Archive for the ‘Principles for better living’ Category

Up into the sky

The Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass (CREAM VI) experiment

During this time of the year the Sun never sets below the horizon. It goes round and round skimming the mountain tops. Some call this the bottom of the Earth, but I call it majestic Antarctica.

At four in the morning I joined the engineering crew to start up the helium pumps. We had a 14-million cubic foot balloon to fill with that “lighter than air” gas. Sixteen acres of light weight polyethylene fabric was outstretched on the frozen landscape. The wind had subsided to less to that 5 mph and the weather forecasters still held to their prediction of diminishing winds. So today was launch day.

Polyethylene was discovered by Reginald Gibson and Eric Fawcett in 1933. It’s much better than latex for balloons, because it’s less porous and fewer helium atoms escape through the membrane.

As a balloon rises it expands due to the lessening of atmospheric pressure on it. If a balloon is over filled, it will reach a burst altitude. Our calculation of 14-million cubic feet will prevent that from occurring.

I am a graduate student at the University of Maryland. We built and designed the Cosmic Ray Energetic and Mass (CREAM VI) experiment. Our partners from NASA assembled the launch apparatus and handled the logistics. Hopefully our experiment would soon be floating 126,000 feet above the Antarctic landscape. Many hours of planning and construction went into today’s realization of dreams.

I first became interested in space engineering during an introductory high school physics class. When I studied physics I felt awe and marvel, at both the complexity and inherent simplicity of the Universe. As big as the biggest and as small as the smallest, it seemed that everything danced in orderly fashion to the music of natural laws.

My name is Sing and I come from the town of Visakhapatnam, India, that beautiful port city on the Indian southeast coast. My parents are of moderate means as my father is a sales merchant. But somehow he managed to send me and my sisters to good schools. Our family follows the teachings of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Guru Nanak (1469-1539) began his life as a young poet and spiritual thinker. He studied both Islam and Hinduism. He refused to follow the Hindu tradition that stratifies the population by cast. Instead he insisted that all people are equal, irrespective of cast, vocation, or gender. He expressed that people should be known by the things that they do and their individual qualities. Guru Nanak said that spiritual pilgrimages and penance were far less important than spiritual practice to develop ones soul. He showed that spiritual growth was through meditation and that by living in harmony with nature the divine would shine in every person.

I practice our form of Kundalini yoga and meditation every day.

By six in the morning the balloon, while still on the ground, was starting to take a shape. I retired to my room for a break while the next crew monitored the helium flow.

Early flight

It seems that the human race has always been mystified and enthralled by the prospect of flight.

On November 21, 1783, Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis d’Arlandes made the first free-flight ascent in a balloon to over 500 feet in Paris. We’ve come a long way since then, as modern day balloons can fly to an altitude of at least 26 miles (42 kilometers).

Two weeks ago while packing my bags for this trip my brother’s young daughter asked me how many balloons would it take to lift her high up into the sky. She had just seen the movie “Up” and was captivated by that portrayed sense of adventure.

Although the calculations can be quite detailed taking into account – the size of the balloons, the weight and composition of the balloon material (plastic sheet, latex, polyethylene film), the lifting agent used (helium or other), the surface atmospheric pressure and back pressure imposed during flight, but in all …

… it requires approximately 450 cubic liters of helium to lift 1-lb (0.453 kg) off the ground.

So that means you need about 1,900 balloons (at 15-cm radius) in order to lift my niece 30 kg (66 lbs) up into the wild blue yonder.

So you don’t need to be concerned when you go to the carnival or circus, about your child being swept away by a handful of balloons.

One day while practicing my Kundalini yoga I realized that over the past several months the thoughts that came up during meditation seemed to be less distinct and clear. It was like I was experiencing thoughts in a more refined or delicate essence. Then it clicked in my head about what my teacher had once told me; during meditation the mind travels inward to experience more subtle levels of thinking. It’s a natural process. Once it’s started its kind of like diving; taking the correct angle and then just letting go. Gravity does the rest. In meditation it’s the natural tendency of the mind to experience more and more happiness, that effortlessly propels it to finer values of thought.

That’s like when an inflated balloon rests on the ground it’s still rather small. As it rises up into the sky it expands and gets bigger and bigger. Like that, a thought starts out as subtle and non-concrete. It’s just a little push of intelligence and energy. As it rises up through more concrete layers of creation it solidifies more and more. When it finally “bursts’ onto our awareness and it dawns as a thought, it is fully developed and seeks to provide an impetus for further thought or action.

As human beings we have various needs, requirements and desires. Once the basics are fulfilled, we expand our footprint in the world and seek greater understanding and fulfillment.

The Hierarchy of human desire:
• shelter – food – sex
• wealth – so we don’t have to worry about individual existential needs (the prior group)
• power – political empire and control of job
• knowledge – art, science, religion (belief and prayer), and imagination to dare the impossible for humanity
• self actualization
• meditation – to realize who we really are and what our relationship with the universe is.
• enlightenment – the dissolution of the ego establishes us beyond time and space, as part and parcel of the infinite eternal.

Guru Nanak Dev

The teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and Sikhism center on:
• Equality of all humans
• Equality of women
• Universal message for all people

The Mul Mantra, found in the Adi Granth religious text, expounds the essence of Sikhism:

“One Creator. Truth is His name. Doer of everything. Fearless, revenge less, undying, unborn, Self illumined, The Guru’s gift, Meditate! True in the beginning. True through all the ages. True even now. Oh Nanak it is forever true.”

It has been said that the Mul Mantra removes negative influences and can change every person’s destiny toward happiness.

§§

Remember to practice meditation every day. As we live and work in this world seek to experience the source of all that is.

Posted by on July 22nd, 2012 Comments Off on Up into the sky

Finding and living your Dharma

Mammoth Cave National Park

As we walked down the narrow rocky corridor members of the tour group voiced fascination and excitement.

The walls of sandstone on either side were carved millennia ago by underground rivers. Striations in the rock covered the ceiling and walls. The narrow passageway dipped to the left, and then to the right. The hollow access widened and then narrowed. The underground labyrinth inspired our imagination and instilled a sense of adventure.

We were on the Grand Avenue Tour at Mammoth Cave, and the limestone walls gave way into a large underground chamber known as Frozen Niagara.  There we viewed the 75 foot high flowstone formation, along with other Stalactites (hangs from the ceiling) and Stalagmites (rises from the floor).  A bit later we ended up in the Rainbow Dome, and stood in awe at the spectacular display of calcium carbonate cave formations.

For me the best part of this job is watching the wonderful expressions of discovery on the faces of our visitors. If I can help to stir the imagination and inspire our children and adults, I consider this a good day. As a Park Ranger I’m dedicated to introducing our guests to the wonders of planet Earth.

I’ve had many jobs over the last fifty years. I started out delivering newspapers and then working as general labor it a knitting factory. We made sweaters, blouses and skirts. In the 1980’s I saw these textile jobs moved overseas and many of my friends were left without work. I went to night school and earned an associate’s degree in Accounting, mostly because there were plenty of promising jobs in that field.

I worked for many years as an Accountant but I was never truly happy. I did my job with honesty and diligence, but it was just a means to pay the bills. I know that some corporate accountants say one plus one is whatever management wants it to be, but for me it was always two.

It wasn’t until I retired a few years ago that I found my life’s calling. There was an opening for tour guides at Mammoth Cave. I lived in Edmonson County for most of my life and enjoyed fishing on the Green River. I had spare time on my hands and remembered how I loved walking the caverns.

Now as a Park Ranger I found the job of my dreams. I finally got my grove.

Steer a true course

In the Western World finding that niche in life, where you thrive and blossom is often called Living the Dream. In the East it’s called Living your Dharma.

But it’s more than just finding the right job, that perfect life partner, or having a comfortable lifestyle. It’s about discovering who you really are, and what actions in life are best suited to exercise and cultivate your natural born talents. Following such a course accelerates your personal growth and also contributes to the well being of the human race.

The need to live your Dharma is an important theme found in the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

It’s based on the observation that various Natural Laws seem to be operating in the Universe. These laws create, sustain and destroy (transition) all aspects of relative life – in order to keep the universe running in a smooth, progressive, orderly fashion.

On a personal level that means aligning your thoughts and actions to flow in accordance with Natural Law.

Proper choice and pursuit of job, family, religion, health, exercise, ethical behavior, duty, social responsibility, marriage, self development and meditation – lead to greater benevolence, justice, propriety, wisdom, and faith in life.

Some may call this “The Law Eternal” (Sanatana Dharma), the “Path of Righteousness” or the “Dharma Gate” (as in Taoism), but in all cases it refers to living your full potential.

Flow with the rhythm of creation, and just Be.

When you follow your own Dharma, it …

• Fulfills your destiny
• Gives you the feeling that everything in the World is just right
• Highlights your best qualities and abilities
• Improves you family, community, city, state, nation, and world
• Improves your health
• It challenges you to grow, evolve and succeed
• Make a difference in the World
• Makes you feel generous and significant
• Makes you feel that you know what you are supposed to be doing in this life
• Provides opportunities to express your values and knowledge
• Increases Self esteem
• Makes daily chores and tasks seem less like work
• Turns you into who you were meant to be
• Unfolds your passion and fascination for life
• Utilizes your unique creative energies, bringing a thrill and excitement to life
• Draws you closer to the people that you love
• Becomes more empowering
• Allows you to feel fulfilled and happy
• Develops self respect
• Ushers you into peace

§§

The Mahayana Buddhist tradition of the Three Dharma Seals refers to the three life attributes shared by all living beings.

They consist of the mysteries of existence, impermanence (anicca – non self), and nirvana.

Everyone must deal with these three Worldly traits. Following one’s Dharma offers the best hope for navigating safely through the maze of personal existence.

The first Dharma Seal is impermanence:

As time passes by nothing remains the same. Even a flowing river, from one moment to the next, contains different water. A new car turns into a pile of rust (3rd law of thermodynamics) over time. Children are born, become adults, and then perish in old age. Mountains come and go. The Seas rise, fall, and dry up. What was once fertile land becomes a desert. The Sun exhausts its hydrogen fuel and balloons outward to become a Red Giant Star, swallowing up the Earth and all the inner planets. One galaxy ends, and the next is born.

Our space/time/causal world is in constant motion. By living your Dharma you take advantage of the opportunity to change, advance, grow, and rise to bliss consciousness. Going with the flow, rather than against the current of time, maximizes bliss and mental peace.

Everything continues to exist, only its form changes over time. A leaf falls from the tree and returns back to the soil. Elderly people die and their bodies return back to the Earth.

Holding on and not accepting inevitable change is a source of suffering.

It has been said that in the present moment the past and future also reside simultaneously. To us on this hard physical plane of existence, past/present/future appear distinct and separate. We seem to live the present, remember the past, and dream about the future.

But on the higher planes of existence as we move from the physical, to etheric, and then to the mental sphere of activity (our thinking level) that solid distinction begins to dissolve. The past becomes almost as real as the present. All too often the past haunts our present lives with resentment and the sting of unfulfilled wishes.

How we behave in the present is governed in large part by our past actions. Who we are on an individual level is the sum total of what we have gone through in the past. It has been said that 40% of what we do every day is by habit. Mental impressions (samskaras) and personal biases based on religion and societal norms all too often dictate how we act. We want to be free, but we can’t escape their clutch.

On the Buddhic level which is experienced in Enlightenment, the influence of time, although still acting on our bodies, has no other influence.

An essential reason of why time exists is because the speed of light is not infinite. It takes time for light to travel. It does not move instantaneously.

In fact, light traveling through various dense media actually slows down. Some current physics experiments have virtually slowed light down to a crawl.

It takes time for information to travel from one place in the universe to another.

When we look at a sunrise we see the Sun as it was 8 minutes ago. That’s because it takes 8 minutes for the light to reach us from the sun.

Speed of light Average mean distance of the Earth to the Sun Light travel time
300,000   kilometers/second 149,597,871 – kilometers 8.317 light minutes
186,000   miles/second 92,955,807 – miles 8.317 light minutes

As we look out into space we are viewing farther and farther back into the past.

Look at:

Jupiter, and see it as it was – 45 minutes ago
Saturn, and see it as it was – 75 minutes ago
Pluto, and see it as it was – 5.5 hours ago
The nearest star, Proxima Centauri, and see it as it was – 4.3 years ago
The center of our Milky Way Galaxy, and see it as it was – 30,000 years ago
The Andromeda Galaxy, and see it as it was – 2.6 million years ago

Now as a thought experiment, imaging that your awareness is everywhere at once. You can see what is happening right now in front of you, and also what is happening right now at the farthest edge of the Universe. All now, all here.

Well then …
when your awareness is at the outskirts of Jupiter, you are watching what will been seen by an observer on the planet Earth 45 minutes from now. So from that perspective, you are currently watching the future.

Not so for the person on the Earth, if their awareness is limited to where they are at that moment in time/space. But for one with unbounded cosmic awareness (Atma), the past/present/future all reside at once, in the eternal now.

The concept and perception of past/present/future only has relevance to one with limited conscious perspective.

The second Dharma Seal is non-self:

This is the observation that the individual self is not permanent. There is no eternal individual soul or individual self.

Many religious and philosophical systems suggest that after death the human soul continuous on, either in another world (heaven or hell) or through the process of rebirth comes back to Earth.

The prospect of living eternally either in heaven or hell is not supported by this doctrine. But a temporary stay based upon the fruits of karma is.

Destiny and karma act on an individual life and collectively influence the course of events in society. The Enlightened person is still the recipient of their karma, but it is no longer binding.

Just as a wave rises upon the ocean’s surface to reach for the sky, exists for a short time and then merges back into the sea, so to the realized individual/human soul returns to the eternal source of being.

All phenomena acting on the body and mind of a person are non-self influences.

In Buddhist teaching this lesson is sometimes taught in terms of the “five aggregates,” which are:

1. Form – as perceived by sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.
2. Sensation – as pleasant, unpleasant, or indifferent.
3. Perception – as objective experience of the phenomenal world.
4. Mental formation – as memories, thoughts, and imaginations.
5. Consciousness – as cognitive and noncognitive.

These constitute the basics of personal existence.

The third Dharma Seal is nirvana:

Nirvana is a state where craving, hatred, suffering, and all forms of ignorance come to an end.

The delusion of the ego/self has been extinguished. When the small self dissolves into the large Self, all doubt and hardship suddenly evaporate. Death and the influence of time are transcended.

Nirvana is eternal peace and contentment.

Through the principal of transcending the relative world (via meditation) enlightenment is realized.

§§

Finding and living ones Dharma is essential for every individual being. The Park Ranger at Mammoth Cave found his purpose through walking, teaching, and silence.

You should take an inventory of your life to help determine what set of activities and goals you are best suited for.

Search you heart to find your Dharma. Live it fully, in tune with nature, to ride the crested wave of life.

Peace be with you.

Posted by on May 12th, 2012 Comments Off on Finding and living your Dharma

Outgrowing fear

Our heritage - picture courtesy Sharon Smith

When I was a child I loved those bedtime stories that my mother Elanora read to me.

Every evening she would kiss me on the cheeks and tuck me in. She pulled the blankets up tight and cozy around me. She smiled and asked what story I would like to hear. As she opened the book and began to read, her eyes glistened and spoke to me in gentle caresses of love.

Among my favorite Australian folk tales were Wayambeh the turtle and The origin of the Narran Lake. The stories seemed magical and filled with a life of hope.

But even though it scared me the best story was Deereeree the wagtail and the rainbow, mostly because it had a happy ending.

I was often frightened like Deereeree, of the long and dark silent night. And even when Bibbee created a beautiful rainbow to allay Deereeree’s fear of darkness, her suspicion of the event only prolonged the sense of fright. But in the end Bibbee explained his creation of love (the rainbow) and the two were married happily ever after.

My childhood was filled with the many challenges that we (the indigenous people) faced in Australia.

My mother reiterated how our people migrated from Southeast Asia into Australia approximately 50,000 years ago. Our numbers steadily grew to reach over 500 tribes (Bidjandjadjara, Aranda , Gunwinggu, Gurindji, Murngin, Kamilaroi, Tiwi, Wurora, Wailbri, and Yir-yoront). We were mostly nomads, moving from place to place in search of food. The men of the tribe hunted and protected the family, while the women cooked and tended to the children.

We were also artisans and philosophers, tied to the land, with a unique sensitivity and perspective of how nature functioned. We lived on the Earth, and its spirit flowed through our veins.

Our creation story calls the beginning of the world the “Dreaming,” or “Dreamtime.” Later in my life I learned that this was our recognition of the play of samsara (illusion), which causes and supports the false sense of ego and separateness. Even before the Buddha, my people understood the grand reality.

We do not consider the human species to be above or below that of rock, plant, or animal. We are part and parcel of nature’s song.

The didgeridoo

We created the “didgeridoo” bamboo wind instrument. At about five feet in length it produces a low, vibrating hum. We play this instrument at ceremonies honoring the events of sunrise, sunset, weddings and funerals.

Our way of life started to change significantly in 1788 when English settlers first landed in Australia. They took whatever land they wanted and their sheep farms began to multiply.

Many of my people became sick after contracted venereal disease, whooping cough, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other illnesses due to exposure to the white man. And we were deemed by them as “uncivilized,” and they passed laws sanctioning the removal of children from their parents; to be placed in orphanages or put up for adoption.

When I was six years old the State stepped in to take me away from my mother.

But Sir Charles Wilson interceded on my behalf. Sir Charles was the 4th generation of Wilson’s that had settled in our glorious land. I was living with my father and mother on his ranch. When it converted over to a mining enterprise my father stayed on and worked the cooper processing mill. But he died from a machine accident.

Sir Charles Wilson kept me and my mother on and took us in as family. We developed a strong bond with him, his wife Martha, daughters Rebecca and Susan, and son Willy. He is a kind and gentle soul. Sir Charles formally adopted me, so that in the eyes of the State I was allowed to stay on at the ranch. I lived with my mother. I was lucky.

In 1960 the Maharishi visited Australia on his first world tour, and he was all the rage. The newspapers and radio shows pickup up on the story. Imagine that, a saint from the Himalayas coming down to the city and exclaiming that the nature of life was bliss. That seemed to challenge common sense. Was he for real? People wondered what planet he had been living on.

So my mother Elanora, who had always been interested in such things, took the bus to see him. Soon she learned Transcendental Meditation (TM). When recounting this story to me sometime later she said that when looking into the eyes of the Maharishi – she saw bliss, love, and contentment. He seemed to be a living example of what he taught. That’s what convinced her to start meditation.

Two years later when the Maharishi returned to Australia she went to see him again. But this time she took me. I didn’t understand a lot of what I heard, but it seemed to be a good thing. So that summer I learned the meditation also.

In the 1960’s the sentiment toward us, the indigenous people of Australia, started too changed. By 1967 the Australian people voted to make us citizens.

In the 1970’s our civil rights movement was born. We wanted equal rights and justice for the land that had been forcibly taken by British settlers.

I learned at an early age that love is wise and hatred is simply foolishness.

In the first years of meditation I enjoyed an ever increasing sense of calm and serenity. That was useful since my school exams took a toll on my nerves. At times I probably used it as a crutch; to calm me down before those State Exams and to help me better focus my attention when spending long hours at study.

(NAPLAN for Literacy and Numeracy, NAP-SL for Science, and NAP-CC for Civics & Citizenship).

As a teenager I felt caught between two walls; what my Mother said I should do and what my friends often contradictorily said. I had a curfew to be home by 10:00 PM each evening, and that seemed to be an arbitrary restriction on my freedom. Maybe my hormones were constantly raging, but I just wanted to be free. I thought that I knew it all, and had an answer for everything.

What was important to me was school, my friends, the relationship and interaction with my mother, dating and sex issues, staying away from drugs and addictions, and my sense of self worth. I was blossoming as an individual, standing my ground, and exerting my influence.

That summer while on a hiking trip to Wollemi National Park I fell down a ravine and broke my arm. It took about three hours to be rescued because our guide had to call the park ranger who eventually came with repelling ropes and mountain climbing gear. At first I was bewildered during the fall. After tumbling and finally coming to rest, I started to feel the pain in my left arm. Even though I was all alone at the bottom of the ravine, I was not afraid. I knew that I would be OK. I was just thankful that I survived the fall and that nothing else seemed to be broken.

When the Rangers lifted me out of the ravine they said I was lucky. My staying calm, collected and brave helped me to get out safely.

Kangaroo crossing

By the time I celebrated my 21st birthday I had been meditating for ten years. Some of the things that my Mother told me when I was younger I had just brushed off as nonsense. But now, seeing life from an adult perspective, it turned out to be good advice. She was right on. Suddenly my estimation of my mother’s IQ rose in my eyes.

The Aboriginal Land Rights Act passed in 1976. It recognized our system of land ownership and authorized as law the concept of inalienable freehold title.

At one point my best friend told me that because my personality and temperament seemed to be always on even keel, I was not really alive. My friend Kaiya would ask me “where is your emotional fire, hunger for life, and desire?”

I replied, “Living life with stability and contentment allows me to experience it more fully. The wonder and enchantment of the morning sunrise, a butterfly on the daffodil, the birds chirping up in the tree, and great friends like you really sharing their lives with me. Not being thrown around by the vicissitudes of daily living, I see things more clearly.”

In the 1990’s new government legislation gave us greater autonomy, better working wages and other social benefits.

Today in the 21st century we are actively participating in Australian painting (Albert Namatjira), acting (David Gulpilil, Ernie Dingo, and Deborah Mailman), song (Christine Anu, Jessica Mauboy and Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu), sports (Lionel Rose, Evonne Goolagong, Arthur Beetson, Laurie Daley, Gorden Tallis, Nathan Jawai, Patrick Mills, Mark Ella), Parliament (Neville Bonner, Aden Ridgeway and Ken Wyatt), and too many other enterprises to list here.

I know from my experience over the years that meditation is wonderful, but since we all carry personal karmic debt, illness can still come our way. It’s not a panacea. But rather an aid or skill in action, that allows the mind to settle to its most restful and intelligent state. That brushes off on the body and goes a long way toward improving health.

Four years ago I accidentally found out that I had kidney cancer. What happened was that I was sick and ended up going to the hospital emergency center. I had a temperature and was vomiting. My first thought was that this must be the H1N1 flu virus that the media has been talking about.

Once in the emergency room the nurses and technicians did some diagnostics testing. They tested my blood, took my temperature, listened to my lungs and heart, and did an abdomen ultrasound. After that testing a doctor came and said,” I’m sorry to tell you but the ultrasound shows that you have a kidney tumor, and in 90% of the cases it’s usually caused by cancer.”

My first thought was, “Well, I’m going to miss seeing my grandchildren grow up, but I’ll leave a legacy of love and memories of the good times we had together.” I was not scarred or angry. I was not resentful. I was at peace with the world and myself. So be it.

Now of course that did not stop me from doing the rational thing. I went to a specialist and had more tests done. It seemed that the tumor was still encapsulated, totally encased in the kidney, and had not yet been exposed to the inner abdominal wall. So we rushed through some additional preparation and in less than 6-weeks from the time of that initial diagnosis in the hospital, I underwent surgery and had the kidney removed.

Well, its four years now and I’m still cancer free.

What’s interesting is that the cancer was discovered accidentally. If not for the flu virus it would not have been found at such an early stage. Given another year or two it could have been fatal.

My nephrologist later told me that my surviving kidney has an additional Ureter; that’s the tube that runs from the kidney to the bladder. Normally we only have just one. But for some reason I was born with two.

I have since thought that perhaps I was predestined to have this bout with cancer, and so my body had prepared ahead of time to better handle life after the disease?

This year I will be 61 years old. I have five grandchildren and three darling daughters. My husband Natan has been by my side for over 40 years

Now I’m no intellectual giant by any means. Quite the contrary, I lead a simple life. I attend to daily matters and help my children and neighbors as I can. I’ve never studied the sacred scriptures, or works of Nietzsche and the other philosophers. I just do my meditation every day, morning and evening as instructed, and life seems to take care of itself.

I’m comfortable whether I have thirty more years to live, or today is my last. Everything is perfect, just as it should be. I am in the right place at the right time.

§§

Everyone is faced with fear throughout their life. People handle it differently. But that primary fear of death – annihilation, still remains with us at all times.

As long as we continue to perceive the world as subject (mind) and object (our body) our fear will persist. Fear is our constant companion as long as duality dominates our awareness.

There are many types of fear that we face:

Acrophobia – fear of heights
Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces
Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
Athazagoraphobia – fear of being forgotten or ignored
Atychiphobia – fear of failure
Belonephobia – fear of needles
Brontophobia – fear of thunder and lightning
Claustrophobia – fear of confined spaces
Metathesiophobia – fear of changes
Necrophobia – fear of death
Pentheraphobia – fear of the in-law’s
Suriphobia – fear of mice and/or rats
Thalassophobia – fear of the sea
Xenophobia – fear of strangers

… just to mention a few categories.

Some say there is healthy fear, which acts to keep us out of potentially dangerous and harmful situations.

– don’t put your hand on the hot stove because you will get burnt
– stay away from drugs
– the sign says, “strong rip currents today,” so don’t go swimming at that beach

Some say there is alarming fear which notifies us of impending danger. Our senses become heightened and the “fight or flight” mind/body mechanism goes into action to preserve our safety.

Some say there is debilitating fear. When fear becomes too great for us to handle and we simply can’t move or cope with the situation.

The consequence of past actions (karma) can place dangerous situations in our path at any time.

Meditate every day to rise above the binding influence of mind, which are both the inventor and sustainer of fear.

On the Zip Line

With meditation we do not try to conquer fear. Such attempts have only limited success.

Certainly we can go sky diving, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, zip lining, and swimming with the sharks to build courage and character. But, to truly overcome fear we must transcend the relative value of life and establish ourselves in the absolute; beyond time, space, and causation. As long as we see ourselves as a distinct and separate entity in this world, so long fear will dominate.

Strive everyday for Enlightenment.

Wise people have said:

Taittiriya Upanishad:
When a man finds fearless support in That which is invisible, formless, indefinable and support less, he has then attained fearlessness. If he makes the slightest differentiation in It, there is fear for him.

Katha Upanishad, Chapter III:
We may master the Naciketa fire,
Sure bridge for men who sacrifice,
Seeking to reach the further shore
Beyond the reach of fear, –
The bridge that leads to Brahman,
Imperishable, supreme.

Bhagavad Gita:
Make your mind one-pointed in meditation, and your heart will be purified. . . . With all fears dissolved in the peace of the Self and all desires dedicated to Brahman, controlling the mind and fixing it on me (God), sit in meditation with me as your only goal. With senses and mind constantly controlled through meditation, united with the Self within, an aspirant attains nirvana, the state of abiding joy and peace in me.

The Buddha:
Thus, all fears
And all infinite sufferings
Arise from the mind.

With meditation we outgrow fear by transcending its basis, our perception of duality. Close the eyes, dive within, and drink of the nectar of bliss and fearlessness.

Posted by on January 21st, 2012 Comments Off on Outgrowing fear

Fire up your imagination

When I was four years old I thought that the world was created just for me.  After all, my mother instantly attended to my every wish and desire.

We played hopscotch and tinker toys.  I got my meals on time and slept when I was tired.  She made funny faces and we always giggled together.  Mom held me close and kept me warm.  She comforted me when I was sick and cheered me up with that wonderful smile of hers when I was blue.

Ah, life was bliss … or so I thought.  But then things started to change.

Well, my pesky baby sister came along and my world was turned upside down.  That was the start of it.  Yep, that’s for sure.  No longer the center of attention, I was nudged out and increasingly left to fend for myself.  All alone, what kind of world was this?

Then I went to Kindergarten and was rudely awakened by the presence of a bunch of others kids just like me.  We were all clamoring for the teacher’s attention.  And Miss McGillicutty was a nice and gentle soul, but there was not quite enough of her to go around for the lot of us.

Well, at the age of eight I started to sprout up like a tree and kept on growing until I was nineteen.  I played football and went swimming a lot.

Middle school and then high school was OK, but I didn’t find anything to catch my fancy.  It all seemed a bit boring and made no sense to me; all those facts and figure and dates.  For what?

My dad said, “Alberto my son, when are you going to take an interest in life and make something of yourself?”  And I always replied, “when the sun stands on its ear it will be interesting enough to take a liking to.

The initial thrill of life had long lost its luster for me.  I always thought, “Is this all there is?

I enrolled at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and took the usual freshman introductory classes.  I appreciated not having to pay a cent for my college education, as the general coffers of the Venezuelan treasury picked up the tab.  Of course that meant there was no real pressure to finish school in four years.  I noticed lots of older students around campus.

To meet my college requirement of 4 credit hours of psychology I enrolled in the Mindfulness Meditation course.  We started by watching the breath, and then the mind.  We also learned mantra techniques and visualization.

It was OK to spend time at the University, but my mind wandered during class.  What a nuisance.  My buddies and their girl friends were all wrapped around those mind games, like “he said that, and she said what, and oh my – what a problem.”

Oh, I better start paying attention to the professor before I get kicked out of class. .

I used to think that if it didn’t fit, just use a bigger hammer.  After all, if there is a hidden flaw it always seemed to find me.  My school projects often went from bad to worse, all by themselves.

And if things were going ok, it must be because I had overlooked something.

What does it all mean?

How does …

8 gallons of water +
2 pounds phosphorus +
1/2 pound of salt +
enough iron to make 1 nail +
3 pounds of lime +
15 trace elements +
45 pounds of carbon

… plus the spark of life come together to form a human being?

Well, that question seemed to be above my pay grade, at least for now.

During my second year something caught my attention.  My chemistry professor said, “Every atom in your body started off by being created inside of a star,” and that stuck with me ever since.

Although chemistry was ok, I took more of a shine to the science of geology.

During summer recess I went off for a two week seminar to learn yoga.  I found that I was not very elastic, but the instructor said that over time I would improve.  But for now just do what is comfortable.

In the second week I learned certain postures called Mudras and Bandhas.  They are practiced to enliven the functioning of the body and mind.

I learned how to do the:

1. Mula Bandha
2. Jalandhara Bandha
3. Uddiyana Bandha
4. Maha Mudra
5. Maha Bandha
6. Maha Vedha
7. Yoga Mudra
8. Viparitakarani Mudra
9. Khechari Mudra
10. Vajroli Mudra
11. Shakti Chalana Mudra
12. Yoni Mudra

… along with an introduction to Kriya Yoga.

By my third year of college my passion for geology had grown.  As part of the petrology class we learned how to do some neat calculations.  For example, now that we are more aware of global warming, it’s important to understand the human impact on the environment.  For my mid-term paper I figured out …

… how much fuel does it take to power a 100-watt light bulb for a year?  And the answer is …

a) 714 pounds of coal
b) .035 pounds of natural uranium (via nuclear generated electricity)
c) 143 pounds of natural gas
d) 1.5 mW wind turbine operating at 25% capacity for 2 hours, 20 min and 9 seconds
e) one square meter solar panel running for 8 days, 18 hours, 14 minutes, and 24 seconds
f) 339 kW hydroelectric turbine (operating at 500 cubic feet of water per second) running for 2 hours and 35 minutes

Of course I had to make some energy usage assumptions to get those numbers, but my data turned out to be realistic (so says my professor).

I was really starting to enjoy Geology, now my college declared major.

I found out that earthquakes need not be a curse to humanity.  It’s certainly very true that untold numbers of people are injured and killed each year.  That’s a horrible tragedy.  Any injury to life is not acceptable. We need to learn how to better protect ourselves.  Maybe we shouldn’t build houses in risky areas where the Earth’s crust is constantly shifting, but where that is not possible we should at least build the best earthquake resistance structures that we can.

But we owe mountain building to the Earth’s mantle plate tectonic shifts (which include earthquakes).  Without mountains and the forces that uplift land mass, there would be very little land above sea level.  We would be much more of a “water world” with no place for mammals to walk, roam, evolve and live. Maybe then at some point all of the water would evaporate and we would be left with a desolate planet – like Mars and Venus is today.

A year later while working on my senior thesis I tackled one of my favorite mysteries; why is the Earth’s atmosphere so different from that of our sister planet Venus?

Atmospheric oxygen verses carbon dioxide comparison:
Earth – 21% oxygen, 0.036% CO2 (carbon dioxide), and 0.000004% ozone
Venus – no oxygen, 96.5% of deadly carbon dioxide, and no ozone

I learned that 2.5 billion years ago chlorophyll bearing organisms started photosynthesis on the Earth, which in turn created an oxygen rich atmosphere.  Plants absorb CO2 from the environment and use it to build their own organic structure. Carbon dioxide is used to form the carbonate shells of algae, clams, ammonites, and other organisms. It is also found within the protoplasm of living cells, mostly in the form of carbohydrates, starch, cellulose, and fat.

How does this happen? 

CO2 with water is synthesized into carbohydrates by green and blue algae, lichens, mushrooms, trees and plants, leaving as a byproduct – oxygen.

Calcified algae and bacteria known as Stromatolites covered continental platforms and shoals, just like today’s coral reefs. All that organic matter was buried under kilometers of sediments and rocks, where it was eventually heated, cracked, distilled, and transformed into oil, gas and coal. 

This is what happened:

The final product created depended upon the type of organic matter involved; plant deposits formed coal and natural gas, while marine deposits formed petroleum and tar.

The carbonate shells of marine organisms were transformed into limestone and metamorphosed into marble.

One of the greatest boons in making life possible on the Earth was the creation of our Ozone Layer.  When oxygen began to accumulate in the atmosphere, solar UV radiation in the upper Stratosphere (about 50 Km up) started to generate ozone:

This new ozone-rich atmospheric layer allowed marine organisms (vegetable and animal), living some tens of meter under the sea surface where they found protection against solar UV radiation, to now freely swim on the surface of the water and adventure onto dry land, where continued evolution and colonization of animal species took place.

Destroying the ozone layer would force humanity to live underground or in protective structures, not daring to venture outside.

When oil, gas or coal is burned as fuel the byproduct is carbon dioxide:

This is just the opposite of photosynthesis.  The process destroys oxygen to make carbon dioxide and smoke.

Manufacturing processes that create modern conveniences also contribute to the production of carbon dioxide.

For example,

When silica and quartz are combined with coal (coke) , utilizing an electric voltaic arc, silicon is produced for the manufacture of solar cell panels:

… but the byproduct once again is carbon dioxide.

Well.  I got my BS degree in Geology, worked for a petroleum company over the summer and also found some time to learn more advanced Kriya Yoga meditation techniques.

I got my masters degree in Geology last year, and today I am working on my Ph. D.

I’m also boarding a plane later this afternoon to attend the United Nations sponsored, 2011 Durban Climate Change Conference.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that there is a high probability that doubling the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would lead to a temperature rise of between 2 and 4.5 degrees.

But now it’s time to do my meditation before heading out to Simón Bolívar International Airport to catch that flight.

§§

If you have hit a slump in your life, and cynicism and disenchantment seem to reign, its time to learn mediation.  If you are already meditating it’s time to spend a weekend at a yoga/meditation sponsored retreat.  Get your battery recharged.

Meditation helps to better focus the mind, relieve stress, reduce negative thoughts, boost energy, lead to better health, and awaken our innate curiosity of life.  It naturally fosters a better sense of self and well being, love and compassion.

Life is what you make of it.

Start to dream about greater human vistas as you grow. Meditation is fun.

Close the eyes and dive within to experience peace and harmony.  Great discoveries are awaiting you.

Posted by on November 25th, 2011 Comments Off on Fire up your imagination

The Magna Carta, a turning point for Western Civilization

Magna Carta

The history of the human race is replete with stories of personal abuse as well as individual triumph in the face of adversity.

Gripped by the influence of mind, egocentric consciousness has dominated mankind for centuries. Human growth has been slow. The march from ego obsession to universal personal awareness advances and retreats, and then advances again. Two steps forward, then one step backward. However, over the last 50 years there has been an acceleration in growth of human kindness, sensitivity, and greater regard for the well being of all peoples.

The binding influence of mind continues to weigh heavily on the human race. Meditation lessens selfishness, and frees body, mind and spirit.

While walking on the beach and enjoying the sun we can take a stick and drag it through the sand. That creates a line or furrow. The harder we press the deeper the channel we create. That line remains in the sand and will stay there until the wind or surf eventually covers it back up. Now take that same stick and swipe it through water. You will notice that it also creates a line, with emanating ripples, but that will not last long. The impression in the water quickly disappears. Now take that same stick and swipe it through air. That also creates a line, we can feel the resulting wind, but that disappears even faster.

As consciousness expands the imprint of experience on the mind becomes less and less. The winds of time and change and their resulting vicissitudes fall more softly on our psyche. Less indelible become their influence. Just as dragging a stick in the sand makes a deep furrow not easily covered up, swiping the stick through the air makes much less of an impression. So to, as our individual consciousness grows the impact of experience softens.

As we continue our meditation practice individual consciousness grows along with strength and stability. Mediation helps us to more easily forgive and heal.

One of the first tipping points in favor of the recognition of human rights took place on English soil in the year 1215. The rule of aristocracy was set aside when King John of England signed (rather reluctantly) a document later known as “The Magna Carta.” This granted rights to everyone, hitherto only afforded to the ruling class and wealthy Barons of the land.

And it’s not that this was the first document ever to formalize human rights. Heaven knows, many virtuous and well wishing people, along with spiritual leaders through the millennia, have tried. But the acceptance of this document by the prevailing human race indicates that the average consciousness of the mass of people living at that time – had finally risen to the level of valuing every human life.

A revised and expanded 1297 version of this document, called the “The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, and of the Liberties of the Forest,” still remain on the statute books of England and Wales.

§§

Here are some of the more relevant tenants of the Magna Carta:

1. In the first place we have granted to God, and by this our present charter confirmed for us and our heirs forever that the English Church shall be free, and shall have her rights entire, and her liberties inviolate; and we will that it be thus observed; which is apparent from this that the freedom of elections, which is reckoned most important and very essential to the English Church, we, of our pure and unconstrained will, did grant, and did by our charter confirm and did obtain the ratification of the same from our lord, Pope Innocent III, before the quarrel arose between us and our barons: and this we will observe, and our will is that it be observed in good faith by our heirs forever.

We have also granted to all freemen of our kingdom, for us and our heirs forever, all the underwritten liberties, to be had and held by them and their heirs, of us and our heirs forever.

30. No sheriff or bailiff of ours, or other person, shall take the horses or carts of any freeman for transport duty, against the will of the said freeman.

31. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall take, for our castles or for any other work of ours, wood which is not ours, against the will of the owner of that wood.

39. No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or diseased or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

40. To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.

45. We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs only such as know the law of the realm and mean to observe it well.

§§

As human consciousness grows, the higher values of life will be reflected by society and eventually find their way into the laws and constitutions of the governments of the world.

Here are some examples of what is currently of the statute books of several countries …

———————————————————————————————————————
The Constitution of Argentina (1994):

14th Article:
All inhabitants of the Nation enjoy the following rights under the laws that regulate their exercise, namely: to work and perform all industries tender, to navigate and trade; to petition the authorities, to enter, remain in, travel in and out of Argentine territory, to publish their ideas through the press without prior censorship to use and dispose of property, of associate for useful purposes, to profess freely their religion; of ensenhar and learn.

18th Article:
No inhabitant of the Nation may be punished without previous trial based on the fact of prior law process, nor tried by special commissions, or removed from the judges appointed by law before the act for the cause. No one can be compelled to testify against himself, nor arrested except by written order of authority competently. The defense at trial of the person and of rights. The home is inviolable and also the correspondence and private papers and a law determine when and how evidence may proceed with their search and occupation. Are abolished for always the death penalty for political causes, any kind of torture and beating.

———————————————————————————————————————
Bahamas Constitution:

Chapter III, Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual:

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

a) life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law ;
b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association ; and
c) protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,

———————————————————————————————————————
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Constitution Act, 1982:

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other means of communication.
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

———————————————————————————————————————
The Federal Republic of Germany:

Basic Rights:

Article 1 (Protection of human dignity):
(1) The dignity of man inviolable. To respect and protect it is the duty of all state authority.
(2) The German people therefore acknowledge inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every community, of peace and of justice in the world.
(3) The following basic rights bind the legislature, the executive and the judiciary as directly enforceable law.

Article 2 (Rights of liberty).
(1) Everyone has the right to the free development of his personality insofar as he does not violate the rights of others or offend against the constitutional order or the moral code.
(2) Everyone has the right to life and to inviolability of his person. The freedom of the individual is inviolable. These rights may only be encroached upon pursuant to a law.

Article 3 (Equality before the law).
(1) All persons are equal before the law.
(2) Men and women have equal rights.
(3) No one may be prejudiced or favored because of his sex, his parentage, his race, his language, his homeland and origin, his faith or his religious or political opinions.

Article 4 (Freedom of faith, of conscience and of creed).
(1) Freedom of faith and of conscience, and freedom of creed religious or ideological, are inviolable.
(2) The undisturbed practice of religion is guaranteed.
(3) No one may be compelled against his conscience to render war service as an armed combatant. Details will be regulated by a Federal law.

Article 5 (Freedom of expression).
(1) Everyone has the right freely to express and to disseminate his opinion by speech, writing and pictures and freely to inform himself from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by radio and motion pictures are guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.
(2) These rights are limited by the provisions of the general laws, the provisions of law for the protection of youth and by the right to inviolability of personal honor.
(3) Art and science, research and teaching are free. Freedom of teaching does not absolve from loyalty to the constitution.

———————————————————————————————————————
The Constitution of the Republic of Hungary:

Chapter I, Article 8:

The Republic of Hungary recognizes the inviolable and inalienable rights of persons. Ensuring respect and protection for these rights is a primary obligation of the State.

———————————————————————————————————————
The Constitution of India, on Fundamental Rights:

Article 14: Equality before law:

The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth:

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to-
(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
(b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing Ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.
(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.
(4) Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Article 17: Abolition of Untouchability:

“Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability rising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.

Article 19: Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.:

1) All citizens shall have the right-
a) to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c) to form associations or unions;
(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;
(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;
(g) to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion:

(1) Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.

———————————————————————————————————————

Bill of Rights

It’s not a matter of writing documents that delineate human rights. It’s a matter of recognizing the sanctity of human rights, and flowing through by creating a safe-space for their exercise.

When the collective consciousness of a people rise to the value of honoring life, the idea of human rights takes hold and resonates in the very fabric of that society.

We see this time and time again, where countries are aided in transitions to democracy, only to once again fall back to old ways and habits (self centeredness). The quest does not take root and is not sustained because the general populace still remains deeply ensnared in the dream of samsara.

Sometimes bad situations in a country are blamed on their leadership. We certainly hope that the leaders representing all nations are chosen from the best that their society can offer. But as a representative of their general population and human stock, they will carry the fears and dreams of those in their respective societies. That’s why deposing one leader and installing another does not necessarily lead to better times.

A countries’ leader is a mirror of the consciousness of their people.

Freedom for all life

Assure human rights and their proper governance through the development of human consciousness.

Day by day, person by person, close the eyes and meditate.

There is a growing realization that we get what we deserve (cause and affect). So first deserve, then desire.

Abandon all melancholy and malaise from the human psyche, by opening your mind to the infinite blissful value of pure consciousness. Deep within, at the seat of thought, resides the jewel of eternal existence. It’s already there.

As a hummingbird sipping nectar flies continuously from blossom to blossom, so does the mind wander in its endless search for peace. Continue your meditation practice every day, so that your mind settles to find its true essence.

That wonderful eternal value of life is the home of all rights, human and divine.

Posted by on November 13th, 2011 Comments Off on The Magna Carta, a turning point for Western Civilization

Emptying out the Sea

The Pelicans

Once two pelicans, a husband and his wife Gertrude, were going on a trip. Before they left, Gertrude laid some eggs near the ocean. Then the husband said to the Sea, “We are going on an ocean voyage. You must take care of these eggs for us. If we don’t find the eggs when we return, we’ll be heartbroken and compelled to empty you.”

The Sea agreed to take care of the eggs, and it kept them safe. A few days later the two pelicans came back, but they couldn’t find their precious eggs. They screamed at the Sea. The Sea wanted to give them the eggs, but it couldn’t find them. The birds cursed the Sea; they began taking out a drop of water at a time and throwing it on the land.

“We are going to empty you,” they said to the Sea.

Some little birds saw all this and they asked, “What are you doing?”

The pelicans replied, “We are punishing the Sea because it didn’t keep its promise to look after our eggs.”

The little birds thought it was a noble task and they joined the pelicans. After a while some bigger birds took up their cause. They also started taking out water of the Sea drop by drop. This went on for weeks and weeks.

One day the Great Bird (of divine origin) came and asked, “What are you doing?”

The birds said, “Can’t you see? We are emptying the Sea. ”

The Great Bird said, “You fools, how long will this take? You will never be able to do it. The Sea is vast, infinite.”

But the birds answered, “No, we have determination and perseverance.”

The Great Bird was very surprised and said, “Let me show them Compassion. I’ll ask The Lord of the Earth to help them. If The Lord of the Earth helps, then certainly they will be able to find their eggs. If the eggs are still in good condition, the Lord of the Earth will be able to return them. But if they are destroyed, he can do nothing for them.”

He went to The Lord of the Earth and said, “I have never seen fools like these. If you really care for fools, then will you do them a favor?” The Great Bird then told him the whole story.

The Lord of the Earth said, “No, they are not fools. They are showing the spirit of patience and perseverance. This is how beings must try to empty the ignorant Sea, drop by drop. It is what seekers must and should do. The ignorant Sea is vast. If a sincere seeker wants to empty it and replace it with knowledge, then they must do it the same way, drop by drop. I am very pleased with these birds. I will command the Sea to return the eggs.”

The Great Bird then said, “The Sea wanted to give them the eggs but it misplaced them and believes they are destroyed.”

The Lord of the Earth said, “I will use my psychic power to show the Sea where they are.”

He used his psychic power and the Sea immediately found the eggs and returned them to the pelicans. Then The Lord of the Earth said to the birds, “Perseverance, patience and self-giving are all of paramount importance to fulfilling one’s divine life journey.”

§§

This beautiful story shows us how an attitude of perseverance can lead one to accomplish almost anything.

Whether you are new to the practice of meditation or are an older salt, perseverance ushers in greater success. Day after day, and week after week, set aside that special time each day to close your eyes and experience the wondrous realm of inner silence.

Setting time aside and making your practice part of your daily routine helps insure regulatory. On days that you are tired or busy you may be inclined to skip meditation, but sit down and practice anyway just because it’s that time. It will pay off.

It’s best not to learn meditation from a book or web site. Find a real instructor from a bonafide tradition. Seek like minded people and enjoy meditation and knowledge sessions in a group.

Too little meditation will get you nowhere. Too much meditation is not good either as the human body and nervous system needs time to change. A different physiological metabolic state is needed to support heightened awareness. We want a smooth transition. So follow your meditation instructor’s advice.

Teachers can point you in the right direction, provide knowledge and encouragement along the path, but they cannot enlighten you. That is something each of us must do on our own.

The Self plays hid-and-seek until we are ripe to find it. The Self choreographs all of the parts in creation, and we participate in the game donning on various disguises.

We live a life played out by the thoughts in our head. The ego identifies with those thoughts and claims them to be its own. That constant internal dialog is who we think we are. But underneath the river of thought is the silent Self. Through meditation you will shake hands with that silent field, more and ever more.

Silence and joy grows steadily by the day.

Over time the contrast in our physiology between meditation and activity becomes less and less. As pure consciousness becomes an ever greater part of our human awareness, the body and mind feel rested and exude a state of calm serenity. Other people will notice and appreciate your soothing presence. They will want to be around you.

It may even seem that hardly anything happens anymore during meditation. When you started your practice years ago you always noticed deep rest and powerful wakefulness during the practice. But now it may seem as if hardly anything is happening

… but this is a time to rejoice.

It’s just that you are so close to bliss consciousness that it’s now here a lot of the time.

Today we experience the world through concepts (mental thoughts) that cloud and control our action. We think that we are this dialogue that is continuously going on in our mind. We have unknowingly handed over our infinite and eternal birthright; hook, line and sinker, to our delusional ego.

You are the awareness behind thought.

When you decide it’s time to draw back the veil of illusion (ignorance), you will seek out an appropriate teacher and learn the practice of meditation. Perseverance of practice will put a smile on your face and bring you closer to everlasting happiness.

Posted by on September 1st, 2011 Comments Off on Emptying out the Sea