Prana: Something to Take With You Today

I’ve been determined these past few weeks to meditate every single day, and it’s been extremely helpful for my practice of internal balance and individuation.

I decided to do a 25-minute long session today, unguided — meaning, I was left alone with none but myself for 25 whole minutes, haha!

What I kept coming back to was my breath. I kept reminding myself that, while my body changes over these 25 minutes (I started sweating, my foot started falling asleep, my back needed to be reminded to rest on the easy flow from my diaphragm, etc…) — while all of that was happening, my breath never changed.

Prana is defined as “life force”:

[It] comprises all cosmic energies that permeate the Universe on all levels… In living beings, this universal energy is considered responsible for all bodily functions through five types of prana… Indologist Georg Feuerstein explains, “The Chinese call it chi, the Polynesians mana, the Amerindians orenda, and the ancient Germans od. It is an all-pervasive ‘organic’ energy.” — wikipedia

While some techniques of pranayama are meant to control the breath and life force, ceasing what is thought of as the origin of our mental restlessness, we can also focus on simply accepting and relying upon our prana, our breath. (I’ve been working on acceptance of my Shadow and other parts lately.)

So, to recap what I learned, my body will undergo changes throughout the day, my mind will stir with endless thoughts and feelings and beliefs… but my breath is always there, always flowing… in and out… and I can focus and rely on that regular pulsation of Life throughout my day. ❤

Tarot Tale #2: It’s Okay to Hang Out Sometimes

Jealousy answer

One of my regular struggles in life is my impatience with not seeing the results I want or expect. I work hard and love what I do, but, as this work finds itself in the topsy-turvy field of the “high arts” and academia, I often don’t see the acknowledgement or wide-spread celebration of my work that I often think I’m owed. Then, I get depressed about my personal expectations and berate myself for feeling that way. Oh, my sensitive and emotional self…embarrassed

So I asked my Higher Self today, what I can learn – how I can think about this situation and what I can do to affect positive change in this area. This is what my Higher Self taught me:

  • The root of my challenges: High Priestess (2). Too much inward thinking/self-analysis
  • This inward thinking is constantly focused on wanting my dream stability and fame so badly, and trying to draw inward to create it. (Ten of Beetles)
  • What needs to change: turn my thinking outward, ground it in reality, be mature in my thoughts (King of Bees).
  • What I can embrace to help with this change: The Fool (0). Embrace my spontaneity and my love of exploration! Go forth and see what I can find! Transform, leave behind what is familiar and comfortable. Start over/afresh emotionally and mentally. Embrace the original excitement for life and adventure that first started me on this path.
  • Final Lesson: The Hanged Man (12). Ultimately, no amount of struggle will accomplish anything here. I will be forced to stay here where I am, hanging out in Limbo, until I learn to see things from a new perspective. I might as well just hang out and chill. Hanging out in this way is a form of sacrifice: a sacrifice of myself to myself. Things are changing and growing in this situation, even without my involvement in them. I need to just let that process happen.

As you can see with my top, Current Situation card (Knight of Moths) and my bottom, Base Card (King of Moths) I tend to be a very active, energetic Go-Getter. I too often feel like, if I’m not getting what I think I deserve when I think I should get it, then if I can just change what I’m doing or increase my Action in doing it, I’ll get it.

So these impatient feelings aren’t bad. They’re a part of who I am. But sometimes, it’s important to acknowledge that struggle is useless. Sometimes we can do nothing and we need to allow the winds of the Universe and Karma to carry us forward. I love that sentiment: a sacrifice of myself to myself.

Live Life!

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The Universe is an ocean, and we, the Conscious, are but the energy of the sea taking the form of a wave. It rises for a brief moment, and then it’s gone. Let us live life without Attachment. The energy of the cosmos will take another shape after we are gone, and another and another… Let us allow ourselves to flow with the currents of this Ocean and not struggle against it, against ourselves. Be One, be All, and live adventurously and with mastery and joy!

Return to Your Roots

Cliffside-Tree-Roots

Let us take a lesson from Sister Flora, who draws nourishment from deep down within the Earth. It is the connection of the roots, drawing energy and nourishment from the Earth that sustains the Tree.

Jesus said it this way:

See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these…that is how God clothes the grass of the field…will he not much more clothe you… So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ …your heavenly Father knows that you need them. –Matthew 6:28-32

Sister Flora does not work or toil or worry, she only draws up the energy from Mother Earth to bring through her veins everything she needs. Likewise, we too, if we reconnect ourselves to the Earth and cosmos from which we came — within which our roots still exist from the beginnings of Evolution eons ago:

— we will find all the energy, creativity, love, and sustenance that we could ever need. 

Similarly, our roots interconnect and intertwine with the roots of others who are connected rootsto this planet, who were birthed here. And when we are aware of this intimate connection with The All, The All is entirely open to us: we are It, and It is us. We are each other, and we are Everything. Therefore, again, we lack for nothing.

In this manner, it is strikingly evident what Carl Sagan has said in regard to us and the Universe:

The cosmos is also within us… We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

If through Evolution, the cosmos has begun to open itself and search within itself all of its own possibilities, then we are a powerful part of that search — that Knowledge and Unearthly Wisdom! Let us reconnect ourselves and draw that into us.

One more thought for encouragement. I often behold the apparent restrictions human civilization has put on Sister Flora, confining her to certain zones, if you will, where she is allowed to flourish among us, surrounded by concrete. But then I consider, how awesome it is that, as long as her roots are connected to the Earth and drawing all she needs from within the Heart of it, then, in fact, she is not restrained in the truest sense! Likewise, while it may seem at times that we are imprisoned in our own emotions and minds and societal situations we’ve gotten ourselves into, nonetheless, there is always Freedom, there is always Wisdom, deep down at the Heart of Creation, waiting to be tapped.

May we continue to strengthen our connection with the Earth, our Mother, and reach our roots down deep to draw upon her nourishment and wisdom.

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Sweetness of Freedom

Look within–the rising and the falling.

What happiness! How sweet to be free!

—The Dhammapada of Gautama the Buddha (ca 500 BC)

How interesting and striking a revelation I’ve been enjoying today!

Osho said, in his commentary on the above sutra:

…It is through the breath that you are bridged. Breath is the bridge between your soul and your body… the watcher cannot be watched, the observer cannot be observed. Suddenly one day you will realize that you are the witness of it all. And the witness is certainly transcendental to all that it witnesses. In that very moment freedom has happened to you.

 

This moment is today!

I’ve been sitting on an unpublished blog post for a while that I titled, “The Inner and the Outer.” In it I spoke of a beginning understanding of these such things:

[Evolution has] given us not merely a thinking mind by which to behold and contemplate our surroundings, but almost another, outer mind beyond this natural mind, by which we are able to contemplate our own selves as well! We are able to Observe the Observer. In this sense, we might say that we are capable of, at its most basic, two focuses, or ways of looking and experiencing.

(I think it’s about time I published it, actually!) 😳

In contemplating these notions, these very sutras and essences today, the phrase: “The watched is NOT the watcher… the observed is NOT the observer…” stayed with me mightily. And the power of that statement flooded me with joy and wonder!

Think of it: My “Outer Mind” (if you will) as it observes my “Inner, more oblivious, Mind” — well, they’re not to be thought of as the same being anyway! The Watcher is not the Watched. 

Well, and come to think of it, to have ever called these Minds as “mine” in the first place, is itself a type of clinging, is it not? It is Attachment and Ego.

As you observe from a position of the Outer Mind and Open Focus, realize that the Watcher is not the Watched. You are not what you see. You are Nothing, and Everything. Where do you end and the world begins?

Breath is the gateway… Be the Observer… Enjoy the Sweetness of Freedom.

Sweet to be Free

Reflections…

  • Our thoughts are like butterflies; when they amass, they may assume any certain shape of a supposed reality, yet when we observe the cloud of butterflies carefully, we may be more and more able to see each individual butterfly, and watch them as they flutter by, to and fro. Then, to be able to look past each butterfly and see the spaces between their fluttering wings, that is to begin to understand… My thoughts are not me.
  • Our mind is like an onion. To meditate and to slowly peel back layer after layer, we will eventually find our primordial self. Imagine and see the primordial being from which we have evolved; that same being is at that heart of us all, underneath layers and layers of accumulated other beings, across the eons. Therefore, let us realize that we ourselves are an accumulation of eons of thought, passed down from one generation of beings (and all the adaptations that are attached to them) to the next. In this sense, our current forms truly are simply the present incarnation of life and energy.
  • We came from and are so intricately intertwined with Mother Earth and Grandmother Starry Host. In this way the Universe itself is a part of our Collective Mind. May we reach out during grounding and breathing meditations, and become the conduit of energy and life from above and below… May the universal energies that stir the cosmos flow without hindrance through us, back and forth from the cosmos to the earth’s heart, and back….

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Ascertaining Baseline Truth

Don’t mistake the map for the landscape.

“…night and day are ruled by the rising and setting of the sun, the rotation of the earth.” Building upon my previous thoughts on the illusory nature of Time, recall: “We would do well to keep in mind the arbitrariness of labeling”.

When we label a certain time of day by way of our arbitrary societal grid of numbers maintained by clocks, or a season of the earth’s natural cycle as months and days and years, it is a system by which we are able to coordinate and communicate and organize our experiences within each Now. Let us simply bear in mind, that the number is not the Reality, but only a way to understand the occurrence.

Likewise, we use maps to organize, systemize, and depict the nature of a landscape in which we find ourselves. Let us not forget, as we study the picture, that we are studying a representation of the Reality, and not Reality itself.

Thoughts are important; we observe and accumulate observations, then categorize and organize them in order to derive overarching meaning. Let us simply bear in mind, and be ever Aware, that the Ideas floating through our mind are not necessarily the actual Reality. These thoughts are our own observations and our categorizations of realizations we have regarding our observations.

Thoughts float along the river of our mind, and our Ego picks up each thought to cling onto it and identify with it.

If we are aware of this, we can better recognize the impermanence of Thought and decide which thoughts are beneficial at any given moment, and which are not.

Recall the second type of Clinging:

  • Attachment to views– “the tendency of the mind to seek out a viewpoint or opinion where everything is clear… Now everything is safe and comfortable for me… The Buddha is pointing to our tendency to seek security, peace, well-being and happiness in our views and perspectives.”

Does this mean, as some posit in various fashions, that there is no Reality and that all is simply a fabrication of our Perceptions? I tend to think not. There is Reality; we are of and from the Earth; we are firmly integrated and a part of the universe we see — we are children of the Stars. But, the thoughts we harbor regarding the Reality around us is a representation of that universe in which we find ourselves. To maintain this awareness is to foster universal understanding and peace.

Let us not mistake the Idea, for the Truth.