Tag Archives: conscious mind

Happy Tension

Planning is good because it sets events in motion, gets you & others organised & makes you take action

Planning is good because it sets events in motion, gets you & others organised & makes you take action

On the road of spiritual development, there is this tension between the desire to plot and plan and relaxing into trusting the universe that life will provide.

Planning

The need to plan is an aspect of the conscious mind that is important yet can become a dominating force on your life and therefore get in the way of your full potential. The conscious mind plots and tends to hold on tight to how things are going to be. It creates an unhappy tension when things do not happen as you imagined them in your fantasy of the future. Your conscious mind may deem the outcome a failure or unsuccessful because your imagining was not exactly like the end result.

Planning is good because it sets events in motion, gets you and others organised and makes you take action. It sets intention and by having goals you can sustain that intention throughout the process.  To be too rigid about how things will unfold may get in the way of the flow. It may be a more convoluted road than you thought. In your experience when did anything you start end up as you imagined it? In my experience I cannot think of anything that has worked out exactly as I planned.

Trust

Once the plan is set in motion and the energy begins to flow, a universal machine moves into action behind the scenes to create what you planned. Many things need to come together to make this happen and that may not be as straight forward as you had in mind.

This is where trust is important. Once you have your plan, relax rather than be tense and rigid about how it unfolds. Listen to your intuition, notice the signs life gives you to alter things, take guidance from many sources and above all trust that the universe unfolds just as it must for everyone’s higher good.  This is something the subconscious mind can do to serve you. It is open and sensitive to what the universe is saying. It has no investment in the outcome like the conscious mind does. To the subconscious there is only the flow of being.

Happy Tension

This is a hard thing for the conscious mind to do because it has to relinquish control. It is the balance between the conscious and subconscious that creates a happy tension that leads to success. Conscious mind dominance often leads to stress, anxiety and exasperation. Subconscious dominance often leads to floating along rarely achieving anything. Get the balance right and you have a happy tension between planning and going with the flow, control and trust, personal power and universal power, human energy and spirit energy.

When we created Avis and Brown we had a fantasy of how that would look. As the journey has unfolded it has not worked out as planned. The context has been far larger than I imagined, much more beautiful and infinitely more fulfilling. It has also been far more challenging, the learning exceptional and the outcomes humbling. The conscious mind can see only so far. The universe sees all. The subconscious connects to that universal vision and it is that we must learn to trust as well as our own ability and potential. 

Intellectual Spirituality

All kinds of books discuss the science- spirituality connection

All kinds of books discuss the science- spirituality connection

Three Schools of Thought

In my experience there are three schools of thought around the spiritual path. There are those that embrace it, those that disregard it and those that are undecided.  The people who embrace it feel comfortable communicating with electromagnetic energy and the spirit world.  Often they are people who have been able to do it all their lives.  Perhaps they embraced it at an early age.  There are many who try to ignore the communication when they are young and come back to it later in life.  There are others who make it a life- long denial.  Whichever camp they fall in, these people are very intuitive and sensitive to the energy of people and places around them.  Somehow their minds are wired to be sensitive to the electromagnetic energy of the world around them and they sense things that other people do not feel.  They are more tuned into their subconscious, left brain, the part that is sensitive to electromagnetic energy and the messages it conveys.  The more they use this innate skill, the more powerful these skills become.  At the opposite end of the spectrum are those that disregard it.  Often they are not sensitive to the electromagnetic energy of the world around them.  They are very right- brained, logic driven people who look for reason in all that they do.  Because they are not consciously sensitive to electromagnetic energy, to them the world of insights, intuition and spirit does not exist and so they dismiss it when people talk about it.  Then there is the range of people who are open- minded enough to consider the evidence available that points to the fact that electromagnetic energy communicates with us in the physical world all the time in the form of insights, intuition, signs and spirit interactions.  It is to these undecided people who are open to the idea of spirit, yet may be sceptical of it, that this blog is addressed.

A healthy scepticism

I fall into this latter category. I have been drawn to spirituality all my life.  Ever since my elder brother spoke to me when I was a young child of philosophy, spirituality and psychology, I have been fascinated by the power of the human mind and how we interact with the world around us.  I have been drawn to study many global religions, traditions and cultures as well as native traditions from America, Australia and Africa and found that they have a huge amount in common with the Islam, Judaism, Christianity (the Abrahamic religions), Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism with regard to the structure of the universe and the nature of spirituality.  To me they say the same things in different ways and I fail to understand why they argue over what is fundamentally the same truth.  Religion is not the sole custodian of spiritual teaching.  In fact much of religion has no spiritual relevance at all.  Spirituality cannot be limited to any particular religion or teaching.  Even my beloved science, which I had carved a career in at Cambridge in Biochemistry and Neuroscience, talked about Quantum Physics and the parallels with spiritual teachings throughout the world.  All kinds of books such as The Tao of Physics, The Field, The Holographic Universe, Blackfoot Physics, The Dancing Wu Li Masters and our own Nourish the Flame Within discuss this science- spirituality connection.

Intellectual Spirituality

I have been exposed to an intellectual spirituality, as many people have in our modern world, with dashings of experience that tell me my intellect is pointing in the right direction. There is simply too much evidence as far as I am concerned for there not to be an electromagnetic and spirit world with which we interact and communicate.

Yet how can it be proved? This is where the intellect must take a leap of faith and build some trust.  It is precisely this fact that makes the open- minded person sceptical, suspicious that they will be taken for a ride, duped, have the wool pulled over their eyes and taken advantage of.  Indeed, the profession of spirituality is full of charlatans that prey on the needy and the hopeful.  This is not Spirituality.  Every profession is full of those with integrity and those that want to make a quick fortune at any cost.  Choose carefully.  Making a poor choice does not negate the electromagnetic, spirit world and the power and validity of intuition and insight.  It simply undermines your trust.  Finding good teachers will deepen your trust in something that you intuitively know to be true.  At least, this is the experience I have had.  We also have the throw- back to witch hunts and the fear Religion has instilled in its congregations that plague our consciousness as a society and inform our prejudice and scepticism.  All of these historic episodes influence our conscious acceptance of a spirit world.  There is mounting scientific evidence to support these notions that people throughout time have experienced.

The Limitations of a Conscious Mind

The conscious mind is a powerful tool, trained to think, analyse, consider and ponder endlessly, from the moment it wakes up to the second it falls asleep. No matter how hard you try to use it to connect to the higher vibrations of electromagnetic energy, it will not happen.  The subconscious mind holds the tools to connecting to these higher vibrations of electromagnetic energy.  It is your ability to consciously listen to the subconscious that requires cultivation.  To experience spirituality, you have to place the conscious mind aside and feel it through your subconscious senses.  Meditation, contemplation and prayer are three ways in which you can calm the conscious mind and develop the skill of listening to whatever the subconscious is picking up from the electromagnetic information all around you.  There are many other ways as well, including drumming, Reiki, dancing and movement, chanting and singing, sound and silence to name a few.

Which path should you take?

The path you are drawn to take- the kind of answer the conscious mind hates because it is too vague.  You can only truly answer it with your subconscious mind, through hunches, insights and intuitions that guide you through your life.  There are as many paths as there are people in the world, as each person takes an individual journey that brings them closer to the truth.  My journey is unlike any other person’s path.  We may walk with people for a while (teachers, mentors and guides).  Ultimately, it is each person’s responsibility to discover their journey, using the full power of the brain, both conscious and subconscious, as well as the intellect, intuition, intention and choice to find the way.

The Soul and the Spirit

496038383:a spiritual journey

 

I read something said about Reiki recently. I read, “Reiki is said to be a spiritual practice. However it is more than that”.

That statement implies the description of “spiritual practice” does not express what Reiki is. It implies the idea of being a spiritual practice is in some way insignificant to other considerations of what that person thinks Reiki is. What they are basically saying I think, is that if we describe Reiki as a spiritual practice it does not tell us the true worth and ability of it.

Being a spiritual practice, is the very highest of what Reiki is. It does not make Reiki less in any way. We have to take a look at the word “Spiritual” and determine what that is. Recently someone said to me that they consider themselves to be Spiritual and not religious and I asked them, what is the difference? The person could not give me an answer because they had not thought about it thoroughly enough. It was a clever and fashionable statement but did not have substance for that person. They did not have an answer to my question.

To consider the word spiritual we perhaps to look at the word religious also and look at them side by side.

Let’s start with the word religion. I feel that many people today have a negative view of religion and use the idea of spirituality in its place so as not to be associated with any particular religion but showing some reverence to something greater. Maybe religious history is partly to blame. This negative view maybe in part due to all of that fighting back stabbing, killing, abuse and downright dishonestly that many religions have engaged in over time, that have caused so many of us to just not wish to even hear the word religion spoken. It could be said that which is meant to nurture the human soul and spirit have thrown dirty water on the task. So it is not surprising that many are left feeling cold at the very thought of the word religion. Religions main task is to throw light on the path to God; instead it too can be bogged down with earthly experience. Difficult indeed to heave one foot on the earth and on in heaven.

Now what do we mean by spiritual? To consider the word spiritual we first have to understand the word “Sprit.”  What is spirit? Often the word soul and spirit are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. They do not mean the same thing. Many people if not most people think of their body as who they are. “I am my body.” “My body must be beautiful because if my body is perfect and beautiful people will perceive a beautiful me.” Are we a sum total of our body or are we more than our body? The body becomes a mess in time because it ages, and so are we now not beautiful because our body may not be so?

To find the real beauty of a person you must look deeper. It is located inside of the person that is where the beauty lay. The beauty lay in their thoughts, ideas, actions, and personality. Those things allow the person to have interaction with the world on a deeper level. What are we to call those bits of the person as a collective expression? Are those things part of the mind or are they more than just mental thinking capacity of the person? The mind is a tool by which we make sense of information on an intellectual level. We analyse the world and life with the mind. We say we think thoughts and they happen in the brain which is the mind. The soul is not the mind it does not analyse at all it just is. We will come back to all of these words and ideas latter. So that leaves the word sprit and if spirit is not the soul what is it?

Let’s recap.

We have so far spoken about spiritual practice, we started with that and also religion and the differences in those two things. We have also spoken about the difference in the soul and the spirit. We further touched on the body and what is that and our ideas of the body and who we are. What a muddled mine field it all is. Please let me give you my take on this it may help you to make some sense of it all.

 

The mindThinkstockPhotos-511136335

That defiantly is where the analytical processes of the person take place. We all think our thoughts in the brain. All information about our external life will be filtered by this part of us through the  senses. We make sense of what is around us via the senses and the brain. We analyse that information with the brain and then that information is stored somewhere in us. We think about what is coming at us via life and our senses and then store that information. We do not think consciously about every bit of information that comes at us form moment to moment as there is just too much of it for the brain to cope with. It thinks about some of it and analyses that which is new or different or previously unknown and unfamiliar. A lot of information that comes in our direction does not need the brain to analyse it as it is very familiar and  not consequential or threatening or different. It has been already stored and understood.

 

The Physical body

This needs little explanation, however it is not who we are. The body is not the person. ThinkstockPhotos-461277209The body houses the person and the person lays somewhere inside the body. I am not my body, but my body is the home that I inhabit. It allows me to move and live within the human experience on the earth. It is flesh and bone and it is easily damaged if I am not careful with it. I can work on my body to enhance its look and health. I need my body to live the human experience on the earth.

 

The soul

This part of the person is the person. The soul is who I am. I am my soul. The soul is my personality, it is my essence. I know that some of the person’s personality is governed by part of the brain. However the person is more than their brain functioning. They feel and when they feel they do not do so with their brain. It is at another part of their body that they go to for their feelings. It will be with their gut and the heart that they feel. Feelings painful and joyful go to these two places. This is where the person or the soul resides. The person resides in the gut mostly and in the heart also. The soul is the part of you that changes and develops over time. You are not the same person that you were ten years ago or even five years ago. In that time span you have had many experiences and those experiences good or bad happy or sad difficult or easy have moulded you into the human being you are today. It has given you your take on life. It has shaped your understanding of the world and what it can be to you and others. I am a therapist and very often it is this part of a person that is in the most distress when they come to me for help. I have to repair their soul, before the body will heal. Very often it is a case of sort the soul out and the body will sort itself out. This part of the person connects to all life on all levels and so it gets the biggest distress sometimes as it negotiates life.

 

The spirit

Now what is the spirit? If the brain governs the analytical process of the person and the soul is the person, what is the spirit?

The spirit does not do the same as the soul. It does not feel at all. It is dispassionate. The spirit of the person stands back and watches. The spirit part of the person is the observer. What does it observe? It observes you the person. It observes how you negotiate life. It takes note of everything and records everything about you and what you do. It is like a note book or a USB stick recording as you go. There is nothing that you ever do that you truly forget. It is all housed somewhere and this is where it is housed. We think that our memories come from our brain. In part they may, however it is in the spirit that everything about  you is stored. The spirit is like a filling cabinet and the brain retrieves the files from the cabinet. The spirit half of the soul records. The soul and the spirit of the person sit side by side within the person.

The spirit of the person is the part of the person that is pure energy. It is the part of your being that comes directly from the source of life itself. It is the part of you that on your demise will go back to the source of life. The spirit does not interact with life as the soul does. The soul is the messy part of you feeling everything and reacting to it all. The spirit just takes note of how the soul handles life. It is dispassionate.

These two jobs need to be separated. The soul very often is a mess feeling and reacting to everything that comes its way. There needs to be a part of you that stands back and is dispassionate to keep record of how you got in the mess in the first place. Your history needs to be housed somewhere. It is in the spirt that your history is housed. When you are done with life on the earth and the human experience your spirit hands over the spirit USB stick, if you will, to the source of life and your whole life is recorded in the universe for the source of life to use as information on life. Nothing is lost from the universe life takes note of everything and it is continually adapting to information. We know that life changes from generation to generation and there is development of all species that takes place within life. The universe keeps all information safe and uses it for the development of the universe and life. The spirit goes back to the universe or God. The spirit goes back to the source of all life and hands over its information to the source of life.

 

Oneness

ThinkstockPhotos-177794827In every mystical or religious path we are told we need to recognise our oneness with God. What is that for heaven’s sake? Oneness with God! Many people don’t recognise God and so go into great debate about that. God is a word used to describe the source of all life. God is all powerful and the ultimate force of nature. It is the thing that brought all life and the universe into being. It is the universe. That force is given a human face by Christianity and in other religious paths it is given other faces, as an energy force, gods, or a god of some kind. All paths put that force above everything else and say all sprang from that force.

Now there is a clue in those words “All sprang form that great force”.

So if all sprang from this great force which some call God, that means you and I did and all things did. Mystical and religious paths say all is one and has oneness. All come from one to make many.

We can use the word “spirit” to mean essence of a thing. We are all from the main essence. We could say that the spirit and the main essence being one and the same. So the spirit can be said to be that bit of you and me and all things that came from the great source of life. It is the “God spark”. It is the bit of you and me and all things that come from the main ingredient of life. We can think of God in many ways but its essence is the source of all things. So now we can see the difference between the words soul and spirit. This is why these four words, the mind, the body, the soul and the spirit  are so important to us. They describe very different aspects of the human living condition that are of great importance to the human living experience.

 

Spirituality

So now what of spirituality and a spiritual path? Well spirituality is the path that nourishes both the soul and the spirit. How can we do that? How is that done if it is done at all? If it is done will be dependent on what the person has decided for themselves. Do I ignore the whole idea of the spiritual and just exist?

Do I live the earthly life to the full and experience all that has to offer to the exclusion of nurturing the spirit? In that experience I feed the soul aheavy diet.dv787002 I may well enjoy my self for many years but at the end of it some thing may well suffer.

Do I balance my experience by nurturing both soul and spirit? Walk a religious path alongside the earthly experience. So I can have an affair or two, drink loads of alcohol, take substances that are not good for me perhaps, travel the world and have a great time, then think about the spirit from time to time as is needed. I might think about it at my religious holidays and festivals, and at whatever ways and times that connects me to the “God source.”

Do I immerse myself in the spiritual path and just live my life exclusively nurturing my God spark, feeding the spirit with the best that living can give it? Do I then pass those learnings onto others and illuminate their path to the best spiritual nurturing they can have?

Do I sit back and analyse it all using my brain to assess the validity or futility of all of these paths?

As you can see there are many paths and each path has its own merit. No path is better or worse than the other. Each path has its merits as each path will bring something positive to the person. Each path brings experience through the living experience to the person. All paths are a road back home to the ultimate force. We all return to dust or at least our body does and our soul and spirit go home. The ultimate power of the universe, that which some call God wants back that which it gave us, that piece of itself called the spirit. A spiritual path is one that nurtures that part of us. God is the ultimate energy force that houses the best in us or the light side of us. Not the dark side of the human nature. If we follow a spiritual path we wish to enhance the best side of us. That bit that is nearest to the universal perfection that we have.

Life itself is the ultimate spiritual journey. Life takes us from the universal source of life and then sends us back to it. We are on a journey of return from the moment we are born. We are thrust into life and we are given people who are our parents and wider family and we accept that situation and get on with what comes our way from that experience. We then are trust even more into the living experience and made to learn many things and are schooled by our social systems in one way or another. We start our development of the soul from the moment we are born. The situation to which we are born into starts that development for us. We are on our spiritual journey. We are working our way back home already. To be on spiritual journey you do not have to be religious or non-religious you just have to be living. Living is the ultimate spiritual journey. It is the return home for all of us with a lot of hassles and joys thrown in to make it interesting and stretching.

A spiritual journey is not about being good or bad. It is not about being the light or dark it is about a return home. How we choose to return home and with what kind of information on our spirit USB stick is our choice. The source of life gets to look it over and it will be happy or sad at the information stored on that spirt USB. The source of life needs you to experience life and no two lives are ever the same. We are all different people having our own personal human experience. There are rules to life, for life would be chaos without rules, and so the source gives some rules for us to follow. However, if we choose to follow those rules or not is up to us as above all we must experience. At the end of life we get to make our case for the life we lived. We are all on a journey of the spirt no matter what. The path we take and if we take a spiritual path on that journey is up to us. Free will and choice is at the heart of the universal desire for you. You get to choose many things each and every day.

 

Religion

Religion sheds light on the way back home. It highlights the rules to that return, or at least that is what it is supposed to do. It is there to remind us that there is a home and we are not here forever just a time and then we return home. The universe is home and the universe is what we return to. All religions give their personal explanation on how the universe is organised. It does not matter what religion you choose or if you choose none at all. You will return home one day and you will have lived a life long or short good or bad. You will return home with experience and development of your soul.

Religion or no religion a spiritual path or not is up to you and always should be your choice. So what bit of you do you most wish to nourish? Is it the soul, the spirit, the mind, or the body? We all get to choose our focus.

 

Reiki

Reiki treatmentNow let us finally go back to the very beginning of this blog and discuss Reiki. We have now come full circle. A spiritual path nurtures the spirit and spirituality is the practice of nurturing the spirit and  the soul. Living itself could be said to be the ultimate spiritual journey as it nourishes both the soul and the spirit to some capacity. Reiki is a spiritual practice and so it nurtures the spirit of the person. It enhances the practitioner’s spirit, because they connect to the source of the spirit. That is where the energy of life comes from and it is that energy that the practitioner connects too. It is that energy that the person both the practitioner and the patient or client engages with. That energy feeds the person on all levels. It feeds the body, the soul, the mind, the emotions and the spirit of the person. It enhances the person on all levels of their being. That is why it is a spiritual practice and that is why it is the very best it can be, and to be a spiritual practice does not make it less than but more than. Reiki is very effective and this is its effectiveness. Reiki connects to the source of life and it connects the person to that source, both practitioner and patient also. Reiki draws energy from that source.

We all get to choose both our focus and our path in life. We all get to choose many things each day. We get to choose if we bother to think about things and analyse things or not. All aspects of the person are important as is the method of feeding and nourishing each aspect that we choose. Each choice is a road ahead and a way forward, a method of engaging with life itself. Each choice we make is an opportunity to enhance the many aspects of ourselves.

What will you choose today? You have at the heart of your being free will and choice to do as you please.

Life is a two way street

Life is a two way street

Life is a two way street

Life is interactive.

It is a two way street.

If you wake up in the morning in a bad mood, all you see in your day is the stuff that angers and irritates you- the good stuff does not touch you.

If you wake up in a good mood, you see only joy and the bad stuff runs off you like water off a ducks back.

It is not that you are creating Reality- Reality is Reality. It is that you are creating YOUR reality.

You buy a new car and suddenly you see the make and model everywhere. You didn’t notice it before. Now you do because you are aware, because you made a conscious choice.

The signals from the world, from the Universe, are always the same. There has always been this number of Range Rovers around- the question is ‘Why did you not notice?’

If the signal from the world, from the Universe, is always the same, why do you notice some things and ignore others?

It is all there to be felt, seen, heard and touched, why are you missing the bits you are missing?

I believe it is about conscious choice and intention.

Before I get into that, I want to explain an idea that may make it clearer to understand.

An Ocean of Waves

Science tells us that every atom in the universe has a vibration. As it vibrates it sends out endless waves into the space. So in truth, the Universe is a massive ocean of waves.

When we picture this idea we assume for the most part that it is the atoms creating the waves- I think this is true, but only PART of the story. Because waves also create the atoms. Reality is interactive, a two way street.

The environment around you plays as much a part in creating you as you do in creating the environment. You create a living space at home that is calm and relaxing. That calm and relaxing space in turn calms
and relaxes you.

Your enthusiasm for a subject makes others enthusiastic which loops back to you and feeds your passion.

The more I look at life, the more I see this two way street. Nothing is in isolation, everything is connected.

Science tells us this connection is generated by waves. Waves interact- if the waves are in sync you feel a harmonious connection. When out of sync you feel discord and disharmony. You are always connected. You are always interacting.

Free Choice

As conscious beings we have free choice. We have the freedom to choose our thoughts and intentions. In short, we are able to influence the waves we generate and send out into the world.

When your waves interact with the waves of the world around you, you feel harmony or discord depending on your environment.

So, when you give out the waves of a bad mood, you inadvertently draw your attention to things that are harmonious to this bad mood. Good mood vibrations irritate you because they are not harmonious with your bad mood vibration. Your bad mood deepens!

To change this cyclic state of affairs requires conscious choice from you- actively choose a good mood.

Discover the things that bring you joy and create a relationship and connection to them that you can access whenever you need to. Build and cultivate the connections in your mind, body and spirit that will make it easier over time to feel joy over fear and contentment over discord. Experiment with it.

It requires consistent effort because the nature of the universe is fluid- it’s shape and form will change very fast in any direction as long as the intention is strong and consistent enough to influence the waves within and around you.

Gandhi said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. I believe what he meant by that in the context of waves, vibration and science is that by giving off the vibration of joy, peace and love your waves will interact with people’s vibrations of joy, peace and love, amplify them and bring that into consciousness. In turn they will feed it back to you in an ever growing loop.

Yes, choose your environment and the people you interact with carefully- they influence your being and your vibration. Also, manage your vibration, your intention, your conscious thoughts and notice the impact it has on your environment and the people in your life. You can choose to create a better life and a better world. The science points us to this truth that sages, masters and teachers have told us across space and time- that life is an interactive experience, a two way street.

Over to you

What are your thoughts and experiences of life as a two way street? We’d love to hear about your experiences and work together in creating a supportive environment for learning and enquiry about science and spirituality. Please post your comments below.

Actions are Energy

523260231Thoughts are energy

This week has been a shocking and difficult one. It left me shaken and shocked. The recent events in Paris have left a lot of people both disturbed and upset. I have spoken to a few people this week that have expressed to me sentiments that I am feeling myself. I feel that these events have touched people in a way that the occurrences in the past maybe have not. Perhaps it is because it seems so unreasonable that so many people died for what seems to the western free mind as a simple innocent little thing. The cover of a magazine should never provoke such rage and hatred in anyone. I cannot see that anything can justify the depraved slaughter of people.   The Charlie Hebdo magazine had a legal right to publish the cover and so as far as I can see they legally did nothing wrong. Did they do anything morally wrong? That is the question now I feel?

Beliefs are strongly held ideas that are thought to have weight and truth.  At the end of the day they are still only ideas. They have fluidity. Even a fixed idea that is a firmly held belief can be changed in an instant. It merely requires the desire to change that idea. Ideas are thoughts. Thoughts are energy.

Brutal actions however cannot be changed so easily. Once we commit a brutal act it unleashes something negative into the world and it will then have a life of its own. We let a Genie out of a bottle and once out it will not go back until it has reached its own allotted time. We never know what that time is as the Genie will keep going as long as people give it the energy and power to do so. With every malicious or murderous act that follows, the genie is given more power, until people have run out of energy and the pain of so much death takes its toll on the hearts, minds, souls and lives of those who are witnessing or experiencing the negative forces that are at play.

I had to spend some time thinking about the events that have led up to this disturbing time. We had 9/11, Iraq, Al Quieda and now ISIS.  I tell you straight as a person of peace I really try not to allow all of this turmoil into my life on any level.  The human race is a warring race. They kill each other at any opportunity. They separate on the grounds of any old rubbish.  Ideas are fluid and not fixed. We move on emotionally and we change and develop daily. What we do is experiment with life trying to find perfection. There is no perfection.

Human beings will kill each other on the grounds of the most inconsequential things as well as deeply held beliefs. The trouble with beliefs is they are personal and subjective. It does not matter how deeply we feel that our beliefs are correct- there is always the possibility that they may not be correct. So if we kill a person over beliefs no matter how deeply we feel we are correct and in the right, what if we are not? What we are left with is a pile of dead people that we cannot resurrect. This is a futile and dangerous path.

We are one and we are free

All human beings are one. The binding force in humanity is its humanity. Religion will never bind us. It cannot. We will never all agree on religion, politics or any idea or ideology. I believe that in humanity’s current state and way of thinking it will not happen. It cannot be brought about by force either. As I said force will only allow something to be for a time. People have a natural need to be free in mind, body and soul. It is a natural condition to the human state.

Religious beliefs

Religious beliefs have a place, but not a murderous one. To be religious or walk any spiritual path it is one of peace. I just cannot reconcile blood on the hands of a person who has words of love and peace on his lips. The image and actions do not work. We are human and as such are capable of many things. We are capable of great things and have had many great moments in our history. Killing and fighting are never the moments that we have held or can hold up as our greatest achievements. They are always the lowest of what we can do to and for each other.

Freedom of speech is important as it allows all sides and all people to have a voice. However, we do not need to have religious, political or racial hate. Hate is hate no matter what umbrella it comes to us under. Each human being in my view should be allowed to worship or not and in the way they choose. It is good to have variety and possibilities.  They help one grow and keeps life engaging and unpredictable.  Options are a good thing. Everyone has a point of view on religion and all are equally valid. We must live together with the other person’s point of view and respect them and their right to have it. We must not silence their voice on the grounds that it does not fit in with our own.  Obviously if a person is being directly provocative and wanting to incite human hatred for the purpose of bringing harm to the person on any grounds of religion, race, or politics it must be stopped.

Keeping ourselves in check

Don’t get me wrong.  Beliefs have their place but we all need to keep them in check and if they are sacred, keep them so. If we sully our own sacred beliefs with the blood of another human being, how sacred are they now?

When is the human race going to learn from its past mistakes? There is no perfection of people.  Perhaps there is no perfection in God.  If perfection is an endlessly moving goal post, how can we say that anything is right or wrong?  Things are as they are in this moment, a chance for perfection and then the universe moves on. There is only the wish for perfection and the road to perfection. Perfection itself does not exist. In pushing forward on the road for perfection we change and develop. Hopefully we get development and something better for our efforts.

Violence has never solved anything. It has never helped us at all. It will quieten the argument for some time and then it re-emerges at a later date. People have grown more violent and oblivious to pain as far as I can see. I may be wrong but that is how it seems to me.  I don’t hear too many people saying let’s walk a road of peace. I hear people say let’s kill, and I am hearing more of that and it scares and unsettles me.

Doves of peace

I say let’s not kill. I say let’s have peace. I say let’s symbolically let 3,000,000 doves of peace loose to help this situation and as they fly away have their positive energy touch the world. That is what I will do. Please feel free to join me in your own way and spread your positive intent for peace. I shall go into my own personal peace and ask for this symbolically to be so. What harm can that do? Prayers of love and peace can do no harm. People do harm if they employ selfish, malicious, or murderous intent.

I hope the universe hears my request. Respect, Peace, and love to the entire human race. Walk a peaceful path.  It is the only one that is binding and lasting.

No ones Perfect

509075791Perfection, what a perfect word! If you say it, it seems to roll off the tongue so nicely. It has an ease. We could say it has its own perfect vibration.

My father asked me

To be perfect- what does that really mean? Is it achievable? When I went to school perfection was encouraged. I did not understand why it was encouraged. It all just seemed to be taxing and challenging to me. To be honest as a child I could just not be bothered to deal with the subject of perfection. At that time in my life I was happy with whatever was the easiest option for me. I wanted an easy life. Why run harder and faster. That only puts a strain on the body. I hated sports with a passion. One day whilst watching Tennis my father posed the question to me. What sport do you like? It was not posed as a question but as a statement.  I asked him, what do you mean?  He said to me, you don’t like any.

I hated sport

This was true enough. I did not like doing them or watching them or even hearing about them. It was all hard work to me and therefore totally unenjoyable. Now as an adult I think what a waste. Also what a huge lesson I have learnt in life. With effort comes perfection. With hard work comes self-satisfaction and learning. These are some of the pieces of gold that life has to offer. It took me until my late teens and early twenties to understand the power of work and effort.

Work oh no

What I did not realise about work was this, that it is through work of any kind that we have an opportunity for perfection. Every time we engage with it we have an opportunity to perfect a skill, an interaction or production of something, either within ourselves or outside of ourselves.

It is not just about money but more than that. It is the perfection of the self through time, effort and experience. It is the nourishment of the self that leads to perfection. Perfection is something that we can all strive for but in reality is not achievable. We gain from the pursuit of perfection the rewards that are there to be had not from the attainment of perfection.

Perfection is not possible

Attainment of perfection is not possible, as people perceive perfection differently even though they may be observing the same circumstances. Perfection is subjective, and even if it is agreed upon by many at a particular time, the goal post will always change, both inside and outside of the self. So by who’s definition is perfection perfect anyway? The purpose of striving for perfection is to gain experience. The masters of music, art, dance, acting and sport have a depth and breadth of experience that allows them to get close to that pinnacle of perfection and they may even touch the summit, for a moment, and then it is gone.

If I had run around and pursued a life of sport I would have had a positive outcome no matter how much or little I put into it. Or how much or little of it I did, as it has its own rewards. I would have improved my physical fitness and maybe gained some increased self-esteem perhaps.

I spent my time drawing and painting instead and still gained a lot from that. So in reality I gained anyway. I just gained from something other than sport. I had my own vehicle for seeking perfection.

 

The Power of the Crowd

The Power of the Crowd creates an atmosphere all its own

The Power of the Crowd creates an atmosphere all its own

What an incredible summer of sport 2014 has been.  The World Cup in Brazil, Wimbolden and The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.  The highs and lows, the passion and excitement and the power that the spectators feel as they become drawn into the competition as the event unfolds.  Nowhere was this talked about more than during the athletics at the London Olympic Games in 2012, when all the members of Team GB spoke about the power of the crowd cheering them on towards unprecedented success, particularly during Super Saturday, August 4th, when Jess Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all got Gold Medals.

So what is this power of the crowd?  How is it that so many people can be drawn into such excitement, that can help raise the performance of the athletes themselves?  It does not just affect the people at the venue, but also the folk watching on TV, even around the globe.

Fascinating research at The Global Consciousness Project (http://noosphere.princeton.edu/) may have the answer.  Based at The Institute of Noetic Sciences at Princeton, it studies the effects of group dynamics on random number generators (RNGs).  Put simply, these RNGs flip coins thousands of times a second and store the results- either heads or tails.  Left alone and over many repetitions these RNGs will produce a ratio of 50- 50 (half heads and half tails).  But this random behaviour can be affected by people thinking more about heads or tails.

The research started with individuals, but later they tried it with small groups of people, and found that those groups who shared bonds, such as couples, siblings and long- term friends, influenced the machines more dramatically than those that did not share those bonds or individuals.  Over many years, the project has found significant effects on RNGs by groups of people who are in some way in synchrony and therefore powerfully connected through their conscious attention.  What brings about this synchronous behaviour can range from local effects at opera and classical music events, to global effects seen at the OJ Simpson trial and Lady Diana Spencer’s funeral.  It appears to suggest that humans have the ability to synchronise and increase the effect of their collective focus.

Perhaps that is what happens at some incredible sporting events such as Super Saturday.  Certainly there was a collective excitement at The Wimbolden Men’s Final in 2014 that may have helped to spur the players on to greater endurance and performance.

Science tells us there are fields of energy that we can tap into.  As a result, we can be influenced by these fields and in turn can affect them.  It is a two- way process that means our presence has an impact on the environments we are in.  It is a complex interaction, but what is clear is that it can become very potent when people are thinking in a synchronous manner.  In negative situations, perhaps this collective affect has been shown in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and in Rwanda in the 1990s.  In sport, this affect often shows itself in a very positive light, bringing out the best of people, not just in their sporting performance, but in their behaviour and good will towards their fellow men.  The power of the mind is great and the power of the collective mind appears to be greater still.

Miss Stress Ball

Illness Why Me?

Illness Arrives
Illness is a funny old thing. It arrives on our doorstep one day and it seems often to have come out of know where. Illness happened to me like that. I was vacuuming the house one day and I had the most horrible pain at the back of my head. It made me stop what I was doing momentarily. I did worry for a moment but then let the thought go. I thought to myself that either this was nothing or it was the pre curser to some horrible illness. I had always enjoyed good health and so why would that change? I was thirty six and with life ahead of me and full of ideas for my future. Ill health was not on my agenda. When is it ever for anyone?

Some weeks later, I started to feel some pain in the right side of my face. I did not know what it was I just knew that I was in a great deal of pain. I went to my doctor prescribed anti-biotics and de-contestants. I did not know then that this was the very beginning of one of the worst periods of my life. Often when people become ill this is the truth. Their lives, as mine did, take a huge turn for the worst.

Unwelcome Inconvenience
Illness presenting itself in our lives is always unwelcome and a huge inconvenience. We often think of the beginning of our illness starting the moment we felt ill. However this is seldom the truth. The truth is more likely to be that the illness started years before. Its roots will have been in the past. It will have quietly entered your life and your body and the energy will not have necessarily been noticed by you.

Illness is a slippery customer. It seldom enters with bells and whistles to alert you to its presence. It enters quietly and then gets to work on you. It works its way into your life and body. In fact, the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world around us are entwined with our life and our body. There is no way to separate them. When we become ill most of us become the victim. We say why me? What did I do to deserve this?

I Caused my own Illness
Sometimes the answer is plenty. For illnesses such as M.E. which I suffered from for many years, I can say that I did plenty to deserve all that my body put me through, although I did not know it at that moment and would find out the truth of this many years later. If someone had told me then that I had brought this illness on myself and it was my own fault I would not have believed them. Because as far as I knew about ill health it just happened, with no rhyme nor reason to who it struck down.

It certainly struck me down for it took me many years to recover my health. This was the beginning of a miserable time that was to last more than a decade and took me to places within myself that I did not know existed.

Worry and Burnt Candle
I had burnt my candle at both ends and I worried myself into the ground. That is a sure way to health disaster. This time led me on a journey and one that led me to learn lots of things about maintaining good health. If only I had known then all that I now know with regards to maintaining health. I could have avoided many years of horrible health and pain. Well we live and learn. I sure did.

This horrible health experience led me to write Nourish the Flame Within, in the hope that others will not suffer my fate, and go down the road of health doom and disaster.
The story continues with……….
Illness set in the past

To find the reason for my illness we would have to go far back into my youth.

Spirituality and Enlightenment

 

  

Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky

Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky

 

What is spirituality?  What is enlightenment? What role does meditation play in experiencing these states of being?  How can martial arts be harnessed to achieve these moments of bliss and extend them into eternity?

Spirituality is the search for the eternal truth- at least that is why I undertake a spiritual journey.  The truth is so vast and it can be sought using many varied paths.  Many seek through religion, others through practises of personal development and transformation such as yoga, meditation and martial arts, some use healing as a means to connect to ultimate reality, while others use science to discern the truth empirically, with measureable, quantifiable evidence.  These paths offer many benefits and individuals will be drawn towards one or many aspects that appeal to them. It is not to say that all people who practise these disciplines are seeking eternal truth.  For those that do have a desire to connect to the universal truth, these paths offer chances to glimpse an experience that is often fleeting and at the same time life changing, when the connection to the universal truth is made.  This is what I think the Masters called enlightenment- a series of spiritually enhancing experiences that bring the person closer to the ultimate truth.

Meditation takes you further away from the chatter of the mind and closer to the blissful silence of no- mind where you might experience the currents of universal energy flow and access wisdom and understanding that are beyond your conscious mind.  You might make intuitive leaps that give you insight or profound compassion that leads to healing and human connection far deeper than pills and potions can offer.  You reach a centre of calmness that need not leave you when you rise from your meditation practise.  You can carry it with you, a still centre in the vortex of life experience.  This state of peace and inner acceptance and power can also be achieved in martial arts- the forms provide a moving meditation that invoke dynamic stillness that may spread out across many moments achieving a state of deep calm and rapid, powerful movement.

Both martial arts and meditation can be practised to such a degree that life can become an endless experience of calmness and tranquillity.  From a balanced centre, a person can experience the joy of love, the power of combat and the beauty of art and life itself.  From this centre, there is a profound sense of self, of who I am and what I stand for.

Remaining centred is an intuitive art.  As the environment around you is changing, so you too must flow with the changing elements of your environment.  No moment is ever the same, no experience ever duplicated, simply an ever- changing flow of energy that remains in balance and harmony.  The conscious mind cannot do that.  Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky.  The reflection changes with every passing cloud, every animal that enters and moves in the landscape, each rustle of swaying branches.

So enlightenment, if you are to experience it for longer than that fleeting moment, means you become one with the environment.  Enlightenment is not a static state of being- it is fluid.  You must feel your way through the perfection of experience and being to remain balanced, in harmony and in blissful awareness of the ever expanding moment.

Nourish the Flame Within offers meditations that brings you to that centre, to remain there and honour that unique self that is inter- connected to all universal energy or ultimate truth.  To explore where that connection takes you is your journey to that eternal truth, that experience of enlightenment that becomes your spiritual path.

Ocean Waves, Ocean Depths

"This is how it is meant to be- this is yours to enjoy if only you would come below the waves."

“This is how it is meant to be- this is yours to enjoy if only you would come below the waves.”

Many ancient cultures use the seal as a symbol of transition between two worlds- the world of the conscious mind and the constructs of human thinking and the sub- conscious world and the limitless essence of spirit without boundary or form.

This contrast was brought home to me when I was SCUBA diving on a particularly windy day in rough seas. The dive started from a rocky out- crop. The plan was to enter the water and drop below the turbulent waves as quickly as possible to avoid being tossed onto the sharp volcanic rock. Traditionally you do this by dumping the air in your stab- jacket through a valve. Alas, on this occasion the valve did not work all that well. As I desperately tried to become less buoyant the waves threw me against the rocks, cutting me and my equipment to shreds. My stress and anxiety mounted, my breathing rate soared, and my enjoyment plummeted as my ability to deal with the situation effectively, dropped.

Somehow I managed to get the air out of my stab- jacket and I descended from the stormy environment above into a tranquil haven below. My breathing slowed, serenity returned, calmness reigned and as the beauty of my surroundings overwhelmed me a seal swam by up- side- down in effortless ease as if to say “this is how it is meant to be- this is yours to enjoy if only you would come below the waves.”

The Ocean is a wonderful metaphor to explain the working of energy in Nature. The sub- conscious depths support the conscious surface layer. We are part of a whole- mostly we stay on the surface, living at the whim of external forces. The surface is calm only because there is no wind. The job is going well, we are enjoying good health, and we are surrounded by loved ones who love us in return. Once the wind blows the waves gather and toss us around. We are threatened with redundancy or financial insecurity; our relationships go through stresses and strains. We do what we can to stay afloat, to cope with the pressure of daily living, but we are at the mercy of events- we may think we are in control of our lives as we experience happiness during good times, but the anxiety and discontent we feel in choppy seas shows us we are not in control of things at the surface.

Only below the waves is there consistent calm and tranquillity. Only here can the constancy of the water offer us support throughout our lives regardless of events and circumstances.

Meditation can offer us a gateway into this sub- conscious realm. If we learn to enter this world a little we can enjoy its benefits and bring its wisdom to the surface as our awareness expands further into the truth. As we practise meditation more we may stay there longer if we wish and explore more fully the depths of the Ocean.

The wonder of SCUBA diving is the contrast between these two worlds. Enjoy both- the experience of one is made more profound and meaningful by the knowledge of the other. The conscious mind is most effective when it is calm- it provides an analytical and organisational quality to living that is effective only with clarity and understanding. The wisdom of the sub- conscious is always there- sometimes it bursts through into the consciousness in inspiration like a whale or seal breaking the water surface, but we can also delve into the depths and find answers. The more we practise the more easily we access the wisdom deep within us.