him'. He agreed and we set off. I had my thank you card with some dollars close to me and suddenly became very nervous. We set off and I soon found myself in familiar streets. We arrived at the street where he lived and while his door was open there was nobody there. Fighting down waves of disappointment I agreed to wait. I think there must be a telegraph wire in India that went out to this man saying that there was a westerner who was there to see him because he returned all out of breath and different to what I remembered him. He was rude and abrupt and suddenly I didn't know just what it was I was doing there. I muttered something about the visit to him and stupidly asked him if he remembered me to which he snapped 'I see lots of tourists'. I decided that I had come here for a purpose and I wasn't going to let his attitude put me off. I continued 'when I saw you, you said that life would improve and you gave me an object which I now understand to be a talisman, you didn't take any money and so I am here to tell you that my life has improved and to thank you and give you this'.

I handed him the card which he pushed angrily into this pocket. He then stood up and said 'I'm glad your life has improved, now go'. Completely bewildered I left. Later in the evening when I thought about it I was surprised that he didn't do the very Indian thing of saying 'tell all your friends and bring them to me'. It was all very strange. To the reader it might seem a crazy thing to have done but I had gone for many years without remembering this event after which my life totally changed. Once I remembered, the pull to return to say thanks was so incredibly strong. The outcome was not what I expected, but then again what did I expect - that he would recognise me as a student. The truth is I don't know.

On the journey from human to spiritual such a lot of trust and faith is needed. There can be no self-defensiveness because being self-defensive closes down energy. I do many things as part of this path which are not understood to many. I do them in response to inner promptings. It seemed important to return to find this man and thank him and this is what I did. Now in 2007 I feel the same way towards Manuel. I have found my teacher and it is important to honour and respect the teacher. It won't be a teaching in the traditional sense because it will be via email but I think you recognise when a person comes along who it is possible to learn from. There is simply a deep certainty.

I went up to the book signing and it was lovely to see everyone again from the course. Manuel spoke about his new book which is taking some Buddhist Sutras and expanding on them from the point of view of consciousness. This seemed to be another sign in that I have studied and practiced Mahayana Buddhism for 9 years and so am familiar with the Sutras. But yesterday before I went to the book signing I was speaking with a friend whose website I have given through this blog. This friend is working on a comprehensive theory of the brain to explain mystical experiences which I am fascinated about. I was talking with him about some of what Manuel was saying about the brain and at one point he said something that added more onto what Manuel had said and then said 'but Manuel probably wouldn't know that because it is very new knowledge'. The minute he said this I felt a deep weariness and had the blinding insight that I don't want any more knowledge I want to be and in that being for others to feel this path. So there's more to know....but how more powerful is a graceful way of being.

At the training Manuel had some diagrams which he had pinned up on a flipboard. I was sorry that I hadn't taken my camera to photograph the diagrams particularly the one with the energy streams because I couldn't remember the direction of flow for one of the streams. To my delight one of the guys who had been on the course came over to me and showed me the pictures of the diagrams. I thought he was just showing them to me. Then he said 'would you like these, I have made a number of copies! I was so amazed and grateful and took a couple of minutes out to connect with the universe which had made this possible. Again on this path you have to be willing to do these things and not care about what people think of you for doing it. I recognised the ultimate source of those pictures, yes the vehicle through which they were delivered is also important but it's not where the power lies. The power lies in going beyond the vehicle to the ultimate source and giving thanks to that.

I said a few words to Manuel and he signed his latest book. I know the power of the man because of how content I am around his energy. A teacher is not someone you have to see every day. If there is no communication between now and when he returns to London in March then that it is the way it is meant. It is enough to know that there is an energetic connection.

I returned home still uncertain. I don't know whether or not I fall somewhere on the 'autistic spectrum'. I suspect I do but there's no proof. I don't have the confidence that a 2 hr interview that would cost me £600 is going to radically change anything. The only thing that is going to change anything is to stop shining the light on me and turn it out onto the outside world. To forget my concerns and really be there for others. This is the real meaning of the spiritual path to forget about yourself in service and contribution to to others. How I react is just how I react what is important is how effective I am in touching, moving and inspiring to do what moves and inspires me and that is for people to take on consciously the journey from human to spiritual........

Thursday, 22 November 2007

I have found a guide......

I arrived for the 2nd day of the course for consciousness raising much more positive than I did for the 1st day. I realise now that the reluctance I felt was resistance. For much of the first day I felt tired. Then the reason became apparent. I knew intuitively that I was going to discover something I wouldn't find easy to take. This came about when Manuel gave a powerful demonstration of just how much inner aggression I had. It is this inner aggression which prevents me from seeing Auras. But when I accepted this without resisting it and just sat with it, it dissolved. Today there was no tiredness just a real wakefulness and alertness.

I was determined to ask Manuel about the possibility of Asperger's as soon as I saw him in the morning. He arrived a little early so I took my courage into my hands and went up to him. I said why I thought that this explanation might be the reason for why I feel so different. He looked at me and said 'I look at your Aura and tell you later'. Immensely relieved I sat down. I had done it and I knew that he wouldn't forget. Soon all the others came and there was an aliveness and eagerness. I don't know if it was me but I felt much closer to everyone than I had the day before. It is only when you emerge from something that looking back it is possible to see what a dark place that was.

The day began with Manuel building on what he had said yesterday about being willing to raise the consciousness. This seems to be so important - choosing to do this. It made me think about how many people start a meditation course or some energy raising therapies and have no idea of what they are setting into motion. I think the awareness that the minute you open a spiritual book your life is not going to be the same should be given to everyone at a first meeting and each person then asked to choose powerfully whether or not they want to do it. Spiritual emergency happens when the consciousness rises without the person in many cases having said yes to it.

We then settled into a consciousness rising exercise using the breath to generate energy in the body. The energy exercise consisted of imaging three streams going into the body and radiating out from the heart. The first stream is the kundalini flow stream, the 2nd is the fear stream and the 3rd is the stream of sadness. Manuel explained that the consciousness cannot rise until we can sit with both fear and sadness and not run away from them. It is being with these qualities that transform them to stillness. This raises the consciousness.

He explained that the consciousness will rise when the amount of space increases. This was all said during the meditation so I have no notes and my memory is hazy. As well as that I had the usual thought assault the minute I closed my eyes so I lost much of what he was saying. The gist of the meditation was to generate more space. This is done by firstly focusing on the point in breathing where one breath begins and the other stops. That point of stop is the place to focus to increase space. He then went on speaking about thoughts and again the focus was at that place where one thought ends and the other begins - that space of stillness and quiet. Well this wasn't very effective for me because of the relentlessness of the thoughts. Then he moved to feelings and he said that this was the hardest because feelings are not always there like thoughts are. You have to wait for feelings but again when they come up to focus on the space between feelings. He explained that feelings that come up and are blocked because they are maybe too unpleasant can be experienced as pain in the body.

He began to speak about how the raising of consciousness requires more space and less form. He then said where the consciousness is all form i.e.all ego and there is no empathy - this is autism. I must stress writing this that the meditation was long and this came quietly from Manuel so it is my memory of what he said which may not be right. He then said 'there is a special kind of autism called Aspergers' where the consciousness is.....and then major frustration as someone coughed and I lost it. Then began a huge inner battle about what is he trying to say. Is this his way of answering my question...this is not what I wanted, I wanted a discussion. For a few minutes I was so uncertain and then from somewhere I experienced a deep peace and calm. I refocused back on what Manuel was saying and he was explaining the movement of energy from aggression through fear through sadness through stillness to love. At the point of love the consciousness rises.

At one point when he was explaining the importance of staying with sadness and not turning it into self pity I found myself crying which I was surprised about. I had nothing to cry about but there the tears were. Worse was that I had no tissue so it was a bit embarrassing. The meditation finished and I sat very quietly. I didn't even go for a cup of tea. I was being held still in that position. I tried again to remember what Manuel had said about Asperger's and nothing came back. Resigned I let it go. I didn't feel any urgency to go back to speak to him about it. This surprised me because in the past I would have immediately gone back, somehow it didn't seem to matter.

After lunch Manuel asked for questions and people began to explain how they had felt with the various consciousness energy rising exercises. He then began to read Auras. I understood that there is only so far that he could go giving theory. If energy is frozen then it has to be freed first before the consciousness can rise. He began working on different people who raised their hands identifying events in their lives from their auras where the energy was blocked and talked them through what had happened, the impact it has had on them and what they can do to be free of it so the consciousness can rise.

What he then did was to go to people who didn't raise their hands but by seeing where they had a reaction to someone else he was working with he went to them. He said to one woman 'what happened to you then when I said this to that lady'. As usual the woman didn't understand. He explained 'I saw in your aura when I said about 'not having a choice' that you reacted - why what happened. Again the woman looked blank. In his usual patient and humble way he said 'I help you'. He asked her how old she was and she said 55. He then said between the ages of 38 and 45 how were you. The woman explained that she had had depression. He probed a bit deeper. It turned out that the woman was married but had no children. Through a long process of patient coaxing it turned out that this woman had never grieved for as she put it 'the end of her dream to have children'.

He explained that depression is often an unwillingness to be with sadness. He said that feelings that are allowed to be experienced dissolve, those that aren't get buried and will come out again. He said 'you never want to go through what you went through like that again do you' and through her tears she said 'no'. He then said 'sometime over the next two weeks sit down with your husband and tell him how it really was for you when you realised that you no longer had a choice as to whether or not you could have children and be with the sadness. Then the energy will be freed. Next time you feel sadness, do not push it away but stay with it'.

I looked at him with such respect. He had given this woman who had suffered for so many years an explanation for why this was and an access so that it wouldn't happen again. Once again that deep desire to be able to do something similar and give people this access emerged in me. He then came over to my side of the room and said I have a couple of questions for people here. I saw him looking at me and my first thought was 'oh no and I felt my stomach tense up'. He stood in front of me and said 'did you understand what I said about Asperger's this morning'. I looked up at him and said 'no I didn't'. He said 'Asperger's does not allow any space between thoughts. If you get a diagnosis that this is what you have (I felt the disappointment that he wasn't going to tell me that it was what I had but I pushed it down and listened intently) then when you meditate I want you to take a thought say for example 'The weather is good today' and then break each word down so space can be created'.

This was amazing because I have often written in this blog about how relentless my thoughts are when I sit down to meditate compared to when I am just mindful and the confusion this has caused for me. Manuel had seen this and given me a way for the meditation to have more space. He then said 'are you OK' and I just said 'yes thanks' and he moved onto someone else. Sitting there I immediately knew that this was the man I was going to take as a teacher/guide. I can learn more from him than from anyone else.

The rest of the time was spent working with different people and always the process and result was the same. He spoke to a man but this time had the spirit of his dead father and uncle present. Usually I am so skeptical about all of this but with Manuel there is no doubt. His combination of being a neuroscientist, psychiatrist and mystic gives him this power. It is also why I trust him so much because he also involves the brain. At the end of the evening I went up to him and I asked him about the possibility of him being a teacher/guide to help me to raise my consciousness to the level at which I can also see spirits and auras and empower people in the way that he does.

He is based in Switzerland and Athens more than London but he said he would be willing to read and answer emails from me if I send them to him at his centre in Athens with a photograph so he knows who I am. I left the training course feeling great joy that I would be training with someone I totally trust. There is a chance that this training will happen in London but he won't do it unless there are at least 50 people and it will go over 2 years. This is a long commitment and I know that the process is slow. Raising consciousness is not an easy or fast thing to do.

I feel so grateful to the have the opportunity to do the Landmark programmes because it is the fastest way I know to expand the consciousness by bringing to the surface everything that needs to be dissolved in order for the consciousness to rise. What Manuel provides is the energetic input into raising consciousness which the Landmark programmes don't.

Walking back to the tube a guy who was on the course caught up with me and asked me to go for coffee. It was strange because I've been in more regular contact with the guy from the gym and my immediate thought was of him and how he would feel. But then I thought 'it's only coffee', so I agreed. It turned out that this guy had left a well paid job as a management consultant to set up on his own as a bone therapist. Speaking with him was inspirational but also at the back of my mind was the thought 'you were successful as a consultant and could go back to that again'. I am like a fish out of water when it comes to conventional working environments that sooner or later I am going to go it alone, scary as it may feel and be.

It was my seminar evening so we walked to the tube and said goodbye. At the seminar I was more alive and shared at the front of the room which is something I never do. Manuel had said that the heart only comes alive when it is sharing and when I sat down after saying whatever it was I said I felt my heart felt expanded and a great feeling of joy and bliss come over me. I came home tired because it had been a very long day but full of energy and vitality. I have accepted the need for a teacher and I will do whatever it takes.

I am going back to the GP on Friday morning to see what if anything she has managed to put into place. I don't think she will write the referral letter to the diagnostic centre for Asperger's because a referral from the health service will cost the health service £1,700. If I was to pay for it privately it is £600. I can't see the GP authorising the health trust to pay this huge amount of money when I have kept a job down and in most respects my life is working. But I will see it through and speak to the GP and then accept whatever it is. I felt sure that Manuel would tell me, yes or no but for some reason he didn't want to. I know that he knows. There is no doubt about that. Perhaps through working with him an explanation will evolve organically.....

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Auras and spirits can be seen......ONLY when there is no aggression

It was great getting back into spinning. I lost myself in the music and once again had that familiar experience of merging where the music, me and the bike all merged into one and there was no more witnessing. I realised afterwards just how much I had missed it. In the changing rooms I shared with some of the women about the seminar I am doing and how much life is shifting for me as a result. One woman said 'so now are you going to set up on your own, doing the classes you've talked about in the past'. This threw me but from it I realised that this is how others will be inspired to take this on for themselves, if they see me taking on life in a way I haven't done before. Powerful words are just that words unless they are accompanied by powerful actions. I just said '2008 is going to be a very different year'. I said my goodbye's and went home to get ready for the first day of my consciousness training with Manuel.

I arrived at the centre in good time (no surprise there!) and went into a large hall. There were about 50 chairs laid out. Gradually people came in but I didn't feel any desire to speak to them. This always amazes me in myself. I have two choices, speak and have and create vitality or not speak and create a different atmosphere. I will always choose the latter even though I have all this training about the power of participation in creating a world of vitality. I fly right in the face of that and sit quietly in a chair, preferably away from everyone else. As more people come I will with reluctance begin some small chat but would prefer not to. This is so hypocritical given my stance that we are all the same, it is only our perception that sees us as separate. Every day I have the choice to demonstrate this practically, on the tube, in a training like this, at work and I don't. I opt for the safe, don't stand out option which does nothing for mine or anybody Else's vitality.

At 10am Manuel appeared, exactly the same as I remembered him when he came to London two years ago. He began by showing us a chart which demonstrated a narrow band of consciousness. He explained that this narrow band is the usual consciousness of the human. Raising consciousness aims to expand the band. Then came the rub. Expanding the consciousness does not only go one way i.e. upwards towards bliss, joy but also downwards so that things that have been hidden rise up from the unconscious into the conscious band. He then gave a warning which was to think carefully before deciding whether or not we wanted to expand the band because things may come up which are not pleasant. Once again I was reminded of the quote from Gandhi 'do not approach the spiritual path if you are afraid'.

Manuel explained the importance of being clear in the choice to say 'yes' to expanding consciousness. Because he is also a neuroscientist and psychiatrist as well a mystic he explained that a key cause for schizophrenia is the consciousness expanding without the person having a choice in whether or not it is expanded. This reminded me of the seminar sessions I do which is all about the choice to examine areas in life where I am not as powerful, free or self-expressed and be OK with whatever comes up. These seminars provide the practical application for everything Manuel spoke about.

He then did a clever demonstration to show how consciousness works using a simple digital camera. He likened consciousness to the camera that is just scanning before a picture is taken that is - it is freely moving. Then some event happens in life and the consciousness freezes. This is similar to when the camera takes a picture. A frame is frozen which becomes the picture. With consciousness this freeze is a freeze of energy which depending on whether the child experiences it as pleasant or unpleasant goes into the unconscious. The unconscious has no concept of time so that is why a similar event will come up again but in the NOW. He then gave an amazing statistic which is that 70% of the judgements we make on people when we first meet them is based on something that happened in the past that is playing itself out in the present.

He then went on to speak about Auras. This is the electro-magnetic field there is around every thing, even animals and plants. It carries the print of everything that has happened to us in life. Mystics can see and read auras. He demonstrated the existence of Auras by once again using the digital camera and a remote control. I have known about the existence of Kirlian photography which is a special type of camera which takes pictures showing the aura around people. I had my aura picture taken for the back of my book. With the remote control and the digital camera, how he did it I don't understand was able to show a purple Aura in the lens of the camera. I recognise that I am literal and so some reader may have a more rational explanation but what I saw him do with two very simple pieces of equipment was demonstrate this electro-magetic field.

He then said 'everyone can see Auras and spirits it's not difficult, but they can only be seen when there is no aggression'. This was so fascinating. He went on to explain using diagram of the brain about a centre deep within the brain called the amygdala. This is the human emotional system. It is constantly alert for things that can cause us harm. It is the activity of the amygdala which makes the mind describe everything in this world. It describes it so that it can make a judgement as to whether it is going to help or harm us. He held up a flower and said 'this is a lamp', there were a few nervous giggles as we tried to see what he was getting at. I understood. Its' only a flower because of a general mind consensus that it is a flower in this culture. Go to another culture where they don't have any flowers and to them it would be something totally different. Once again I was reminded of a quote from the Buddha 'do not hold fast to anything at all'. Holding fast and deciding that things are a certain way freezes consciousness and prevents it from expanding.

But the point he was making about the minds need to explain and its impact on how much or little this raises consciousness was more important. He explained that this describing keeps the consciousness within the narrow band for survival. If we can look at something and not describe it then the consciousness will expand. I have recognised this for a long time. When I go out walking in nature I mostly absorb the experience, my mind is blank there is no analysing or describing going on. As a result i often have an experience whereby my consciousness expands either from me to the leaves and the trees or from the leaves and the trees to me. I don't know which way it goes but it doesn't matter.

He went on to say that the process of describing and not absorbing makes the amygdala which is all about describing things that are physical and have a Form stronger. To raise consciousness requires that an area which mystics have long called the Third eye but which Manuel identifes as being in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain has to become activated. It becomes activated when the mind is not describing. The Third eye is to do with space and the formless. It and the amygdala cannot be active at then same time. Raising consciousness is a choice not to describe or label just to be with whatever is.

After the first break he asked for questions based on the information he had given at the first session. There as a silence. He then walked over to one woman in the front row and said to her 'I know you have a question, why are you afraid'. He then took her hand and brought her to the front of the room. He then said 'the fear you are feeling is the amygdala operating because you think that these people in front of you are going to hurt you'. But these are just people, the fear is only your amygdala, lose the fear and let your consciousness expand. Now what is your question. The woman went onto ask whether or not a physical condition in the brain has an impact on the process of raising consciousness. He probed as to 'what physical condition'. She then explained that she had a problem with her thyroid and was on medication. He then said 'your aura is very clear about what has happened, what happened when you were five', she said I lost my Dad' . Manuel said 'and your mother'. The woman continued 'she became depressed'. Then Manuel said 'how did you deal with this'. The woman looked blank. Manuel continued 'I will help you because it is all so clear in your aura'. 4 days ago Saturday 4pm - what happened. The woman was desperately trying to think. She said 'I was at home with my husband and child' then said 'I remember getting upset about something'. He then said 'yes, and what then did you do'. She once again looked blank.

He said OK let's go back to age 5, how did you deal with your mother being depressed and not having any time for you, she again looked blank and he said 'you became very busy', doing, doing, doing to block out the pain. At this her face broke into huge relief and she said 'my mother always said that I was hyperactive'. She then distinguished that on that Saturday she was upset that to deal with it that she had gone into hyperactivity mode. Manuel then said 'I'm not saying not to take the medication that you are on. This will be a start but look deeper to where the consciousness has been frozen and work from there. I will always remember the way her face changed and how delighted she was when she sat down.

I experienced this deep desire to be able to read auras to be able to do for people what Manuel had just done for this woman. It was this desire that found me putting up my hand when he asked for the next question. He saw my hand and said 'yes'. I said 'you said that the only thing preventing us from seeing auras and spirits is inner aggression. I continued 'I don't consider myself aggressive yet I can't see Auras and/or spirits'. When I finished speaking he staggered very theatrically backwards and sat down on the chair that was a long way behind him. He said 'no you don't consider yourself aggressive' . You are, this is why I am sitting on this chair. I suddenly felt incredibly uncomfortable and afraid but said to myself 'stay with this, it is important'.

He then got off the chair and came right up beside me. He said 'what happens to you on Sunday's - I looked at him in complete and utter amazement and said 'what'. He continued Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings something happens to you. I have written in this blog how Sundays have been fraught for me for as long as I can remember. It seems to be the day that my communication is particularly bad and nothing goes right. It was also a Sunday when my brother and I had a really terrible phone conversation and I thought he was referring to this. I gave a brief snapshot of what had happened. He wanted to take it deeper. He said 'what is your over-riding feeling on Sundays, like this woman I was completely blank. He then said 'what's at the route of asking someone for forgiveness'. I once again looked blank and he said 'guilt'.

He said to me 'you are so good at asking others for forgiveness but you do not forgive yourself' This is where you have the most aggression. If you stopped this aggression against yourself you would see spirits and auras. This totally stunned me. It also put me in direct conflict with my thinking that you have to hard on yourself if you want to raise consciousness to the degree necessary for spiritual awakening. I left for lunch incredibly confused. I decided to go to lunch on my own because I wanted to think about what he had said. Sitting in the cafe I realised that I am incredibly aggressive with myself. It takes the form of 'not good enough'. It also takes the form of hiding myself away from others and not sharing. That is why he said 'if you could forget yourself and lose this aggression you would see auras and spirits immediately.

I arrived back from lunch early determined to speak to people who were on the course and give up this aggressiveness. I honestly don't know how it's going to happen but now that it has been distinguished for me I am going to work on it. It was quite funny this morning because the first thing my inner voice said and I always distinguish my inner voice from the relentless stream of thoughts from the mind was 'wear a dress' ha ha! I don't know why but I will listen and wear a dress to the training today. When I went back to the course there was a lady standing at the book stall reading a couple of books that were laid out there. I immediately went up and started to speak about what Manuel had been talking about and also how the courses I am doing with Landmark Education gives the experience of everything Manuel is speaking about.

I then went on to speak about how inspiring I find him as a person and teacher. We spoke about his ability to read auras in the precise way that he does. I found myself telling her about how amazed I was the last time when a woman stood up and told him that she had ME and asked if she always going to have it. He started to question her about her travels in India. Through the discussion it turned out she had been sick in India and Manuel identified that some of the virus was still in her aura which was causing the ME. He asked her to come to him at the end of the day and he would give her a number for a virulogist.

I had often thought about that lady and wondered how she had got on. . When I had finished saying this. the woman said 'that woman was me!' I couldn't believe it. This was amazing. I just said 'how are you' and she said 'I don't have ME anymore' I pressed on 'so you went to the person Manuel recommended and she smiled and said 'yes and now I'm good'. And she did look good. So good that I didn't remember her as the frail woman who had asked Manuel the question. For me meeting her was completing something I had often thought about. I find this with the universe that if I am thinking about something or wondering about something that I will find an answer somewhere. It's usually through my inner voice but oftentimes it comes through others or books.

After lunch he took more questions and he found all of the root causes for concerns voiced by people in some event that had happened in childhood. This had resulted in the consciousness being frozen around that event. I have often said that it is frozen energy which keeps us stuck and blocked. Free up that energy and the consciousness will rise. He then took us through a meditation exercise to begin to raise the consciousness using energy. This is where I got a bit lost because as always when I close my eyes thoughts come relentlessly. They were so relentless that they distracted me from the instructions Manuel was giving. I know that there was a lot of sending energy from the heart to a distance outside in the world. Earlier he said that consciousness raising comes when the heart awakens. From my experience this is definitely true. The heart will awaken when the activity in the third eye (only comes when there is no aggression or fear towards anyone or anything) is stronger than the amygdala. Third eye activity and opening of the heart go together.

The exercise lasted an hour during which time I experienced a range of emotions and also an inner rant that went on about 'wasting time'. I recognise though that this is resistance on my part. I love the theory because it is safe. Actually sitting down and doing the work I resist fiercely. Manuel said that 10 minutes of energy work lasts 12 hours in the body.

I am definitely going to ask him about this experience I had in 1999 and what if any effects it has had on the challenges I find in normal everyday life. I was surprised that for such a major event which I am sure must be clear in my aura that he has never asked me about it. Let's see....there is no doubting the power of this man.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Life is speeding up....

As days at work go today was a good day. I wasn't hungover for starters. On Sunday evening the guy from the gym came here and we watched a DVD and drank lots of wine. I had told him earlier in the day about my concerns about having mild Asperger's and he just saw it as being different and nothing to worry about. He brought over the DVD called Happy Feet. This is about a penguin who is born differently and who throughout his life continues to be different. It was a very moving story. One thing I took from it is that to be different is to pay a price. The frustrating thing for me is is that I have never wanted to be different, all I have ever wanted to do was to belong.

There is something that happens when the mind genuinely shifts. Because I feel like I could be on the autistic spectrum 'somewhere' I totally put out of my head any possibility of a romantic relationship. I finally realised that the reason they are so difficult is because I am going against the grain of my nature by trying to make something happen that is not meant for me. This shift in how I saw myself meant that I had a totally different way of being with the guy from the gym. There was an ease that comes with enjoying something without wanting anything else. It was this relaxedness which enabled me to be honest and ended up in him coming over with the DVD. He left afterwards with a cheery 'I'll call you'. It was a great evening.

After he left my mind started up again with its relentless thoughts. When 'call, what does this mean blah..blah..blah....This is the truth about how calm and stable the mind really is. My mind was far from calm and stable. When we don't engage with life and do like I did for many years just immerse yourself in books then it's easy for the mind to be calm and for the consciousness to think that it's come a long way. Then a normal engagement with life happens and all of a sudden what was a calm mind is suddenly full of turmoil. But this is life and the spiritual path is learning to BE OK with this turmoil. They are just thoughts, products of the mind, they will come and go. Sometimes there will be lots of them, sometimes not so many.

I have always found it interesting that Buddhists see the mind as the sixth sense organ. The other five being Eye and sight, Ear and hearing, Tongue-taste, Touch-feeling, Nose-smell. To these is added Mind-thoughts. And like we accept what we see without questioning or analysing we should do the same with thoughts. They are there in the mind as the products of a sense organ and should not be over analysed or used to motivate behaviour. If we look at the mind in this way then thoughts don't seem to have the power they have when we see thoughts as real and part of us. It is another way of achieving the detachment that is necessary for spiritual awakening.

I am really looking forward to the consciousness training that I am going to be doing with Manuel today. Consciousness is the highest level of functioning that we can achieve as humans and I am going to spend the day with someone I trust and can learn from. In his promotional literature for the training he says something that I have found interesting. He says 'In trying to understand our human processes one has to deal not with the thoughts but with consciousness itself'. This resonates with me but I don't know why. Manuel also reads auras because he is a mystic as well as a neuroscientist and psychiatrist with over 30 years experience so if anybody can tell me whether I am somewhere on the autistic spectrum he can, so today I expect to have some kind of an answer to this seemingly unsolvable puzzle.

So life is speeding the best possible way. Once again I have an energy for life and for writing this blog. The message for the spiritual journey is simple and consistent. Know yourself and treat others as you would like to be treated. It doesn't matter how many spiritual books I read the message is always this. There is no separation between myself and others and the spiritual journey is the ultimate realization through experience of this Truth. There is nothing more than this. It's not about having visits from the ascended Masters or the angels but about bringing into conscousness a deep inner knowing that has been forgotten.

Now....I'm off to the gym to once again lose myself in the music and cycling motion of the bike and make the hour and a half that I will do this a meditation.....

Monday, 19 November 2007

Language gives us our world.....

Today I learnt something so powerful that I want to share with readers of this blog. I had my 2nd last session of one of my seminars and the suggestion was made for us to consider that without language there is no world. Language gives us our world. My colleague next to me at work works with nano-technologies. 10 years ago this didn't exist. It is the language of 'nano-technology that enables the field of nano-technology to develop. Without the word there is no field. I find this quite amazing. It is the same for anything. Take away langauge and what is left - nothing. In that space of nothing then something powerful can be created. I saw how I used to use words to explain the world. To describe the world. Now I know that I can use words to create the kind of world I want to live in and be powerful in.

I am also thinking of Freud and the field of psychoanalysis. Freud introduced the word and it was the word which enabled a whole new field of experience that of psychoanalysis and all of its off shoots. It can be scary to think that the only thing that gives meaning to the world is language but how liberating it also is. I know that there is more in this insight to be got. There is something deeply resonant about it for me, but the clarity is not yet there. I will ponder it more when I am walking to work and if it gets any clearer, will write it in another blog entry.

I'm off tomorrow from work doing some training with the swiss psychiatrist and neuroscientist and mystic Manuel Schoch. I am looking forward to this because I know that I will learn such a lot. I will write about this training and what it involves in the next couple of blog posts. I don't have much integrity today because I listened to my ego this morning when my alarm went off and I turned over and went back to sleep without hitting the snooze on my alarm. Lately this is developing into a disempowering habit. I usually put the phone on the other side of the room so that I have to physically get out of bed and turn it off. The theory then is that I am up so won't go back to bed.....yeah right... the last couple of mornings this hasn't happened. So my intention to be in integrity, write this blog and go to the gym has not happened.

The strange thing is that I will always have enough time to write this blog. My inner voice is clear and insistent about writing this blog. Through it the struggle between the ego and soul comes apparent. Yet I know that I am keeping this non-empowering behaviour in place because of the breakdown that follows. I give myself hard time instead of being gentle and saying 'there's nothing wrong with this, it just doesn't work, given who and what I want to be in the world'......

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Back on track.....

I think it was fairly obvious by my lack of integrity in not writing a blog entry for Saturday that to continue this blog by solely taking and building on what has been written about before was not going to work long term. I was acutely aware of something being missing. I couldn't shake off the nagging feeling that I was selling out to myself and to anyone who had found that way of writing inspiring.

Yes, it was a safer option for me to focus exclusively on what is already out there in the world and accepted. There is no doubt about that but life is not about playing safe, it is about taking risks for something one cares about. I believe passionately in the shift that is already happening as the consciousness of humanity moves from the human to the spiritual kingdom. It is happening and will accelerate. I have identified this as a blog which will be a record of one womans shift of consciousness. Whether it achieves full spiritual illumination will be a judgement made when I am no longer around. But for me it is the journey and not so much the end result which holds the fascination and magic. It is this journey I want to share with everyone. I don't want to teach. I don't want students. I just want to share so that people might be inspired enough to take this journey on for themselves.

So where am I truly at with my journey. I think it's worthwhile revisiting just why I decided to write this blog at all. The title of the blog is a question to any reader. It asks 'what lies within'? I have talked about the years I spent studying and practicing Buddhism and for all of those years I studied texts that I didn't really understand. Went on meditation retreats that I was completely bored with. Yet, something kept bringing me back. I always had faith that if I just kept going no matter how pointless it all seemed that there was something to be had. I don't know where this certainty came from, it wasn't from having lots of spiritual insights and illuminations or having deep and powerful meditations, it was just a deep inner knowing.

That all changed with a meditation retreat in Devon in Southern England in 1999. At this retreat energy rose from the base of my spine, up to my head and down again. This happened a number of times. I had no fear because I knew that there is nothing in the inner life of the body to be afraid of and I connected totally with the experience. I didn't see anything, it was soley a movement of energy. It is as a result of this experience that my spiritual understandings have become so clear and I receive spiritual insights on a regular basis. It is from this that I understand the power that is contained within all of us. I am no different to anyone else. For a moment I gained an access to 'something' and it is that access I wish for everyone, for the magical and wonderful life it makes possible.

It is also since then that many of the Asperger like symptoms have become stronger. I don't remember being literal when I was younger. I asked my mother and she doesn't remember me being in any way different or there being anything unusual about me when I was a child. Now I wonder whether when this energy rose to my brain that it caused Asperger's like symptoms. I am clear that this energy did rise to my brain. I was a witness throughout the entire experience. The experience can be confirmed by the teachers who were on this retreat and who I talked with in between the meditation sessions when it was happening.

Arrogant as this may read I believe that this experience was the shifting of my consciousness from the human to the spiritual kingdom. This is why I find everything about the spiritual so easy and everything about human so challenging. This view of mine was given more weight after I spoke with my GP about the possibility of getting a diagnosis for Aspergers syndrome. She was great. She listened when I told her about my literalness, my difficulty with intimate relationships and my obsessive study of a subject and said she would do some digging around for me and to come back and see her again next Friday. She's agreed that if there's no service around locally to write a referral letter to the centre that diagnoses mild Asperger's syndrome. I left her feeling the relief that comes when somebody listens and appears to understand.

I still can't shake off the feeling though that the experience on the retreat in Devon did something to my brain. This is a more reasonable explanation. Yes, there might have been some Aspergic tendancies because I have spoken about the poor performance on the IQ tests I did when I was in my final year of secondary school. So there was definitely something not quite right but as the GP said to me 'you wouldn't have got as far career wise as you have if you had this syndrome'. I know she is right but my fear is that my literalness and childlike way is going to get stronger as I get older. Only today in the gym, three children came up to me and chatted freely. There is such a strong connection between children and me, especially younger children. I feel it from them and they feel it from me. It really is very strange......

Friday, 16 November 2007

Ego stronger than spirit......

Spiritual insights and intuitions are not close. This is the path, moments of intense illumination followed by periods of darkness and just going through the motions. Everything these days seems to highlight the acute difference between ego and spirit. I see it everywhere. This is the conflict of human being. It has gone on through the centuries and does today. The challenge is to recognise it and choose to extend and share thus acknowledging spirit, rather than project and separate which only gives victory to the ego. Yet sharing and extending is not agreed for in the world which is why there is so much resistance in human being to do this. There is a deep yearning to open ourselves to others but also that inner insistence voice saying 'you can't do that'. Unfortunately it is the louder voice of the ego that tends to emerge the winner.

So today take on sharing one thing about yourself that you wouldn't usually share. Accept the fear that will be there firstly at the thought of doing this and then when the situation presents to share to feel it and move beyond the fear. The most important thing is to share with sincerity and love and not to care about how you look to others while sharing. To do this one thing today will be such a victory for spirit over ego. Spirit responds by creating a feeling that is unlike any other. There is no feeling to beat sharing without caring. To share without care is to be free......

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Becoming aware of feelings......

In the same way as any thought can be labelled either positive, negative or neutral, feelings are exactly the same. Any feeling no matter how complicated it may appear is at its essence either positive, negative or neutral. Feelings are the language of the soul and like thoughts are part of the make up of human. Feelings are there to guide our journey from human to spiritual. Feelings are without an energetic charge. Feelings change and become emotions when energy is added to them. They become e-motion - which is feelings in motion. The strength of the emotion is driven by the intensity of the energetic charge. Allow feelings to be as they are i.e. either positive, negative or neutral without adding a charge and you have the source of bliss, peace and harmony. Anger is a natural feeling, when we add energy to it it becomes the emotion -rage. Feelings are slow, in that we are aware of them. Emotions are what I call 'fast' in that so many times the emotion has come and gone before the person is fully aware of them.

So today like the exercise with thoughts that I suggested yesterday, do the same with any feelings that arise. Become aware of the choice that there is to add energy to the feelings so that they become the unstable emotion. A feeling will always precede an emotion. What usually happens is that a person will experience a feeling and then instead of simply recognising it and saying 'this is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral' will find a story or dig up a memory to explain this feeling. The story will have all kinds of energetic charges attached to it depending on whether the person is the hero or the victim but either way it is adding something to the feeling which changes its basic nature to one of emotion. This emotion prevents the peace of mind that is possible when feelings are allowed to just be.

For many it is the presence of feelings and emotions that convince us that we are permanent and unchanging. However for Buddhists feelings are just part of a package of what they call skandhas or heaps which fool us into thinking that we are permanent. The other skandhas are

Form - this refers to the physical body, or the shape of anything in existence
Feelings - I have spoken about
Perception - this is the ability to make judgements about things, form opinions
Volition - this is the quality of free will, we have free will to act
Consciousness - this is where we become aware of certain aspects of our being.

These five heaps interract together and the end result is that we think that we are permanent and unchanging. I separate consciousness from awareness based on the Buddhist principle that sees consciousness as very much part of the delusion of Maya. But it is the highest of heaps and for that reason should be developed to its ultimate potential. Every time I look at the draw for the national lottery I see the balls in the drum like the Buddhists see these heaps. All of them interacting together and then one rising to the surface as more important than the others at that particular moment. So at one time it could be form, another feelings, another perception that is paramount but ultimately they all interract together to give the end result of a self that feels it is unchanging and permanent........

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

The ego takes as its allie the body......

This sentence which comes from A Course in Miracles is what I am going to discuss in this blog entry. It has struck a cord, that the ego takes the boady as an 'ally' and not as a friend. What is it taking an allie against? It can only be the mind. The ego senses that there is a part very close to it that is out to destroy it. It needs an ally, something to help it to defend itself against this powerful 'other' so it takes the body. It recognises the body as something external to itself. But it has no love for the body. It's well known that the body can never heal the mind but that the mind can heal the body. Yet it is not the ego mind that does this healing but the spirit mind that bypasses the ego.

The power of placebo drugs has been well researched and documented. It is not the body that heals but the mind that believes that these placebo non-effective means of medication can heal. It is the mind that then heals the body. The ego is bypassed in all of this when the spirit mind is strong enough. What often happens though is that the conflict caused by an ego that is dimly aware of a presence that is not for its good plays out this conflict in the body. I assert which is not saying that it is true that bodily sickness and symptoms is the playing out in the body of the conflict caused by a split mind. Heal the split by choosing to reconnect with spirit and automatically the body will be healthy. I assert this based on my own experience but I am not saying it is the Truth, only something to consider.

However this is not to say that the body does not have its own way of being nurtured. It does. For many years I neglected my body because I thought that the most important thing is the mind. Understand and control that and the body will fall into line. In many respects I still believe that. But I also know that the body responds to treatments in its own right. Every so often I will go for a course of acupuncture treatments just to acknowledge the part that the body plays in holding blocked energy that needs that extra push in order for it to be released. When those needles go into my body I immediately feel the release of built up energy. These sessions leave my body relaxed and energised, if that paradox makes any sense....

Thought for today.....notice all of the thoughts that you have today. Buddhists assert that every feeling no matter how complicated it can appear is either one of three things. It is either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Every thought and feeling can be classified into one of these three. Today when a thought comes label it as one of these three and then let it go. Notice how easy or difficult it is just to label and let go. There may be a tendancy to add all kinds of things to the thought i.e. a story about the event that led up to the thought, a justification for action arising from the thought. Just watch all of this mental activity like a compassionate and dispassionate observer. From this it may be possible to see just how little we allow thoughts to be as they are i.e. pleasant, unpleasant or neutral without adding anything else to them. In this noticing be careful not to judge it as something bad or wrong, it is just what it is and thus to be accepted. The exercise is aimed at increasing self-awareness. It is not an exercise in judgement......