Monday, 28 April 2008

I am going to rename the spiritual path......the path of the miraculous

The title of this blog entry is exactly the way I feel this morning. I returned to London following a weekend with my family and the relaxed and connected way I felt before I went home remained with me for the entire time I was at home. I had an ease and a grace that I never had before. As a result everything flowed and was in harmony. I am clear that this is the fruit of following a spiritual path. The tool I have used to achieve it is the technology that is provided by Landmark education. Before I went home I created the possibility of everything being whole complete and perfect the way it was, there was going to be no need for me to fix or change anything. Yes, the usual tension that I feel when I go home was there but for the first time it had no effect on me. It had no effect because of the power of the possibility I had put in place that everything was whole, complete and perfect and needed no interference from me. As a result I was completely relaxed and everything flowed.

I must confess though I had said in my last blog entry that the spiritual path demands that there is no conflict between what one feels and what one says. Over the weekend I didn't carry that out in that I felt tension but didn't say anything. But this didn't seem to matter to the way everything flowed and was in harmony. I know that my parents saw the transformation and my relationship with my mum was more straight and honest and in that process I felt so much closer to her. Since seeing that the strategy I put in place to belong when I was younger was to be generous and giving that up in order to be straight, I have found that life works in a way I never thought possible.

There is a delicate balance to strike between being straight and making someone wrong. I wasn't sure that I could get that balance right over the weekend and so I wasn't as straight as I could have been with certain members of my family. Being straight while also not making someone wrong takes vigilance. The person will always feel if they are being made wrong while I am pretending to be straight and as a result the communication will not be effective. To make something wrong is to deny the intrinsic perfection of the universe that everything and everyone is whole, complete and perfect. I believe that it is possible to be straight, to keep in tune with this given and not make someone wrong but it takes work and I am only too well aware that I am not there yet. This is why I sold out on myself a little at home this weekend. I am also taking 100% responsibility for being at the source of this tension. There is something in the way I am being that is causing this. I'm not looking to fix or change it, I'm taking full responsibility for it.

But words cannot describe the comfort I felt amidst the tension. I was relaxed and happy. I had no preference for who I would speak to or who would speak with me. I felt no need to rush anywhere. This is why I am renaming the spiritual path, the path of the miraculous. I feel such a connection to people it's like there is truly no separation between me and them. Returning to London last night I was so happy and thankful to that force whether it is my own higher consciousness or something else that enabled the weekend to be the way that it was. I was so engrossed in my own euphoria that I left my case behind in a shop.

Then I had a rude awakening to reality when I realised it just before getting on the train to London. I raced back to the shop where it was sitting patiently. I tried to rescue it without anyone noticing but no such luck. This man said disbelievingly 'you didn't leave it'. I was embarassed and didn't say anything only picked it up and raced once more to the train. I am aware that I have to be vigilant about this. It is so easy when you sense another dimension, something else that is possible to lose grounding. I can see that it is something that can easily happen to me. I lose my mindfulness, my consciousness goes somewhere else and then the normal, everyday things of life get neglected. I don't think this is what the spiritual path is about. It is about bringing the spiritual into the normal. I can understand the temptation that the mystics felt to withdraw into the richness of their own consciousness. I have had glimpses and just occasionally like yesterday when I know how great a difference having the spiritual path is making in my life my consciousness can easily go somewhere else. But in the main I am grounded and I have my job to thank for that.

I know what the weekend would have been like if I didn't have the tools that I have been given. These tools are accelerating my spiritual path......I am clear about that. This morning I woke up early and still on a high from the way my weekend was I sat on my stool to meditate. I have found that if I visualise the sky in my mind then this represents for me the space of nothingness where the consciousness has to abide if it is to be calm. Thoughts are represented by clouds. I try now to rest in the sky and then as thoughts come I see them as clouds. In the beginning of meditation there only seems to be clouds. Then gradually a glimmer of blue comes through. This is the first glimpse of stillness and something 'other'. Continuous mindfulness will also deepen this. I think the mystic state is one where the consciousness rests in the blue tranquil sky and there isn't a cloud to be seen. I think that this refers to the state of samadhi or nothingness......

Friday, 25 April 2008

As long as we are satisfied with glass beads....we don't search for diamonds

I read these words this morning and they really hit home to me. So much so that I am going to make them the subject of this blog entry. Complacency is a big threat to the spiritual path. The glass beads of materialism can never assuage the deep inner hunger. The irony is that we ascribe this inner hunger to working for and achieving in many cases more glass beads. There is something very cruel in this from my way of thinking. To recognise an emptiness and then to fill it with something that may satisfy for a while but in the end leaves an even greater emptiness feels a bit like a Divine joke. But then the mystics have always said that this world is the playground of the Divine.

I can't speak enough of the reality of the spiritual path. Knowledge allows us to understand but experience allows us to know. I know because of experience. Until I had the experience all knowledge while interesting didn't shift my consciousness to any great degree. The shift of consciousness came when the path became alive. When I stopped walking the path and became the path. But what do I do with everything I experience besides write a blog. Then I ask myself is there a need for me to do anything else but this. All I need to do is to be honest with myself and others, for there to be no difference between how I feel and what I say. This vigilance over integrity and authenticity never ends. It just becomes a little easier to see as time as goes on and faith and commitment to the path grows.

A couple of days ago I lost it with a work colleague and became uncharacteristically angry. This shocked me to the core because I thought that I had control over all of my self-expression. What I saw from this when I examined it closely is that underlying the aggression was fear. We had been told of changes at work that involved a possible split from my work colleagues. The outburst was the expression of a fear that I wouldn't be good enough. When I saw that I could own it and accept it and let go of both his trigger which caused the outburst and even my own outburst. What was important was to get to the feeling which triggered the outburst and stay with that. Every thought and action has as its source a feeling. When we identify and stay with that feeling then it can move to the next level. (This was first a theory given to me by Manuel Schoch, I have verified it by my own experience therefore I will take it on).

I apologised to my work colleague, took total responsibility for my action and told him the truth that it wasn't personal. I didn't go into any more detail. What triggered it was the universal feeling of fear. But as humans we don't like to feel fear and we cover it up with aggression. That is what I did. I had the feeling, didn't like it and responded with aggression. Without seeing this the aggression once over is then held in place by the mind and a chain of resentment then builds up towards the other person and also oneself. At home that evening that fear because I stayed with it transformed to sadness and I cried. The important thing with sadness is not to turn it into self-pity because there is no power in self-pity.

This was a huge lesson for me. It made real for me the old saying of a finger pointing at the moon. Don't get hung up on the finger, look to the moon - don't get hung up on a reaction look to the source. Don't get hung up on a thought and its content, look to where it has arisen. For this I am very grateful. I also notice something else happening and that is that recently I seem to have a deep ease and connection with people especially strangers. I had a meeting yesterday and usually when it's over I have my laptop packed and am gone, leaving skid marks at the door! Yesterday when the meeting ended I felt no desire to pack up and go like I have done in the past. I just sat there with everyone totally relaxed and happy. I am clear that this is all possible as a result of staying with this path no matter what. It produces a relatedness to people without needing any effort, a natural relatedness where there's no need to rush anything. But achieving this is tough. It's hard and takes work. I am the first to admit that but the fruits when they come and they will come are beyond anything I can write. What I do write is a poor reflection of what is possible......

Today I leave to visit my family in Ireland. My nephew is making his first holy communion. Even though I left Catholicism many years ago there is something about those sacraments, that are powerful. So I will be very quiet and reflective for the time I spend in the cathedral tomorrow. I have often spoken of the tension I feel when I go home. It will interesting this time to see whether that will have shifted. This morning I woke up and I have created the possibility of listening (not talking!) to the members of my family from their greatness and not to listen to the continuous inner voice that is always finding fault. So let's see......

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Very restless these days.......

I haven't written my blog for a couple of days because I have been in a mini-breakdown. Since finishing Paul Brunton's book and having a photograph of The Maharishee whose eyes seem to follow me everywhere, I have a deep inner restlessness. I go to work and go through the motions but somehow I'm not there. I am with people and yet feel so alone. It's like I am talking to someone but there is someone else talking with me.

The only relief I seem to get is those moments just before I sleep. Last night I really felt like the physical boundaries had dissolved. It wasn't for very long but for the first time I think I experienced the merging that mystics have talked about. I know that there is something shifting and moving and when it settles down it will be great but right now it is uncertain.... I feel strongly that something has been put in motion that I can't stop, the uncertainty is not knowing what is going to develop. My mind is so full of inner turmoil and yet everything out there in the world continues to work for me. The demons are in my own mind, I am well aware of that. The tension is a kind of push/pull. Wanting to stay in one world and being pulled into another if that makes any sense.

I've stopped going out. I made a choice with the guy who was married that to continue to see him given how strong my feelings are and pretending to be just a friend had no integrity. It would rob me of power because I would be selling out on myself. So we decided to allow him to save his marriage not to have any more contact. This was tough and sometimes I get angry with how important I know integrity to be, but yet how it can't be proved scientifically. Integrity which is a state of being whole complete and perfect has nothing to do with morality. It has to do with whether something works or not. For me it is a law that is just as real as gravity. With the law of gravity it doesn't matter whether you are a good person or not, admired or not. If you go up to the top of a high building and jump, you're going down. It's the same way with integrity, whenever we behave in a way which is not in integrity the natural power we have is lessened. Integrity is not the only thing that is necessary to have a life that works but it is the foundation. A life built from integrity as its foundation is wider and more expansive than a life that isn't.

So I could have kept fooling myself and I knew, like we all know when we pretend that we don't and kept up the charade with the married man. But to do this would rob me of my power and that I will never do. But the cost and there is always a cost in operating from integrity is that the human, ego part of me feels empty. However, I know that this is just that part of me that doesn't want to be different or stand out. I wanted to hide from my destiny (doesn't that sound dramatic!) by finally being in a relationship. But what I see now it that perhaps it was a test for me to see if I was strong enough to put integrity before natural human desire. I feel I have emerged from something quite battered and uncertain but also with the ribbons to go to the next stage. Perhaps this is what the restlessness I am feeling is about.....

I am aware that I am living in 2 worlds which is becoming increasingly uncomfortable. But the turmoil is in my mind. Since I made the choice to put integrity before everything I find I have a straightness and directness in my dealings with people that I didn't have before. I also have a clarity about things which I didn't have before......

Monday, 21 April 2008

Once again....I was too quick to judge

I couldn't go to bed last night until I finished this book by Paul Brunton. It's hard to describe the urgency I felt to read and finish that book. After I had finished writing my blog last night I thought about the strong reaction there was in my body when he didn't remain with the Maharishee but returned to stay for a month with Meher Baba with whom I felt nothing. When he failed to see the greatness of the Maharishee something at a deep level in me recognised the power of this sage of Arunachala and I felt unexplained distress. This was very interesting to me and I wondered what it all meant.

But I should not have been so hasty to judge because in the end he did spend time with the Maharishi. However the process Paul went through before he chose the Maharishee in the final pages of the book was interesting and is typical of the path as I have experienced it. First the ego came into play when he had the thought of 'there's no-one here who can give me the realizations I am seeking' and then the quieter inner voice saying 'are you sure, that out of everyone you have met while you have been travelling, there is nobody here who can be the Master you seek'. It was then that the memory of the Maharishee and the power he had felt when he sat with him returned to him.

This is typical of the spiritual path, the ego fearing for its own survival puts the consciousness off at every turn. But if we are strong enough to act on the small inner voice of intuition then the merits and fruits of this path are as real today as they were in Paul Brunton's day. He returned to the Maharishee and the final pages of the book are filled with the profound realizations he had. These experiences are told as though they are being watched by a 3rd party. This makes them very powerful for me.

What is admirable is that he then didn't end his days as a devotee but returned to Switzerland to leave the copious amount of writings bridging the gap between east and west which he did. This to me was real service to humankind. He didn't put his own desire for realizations and experiences above what he felt was his duty to bring what he knew to the world. To do this he had to take on a witness mentality. He was an observer of his own experiences rather than getting lost in them. But there is a cost to being a witness. I understand this because this is how I treat the spiritual path.

In the early stages of the experiences it would have been so easy for me to become ungrounded with the immensity of the experience. To become totally absorbed instead of standing apart and watching. It is the witness mentality that gives the realization that we have thoughts but we are not just thoughts. It is watching the thoughts without getting involved, watching them like one would watch a show which gave me the realization that I am more than my thoughts, feelings, habits. I attribute this witnessing to the way I can write about the spiritual path in the way that I do.

Yet I know there is a cost to this witnessing and that is always to watch and never to merge. I yearn to merge and yet I am afraid. This is my main purpose in keeping an eye out for a Master of the calibre of the Maharishee but I don't hold out much hope. The funny thing is that I woke up this morning deeply contented. I meditated for an hour and as my meditations go it wasn't full of the usual conflict. At times during the day at work for no reason I felt waves of peace and happiness well up from deep within me. What is the meaning of all this. I have been looking at the photograph of the Maharishee and his eyes seem to stare intently into mine. Is this the connection with the Master I have been denying myself. Does a Master have to be a living, breathing being or is it enough for me to take his teaching and his method of self-enquiry and go it alone...... ..

Sunday, 20 April 2008

More Paul Brunton......

I woke this morning early and my first thought was the book I bought by Paul Brunton yesterday about his search for super spiritual Yogis in India. I was keen though to read about whether any of the Yogis that Paul spoke to would say anything about what lies at the base of the spine. As the rising of this energy lies at the root of my spiritual experiences it is this I want to learn more about. Quite early on in his travels around India Paul met a Yogi called Brahma who was very reserved in speaking with anyone. Gradually Paul gained his trust and eventually Brahma he told him about the Yogic practices of body and mind control. It was what this Yogi said about the spine which I copy from page 96 that stirred my interest.

The Yogi said 'There exists a tiny hole inside the brain of man. Within this hole dwells the soul. There is also a kind of valve which protects the hole. At the bottom of the spine there comes into being the unseeable-life current. The constant loss of this current causes the body to grow old, but its control fills the flesh with new life and perpetuates it. When a man has conquered himself, he can begin to get this control by certain practices known only to advanced Yogis of our school. And when he can withdraw this life-current up his spine, he may then try to concentrate it into the hole in the brain. But unless he finds a master who will assist him to open the protecting valve, he cannot succeed. It is no easy task for ruin waits in ambush for the man who attempts it alone'

This paragraph is fascinating to me. I sense the immense power which is why I don't make any attempt to force the energy. Sometimes just before I sleep my body shakes which I recognise as the movement of this energy but it is never forced by me. It happens naturally. I don't know what triggers it and I never resist it. Afterwards I experience deep calm and relaxation.

In his book he speaks about meeting Sri Ramana Maharshi and the profound effect that meeting him had. He says on page 162 'The hall is becoming pervaded with a subtle, intangible and indefinable power which affects me deeply. I feel without doubt and without hesitation, that the centre of the mysterious power is no other than the Maharishee himself'.

He then goes on to describe strange sensations he experienced when in the presence of the Maharishee. He called it an experience of pure enlightenment. One day -sitting with Ramana Maharishi- Brunton had an experience which Steve Taylor names "an experience of genuine enlightenment which changed him forever". Brunton describes it in the following way:

I find myself outside the rim of world consciousness. The planet which has so far harboured me disappears. I am in the midst of an ocean of blazing light. The latter, I feel rather than think, is the primeval stuff out of which worlds are created, the first state of matter. It stretches away into untellable infinite space, incredibly alive. [1] (taken from Wikipedia)

What is amazing to me is that Paul didn't stay with the Maharishee. He had been given the ultimate experience. An experience I yearn for and yet he was still looking for more. I found myself losing interest in the rest of the book after he left the Maharishee. Mind you I haven't finished it and it may be that he ends his journey back with the Maharishee.

But in all of the interviews with the Yogis all are clear that the ultimate realization cannot be achieved without the guidance of a teacher, so my search continues..... I feel a bit cheated because it appears that all the authentic teachers are no longer alive.... It is a shame that I didn't know Paul Brunton when he was alive, particularly when he only died in 1981. It is interesting that he seems to have died a natural death. He never took himself away from conventional life to don robes and live half-way up a mountain. He took on the spiritual path without losing himself and as a result his writings have the same power and resonance today as they did when they were first published....

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Your destiny is in your spine.....Hamsa (Yogi)

The title of this blog entry is taken from a video I saw on You Tube after I had finished writing last night. I was restless after writing my blog and wondering for the umpteenth time what is it that lies dormant at the base of the spine. My inner voice which I call intuition was insistent that I go onto You Tube. I typed in the URL and then spirituality in the search box. Up came lots of videos from different spiritual people. I scrolled down and one seemed to practically scream out at me. It was a video on Kriya Yoga by a Yogi called Hamsa. I had never heard of this Yogi. I clicked on play and in a couple of seconds saw a well and healthy looking Yogi sitting on a cushion. The sound quality wasn't good in parts but I sat right up when he said 'your destiny is in your spine'. He smiled, looked around at his audience and said 'you don't want me to be more specific than that'. I immediately felt a shiver go up my spine and I knew without doubt what he meant. Our destiny is in our spine. There is a power at the base of the spine which makes each of us as human a Divine incarnation. In this way we are all a spark of the great energy of creation. This is the great secret which the body holds.

The Yogi didn't go on to say anything about this power. He talked about the dangers of materialism. He had a sense of humour which I found endearing and it confirmed my assertion that this is a path to play with and have fun. He was speaking about seeing a red Ferrari when he was walking around some streets in America. On the back window was the sticker 'She's red, she's hot and she's mine'. He laughed when he said this and he said that materialism was exactly like this, the gathering of things and then the declaration of them as me or mine. What is forgotten is the force that enabled the person to enjoy the Ferrari in the first place. The unmanifest which underlies everything in the manifested world. Taking on a spiritual path is always being aware of the unmanifest or that which is unseen in everything that is seen. Similar to the wave on the ocean, don't focus on the wave, look to merge with the ocean.

I can remember many years ago going to the cinema. At one point I felt an impulse to look around to see where the film was coming from. What I saw was one bright light but the result was to have a multitude of images on a screen. A multitude of images yet all coming from the one bright light. Something about this struck me as very important. I was young then and didn't understand what it was about the light and the images that struck me so forcibly. Now I understand that for me it was a demonstration of the one behind the many.

I was out walking today and I came across a newly opened Yoga shop not far from where I live. I walked in and went straight to the book section. My eyes fell upon a book by Paul Brunton. I have read a lot of the work of Paul Brunton. I find his common sense and sceptical attitude like a breath of fresh air. Like me he didn't have any time for parlour tricks such as clairvoyance or other psychic abilities. He sees them as distractions from the real spiritual path. I am very much with him on this. Occult or psychic gifts are possible on a spiritual path. They are possible because of an ability to manipulate matter. But they are also traps. It is interesting that in the end what convinced him of the reality of the spiritual path wasn't anything he read or heard but his own experience. This is the ultimate proof of the path.

I recognise that I am at a crossroads. I am walking this path very much alone. I'm not a part of any spiritual group. I don't have a guru or spiritual teacher. Yet I am aware that there are people who are more advanced on this path than me and perhaps it is time for me to find one with whom I resonate and who resonates with me. For this reason I found myself buying this book by Paul Brunton. It's called 'A Search In Secret India - The classical work on seeking a Guru. The spiritual arena like every arena has its fair share of fakes and charlatan's and a high degree of spiritual discernment is needed not to fall off the incredibly narrow ledge that is the spiritual path.

He says on page 13 'One heard much of certain so-called holy men who possessed repute of having acquired deep wisdom and strange powers; so one travelled through scorching days and sleepless nights to find them - only to find well-intentioned fools, scriptural slaves, venerable know-nothings, money-seeking conjurers, jugglers with a few tricks, and pious frauds'

I haven't read far into the book but I feel that when I come to the end I will know whether or not a search for a Guru is the next step on my path......

Friday, 18 April 2008

Making a stand as opposed to being self-righteous

I am like a dog with a bone these days pondering on how to get the balance right between being a stand and being self-righteous. I am a stand for everyone to commit to and have faith in the spiritual path. To be a stand for this is not expecting people to go against their true nature, it is to inspire others to know that the spiritual path is real and vibrant. The discovery of the spiritual is our purpose on this earth as a human. To pierce the human covering to experience the inner spiritual essence, to break free from the bonds of maya and human suffering to experience that which lies deep within.

As a human there is so much that is hidden from our view and thus our awareneness. To bring these blind spots into consciousness often requires something other than our own consciousness. I tend to use my friends when I'm struggling to see a way I am being that is hidden from my view. I have a cousin who I think of very highly and I emailed her with my dilemma about being a stand and how it can be seen as being self-righteous. What she sent me back was so powerful that I think it deserves for me to copy it to this blog.

She says : The ego is so subtle in not making itself known. The ego attaches itself to material things and we equate ourselves with this. So what I have is what I am, and the more I have the more I want. This is how the ego survives. When we give up the material and walk a spiritual path we have to be careful that the ego cannot attach itself to what we want to become. Our new identity. It must not be important how we look in the eyes of others. When we walk a spiritual path sometimes it becomes our identity.

The truth contained in these sentences at least how it applies to me is breathtaking. The ego is never truly vanquished it just gets more subtle and attaches itself to the spiritual when the material is given up. But in many ways a spiritual ego is more dangerous than the ego that is associated with materialism. At least the materialistic ego is upfront about wanting more'. The danger with the spiritual is that there is the illusion of the ego wanting spiritual liberation for everyone, but the truth is that it wants the spiritual power for oneself. It is so important to guard against this.

And yet this blog is the result of a couple of real events which resulted in energy rising from the base of my spine and which shifted the entire context for my life. The first happened in an ordinary everyday setting of work, the 2nd which was more profound happened over the course of a week long meditation retreat. I am clear that if I didn't have these experiences this blog would not be in existence. It is there to openly acknowledge a power that lies deep within all of us. How can I not be a stand for this path when I have direct experience of what committing to it will produce in time. Given the nature and power of these experiences and more importantly their lasting and transformative results for me not to be a stand would appear to the biggest insult I could give to the force which enabled it to be possible for me. To sell out on this because I am afraid of what others will think or I don't want to stand out is to be a coward in the extreme. I don't think I would have been given these experiences if I was such a coward. I know what I was before these experiences and I know what I am now and the difference is nothing short of being reborn but not in a religious sense but a spiritual sense......

Thursday, 17 April 2008

What lies within.......

The title for this blog entry is confirmation to myself for why I am writing this blog. What is this energy that lies deep within the body and which shifts everything when it rises. I remain convinced that it is the emergence of this energy which heralds the beginning in earnest of a spiritual path. This rising in energy shifts the consciousness from things external to things internal. At least this is the way it was for me. Before this experience which happened in the most ordinary of circumstances - a Saturday morning at work, I was studying Mahayana Buddhism. I was reading, studying, meditating but did not have any idea why I was doing it. All I knew was that there was a strong pull from it to me and I went with it. I was no different to all the other thousands of people who study some form of philosophical doctrine. While I was studying I was also concerned with external material things like my job, getting on well with friends and family; all of that was the same as everyone.

Then in the office on that Saturday morning, everything changed. In response to something a colleague said to me I experienced the most amazing rush of energy that seemed to surge up from deep within me. From my years of Buddhism I knew that there is nothing in the inner life to be afraid of so I connected completely with this experience without any fear. I was totally absorbed in what was happening. This marked that point where the consciousness shifts from the external to the internal. From that day on I no longer have the same interest in external things material things. My consciousness has shifted to the inner spiritual. But this took an event. A real event in time and place to shift the consciousness.

Why did it come about. I could say that it came about because of the many years I spent studying Buddhism, trying to live a life according to the 5 Buddhist precepts. I could say that it came about through the brain being at a certain level of development and being ready to shift. The truth is that I don't know. All I know is that the spiritual path which results in shifts in consciousness is real and as present today as it was in the days of the great sages and yogis. But materialism has made the stirrings of this path in the heart more difficult. This is why I believe that there is scepticism about this path in the world.

But I have direct experience of this energy and of what emerges when the rising of this energy shifts consciousness. It is this rising energy which has given me such an easy understanding of the 3 stages of the spiritual path that I speak about. I am clear that without the experience of this energy I would not have this. Without this experience I would not have the ease of understanding I have with any spiritual literature. It doesn't matter what book I pick up and read I understand naturally and intuitively what is being said. But who I am to have had this experience that has resulted in a love or life a harmony and balance that I never dreamed possible.

This is the purpose of my blog to demonstrate through all the ways I get it wrong that the spiritual path is kind and gentle. I can beat myself up and do on a regular basis for those times when I don't act from an enlightened state and yet the universe is always its kind and benevolent self. I can't stress strongly enough how much the spiritual path is a path for everyone not those who consider themselves to be born spiritual. I didn't consider myself to be born spiritual. Nobody identified me when I was a child as spiritual or saw anything different in me. In fact the opposite was the case I was thought to be difficult and determined (maybe the latter was the spiritual quality which wasn't picked up!). In my experience all this path needs to become alive and vibrant in everyone's lives is faith that the path with its fruits exists and some form of practice. Some practice it doesn't matter how small is necessary. It doesn't need to be hours of meditation.

My practice began when I was a teenager in a boarding school. Each morning we had mass which we were expected to attend. I always remember one priest coming to say mass who was young and trendy. What he said formed the basis for my practice now and still does. He said 'you boarders I bet every morning when you wake up you say 'good God it's morning, why don't you say 'good morning God'. There was something about this that resonated with me at the deepest level and I took it on. It is something that I say every morning. I am aware at how childlike this may sound especially as I am a grown up woman but the consciousness for living life from an enlightened state is the consciousness of the innocent. First thing in the morning, there is nothing. To remember this higher power and make that the first thing to come from nothing is extremely powerful. I don't know for sure but I am sure that the shifts of consciousness which have followed have had as their foundation those few simple words.

I remember reading in some book that when the beloved turns its face towards you, you will turn your face to the beloved. For me this rising of energy represents for me my voluntary turning towards the beloved. I'm still in a dilemma as to whether this turning is a function of the brain or if there is something more. The lack of any kind of visions of spiritual deities or passed on sages or masters leads me to trust in some kind of brain development but I honestly don't know. All I know for certain is that if there is a deep willingness to develop spiritually and self-discipline which doesn't have to mean severe austerities. I never put myself through any kind of severe austerities, although one could argue that the difficulty with which I find it to meditate could be defined as a strict austerity. For me what seemed to be more important was the faith that the state which has been written about through the ages does exist and to treat the path as a game. This is by far the most important. Being significant about it only gets one stuck.

I treated the spiritual path as a game in that I didn't know that there was anything real in it but after the experience of this rising energy I became focussed in a way I never thought. My quest now is to understand what is this energy that lies deep within us and more importantly what is the access to it so that it rises safely and naturally. It is the rising of energy that will herald our entry into the next kingdom - the kingdom of the Soul. The rising of energy shifts the consciousness from things of matter to things of the Soul..........

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Self realization or ego arrogance........

I haven't written a blog entry for a few days now. This is because at the weekend I assisted on one of the programmes run by Landmark. In my last entry I wrote about the dangers involved in having a couple of profound experiences and from them making the leap that this means I know everything. That I have all the answers and everyone in the world should listen and do as I recommend. I was in danger of losing a good friendship with my insistence that a friend should do the weekend Landmark Forum that it was the quickest way of realizing the 'thyself' - one of the three stages of spiritual realization. What I see now is that realizing 'myself' has to take into consideration ego arrogance. Realizing 'myself' naturally results in a desire to share so that others can be touched moved and inspired to realize 'themselves' but the danger is that it can result in thinking that I know better than everyone else. This development is so subtle and can operate under the guise of wanting it for everyone, but in truth wanting it for me so that I can be right about how powerful it is.

I broke down at the weekend because I live away from my family and I took a phone call about a family matter which didn't go well and as a result I was upset. I decided to speak to one of the women who was leading the weekend at a quiet moment. I explained how I always seemed to say the wrong thing to members of my family. I was amazed when she said to me something similar to what I had written about in my last blog entry. She said 'you're pissing everyone off with your self-righteousness'. I was shocked to my core but I will always consider what is said to me through others because to me it is the universe communicating with me through another. I will always know if it applies to me because it will resonate. I was shocked and I looked at her quite confused, she smiled and said 'you know exactly what I mean'. And when I take an honest look at how I have been being with my friends and family, it has been self righteous.

This journey of transformation is not easy. It demands honesty by not pretending to be something I'm not. What is important in this constant monitoring is not to make myself wrong. It is a way of being I had that was hidden from my view. Now that it has been shown to me I have the choice as to whether or not to keep it or give it up. In that choice is power. It is a choice and I am not reacting to something that was said. I am choosing powerfully to give up a certain way of being. It is not who I am it is just a way of being that I created to serve a purpose.

Today I asked a work colleague whether she considered me to be self-righteous. I created as safe an environment as I could by saying that she could say anything and I would be perfectly OK with it. I could tell by how uncomfortable she got that there was a good chance I wouldn't like what she had to say. She began hesitantly ' do tend to think that you are right'. This got me thinking; I am a stand for everyone having a life which is free, powerful and happy, that is my stand and it is non negotiable. It is the purpose of this blog. What I am now struggling with is whether to have the integrity necessary to realise that stand I am required to be self-righteous. This is something that I will have to sit with......

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Restless after writing the blog today......

It's the early hours of Friday morning but I will post this for Thursday's entry. I found myself so restless at work today. I throw myself into writing the blog and while writing I feel vital and alive. I then go into work and have to struggle through, as is the case today writing the minutes from a meeting on Small Craft!...this is a zillion miles away from where my interest lies. I don't have a boat, I don't know one end of a boat from the other and yet I have to write a report from a meeting where all the members spoke about were the requirements for different parts of a me a new definition and experience of agony.

I wrote very honestly in my blog yesterday and reading back on the entry the enormity of where I am at the moment both personally and spiritually really hit home. I feel like I am at the edge of some precipice. Where there was certainty about what the spiritual path was and its stages, now there is uncertainty as I consider the spiritual path in terms of the simple release of frozen energy. The brain doesn't like uncertainty and my brain is no different. But I know that it is only in uncertainty that the brain is alert and alive. It is similar to the beginner's mind in that in this mind there is no certainty yet there is no fear either. Beginner's mind is a mind that is open and receptive. The uncertainty linked with fear comes in when the evaluative mind with its way of setting one thing against the other comes in. Then there is the uncertainty of not knowing whether we are right and more importantly not wanting to be wrong. This is one of the deepest drivers of us as humans our need to be right at all costs. Uncertainty does not give this reassurance and the brain strives for certainty. This might be why well established theories and doctrines are fallen back on. This reliance on tried and tested methods as a guarantee reduces uncertainty but it also reduces growth and expansion of spiritual consciousness.

To learn to be OK with uncertainty, to give up control to trust in a benevolent force which has our best interests at heart is to commit to the spiritual path. Because there is no container for a spiritual path in the same way there is for a religious path uncertainty is inevitable. There have been many times when uncertainty and confusion is all I have known. Yet now I am so grateful for that depth of uncertainty and confusion because it is in direct proportion to the way life flows and is in harmony today in spite of me feeling I'm at the edge of some precipice. What is most amazing is that I don't feel any stress. I am noticing this more and more especially at work. When I surrender to the uncertainty and don't fool myself that I am in control then life can be as it is meant to be without interference from me. These days I don't force anything.

To some reading this it might seem like a very passive reactive way to live life but I spent years deluding myself that I was in control. I wasn't in control of my birth and I won't be of my death (unless I suddenly manifest a different level of consciousness like some Yogi's did, but I'm not holding my breath for this), so why should I think that I have control over any other aspect of my life. The best compliment I can give is to surrender my control and embrace uncertainty with the faith and trust that life is then free to unfold its magic. I made this decision in 1997 in response to an experience over which I had no control. As the event unfolded I surrendered my control to a higher power, I don't want to label it God because that label has been made to mean different things to many people. I call it simply a higher power. Now whether that higher power is my own consciousness or not, I don't know.

I have never had a visitation from a past Guru or any visits from spirit guides in short no contact from the metaphysical realm which mediums and people like this assure us exists so I can't honestly write about whether or not this realm exists. I write from my own experience and observation, this is the only thing for me that is spiritually honest.

I met up with a good friend last night. I was nervous because when I was recovering from the operation on my foot she came and stayed with me and looked after me. I am a stand for everyone being as free, powerful and self-expressed as they can be. I don't want anyone having any limitations from the past which are stopping them from living the life of a transformed human being. She had come to a couple of Landmark introduction evenings but felt that it wasn't for her. As a thank you I bought her .the Forum weekend. I meant well but what I have learned is that I thought I knew what was best for her and this was not the correct thing to have done. Yes we can be well meaning and intentioned but no two of us have the same DNA therefore no two of us is going to have exactly the same path. From my experience of what is necessary to live a free and powerful life the tools that Landmark provides gives this most powerfully. It is these tools I wanted her to have.

Last night I saw that giving her no choice wasn't right and so I was straight and said that she should only do what feels right for her and not to worry about the money because I could transfer it to another course or get it back. It felt good to be straight and honest and as a result there was none of the tension that had been there over the last couple of weeks as she spent time contacting the office trying to book dates and then having to cancel for one reason or another. For me, it doesn't matter. The intention was good and that's all that matters.

My point in writing about this is to show how easy it is for me to have a couple of experiences and realizations and then think that I know what is best for everyone. I don't. I have some insights and ideas that I am free to write about as I do here. But I should have no expectation or desire that anything of what I write will or should be taken up by others. Expectation kills further progression. I should have known this but the human aspect with an ego that is never truly vanquished appears more subtle the further along the path one goes. This is why extreme vigilance over what I am thinking, saying, writing anything has to be to the forefront of my consciousness.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Childlike not childish........

The words for the title of this blog entry came to me in the early hours of the morning. They seemed important and my urgent inner voice gave me no rest until I got up. What is the distinction between childlike and childish. For me, childlike is the free flowing expression of energy, there is a wide-eyed wonder at the world. In a childlike state there is a fascination and an absorption with everything. In the childlike state language has no place. This is significant because it is language that gives us our world. Where I work there is a committee that deals with nanotechnologies. If this word hadn't come into being there would be no world around it. The word has created around it a whole range of ideas and innovation. Take away the word and the world of nanotechnology wouldn't exist. This can be applied to almost everything and is how our world evolves.

Childish on the other hand is to do with immediate ego gratification. Indulging the ego will never lead to the profound shift of consciousness that characterises living from an enlightened state. First the ego has to be disciplined and then transcended. However the ego is never truly vanquished nor should it be because it forms the boundary between fantasy and reality and is necessary for functioning in the world. Ego transcension does not mean the end of the ego, it is a shift from the ego working for the mind to the ego working for the soul. It occurs when grace enables the consciousness to shift. This comes after a time of working on ourselves and developing integrity.

I want to make it clear that by integrity I don't mean right and wrong. Integrity for me is simply about whether or not something will work. On a purely human front I am being challenged at the moment by having feelings for a married man. I knew this man before he was married. I have written about the possibility that I may be on the extremely mild side of Asperger's syndrome. One of the symptoms of this syndrome which is a mild form of autism is a difficulty with intimacy. This is something I have struggled with all of my life. I was 35 before I understood what it meant when someone said they 'fancied' someone. I had no concept of what that was like. I had boyfriends but none before the age of 35 meant anything. As a result my longest relationship to date has been 3 months. This never bothered me because I was far more content pursuing Buddhism and spending my time thinking high and lofty thoughts! However, the cost of this was to result in delayed emotional development which I recognise now.

To return to this married man. I knew him before he got married. He was one of those boyfriends before the age of 35 for whom I felt nothing but went through the motions of a relationship because I thought that was what I should be doing. It ended after a couple of months and he went off and got married. He called me to tell me that he was getting married, and I congratulated him without any feelings of 'that might have been me'. He called me when his son was born. I congratulated him without any feelings of 'that might have been me'. Then there was a couple of years of a gap when I never heard from him. One evening I was in at home and he called distraught. He had had an affair and it hadn't worked out and he wanted me to help him! I thought to myself 'this is God's idea of a joke. Me who hasn't been able to hold down a relationship for more than 3 months and he wants my help! I tried to put him off by suggesting a psychiatrist but he was adamant. He came over for a couple of weeks but when I saw him again I felt nothing but what I had felt towards him in the past. I didn't know that there was any other way to feel.

He left and returned to his wife. But he kept in touch and gradually we became good friends. In 2004 I received what I can only call a spiritual shock. I had had a profound experience while on a meditation retreat in Southern England. As a result and unknown to me my ego had inflated and I had cut myself off from the world reading books and building up this image of me as special. All of that came crashing down when a possible reason for this experience was given to me most harshly by someone who had a doctorate in philosophy. As a result my spiritual world came crashing down. It was shortly after that that I went on the Landmark Forum weekend. What I saw so clearly was that I was using the spiritual path to cover up emotional pain from my childhood that I hadn't wanted to see. The spiritual path cannot be used like a plaster to cover up emotional pain. It can for a while but there comes a point when there can be nothing false or dishonest about one's reasons for why this path is being pursued. On this weekend I saw that I grabbed onto the idea of Buddhism because it doesn't concern itself with the past. My focus was on the future and enlightenment. I didn't want to go back into my past. What I saw on that weekend was that my refusal to accept my past was blocking any further spiritual progress. This is why my ego inflated bubble had burst. I also thought that the spiritual bubble had burst because I had come as far as I could for this lifetime.

After the weekend I found I had a love and joy of life that I hadn't had for a long time. This married man and I continued to be friends. He called me one evening and told me that his friend had spoken to him about Landmark Education and had I heard of it. This was amazing. Even more amazing was that he ended up doing the weekend with the same seminar leader so we had even more in common. We met a couple of times but from my side there was no attraction, again I didn't know what this energy was.

Then November 2007 I was in the middle of the relationship seminar and I created the possibility of enjoyable intimacy without any physical or emotional pain. This married man called out of the blue and was going to be in London and asked if he could visit. I agreed. The minute I saw him I felt something that I had in truth never felt in my life before. I had felt a glimpse of it when I was 35 but nothing in the intervening 9 years. It was the ease and grace and lightness that I had with him. In the past we would argue but suddenly there was no need to argue, there didn't seem to be any issues. What was this? I was so amazed and I know that he was too. I've known this guy for almost 16 years how is this possible. What I have seen is that I am at least 20 years emotionally delayed. Is this the result of being wholly committed to the spiritual path which I have been since I was 9 on and off. Or is it the result of being willing to accept and free up all of the trapped energy there was around my past. By accepting and forgiving what happened energy was available for me to understand the energy that ties people in relationship. It is this energy that marks the difference between a friend and a lover.

So now my dilemma, he is still married, unhappily he tells me. As I have known him for so long and have never found him out in a lie I believe him. However me becoming involved with him has no integrity. This is not saying that it's wrong. But it has no integrity in the light of his already existing agreement, i,e his marriage. This is the toughest test for me to have such strong feelings and not give into them by having an affair. What is quite amazing since I finally discovered what it is to fancy someone is that out of the blue his wife asked him for a divorce. It's like finally the timing is right. He had to hang around in the background until the time was right. Asking for a divorce and it actually happening are worlds away, I know that. I also know that this test that I am going through at the moment is a spiritual test for me. Will I give into my ego desire or will I maintain my integrity. My resolve is to maintain my integrity. It is integrity that gives a life that works and is at the source of all power.....

Sunday, 6 April 2008

The glimpse before Enlightenment....

I spent much of yesterday listening to an audio tape of a lecture given by the Swiss mystic and psychiatrist Manuel Schoch. He referred to something he called 'the glimpse before enlightenment'. This got me thinking and I remembered that I had referred to a glimpse in my blog on Friday. This glimpse provides the realization which enables the consciousness to shift from conventional to enlightened. This glimpse comes when the consciousness realizes that there is nothing to do and nowhere to go to achieve is right here, right now.

With this realization all of the energy that has been frozen is released. The frozen energy is not there because of spiritual study, it is there because of the picture and expectation we have about the way enlightenment should be and what we need to do to achieve it. Whenever we have an expectation that something or someone should be a certain way we freeze energy around that person and situation. Frozen energy cannot flow and it is flow that is most important in shifting consciousness on the spiritual path. I think this is what the Buddha meant when he said 'hold fast to nothing'. I think he was referring to the danger of freezing energy by being adamant about the way life should be.

It is the freeing of this frozen energy got from the glimpse of the naturalness of our pristine state that enables the shift to enlightenment. When all of the frozen energy is freed the end result is love. Enlightenment is nothing other than the direct experience of love. Love is the celebration of all energy being freed. So another name for enlightenment is love. This is why love is the ultimate of everything. So if the spiritual path is seen in terms of freeing up frozen energy then it makes it a path that is accessible to everyone and separates it from religion.

I'm not saying that reading and studying and being discerning and patient is not necessary to shift consciousness. It is important in the early stages to build inner discipline and effort. But at a certain point which is brought about by grace there is the dawning that enlightenment is not something 'over there', it's not a huge expanse of water which we need to cross to get to some other side. It's right here. The relief which accompanies this insight is the glimpse before enlightenment.

I have described the 3 stages of the spiritual path as I have experienced. Each stage is aimed with freeing up frozen energy. In the first stage of knowing thyself - every time we see an area of life where we are being dishonest or pretending to be authentic but we're not, take responsibility for it and create a new way of being, frozen energy can flow. I have spoken throughout this blog of the training I have done with Landmark Education ( and it is from this that I have been given the tools for freeing up all of the energy which I had frozen by my determination to hang on to being right, even when deep down I knew I was wrong. Every time we do not act or speak with integrity we freeze energy.

When we were babies the energy flowed so naturally. Gradually as things happened to us and we made decisions and created expectations about what each event meant we froze energy. This is the cost of our human tendancy to try to make sense of the things that happen to us in life. The impact of this is that the minute we decide what a certain event means energy is frozen and can no longer flow around that event. The first step on the spiritual path is to free this frozen or trapped energy. It has be freed from ourselves first before we can catch a glimpse of the Self-realized state or the highest God-realized state. None of this is possible while there is trapped energy. Landmark Education is particularly powerful because it gives an access to the energy that is trapped deep in the sub-conscious.

Once the frozen energy has been freed from the first stage the time it takes to experience the remaining 2 stages tends to be rapid because most of the frozen energy is contained in the 1st stage that of realizing the Non-Self. Realizing the non-self is nothing more than freeing the frozen energy that is trapped around identifying the thoughts and feelings we have as ourselves and becoming focussed and dominated by thoughts and feelings instead of allowing them to flow as products from the mind. We don't freeze what we see from the eyes, there is a free flowingness about what we see from the eyes and as a result energy is not frozen. This is not so when it comes to the products from the mind. Buddhists see the mind as an extra sense organ which has as its objects thoughts and their products. Seen like this it is possible to have detachment around thoughts and feelings and as a result to allow the energy to flow.....

Friday, 4 April 2008

Stillness is the result of no resistance.....

It was a beautiful morning in London today so I donned my trainers and set off walking through the park to work. I had forgotten the simple pleasure that this has always given to me. It is where I find my deepest connection and closeness to that energy which is difficult to name. Amidst the beauty of nature my consciousness expands as to become one with the flowers on the cherry blossom tree. There is no separation between me and those flowers, I am those flowers. This glimpse that I get treated to most strongly when I am out and about in nature is so precious to me. With this connection there is no evaluating or describing, there is just stillness and complete absorption. There is total receptivity to what I see, total receptivity is no resistance and no resistance is stillness.

How does resistance prevent stillness? Resistance to accepting things the way they are and the way they aren't creates a movement of energy. Moving energy prevents stillness. Accepting something the way it is and the way it is not does not mean that one has to agree/like/welcome whatever is being resisted it is just an acceptance to halt the flow of energy. Acceptance also frees up any blocked energy so that it becomes available to shift consciousness. This is why all of the major religions and philosophies have emphasised the importance and power of forgiveness. To forgive means to no longer have any resistance to the event or person against whom there was a resistance to acceptance. Forgiveness if it is seen purely as a tool for freeing up trapped energy so that more becomes available is a powerful reason for us to forgive. Resistance hurts no-one only the person who is hanging onto it. The cost of not giving up resistance is a loss of stillness.....which for me is too big of a price to pay.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

The shift of consciousness......

I have been thinking over the past few days about what might happen when the consciousness shifts. Shifts in states of consciousness are like ascending the rungs of a ladder. At each level it is possible to see everything below it and a little above. An event or insight shifts the consciousness another rung up the ladder of consciousness so that the little that was seen above is now expanded while what could be seen from the lower rungs of the ladder is not lost.

I have long considered myself to be a right brained person. In the 1960s the notion of right and left brain was a popular concept. The left side of the brain was deemed to have different qualities and characteristics to the right. The left had to do with sequential learning and the right with wholistic learning. So someone who is left brained might identify all the parts of something and then put them together to produce a whole. The right brained person on the other hand tends to see the whole picture and then work backwards to identify each piece. When I look back at my spiritual journey which started when I was 11, I definitely believed that I saw the bigger picture. This bigger picture for me was a conviction that there is something bigger than me. This was my starting point or end point whichever way you want to look at it. From this conviction I worked backwards to identify how can I make this conviction an experience.

This morning I had an insight that a shift of consciousness is simply a shift of attention from the left to the right brain. Applying the theory from the paragraph above, this could be a shift from seeing things in a piecemeal fashion to seeing the entire picture. Such a shift would be profound enough to result in someone taking themselves away from the world in order to deepen this state through meditation and contemplation. But what if this is not necessary. What about if the shift in consciousness so that the consciousness now rests in the right brain is enough for the consciousness to deepen and expand of its own will and nature. That removing the physical form to put effort into expanding this state is a waste of time because the consciousness is now where it needs to be to experience the qualities of bliss, peace, harmony, connection. There is no effort needed because this is a natural state.

If I am predominantly right brained and have been since a child this might account for the strong sense of a Presence that I have felt since a child. Not all the time because there have been periods where I have felt very much alone and this Presence has seemed far away. But as I get older I feel the consciousness in my right brain deepening and expanding without any effort on my part. It is what is giving me the intuitions and insights that I receive on a regular basis. I don't know if this explanation is correct but it feels right to me. It gives me a reason for why I can experience periods of intense rapture and an incredible closeness to something without feeling the need to take myself half-way up a mountain to meditate. I have grown up with this state of unity and connection; it is a natural way of being for me. I don't need to force it. Perhaps this is why I find meditation so difficult, it is because I am forcing an already natural state.

I'm not making any assumptions about what I have written. And what I have written doesn't take away from the deep gratitude I feel and express to the universe at the beginning of each day and at the end of each evening for this blessed state........

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Meditation doesn't get any easier.......

I went to the Modern Meditation evening yesterday and came away more agitated than when I arrived. The session was for and a half and for an hour we meditated. It's been a long time since I meditated for this period of time and my inner voice was begging for some talk to fill the silence, but no talk came. At the meditations which Manuel takes he speaks about consciousness and the brain and what is happening when we meditate and I expected last night to be run along similar lines. It wasn't.

At one point during the meditation I was gripped by a fear, but fear of what? I knew that there was nothing to be afraid of yet this icy hand of fear was real. I couldn't stay with the fear and immediately moved my body to create a distraction. When the meditation was up and we were asked if anyone had any questions or observations, I launched into an aggressive attack about how the meditation didn't work because it was so long without any talk. I spoke about the fear I felt but glossed over it stating how I could have done what I was doing there at home. But while these words were coming out of my mouth there was another part of me saying 'but you know that you wouldn't meditate for an hour at home'. I quickly pushed this thought away and resumed my rant.

The person taking the evening was remarkably calm and started to speak about the content of thoughts not being important. What is important to be aware of the space between and around the thoughts. I suddenly had an insight that space is stillness because stillness has no movement and there is no movement in space therefore space is stillness. This is why every time we become aware of space we also enter into stillness because one is a quality of the other. I was amazed at this insight because I had never thought of it like this before. This is what I came to this evening to get suggestions that trigger my insights, not to sit for an hour discovering yet again how bad I am at meditation.....

But why do I find it so difficult. Another woman who was there also found it difficult and voiced her concerns. The leader turned it back and said that the way we approach meditation and our expectations around meditation are often a mirror for the way we are in life. If the context for how we live life is that it's difficult and a struggle then the experience of meditation is likely to be the same. I'm still mullling this one over.....

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The transition from effort to grace.....

Yesterday was my first day back at work following a 5 week absence recovering from the operation on my other foot. I work with the best people who did such a lot to cover my workload and I am so grateful to them. However the shock of being back in a structured routine left me too exhausted to write my blog yesterday. This was a good test for me because when I was writing it last time I put pressure on myself to write it every day, now I will write when I feel I have something interesting which people might like to read.

I was also watching a documentary on meditation last night. The presenter is a scientist and she was looking for evidence of changes in the brain structure which are directly related to meditation. To her surprise she found that there was more activity in the part of the brain called the cortex in meditators than in non-meditators. She was told that regular meditation can improve relaxation and mood and that it is a technique which can benefit everyone. These well known results for meditation are well known but recently with the introduction of MRI and PET scanners the claimed for benefits of meditation on the brain are beginning to be validated.

Meditation is where we become aware of our thoughts and feelings and gradually realize that they are not who we are. This process activates the cortex or the conscious centre of the brain. The more conscious we become i.e. the more activity there is in the cortex (specifically the frontal cortex) the more likely is the shift of consciousness necessary for spiritual awakening. Spiritual awakening marks the transition from effort to grace.

In my case it was marked by an event whereby my consciousness shifted from things external to what is within, or as the title of this blog says 'what lies within'. Up to this point it is effort that characterizes the path. Reading, studying, practicing, reasoning, discerning. All of this is effort and is important for spiritual awakening. It is necessary to prepare the body and mind. The shift from effort to grace in an unprepared body and mind can and often does overwhelm. This is why I do not recommend accelerated methods to quicken this transition from effort to grace.

This evening I am going to go to a Modern Meditation evening. The aim is to develop the work of the Swiss mystic psychiatrist Manuel Schoch. I have written about the work that Manuel does in blog entries in the past. He has developed the idea of Modern Meditation whereby you try to re-train the brain not to look at form but to look at the space around form. Manuel asserts that a shift of consciousness is not possible while the brain is focussing on form. The electromagnetic field of aura of a person is seen in the space around the person. For this reason he recommends when meditating to focus on the space where one breath ends and another begins. It is by creating an awareness of space and putting our attention at that point of stillness that the consciousness can shift.

I have attended many of Manuel's talks and consciousness training and for me what he says makes sense. It resonates and doesn't jar with my own experiences, this is why I will be going to this meditation group this evening.......I shall write again anon...