Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Right Where You Are Sitting Now

This essay is a simple preliminary exercise to Telepathic Link Yoga. I wanted to start shifting into practice from this point on, but will still occasionally add some discussion of relevant theory. The essay is entitled "Right Where You Are Sitting Now" because this preliminary exercise can be done while you are reading these words. Gurdjieff, a Sufi teacher, taught the basics of this kind of meditation and used his whole system around it. He called the method "self remembering". The Buddha actually devoted a whole sutra on the same method, but described it in different terms. The key is, no matter what you do, you do what you are doing and also NOTICE, what you are doing. You are reading these words. Now add noticing that you are reading these words. This should produce a small but important shift in consciousness. In the teachings of Jesus, he taught that people who do what they are doing without noticing what they are doing were "asleep". This idea is key to why, on the cross, he said, "Abwoon, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing." The kind of knowing what we are doing that Jesus meant was quite literal. Most people do a kind of sleep walking through life, not really noticing what they are doing. There are some circumstances where there is more noticing, like when we are about to do some public speaking, but generally we are sleep walking. Again, there is a liturgy that Saint Paul mentions in his epistles that goes:

Awake, O Sleeper,
And Rise from the Dead,
And the Light of Christ
Shall Shine on You.

This liturgical verse is what Gurdjieff would call "sounding the doh note". This is the stating of the dominant theme of a ritual. It is an alchemical transformation formula. Even though it may sound simple and poetic, it is an important summary and does not waste words. The first phrase is calling the sleeper to awaken. By reading these words and noticing you are reading these words, you will have partially awakened. When you awaken a little, you will feel like a "walking dead". In Buddhism, you feel like you are a drunken monkey with your thoughts taking you all over the place. In the beginning, it does not seem possible to silence the mind. If we are intending to silence the mind and the mind cannot be silenced, then it has a will of its own. This means that the mind is running us, rather than us running our own mind. This mind is running on vashana, habit force. Even though we set the mind in motion, some kind of karmaic momentum is behind it, and no one is really in control. It is as if the pilot is dead. We can lift ourselves up from this death. Then the light of Christ will shine on us. This is Divine Grace in Christianity, Baraka in Sufism, or Blessing Energy in Buddhism. The liturgy (the word "liturgy" means "the work of the people") is a scientific alchemical formula designed to produce a reliable result. Two of the steps are something we must do and the last step is done by the Divine or Life itself. The third step requires a subtle effort or choice on our part, which represents three things we need to do for ourselves, and that is to open up to the Divine. The loving energy at the heart of the universe is completely nonviolent and cannot force its will on anyone. Even though it wants to heal us of every painful condition instantly it can only work with our step by step permission. It cannot even impose goodness on someone.

To deepen this self remembering, I would like for you to continue to read these words and notice that you are reading these words. Then gently place part of your attention on your thoughts and feelings. Keep part of your attention on these words. You may wish to "shuttle" back and forth to get a better feel of this dual attention. Part of esoteric science is that you can place attention on at least four different things simultaneously. In the beginning, it might feel like a minor strain and so shuttling may make this feel easier. When you shuttle, you touch, for instance, these words with your eyes by looking at them, and then you focus attention inside your skull and notice how it feels inside there, and then you focus back on the words. Go back and forth about seven times.

You might notice an energy, a kind of tingling sensation, in the brain, as you do this. This is what Gurdjieff called "doh 48". There is some correspondence between this tingling energy sensation and conventional chemistry (up to a point). This chemical will actually change the brain and activate a higher functioning, activating what Gurdjieff called "the higher intellectual center" (telepathy) and "the higher emotional center" (the radiator and receiver of unconditional love). This "doh 48" is related to the pituitary and pineal gland (the third eye chakra) and relates in part to our hormonal chemistry. It is good to practice right diet to support its proper growth. Of course, a little bit of "doh 48" will produce a small change, but we will need more than this to cause the next mutation in our species.

Next place another part of your attention on your breathing. We are not going to do anything special other than to add conscious awareness. This will actually change the breathing a lot but indirectly. A certain rhythm of breathing will take the tingling sensation in the brain and make it pulse. So you are looking at these words, looking at the breathing, and feeling "doh 48" pulse with the exhale. You can continue by just dropping these words and going along with the breathing and the pulsation in the brain. It is important to not introduce strain or too much efforting. We are used to associating effort and tensing our muscles with each other. Part of meditation is to have pure intention produce results without tensing our muscles. It gets beyond the "animal self" a little. If you do not feel the tingling sensation in the brain, then simply notice the breathing and notice what your eyes are seeing, shuttling back and forth, or feeling them simultaneously. When enough "doh 48" fills the brain, then you should feel a tingling sensation there. Sometimes there is a sensitivity issue to overcome. Sometimes a medication might block the sensitivity. This is partly why in Tibetan Buddhism a lama usually presides over a practice empowerment. This is to make sure that some subtle blocks are removed and the intended results happen. It could be that a remedial method is given first, like a more dynamic breathing to super oxygenate the system, some cleansing herbs, or processing an emotional trauma that caused us to shutdown our sensitivity. If someone wants some help with this, I will by happy to support this kind of activation on a one on one basis. It may require a big life change, if a suppressive habit must be released. It is also possible to "power through" by doing enough of this exercise so that you break through into the right sensitivity. If you need to do this, then take care. If you find your stress level rising, please seek help. The Taoists have a saying that I do believe, "If you find it is hard, then you are doing it wrong." There should be some gentleness and ease in the process. There are some tough parts to this process when we awaken to stored traumas in our subconscious mind. But even these can be learned to be moved through with grace and ease. Jesus also said, "My yoga is easy and my burden is light." (The word "yoga" is literally the word "yoke" in Sanskrit and is the same word that Jesus used when translated into the Greek. Both yoga and yoke have the meaning of practice and of union. The yoke is put on an animal to make them put a carriage (practice). Animals are yoked together and therefore are united.) It is important that the "yoga" is easy and light. This gentleness is needed to enter into and heal our deepest pains.

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