Wednesday, 27 October 2010

My dilemma.....around being a Kundalini yoga teacher...

I've sat here for the last 10 minutes gathering my thoughts about how to write this blog entry. I am due to start my training as a kundalini yoga teacher in early December. From my experience of the spiritual path it is not one path for the whole of one's lifetime. Many of the spiritual disciplines have an exclusivity around them which is not my experience of progression on this path. I was born and brought up a catholic and so I remained until 1988 when Mahayana Buddhism found me and I then went onto study and practice that for almost 10 years.

In 1999 I had what I am calling a conversion experience while on a meditation retreat in Southern England. Then in 2005 I found the transformative education offered by Landmark Education and through Landmark I have progressed through the second stage of spiritual awakening which is transformation. I firmly believe that without transformation the final stage of spiritual awakening - Enlightenment is not possible. Transformation is about taking responsibility for having created everything in ones life up to that point. In the taking of that responsibility transformation happens. Taking responsibility is the vehicle for Transformation. Having used the tools of Landmark Education to bring about a transformation in myself and my life. I am now moving to the final stage which is to have mastery over the incredibly powerful spiritual energy that rests at the base of all of our spines called the Kundalini energy by becoming a certified Kundalini yoga teacher trainer.

My dilemma is this, that as a teacher I am going to recommend that everyone I teach do the weekend Landmark Forum offered by Landmark Education. This weekend is so powerful that it can cause conversion and transformation in one weekend if one is spiritually inclined. Landmark is not a spiritual programme but energy will go where attention goes and for people like me who uses everything she comes across in life to act as a spiritual catalyst there is nothing that comes close to the experience of the Sunday evening when responsibility is taken and the past is put firmly back into the past, leaving a future that is like a blank canvass just waiting to be created on.

The way that I have done the spiritual is not the usual way. The usual way is that you take on a practice and stick doggedly at it for life. I agree with this to a certain point. After all I spent almost 10 years studying and practicing Mahayana Buddhism but there will come a point where there is a letting go of all that and I assert that it is because there is so little of this letting go amongst spiritual masters and guru's that there is so little enlightenment in the world. It takes courage to let go and move deeper into the unknown and the uncertain. It is easy to remain cushioned among like-minded people and be obedient and sell out on reason and intuition but to do this is to close on the door on any future enlightenment.

Going for Enlightenment before experiencing conversion and transformation is like a child wanting to run a marathon before it can even crawl - impossible. There have been accounts of people who achieved enlightenment without seemingly going through either of these experiences but I have never met one so can't verify that. From my own experience which is all I will ever and only speak from there are three definite stages to this path; conversion, transformation and enlightenment. All three are necessary to experience fully. The ultimate end of enlightenment is no witness, nothing or nobody to write.....but that cannot come before the other two stages.

Given my declared commitment that everyone becomes spiritually enlightened in this lifetime my insistence on those I teach doing the weekend Landmark Forum is likely to bring me into conflict with kundalini yoga authorities. Spiritual disciplines are rigid in their thinking that their discipline and only theirs can deliver enlightenment. I had an experience of this with my kundalini yoga teacher who I have a great deal of respect and admiration for. I have met many people on the spiritual path and he is one of the most authentic I have met. But even he when I tried to explain about what there is to experience on the Sunday evening of the Landmark Forum was rigid and inflexible about it 'going against his beliefs'. In that word 'belief' lies the trap of rigidity and inflexibility. I never had beliefs just a deep unshakeable faith that when Buddha said the enlightenment was possible in this lifetime I never had any doubt that he spoke the truth. It wasn't a question of belief but of faith. And faith doesn't adhere rigidly to goes with the flow....for what is possible.

Sunday, 24 October 2010 grace...

This is the realization that hit me when I was in the gym yesterday. Absolutely everything that has happened to me has been a gift of grace and I couldn't see it because I was too busy searching for evidence. What I realized ia that whether or not the lack of sight in my right eye has anything to do with the spiritual experiences and insights that I have had that everything is a gift of grace. This realization has left me profoundly humbled. At the moment I am reading Osho's Book of Secrets and everything I read resonates so profoundly. I would like to think that I am the female version of Osho as he writes everything that I think. I can't believe that I dismissed him for so many years because I decided that he was a guru who had feet of clay just because of his Rolex watches and fleet of limousines. But what I also see is that I didn't reject Osho but my identity did because it knew that once I touched Osho and his writings that its days were numbered and yet the identity is never totally transformed, it has layers and layers just like the layers of an onion. The identity put simply is our animal nature. It's sole purpose is for survival. To embrace and be compassionate to this animal nature of ourselves is to be well on the way to freedom.

Many years ago I did a 10 day silent Vippasana meditation retreat in India. I was totally amazed at how when the silence was broken on the 10th day at how difficult I found it to speak. I knew what I wanted to say, but somehow the words wouldn't come. I have thought back on this many times and from it I saw just how powerful silence is but there was something else that I knew was there about silence but couldn't put my finger on it. Last night I read it in Osho's book of secrets where he explained that it is easier to go from sounds to the soundless than to come back from the soundless to sounds. He gave the example of Meher Baba who kept silent for 40 years. At certain times he would write a note about when he would break his silence but he never did. According to Osho if you remain silent for three years then the mechanism for sound is gone and talking becomes impossible. This is the missing piece of the jigsaw for me. I could see this process beginning in how difficult I found it to speak and that was only after 10 days. I would love to know if it is like this in the silent orders that still remain. Of course, I am taking all of this on faith from Osho. Part of it corresponds with my own experience which is so important when on this path. Vigilance about being hoodwinked is one of the most important qualities to have on a spiritual path. To be spiritually discerning.

This brings me on to the subject of the types of people who follow a spiritul path. Essentially they are of two types. The intellectual and the devotee. I definitely fall into the former category. I am always reasoning and trying to fit what I read with my own experience. Not with my thoughts and feelings about what I have read but about what my own experience and intuition tells me about what I read. This is why the writings of Osho resonate so strongly with me at the moment. Yet even my intellectual seeking had humility. I remaining saying to the Divine 1% of me is true and authentic, you make that stronger and let me work on the 99% that is arrogant, superior, out to prove that you are just a mechanism in the brain. I think it is this that has kept me safe thus far on this path.......

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The spiritual path....happens in cycles....

Many years ago after I had been following a Buddhist path for many years I was in my flat one Saturday morning and I remember feeling so disillusioned about this path. I had returned from a trip to India where I had tracked the life of the Buddha and I felt lost and didn't know where to go next. Then I heard either my own thoughts or a voice that said just three words. These were 'give it up'. I couldn't believe it. The pursuit of the spiritual was something that had become a part of me and wasn't something that I did and so to have this thought of giving everything up was shocking for me. Yet I listened and gave up reading any spiritual books, writing or going to workshops/talks. I can still remember the emptiness I felt.

Then I had what to most people is a normal common everyday experience where an emotional situation triggered a reaction in me in a normal everyday setting of a work situation. Weeks later I accidentally grabbed a book from my bookshelf to take to read on a bus journey that I was making. My heart sank when I saw that it was a spiritual book that I had promised to give up months ago but still I opened the book. As my eyes glided over the sentences I realized that I had a different ease of understanding that definitely hadn't been there before. I was so engrossed in reading that I completely missed my stop.

Now why am I writing this in the blog when it has been written in my book? I have seen in myself that events that happened years ago are happening again which is why I say that this path happens in cycles. A while ago I went to see the film 'Eat, Pray, Love' and I really enjoyed it. I was particularly interested in the experiences of the ashram that were shown. Then a woman who I work with asked me if I had read the book and I said 'no' and she said 'I will lend it to you'. She was true to her word and on Monday she produced the book for me.

Last night on the bus going home reading it, I missed my stop to get off. Why did I get so absorbed in what I was reading? The reason is because to my absolute astonishment I read the closest account I have read about the energy that lies at the base of the spine and what happens when it rises. The film was the ideal opportunity to bring this information to the world and it didn't happen..why? Why didn't the film bring this information to the world. It could have been done in a dialogue between two of the actors in the ashram. To me this was such a golden opportunity and it would have shifted how people saw the spiritual. This energy at the base of the spine is common to all therefore it's not purely a spiritual energy. It is a human energy which when it is experienced gives the realization that we are spiritual beings having human experiences.

As I was reading it I realized with a jolt that I had experienced what is called the 'blue eye' in meditation. The closest I can relate this to is the view from a kaleidoscope where the eye suddenly opens up and 'something' is seen. I vaguely remember this happening but because I was so against 'seeing' anything in meditation I didn't give what I saw any importance. This is unlike my yoga teacher who told us that when he experienced this eye that when it parted there was a big spider there. As he was terrified of spiders this broke his meditation. So at every stage of this path there are challenges to overcome.

The writer of Eat, Pray, Love has a Guru and all I can think of is that when she was involved in the making of the film that she consulted the guru who advised her not to mention the powerful kundalini experience she had while meditating. I don't have a guru which is why I'm more objective/scientific about the whole thing. I think that this is such a shame as to have had the kind of conversation about it that she has written in the book would have profoundly shifted the spiritual path from one which is thought just for certain people to a path that everyone has a right to and indeed what is at the root of the profound emptiness that is so often found in the west.

She writes on page 142 'I fall asleep for a while (in meditation. When I awake I can feel the soft blue electrical energy pulsing through my body in waves (the 'waves' is exactly the same experience as I had'. It's a bit alarming but also amazing. I don't know what to do, so I just speak internally to this energy. I say to it 'I believe in you' and it magnifies, volumizes in response. It's frighteningly powerful now, like a kidnapping of the senses. It's humming up from the base of my spine'. There is more but this is the most important part. Over the next pages to page 146 she investigates kundalini but nowhere in the film is there a discussion about any of this and this just amazes me. I was so absorbed in this part of the book that for the second time in my life I missed my stop on the bus. What is also familiar is the process of letting go which came before.

Yesterday I declared that I would let go my story about the right brain and spirituality. I don't know though how I have shifted by reading this book. All I am left with is a huge frustration that knowledge and information that could have been brought to the world wasn't. A couple of my friends who read the book before seeing the film expressed a disappointment in the film but couldn't say why. Maybe deep down they also feel there was......a golden opportunity lost.....

I have had.....a shocking realization...

Yesterday I realized with a sickening jolt to my stomach that I am more interested in proving that I am right about my brain theory and spirituality than I am about enjoying my spiritual transformation. This obsession with wanting to be right about this is limiting what is possible for me. What I have been doing though is no different to what we all do as human beings and that is that we all have to be right about our view, opinion and we make being right more important than being happy. Is this why both the scientific and the spiritual community in their own ways have distanced themselves from me. Both communities cannot believe that given the gift of grace that I have without any doubt been given that I should dare to look for a scientific reasonable, rational explanation to account for it.

Yes, there are certain facts about me which can be verified to be true. I have been born with an uncorrected lazy right eye but everything else I have made up as a story and then I have systematically gathered the evidence to support the story. This is also what we do as human beings. We make a decision about something or someone and then the rest of life is spent gathering the evidence to support the story. But the story by virtue of it only being story is not real and yet I have lived my life like my story that the lack of sight in my right eye was the cause of all the profound spiritual experiences and insights I have had was the truth. It wasn't and isn''s just a story I made up to give what happened to me meaning. But any story no matter what it is about limits what's possible. It limits what's possible because a story can never be the truth. A story is has no basis in reality.

So what is possible for me if I give up my story and stop trying to find evidence in the way that I have? The first thing that comes to mind is complete freedom around the experiences I have had. The experiences are real and I will never deny that they happened but what I can be responsible for is the story I made up about what they meant and then I lived my life from this story. The story limited me because I was always trying to fit it with whoever I may have been writing to or speaking with. If I can let it go and just be with what happened, without making it mean anything then I can be totally myself. I can tell my story from the facts and deal with the facts of what happened and this will give me a level of ease and freedom that up to now I haven't experienced.

Where did I get this revelation. Many readers of my blog will know that from 2005 I have been participating in a transformative education which has been run by Landmark Education. I am presently doing a seminar on Excellence which is where the revelation came from last night. What I saw was that I have a story around why I can't be excellent and that is because I haven't got two proper functioning eyes and therefore I can't be excellent which is a total story. As I said there is a fact there that I have been born with only one functioning eye but all the rest of it is a story and it limits me from being excellent. A story also takes up the space for excellence; the two cannot co-exist, there is either story or excellence.

From my spiritual journey I have identified three distinct stages. The first is conversion and there are many examples of this. It is when the consciousness shifts from the outer to the inner. The second stage is transformation which is why I am so heavily involved in the programmes offered by Landmark. It is the only education I know that offers transformation. It is why I unreservedly recommend its flagship programme the weekend Landmark Forum. And the final stage which I am clear that I am working towards is Enlightenment. Transformation is not Enlightenment, but without Transformation Enlightenment is not possible. Transformation is putting the past back into the past, recognising that a story is just a story, not the truth; giving up the right to be right for what is possible. Transformation creates the space for something new to be created. For me that space is for Enlightenment but I fully appreciate that it's not the space for everyone, nor does it have to be.....

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Evidence is mounting.....that my theory about the right brain....might not be the entire story..

It is slowly occuring to me that the powerful experiences and insights that I have experienced since beginning a spiritual path when I was 12 may have little or nothing to do with my theory that I have accelerated right brain development. That in some way that I still find incredibly hard to believe that my intention made at the age of 12 that I was going to be spiritual and not religious has been like rocket fuel for everything that has happened. It is impossible to underestimate the power of a decision made in childhood and early adulthood. These are the decisions that go on to shape who we become as individuals. They are what make up our ego/identity/personality and they come about as the result of the development of mind. Mind is the structure that holds all the decisions that we made when we were growing up.

Why have I suddenly gone less than certain on what was for me a definite reason for why I was the way I was. Well the strongest reason is that I have come across the work of Dr Mario Beauregard who has written a book called 'The Spiritual Brain'. In it he suggests that mystical/spiritual experiences involve the brain but are not limited to it. In my theory I had completely limited what happened to me to the workings of the brain and more particular to increased activity in the right side and nothing else. A couple of weeks ago I put pen to paper and sent him an email briefly outlining the experience where I experienced the rising of an energy from the base of my spine to my head and the transformation that happened afterwards. I explained about the lack of sight in my right eye and the link between the eye and the brain and asked him about the possibility of having some brain scan done on my brain to see the level of right brain activity vis a vis the left. He replied to me the next day which I was really grateful for and told me that spiritual activity involves both sides of the brain and gave me some advice on how to go about getting a brain scan. There was no indication that he wished to be further involved with me.

I am used to this reaction by now because of all the experts in this field I have spoken to and I have a great deal of respect for Dr Beauregard. I have only just begun his book but I want to copy a sentence which has resonated. There is an old Sufi saying that says 'I thought about you so often, that I completely became you; little by little you drew closer; And slowly but surely I passed away' What this is saying is that to be focussed continuously on something is to bring it about. Now in Dr Beauregard's book, he says on page 33 when he is speaking about the field of quantum mechanics 'Experiments have shown that because the brain is a quantum system, if you focus on a given idea, you hold its pattern of connecting neurons in place. The idea does not decay as it would if it were ignored. But the action of holding an idea in place truly is a decision you make' So here we have a sufi and a scientist saying more or less the same thing. I think this is why also that when we focus on what we don't want in life, we get more of the same. The key to effortlessly manifesting is to focus continuously on what we do want.

For me from the age of 12 I wanted nothing more than to be spiritual. I had no idea what that looked like. I was born into an Irish Catholic family so I knew religion but I had no idea of spirituality yet I knew that there was a fundamental difference between being spiritual and being religious. I could also look at it like the continuous focus on being spiritual has driven my brain to develop in the way that it has. In this way we have a chicken and egg scenario, what came first, the brain development or my desire to be spiritual? The truth is that I don't know. One thing I am committed though is to be true to myself no matter what the experts try to tell me.....

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Had my kundalini class.....and now I'm irritated.....

Irritation seems to be a common and lasting feeling at the moment. Am doing my practice of being aware of it but I feel like a coiled spring in danger of springing out. I am feeling a build up of tension which is increasing in pressure and intensity. Regular readers of this blog will know that things that can't be seen with the eyes, I don't have much time for. This goes for reincarnation, past lives and stories of people appearing in subtle energy bodies. I deal with what I observe and experience and that is all. I feel this gives me a level of groundedness when so many in this field don't seem to me to be connected to reality. This goes also for authorities in this field.

Today in my class the teacher started speaking about it being the birthday of a famous guru over the weekend and how he (the guru) appeared many times in his subtle body after he died. The woman who was with me was really fascinated with all of this and I listened to it with mounting irritation. Finally when I could bear it no more I said 'surely if the mind wants to see something enough, a form will be created, desire will create a form in the imagination'. There was this uncomfortable silence for a minute and then my teacher who is so great started to speak about the field of quantum mechanics which is something I have trust in. That this phenomenon of a particle appearing in two places is a recognised and proven phenomenon. This stopped me somewhat in my tracks but I still found it too much of a leap to go from the qantum physics to an actual human being. That awkward moment passed and we got on with the class but all during the class I was irritated. The length of time I had to hold my arms up at an uncomfortable angle irritated me. I know that this is the purpose of these exercises to feel the pain and go beyond but I was just irritated. What was revealing for me was that the last meditation was one to do with cultivating trust and it was this exercise that I found the hardest of all to do. I had to stop many times to have a rest during the exercise. I think my teacher was trying to show me something in a very subtle way.

After the class the conversation moved onto reincarnation and past lives. This was just too much for me. There is so much to uncover and create in the present life, what on earth is the point in going back over past lives. What purpose can it serve. I see it as just more attention to that which is not-self. The conversation came up because of a fear my teacher has of spiders and he found that in a past life he had been killed by a spider!!! How on earth am I going to train to be a kundalini yoga teacher if this is the way I am about common spiritual conversations. And yet if there was nothing for me to learn I wouldn't be having this reaction around these conversations. I have been on this path long enough to recognise that anything where the behaviour is a react and not a response is an area where I am not being totally honest with work to do.....

Monday, 11 October 2010

To take on a spiritual path it is not take oneself away from the world..

What I am realizing more and more is that the spiritual is not a path as such but a way of being. It is a declaration that I am a spiritual being who is having human experiences. When this is the context then everything that happens is fodder for spiritual growth and development.

To pay my bills, I work as a fundraiser for a number of charities. Each call presents itself as an opportunity for me to choose who I am going to be on each call. As you can imagine given the nature of the work some calls are more harmonious than others. What is invaluable about this job for me given my self-declared path towards self-realization and enlightenment is that when the energy of anger is there I can watch it impassively, like an observer. I don't get identified with it and I certainly don't project it onto the person I am speaking to. I just watch it rising up. Everything is energy and anger is just one form that the energy takes. In another instant that same energy can transform into love or compassion. What is important is not the form that it changes into but to be aware of its presence and to watch its rise and more importantly its fall. To follow it back until it dissolves into the formless. Only then will it result in a deep and abiding peace.

The person who caused me to get angry has no part to play. The anger was within me and it is only when we take responsibility and own that we have anger, but anger is not who we are that a level of ease and freedom can be experienced around anger and indeed around any energy whether this is hate or love. It is all the same energy but the form in which it is expressed is different. But the principle is the same for whatever form it takes. Become aware of its presence, don't act out or project and follow it back to its source.

I feel blessed that at least once each day I am given the opportunity to engage with this process and it has led to deepening peace and calm. In this way there is no need for me to take myself to an ashram or even have a teacher. The willingness to take myself on at every moment is enough.....

Sunday, 10 October 2010

10th October 2010 - 10.10am - highly significant for humanity....

Some weeks back I received notification of a workshop which was being given by a Clairvoyant called Edwin Courtenay who I rate highly. He says this about this date today 'On this day, at 10 minutes past 10, the masculine and feminine Christ energies will descend strongly on the planet downloading their codes and energies into the hearts of those ready to receive them. Some people have these already but even they will have their existing Christ Codes updated!

Now I had completely forgotten about this until just before I fell asleep last night. This morning I found it very difficult to wake up and when I did had this overwhelming compulsion to meditate from just before 10am to 10.30am. Since then I have felt this incredible restlessness and agitation. I am writing now because I have a strong inner urge to do so, it seems important. Wearing my right brain hat I can speculate that what may have happened is that there has been more of a shift to the right side of the brain in which case I don't think I can be any more brain lateralized to the right than I am! What I would have hoped has happened is that new neural pathways have been built between the right and left brain. There is no doubt that some more left brain activity for me in terms of going out and making things happen for myself either personally or professionally would be a good thing, but for those who operate solely from the left brain consciousness the shift today is going to be welcome for some and bewildering and unsettling for others. Ironically I seem to be in the latter category!

However this is also a golden opportunity. I wrote a few days ago about being a witness of everything that happens, just like a rock is steady when the waves are crashing around it. Well in my mind everything is crashing, there are crazy thoughts, agitation and yet there is also that which is watching all of this going on. I know all there is to do is rest in that which is watching but then why do I feel like there is something I should be doing. And why doesn't this shifting of my consciousness to that which is watching disappear all of this agitation and restlessness. But this is the test of the spiritual path to have trust, faith and most importantly surrender to that which watches.

I must also issue a word of warning about pursuing a spiritual path seriously. Firstly the spiritual is real and achievable I hand on heart can state this from my experience. Yet one must be careful because on this path certain experiences happen whereby it's very easy to lose one's perspective. I was reading the story of a man who for years was a life and business coach and a very successful one at that. However on the side he had been pursuing some powerful spiritual practices without guidance. Then he had this experience which I cannot write too much about and his third eye opened which gave him supernatural powers. However when he tried to speak to his landlord about all this his landlord said to him 'I don't care what happened to you, you are two weeks late with the rent'. For some reason this resonated very strongly and shows the paradox of this path. The experience of bliss and all knowingness that comes along with this kind of experience is a lonely experience because it is for oneself only. Ultimately the experience cannot be explained or shared only hinted at and in this is the acute aloness of the spiritual path. I say 'aloneness' and not 'loneliness'. There is no loneliness, there is much uncertainty. Experiences of this nature throw the consciousness from the known to the unknown and the unknown is always uncertain but there is no loneliness - how can there be the consciousness has come home to itself....the search is fact it never was...

I will be one year living where I am at the end of this month and it is time for me to move on yet the thoughts of all that 'doing' just makes me want to curl up and retreat into my spiriutal books and writing but life is about balance and so finding somewhere else to live has to be my project for the next couple of months. My conventional life in London seems so far away now. I will be starting my training as a yoga teacher in December. Maybe it is this that is at the root of my restlessness. The inner energy bursting for the kind of expression that can only be expressed as a right demanding expression..

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Go.....where there is no path.....and leave a trail....

The spiritual path is a tried and tested path where everything hinges on the words of sages and gurus who have left this life. These sages and gurus are dead and have taken their enlightenment to the grave. There is little to be gained by following dead sages. All these writings can do is provide a guide but the guide is not the experience. In every field new paths are blazed. I'm thinking of quantum mechanics and nanotechnology in science and yet in the field of spirituality everything has stayed the same and then we wonder where there are so few enlightened beings.

I assert that the grace of the guru is only obtained by following a living teacher. By writing this I am going against the grain of my beliefs because unashamedly my most influential teachers have been Sri Ramana Maharshi and Osho and of course beloved Buddha and from these I have learned so much but if I am to achieve the ultimate goal then I have to go where there is no path and leave a trail. This doesn't mean re-writing spiritual literature. The goal has always been the same spiritual enlightenment but all the past teachers have done is to offer devices or techniques to reach enlightenment.

Enlightenment for all is not an 'if' but a 'when' and I am a hundred percent sure of this. What makes me so sure? Every one of us born a human being has an inner centre which connects us to the whole of existence. No training can be given to develop this centre it has to be discovered or uncovered. Every enlightened master uncovered this centre and then taught from another centre which they developed. For some the centre they taught from was the heart and so the teachings contains the importance of being devoted. Others developed the head centre and then taught from there so the method that was advocated was self-enquiry or reason. But all first uncovered and immersed themselves in this inner inborn centre and from this centre everything else came. The really great thing abut this and what is to be celebrated is that this centre cannot be developed it is inherent to all of us. So there really is nothing to do. This is why for me the advocates of the thinking, we are already enlightened we just haven't had the experience yet is so true. I have to stress again because it is so important and I am so excited that I want to repeat that this centre cannot be trained or developed, only discovered.

One way of looking at this centre is to think about the Witness consciousness. The Witness is that which watches everything that goes on in the mind dispassionately and objectively. To see this - consider what is it that knows you have a thought or a feeling. When you say 'I have a headache', who is it that knows you have a headache, something is watching you have the headache. If you were the headache, you wouldn't be able to see it as something separate to you. But the fact is that we do see a headache as separate to us which is why we reach for nurofen.

This inner centre is like the rock in the ocean. In the ocean waves crash around the rock, but the rock remains stable, unattached and uninvolved. For me this rock is the same as our inner centre. When we operate from this centre, events of life happen but we don't lose our balance and also from this center we respond and not react to these events.

I have allowed for comments on this post and apologies I always mean to but often I forget....

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Why be special.....when you can be yourself..

In May 2010 I went to Satsang with a teacher called Mooji. I had a specific question I wanted to ask him which was around a woman ever being a spiritual master. My belief is that a woman can be a devotee, mystic, even spiritually awakened, but a, no that's a job for the boys. It took me two hours to get to ask my question and when I finally did I was amazed at Mooji's response to me. He totally understood where my question was coming from and he spoke about the desire to be a Master and the title of this post is one of the most profound that he said to me. Being myself is something I have now taken on and am so committed to.

So what does it mean to be 'yourself'. It means to be completely natural. To live in the present and to be self-expressed about your feelings in each moment. The latter is a challenge for us as human beings because for the most time we hide behind 'I'm fine' when asked. But to be natural and authentic demands that we are honest about our feelings in every moment and are honest about how experiences with ourselves and others are for us. This is also to live the way of the Tao - effortless action.

My spiritual journey has moved from effort where I put so much in when I was studying and practicing Mahayana Buddhism to now being completely effortless. I have a spiritual practice which I do every morning now not because it's effort or I feel I have to do it to sustain the state of peace, calm, bliss that I have permanently but because I enjoy it. The mornings that I don't do it, I acknowledge that I didn't do it and am straight with myself about why - I don't hide behind excuses, reasons and explanations. To be authentic and natural it is vital that the consciousness is always in the present. Past and future do not exist. The past was once the present and the future will one day be the present so all there is the present, THE NOW. With this naturalness with nothing forced the state of enlightenment will reveal itself in the way it is meant to....naturally and effortlessly.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010 my kundalini yoga class...

I just love Tuesday mornings because I have an hour and a half of kundalini yoga. One thing I have learned about the spiritual path is never to be definite about what one will or not try. I never thought that I would train to be a kundalini yoga teacher never mind to be so committed to my regular Tuesday morning class but I really am. Mind you each time I am doing kriya's (set of exercises designed to have a specific effect) I am still in the conversation about is this just only about the right side of the brain or is there more... For some reason I am so reluctant to move away from my view that my spirituality has more to do with me being right brain dominant than that it is the result of good karma.

I have decided to train to teach this form of yoga because having experienced the powerful kundalini energy it makes sense for me to train with this energy. However I know what I'm like also and I have a real dislike for the show-manship/woman-ship that often goes along with a spiritual path. This is why I cling to my right brain theory because how can I be a show-woman over something that is completely natural to me. I have no desire to be anything other than ordinary. My hope is that I can start and complete this training and then with a mixture of my training with a powerful personal and self-development company which I have been doing since 2005 I consider that I can be a powerful kundalini yoga teacher. But already I have had my first point of tension and that is in buying a spiritual name which is what all yoga teachers are advised to do. My view is that I already have a name which I like and which means pearl in Latin and I have no interest in getting another.

I once knew someone who made a great deal out of the spiritual name she was given and I found her to be so false. Now I am willing to accept that perhaps her willingness to throw herself hook, line and sinker into this aspect of the spiritual path triggered me because even with all of the powerful experiences I have had I am still so reluctant to do this. Again I come back to the same point. Why should I have a spiritual name for something that is just so natural to me. I can see my frustration deepen as my training to be a kundalini yoga teacher progresses. I am not going to be silent about my view about my spirituality being more to do with an overactive right brain than it is to do with anything else and I can foresee conflict in the months ahead. Oh well....what is that famous quote 'to thine own self be true' and this is all I am trying to do in this blog as well as in life.....

Monday, 4 October 2010

When the shoe fits.....the leg is forgotten....

The title of this post is also the title of the book I am reading by Osho. It is so strange how I dismissed him earlier in my spiritual journey. And now, I just can't read enough of what he is written. It is such a shame that he died at 54. For the past couple of years I have engaged in an enquiry with myself which is about the need for continual practice. Why do monks/nuns anyone who takes on the spiritual journey have to do continual practice. Why doesn't the altered state of consciousness last. In this book Osho gives me an answer which I have recognised intuitively but never seen in print before. That is because....the holy grail of enlightenment will never be achieved by effort!....All effort is a projection towards some desired state. For that reason it may be experienced for the time of effort, i.e. meditation, spiritual practice but if the practice is not sustained then neither is the experience or the state.

In his book Osho meets a man who has been doing a continuous sustained practice for over 30 years and he asks him to 'drop it all'. The man has full confidence that the state will remain without effort but on the fourth day he runs into Osho's room at 4am claiming him to be an enemy because he has now lost the state of consciousness that he had. In complete calmness Osho explains that what there is to do now is to be a witness and then the state will return naturally and permanently. This really resonates for me because of an experience I had. I had been studying and practicing Mahayana Buddhism for almost 10 years. And before that on and off since the age of 12 I had been following a spiritual path. When I returned from a trip to India where I tracked the life of the Buddha I was in my flat one Saturday morning wondering what my next spiritual step was when I heard either my own thoughts or a voice which said 'give it up'. I remember this as clear as if it happened yesterday. I was filled with dismay because interest in all things spiritual was something that was who I was and I couldn't imagine life without my spiritual books, going to talks, workshops. But I listened and gave up and then some six months later I had an experience which on the face of it wasn't spiritual at all. But when I accidentally grabbed a book from my bookshelf and started to read it, to my astonishment I had a complete and total understanding that I know wasn't there before for that book. From this experience I once again entered the spiritual path.

There seems to be something in 'letting go' or 'dropping' that results in an expansion of consciousness. Trust and surrender is required for 'letting go' and this is rewarded with a permanent experience of an altered state of consciousness. I remember also reading a sentence from a book called 'from onions to pearls' where the author said something to the effect of 'I had been on every workshop there was to go on, tried every spiritual practice there was to try' and it was only when I completely gave up everything that I got everything'. The challenge is to know when is the right time to 'drop', 'let go' because the timing is right and the next stage must happen without effort and when the temptation to let go is just resistance because the spiritual practice is too challenging. This is where intuition comes in and learning to trust the inner process. It is very much an individual subjective thing and I can offer no definites here in this blog. It really is a question of trust and surrender.....

Friday, 1 October 2010

The shift....from left to right....will not be easy...

It appears that what I have been saying for years about consciousness shiting from the left brain to the right is gathering momentum. Just today I received details of a workshop which is being held next Sunday. The workshop talks about spiritual ascension and the alignment between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Now the possibility of alignment is not one that I considered. I had the idea that the consciousness would do a direct and dramatic shift but if the shift is towards alignment then that is just brilliant, taking the right and left and aligning the consciousness. It is the polarity between the right and left up to now that has manifested itself in the outer conflicts. With alignment we can expect to look forward to a peaceful harmonious world.

Yet my feeling is that there is more polarity to come before the consciousness aligns. In particular I feel there is going to be a loss of left brain abilities. In some way we have already seen this with the banking crisis. The thinking and logic failed here and it still hasn't recovered. One could view this as the first major failing of the left side of the brain. On the other hand I have had correspondancce with someone who I knew years ago when he was president of a public speaking club. He has obviously had some kind of spiritual experience because now he quotes the bible and is so evangelical proclaiming what he says as 'truth'. I don't deny that he has had an experience of some kind for him to be like this but if the experience involved a vision as I believe it did I want to issue a warning. It is from the book 'A Course in Miracles' and those readers who are familiar with the book will know how many pages are in it. Out of all those pages one sentence stood out when I read it and that was 'perception is always of the ego'. The mind is very cunning and the spiritual path is the biggest threat to its existence and so it will do everything to throw the consciousness off the path. Having a great desire for something will have it manifest. This is why a Christian would almost never have a vision of Buddha and vice versa. There is no desire associated with an idol where there is no feeling.

I took this sentence from the book very seriously and so when I hear of people 'seeing' angels, visions I remain far from convinced. The state of sunyata or emptiness has no form, there is also no witness because everything is ONE. There is no longer a subject/object; seer/what's seen - all duality is gone.