Getting Rationality Out of The Way.

 

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Conscious, aware connection with the life force is natural, but there are road blocks along the way.  One of the  biggest blocks of all is our dependence on rationality.  Einstein again, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

So for many, the first step on the way to mystical experience, is to recognize the limits of the rational mind.  I’m not talking about suspending rationality at all, just about recognizing its limits.  The great Sufi poet Hafiz described it as “Pulling out the chair/Beneath your mind/And watching you fall upon God.”

There is a place for rationality, for asking why and demanding an answer.  There is great value in insisting that opinion be based on fact rather than fiction.  You have only to turn to modern evangelical religion, of any tradition, to see what happens when rationality is thrown out the window. 

But to touch our spiritual nature we need to become humble about our intellect.  We need  to recognise that there are things we do not know and cannot know with the intellectual tools we acquired in school.   Useful as they may be, they have their limitations.  Truly recognising this fact opens the often scary world of not knowing.  That world is mysterious and often uncharted, but it is also the territory where our spiritual nature emerges into awareness.               

Step one:  Recognise that your mind can’t know or understand everything and to gain awareness, you have to go beyond it.           

Everyone has something to teach.   Share your wisdom – make a comment.

 

Quotes for Life: Salman Rushdie

What is Breathwork? (Part 1 of more)

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The way is sometimes easy, smooth, a downhill trip.  It happens naturally as we go through life.  We have an insight, a transformation.  Sometimes we recognize that it’s the result of days or weeks  or even years spent mulling over things, facing hard facts and processing our emotions.   And sometimes it seems to happen spontaneously, out of nowhere … Poof!  A major obstacle is gone, a tenacious habit has changed, a depression has lifted.  

I suffered from depression from late childhood until my mid-20’s.  I remember clear as anything the day it disappeared.  I was sitting in the living room of a house in Missoula, Montana that has since been demolished.  I can still see the wallpaper, the billowing white curtains, the light flooding through the bay window, the people in the room with me and where they were sitting.   I looked over at my then boss and suddenly felt a weight or energy, don’t really know how to describe it, lifting up from my shoulders and head.  The depression that had hounded me almost constantly for as long as I could remember was gone. 

It’s nice when it happens that way.  It’s very nice.  But it’s rare.  Mostly we have to put some work into it. 

The most effective technique I’ve found to help us do that work is, without a doubt, Breathwork. 

I’m going to write a lot about breathwork, but at the same time I’d really like to know what you’ve found to help you move on.  What works for you?

Everyone has something to teach.   Share your wisdom – make a comment.

Quotes for Life: Robert Moore

The Mystic Emotion

Albert Einstein once wrote, “The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science.”  Mysticism is an old and beautiful word.  It predates terms like peak states, out of body experiences, mojo. 

It means the experience of aware union with the life force…feel free to substitute whatever term you like to use (god, Allah, Krishna, higher power, Great Spirit, Christ…).    When we become fully aware of that union our perception of everything changes.  Or to quote Einstein again, “The…feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”   This is a scientist’s perspective.  Yours might be worded differently.  But the wonder and awe and beauty, the love and rapture are the same.  This is the experience at the core of religion before the edifice of church and sin had been built upon it. 

We access mystical experience by being open to it.  It’s not about trying, but about surrendering.  It’s not about making it happen but about letting go of what prevents it from coming to our awareness.  And in our culture of acquiring and striving, surrendering can be a lot more difficult than forcing something to happen. 

This is where spiritual practices come in.  Breathwork is the most effective spiritual practice I know, but other forms of meditation, contemplative prayer, being silent in nature, yoga, walking, dancing, writing…whatever does it for you, are equally effective.  If done regularly, they help us surrender, often despite ourselves.   

Everyone has something to teach.   Share your wisdom – make a comment.

What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It’s close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically. -Elie Wiesel

Quotes for Life: Eli Wiesel

What is Spirituality in Action

Spirituality is who we are, the life within us, the life around us.  It’s the air we breathe and the ground we walk upon.  It is our nature and our substance, our world and everything in that world.  It’s the continuum of life as we know it.

Spirituality goes by many names – god, Buddha, Christ, Krishna, higher power, divine nature, Spirit, reality.  The list is long.  I prefer to call it the Life Force.  For me, that takes the divisiveness of religion and the danger of duality out of it.  We’re always connected to the life force, but when we connect with awareness, we feel fully, vibrantly alive.  We know then what it’s like to experience love, not the limited and conditional love we give and receive from other people, but love that is a state of being.  This love has no object but its source is limitless and all encompassing.  It’s nothing less than the matrix in which we exist and the material from which we are created.

These amazing  experiences are hard to explain without resorting to poetry and they’ve certainly given us some of the greatest poetry ever written.  But spiritual living is about more than poetry and happy trips.  Spiritual living is about surrendering to the life force every day and letting it transform us, mold us, guide us to and through whatever life has in store for us.

Spirituality in Action is the molding process, the shaping and transforming life does when we surrender to it.  Spirituality in Action is not about getting rid of pain, although that happens.  It’s not about getting what we think we want, although that can happen too.  And it’s not about positive thinking, although that can be very useful.  Rather it’s about bringing that experience of spirituality into the small, mundane, ordinary events that make up our day and transforming the quality of our living as a result.

And that’s what this blog is about.  That and some poetry and  maybe some art too.  Oh, and the most effective technique I know for getting there – Breathwork .  Posts on Breathwork will intersperse the posts on Spiritual Living.

Everyone has something to teach.   Share your wisdom – make a comment.