Unbearable Beauty: The Perfection of the Design

Cosmic Spiral

The unbearable beauty state was first described by the Buddha. It occurs in those moments when we surrender to the perfection of the design of the universe. It’s not a state that I can hold onto for long. As an acolyte it comes in bursts, between stretches of unconsciousness. The more time we spend being at peace in our minds, going with the flow of this physical experience, the less desire we have to return to the fear that generates depression and anger~based emotions.

Most of us live in pain but want to be pain~free: a desire that is actually a call for pain. Because life does as we command, we are presented with a steady stream of pain, practice problems we work on over lifetimes. We begin to see a pattern and realize that passing each test moves us to other lessons. Life begins to look less like a calamity spiraling out of our control and more like a game we can play to cause any number of desired outcomes.

Eventually we come to the state of Unbearable Beauty, where we can see both the suffering of the world and ourselves as well as the perfection of the suffering in the grander scheme of beauty. We comprehend the often crushing difficulty of the questions even as we experience the simplicity and succor of the answers. This is an odd state to experience, the beginnings of the lonely part of the journey in which most experiences can no longer be shared. You’ll find that a lot of my posts are about this same subject, if under various sub~categories.

This state is equally horrific and exquisite. Having at last stepped away from the self far enough to be able to see the full game as I am playing it, I can also see the other players; all of our hands, through the many masks we wear and pseudo~names we shelve ourselves under. I can see the past: genesis, what caused the masks to be first put in place, as well as the possible futures in which a mask is removed…or not. Often times, it feels like the equivalent of both being an adult that can see the obvious actions of a child and being the child who is obvious to an adult.

creative-dark-mask-Favim.com-784402

Dongahn Quang’s “Swing” 2011

During the initial stages of becoming familiar with Unbearable Beauty, the meaning of the infinity symbol begins to fully sink in, with its realizations of the repeating pattern in which life’s lessons occur, becoming more difficult as certain sections of homework are done and tests are taken and passed. In every instance, stepping back far enough to see the perfection of the bigger design is what causes us to pass to the next level.

And so we must suffer. In my experience lessons don’t take summer sharksholidays, they intensify right out of the gate, so to speak. Every time I become accustomed to swimming in pure bliss, a shark begins to circle. If I attempt to ignore it or try and outwit it, more sharks come. What is happening is life giving me a taste of safe waters so that I will be more tempted to swim faster towards safety.

The lessons in my life this past week have involved long~time friends and relatives. Nothing hurts like pain related to those we love as we find ourselves unable to accept the choices people make for themselves.

Over a couple of year’s time an old friend of mine, to whom I have looked as a guru most of my life, has been revealed to be an intensely angry, bitter and childish person. It is said that the guru should not be judged by his personality, but my interpretations of this event have left me feeling devastated. The pain that his actions have caused me and others close to him have made me feel like I have plenty of justification for my pain. There is always justifications, but in the end we either choose to be in pain or we focus on the larger picture.

Another friend of mine is making the best of an abusive relationship. She’s never known anything better, and this new man is less abusive than any of the others. Needless to say it’s painful to watch her go through, even with her best~possible~attitude. Still, I can find justifications all over the place to allow her suffering to become mine. There are many ways to learn any one lesson, we need not be in abusive relationships to learn something we could learn from healthy ones. Yet, we all attract those like us, so that we all may be given the chance to heal together….or not. “It’s our choice, and no one can say we don’t have the right to make that choice!” my Spiritmother used to remind me.

Cosmic Design

Cosmic Design by S. Chandresekar

 

That’s the beauty of the design, the unbearable beauty. Perhaps my male friend has chosen bitterness and self~righteousness in this lifetime because his own pain is too great to face. Perhaps my female friend has chosen an abusive relationship to quicken her pace towards freedom. This is their game of chess and this is how they play. They were meant to experience the exact experience they are creating for themselves.

So…what is left for those of us who suffer because of the struggles of our loved ones? If a person’s actions cause us pain we have every right to move ourselves out of the line of fire. But…what is the pain that we feel? It’s nothing anyone else has done to us. In fact, that pain is ego. I need him to be this or that for me. I want her to see the big picture or I wish she would stop choosing punishment for herself. None of these judgments are truly sympathetic to the person they are made against. Neither of them take the current lesson into account, nor the perfection of the design.

McGill Beautypain

Every moment the decision is this: surrender to the pain, surrender to the silence and find that nothing painful truly exists or continue to choose to hurt. Pain is something we do or choose not to do to ourselves. I am completely justified in being hurt by my friends, but I’ve gotten the taste of something much bigger, a state in which I am free and no pain exists. It’s increasingly harder for me to hold on to my opinions and judgments. I’m tired of the pain. I don’t want it anymore.

While working that next morning I listened to this meditation, the Sai Gayatri by Sumeet TetraheTappoo, fighting being overwhelmed when considering the possible futures of my friends. My male friend may very well run everyone that loves him away. My female friend may be trapped in an increasingly isolated and painful relationship whose wounds may take years to heal. With the Unbearable Beauty state comes what is called by many teachers “the Witness”, the deeper self that watches all the Tetraheegames of chess that we play as they occur, no longer being helpless to move forward like pawns, yet not having control enough to play the Queen. I went about my daily work, my soul mourning the loss I felt and what I perceived to be some sort of end to something. But the Witness could only see that I was choosing to be in pain, tetraheeeas if standing on the brink between Heaven and Hell. So I decided to use the Sai Gayatri meditation to its fullest. It consists of an hour of approximately ~15 second instrumental parts with a ~15 second chant between them. I decided to allow myself to mourn through the music, but to use Sumeet’s voice to re~awaken and become conscious, immersed in the unbearable beauty, the yin and yang.

When the music came on I didn’t have to make myself lose focus. I felt like shedding tears. My mind ran in circles, going over every justification I had for why the two should not be doing what they were doing. My back began to hurt along with my feelings. I would completely lose myself in sorrow. It felt as if my soul was weeping. Waves of exhaustion would wash over me. Then his voice would come……

Edgeofcosmos

Om, Saayeesh~varaa~ya Vidhmahe,
Sat~hya Dhevaay~a Dheemahi
Thanna~ssarvah ~Pracho~dayaath

and my soul would break free of its physical shell and hover on the very edge of the cosmos, looking out at the infinite string of pearled galaxies, places for infinite physical lives to exist, to suffer and learn how to stop suffering. In those moments nothing existed but the awe and pure ecstasy of the universe and the perfection of the design. In those moments none of the pain existed, nor the forms which it took on.

I continued this until the chant was done, then played it again. By the second time around I had become so light, released from the sorrow, having mourned my fill. Many realizations of why my friends are like they are, which caused me to accept their choices, came to me once my mind was still. I realized that sometimes people need to walk their walk without us by their side, and that is okay. And sometimes friends need us to be there even if we don’t approve of their choices, to allow ourselves to love without judgment. We can only be true to ourselves, whatever that means. Walking away with love is better than staying in resentment. Walking beside without judgment is better than leaving because of love.

It’s a constant process that we partake in, choosing surrender over justification. Choosing faith over untrust in the universe and our fellow man. The Unbearable Beauty of the Sugmad, that god that we are, waves and waves above this realm, experiencing hate and love simultaneously, savoring the taste of each. The image below, made by parablev at Deviant Art, is a place I have been, a journey that can be read in my post Foreversong. Perhaps the symbols are different but we create our gods as we see fit. To be a god is to see the perfection of hate and love, sorrow and joy; to allow others to experience their lives as they see fit and to stop expecting people to live their lives according to our rules. To let go of opinion and judgment and simply BE for the joy of Simplybeing.

the_neverending_dreamer_by_parablev-d303yfo

http://parablev.deviantart.com/art/The-Neverending-Dreamer-181583124

 

 

 

 

Ending Physical Pain: For Good

Healing

For all the advancements I have made in my life towards happiness and away from misery, I have not discovered how to cure my own pain…until now. Deep inside I believed that my pain was permanent, lifelong and incurable, and yet I equally believed that any ailment can be cured but mine. It was a curious, bipolar reality.

As many spiritual teachers as I have read and listened to, I’ve never found one who I felt fully explained physical pain enough to sufficiently help me understand it. They say that physical pain is resistance; letting go and going with the flow can end pain, and fighting it and hiding from it only cause it to continue. But during a severe migraine or pinched nerve those become words and nothing more; fleeting concepts crushed beneath the weight of my experience.

My pain is severe and chronic. A major part of my life has been spent working a man’s job that my female body was not able to do. To make matters worse I refused to do my job with any sort of ergonomic common sense. All my life I have fought to prove that I am every bit as capable as a man, so I did things that I should not do in order to show the world that I could. Sure, I kept up with the men I worked with and for, but after 10 years I found my body was falling apart. Now I find the smallest effort causes the greatest pain as my spine attempts to fuse itself together causing pinched nerves, migraines and other severe issues.

Earlier in my career as a cripple the pain would cause me to pass out, but over the years I have become used to it enough that I stay awake for the entire process. I am basically trapped in the prison of my body. The pain is sheer torture, often feeling as if there is an axe stuck in my neck or a knife piercing my back or eyes. No medicine will cure it, yet I over~compensate with caffeine and ibuprofen. Episodes can last all day or several days. I cannot find a comfortable position to lay in nor can I sit up. I can’t sleep but can’t stand being awake. I am off work and unable to do anything but lay in bed and wish I was dead. Often, that is exactly what I think to myself during the pain.

Pain

I am not the only one my ailments affect. My Other stops whatever he is doing to tend to my every need. He massages me, cooks for me, brings me medicine and holds my hair back when I throw up. He even cleans up afterwards, much to my chagrin. Often I escape by watching movies on Netflix. He will waste an entire day by my side watching movies if it takes my mind off of the pain. This causes me to feel guilt as he endures watching me suffer but is helpless to do anything about it.

Now that I have returned to school in attempts to get out of the business I am in, I find that sitting in chairs all day during classes further exacerbates my problem. I miss many days of class because of my pain and feel that I am involved in a conundrum; trapped between not being able to sit in the chairs at school but not able return to the working world full~time. Sitting at a desk at home to do homework can often lead to falling days behind. It all feels so hopeless.

The universe is not a concrete, permanent sort of place. No law is set in stone. I have cured mental ailments and physical addictions, issues that many people struggle with their entire lives, but when it comes to physical pain I am helpless.Buddhist Proverb Pain

I listen to many spiritual teachers on Youtube, any and all I can find. Often their knowledge can raise me to a state of bliss enough that I can make it through the day. My sister recently introduced me to Eckhardt Tolle, whose name I have heard for years but have never really come to know. Mr. Tolle’s main message is that of what he calls Presence, to be here, now, at all moments, thoughtless and empty but for the joy of being alive. I’ve begun listening to him more and more. His advice really helps me extract myself from the thoughts that threaten to take my mind away from the moment.

Recently I came across a couple of his videos that stopped me in my tracks. Eckhardt actually explains how to get rid of pain, though I’ve not been sure that I could do what he was asking. Basically, he describes pain like an entity that feeds off the negative emotions which arise from the experience of its pain. He says that pain doesn’t want you to pay attention to it, it wants you to hide from it so that it can pretend to be you and convince you that you are it. His suggestion is to put all your attention on the pain just as you would put all your attention on your breath during meditation, “watching” it to separate yourself from it.

Eckie

In all honesty, the thought terrified me. My whole life has been spent escaping pain. To think of turning and facing it was cause for hesitation. Thinking back I remembered a couple of recent instances when I had actually done this technique without even realizing it and recalled that it had actually worked on minor pain. I decided to give it a try. At this point in my life I would do anything if it means curing the one thing that is holding me back from my dreams.

I started Eckhardt’s pain practice at work. One day I was up and down ladders all day and my “bad hip” began to ache. I focused directly at the pain, “watching it”, as Mr. Tolle had prescribed. Instantly it lessened by half. Any time I would take my mind off of it, it would flare and intensify. I would return my focus back to it and it would lessen. Over and over, all day long I kept the pain from getting worse, and it didn’t even hurt that next morning when I woke up as it had so often.

My daughter works with me but has taken on a second job, which means that I’m doing everything myself three days a week. I didn’t even realize that I had convinced myself that I could not physically do the things she had done, which she had taken on co~dependently to attempt to save me from pain. With this new technique I find that anytime I begin to hurt, no matter what the reason or the history or the seemingly~inevitable circumstances, I have successfully turned the pain away. Yet, until yesterday I had only ever practiced this on small doses of pain. I’d been wondering when the next big incident would occur when I could practice this technique on something serious.

I was sitting at my desk doing math and noticed the pain coming on. I watched it, as I have become accustomed to doing. The practice took a lot less time to master than I had imagined. I knew my neighbor might call and ask me to come visit and I was dreading it. Pain makes me want to be alone, but I hadn’t seen him in awhile and it was time. He called and I went to visit.

When I got there he was looking at pictures of his last vacation on the computer. More sitting, just what I didn’t need. I stood for awhile, sat and stood again, watching the pain as I looked at the pictures, but his conversation diverted my mind from my task and it advanced. Eventually it got to the point where I realized it was going to be a “big one”, a migraine that involved nausea and several days of suffering. I excused myself and went home.

My first thought was to turn on Netflix but I chose not to. I went up to bed and lay down. The pain was hitting hard: in my eyes, my neck, my left shoulder in particular. I was watching it but was intimidated by doing so. It was big, really big, looming and threatening to advance. In my mind I was looking for somewhere small to hide.

I realized that there was, in fact, a place inside me that didn’t hurt. It was in my core, the smallest part of me. I began to visualize myself in layers, like an onion, and the outside layers all hurt, but there was one layer in the furthest depths that didn’t. Keeping my eye on the pain I went there, lived there. The one single small little space that the pain couldn’t touch. The tiny glowing dot in the center of this image describes it well.

Aura Egypt

I think I expected that the pain would just go away, but it didn’t. After a while of holding it back I realized that it was only going to go away so much. I gave up for a moment, deciding that I didn’t want to be face to face with the amount of pain that was left. But giving up caused it to take control of me so I quickly returned to watching it. The more I lived in the painless space the more relaxed my body became. It took a concentrated effort not to brace myself against it. After staying in this state for awhile I got up to use the bathroom and my neck popped several times loudly. My muscles had relaxed enough to let go of the tension.

It began to imagine myself laying in front of a huge panel of glass. The pain was behind the glass. I could see it and experience it but it wasn’t me and didn’t control me. It did feel like an entity. I could see its tentacles through the glass, its many~layered little anemone fingers and teeth, very similar to the background behind the figure on the first image on this page. It was many~coloured and hideous but I made sure not to make what I was doing into despising it. It had no power, it merely wanted to live. Pain, as the ego, began as a servant but got out of control, was allowed too much power. To honour its purpose is to set it free. Helpless and unable to reach me it flopped its tentacles and gnashed its teeth.

Thoughts would come and go, my mind telling me about the pain and how bad it hurt and this and that, causing the pain to advance. I would drop the thought and return to watching it. Eventually I realized that thoughts were pain as well. I placed them behind the glass with it, where they belonged. I got really sleepy and began to drift off.

My Other came in with a Starbucks’ Energy Mocha, which sometimes helps depending on the type of pain, but I told him to put it in the refrigerator. I slipped off to sleep and didn’t wake up til morning.

The next day I had little residual aches and pains from it, some that I had to watch all day. Still, they were nothing compared to what I should have been experiencing, what I would have experienced every single other time I got that kind of migraine. I was not able to sit at my desk and do math, but the key here is that I was not suffering.

It works! It really works. It’s the only thing that has ever worked. In the video, Eckie (as I like to call him, precious little man that he is) says that with regular practice we can become completely pain~free. Knowing how much better the pain is while watching it and holding it back, I never want to go back to allowing it to take me. I can choose to refuse to feed it.

Cure

We cannot reject the pain, we cannot fight it. This, too, is resistance. The secret is simply to watch it. Observe it. Stop identifying with it. It is not you. As the video says, observe how you want to talk about it, how you take a strange pleasure in it. When I first heard that I laughed out loud because I’ve never taken a pleasure in it….or have I? Pain serves a purpose, and no matter how much you think you hate it and how much you think you are ready to get rid of it, it is serving you somehow. I believe that my pain stems from not being valued as a child. My mother hated me the most because I was most like her and she hated herself. But when I was sick she took excellent care of me. Being sick was the only time I ever received affection from her.

I used to think that it was necessary to get to the root of the trauma in order to heal. Though it would be beneficial to discover what pain means to us and how we are using it for our own purpose, we don’t have to know the “why’s and how’s” to overcome obstacles. I cannot remember the first 13 years of my life and I may never. I had to move on. I couldn’t wait to remember to heal. It used to really bother me, but now it’s okay.

Without further pause let me share with you the video that is changing my life! I would never have believed it had I not witnessed it in action. It’s scary, and it’s not comfortable by any means…not yet. It’s better than what I had before, and I can see light at the end of the tunnel for the first time in my life. No ailment is forever, no symptom set in stone.

 

The Reality of Silence

alone-with-the-moon

Most of us are familiar with the spiritual theory that everything we are looking for is in the “silence between thoughts”, but few of us truly comprehend the meaning…myself included. Generally it is the teachers themselves who have reached this level of understanding. Most teach around it, giving mankind day~to~day advice that can be used to eventually “reach the spiritual heights” necessary to even comprehend such an idea. The reason for this is that once we have reached a certain level we don’t need to be told about it, we experience it firsthand, when peace fills the spaces~ once~painful, as thoughts give way to silence.

I have struggled with the idea of silence for many years. Every advancement I have ever made has been because I have thought (and fought) my way through life. I’ve picked myself apart piece by piece, separating what is false from what is true. I have worked though my childhood traumas one by one with no small effort of thought. I have watched others who I yearned to be like and emulated what I saw in them to help perfect myself. How, then, can silence possibly outweigh the years of fighting to become this better “me” that I have become?

Darwin-I-think

I think, therefore I am…Darwin

Dr. Richard Alpert describes two schools of thought. The Dualists believe that we must use methods to gain integration of all aspects of the psyche, discarding the method when it is no longer needed. The opposition (Dwightists, W. Dwight Whitney), believe that we should stop talking, stop thinking and simply BE. What’s ironic about Dwightists is that only those who have surpassed the method stage can follow their advice. I wouldn’t think that someone who has reached such a height would look back and expect everyone else to be able to follow along, but I suppose it seems so obvious a route to take that the process doesn’t occur to them. Though these Non-Dualists do have a point, it’s not exactly the most practical approach for the average person. They are absolutely right about the cessation of thought being the quickest route to complete understanding, the genesis of pure creation and the allowance of all the universe to rise to our every need. However, in my life I have found that I am just now able to be in a place still enough that I can reap the rewards that silence has to offer.

Once you begin to consider a concept it is likely that you are already heading towards the understanding of it, thus longing to understand is the first step in reaching towards these goals. Meditation is a great way to move in the direction of silence, but many people get easily disillusioned by the process because it is not quick and certainly not easy. We tend to complicate the simplicity of it and expect instant results or even noticeable results in a couple of weeks or a month.

Simplicity Einstein

We have become so used to thinking that we have a very hard time letting thoughts go. Generally the beginnings of meditation cause thought to increase rather than decrease and we find ourselves being lost in thought more often than we release it. I have found that until I’ve sat still for at least 30 minutes I cannot even begin to release my thoughts. This is why so few people succeed in reaching silence, most of us don’t have the time. Frustration can lead to an intensified thought process, called by some the “monkey mind” in which your mind furiously bounces from one thought to the other uncontrollably.

In all reality, we should all make time in our day to meditate, as it is the single solution to all the problems of life. There really is no such thing as having no time to meditate, though many of us (myself included) tend to believe this fallacy. If you look at people such as the actor Viggo Mortenson, who has a family, speaks three languages fluently and can hold a conversation in four others, writes poetry, plays piano, enjoys futbol, paints and pursues photography as well as owning his own publishing company, you can see that there is more time in a day than most of us realize. How is this possible? Being that time does not exist, we can stretch it if we so desire. When you reach for the stars you find that they reach to meet you in return and miracles are made. This is what I remind myself often and yet I still continue to keep myself from a consistent study of silence.

The first time I experienced pure silence was in a field. I had longed for a return to the relationship with nature that I had as a child, which had been lost to me over many years. While living in a duplex I found myself across the street from a field, where I began to sit when I had free time. I wasn’t trying to meditate or silence my thoughts in any way, I only wanted to get away and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. I did begin to practice some techniques eventually, it was as if nature drew me towards it.

chair_in_field3_by_newdystock

One day no different from any other I found myself sitting in a chair I had dragged to the field. I was lost in thought, surrounded by tall buffalo grass and all forms of wildlife. Staring off into space my mind got quiet as I listened to the waving of the grass in wind and the songs of birds.

Suddenly everything human inside me ceased to exist. I was absolutely silent inside, devoid of any thought. I was not myself any more than I was the wind that blew the grass, the grass that housed the insects, the insect that moved down to the soil and the soil itself. The feeling was that of pure Oneness with all things and it was utter bliss. I had the ability to experience existence as everything simultaneously.

Onewitheverything

Other, more recent experiences with silence have produced the same results. There is a wave that emanates from the source of all that is good, a wave that is blocked off by thought. Think of silence like a cure for every human ailment; medicine for physical sickness, neutrality for judgment, a oneness for separation and the quieting of the ego. When we are silent inside the true “us” is allowed to shine through…which just so happens to be all things in the universe. Without approval and disapproval we can traverse the world without hurting anyone or anything. We say the right things at the most perfect moments when we are not speaking through the ego. Without a brain full of useless thoughts we learn faster and retain more. We see opportunities open up for us that we had held ourselves back from with doubts and worries. We meet people that we never would have met before. Beyond the infinite benefits, silence is living in a world where all is as it should be. It’s the single cure~all, the sole answer for the hindrances that hold the soul back from advancement. We are silence, the state of thought is unnatural to us. It’s nothing we are learning, rather something we are remembering. We came from silence and to silence we return.

Rumi

We spend so much of our thoughts trying to solve the problems that would organically disappear were we to incorporate silence into our lives. Truly it can be said that heading in the direction of silence is the single most important endeavor of man. Ironically it is the least~sought of all endeavors, but even this is part of the plan. In silence we see that all, truly, is as it should be, in every way. Once we are on the path we can’t exactly stray from it. Maybe we’ll move slower in the direction of advancement than those who do make time for silence, but we will progress nonetheless.

After living in silence for awhile I began to pull away from the polar opposites of both highs and lows; those obsessive qualities of man that are equally distasteful when the trustworthy and constant state of silence is attained. I began to see that suffering is most often due to thinking that the world isn’t as it should be; an ingrained belief that things are only right when we feel good, and that when we feel bad we have fallen away from goodness. A series of less~than~enjoyable events can build on each other until we have lost our way. But silence is a state one can return to in any situation, causing immediate relief by peeling back the layers we build up and returning to the beginning again. Once you come to rely on silence, you don’t want the manic highs anymore than you want the depressive lows. To be the tree in this image is to be silence. Pure existing, without the downfalls of thought.

Birds of Joy and Sorrow

V. Vasnetsov’s “Birds of Joy and Sorrow”

The secret is to enjoy every step, and silence holds the most enjoyment we could possibly experience. We should not berate ourselves for how far from silence we have strayed because every waking moment we are choosing to walk towards it or not, depending on what is most important to learn at any given moment.

If you take anything away from this, let it be your right to choose what direction you will take. I have only briefly tasted of silence, I am no more adept at it than most. However, I can assure you that once you taste even one drop of the bliss that awaits you in silence you will do everything in your power to get more. When each breath is a gift that makes you want to cry with the joy of simply being alive, but you don’t cry because you are calm and sure and steady, you see that you were meant for silence and that your soul is forever longing to return to it.

I’ve posted a page with a short video from Eckhardt Tolle with some good advice for how to practice silence during an average day.

Let’s just…think about it. Hehe.

Silence 1

Gaining a Soul~full State of Mind

astral states

When considering how to begin preparing for an out of body experience it’s often easy to be overwhelmed. Most of us come home from work to do housework, having little time to relax before bed. It’s typical to fall asleep when attempting any sort of practice in the few minutes that we have to do so. We may live with others whose schedules are different from our own or have little time alone, making any practice difficult to achieve.

However, this is a crucial time in the neophyte’s life, when the realization of our innate abilities to tap into the mystical can often catapult us away from associating ourselves with the woes of the world. If you can learn to explore you provide yourself with positive thoughts and memories to draw from during days in which the weight of physicality might otherwise press down on you. It can begin the process of movement away from bad habits, addictions, obsessions and negative states that, otherwise, you would circle helplessly through with no escape. Realizing that magick is real and that it can be yours lifts you from hot soil into the cool realms of infinite possibility.

When I first began considering these things I was reading an old book called “Eckankar: Keys To Secret Worlds” by Paul Twitchell, my version of the Bible. There are many suggestions presented, such as the 360 Degrees Technique in which one imagines oneself as a spot on the ceiling. You look down upon yourself night after night, eventually cultivating a 360 degree viewpoint through the roof and walls. Though I practiced the many techniques described in the book, I could never be sure that what I was experiencing was real or if I was just making it up. I wanted to do it right, to know it was real, so I became hesitant to work in the realms of imagination.

But every practice that is suggested for gaining this state of mind has to do with imagination, one of the main ingredients when passing on to the Next of Things. Don’t be fooled into thinking that imagination is not important, or not real. It is said that everything created by the imagination of man exists on some plane. If your plan of advancement is to return to this plane or another like it, a physcial plane, then you’ll be born into another body and grow up just as you have before. However, those searching for ascension will need to develop tools that are used in the non-physical worlds, such as focus and imagination.

Out

I’ve only physically left my body a couple of times with help, but I’ll discuss here why leaving your body with the Tibetan mental technique is every bit as trustworthy as physical projection. True, literal projection is a physical experience, when interactions with ascended masters are longer lasting and more interactive, but it’s helpful to get comfortable with these ideas alone first before one even gets to the point of actual projection. This is the path my master set me upon, a path I took many years before ever actually projecting. I can’t help but wonder whether my mental technique experiences allowed me to go as far out of body as I did when it finally happened.

I began with a song. Music can divert us from what is going on around us if we have little time alone, or if we live in a house with others whose noises would prevent us from focusing. Personally, every experience worth noting has been to music, though it will not always be so.

I would play the song on repeat and imagine myself leaving my body. Using what knowledge I had of my surroundings I began to explore; my back yard at that time, the highway behind it, the cow pasture to the other side of it and the huge, white water tower beyond. I would swirl up and around the water tower, fly alongside the cars I could hear passing by on the highway. I would look in to car windows, imagine who I would see there. It’s important to allow yourself to create, it doesn’t have to be what is real, it can be any explicit design. The more detail you add the more real you make it, and the more practice your imagination gets. Trust in oneself is crucial to soul travel, that means trusting your imagination as much as your own eyes.

Eventually I expanded my flight pattern. Driving is an excellent time to work on any technique. While driving, I would begin to leave myself places that I passed that were beautiful to me. I would imagine myself standing there watching myself drive by. You can do this simultaneously while driving, don’t worry that you’ll run off the road. It’s the same process as the thoughts and memories you return to while driving on the average day.

At first I would watch myself drive away, and then I began to perfect the Leave Yourself Behind technique . I would imagine smelling the flowers in the field. I would try to imagine fish swimming beneath the surface of a pond and how the light reflected off of the surface. I would try to make the place as real to me as I could.

Soon I found myself considering going further. I have always wanted to visit Norway, a country I am most fascinated with. I looked at a general map of the world and saw that I would need to cross the U.S. to New York, which would be the most direct route nor-noreast across the ocean to Norway. Of course, it would be difficult to imagine every single stop along the way, so I generalized my vision of following random interstates, creating interesting and beautiful night landscapes to fly over, eventually coming to the ocean.

With the song playing I flew myself to Norway, dipping and diving into the water, playing with its rising and falling parts to the beat. The moone would watch me dance as I skimmed across the surface, delving into the waves, swimming with behemoth whales and sharks. When I finally came to land I imagined it was Norway, heading towards the city that I wanted to visit, Notodden, having previous knowledge of its general location. I imagined myself flying to the house of the composers of the very song I was listening to, seeing the female singer staring out the window at me.

mooneatnight

I did this night after night, becoming more proficient by looking up images of Notodden that I could better create the landscape around me. I began to believe that what I was experiencing was real until it occured to me that the sun would be rising over the waters to Norway, a seven hour time difference from the U.S. This caused me to reject my practice, because I had only ever seen the moone over the ocean. I decided that I was making it all up and quit flying for awhile. It was only lack of faith in myself, as I would soon come to find.

But the wonder of it, sheer exploration in an age when I was destitute and desperate, called to me. Soon I was flying again, all to that same song which I had become familiar with, choreographing my dance over the ocean until I knew it by heart. But that began to feel less like free motion and more a specific, forced habit, so eventually I stopped listening to the song and went without it.

It was this first, music-less journey that I passed over an intensely green island just before England, whose emerald depths were exquisite in the morning sun. At this time I had no concrete knowledge of the world or the placement of countries. Every new visit to Norway I would pass it. Eventually I got a more detailed map and looked it up. Ireland. The realization that I was experiencing something altogether real was cause for celebration, but at that time I had no one to tell. It truly is a lonely road to liberation.

One such journey I came to a city that looked very much like what I would imagine Venice, Italy to be. The houses and offices were built directly on the water. This, too, disheartened me because I thought I was incorrect in my creation. Again I lost faith in myself, even after the discovery of Ireland. But I had strayed north, ending up in Ålesund, Norway, which looks very much like Venice to the untrained eye. It was then that I fully came to trust my imagination.

Could I have possibly seen Ireland on some previous map and just not realized it? Could I have watched a movie that was filmed in Ålesund years before I came to love the country, thus having some stored memory of what it looks like? Quite possibly, but none of that matters. Since then my master has taken me to other planes. I have created worlds with my mind, never having left my body. Whether any of it is real doesn’t matter, it has changed my life in the most amazing and exquisite ways, and has caused me to experience a joy that I didn’t believe could be possible as a human on Earth.

I will put these techniques and others on a page entitled “Soulwork”, for easy access.

Ålesund, Norway

Ålesund, Norway

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

The “M” Word: Who Has Time To Meditate?

meditation-woman-moon

For years there has been little time to meditate. When I have found the time I’ve largely been unsuccessful, my mind bouncing around robotically. The single practice that would cause me to integrate the fastest is the very practice I have no time to perform. Though my master is always available I’ve rarely gone to him, honestly because I’ve felt unworthy to waste his time. He’s an astral being after all, no doubt he trains the purest souls, the most advanced souls that have perfected meditation and even transcended it. However, the time I’ve spent shaming myself for not having meditated I could have just been meditating.

How many times can I use the word time? The reality is that I’ve simply not been prepared for the discipline meditation requires, and deriding myself has only kept me from it. The walk towards any destination may seem to take forever, but there’s an eternity awaiting, and years of your life are nothing more than the blink of an eye in the Next.

We forget magick exists. We forget that we can advance exponentially the more we sink into self-acceptance. We gain a level and look back to see that we couldn’t have been ready before it was time. The quicker you learn to be okay with exactly who you are Hereandnow, the faster you advance.

All this time I haven’t been meditating, I’ve been living the life I came here to live. That’s practice. That is walking the path, and it’s all my master would ask of me. Every waking breath is walking the path, but because we keep getting lost in the illusion it’s easy to feel like we are not advancing, or even that we are back-sliding. There is no such thing, that’s just more of the illusion.

This sudden ability to hold focus and allow thoughts to pass like clouds began as all epiphanies do: Magick. The solving of the Eighth Door, Duality, lead me to youtube. I had been listening to Ram Dass videos on duality, and one in particular was a meditation (there are so many, I’ll get back to you when I remember which one) in which he suggested the group imagine that the air was full of a gold mist. He asked the group to take deep breaths and inhale the gold mist, and exhale all the anger, sorrow, pain, every negative emotion they were clinging to, allowing the gold mist to enter the heart first and the body next. He asked that, to humor him (he’s such a joker), the audience imagine that there are spirit guides in the mist waiting to help, spirits which have specifically stayed close to us instead of surrendering to the bliss of Next, that they may be available to guide us.

I was doing the meditation and suddenly he said “Do you feel that? That guilt? Let go of that guilt right now.” and I realized that I had felt guilt for so many things that I’d not even realized. Ram Dass explained that ‘grace’ is when a spirit guide literally takes on something that is too heavy for you to carry, something you can’t seem to work through on your own.

I’ve always heard this, but have been too stubborn to ask my master for help. In that moment I was desperate, because some unnamed emotion had caused consistent physical pain in me, debilitating pain that makes me miss days of work and school. I’d not been able to find any cause until that moment. I asked for the guilt to be taken from me, and it was.

This caused a great deal of euphoria. For weeks afterwards I was in a constant psyche-delic state in which I was able to hold perfect focus. In this state every relationship was profoundly deepened. I touched people in a way that I never had before. All judgements were gone and I was able to be a true friend, and because of that they were able to be what they were meant to be as well. More miraculous moments spawned in those weeks than ever had before; even the wind played the hairs of my head in perfect time to the music that I listened to, until I found myself speechless in the great Awe of All Existence, moved beyond ability to express it while at the same time calm and quiet inside. Suddenly excessive, obsessive highs were as distasteful to me as depressive lows, because center is an ecstasy that cannot be compared. Simultaneously (it was all waves, all life is in waves) I was given cause to have many obsessions, many dreams becoming reality yet, I did not lose myself in them, choosing the Middle Road instead. And most importantly, I had no physical pain.

Incidentally, when I returned to that Ram Dass video I found that he’d never once mentioned guilt. That message had been for me and me alone. Guides truly are everywhere, we need only listen to hear their lessons.

That ability to hold perfect focus is gone now, a glimpse of what I could become with meditation. Even during that time I knew it would fade, but I was in the flow and knew that not even that mattered. When I ‘came down’, I found that I had become prepared to begin the journey towards focus and center.

My pain has returned, but I have tools now to release it. I’ve stopped migraines that would have before been inevitable. I’ve reversed pinched nerves and locked up muscles by doing the center-point technique I will describe in detail on the page entitled “Tips for Meditation in a Chaos Age”. I will update the list as I find new techniques along the way, and as always feel free to leave your own.