Wednesday, 31 December 2008

At the twilight of another year.....

I get pensive and reflective on this day every year. I remember once reading a sentence that talked about 'the skirts of the departing year'. I just love that metaphor. I think it was an essay written by Charles Lamb that I had to study for my leaving certificate in Ireland. I have strong nostalgia for the year that is about to end. It has become familiar and like a dear friend I am always sad to see it going. I imagine the beginning of a new year as being at the top of a snow capped mountain, pristine and white. As the months progress my footprints are going to imprint on the snow. The vision is both exciting and scary which is why I hang so tightly onto the last night of every New Years Eve.

Each New Years Eve I take out my diary and go through every month reliving events and what I felt and learned from them. As I go through my diary I have huge gratitude for everything that I have created by requesting it from the universe, I acknowledge it and then lovingly let it go. This year I have moved so far in my spiritual development. I think that this has also come through in the blog. I promised that this blog would be a record of my spiritual development and transformation and I think that I remain pretty true to its purpose. This is only how it occurs for me however, I do not assert it to be the truth.

What has without any doubt been the highlight of this year has been the publishing of my book and giving up of control and the effects that this has had on not only on my spiritual development but also on my personal communication with people. I am also amazed at how long I am able to meditate now since I gave up this need to control. In the past my need to control what happened when I sat down to meditate meant that my meditations were shallow and short. This need for control showed itself in a bombardment of thoughts, where before I sat down to meditate my mind was generally thought-free. This thought bombardment would be so intense that I would give up meditating after a short period of time and give myself a hard time about how useless I was because I couldn't meditate for any decent length of time.

Since giving up control there is a depth and length to my meditations that is new. In my hour long meditation today I had a vision of Manuel Schoch the Swiss mystic who died suddenly in October this year. This is the first time that anything like this has happened. In the past if someone had said to me that something or someone had appeared to them in meditation I would have been deeply suspicious and so I am with myself. But his face and his words were clear. He reminded me of one consciousness raising training I had been on with him where he had shown how to leave the body in meditation. He reminded me again of how to do this. I did this and immediately felt a strong current of energy that seemed to encircle me. I felt a deepening calm and relaxation. All through this experience I could hear Manuel giving instructions in his gentle soft Swiss accent.

At the end of the meditation I felt so relaxed and connected. Even the thought of all the packing up and organising that I have to do to move to Brighton to do this journalism course didn't cause any stress. I firmly believe that when something feels right that opportunities come easily and without much effort. I was in the gym yesterday morning and was explaining about my plans to a woman and it turns out that her and her boyfriend are looking for a flat to rent. I said that mine would be available from February and gave her my number to call me if she was interested. I got a text later from her confirming that they were interested and would be in touch to arrange to come to view it. When I got this I berrated myself for my loss of faith and letting go the conviction I have of the results that come when I put myself at risk whether this is for a career or when I make myself vulnerable. Life expands or contracts to the same degree as the courage shown. This has been my experience to date. When I play it safe, don't put myself at risk, and limit myself to what I can control, my life is extremely small and limited. When I put myself at risk then experiences and opportunities open up that would not have been possible before.

But having said this I am still apprehensive as I get to the end of this year. It would be inauthentic of me to pretend that I wasn't. Then I think of how well everything has flowed even when I have been in a job that I haven't liked or felt I had any integrity doing. This begs the question of how much greater willl life be when I am in integrity and doing what I love to do which is speaking to people about spiritual awakening and the powerful transformative energy that rests at the base of the spine. By me being true to myself I can inspire others to also be true to themselves and take that leap of faith and courage to do that which their heart is begging them to. I know the price of selling out and no matter what this next year brings at least I won't be selling out'

A very happy New Year to all readers of this blog. Thank you for your support and encouragement and I look forward to a 2009 where I am consistent in writing about my own spiritual journey and through it give inspiration for others to become aware of their own.....

Sunday, 28 December 2008

'Who looks outside...Dreams; who looks inside....Awakens.. CARL JUNG

The title of this blog is taken from a plaque I received as a Christmas present this year from a very good friend. When I unwrapped it and read it I felt a shiver go down my spine as the truth of the words resonated. Since receiving it and over the Christmas holiday I have been pondering on what it means to 'Awaken'. The Buddha said something similar when asked 'who are you' said 'I am Awake' . To be Awake means to have broken free of the bonds of what Buddhists call Maya. This is the world of illusion and delusion. To see reality as it really is not as it appears to be. To realize the unity behind the perceived separation. It really is as clear as Jung said all those years ago, to look outside is never to find the treasure that lies within. To look externally for what can only be found inside is the trap that the human consciousness falls into. Awakening is an inner process. External factors can aid in this process but the ultimate Awakening is an awakening of an inner consciousness that shifts the perception of the world and brings alive, insights, intuition and illumination.

To be Awake means to realize that our thoughts and feelings are not who we are. It means to experience an aspect that has nothing to do with thoughts and feelings. Something that remains constant when thoughts and feelings change, something that remains stable and constant when everything else is shifting and changing. To be Awake is to be in contact with this Something. To stand apart from the drama not because of being detached but because of the realization that it is not real although it can appear to be very real. To be Awake is to be in contact with a higher level of consciousness such that life flows and has a harmony and balance that it didn't have before Awakening. Yet, life continues after Awakening as before, the difference is in the quality of that life and how events in the life are dealt with. A Zen sentence to describe this goes 'before Awakening, chop wood, carry water; after Awakening....chop wood and carry water'. Same actions but the context within which the actions are done has shifted.

I have written in this blog the huge insight I had into how badly I had to control everything in my life. The result of this was that there was no freedom and ease. This realization of having to control everything was not given to me by reading some spiritual literature but by having a painful conversation with a coach I had been doing some training with. By hitting the wall which is what happened I got to see the impact that my controlling way of being was having and I gave it up and created the possibility of freedom. The results have been simply amazing. I had my book published which I had written for 2 years. All of my communications started to flow with an ease and grace I have never known. This Christmas with my family was the best one I have ever had.

My level of relaxation and ability to listen and be with everyone I spoke to was nothing short of magical. I am convinced that the ability to operate from an Awakened state of being is closely linked to the letting go of control. To accept what is and surrender to it. The funny thing is that I have often written about the importance of surrendering when on the spiritual path. I was writing about my own experience of surrendering when on a meditation retreat many years ago so I was authentic when I was writing about the importance of surrendering. But I realise now that after surrendering so powerfully back then I went right back to trying to control everything in my life and my environment. This is because the reason why I had put in place the need to control was hidden from my view. Until it became shown to my consciousness it had power over me.

Now so many years later I understand the full meaning and impact of control. I also see that nobody made me take that decision that I had to control life, it was only me. I would assert that this decision to control life is something most of us as humans have made. At some point our environment failed us in that it didn't do what we expected it to do. In the face of that failure it is natural to say 'I will control things from now on'. So then the child might like me become very bossy and domineering - always having to have their own way. Or it might show itself in other ways but I would assert that being bossy is a classic. I had to smile this Christmas when I heard my 4 year old being quite assertive and bossy. At 4 it is cute but 40 years later it can result in a very small and limited life. However for many it is what drives them to achieve and can be a highly successful and lucrative strategy, however it wasn't for me.

I also found myself more self-expressed at home this Christmas. I had copies of my book home with me and for the first time I declared myself to be a spiritual writer and teacher. I was so encouraged by all the support I had and I noticed that my cousins and family had a different listening for me. I was self-expressed because for the first time I was honest and authentic. There was no pretence of me trying to say the right thing to look good or to show myself as something I wasn't. I was upfront about my desire to have a spiritual magazine based on the contents of the book so now it all feels much more real.

I realize from this just how true what Socrates said 'to thine own self be true, then they canst not be false to any man'......this Christmas I had direct experience of this truism.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

It's almost the end of another year....

I know that I haven't written this blog for a while and I am also aware of the impact on those readers who are loyal to it. I could say that I've been really busy with getting ready to visit my family in Ireland tomorrow for Christmas, but that is not the Truth. The truth is that I've been lazy. It's been late at night when I get in home these days and I've wanted to go to the gym early in the morning so something has had to give and unfortunately it has been regular writing of this blog. The impact on me is that the longer I leave it the harder it is to sit down and write it. The impact on the reader is frustration with my inconsistency. What I will promise going forward is to write the blog 3 times each week and I will put this in a structure of setting a reminder on my phone when it is time to write the blog. I have learned that if I don't give a promise a structure and have some way of keeping it in existence it doesn't happen.

The space I have been in since I gave in my resignation at work has just been amazing. Everything is flowing and has an ease that is nothing short of miraculous. Yesterday for example, I went to the gym, went to get some theatre tickets for my sister-in-law and 2 nieces who are over in London for the weekend, did my 3 hour communication agreement, met with my sister-in-law and neices for a cofee and then went to a friends dinner party. All of this happened with such freedom and ease. I wasn't late for anything. What was even more amazing was that I didn't feel any stress with any of it. Even giving up my job hasn't resulted in any stress or regret. I have moments where the enormity of what I have done in the current climate grips me but then in the next moment I will have another thought about what is going to be possible and also how authentic I now feel.

On Thursday morning of this week when I woke up I felt an inner urge to walk to the park to work instead of getting the bus or the tube. It was a lovely morning and as I set off I felt such deep contentment. Somehow everything seems so much sharper, clearer. I felt my consciousness expand to become one with the trees and the leaves and I realized with complete faith and conviction the connection between everything and everyone. I felt this incredible lightness of being. I had forgotten the peace and inner joy that is present when walking in nature and connecting with that which is bigger than me.

I am also finding that since I gave in my notice that I am much more self-expressed especially in the area of meditation and spiritual development. I am moving myself into the role of meditation and spiritual counsellor and there is no doubt. In the past there were doubts about my own ability to be a spiritual counsellor, doubts about how to give people a direct experience of what consciously taking on the spiritual path can produce, doubts about my own worthiness to assume such a role. All of this has gone and in its place is unwavering faith in the path and the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others. I am so grateful for the distinctions that I have learned from a new model of communication. My faith and commitment together with these tools will be what will create this new direction for me. What has also made a massive difference is my letting go of control. However I am aware that I still have huge emotional control which is my next challenge. My unwillingness to let go of emotional control has cost me dearly in relationships. I am only getting the impact of this now. My reluctance to let it go is that I consider that it has served me well in the past. It has enabled me to pursue relentlessly the spiritual path. When the Buddha said that experiencing the state of enlightenment was possible in one lifetime there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was going to get it. I had no idea what it looked like, but there was a grip on my consciousness for this aspiration that has been lasting and permanent.

In order to do this I had to be single minded, nothing could get in the way. I have spoken about how I took on controlling everything in the same way as I controlled my spiritual efforts. I also though took on emotional control in that I wouldn't allow anything to throw me off track emotionally. This has led to me feeling quite cut off from people and alone. I have spoken about the difference between realizing the connection between everything and being related. I am clear about the former and I struggle with the latter because of the constant tension I experience between the strength of my emotional control and my desire for closeness and to form a loving and intimate relationship. The two are incompatible I understand that but there is still an unwillingness to let go of the emotional control. But it is costing me. It is costing me with the guy from the gym and has done with other relationships. The cost to me is that with such emotional control that my relationships don't last very long. This was another reason I entertained a thought of myself as having a mild form of autism. What I see clearly is that it is the strength of my emotional control that is preventing me from being vulnerable and open instead of defensive and aggressive. And what is keeping that emotional control in place is the same as what was keeping my other control behaviour in place and that is fear. I disappeared the fear once I can do it again. All that is necessary for me to do is to be willing to be in the enquiry and be committed to having a breakthrough. I have to let go of the idea that letting go of emotional control will be detrimental to the spiritual journey. My fear is that if I let go of emotional control that I won't be as committed to the spiritual journey but this is ridiculous.

On an intellectual level I know this but knowing something on an intellectual level and realizing it such that it disappears forever is a different thing. I haven't realized it and therefore it still has power over me. I don't know what it is going to take to transform this but I am committed to transforming it. That transformation can only happen in communication by me sharing myself with others and putting myself at risk for what is possible. Even as I write this I can feel the resistance and thoughts coming up like 'they are going to think that I'm weird, I can't do that' but I know that everytime I feel that resistance and push through it and share myself honestly, that something new is possible. However, it's all too easy though not to go there and just to continue in the same way but to do this is to deny the magic and miracle of transformation. The impulse of every human being whether consciously or unconsciously is towards transformation. Another word for it is advancement. It is the nature of the human consciousness to want to advance and transform otherwise there is no evolution and the universe becomes stagnant. The universe will not allow this to happen because its nature is advancing and expanding and as we are all children of the universe this is what we must do too.

I'm away to Ireland tomorrow and as I will have not have access to the internet to write my blog, I want to wish all of my readers a very happy holiday period. Thank you to everyone who sent in comments and engaged with the blog. I will leave you at the end of 2008 with a possibility I have created for myself which inspires me and I hope it will you also......the possibility of having it all with freedom and ease........

Monday, 15 December 2008

Cultivate the creative.....not the competitive mind..

Everyday there seems to be some new shocking event in the financial world. This morning I woke to the news that a Hedge fund manager has allegedly ripped off lots of banks. This is going to have a huge ripple effect next year. In the midst of all of this I ask myself the question why is all of this just coming to light now. In the UK it's been found that millions of NHS retired staff and service men have been paid far more in pension benefits than they should have been. It is like there is a real clearing out of the old in preparation for the new.

I feel strongly that this clearing out is to enable the shift from the human kingdom which is one based on individuality, materialism, capitalism and from there it is only a short step to greed. The new world that our consciousness is being dragged into is the spiritual world. A world which is based on connectedness and unity. In some ways the effects that are being made by all of the global economies to halt the escalating slide into a deep recession is some evidence of this.

However I have real fears about the way money is being used to prop up businesses and industries whose day has come. The universe has a natural flow and to interfere with this is to cause a much longer and protracted recession. It would take a huge amount of nerve not to interfere with the markets but I assert that this is what should be done. Whenever we interfere with the natural order of things and this interference doesn't have to be monetary it can be interfering by having resistance towards what is happening then the pain continues. The moment we can accept and be with what is happening, just the way it is and the way it isn't then there is freedom and the possibility opens for being creative in what are no doubt challenging times.

I write all this having given up a safe and secure job. I am applying my own theory about the importance of having integrity for having a life that works. Already I have seen that since I am starting to have that integrity that opportunities are opening up. I have secured a work placement experience week for a mind, body spirit magazine for when I begin my journalism course in February. I am not saying that times are not difficult however, they are difficult for the competitive mind not the creative mind. For the creative mind these times provide an abundance of opportunity. For the creative mind there is always abundance, for the competitive mind there is always scarcity.

I am looking to rent out my flat here in London and on Saturday I had a valuation from an estate agent. I asked him what it was like for people who are renting out their property. He told me that the landlords who are suffering the most are those who have been arrogant and greedy and have charged very high rents. Now they are suffering because tenants have the market now and can make demands that wasn't possible when the economy was booming. This immediately showed me the impact of the competitive mind.

The turmoil in the financial sector presents an enormous opportunity for minds to become creative. My fear is however given the nature of human being that it is still going to be competition and covering their backs without taking responsibility that is going to define world workings at least for another while. I don't think the impact is felt strongly enough yet for the consciousness to shift from the competitive to the creative mind....

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Whenever the degree of upset is out of proportion to the event.....look for what is not honest

This weekend I was in a strange space. The guy from the gym was doing the Landmark Forum and I was amazed at how much of my energy was taken up wondering how he was getting on with it. Him doing it brought me back to when I did the weekend in 2005. It totally transformed my view of life and freed up so much energy that was being used to run stories around events that happened in my life. It was interesting that on Saturday I went to a health centre with a copy of my book to see if they would take one on a sale or return basis. The first book I saw when I went into the shop was the new book by Byron Katie called 'who would you be without your story' and I thought what a fantastic title. Life would be unrecognisable if we didn't attach stories to everything. That's what I got from the forum that things in life happen and to let them be without making them mean anything. But the process whereby we make things mean something is very subtle and operates below the level of our consciousness.

The only indicator we have that we have made something mean something is when we react in a manner that is disproportionate to the event. I can illustrate what I mean by a practical example. I speak quite openly and often about what the technology that Landmark offers can produce. I often speak about it with the guy from the gym. He was registered to do the weekend Forum in August and I was very pleased. Then a couple of weeks before the weekend he told me that something had come up and he couldn't do it. I completely lost it when he told me. I felt this incredible anger which I was dimly aware was out of proportion to the simple event of him cancelling. All that happened was that he had cancelled the weekend, it shouldn't have provoked that reaction from me - something else was going on. When I took a good hard honest look I saw that while I pretended I wanted him to do the Forum for him so that he would have the tools for creating the life he wants the truth was that I really wanted it for me so that we would have more in common. This is why my upset and the way I was with him was so out of proportion to him cancelling. Until I took a long hard look I was unaware that this is what I made him doing the Forum mean. When I saw it I could take responsibility for it, and let go that there is anything in it for me from him doing the weekend.

The result of all this is that he is tonight completing the Forum. I have been committed to him doing it and have made a stand for him but all the time I kept checking in with myself that my motives were for him and for his life. This was a great learning for me. It's also quite shocking that given how highly trained I am that so much can still be operating unconsciously..... I spoke to him earlier and to hear him sound so happy and aware now of decisions he made that have limited what's been possible for him up to now is worth more to me than money. It satisfies the most basic yearning of human being.....that of making a difference......

Saturday, 13 December 2008

When I'm true to myself.....nothing is in the way..

I have often heard the words 'to thine own self be true', in fact I have often quoted them either in writing or to people but until I gave in my notice at work I had no idea of just how important it is to be true to one's own self. Since I have shown courage and faced up to the fact that the work I am doing has no integrity given who I am and what I want to do I have a level of self-expression and freedom that is miraculous for me. I am steady amidst all of the turbulence.

After work yesterday I had a real urge to go for a walk along the Thames. It was a beautiful clear night and at one point I stopped and looked at the lights shimmering on the water and Big Ben lit up in all its majesty and the beauty of the moment took my breath away. I felt my consciousness expanding and becoming one with what I was looking at. For a brief moment there was no separation between me, the process of seeing and what I was seeing. There was just ONE and the experience was all encompassing and all absorbing. I felt a strong well of happiness and peace well up from deep within me and was so moved and grateful that I am open to receive profound experiences like these. For me these experiences are spiritual and not psychic. They do not involve any visits from Angels, Guides or Animal Spirits. There is no visual component to them. They are experiences that affect me deeply at a feeling or intuitive level. I struggle to write exactly what they are like. I suppose the closest way I can get to describe how these experiences leave me is that to say that they leave me feeling like I am wrapped in an electric blanket.

When I got home I felt a strong urge to meditate. I lit a candle and kneeled down on my stool. Immediately my mind was quieter and without the need to control in the way that I have in meditation I felt myself drifting. It's so great not to have to control in the way that I did. The letting go of control is the beginning of freedom. I finished the meditation 45 mins later (which is unheard of for me) in such peace and relaxation. I have total faith in where my life is going. I know that I can create the most amazing and abundant life by having faith in the principle of abundance and by always being grateful for the little things, no matter how small. Gratitude is the gateway to happiness and abundance.....

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

What is truly miraculous..

I cannot believe how focussed and clear I am at work these days. Since giving up my need to control everything and anything I seem to see options and ways around things that I have never seen. What I understand is that for most people control works in that it is what makes them effective. It is the opposite way for me. Without my need to control, everything flows and has an ease and a grace which is nothing short of miraculous.

I have been 7 years where I am working and today I saw a way of doing something that was far easier than how I have struggled doing it for all of the time I have been there. I don't think it is just because I am leaving. I really feel that there has been a release of trapped energy that has enabled this new level of ease and freedom. Yesterday I was at a meeting giving a presentation around some aspects of the work I do. This was the 2nd presentation I did to these group of people. The last time I was in my sub-conscious 'I have to control' mode and the result was a self-conscious stilted and nervous presentation. How different it all was yesterday. Firstly there was absolutely no fear. I had done more preparation for this presentation than I had for the last one. I stood up and said everything that I wanted and I was clear, concise and easy to listen to and understand. At one point I looked at the face of one of the men who has heard me speak many times and the expression on his face and his attentiveness to what I was saying was a totally new and exhiliarating experience for me. Afterwards I got complimented on how clear the presentation was and how well it flowed. And all of this was without notes!

Why now, when I have made the choice to leave and am in action around what I really want to do is everything cominig together in a way it never has for the 7 years I have been where I am. Am I to take the lesson that had I made the choice to leave earlier that work wouldn't have been the uphill struggle, where for lots of the time I have been tired and unable to even see how to work at my best never mind to actually work at my best. In the time since I handed in my notice I have been more in action, shifting more stuff calm, confident and dare I say control...but this time with freedom and ease.

When I returned to work I had a conversation with a man I work with. The night before he had told me that he was having some problems in his relationship. I talked with him but felt that he didn't listen to anything I said. I felt this because everything I said he was ready with a counter-answer. I could feel some irritation but then remembered that there is nothing to feel irritated about. Nothing is wrong, everything is whole, complete and perfect and I was able to totally let go any wish or desire to be listened to and connect fully with him. I had the thought to do an exercise which I had done in the past. I turned around to my desk and picked up my mug. Holding it up with the handle side to him, I said, describe what you see. He described a cylindrical shape with a handle. I said 'now I will describe what I see' and I described a cylindrical shape without a handle. I said 'now convince me that there is a handle'. I then said, this is what is happening in your relationship at the moment, you have the side without the handle, while your wife has the side with the handle, both are true from where both of you are at. The only way to resolve this is for you to get into her world and see the cup with the handle. I physically moved over so that now I could see what he was seeing and he could see what I was seeing. After this I was exhausted and he immediately had an answer but I let it go and went home.

When I arrived into work after my presentation. I knew from the man's face that something had shifted. I couldn't believe it when he said 'when I went home I did that exercise with my wife, I told her that I hadn't been in her world, or understood what it was like for her and that I would do this going forward'. I was just looking at him totally dumbstruck. I had no idea he would have taken that on in the way that he did. It proved to me once more the power of straight communication and of what can be achieved. I want to credit the technology of Landmark Education for giving me this exercise and insight that I could then share to cause the result that was caused. This is why I get out of bed in the morning and do what I do. It is for the profound privilege of making a difference......

Monday, 8 December 2008

When you look back for the ladder........there is no ladder

The title of this post is just how it feels in my world at the moment. Over the weekend I had a wobble about the enormity of what I have done given the current climate. I then replayed a version in my mind where I went and asked for my job back.... nothing in my psyche would let me do it. It's like that ladder has gone or at least the rungs below where I am standing now have gone.

The spiritual path takes courage, the courage to take a leap for what I have faith in I can achieve. I believe in my ability to create a magazine that will be meaningful to people and give readers an experience of what it's like being on a spiritual path. Yes, words are important in that they show the Way but it is only experience that delivers the ultimate proof of the truth, presence and reality of the Way. In order for me to be able to do this there can be no gap between who I am and what I do.

I find that now I have made the choice to leave I have more energy at work than I've had over the last 4 months. I'm more focussed and as a result this kind of work is flying. Yet I know that this is only because I am living into a future that is authentically where I should be. If I didn't take the opportunity this course presents to me and had continued to play safe and small then I would bet that as 2009 progressed that events would happen and I would regret not having had the courage to make the move that I am making now.

I called my mum earlier and I was telling her how I felt that this choice feels like it is the first choice I have made willilngly and from a place of being able to see what is possible for the future. I did 3 years nursing with children and adults with special needs because a nun told me that the results of my IQ tests meant that I was functioning at border mental handicap which is what it was called in those days. Before this event nursing had never entered into my head. I then did a psychology degree as a way to get out of the nursing. I got the job as an editorial assistant through being in the temporary recruitment agency at the right time and then I got to where I am now to lick my wounds from the horrible experience I had in the publishing environment. This is the first time that I have made a conscious powerful choice and it feels so good. I'm also a little bemused at how I could have gone through life so directionless. But then again every ounce of my energy up to now was devoted to the spiritual path. Not in the way of an Ashram but in the way that everything else that I did came second to this. So making a conscious choice in this way around anything that wasn't spiritual was something I didn't do.

This is not to say that my spiritual path has ended, in fact it is only really beginning. I feel like I am emerging having spent years doing the preparation, reading, studying and then pulling back so that everything could come together in the creation of something new. This course and what I will learn will be that new creation. I have no idea what it's going to look like. All I know is that in the midst of the deepening economic crisis that I feel such excitement and anticipation. I know that I am alive.......

Thursday, 4 December 2008

When the gap between who I am and what I do.....becomes too big

On Monday I handed in my notice at work after 7 years working in the same organisation. I have realised for a long time the inauthenticity between who I am and what I do. Since I published my book this gap has become wider to the extent that to continue working where I am is not to have any integrity.

Some years ago I worked for a magazine as an editorial assistant where the editor gave me my own column. Then he was promoted and I got another editor who from the first day took a dislike to me. I am not journalism trained and when one of the staff writers on the magazine decided to leave on a 3 month trekking holiday I applied for the position. To have the position of staff writer on my CV would have made a big difference when I didn't have the official NCTJ qualification. I didn't get the job and I knew then that there was nowhere for me to go within that magazine. I am going back many years now and back then my identity had unfettered control . The result was an arrogant and not very nice person. I ended up resigning from this position under the most horrible of circumstances. The experience scarred me so much that I never thought that I would work in an office again. After 3 months I approached a temporary recruitment agency who got me a job in the organisation where I now am. It was a vastly different environment to the publishing environment I had left. It was calm, safe, quiet - a great place for me to lick my wounds and recover and it has been very good to me.

I came in at the lowest level and have progressed to the position that I have today. However, the environment couldn't be less like who I am. The people I work with are absolutely great but the nature of the work is so different and that difference is now no longer tenable given who and what I want to do. One day at work about 2 months ago I was sitting at my computer and I could barely keep my eyes open with tiredness in spite of the fact that it was only 9.30am in the morning. I recognised that this tiredness was me resisting....but what was I resisting? I suddenly remembered how I was when I was working as an editorial assistant putting together my column and the thrill of calling people and I realised that I have missed that environment and the creativity that is possible in that environment. I then remembered my dream of having my own spiritual magazine, one that would touch and move people. It seemed like finally having my book published woke all of my pent up and repressed yearnings to have a magazine that is powerful in providing practical spiritual guidance and practices.

The moment I allowed myself to feel this excitement, all of the tiredness that I had felt completely vanished. I love the sea so I turned to my computer and did a Google search for journalism and up came a fast-track 18 week magazine journalism course that is beginning in February 2009 in Brighton. I downloaded the application form and sent it off. I had an interview on 5 November which was the day before the launch of my book. I did the tests and had the interview and last Friday I was accepted onto the course. On Monday I handed in my resignation notice at work. I am so clear that it is the next step for me. I have had a spiritual book published and yet my being is not out there promoting it by giving talks, workshops etc. I am not out there inspiring people to realise that spiritual development is as real and natural as physical, intellectual, emotional and social development and giving people a direct experience (in as far as their own spiritual development will allow) of the 3 stages of spiritual development.

The night I gave in my notice my whole body shook when I lay down in bed. The energy convulses my body and then appears to jump about. I have experienced this many times but it was unusally violent on Monday night. I have no fear of this process. I surrender to it completely. I notice that when the energy subsides that my body is incredibly calm and relaxed as is my mind and I drift off to sleep like a baby. I see this as some kind of cleansing of the nerves. I don't have any evidence for this it is just what it feels like because of how calm and relaxed I am the next day. I don't have any kind of cosmic explosions or experiences of cosmic-oneness I just feel an incredible closeness and warmth. This is not the same as what I experienced on the meditation retreat in Devon in that it is not the ascending and descending energy that I experienced in Devon but the after-effects in terms of the peace and calm are the same.

If any reader is interested in buying my book it is available from this link:

It's proving much more difficult to get it uploaded to Amazon so I have given the link for Ki_publishing who published the book.....

Monday, 1 December 2008

The challenge spontaneous spiritual emergency

I have not written because I have wanted readers to read the last comment posted by Harry especially his account of what I understand to be a spontaneous spiritual emergency where powerful energy rose from the base of his spine to his head and shattered the consciousness. This fragmentation of the consciousness gives rise to the experience of cosmic unity and one-ness.

I was particularly interested to read that this experience followed closely a shaktipat initiation. I too received a shaktipat initiation when I travelled around India for 4 months in 1997. However the results of it only manifested on a 7 day silent meditation retreat in Devon in 1998. I have written about this experience in detail in my book. I didn't immediately associate the experience of rising energy on this meditation retreat with what this man in India had given to me until I had exhausted every other possibility of a rational explanation. I consider myself to be a spiritual scientist. I am not afraid of finding a rational explanation to account for the kind of experience a spontaneous spiritual emergency is. When I couldn't find one to explain my experience I like Harry believe that it was as a result of a shaktipat initiation. I very much identified with the sense of bewilderment that he felt like 'why me'.

However, for this energy to rise safety and naturally the body and mind must be prepared. This is the tragedy for many of those that experience this kind of experience. The lack of preparedness of the body and mind for this kind of experience fragments the consciousness so afterwards it is hard to integrate it and the experience back into normal everyday life. This is why I do not promote the raising of the kundalini without many years of physical and mental preparation. When I was studying and practicing Mahayana Buddhism there was never a mention of energy that was lying dormant at the base of the spine. The whole philosophy is based on understanding and practicing the 4 noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Pathway. What I see now is that by concentrating on these and being authentic in my desire to understand these that my body and mind were being prepared, so that when this experience came to me in Devon my brain and consciousness could withstand the force that was applied to it. Then by always having the Witness present I have been able to integrate my consciousness back into normal everyday life and find my peace, joy, and calm in the middle of this uncertain turbulent world and not in the lonely life of the mystic.

I see the experience that Harry recounts as being stage 3 in the 3 stages of spiritual development I have written about in blog posts some time ago. The 1st stage is that of 'knowing yourself' which is why I constantly harp on about the identity and separating ourselves from our thoughts and feelings as these being who we are. The 2nd stage is that of 'knowing The SELF' - this is experiencing that which is not our thoughts and feelings, experiencing the unity and connection that underlies the appearance of separation and the final stage is to 'know THE ONE' - I will admit to never having touched this stage in the way that is reported by those who experience similar experiences to Harry. I know that this is where my consciousness is travelling to and I trust that when I am ready both physically and mentally that I will have this kind of experience but for now I am happy to travel gradually through these stages.

In spontaneous spiritual emergency where the body and mind is unprepared for the fire that is unleashed the consciousness goes from stage 1 - stage 3 and then reverts again to stage 1 (I'm sure that this is not the case in every circumstance). This is tragic because having tasted this stage once the consciousness then has to start again from the beginning and this can be very disheartening and demoralising but to Harry and all the other Harry's who have had a similar experience I say don't get demoralized or disheartened, what you have experienced is very special is ultimately the end point that we all as human beings are going to experience at one point or another. Keep the vision of this in mind, be grateful for having had the experience and have faith that it will happen when the consciousness is expanded enough for it to rise and be long-lasting.

The experience I had with this rising energy was not as profound as Harry's but it has resulted in a level of peace, calm, ease and freedom with life that was not there before.... I see this energy as the transformative evolutionary energy that shifts the consciousness from human to spiritual....