Tuesday, August 31, 2010
poem by Mary Oliver
(image from Google--unknown source)
White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field
Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow —
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows —
so I thought:
maybe death isn't darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us —
as soft as feathers —
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Ken Wilber, Andrew Cohen, and Zen Monks
Yesterday, I attended an interesting dialogue between Ken Wilber (the "Great Mind") and Andrew Cohen, publisher of "Enlightenment Now" (formerly "What Is Enlightenment?") Both men are renowned figures in the spiritual community. Both have written prolifically, and established organizations that reach thousands throughout the world. Both are extremely articulate. They have highly developed minds, and love to talk and write.
I have read Ken Wilber's books for years, mostly from the beginning of his career. He was among the first to establish Transpersonal Psychology as an essential area in the understanding of human development. Before that, psychologists and therapists seldom included the "spiritual self" as an important component of human nature. Wilber's paradigm of the stages of the evolution of human consciousness (from a historical perspective) was groundbreaking, and became a model for many who followed in his wake.
In all, he has written some 30 books, thousands and thousands of pages, analyzing and dissecting everything from the stages leading to enlightenment to the romantic writers of the nineteenth century. Finally, he wrote a book called "A Brief History of Everything," in which he summarized his ideas touching many fields of research, including sociology, mysticism, physics and biology, art and aesthetics, and others as well as psychology itself.
Wilber has a razor sharp mind. He has used it to examine, classify, and organize in intriguing fashion (with charts) virtually everything he has touched upon. Indeed, at times, one is overwhelmed by his learning, and sated with his relentless arrangements of ideas.
Nonetheless, his contribution to knowledge has been impressive. He has many followers, who respect and love him for his work and for his being.
Ken has also known great pain and suffering in his life. He was the primary caretaker for his wife as she was dying of cancer. Then, about fifteen years ago, he contracted a most unusual illness while residing at Lake Tahoe--several others there at the time also contracted this mysterious airborne virus, which--for Ken--resulted in an ongoing autoimmune response leading to a debilitation of body as the cells are systematically attacked. At one time, he was hospitalized for a series of grand mal seizures, which he survived, though his doctors were not at all sure he would make it. Today, he appears gaunt and even frail.
But through it all, he has continued to write, pouring out tome after tome. As he explained, he could even write in bed, and it didn't take much strength, since he only used two fingers to type.
The dialogue between these two (they billed themselves as "the pandit (Ken) and the guru (Andrew)" was of course quite interesting, but it was also extremely "mental" in focus. I wondered if they would include the realm of the body and feeling in their discussion--finally someone in the audience asked about love as a part of the spiritual process, and from this point the conversation took a different turn. Andrew spoke of the "ecstasy of creation"--the excitement that accompanies the creative act, in which one fulfills the evolutionary impulse to create new things (ideas, objects, art, projects of all sorts). And Ken pointed out that evolution itself arises out of love--of atom for atom to produce a molecule, of molecules to form part of living things, of humans to open to love of others and the planet to move forward in the evolutionary process.
Ken reminded us that we must each do something in the world to try to stem the global disaster now upon us. He himself was gentler, kinder, and more compassionate (and funny) than I had expected from reading his sometimes relentlessly intellectual works. I felt great love and empathy for him as he now is as a human being who has come to terms with some very challenging circumstances in his life. I would have given him a hug, if that had been possible.
But there was no mention of Kundalini bliss, which Gopi Krishna (and others ) saw as the primary engine of human transformation. Of course, I am with Gopi Krishna on this. Kundalini can occur with no prior knowledge or preparation. It resides within us all, and more and more are encountering its amazing powers. I think it is a supreme counter force against the negative currents now abroad on the planet.
Osho said, "The mind must drop before awakening can occur." Now, I have nothing against ideas, books, theories, and knowledge--but I see these as essential foundations, preliminaries not goals. First, I believe, one should explore mind to its full limits and soak up as much learning from past sages as one can. But at some point, mind no longer serves to take one forward. At that point, the mind must drop (perhaps through special circumstances of trauma or grief). Ego must dissolve and in this space feeling must be allowed to come forward for divine union (Kundalini) to occur.
After the talk, I was visiting with a woman outside the hall, and noticed that--although she was not particularly interested in spirituality--she had very sweet "vibes" that I could feel. Then I walked over to a nearly restaurant and met a lovely young waiter who was fascinated by Carlos Castaneda and was planning to go to South America to look for a shaman/teacher. Again, I picked up very nice vibes. Later I realized that I had been a bit "turned on" vibrationally by the talk itself, even though I was not aware of it at the time.
Here is an excerpt from a site on Zen awakening that I happened on a few minutes ago:
Te Shan burnt all his commentaries and books on Zen within hours of his awakening to the truth. Why? Zen master Munan gave Shoju his sacred book on Zen that had been passed down through seven generations of masters. Shoju threw it into burning coals.
Te Shan Hsuan Ch'ien was initially a lecturing monk and great scholar of the Diamond Cutter Sutra, known throughout Zen lore from Case 4 of the Blue Cliff Record and the 13th and 28th koans of Wumen's Mumonkan. Some say Te Shan is most famous for using his staff to strike his students, however, for me, he is more important because of what he did within hours following his Enlightenment experience.
When Te Shan left northern China on foot heading south determined to destroy what he had heard asthe teaching of a special transmission outside of doctrine he was a dedicated Buddhist scholar thoroughly attached to formal learning.
One day close to the end of his southern journey he met an old woman selling refreshments by the roadside. He set down his knapsack to buy some refreshments whereupon the old woman asked what writings had he been carrying that were so dear. "Commentaries on the Diamond Cutter Sutra," he responded, commentaries which were actually books on books on ways to reality that he considered so indispensable that he had to carry them with him everywhere he went. The old woman then said "The Diamond Cutter Sutra" says 'past mind can't be grasped, present mind can't be grasped, future mind can't be grasped': which mind does the learned monk desire to refresh?" Te Shan in all his scholarly learning was rendered speechless.
By the time he reached the monastery he was completely devastated by his 'defeat', especially by a 'mere' roadside vendor. But Te Shan was no longer there to contend or do battle with the teaching of a special transmission outside of doctrine.' Within days all was behind him as Te Shan experienced Awakening under the auspices of Long T'an and the now famous 'blowing out the candle' sequence.
The morning following his Enlightenment Te Shan took all of his commentaries into the teaching hall and raising a torch over them declared to all assembled:
"Even to plumb the full depths of all your knowledge it would be no more than a piece of hair lost in the vastness of the great void; and however important your experience in things worldly it is even less than a single drop of water cast into a vast valley."
He then took the torch and set fire to his commentaries, reducing his once valuable books to ashes.
The above quote is from:
Some books by Ken Wilber that I like: (from his earlier writings)
The Spectrum of Consciousness--written at age 23, this book "established him as perhaps the most comprehensive philosophical thinker of our times."
Up from Eden
Grace and Grit (the story of his time as caretaker for his wife)
A Brief History of Everything (I haven't read it, but it is aimed at a more general audience than some of his later books)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
(picture of Vanda Scaravelli from site named below.)
Although I do not do hatha yoga myself (as much as I would like to), I found the article quite interesting, first, because it describes the life of a very interesting woman (Vanda Scaravelli), and, even more, because it advises following the advice of the "inner teacher" for yoga, rather than trying to follow a prescribed model or text. Of course, I endorse this method as well for the serious student of the spirit. Only the inner guide can lead you to your own appropriate destination. Only your own inner voice can direct you to the "home" which is yours.
As for me, I think of my own practice as a form of subtle yoga--it does not involve lying on the floor (or standing) and performing the traditional asanas. It is a form of what might be termed "inner yoga"--yoga with only delicate movement leading to subtle energy (bliss) flows within. "Yoga" means union, and bliss is one of its traditional goals. So, perhaps what I have discovered and practice is a highly advanced form of "yoga" (a term which refers to much more than the asanas of hatha yoga.) There are many kinds of yoga--it is an ancient and complex philosophy, taking as one of its aims the union of body and spirit with the divine essence.
The following is what appeared on Anne Vincent's website:
"There is no path to truth. Truth must be discovered, but there is no formula for its discovery. What is formulated is not true. You must set out on the uncharted sea, and the uncharted sea is yourself. You must set out to discover yourself, but not according to any plan or pattern, for then there is no discovery. Discovery brings joy – not the remembered, comparative joy, but joy that is ever new. Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom in whose tranquillity and silence there is the immeasurable."
Vanda Scaravelli, her legacy and my yoga
(or "Why I won't be calling my yoga 'Scaravelli Yoga'")
Vanda Scaravelli was born into a musical and intellectual family in Florence, Italy in 1908. She trained as a classical pianist and married the philosopher Luigi Scaravelli. When Vanda was suddenly widowed in her late 40's Jiddhu Krishnamurti, her lifelong friend and mentor, encouraged her to practise yoga. Krishnamurti and the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, another friend of Vanda's, were both pupils of BKS Iyengar and Menuhin regularly invited Iyengar to London, Switzerland and Paris. Vanda, Krishnamurti and Menuhin spent their summers in Gstaad, Switzerland (Krishnamurti gave a series of talks in Saanen each year) and while they were there Iyengar gave them private lessons. Later Krishnamurti invited Desikachar to Gstaad and he too gave Vanda lessons. Vanda said that it was from Desikachar that she came to understand the importance of the breath. Eventually the lessons with Iyengar and Desikachar in Gstaad came to an end. Krishnamurti was still doing yoga but found that it left him exhausted. So Vanda was stimulated to find a way of working with the body to do the posture as opposed to using muscular effort and will-power.
The influence of Vanda Scaravelli and Diane Long on my yoga
The work and teachings of Vanda Scaravelli have had a big influence on my yoga. I never met Vanda herself but since 2004 I have had the good fortune to work regularly with Diane Long. Diane was a student of Vanda's for over 23 years.
Prior to meeting Diane I had 'done' a variety of styles of yoga. Each style is someone's method and is based on their ideas, thoughts and experiences. Following a style imposes that person's habits on you and may not be intelligent or helpful to you. It could be viewed as second hand or counterfeit yoga! In reality you have to understand for yourself and make it your yoga.
"You have to become your own teacher and your own disciple (These are Krishnamurti's words)." Vanda Scaravelli in "Awakening the Spine" page 41
When I first started working with Diane I didn't 'get' it at all (now I realise that there is nothing to 'get'). I was used to being given instructions of where your hand or foot should be and of trying to conform to an idea of what the pose should look like. Looking back I think that my subconscious recognised the wholeness in what Diane was doing and influenced me to continue to work with her while my conscious mind went along with this as another challenge and something else to be mastered.
"In our education we are trained to become. You try to become. You have examples, and the examples kill all possibility of being, because you have a model, and you want to copy that model. This is all imitation, and this takes you away from the possibility of being." Vanda Scaravelli
There is no such thing as Scaravelli Yoga
Vanda Scaravelli described her philosophy and experiences in the book "Awakening the Spine". Her words struck a chord with many and the book has become a classic. Unfortunately this has lead people to talk about 'Scaravelli Yoga' as people try to turn her words into a system of how to 'do' yoga postures. Vanda did not create a style or system of yoga. That would have been an anathema to her.
"BE CAREFUL, VERY CAREFUL about organisations. Yoga cannot be organised, must not be organised. Organisations kill work. Love is everywhere, in every thing, is everything. But if you confine it, enclose it in a box or in a definite place, it disappears." Vanda Scaravelli in "Awakening the Spine" page 110
There is no 'Scaravelli Yoga'. There is no 'Scaravelli' way of doing a posture. In fact the process is more like an undoing! In this work there is no set of instructions to follow, no 'ideal', no formula, no system, no right or wrong. This isn't the same as performing the postures any old how but rather performing them with "interest, attention and sensitivity". My own teacher, Diane Long, often says that the only person who could say that they were doing Scaravelli Yoga was Vanda. In reality we can only do our own yoga not someone else's. Vanda's direct pupils do not describe their yoga as Scaravelli Yoga. It is their yoga which they refine as, through their explorations, they come to new understanding. They teach from what they know which is not accumulated information but their understanding based on their own practice and explorations during their time with Vanda and since. I have done workshops with other teachers who were students of Vanda Scaravelli and they are all VERY different and express their yoga differently. There is no 'fixed' way of doing things.
So, what about phrases such as 'Scaravelli approach', 'Scaravelli inspired' and 'Scaravelli tradition' used to describe yoga classes? These terms are typically used by teachers mindful of Vanda's wish not to create a 'style' of yoga who believe that by not using the words Scaravelli and Yoga together that they are somehow indicating that this is not a separate type of yoga. In the past I have used such terms myself. But when we do this we are deceiving ourselves. Our thinking has created a distinction between these terms and 'Scaravelli Yoga'. Such subtle differences in wording would only be understood by those familiar with Vanda's teachings (i.e. the converted). To most people all these terms just sound like another method/style/type of yoga. By using such terms we are, in fact, re-inforcing the notion of a type of yoga – we are the problem!
Whatever words we use, by including another's name we are labelling ourselves and identifying with an authority. When challenged we may defend ourselves by saying that we need a term to provide prospective students with some idea as to what to expect in our classes (as if Joe Public would know what to expect in a 'Scaravelli Inspired' class! Again, it will only mean something to the converted). Why do we need to use the Scaravelli name at all? Why can we not describe what goes on in our classes? We need to understand that by bandying the name of Vanda Scaravelli around in this way we are actually endorsing the idea of a separate 'style'. Using the term Scaravelli Yoga or implying that we are working as she did could also be considered to be against the Trade Descriptions Act! We are not Vanda Scaravelli and we are not doing her yoga but our own. And that is enough. Why it is that we need to identify with an authority, with someone "bigger" than ourselves? Is it to give ourselves credibility, to distinguish ourselves from others, to cash in on the name and to attract more business? This is a malaise of our society. It is like sticking a designer label on our yoga. Better to be an authentic Joe Bloggs than a rip off Vanda Scaravelli! Vanda Scaravelli was 83 when she wrote her book – she had no need to promote herself! She wrote it to help others and in her own words "I decided to communicate my experiences, and even if only one or two people should benefit by a clearer picture it will be enough." We need to be big enough to stand by our own yoga and not use yoga as a means to an end whether that is to have lots of students, a livelihood, reputation, fame or whatever because when we do that we kill the yoga.
Identifying oneself with a particular grouping is divisive, fragmentary, separatist, violent and a source of conflict whether it is a religion, country – or yoga style. And yoga is not divisive. We are all the same – uniquely individual. Be who you truly are – don't try to be someone else.
Friday, August 27, 2010
David Spero, Spiritual Teacher
Recently, I received this letter from an e-mail friend: When I looked up the links, I was very pleasantly surprised. This teacher has a firm command of the spiritual path, and includes bliss among his topics (a rare thing, it seems, for many popular "spiritual" teachers today. He was born in this country, and began his spiritual journey quite young Ultimately, he realized his true nature and now offers wisdom talks about the journey for the sake of other seekers.
I was quite impressed by his youtube presentations as well as his website. I urge you to check them out--I think you will like them, for they relate directly to Kundalini (though he seems not to use that term, at least not often), seen primarily through an Eastern perspective.
Also, his glossary of Sanskrit terms is one of the best I have seen.
Here is the e-mail letter I received:
I was just wanted to share this invitation to libertarian ecstasy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh0dVhk4NMw http://www.davidspero.org/index.html He offers free darshans each Wednesday...I've certainly felt clearly the blissful currents via webcast...how amazing is this misterious reality... warm regards
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Thoughts on channelings--addition to earlier post
Notice: This entry was meant to be part of the one I posted earlier today on channels and channeling. I kept losing the entire post, and experiencing other difficulties, so I decided to include my observations here, on a separate post. Read the other one first if you can.
I generally listen to channels with a lot of curiosity and many grains of salt. But I listened to these two (Solara An-Ra and Anrita Melchizedek on their youtube sites) with great interest and found I agreed with a great deal of what they (and others on their sites) have to say.
To begin with, I thought actually seeing Solara An-Ra in action, channeling in the Grand Canyon just a few days ago, was especially interesting. She seems to be in full trance, and speaks with a deep throated voice one would expect from a male channeler. She lives up to my expectations of how a channeler would act, in the long tradition of channels and oracles from the beginning of time.
And I found that I resonated deeply with much of the content of the channelings on Anrita Melchizedek's youtube site. The thrust of the message was that we are together creating a "Merkaba vehicle" (vessel for lightbody ascension), that in order to do this we are receiving
controlled infusions of light with the help of beings from extraterrestrial locales. Some of these helpers are thought to be "aliens" from specific planets--and here I am a bit skeptical. I can accept the notion of "beings from above," or "beings from beyond" (non-physical realms) easier than I can the idea that actual entities from other physical planets are our helpers--but maybe I am wrong on this. Many things are happening to cause us to rethink many of our own notions. Who knows what is real?
August 24 (day of full moon) was designated (by these channels) as the day of a "Full Planetary Grid Transmission". When I checked my blog, I found that I had experienced an intense and unexpected "infusion" of bliss energies on August 21, three days before the full moon on August 24 (these "infusions" tend to occur spontaneously around the time of the full moon.) So perhaps I was receiving some of what the channel is describing, even though I did not know of the "prediction" until after the event.
Some mantras and channeling sites
Below are two youtube sites for channelers of special interest. (I just spend over an hour writing some thoughts to accompany these references, and somehow lost all of it before I could post it. I do not seem to have an inner computer guru able to give me better instruction on the uses of the blog.)
In any event, I found both of these sites very interesting.
And here are some mantras I happened across today (on another site) that I found quite interesting. The site actually includes dozens of mantras for calling on many gods for many purposes.
Some mantras to Shiva (from http://gvyprayersmantrasandgayatris.blogspot.com/2007/04/gvymantras-for-planets.html)
Shiva Panchakshari Mantra
Om namah shivayaShiva Shakti
Om hrim namah shivaya
Mantra to Lord Shiva for removing ailments and fear:
Om Triyambakam YajamaheSugandhim Pushti VardhanamUrvarukamiva BandhanatMrityor Mukshiya Mamritat
“We worship the Three-eyed One (Lord Shiva) who is fragrant and who nourishes well all beings, even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.”
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A Breakthrough--the outer chakras (Cyndi Dale)
(image is book cover found on SoundsTrue)
I have often talked about bliss, and feeling bliss not only in the lower and upper chakras of the body, but I have also described many experiences of feeling rapture when I moved my hands far from my body, sometimes as far as I could reach. For years, I have wondered how this was possible, and have asked everyone who might know, but I never found a satisfactory answer. Just yesterday, I asked a close spiritual friend about this, and she replied (quite reasonably) that I was feeling the subtle energy at a refined level. But I wanted more.
But--that very night--I came across an explanation which seems, to me, to shed great light on the question. I was looking up Cyndi Dale's books on SoundsTrue and came across her article on the 12 chakra system, which includes several chakras outside the body itself, though they are felt through the body. For me, it was a breakthrough to gain this new knowledge. (Actually, I had heard of the 12 chakra system before, but I never paid much attention to the theory, for I didn't fully grasp what it was. This time I was ready to receive the information.)
(Note: if this url won't open, go to Cyndi Dale's "The Subtle Body" on Soundstrue and scroll down to "related content" at the bottom--the article should then appear.)
Now, Cyndi Dale is herself an authority on the chakras and the energy system and an energetic healer, so she describes the purpose of the various energy centers for healing purposes. She does not mention bliss as such. I do not use the energies to heal (at least, not directly) but rather to feel ananda, which to me is the bliss that unites each of us to Source (God, Divinity, the limitless energy of the universe.) Ananda is the way in which we raise our own vibrations to help with the great paradigm shift occurring now. (And, as a footnote, Soundstrue is now having a major sale of many books and CD's of great interest.)
The Outer Chakras: The Energy Centers that Connect You to the Universe with Cyndi Dale
Healers know the chakras as the seven key energy centers in the body that govern our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Yet Cyndi Dale teaches that healing is only the beginning—the chakras have much more to offer than most of us realize. A teacher who has earned worldwide acclaim as an emerging authority on the chakras, Dale views the chakras as amazingly versatile gateways to spiritual growth and realization of our most important life goals. Here she talks to us about the innovative twelve-chakra system she teaches in her first audio-learning course, Advanced Chakra Wisdom.
Sounds True: Most people teach about the seven primary chakras, but you work with a system of 12. What are the other five, and why are they important?
Cyndi Dale: People are familiar with the “normal” seven chakras, but there are dozens if not hundreds of chakra systems. If you study Tantric, Yogic, and Hindu history, as well as Chinese medicine and shamanic cultures, you find anywhere from four or five primary chakras all the way up to fifteen or more. There's not really a standard number of chakras. It all depends on what tradition you come from and what you perceive to be a “primary” or “secondary” chakra.
In my work with clients, it struck me that the seven “core” chakras we normally discuss are only the ones in the body, arrayed along the spine. But for centuries, mystics and shamans have known that we're actually an open system, connected energetically to the entire universe, and that our energy is contained at least loosely in an “energy egg.” We have a kind of energy cocoon around our body that shamans in different places in the world have worked with for thousands of years.
This matched what I found in my work with clients. There were times in my practice when I would notice a lot of energy was congealing or coming through a certain spot underneath the feet. Or different energy spots over the head or around the body. So I started to work with myself and clients, and see where these hot-spots were, or “power centers,” which is the Mayan term for the chakras.
The 12-chakra system I use comes from a blend of my research and my experience with what works. I started to focus on five major additional energy centers located outside the body. These link us to the spiritual realms and the earth itself, and they also interpenetrate the body through the endocrine glands. I've learned that you can actually create more change—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—working with these outer chakras, because you're working with more powerful energies than what's just in the body itself.
Sounds True: Why do you think the seven-chakra system has become so prevalent?
Cyndi Dale: It's our tendency to think of ourselves as closed, isolated units instead of acknowledging that we're part of a greater whole. Research into biofields and subtle energy bodies shows that we're interconnected. Quantum physics is revealing that particles interact even if they're light years apart. We don't stop at the skin—and neither do our chakras.
It's interesting—we often hear things like: “People who are mechanistic and only go to allopathic doctors, they're really stuck. They think we stop at the skin and that everything is just mechanical.” But I find this mindset still persists unconsciously even in the spiritual community, and that it causes us to focus only on the in-body chakras.
Frankly, I'm not hooked into being the one to say there's a “right” number of chakras. If somebody came to me and said they use a 48-chakra system, I'd say: “Terrific! What can you do with them?” To me, it comes down to practicality. Is this effective information? Can we use it to better our lives? Can we use it to better the world around us?
Sounds True: Could you describe the five “outer chakras” and what they're for?
Cyndi Dale: Let me start with the 10th chakra, because this is the one that really roots you and brings you into your body. It's under the ground, about a foot and a half. This one opens to your genetic patterns, to your legacy in terms of family history, to the history of the earth in general, and links you into the environment and nature.
In terms of energetics, the lower half of the body works with the lower spectrums of light, while the higher part of the body from about the waist up works with the higher frequencies. So the 10th chakra underneath the feet is working with a lot of infrared energy, which is very powerful for energizing and healing the physical body. For instance, if someone is dealing with a genetic abnormality, I work with the 10th chakra. That energy center actually helps to program our DNA, and we can work with it to help with hereditary issues.
There are two chakras that are found above the head. The 8th chakra is an inch or so over the crown. It opens to the outer worlds and the Akashic records (a recording of everything you've ever done, thought, or said). But also up here you access parallel present realities and potential futures. This is the place of the shaman and the mystic. It's up here that you can open your perceptions to different universes, time periods, dimensions. 8th chakra practices are incredibly effective for gathering information, working with spirits, and bringing in healing properties and healing energies from the shamanic realms.
Positioned above it is the 9th chakra, which is a beautiful energy center. It contains the seat of our soul. So whereas the 10th, which is underneath the ground, has our physical genetics, on the opposite side is the energy center that contains our “soul genetics”—encoded information about your higher purpose and spiritual destiny. We can perceive this information as numerical symbols, geometric patterns, or our own unique archetypal codes. If we're not getting any benefit working on the physical plane, that may mean it's time to go up and work with the soul patterns through the 9th chakra.
Then outside of the body are the 11th and 12th chakras. The 11th is the most immediate: it's the “energy egg” I mentioned around the entire body, which is accessible through the hands and feet. This is our connection to different forces, both natural and supernatural. I call it the “command center,” because people—like shamans—who are really able to access the energy of this chakra, are extraordinarily powerful magicians. They are able to influence the world around them and summon the supernatural energies that can make an instant and effective change in our lives.
And right outside of that is the 12th chakra, which is where we find the plane of mastery. It's here that we can identify ourselves with the best of being human, and then stretch beyond into the spiritual planes that lie on the other side of the energy egg and discover unity with the whole universe. Through the 12th chakra, we are able to achieve our own spiritual uniqueness and purpose.
Sounds True: Do these outer chakras have a direct relation to any part of the body?
Cyndi Dale: Yes—they connect to the body through the endocrine glands. So as with the primary seven, if you have a problem with a specific organ you want to work with the connected chakra in order to heal it. The 10th chakra works with the bones and the bone marrow, and any diseases related to the bones. People sometimes say that's not an endocrine gland, but there's research that's now proving that the bones and bone marrow produce hormones.
The 8th chakra above the head plugs into the thymus, which relates to our immune system; working here can effect great change in autoimmune disorders. The 9th chakra above the head interfaces with the diaphragm. This is why so many yoga and spiritual practices emphasize breath work: the breath brings oxygen to the body and is a vessel for spirit.
The 11th chakra links to our hands and feet, and connects into the fats, muscles, and connective tissues like cartilage. A lot of research is showing that the connective tissue is the house of the meridian system. A Swedish researcher named Dr. Björn Nordenström has found a secondary electrical system that is interconnected through the connective tissue that may be our link into the subtle energy fields. The 11th chakra seems to be connected in on a subtle level as well as the physical, and is our main conduit for harnessing the placebo effect and mind-over-matter healing.
I see the 12th chakra as interconnecting to a lot of secondary points in the body. If you've just got a general problem and you don't know where to start, work with the 12th chakra. It's going to balance the small points, like the kneecaps, the chakras in the hand, and the other organs. It's good for general overhaul.
You can see why I'm in love with these outer five chakras. They're so versatile and effective.
Sounds True: How do the advanced techniques you teach expand chakra practice beyond healing?
Cyndi Dale: We run our lives through our chakras. Since the chakras regulate all things physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, we can do much more than use them solely for physical concerns. Certain people in spiritual practices open them up to get to Samadhi or a higher state. There's a lot of untapped potential.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Alaya Love, a Huna Healer
(image found on Google)
Recently I met a wonderful woman named Alaya Love who is a healer in the Hawaiian huna tradition. This healing method stresses forgiveness as the path to healing. She studied for several years with a teacher in Hawaii, who instructed her in the ancient ways.
The forgiveness experience involves several parts--forgiveness of mother, father, others, self and God. The healers in this lineage feel that until these channels are cleared and the heart is free to find love and its own source, pain and suffering will result.
The above site is an extremely interesting T. V. interview which originally appeared on "Shifting Dimensions," a show dedicated to exploring the evolution of consciousness andd the shifting paradigm. I think you will enjoy it.
By the way, her name "Alaya" was given to her by her native teacher. It means "bringing heaven to earth." I think this is what she is doing.
(To book a session call: Alaya LOVE 808-635-3335)
Monday, August 23, 2010
Eat, Pray, Love--Great Movie
I went to see "Eat, Pray, Love" today and truly loved it. I strongly recommend it to you if you have not already seen it. It moves from NYC to Italy to India to Bali. Julia Roberts is wonderful as a divorcee seeking the meaning of her life.
The movie is down to earth, funny,, and very well acted.
Good movies are hard to find! This is only the fourth movie I have seen in over a year--and it definitely carries a "spiritual" theme, though it is in no way a "religious" movie.
I strongly endorse it.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
About Gay Rights (a departure from the usual topics)
Last night I watched a panel on the Larry King Live show give various views on the question of gay marriage, a topic much in the news these days. Because I am a member of this "minority group" (gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered), I have a special investment in this area, though certainly I have no desire at this stage to marry anyone of any sex. (I live alone and really, really like it!)
However, since I grew up knowing that my "lifestyle" as a lesbian was a major offense to society at large (which then used such terms as queer, fairy, pervert, and pathological to describe people like me), I simply could not resist saying something about the debate currently going on about this issue.
As a longtime professor in the liberal arts (English and American lit, women's studies, the modern novel), I emphasized critical thinking as a key part of a liberal education. Many of the arguments put forth on the panel seemed to me to reveal a sad lack of honest, rational thought.
Here are some of the arguments that made me wince:
l. The purpose of marriage is to have children, and it is indeed better for a child to have parents of opposite sex rather than two parents of the same sex.
Answer: If the purpose of marriage is to have children, then what about those who are incapable of begetting a child for physical reasons or those who perhaps prefer not to have children? What about those over childbearing age? Are they also to be barred from marriage? A lot of older heterosexual widows and widowers will be disappointed to hear this.
Further, has anyone checked the divorce rates among heterosexuals lately? How many children are being reared in one-parent households? Is it not better to have two loving parents of the same sex rather than one person struggling alone to care for her(his) kids as a single mom or dad? Recent studies show that the children of gay and lesbian couples are in fact more adjusted and generally happier than the typical child from heterosexual parents.
And there is yet another argument, that few mention. One of the major problems facing our planet today is overpopulation. Surely, couples (or singles) have a right to reproduce, but we must also acknowledge that those who choose not to have children also make an important contribution to society. At one time, women who failed to bear children were considered failures and more or less pitied or shunned by society. Is gay marriage (as well as the choice of women and men not to bear children) actually a phenomenon being used by nature to control excess population growth today?
2. A second area of concern is the failure to grasp the parallels between the struggle for gay rights and the civil rights movement which granted rights to African Americans and other minority groups. The opponents of gay marriage (some of whom are themselves African Americans) insist that this issue is very different, because one (civil rights of racial minorities) involved race, and this (gay rights) involves sexual orientation. One of the speakers on the panel (a talk show host named Dennis Prager) made the astonishing statement that America had never been a racist country (at least, I think that's what I heard). What can you say against such a lack of awareness of the actual history of our country, with its deplorable record from slavery to laws against miscegenation (marriage between whites and blacks), to segregated schools, to......on and on. One blushes to think of the horrors committed in the name of "white supremacy."
When the laws against "miscegenation" were up for repeal, the arguments against repealing this ban were quite similar to those against gay marriage today, only even more demeaning and virulent. Whites and racial minorities are now free to marry each other and society has not fallen apart. Massachusetts and Iowa allow gays to marry (and, intermittently, California) and heterosexual marriages show no obvious damage. What are these people afraid of?
3. I think the answer to the above question is : change. One of the arguments (again by Dennis Prager) was that marriage had always been between a man and a woman for all times and cultures. Therefore, this was the way it was supposed to be.
What this speaker failed to notice was that change is necessary for progress to occur. At one time, we were a slave holding country. No more. At one time, women were not allowed to vote (they were inferior creatures lacking the brains to participate in the political process). Not so recently, gays and lesbians could be denied the right to housing, jobs, and other accommodations because of sexual orientation. These discriminatory practices were finally eliminated. We are in a time of major transformation, and our attitudes must also change to be more open, more accepting of diversity.
4. Gay marriage is against the Bible. "Dr. Laura" (not on this panel) quotes Leviticus to make her point against gay marriage. Yes, this oft quoted passage in Leviticus does call homosexuality an abomination--but she fails to mention other Biblical passages which condone slavery (Leviticus 25:44); give permission to sell your daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7); command you to put to death anyone who works on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2); and prohibits those with visual defects to approach the altar (Lev. 21:20). (I am quite near sighted, so that would let me out.)
(By the way, "Dr. Laura" ( who strongly opposes gay marriage) is discontinuing her radio show, because she feels she is being denied her first amendment rights by those who have opposing views and are acting in ways to express those views through social action. Is she losing sponsors?)
Surely, marriage should be based on love, not one's capacity to procreate. Surely a child is better off with two loving and caring parents rather than those who neglect or abuse their offspring.
Surely this country will get over its irrational clinging to false arguments and grant equality of civil rights to all its citizens.
Surely, we will not have to wait too much longer for these spurious arguments to fade into dust and allow the world to look at other, more pressing issues, at this critical time in the planet's history.
P. S. There were two articulate speakers for gay marriage--one, a talk show host named Stephanie Miller, who has recently "come out" as a lesbian herself, since she felt it was no longer defensible simply to be a hidden supporter from the sidelines. The other was Kamala Harris, the City Attorney for San Francisco, who spoke in defense of gay marriage as a basic civil right.
And here is another very important point. The issue is one of equal civil rights for all. It does not infringe on the right of churches to determine who they will or will not marry. It is talking about marriage at city hall before a justice of the peace. It is an issue of basic civil rights, not the views of religions or churches.
(Note: the pictures above are ones I took at the Gay Rights Parade in San Francisco a few years ago. They illustrate the wide variety of ethnic groups impacted by legislation involving gay rights. When gay marriages became legal in San Francisco for a brief time a few years back, not only were many different ethnic groups represented, but some of the couples, Caucasian as well as others, had been together ten, twenty or even thirty or more years. It was a time of great celebration.)