Friday, August 26, 2011

Beyond Dieties

There is a teaching in Buddhism that the gods and goddesses are "mind made".  This does not mean that they exist and does not mean that they do not exist.  When we go within, we touch upon the eye consciousness, ear consciousness, tongue consciousness, nose consciousness, and tactile consciousness.  We go deeper into the summarizer that unites the five senses into one experience and reach the 7th consciousness which conceptually interprets our experience.  The interpreting consciousness is the home of the ego, the sense of a personal self that binds us to the wheel of sorrow.  It is also the home of the gods and goddesses.  We construct them with our interpretive mind.  They become archetypes within the 8th consciousness and take on a life of their own.  We can invoke them in our experience, chant mantras to them, and even create results within our empirical experience.

What is interesting is that Buddhist praxis that the deities are visualized, sometimes in great detail, then we "become them", and then we "dissolve them".  When we dissolve them, we learn something about their seeming reality that is hard to put into words.  We notice how we have faith in our own creations, how our mind can invest energy into a form and bring it to life.  We do this with our ego personality.  When we dissolve the whole structure, then there is a kind of "energy essence" that remains and that is felt.  A certain kind of "psychic flexibility" is attained.  I can concentrate this energy essence into a point of radiant light and feel myself as this form, move it across the universe, and influence events through intention.  There is a sense that even this "energy essence" is a subtle thought construction.  It can also be dissolved and recreated from an energy field.  This energy field can be called "emptiness", "the ground of being", or "the space beyond being and nonbeing".  Whatever it is, when we are touching this in meditation, we are beyond the conventional deities of all the religions.  We see that the deities themselves are "mental constructs".  There is a certain kind of feeling of Yahweh, for instance, that you get by reading the Bible.  It talks to other characters, like prophets, smotes cities, floods worlds, makes promises, etc.  The idea of Yahweh, too, is not static.  It evolves within the collective contemplation of a people.  Upgrades from a tribal god to a monotheistic supreme ruler of gods, to the only god, and to a personal god that has a relationship with individual humans.  People can feel this construct loving them or judging them, forgiving them or punishing them, believe this being in some way speaks through the Bible to them, and even fantasize this god throwing nonbelievers into a burning lake of fire to be tortured for an eternity.  To show how much of a mental construction this Yahweh is, there are variations in how this deity functions.  There are different categories of believers and nonbelievers depending on what the "right beliefs" are and who believes them, and then there are those who "really believe those beliefs" and those "who do not really believe those beliefs".  So different factions form with each believing that they have the right Yahweh and the others do not.  But whatever the variations which are believed, it is clear that each set of believers has constructed a Yahweh for themselves, visualizes it, worships it, and follows what this Yahweh has commanded them to do.  What these commandments are is a mental construction generated by the thinking of the tribe as they "study the Bible".  Even the Bible itself is a mental construct, written down by humans, compiled by humans, the individual texts selected by humans over other texts, the humans who selected the texts were in some sense also selected by a kind of psychological consensus as being "authoritative".  It was not quite a democratic voting process, but some kind of selection took place within a certain kind of society.  The whole process is not as formal, scientific, and precise as Buddhist meditation practice, but it still happened and a deity was created on the level of thought, given life, and then surrendered to.  Again, whether or not this deity is "real" is not something that Buddhism goes into.  The construct has a life of its own.  In some sense it is real and in some sense it is not.  Through the combined mental power of the tribe, this deity can exert a tangible force in human life.  This deity can also be weakened by doubt, like when contradictions are found in the Bible, in the theological views of a specific mental tribe, when the historical views that support the story of the deity are called into question, or when the philosophical views supporting the construct cease to make sense to the believer.  It is interesting here to notice something.  We have philosophical and empirical arguments to support or refute a specific belief.  If we are convinced of these arguments, then we "believe them".  If we are not convinced, then we "disbelieve them".  A certain process of thought constructs beliefs and deconstructs beliefs.  In meditation, we look at this level, notice how the 7th consciousness operates.  This is a hard one for humans to really look at and transcend, because there is a belief that every belief has something "real" behind it.  When, for instance, "god" is shown to be a mental construction, then there is a leap to believing that there is something corresponding to this idea that is real and is beyond our thoughts, that exists separately from our thoughts, and that our thoughts can at least label.  When a believer asserts this, then the belief gets projected again and reconstructs itself on a another level.  There is still a mental process going on and it is still creating the deity.  The mental process is still reiterating itself and does not stop functioning.

When Buddha negated the idea of self, he was seeing that this was a construct that we form and attach to, experience our identity through, and which has a certain amount of illusion within itself.  When we do not understand who and what we are from direct experience, then the concept of self that we generate about ourselves is largely fictional.  But this fiction still has a curious life of its own.  It can have low self esteem or arrogance when it compares itself with other selves, which are also visualizations and constructs as well.  We take in raw sensory data, react to this data and form opinions about who others are.  There are very complex and multiple thought streams that pour into this process, with all of them constantly changing moment to moment, sometimes moving so rapidly and compulsively that people do not see them or notice how they invoke a certain feeling of self one day and another feeling of self another day, and how each sense of self is different from each other.  There is an assumption that there is something "real" behind all those different feelings of self that unifies all of them, yet when a person looks within one never finds anything like a self.  No one even bothers to ask what a self would even look like.  But when thoughts, emotions, and sensations arise, both separately and in any combination, there is no self that is attached to these experiences, no self glued to them in any way.  There is nothing we can point to and say, "Look, here is the self, notice how it connects to this emotion, but not that emotion."  When a person looks within and notices this, then something starts shifting inside.  The person moves out of the 7th consciousness and into the 9th consciousness.  It is like one has been living within a haze of thought and is lifted above and beyond all thoughts, whether theistic, atheistic, or agnostic.  From the vantage point all philosophical systems, they look like different dreams.  Naturally, some are better constructed than others.  If we glue our thoughts together very logically, connect them within a flow of thought that has no contradictions, it feels better inside.  But compared to "radiant awareness", there is a kind of dull and old energy to all these thought constructions.  They feel like an obscuration.  They are like well worn grooves in the brain, tied to the past, repeating a kind of past, and constantly reiterating themselves.  It seems, too, that these grooves eventually do wear out the brain and cause it to age and die.  When we shift into radiant awareness, then brain starts to renew itself and may not need to age and die.

The 8th consciousness has several levels in and of itself.  It seems that there is an individual level, a kind of personal unconscious, and there is a deeper and more collective level.  The different levels of consciousness interpenetrate each other and influence each other.  Our thoughts are shaped by the thoughts of others and visa versa.  There is a reflection of the deity, too, on this level.  When groups of people put enough energy into a construct, then an archetype is formed.  It can appear in the dreams of individuals from other cultures.  We can feel this energy even within the thought or word of the deity, by its name, as if the name is a microcosm and focus of a vast story or series of thoughts that gives the flavor and definition of this deity.  Because this level of consciousness is transpersonal, beyond each individual consciousness, it feels "real".  When multiple witnesses see something and have matching reports, it becomes part of a social reality.  When people talk about a deity, pray to a deity, and gather together to worship a deity, then the thought form gathers a kind of energy and becomes alive.  The deity seems greater any one individual opinion.  It is hard to see it as a mental construction.  Yet a game like Tennis is easier to see this way.  The rules are mentally constructed and the meanings associated with the empirical moves are mentally constructed, and even the emotions surrounding "winning" and "losing" are generated from those interpretations.  A certain number of events are called "winning" and a certain number of events are called "losing".  There are very high emotions with crowds cheering or hissing regarding those events.  The rules of the game teach the group what to cheer and what to hiss.  There are even righteous feelings when someone is "cheating" or breaks the rules, moves outside the social consensus.  Once again, Tennis takes on a life of its own.  Does Tennis exist?  In a sense it does and in a sense it does not.

If you are following my contemplation of "mental construction", see if you notice something shifting inside your consciousness.  I am merely describing a mental process that we do not always look at.  I am not assigning a verdict of "true" or "false", because these are, in some sense, the ultimate labels of the interpreting 7th consciousness.  It feels it has done something very significant with those labels.  It sometimes spends a lot of time agonizing over what is real and what is not real, and how to find out.  Whole wars have been fought over which belief is true and which is false.  Yet this total activity is rarely looked at.  People in general do not step out of this process to look at.  People do not, as in Buddhist praxis, see what happens when you deliberately visualize and create a deity, identify and become the deity, and then dissolve the deity.  It is interesting when you make this process conscious and do it deliberately, systematically, logically, and completely.  Most people let this process happen inside them through a social conditioning process, through education and teachers, who are unconsciously visualizing and conjuring with their words, no really knowing what they are doing.  In Buddhist meditation, you "take over" the process.  There is something learned when we do this that is hard to put into words.  It is not about proving or disproving something as "real" or "imaginary".  When we build a house, we learn something through the experience of going through the whole process.  We will know the house in a different way than someone who just moves in and lives in the house.  In one way, the house will feel more real because we made it.  In another way, there will be less mystique around the house.  We might even have better ideas about how to build it from having made the first one.  The second one will most likely be better than the first and the third better than the second, and so on.

In a similar way, we see that the deities are mental constructions, then something happens there.  We can construct better and better deities, make them more loving, wise, and creative than some macro-thug that smotes cities and who is so arrogant that it needs worship.  We will also get a feeling for all the believers and atheists who we meet, and we will notice how superficial merely believing and disbelieving those constructs are.  We will notice how whether or not we believe or disbelieve in the "macro-thug" is really a small thing.  All this is very different from moving past the entire 7th consciousness into something deeper and vaster, moving past the entire 8th consciousness into something deeper and vaster, etc.  We will, too, wonder whether putting one of the deity labels to this vaster energy is really doing much.  If we call this thing "god" what are we doing?  What do we mean?  Do we merely fall back into the 7th consciousness and just be content with our mental antique shop?  Do we really want to step into the vastness and stay there, or do we want to make a little toy in our shop called "vastness" and just sit and admire it?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Transition Time Checklist

Transition Time Checklist

I wanted to share some things that might be of help during this present transitional time.

1. The bottom line is trusting life to take of us and resting in that more than money.  To paraphrase Jesus in this regard, you either trust life or trust money, but you cannot really trust both.

I have always thought insurance was an odd thing.  It only kicks in when you are already damaged and insurance does not help you to not get damaged in the first place.  If you are too damaged, insurance also does not help.  If you get damaged below your deductible, then it does not help.  If you get damaged within a certain exact range, then they paid a certain amount, but maybe not enough to cover the costs of the damage.  Once damaged, then your policy may get rejected as too high a risk.  If you are likely to get damaged, as in a forest fire in a dry valley, then you will most like not get covered at all.

My insurance is to chant to Amida Buddha and continue to burn accident causing karma away.  To visualize "hreeh" in the sacrum and have this purifying fire raise up the spine as a tingling energy and then mix it in the heart chakra with white "om" drips coming from the third eye, turning the energy into a silvery blue elixir that radiates out from an "ah".

2. Focus on community and serving in love.  Real economics will be about this, about being true neighbors to each other, brothers and sisters in one consciousness, and generating a life worth living with each other, trading products and services that will fulfill the four purposes of life:  survival, healing, growth, and celebration.

3. Get out of debt and stay out of debt.  Some people are not going to be able to do this one.  A person can be "locked into debt".  In this case, do not add debt to debt and see if you can at least finance to systematically reduce the debt or at least pay off the principal.  The current economic system thrives on debt.

4. Drop out.  The old word for dropping out is "renunciation".  You renounce the world.  You give up ambition and success in this world.  You are then "in the world but not of it".  If you do not drop out, you tie your star to a sinking ship.

5. Drop TV.  Switch to the internet for your news and even your fun shows.  It is all there and free for the most part.  The regular news is apparently owned by 4 corporations and they do avoid publishing certain news items at all.

6. Drop higher education.  Unless you feel called into a profession, just decide to take a path of self learning and avoid one of the most popular methods of getting into debt.  We have tons of books, youtube videos, and tutors who are a lot more reasonable than a university education.  Plus if you go university, you will have a lot of mandatory classes that route you into official views which are one sided.  History, for instance, is about money and war dates for the most part, not the emergence of powerful ideas, like Sahraj's discovery the the tantric principle ("you only transcend the things you first accept") and the Zen principle of "immediate enlightenment".  If you do like a certain university teacher, it might be possible to audit the class and simply not get "credit" for it, and still get exposed to the same learning information.  The same goes for setting aside money for the education of children.  It is better to give them learning experiences all their life and help them to create their own wealth through their own creativity.

7. Shift some savings out of the dollar and into silver.  This, again, may not be possible for everyone.  One analyst I trust says that silver will eventually be worth $500 per an ounce, once its real value is not affected by economic manipulation.  This means that only a few ounces of silver can be a protection against dollar devaluation.  This is happening every time the government prints money without any backing by precious metals.  This is called fiat currency and it is going terminal.  It is not about hoarding silver or even investing in silver.  It is about shifting your savings into a reliable currency that will not collapse.  Pull out of all the paper fiat currency "investments" and put it into real silver (not certificates, which is more paper).  Keep enough paper money to pay bills and cover expenses.  This might be most of the money.  But if you can, see if you can put about 10 percent in.

8. Grow a garden.  One economic principle that saves money is to eliminate the middle person and deal direct.  When you grow a garden, you eliminate the need for food to get shipped to you via ships, planes, trucks, sprayed with chemicals which also need to get shipped and trucked, grown in fertilizers that need to get shipped and trucked, bought in grocery stores where the stuff is shipping and trucked to reach, and brought home in a car whose gas is shipped and trucked to the local gas station.  While we cannot eliminate interdependence, we can simplify the web a little by focusing on getting needs locally met.

9. Wildcraft for edibles and medicines.  I am amazed at how much food is around even in this wounded valley.  Get some books, get a guide to show you what is out there, and start to explore.  Also, when you have found some plants that are highly nutritious, take their seeds and help to spread them around.  Help nature to become the lush grocery store that it once was.

10. Go organic, gluten free, alkaline, non-GMO, and vegan.  Most people will not be able to do this, especially in one leap.  But take it in stages, eliminate sugar and flour products first, get away from anything with MSG (autolyzed yeast, autolyzed corn protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and natural flavor are all synonyms for it, natural flavor may or may be it, but the only safe way to know is if the label says "no MSG", soups are notorious for having MSG as "natural flavor") or Aspartame (both MSG and this tend to fry the brain and have addictive qualities), then eliminate cheese (has casein aka Elmer's glue), then do some cleansing routines, starting with an intestinal cleanse and then a liver flush.  Many people brag about being healthy without a good diet, but I want my diet to actually help me be healthy.  A diet is not something that we should be surviving, it should be helping us.

11. Master pranic breathing and practice it to the point where you feel pranic waves going through your body.  Enlist an energy healer or trade energy healing sessions with someone to help unblock the energy flows and keep them unblocked.  Master energy chants too.  Master meditation.

12. Follow your heart.  If you do not live in fear, you will be able to hear deep guidance and follow it.  You might be guided to special places of safety in during this time, when and if they are needed.  Sometimes the safest place, though, is right in the thick of what is happening, helping others in compassion.  Follow your vision and start building the next world now.

13. Go alternative energy.  Get off the electric grid.  Get solar panels.  Research zero point energy.  Use wind, tides, rivers, and geothermal for energy.  Move away from petro-dollars.

14. Get a musical instrument and learn to play it.  Learn the principles of sound healing and play music with this awareness.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


When I was in college, I read a book called THE LIGHT OF A THOUSAND SUNS. In just two pages somewhere in the middle of the book, there was mention of Amida Buddha who radiated blessing energy and healing grace to anyone who called upon upon his name, who promised to liberate anyone who called to him, and who visualized and manifested a world called Sukhavati from the deep purity of his compassionate meditation, a place where people could be reborn into after they died and continue to meditate in peace into supreme perfect enlightenment. I did not know much about chanting. But I was transitioning away from Christianity, which had a similar idea of divine grace, but also threw anyone into eternal daily agony if they rejected this grace. Amida Buddha represented a divine grace without any trace of punishment for rejecting it. During that time in my life, it was something that I needed.

After many long days at college, where I was taking 18 hours a week of class and working 25 hours a week of work at the cafeteria, had tons of homework and labs, I would end my day walking in the cool night air and chanting "Namo Amida Buddha" with a kind of plain song Gregorian style that I made up as improvised the chant. I found that when I came back to my dormitory that I always felt well. I would move through many emotions as I chanted and somehow Amida Buddha would uplift my energy into peace.

When I was in Florida, I got inspired to make my own mala and chant 1,000 repetitions of the mantra per a day. I found that the beads got so charged with blissful energy that people who touched them would feel peaceful. I would often give the malas to people who were going through sadness and kept making a new one in its place. I ran out of them eventually and chanted using the joints of my fingers as a bone mala to do the count. I would feel uplifted to a space where I was beyond the world of ordinary events and yet I could feel all the people I cared about. I could send them energy from this space.

I was doing some Sufi lucid dreaming practice at this time and Amida Buddha appeared to me and told me to add the word "Om" in front of "Namo Amida Buddha". He said that he wanted the mantra to be universal, associated with no religion in such a way that someone had to join the religion to receive his blessing, that he would support any path that anyone was on and help them to go further into healing, love, and bliss, that he wanted the pure land to be a place of refuge to anyone who needed it, not just Buddhists.

When I was in Washington, I was sad when I was feeling stuck in my life. I was working delivering pizzas. I started to chant the mantra and found that I received three times more tips than usual. I did not need the money, but somehow grace reaching deep into the Earth plane and physical plane meant something to me. Amida Buddha later shared in dreamtime that he wanted the Earth to be transformed into a pure land, a place of peace, where everyone loved each other, took care of each other, and were sensitive to the needs of each other.

In Oregon, on the coast, two friends were getting married, and Amida Buddha wanted to bless them. I asked them if it was okay to channel this blessing to them. They said yes to this. During the wedding ceremony, I placed my hands on both their heads and started chanting. It was a typical cloudy day on the coast. The clouds parted in that very moment and sunlight shined directly to the gathering, gliding across the favorite tree of the male of the couple.

During another dreamtime encounter, Amida Buddha shared that he wanted me to add "Hreeh" to the end of the mantra, so it ended up being, "Om Namo Amida Buddha Hreeh". It has not changed since then, but more instructions have been added that relate to visualizing "Hreeh" in neon fiery red in the sacred, "Om" in luminous white at the 3rd eye, and the energies mixing at the heart to form a silvery blue life force elixir that vibrates with "Ah".

During my time on the coast of Oregon, I was 10 miles away from a town of only 3,000 people (1,000 in the actual town and 2,000 nearby). I lived more in nature than in human civilization. I loved feeling the thunder rumble in the clouds. Lightning energized me. I would often leave my physical body and soar through this natural world and sometimes beyond. During this time, I saw thousands of worlds. I saw worlds filled with so much sorrow that Earth as it is now would feel like heaven to those beings in those worlds. I have seen worlds so beautiful, loving, and tender that I would just fall to the ground and cry. I saw worlds where everyone was dedicated to the spiritual path, honored the spiritually wise over the money wise, and had no wars, no poverty, and no violence. I saw teachers in those worlds teach and words leave their mouths as radiant liquid light that would flow directly into the ears of the students. Whenever anyone understood a deeper truth, had a realization, or opened their heart into deeper love, flowers would spontaneously bloom to honor this event, and flowers were blooming all the time.

I learned from my travel to all the worlds and saw how they were made mainly by thought. Just as Amida Buddha visualized a wonderful world from a deep and loving meditation, uncaused by any past thoughts, every angry thought creates worlds of fighting and hatred, every jealous thought creates worlds of wandering hungry ghosts, every dull thought creates worlds of compulsive habits and numbing addictions, every fearful thought creates a nightmare, and every greedy thought creates worlds of competition and struggle. I saw that this world, this beloved Earth, was formed by thought, arisen by thought, sustained by thought, and will be transformed by every loving thought, every loving chant.

I remember sharing the mantra with people who were even a little receptive and even just a little sincere, and found that even one repetition was bringing light into their aura, but they did not stay with the process, that just million chants is needed to go the whole distance to supreme liberation, to flash into Sukhavati and to see this beautiful world that Amida Buddha created through his own mind. But the very first chant is enough for the light to shine into our sorrow and start to lighten our karmaic load. I found that Shinran said, "The first chant is all that is needed, such is the grace of Amida Buddha, and remaining chants are only chants of gratitude."

I found that some sutras exist that describe Sukhavati. I saw the world before having read about them. They are a little different and mostly the same. The trees glow with small orbs of light. Some describe white light orbs and some describe rainbow lights. Both are right. There are many orchards with different shining lights, different luminous healing herbs for many illnesses. Every one is meditating. You have to like to meditate to be in this world. Some meditate in a Lotus posture on the ground. Some are on Lotus blossoms in the many lakes. Some are floating in bubbles of light in the sky. There is a natural progression in the lessons of meditation that are in this world. Those with many negative thoughts are placed in Lotus blossoms that envelope them and contain them until their minds are pure, until all their thoughts converge into the mantra and then disappear into the pure thoughts of the luminous void. There are pools of water where you learn to calm the waters (emotions) with your mind, simply by waving your hands and saying, "Calm, calm, calm." Thought has more obvious power in this world. It has power in our world, too, but our thoughts are more confused and run at cross purposes with each other. When we converge our thoughts into the mantra, then when we focus our mind we have more power to manifest anything. It is more important then to not be negative at all, because the power of our minds to manifest this increases many-fold.

At this point in my life, I have chanted the mantra over a million times. When I started, it took 1,000 repetitions to shift my consciousness into bliss. Later on it took 100 repetitions. Now it takes only about 3 repetitions. After chanting for a few years, I remember that a fierce wolf in the dream leaped for my throat and the first words from my dreambody mouth were, "Namo Amida Buddha", and the wolf dissolved. I found in a Buddhist text that it is auspicious when your dreambody picks up the mantra and spontaneously uses it. This means the meaning and intent of the mantra has penetrated into your consciousness and become part of it.

Lately, the visualization of "Hreeh" in Tibetan magical script, in luminous red fire, has the convergence of this mantra. It is like a one syllable focusing of all the energy of all of those repetitions. I find it vibrates at the core of my dream body and moves energy through my physical body and can extend to others.

The "Hreeh" is the sacred sound of the Lotus family, the family of Dharmakara who merged with the primal genderless energy of Amida Buddha and carried with him his promise to liberate anyone who calls upon his name. The Lotus family includes White Tara, Mandarava, and all the beings of all the religions who become one with the energy of unconditional love. When the mantra is chanted long enough, you become a part of this energy also, one of the thousand arms of Avalochiteshvara, reaching out and helping sorrow to end everywhere.