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Posts Tagged ‘Meditation’

Blocked? – Part 2

June 13, 2014 Leave a comment

I know; it’s “poem Firday”. But this business of “blocks” is on my mind.

Yesterday I wrote here about being blocked: blocked from listening to my intuition, from changing my language to speak (and think) in positive terms. And I wrote about practice. After 10 years Tenno became a teacher of Zen; he was practiced. Then Nan-in demonstrated how he was not “fully aware.” So Tenno became his student and practiced another 10 years! And I concluded my post yesterday with …another nine years of practice and study and “lessons in lost sunglasses”!

But practice what? OK, I’ve got 9 more years, probably 10! But what am I to practice; what am I to learn; how do I break through the blocks?

Later yesterday I was in one of my practices: Artist Pages writing as prescribed by Julia Cameron. I am fairly disciplined in writing my “morning pages” (sometimes afternoon); and I really know when I skip that something isn’t quite right with my day. I wrote yesterday and came up with some answers to my blocks; not only what is blocking but how to respond; to break through. Here’s what I wrote:

“I wrote my blog post for Rosemary’s site this morning – on “Awareness” again although the title was about blocks. What are my blocks to “full awareness”?

“I think the main one is fear – fear of letting go completely and relaxing into full awareness. If I let go completely I might lose myself! I am not yet fully willing to let go of the ego – that little self that appears to be so important to me. I have no problem with this for moments – while sitting, while doing Qigong, while writing pages when I merge and let come whatever words flow. Practices like these are easy times to let go. But when I’m at a bank ATM my ego is busy in the forefront – considering a number of choices: what’s my balance, how much cash do I need, what do I want to buy at the market, how long will this nice weather last, on and on…

“The conscious mind, the ego, can only handle 7 to 9 bits of information at one time. The thought of the sunglasses on the shelf gets pushed aside. The ego can’t handle all the information. And I am not practicing standing at the ATM. Why not?

“What if I had stood at the ATM in a relaxed but present Qigong posture? What if I had softened my focus moving into peripheral vision? What if I had remembered to breathe deeply and slowly as when practicing Qigong or sitting on my cushion? Would I have seen the sunglasses and remembered?

“Practice can be constant. And there needs to be no fear in this. If we drop our attention and expand our awareness the ego doesn’t disappear, it simply recedes into the background of the 10-million bits of information being processed by the unconscious mind. It is there, aware, processing its 7 to 9 bits, and content to rest, yet ready to come alive as needed. The “full awareness” is in the unconscious mind lifted out of its obscurity through constant practice.

“Blocks are revealed, recognized and broken through by balancing conscious ego awareness with practiced unconscious access.

“Relax, let go, breathe deeply, sink, broaden, move fully into self and become fully aware of Self.”

I think I have my answers! Now to put them into practice…

Happy Full Moon. Have a good weekend!

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ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: Commitment and Solutions

April 30, 2014 Leave a comment

A message from The Divine Feminine:

“Dear Ones,

You are being invited into a new level of conscious living on Planet Earth at this time. Will you accept the invitation?

For so many of you there have been problems in your life that you have struggled to handle. Money, relationship, children, career. These problems exist in the 3-dimensional world of Planet Earth. Your pain, whether only emotional or a combination of emotional/mental/physical, is also a 3-dimensional pain.

But we would tell you that there are many dimensions beyond the 3 you are considering and your solutions lie beyond where you are searching for them.

Have you learned to access your Inner Wisdom? Your Spirit Guides and Angels? Do you meditate? Pray? Journal? Seek counseling/mentoring?

We understand that, when there are problems in life, it is tempting to constantly consider the problems while hoping for the solutions to appear. You are, however, not a slave to your circumstances or to your problems. You are empowered to seek solutions wherever they may reside. And focusing on the problems continues to give them power in your life.

The empowered approach to solutions is to seek them without the attachment to the problem. If you focus on your problems you energize them at a low vibrational density that causes you to anchor yourself in that density. If, instead, you focus on what you can do to shift your circumstances, what you can try, even if success is not guaranteed, then you can operate at a higher frequency level and lift yourself out of your story.

Solutions are always available. They may not be the solutions you want but you are always presented with only those situations that you are ready to handle. Sometimes the solution is to decide to take no action. Or maybe to change your thinking about what you have decided to call a ‘problem’ so that you can accept the situation and no longer deem it a ‘problem.’ And sometimes there are actions to take to move you toward resolution.

No matter where the solution lies, your responsibility is to your personal growth and, therefore, you must be committed to working in a way that is focused on evolving and not just on ending a problem.

Concentrate on your commitment level to that which you desire. Are you congruent? Are you committed enough to sacrifice something to achieve your goals? Are you committed enough to focus on where you want to be instead of what has happened or where you have been?

This is the commitment that problems invite from you. Do what is required for you to grow through the experience of finding solutions. Focus on what you DO WANT and commit your energy to making that happen, even if it scares you.

Your level of commitment to changing your circumstances determines the success of your efforts to change.

It is always about commitment.

And so it is.”

Thank you for this message.

I invite you to look at your life and your challenges and commit to taking some action toward what you desire rather than focusing on what is happening around you. YOU can change yourself and, thus, your life.

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Conscious Relationships Start with Self-Love – Richard’s Commentary

April 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Humans are social beings. It is all about relationships. Last week I wrote about our interdependence with others, what Thich Nhat Hahn calls “interbeing.” We are especially dependent on and interdependent with other humans. Here’s what Rosemary says about that:

Human beings are relationship experts. We are constantly adjusting relationships, in one direction or another. Relationships with significant others, with parents and with children, with co-workers, clients, neighbors, hairdressers, waitstaff at the local restaurant, checker at the grocery store. Every interaction with another human being is an element of a relationship.

And every relationship begins on the inside of ourselves. This is why it is so important to have that relationship in the first place! Do you have a good relationship with yourself?

In her post Rosemary writes about choices we have and we make moment to moment. The first choice is to have that inner relationship. How do you do that? It’s as easy as breathing! And we all need to do that!

The “conscious relationship with self” begins with conscious breathing. That’s right, bring your consciousness to your breathing pattern. Don’t try to change it or make an effort, just bring your attention to how your breath feels; think about the inhale; feel it as it comes in through your nose, down your throat, into your lungs. Where does it go there? Does it fill up your chest? Does it go down into your belly? Just notice. And on the exhale, how does that feel? What happens first? How much air do you exhale?

Shifting just our focus on our breath, with no change at all in rhythm or style, changes our body chemistry and our mental awareness! Imagine what might happen if you actually, consciously begin to control your breathing. Maybe your in-breath goes a bit deeper and is longer; maybe you hold it for just a moment as you sense it, notice the feeling of expansion. Then as you exhale maybe you do this more slowly, deliberately. And maybe you expel more air, even flattening your belly, back towards your spine as you push out more air – to make room for a bigger in-breath.

And you can continue in this manner, watching your breath, taking longer, deeper, slower breaths. This is the beginning of a relationship with yourself, your deeper self.

I’m not writing here to teach meditation. But I am echoing Rosemary’s intention that your best relationship is with yourself, inside. Here’s what she says about you:

Who you are, deep in your core, is a beautiful being of Light. Who you are, inside, is a spark of divine energy. Who you are, in the essence of you, is a person of access to great wisdom and love. THIS is the person that you really want to show up in every relationship, isn’t it?

I would like to have a relationship with this being of Light – you! Wouldn’t you?

ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: Connect!

April 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Your life is all about connecting. You were born into a family or chosen by one. You have chosen friends and partners. You bore children or sired them. You have worked with people, paid some for services, gone to the doctor, bought groceries. Every thing you have done has contained an element of connection.

Do you love to walk in Nature? Aren’t you connecting with Mother Earth, with the plants and animals as you walk?

Do you go to a job? Eat in a restaurant? Go shopping? Get together with friends for lunch? Spend holidays with the family?

It’s always about connecting.

And how much time do you spend connecting with the inner you? Have you connected with your inner wisdom, your guides, your angels, your intuition? This is the most important connecting you can do.

When you connect with the inner you, you are tapping into your own power, your essence. When you have a strong connection to your inner wisdom, your guides, you gain clarity and confidence.

People today seem to be searching for connection but looking outside for a place to ‘plug in.’ The real connection that they are seeking isn’t outside; it resides inside. Are you one of the seekers of an outside connection or are you remembering to connect to the inner you?

You don’t need to have a great love interest to be connected. It isn’t having a great job or a best friend or a perfect family that will give you the feeling of connection that you seek. All of those connections might be nice, but the most important one is the one that reaches inside you, into the depths of your inner essence, and brings forth the passion, your purpose, your inner divinity and shares that with the outside world.

It is a tall order to make that inner connection and then to share what you find with the world. Your inner light shines so brightly that it can dazzle those who wish to stay in the dark. Your inner guidance will point you in the direction of manifesting your dreams. The inner gifts that you reveal when you reach inside might frighten you with their intensity.

Are you ready to connect?

There are many ways to do this connecting. Your inner light is always shining. If you feel disconnected it is merely a forgetting, not a true disconnection. Meditation, guided visualization, working with a counselor, journaling – all of these techniques will help you to make the connection.

Many of the clients I work with are seeking the wisdom that they cannot hear from their own guides. Often I speak what they think they have been hearing and the guides are using me to confirm the message. It is a matter of trusting what you hear.

Do you trust the inner guidance that you receive? This is the most important aspect to the connection.

If you receive guidance after you connect but you do not trust the message, you will continue to stay stuck where you are. And isn’t the point to move forward, to grow?

Trust me when I tell you that you will have the energy to grow, to move forward, when you are connected to that inner YOU. Your passion, your purpose, your inner wisdom – all are ready for you to connect.

Are YOU ready? Connect!

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MONDAY’S POEM: Aligning Breath of Peace

March 10, 2014 Leave a comment

On Saturday I was feeling out of sorts, disconnected, and uneasy. I did notice that the Moon was squaring the Sun, First Quarter. This may have had some influence. And I decided, whatever the source of my unease, to take some action. In writing my “morning pages” for the day I went into a meditation which did help me realign my energies. I wrote today’s poem in that energy to capture my methods of aligning with the environment rather than struggle with it.

I am now practicing with this breath when I feel I need to connect. I breathe this long slow poem and then follow it with three deep breaths, repeating this connecting breath three times.

Aligning Breath of Peace

Inhaling
From the far reaches of the Universe,
Source,
Through the grand curve of the All
To the Galaxy, Solar Ellipse,
Earth, Community,
Village, Home
Into skin, viscera,
Senses, feelings,
Mental mechanics
To High Consciousness.

Exhaling
From that high place
Through the inner curve of Mind
Deep feelings, settling flow
Of gut mechanics to surface;
Out to room,
Neighborhood, town,
Planet, Moon,
Sun, Milky Way
Through the grand curve of the All,
To Source.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Wake Up and Evolve! – Richard’s Commentary

March 6, 2014 Leave a comment

This whole notion of “waking up” has been with us for millennia. The Aborigines of Australia refer to life here on planet earth as “dream-time”; death is a form of waking up! Twenty-five hundred years ago, Shakyamuni became The Buddha by “waking up” to the reality of his Four Noble Truths, the Eight-Fold Path, and all the lessons and sutras that followed. To a large extent this idea of awakening is about a choice; it is a conscious choice to “Wake Up”!

Here’s the key sentence from Rosemary’s article:

But, when you really decide to grow, to wake up, to evolve, you can change your beliefs!

Decide. Decide to grow, wake up, evolve. And once this choice is made there is no end to the awakening. As soon as some new concept is grasped another comes along to either build on it or tear it all down and build another conceptualization of some aspect of reality. Here’s the best part: there is no end to penetrating the truth or reality because as soon as we think we have it in our grasp, it evolves!

What, reality is evolving? What kind of notion is this? I suppose even this expansive concept is just that, another concept, another belief. But, if reality is in fact, the sum total of everything we “know” – our consciousness and our knowledge – then, our consciousness is growing, or evolving, and reality is evolving!

Rosemary and I are a part of a wonderful group of people who get together every first Wednesday evening of the month to discuss “spiritual” topics. We call our group The Spiritual Exploration Group. And our only “rule” for the group is “we gather for discussion, not dogma.” Our topic for the month, and probably the next several months, is “Consciousness.” In fact one of the articles we shared with the group stated that “spirituality” is really an outmoded term; “consciousness” creates a much larger context and is, perhaps, the more apt word to encompass the totality of our discussion topics. (We are in the process of renaming our group The Consciousness Exploration Group!) Another of our articles for consideration is by Ken Wilber who has thought and written extensively about consciousness. In his Integral Model of the world of consciousness he has defined levels; and he sees no end to the development of additional levels as we continue to expand our knowledge, our consciousness. This is evolution!

And we have a choice to be part of this evolutionary process. We can continue to learn, to think, to meditate, to study new concepts, to discard beliefs and form new ones, to tear down our ivory towers and open to the wide world of expansiveness, to “wake up.”

Some days it is easier to sit back and relax in our current set of beliefs, our world-view and enjoy the flow of life without strain. But there is so much happening in the world of consciousness, from discovering the very mechanisms of consciousness in the physical plane, to penetrating the mystery of how consciousness effects the physical plane that it is impossible for awakening people to sit still! It is these awakening ones who are pushing the envelope of consciousness, who are evolving!

Are you comfortable in your slumber or are you awakening? It’s a wonderful, expanding world out there! Join us.

I Ching for the New Moon in Pisces

March 3, 2014 1 comment

For each New Moon I use the I Ching to provide an indication of what we can expect the energies coming in might bring us. The moon went through her “death and rebirth” this past Saturday, early morning here on the east coast. And after her rebirth I cast a Gua (a hexagram of yin and yang lines); I use the yarrow stalk method, a very meditative process of manipulating 50 “sticks” to obtain the six lines (note these lines are digital, just like computer bits, either open, zero, yin or closed, one, yang; maybe given my computer background this is why I am so attracted to this ancient method of divination!)Gen-Keeping Still

The Gua I cast for this New Moon and the next month (or Moonth) is Gen, pictured here. This Gua is made from the doubling of a single trigram, also Gen. This trigram means “mountain” so the picture we have is mountain standing on mountain. Can you picture a more solid image?

The translation of Gen is “keeping still.” What could be more logical? But what does this mean for the month?

First recall that the Gua I cast for last month, and since it was a New Year, that Gua has influence over the entire year (see earlier post) is Tai, meaning Advance. Now we come up to Keeping Still. After a fast start to the year through February it may be time to slow down, consider, regroup, and be sure of our plans! We are still in winter for another few weeks; inner work remains on the agenda. While the overall year may be one for advancing, we do need to ensure plans are correct and in alignment with our overall goals and our purpose!

Here is my journal entry on this Gua: “Mountain over Mountain – keeping very still. After the Advance it is time to become introspective. Be certain of plans, consider them carefully, sit in stillness to contemplate further action.

“The overall Gua and energy for the year is to advance. However, plans for that advancement need to be revisited. Think before action. This Gua contains great power, great energy – potential, not kinetic energy. Something great is coming. It is good to wait for it!

“By the next new moon we will be beyond the Spring Equinox. Take this last few weeks of winter to review and revise plans. Master Alfred Huang, author of The Complete I Ching writes: “keeping still is meant to prepare one’s mind and spirit to progress when the time comes.”

Also Master Huang quotes from Confucius’ treatise, The Way of Great Learning:

The way of great learning is to illustrate brilliant virtue, to love people, and to rest in conduct that is perfectly good.

By knowing how to keep still,
one is able to determine what objects he should pursue.
By knowing what objects he should pursue,
one is able to obtain calmness of mind.
By knowing how to obtain calmness of mind,
one is able to succeed in tranquil repose.
By knowing how to succeed in tranquil repose,
one is able to obtain careful deliberation.
By knowing how to obtain careful deliberation,
one is able to harvest what he truly wants to pursue.

Master Huang adds: “In the final stage of one’s life, if one can manifest one’s brilliant virtue, love people, and maintain one’s goodness to the end, it is a true blessing, and there will be good fortune.”

Seems to me it might be well worth the time to sit, reflect, and confirm the plans for “advancing” for the year!

PS: my dear friend and favorite “cosmic astrologer” Gloria Hesseloff, says this about the New Moon in Pisces: “MEDITATION is Pisces favorite activity and is highly recommended… this New Moon, is a powerful time to set intentions. The New Moon in Pisces is a significant time to activate the Consciousness of ONENESS throughout the planet.” As always her readings are exactly in alignment with the I Ching!