Category Archives: consciousness

Pet Rocks

A Psychic once suggested to me that I get my hands on a Shiva lingam — that it could change my life. I had never heard of a Shiva lingam so I researched. A lingam is a symbol and represents, among other things, the Hindu god Shiva, divine generative energy, the human subtle body and can be a catalyst for greater intuition and a Kundalini awakening. Dr. David Frawley, internationally acclaimed Yoga scholar and author says, “The Shiva linga represents the ascending energy of consciousness and life in nature.” It all sounded interesting so I went on a lingam search.

Apparently lingams can be a variety of different objects including columnar or oval stones or crystals. As a result of my search, I now have two ovoid stones. The first one I found was as smooth as a river stone, brown with gray, and gently piqued my interest. The second, a lapis lazuli, blindsided me with its beauty. Like trying on shoes, I enclosed each one into my fists. Each fit wonderfully snug into the palms of my hands. One felt like an egg, the other a sacred temple. Unexpectedly, the second felt alive – it really grabbed me. I’m told it might be a ‘talking’ stone. Who knew? The stones live with me now and insist that they belong there in my palms … as natural a part of me as my hands. They comfort me. I guess you could call them my ‘pet rocks.’

Stones can contain a lot of power and these two do! I hold the stones, one in each hand, each with the same shape and of comparable size. Although they are both similar, each has a clear-cut and potent affect on my hand and my gut. Travelling from my hand to my gut, I feel the laser like energy of a profound attraction or calling coming from deep within the center of the lapis stone. A far stronger calling than a piece of chocolate cake. I don’t know how this is happening but I can hardly resist this calling. I want to swallow the stone so I can own that power and it will radiate from within me. Quite an unexpected effect!

The lapis lazuli, my temple stone, is the deep dark blue of the sky just before night falls. Lapis has a reputation for conferring truth, enlightenment, intuition and inner peace. The mysterious, magnetic blue draws me to a part of my own being where mystic feelings reside in the mystery of silence and the upwelling energies of prayer. A sense of serenity pervades.

The other stone, which I think of as my river stone, is a warm earth brown holding soft, mellow energy with a shadowy subtle gray figure emerging — a happy Mexican spirit, a dancing figure with a sombrero. It reminds me of a carefree life in some unknown Paradise. I want to bask in it. I look at it and imagine sitting on the banks of a cool bubbling brook, my feet dangling in the healing waters of Mother Earth on a balmy, sunny day, just as the trees and flowers in Spring are beginning to blossom. All this from a rock? Hmmm…

Each of these stones is encircled with an oval ring. How curious! Does it mean anything? I don’t know. The Temple stone is ringed with a thin line of sparkling flecked gold, which enhances the splashes of blue-gray that live throughout its dark blue ocean of mystery. Within that ring emerges a vague figure resembling a whale ascending from the deepest ocean. The Mexican stone also has an oval ring, this one of gray that frames the arising, dancing Mexican. Perhaps the figures indicate the emergent Spirits of each stone and describe their essence, a certain vitality of consciousness. I begin to imagine that stones might be home to myriad creatures — angels, elves, owls, sleeping prophets. A cornucopia of beings emerging to talk with and advise me.

Everything on earth is an energy system. Every material and non-material item has an energetic frequency. Stones do, electricity does. Some have chaotic energies, others coherent. Some are higher frequency and obviously alive. Others are lower and appear dead. But everything has intelligence and is alive. Stones are very alive even though they appear to be inert. Whether we are aware of it or not, each human system is affected by the frequencies of other energy systems. As someone once said, when a butterfly flutters its wings, the whole world is affected. A Shiva lingam could change your life.

Trees Have Brains!

The Dakota Indians have a relationship with trees. It is cooperative and responsive. They feel with and understand the trees. Trees are companions on this Earth and they deserve respect. Dorothy Lee writes in Freedom and Culture,

“As I look out of my window now, I see trees, some of which I like to be there, and some of which I intend to cut down to keep them from encroaching further upon the small clearing I made for my house. The Dakota Black Elk Indian, however, saw trees as having rights to the land, equal to his own. He saw them as the ‘standing peoples, in whom the winged ones built their lodges and reared their families.”

In the perspective of Dorothy Lee, trees are objects to be controlled and manipulated, while the Dakota look at trees as ‘people’ that they relate with. They live with trees as treasured beings and treat them with appreciation. They have equal value with humans.

What would cause the Dakotas to give so much status to the trees that they experienced trees as ‘standing peoples.’ They obviously had a concept of and understanding of trees as more than western cultures do. Recent scientific studies substantiate a far greater intelligence capacity for trees and all things green and has provided some mind-boggling information about the green world. Trees have intelligence. They not only have intelligence, they have ‘brains.’ Trees communicate. Based on a scientific analysis of learning and memory, Stephen Buhner comments in Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm that: “In short, plants possess a highly developed root brain which works much as ours does to analyze incoming data and generate sophisticated responses.”

Who knew?! But, Buhner goes on to say that not only do they have a brain, but they also have social networks due to the fact that their brains, or neural networks extend out, sometimes for hundreds of acres, and communicate with all other plants! “…all plants are intelligent (just as are all mammals). They are all self-aware. They all engage in highly interactive social transactions with their communities.”

You are out walking in the woods. You are standing on the brains of an entire community of plant intelligence. They know that you are there. Through vast and intricate underground neural networks, they are communicating with each other about you! What do you know about them?

 

Who We Are

Who we are, the energy we bring to any endeavor is vital to the outcome of that undertaking. I was once sitting on a log in a quiet, shaded area of a city park, just enjoying the day when I noticed that a not fully-grown squirrel was approaching me from the end of the log. I was delighted! But then I had the sudden fear based thought, “What if it has rabies?!” Immediately the squirrel turned and ran away. I hadn’t moved a muscle, made not one sound. The thought took a millisecond to pass but the energy of the thought was enough for the squirrel to pick up and understand.

When you are engaged in something, no matter what, your energy is affecting your entire body and everything around you. Animals are the barometer of the kind of energy you have – the proverbial canary in the coal mine at an energetic level. For the past two years, I have been working with chickens in different capacities. Recently, a small group of them has come entirely under my caretaking. Chickens are fascinating, curious and friendly creatures and I love taking care of them.

My favorite part of the day is in the morning when I open the coop and the birds enthusiastically rush out to greet the day. Although I don’t do anything overt — outside of standing there and watching — that tells them how much I enjoy them, they know. After a few months of this morning ritual, the kingpin rooster, Big Mike, now comes over to give me a personal greeting every morning – a peck on the hand – to let me know that they are glad to see me too. He even ran all the way down the hill the other day to greet me when he saw me coming. Animals are intimately aware of all of the energies around them.

This is true of anything. Your energy affects everything inside and outside of you although you may not be in the least bit conscious of that. Remember this if you are trying to make change in yourself and in the world. Are you approaching change with mindfulness, compassion and empathy for yourself and all concerned, or are you infusing negative energy into whatever endeavor you are undertaking?

Quiet People…

Whoever decided that talking all the time should give one social status or is even intelligent? Quiet people does not equal stupid people! It does not indicate rigor mortis. There are all kinds of reasons why some individual might be quiet: ‘Still waters run deep,’ shy and intelligent, drugs. You’ve probably met many people who fall into this cluster. Some people enjoy listening and it would be quite an unbalanced and chaotic world without them.

Quiet people are not necessarily half-wits or dim wits. There are stupefied, full-of-themselves people who talk continuously until you feel like you’ve been pecked to death by a duck. Then there are people who are so full of life that their discourse bubbles with intelligence and can completely entrance another individual with the vistas of knowledge and experience that the other’s dialogue open for them.

There are people who don’t feel a need or see a reason to interact verbally all the time. They find peace in silence. They find wisdom in silence. They find relationship in silence. They find entire realms of knowledge in silence. They are cautious about who they want to interact and spend time with because of that wisdom. Who are any of us to judge. Understanding another individual is a lifetime process. Each living being, human, animal, plant, rock, water, the Earth itself is a complex and fascinating spark of a divinely ordained creation. Appreciate!

Thinking About…

I’ve been thinking about thinking. What if you could unroll the entire lifetime of your brain, word by word, like a ticker tape? What a shock and an education that might be! What is thinking? How does it happen? Here’s what I came to. Thinking is a way of sculpting and arranging energy — your own individual energy. The process of thinking assembles and organizes the elements of our lives, both conscious and not so conscious elements, into something intelligible.

Thinking happens by virtue of the ‘mind,’ which is composed of thoughts. But what is ‘mind?’ Sally Kempton, author and Meditation instructor says, “…the phenomenon we experience as “mind” is actually a particularly vibrant and subtle kind of energy. An ocean of energy, in fact, in which waves of thoughts and emotions arise and subside.” The mind is a tool that individualizes energy by engaging the process called thinking.

The mind is the most important tool that we have. Think of it as a horse. You can leave a horse out in the field to wander, or you can train a horse so that you can ride it, enter it in races or shows, or do work that you can’t do yourself. Just so, you can train the mind to consciously serve your purposes or allow it to wander endlessly and waste away all of your energies and talents.

What do you spend your time thinking about? Is your mind enthralled constantly by all those pre-taped messages that go through it over and over and over (a form of self-hypnosis) – broken records of past unresolved events, ungrounded fantasies, bland repetition of who knows what? Does that accomplish anything beneficial for you or anyone else? Is that really the process called, “thinking”? Let’s hope not!

You can use the mind in countless ways. Think about it! Some of the synonyms for thinking are reasoning, rationalizing, discerning, intellectualizing. You can ruminate, ponder, reflect, cogitate, meditate, deliberate, muse. Within that framework, thinking can be many things. It can be a response to internal feelings or external stimuli. It can be your way of creating representations of your world and your life – your particular perspective. It can be a way of directing your thoughts to resolve problems, put together information in a way that clarifies and brings deeper understanding. Or you can use the thinking process to create — in the sense of someone having an idea and then thinking through the process of designing a city, house, a rocket, whatever.

How does ‘thinking’ come about? Each of us has impulses towards certain activities; moods or attitudes that come from feelings – feelings of depression, curiosity, anger, love, harmony, discomfort, etc. Each of those impulses or moods draws to it a certain constellation of thoughts and behaviors. Out of that constellation of thoughts, you can take what you want and ride the wave in that particular realm. That wave — for instance, curiosity — can be creative, coherent, expansive, or it can be negative and destructive– ie., depressive thinking.

The power of directing your thoughts is called concentration. Concentration draws all of your energies into one coherent stream — called one-pointedness in Yoga philosophy. In Christian terms, it could be said: “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light,” lighting the way to greater understanding and action; bringing flow to your life. One-pointedness, singleness of mind, can direct that inner stream of energy into something that is organized and powerful. When you learn to concentrate, you learn to use your energies to your greatest, and possibly everyone else’s, benefit.

Begin the practice of concentration by choosing something that you love to do – learn to knit, do woodworking, dance, research a certain subject, etc. — and put your heart and soul into it even when the going gets rough. In this way you are learning to direct your energies, to be single-minded-one-pointed, and train your thinking processes. You’ve made a decision to choose and use your thoughts instead of letting them use you or wander aimlessly. You’ve trained your horse – the mind – to take you where you want to go. That’s what brings empowerment, satisfaction and a rich, wholesome life.

Bye Bye Birdie!

People don’t often think of animals as making conscious decisions. But they do. Last month I wrote about a chicken that had been injured and who was under the coop that night waiting for her death by predator or freezing. Ignorant of the Natural Laws, and loving the old hen, I coaxed her out from under the coop and helped her inside. The next day she seemed to be alive and well although still injured. She had two more days of being relatively active, considering her state, and appearing to enjoy her life out in the field with the flock.  I was happy for her. So for two more nights I helped her back into the coop. But by the third day, she had obviously declined steeply. That night I once again helped her back into the coop. As I placed her in the coop, she turned to look at me as if saying, but not unkindly, “Insane human!”

The next day, my co-workers spotted her early in the day, partially hidden, way over in the bushes. I knew by that time that it was truly her time to go. So, although it was a difficult decision, I decided I wouldn’t look for her that night. I knew that she had made a conscious decision to go where I wouldn’t find her and that she had purposely hidden from me in order to die her own natural way. The next morning I found her there, in the bushes, frozen, finally having left her body in peace to move on to Happy Hen Heaven.

 

Fear

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” But, in these times, it seems reasonable to be fearful doesn’t it? Everyday brings news of another mass killing; men of all ethnicities going out and randomly killing off everyone in their vicinity. And then there is climate change. The world has been assailed by increasingly frequent and violent storms that kill off masses of people in the blink of an eye. If it isn’t quick death, then from Love Canal to Flint, it is a slow, debilitating process of death that is caused by the invisible poisoning of our Earth — air, water, soil, food. If that’s not enough, then there is the looming threat of financial collapse causing misery or death by poverty. It seems like everywhere we turn, Death is looking us in the eye. It is frightening! It’s a wonder we don’t all wake up in the morning and just run out of our houses screaming in terror!

Why would Roosevelt, a reasonable and intelligent human, say that fear is the only thing to fear? I was once face to face with a Rottweiler that lunged, completely unexpectedly, from the corner of a porch toward me. Because I had been a regular Yoga/meditation practitioner, I had cultivated a state of internal calm and centeredness. When I saw the dog out of the corner of my eye coming for me, fear did not arise in me. Because the gaping abyss of fear was not there, the dog stopped, almost in mid air, turned and went back to its corner.

It has to do with being whole inside. Fear eats you up. The state of constant, subliminal fear breaks down your inner integrity. Fear can save your life in emergencies, but, with a persistent presence, it can also be like a leprotic disease, creating holes in the fabric of your being. In Nature, healthy plants aren’t attacked by disease, only plants that are already sick — same with animals. Predators have mechanisms that tell them when something is weak or sick and they go for it. It’s a green light for annihilation!

When calm is your abiding state, when you are able to stand back from the melee and get quiet inside, a whole new world comes into play. Peace is an unassailable ‘defense’ system. It doesn’t allow fear to exist.

Barn Phantoms

You can walk into the barn through the spaces between the weathered grey boards or you can walk in through the doorway. Either way, stepping onto the cool concrete floor you will be faced with stacks of hay bales in the room ahead and perhaps see a cow on the outside, gazing  complacently through the wide open barn window. There is just enough light coming in that shadow does not own the place, only a misty greyness, a sense of subtle expectancy. On the far wall, opposite the hay bales, dangles a row of solid iron hooks.

Once, not too long ago, a young, freshly killed deer, roped at the hind feet, hung from one of them. The owner took great pride in his first kill. He was not aware of the youth of the deer when he shot it, nor that he had broken taboo in taking it. For months, long after his departure, the deer hung there, a bloodless, gutted carcass. The coolness and solitude of the barn held the deer in quiet suspension.

Daily, the cows munched their way through the pasture, content in their meanderings. Just downhill from the barn, out in the fields, planting activities continued as usual. The market garden sprouted generously in spring rains and quickly filled the space between the rows then began to reach upward until the farmer could disappear into the vibrant lushness. Occasionally he would stop, suddenly feeling called by the whispers of spirits in the old barn looming up the hill. As time revolved through the days, the boy and the deer began to weigh heavily on his mind. The boy did not come back to clean and skin the deer. It was way past time.

There is a pile behind the barn in the shadows of the orchard. If you were to dig through that mass, not too far down you would find the bleached skull of a young deer. As a matter of fact, you would find an intact skeleton, the phantom of a young boys journey into a future he did not intend.

Crystal Ball

“Quetzal: …Before I give you a clear account of the prophecies of Henoch, I would like to point out that prophecies are always changeable and can be changed for the better if man makes positive changes in his thoughts, feelings and actions, leading to that which is better and positively progressive.” (© Billy Meier/FIGU 2002–2004)

A recent conversation with friends led me to a realization that shifted me 360 degrees and something essential came suddenly into clear focus: that each of us is always creating the future moment by moment with our feelings: not by our beliefs, thoughts, words and actions but by the feelings underlying them. The feelings that are bubbling inside of you, moment to moment, beneath the business of the mind, are the foundation, the wellspring, of your present and future. You don’t need a psychic to tell your future.

Your internal world is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of potential. Often you aren’t consciously aware of your feelings and because of this your future unfolds randomly. But there is a way you can consciously sense, choose and create your future and it is a process that will fulfill all of your needs and capacities. By regularly tuning into, acknowledging and understanding your feelings, you will align with and manifest all potential aspects of your being.

Eugene Gendlin, author of the book Focusing, recognized that successful therapy clients were tuning into and unwinding something he called the ‘felt sense’ — a vague, unarticulated cluster of feelings. Your felt sense is your living truth. By articulating it, you access uncensored knowing. Your felt sense is your inner crystal ball, which is in steady streaming operation. Basically it is akin to a gut, intuitive feeling about the rightness or unfinished sense of something.

In the beginning, it is a unformulated, undefined ‘something’ that you sense, usually in the wide expanse of body between the perineum and the throat. It is palpable. It is something that does not come from the conditioned reactions embedded in a mind that has been molded, censored or enculturated by external learning. Says author Penny Kelly, “We have been conditioned to not acknowledge or act on our feelings. The result is that we begin to lie with our entire being.”

Feelings and felt senses have patterns. Within a pattern of feelings, you may identify many indefinite or conflicting feelings before you arrive at a new pattern alignment that feels just right. This sense of rightness catalyzes and shifts the feeling patterns causing a synergy of the parts, a shift where everything in you reorganizes and engages. This place will very likely be surprisingly different than, perhaps even at odds with, the feelings, thoughts, ideas and images that you embraced before, but it is the manger that births wholeness of being.

The challenge comes in understanding the underlying meaning of the felt sense patterns. In order to grasp the meaning and to then guide the stream of possibilities, here is a condensed version of some steps you might take. Sit quietly, step into your inner world. Feel the sensations in your body. Acknowledge and sit with them like you would with a friend. What calls for your attention? Is there a word or image that comes from those feelings? Does that felt sense want or need something? (Refer to Focusing Resources for further steps). Throughout the process, you will know you have identified the meaning of that felt sense when the entire body resonates in response.

A psychic or empath can tune into various possible futures contained in your feeling pattern, but by going that route you deprive yourself of exercising your fundamental ability to identify your own vital truths. By learning to tune into your felt senses, your own inner See-r, you understand the creation of your optimum possible future from inner knowing and, even more importantly, you acknowledge and accept your true power, your natural, intuitive authority.

Identifying and shifting the array of feelings you hold may be the only sure and genuine way of creating a reality that satisfies all of your internal constituents and if you don’t get to that place, then you create realities and futures that don’t quite fit or that are ultimately undesirable. When you do arrive at that inner alignment, then you have arrived at a profoundly peaceful and harmonious internal Presence – your Living Truth. When you live from that Presence, you create the path into a future that unfolds moment by moment from your intrinsic nature, the one that your innate, indwelling intelligence leads to: your most potently meaningful life.

 

The Heart Hears!

One night I was sitting quietly, fully engaged in the music that I was hearing — a playlist of some of my favorite pieces — classical, pop, inspirational, world music. I realized that it had been a long, long time since I had taken the time to actually, fully listen. My entire being was feeling sound, absorbing rhythm and essence into every cell of my body and Psyche. Not to be cliché, but because I was wholly present to the music, it struck a deep chord directly in the core of my heart, a place I hadn’t been able to reach for what seemed like eons. Something significant shifted and awakened in me as I listened. What followed was an altered state of consciousness and a night of profound dreams.

Some, maybe all, of the most powerful moments in life happen directly through the heart. We make connections with people, animals, art, nature, music — all aspects of life. Heart-to-heart connections are the very sustenance of life. The word heart itself contains intriguing relationships. The words ‘hear,’ ‘ear,’ and ‘art’ are contained in the word heart. It is not a far stretch to add an ‘h’ at the end of ‘heart’ to include the word ‘hearth,’ a home, a place that warms and nurtures the entire being, which is a primary purpose of the heart. The heart is the hearth of the body: the home of love and connection to life. The home is the heart of life.

Have you heard the phrase, ‘the ear of the heart? Genuine meaning often escapes the mazes of the linear mind, which hears only the superficial. The intelligence of the heart, the ‘ear’, can detect the spirit and essence of what is being communicated through any medium. Beyond actual physical hearing, we have intuitive senses. The deeper meaning of words comes directly through our heart-felt intuition. Jane Roberts, famous intuitive, comments, “…we will be intuitively aware of what the other person is saying to us: we will know what is beneath words. We will also use words better ourselves to communicate our inner feelings since we will know what those feelings are.”

We get it at a feeling/intuitive level because the essence of sound, the basis of words, is vibration. Vibration itself has primal meaning, which creates the essence of words. In some cultures, there are people who can understand many languages because they feel the substance of words, the meaning of the vibrations, through the ‘ear of the heart.’ Herbert Whone in, The Hidden Face of Music, comments that, “In a material existence…a man has to delve deep to get to the heart of the matter.” The heart hears!

Sound is, of course, the basis of music, which is a nonverbal expression of human communication. Music is a medium that affects the heart directly both psychologically and through physical vibrations. I’m sure that you find this obvious! In ancient Greece, music is one of the nine Muses – the Divine Muse. She is the one who presides over all the others. She is mighty and powerful. She can make your heart soar or send you into paroxysms of sadness. She penetrates the heart directly and intimately. Her power creates bridges from heart to heart.

Author Herbert Whone expands on these deeper influences. Man, he says, “…is capable of tuning in to, or more simply hearing, the song of any other being in the universe. It is for this reason that we find the word ‘hear’ embodied in the word ‘heart’. It is the universal heart, which is the source of true wisdom, and ‘to get to the heart of the matter’ is a saying that reveals the truth in this. Real hearing is a penetration from heart to heart.”

The kind of Music you listen to can totally change the disposition of your heart. Try an experiment. Sit or lie down comfortably. Select a few styles and rhythms of music to listen to. Pay close attention to your heart’s response. Get to the heart of what you feel. Your feelings are like shades of color in the background of a painting. Notice that your feelings change with the music; even the heartbeat changes. Observe how each piece affects you emotionally. Feel the spirit of the music move in you — that spirit can transform everything!

Mitchell L. Gaynor, M.D. in The Healing Power of Sound says, “In a series of studies that examined how music affects blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing, and other aspects of the autonomic nervous system, participants’ heart rates were found to respond both to the volume and the rhythm of the music. And in some cases, the heart rate or respiratory rhythm actually synchronized with the beat of the music.” Gaynor goes on to describe further studies where music reduces anxiety, heart and respiratory rates, and changes blood pressure.

Music is a soulful, moving pursuit and can connect you to the deepest source of yourself through ‘the ear of the heart’. When you speak from your heart, your source, you express the music of your soul. Music that brings inner harmony can heal. As a part of your health maintenance plan, try listening regularly to healing music. It is a lot cheaper than a trip to the hospital — and steady doses of healing music on a large scale might even lower insurance rates. Perhaps, if heartful music had a prime place in our homes and culture, the rate of shootings in this country might decrease, wholesome connections abound, and the measure of sanity increase.

Your heart is your inner hearth, your home – a place to return to for harmony and comfort. Your own words, used wisely and in harmony, are the music of your soul. These are crucial reasons to use speech and music to harmonize our hearts so we can become healthy humans. The potentials for utilizing Music to heal the heart of a culture and to increase our abilities to connect with one another are myriad and necessary. Increasing our ability to absorb the wonderment and sacredness of life through sound and music are worthy and compelling endeavors.