Tag Archives: mind

The Full Human Experience

Have you ever questioned what it is to be human? Do you ever wonder whether there is more to this human experience? When you hear or read about people’s peak experiences do they seem familiar to you or are they totally alien, leaving you wondering what you are missing?

 

The work that Avis and Brown is engaged in is about energy. In particular the energy of the mind, body, soul and spirit. What does that mean and in particular what relevance does it have for the human experience? “Mind, body and spirit” is a phrase that has become common in our parlance and there are countless courses and books about these three aspects of life. The work that both Avis and Brown does  is about the three elements of the human experience: mind, body and soul, how they relate to the fourth element of our work, spirit, and the way in which these four are inter- related through energy.

 

As you can see from the diagram below it depicts that mind, body and soul are connected. Put all three of these circles in relationship with each other and you have the human experience. How full that human experience is depends of the size of the circles and how well balanced they are. You tend to favour one or two of the circles and neglect the others- which one’s they are depends on your upbringing, your training and your desire to develop and cultivate these circles. Speaking for myself I have worked hard throughout my life on the physical and mental circles and less so on the soul aspect of my being. I think Lynette would agree with me if we said she has worked hard on her mental and soul circles and less so on her physical. We work on all three to some degree- the question is how powerful is each circle and how well balanced the three are in relation to each other?

 

The human experience is more than just a physical journey through the world in which we feel the physical sensations of our environment. Neither is it simply a mental exercise to be intellectualized through or an emotional experience simply to be felt. Nor is life simply an ethereal experience in which you ignore the physical world and separate your self from others. All three of these aspects are essential to the human experience and life can feel stale, hollow and meaningless if you are lacking in any one of these. The ideal relates to what Buddha referred to as “The Middle Way”, towards connection and being centred- to your self, others and the world around you.

 

By all means enjoy the physical experience of the world as much as you wish- explore new places, meet new people, have new experiences. Enjoy food, physical exercise, sexual intimacy, stillness and movement. Become as physically strong, flexible and co- ordinated as you want, run marathons, swim oceans, wrap your leg over your head and dance the night away. The physical body is also a wonderful tool of sensation- the feeling of movement, thought, sensuality and emotion in the body is a powerful intuitive voice that could be referred to as Body Wisdom and requires a connection to, and awareness of, the body. To submit to your bodily experience connects you to something much larger, beyond thought and into pure movement and presence.

 

Your mind allows you to perceive the world through the lens of your values and beliefs, built upon the foundation of your traditions, experience and culture. Emotion gives you a richness to life that can be both joyful and painful. There is much learning and growth that can come from these emotional experiences. How and what you learn depends on your mind- set. The depth of feeling and emotion becomes limited if you are not willing to connect within or outward towards others. If you feel isolated you do not feel part of the great community of humanity that is there for us all to take part in as actively and as consciously as we choose. The mind is also creative as well as logical and reason- based. Again, we tend to favour one aspect of the mind or the other. In my experience, cultivating both the logical and creative sides of the mind gives you a greater breadth of learning, productivity and engagement. Here the mind begins to touch into intuition, instinct and the ability to connect into energies and forces that are much larger.

 

The third circle, the soul, is part of the energy centres of the being such as the chakras and meridians. Connecting to your soul connects you to your self, another route to your inner wisdom and growing experience and learning. Cultivate this with meditation, yoga, chi gong, martial arts and Reiki. Our book, Nourish the Flame Within, is full of meditations that nurture the soul and make it more powerful. The soul allows you to connect to others, facilitating empathy, compassion and connection to humanity.

The full human experience is the total integration of mind, body and soul.

The full human experience is the total integration of mind, body and soul.

There are exercises you can practice that allow to you consciously cultivate connecting all three circles at the same time. Some forms of martial arts, yoga, Reiki and dance will do this. Often it is good to cultivate one circle at a time such as some forms of meditation that get you to calm the mind and body so that you can energise the soul of your being. Often, you can work with two circles, so a workout may well work the mind and the body, or a walk in nature will cultivate the body and the soul. In truth, it is impossible to separate the three circles, as they are an integrated part of the human experience. Activities will favour one or two circles over the others.

 

Perhaps the key is being aware and working on developing the weaker circle(s) so that you become more balanced and whole. Then, you will have a more integrated experience with all the activities you do, making your life more engaging for the body, mind and soul. Only by consciously working on these circles can you work towards having a progressively more fulfilling and meaningful human experience. Get this combination of three circles right and you have deep human experience, where you become aware of something much larger than your self, perhaps even larger than the people you are sharing the experience with. You are not just engaging one circle, or even two circles. In fact you are engaging all three circles. Access your connection to Spirit through any of the circles and it will power up all three. Now you know you are connected not just to your self and to others. You are also connected to something bigger that feels powerful and makes you feel energized throughout your being.

 

We’d love to hear from you and find out how you work on developing your circles and how this has lead to you living more fully, freely and in a more connected and peaceful way. Please leave your comments in the box at the bottom of the page and share your experiences, insights and knowledge.

The Relationship between Mind, Body and Subtle Energy

What is the relationship between the mind, body and subtle energy or energetics? We speak about them separately, when in fact they are intertwined, each merging into the other, fuelling one another, fed by each other in an endless flow of energy and power.

The Mind

The mind is a complex combination of conscious and subconscious processing, driven by cells stimulated by hormones and neuropeptides that create electrical impulses. These impulses act in a coordinated way that allow your body to work as a whole as the electrical activity spreads from the brain throughout the body allowing you to breathe, balance, pump blood around the body and so much more. Activity of the brain and the central and peripheral nervous systems are forms of energy that create networks and fields that pass through the body and beyond.

The body is energy too.

The body is energy too.

 

The Body

The body itself is energy too. Every protein, carbohydrate and fatty acid is energy converting from one form into another in the more than 100, 000 chemical reactions happening in each of the 50 trillion cells of your body every second. Somehow these reactions are co- ordinated in a way that keeps you alive, functioning, learning, growing, repairing, fending off infection, maintaining health and solving problems.

 

 

Subtle Energy or Energetics

You also have the subtle energy networks, like the meridians and chakras. These systems of electromagnetic energy run through the body supporting, energising, nourishing, balancing and communicating within the body and beyond.

How do they interact?

All three of these systems, the mind, body and subtle energy are entwined and impossible to truly prise apart. These systems are in relationship as each one feeds and is fed by the other.

The complexity of this arrangement was recently brought home to me in a workshop I ran in which I tried to get participants to experience each of these in turn and separately from each other. There was no way to do this because of this connection and relationship between them. What we did discover is that placing your awareness on one brings the sensations and feelings of say the body, to the fore and allows you to focus on it and gain insight into the wisdom residing there.

This happens in all three areas and we found that some participants favoured the mind and body over the subtle energy, or subtle energy and body over the mind, or mind and subtle energy over the body. Each combination works and has value and is necessary from time to time and in different circumstances.

In discussion we decided that the energy of the three systems , mind, body and subtle energy could be brought into balance through attention, intention and awareness. This balance generates, enhances and maintains perfect health.

In truth the model is more fluid, like a triangle hovering in the air, tilting and moving according to where the attention, intention and awareness are placed. Predominantly we are out of balance, moving in certain directions then readjusting by focussing on others.

For example, you can study or work very hard for long hours which tilts your triangle on one corner, pulling the body and subtle energy off centre. A workout or gentle exercise brings the body to centre and meditation brings the subtle energy to centre and you have balance. This is over simplistic and demonstrates how you can take daily action to serve each energy system and by doing so keep the whole in balance. There are many combinations.

Life is a complex combination of all these relationships. Having a sense of balance of these three energy systems is important so that you are aware of where you are lacking and in need of attention, rejuvenation and recuperation.

The mind can be balanced through creativity (writing, art, sculpture) and learning. Meditation can bring the mind to a more calm state and away from the frenetic pace of daily living.

Subtle Energy is electro- magnetic, flowing within the body and beyond

Subtle Energy is electro- magnetic, flowing within the body and beyond

The body can be balanced through exercise, stretching, strengthening and for awareness to be brought to it. Sometimes relaxation is important so meditation can be great for the body too. Holding tension on the body is a common experience in our modern age. Tension limits movement and energy flow in mind, body and subtle energy systems so it is important to address issues of tension that build over time.

For subtle energy, activities of connection are essential for balance such as meditation, chi gong, martial arts, yoga etc. Depleted subtle energy can be brought to balance using reiki and other energy healing modalities. The meditations in Nourish the Flame Within specifically address drawing universal energy (white light energy) into the body to increase the subtle energy levels and flow in the body.

Over to You

We’d love to hear from you and learn what you have discovered and experienced about keeping your health and energy in balance. We encourage you to share it as well to provide answers to common questions people have about health, well- being and connection to themselves, others and the world at large. If you have read our book Nourish the Flame Within and you have done any of the exercises that improve health, connection and well- being we’d love to hear your feedback.

Diet, environment, the company you keep, your everyday activities and the mind set you have as you are doing them as well as the job you do all affect the energies of the mind, body and subtle energy systems. How do you keep balance? Do you know when you are out of balance? What are the signs? What do you do to bring your self to balance?

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.

Mind Distraction

Distractions of the mind may come at a cost

Distractions of the mind may come at a cost

I was recently caught speeding. It was one of those hand-held cameras that zap you when you have no chance of noticing it is there. I have no excuse. I was not in a rush, I was not late, I was not frustrated, angry or upset. I was just driving too fast. But why?

Having just spent a week away I have had a chance to reflect. I think I have an answer. For a week I have had no deadlines, no demands, no Email, no Facebook or Twitter, no phone calls, no meetings and no sense of feeling obliged or obligated to do something. As such, I return home calmer, I speak and drive slower, I am more patient, relaxed and friendly and I make more time to speak to people and to listen. In a reversal of expectations, I am also more productive, better able to focus and concentrate and as anticipated, less pressured.

On a day-to-day basis, I do not think I live a particularly stressful life style. I do jobs that I love and I have a lot of time and space to call my own to do as I please. Yet, there is a pressure that drives me to do more, start work earlier and finish later, take on another project, respond to Emails as I am having a telephone conversation or a conference call and rush from appointment to appointment at break neck speed. I think this pressure is a social phenomenon. Society tells us through advertising and social media to be busier, wealthier, more popular and more successful, to holiday more, party more, work more, be prettier and more handsome, sexier, fitter, stronger the list is almost endless. We feel that pressure and feel the urge to step it up another notch again and again and again. When is enough, enough?

I guess, if we are driven by the pressures laid down by society, enough is never enough. But if we can think seriously about what we want as much as about what we don’t want, then we are placing a pressure upon ourselves that is self motivated and internally driven. We are not isolated from society, nor do I think we should be. Through determining a self directed sense of what is important in life, we are better equipped to decide what goals, hopes and dreams can make us grow in a positive direction and those that do not. Society offers a spectrum of opportunities, some that may be to our detriment and others that may be to our benefit.

I do not blame society for my incident of driving too fast. It is my fault and it is up to me to moderate my behavior in all situations. My question is, does rushing and striving for more and more help us grow in a positive direction, or distract us from what it truly important? Could we rush less and reflect more and so become more thoughtful and considerate members of society and therefore become a more responsible and caring society as a whole?

Life is so busy and there are so many distractions that can pull us off the path that we have set for ourselves to achieve personal success and fulfillment. Perhaps we succumb to these distractions at a cost may be at the cost of our happiness or our health, but perhaps at a cost to the health and happiness of others. In my case, I may have hit someone with my car. The policeman who processed my paperwork on the side of the road let me go with a final sobering thought at the speed I was traveling only one in ten people survive being hit by a car. And all because I had got used to trying to do more to make myself feel like my life was more fulfilled and meaningful!

Mind- Set is Everything

Mind-Set is Everything: what you imagine colours your reality.

Mind-Set is Everything: what you imagine colours your reality.

 

In researching for my own general interest and specifically for our second book “Feel the Power”, I have come across some fascinating scientific research that spans psychology, neuroscience, quantum physics and anthropology. It amazes me that such diverse disciplines can actually point towards the same reality, namely to discover the truth about our living universe and our role within it.

The power of the mind is an important aspect of this research, because human beings interact with the universe through our minds. Here is one such experiment conducted by Shlomo Breznitz that I read about in The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot (1996, Harper Collins Publishers, ISBN: 0586091718).

I quote directly from the book (pages 87- 88): Breznitz “had several groups of Israeli soldiers march 40 kilometers (about 25 miles), but gave each group different information. He had some groups march 30km, and then told them they had another ten to go. He told others they were going to march 60km, but in reality only marched them forty. He allowed some to see distance markers, and provided no clues to others as to how far they had walked. At the end of the study Breznitz found that the stress hormone levels of the soldiers’ blood always reflected their estimates and not the actual distance they had marched. In other words, their bodies responded not to reality, but to what they were imaging as reality.”

Isn’t that amazing? It was what the soldiers thought they were doing that had the most powerful effect on their bodies, not what actually happened. What they imagined had a physiological affect on their bodies which in turn affected their performance. It begs the question: What is it that you are imagining that affects your body and therefore your performance at work, in your relationships and in life generally?

How are your thoughts affecting your health, the way you approach and manage stressful situations or the manner in which you interact with others? The old adage “Mind over Matter” has been given new meaning and science is presenting us with countless examples of this across many fields of research. This blog series will look at some of these experiments which I hope will challenge some of your thoughts and perceptions about yourself and the world around you and perhaps encourage you to question some of your beliefs that may be holding you back from achieving your full potential and experiencing life in its fullness and beauty.

 

 

 

Biblical Rain and Misery

Rain and Floods

The ancient peoples of the earth understood and thing or two about life. They understood that they were a part of a greater whole. Recently in Britain we have had nothing but rain. Of course Britain is known for its rain. It has always been a standing joke both inside and outside of Britain. “The Rain”.

The message has always been if you are come to Britain bring your umbrella with you. In fact I stayed in a hotel once in Wales that gave complementary umbrellas to the guests as a way of enticing them into the hotel on weekend packages. Well that free umbrella has long gone but it was useful along the way.

Misery
The misery that floods incur is not to be underestimated. I live about 12ft or so from the edge of a river. I could not be much nearer. When my river rose during the recent rain we stepped outside one morning to find water over spilling onto the bank and heading in our direction. My neighbours and I were not happy. Luckily for us all it did not do more than that. All of the housed were safe. However, not so for so many people in Britain as devastation has travelled across the United Kingdom and the West Country has been very badly affected indeed.
Some people in Britain have been hit by flooding year after year in recent times. I watched people on the news give their thoughts and feelings to the interviewers about their plight with the rain, floods and devastation that has gripped their lives. It has been called floods of Biblical proportions. I can hear the wind picking up and threatening more rain as I write this.

Rain of Biblical Proportions and God’s Displeasure
Religious books are full of stories that tell us what happens to insignificant man should he step out of line and incur god’s displeasure, or even just the earth’s. Have we brought this in some way on our own shoulders? I have watched the weather patterns seemingly change over the years. Now I am no expert on these thing and the experts themselves seem not to be entirely in agreement. Some say global warming and some say not.

The Debate Goes on
The debate goes on with not real conclusion amongst any of us. May be we all have too much of a vested interest in keeping things as they are so we ignore the signs of erosion of the earth’s balance. We all talk in terms of our newest gadget or fashion item or what we simply must own next. At what cost to us all perhaps? We also talk about the endangered species of the earth due to our own expansion and greed. Maybe what we should all be worrying about is another species. Not the tiger or the elephant, although I fully support them both and their miserable plight. Maybe there is a more important cause to worry about, an animal that needs our help more. Ourselves! Perhaps we too are an endangered species. Not by numbers but by our own stupidity and actions.

Your unique message

The Bell

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Sit quiet.

Still the room, the body and the mind.

All that remains is Energy.

That feeling is you, the real you at this moment.

You are a silent bell ringing out,

Your vibration touching the world.

This feeling is not your clothes, your home, you car……

These things are not you

This feeling is-

The essence of your actions, your thoughts and the way you see the world.

Touch this and know it to be true

Never allow yourself to be confused again.

You can try to hide it

But you cannot stop the silent bell ringing.

Everyone hears it, so do not deny it.

Embrace it.

Express yourself fully.

You are already that vibration.

Do not be shy, do not be ashamed.

This is you in your completeness.

Hide none of it.

Explore all of it.

Discover all that you can be and become.

It is the journey of truth.

That is all life is about- listening to your own bell

And know that others have silent bells waiting to be heard.

Honour them, cultivate them and nurture them.

And though sometimes the journey may be hard

It will be fulfilling and you will do much.

I promise.

(Taken from Nourish the Flame Within- a guide to connecting to the human soul for Reiki, martial arts and life by Lynette Avis and David Brown)

I wrote this poem after I heard “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles.  I had listened to the song many times, but this time I heard it.  The wisdom of the words echoed across time, the band members’ silent bells vibrating as they performed their beautiful message.

We are all silent bells, no different from “The Fab Four”.  They were, after all, working class lads from Liverpool.  No different than you or I.  They had a voice and were willing to share it with the world.  The world is a better place for it.

Please do not doubt that sharing your voice with the world will make it a better place.  Find your own way, discover your unique vibration and let your silent chime resonate out across the world.

The world is in dire need of people who are willing to share of themselves, just as people are in dire need to share themselves with the world.  Ring out.  It is what you do.  It is what you are meant to do.  It takes trust, compassion and love.  It may scare you- I know.  But there is so much you have to offer, and it is too good not to share.

With every chime, you nourish the flame within and make it stronger.  Let us create a symphony and build a bridge of sound that connects the world.  Let us create an inferno that warms every heart and nurture a world of peace and harmony.

All we need is love……….

 

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Lynette Avis and David Brown are the authors of Nourish the Flame Within- a guide to connecting to the human soul for Reiki, Martial Arts and Life.  You can read more about our background and interests on the “About the Authors” link at the top of the page.  If you feel moved to do so please take a few minutes to leave a comment on this article- we are always happy to discuss the topics about which we feel so passionate.  You can also join us on the Nourish the Flame Twitter account at https://twitter.com/AvisandBrown and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LynetteAvisandDavidBrown .  We look forward to hearing from you.

Finding Peace

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Whatever you wish to achieve in life, it requires intention, focus, effort and perseverance.  Without these elements, you will not create a reason to do something or put in the work, time and dedication needed to make it happen.  There is a process of investment that leads to your desired outcome.

If there is a process of striving, how can you ever be at peace?

Once you reach your goal, do you not run the risk of stagnation?

These are the questions that bring the deeper meanings of martial arts out of the training hall and into the arena of daily living.  There are many schools of martial arts.  I can only talk of my own experience.  For many, martial arts are about fitness, for others about self defence.  Some do them for the competitive element and others enjoy the combative edge.  There is also the aspect of facing the fear of being hurt and the opportunity of dominating another through skill or even brute force.  Even the violence of the fight appeals to some people.

These are not what martial arts are about for me!!!!

I admit, fitness and self defence were the reasons I started and there was the element of conquering my fear every time I did my training- the unknown and the unexpected are powerful forces that can disturb the mind.  But very early on I realised there was a deeper element to martial arts that intrigued and fascinated me.  It went beyond the physical training and touched my mind, heart and spirit.  The greatest conflicts of life are of the mind.  Yes, the body can become injured, ill and diseased and thankfully there is an in- build repair and maintenance system at hand to take care of these situations.  The mind is an altogether different proposition and martial arts can give you the means to harness its power in a positive and life affirming way.

There are many centres to the mind- memory, visual, emotional, auditory, fear to name a few.  My study of psychology, no more than an amateur’s reading, and life experience helps me realise the power and intricacy of the human mind.  My professional research in neuroscience and nerve regeneration gives me some idea of the complexity of the human brain.  The details are staggering and I work much better with metaphors to illustrate complex ideas………  please join me on my current working analogies of the mind and brain.

You become what you focus on- if you are in the throes of new romance you feel consumed with love and all is well with the world; when you are about to do something you really don’t like, you might be filled with fear, apathy, worry or indifference.  Where your attention lies defines you in that moment.  I liken it to a flash light- your attention casts a focussed spot of light on the part of the mind it is aware of.  MRI scans of people’s brains taken while they perform certain activities demonstrates how specific centres of the brain light up (indicating increased local blood flow) inferring greater neurological (nerve cell) activity in that area.

In martial arts you learn how to control the awareness of the mind.  Do you think ahead or in the moment?  Do you allow yourself to be consumed with fear and self- doubt, or do you remain calm and alert?  Will you allow tiredness to lead to mistakes or remain focussed on the task at hand?  When learning techniques, will you allow yourself to be overwhelmed or will you break it down and learn it step by step?  These are all important questions that can be applied to a wider life context.

The options available are many, but simply break down into two categories: calmness and confusion.  The mind either focuses on the calm, still centre or its attention lies on the maelstrom of activity, emotion and confusion that spins around that centre.  If you think of it like a tornado, the destructive part is the violent wind of emotion (doubt and fear), confusion (a lack of perspective due to being tossed around beyond your control) and activity (trying to sort things out while you are in the storm).  The calm centre is more grounded and controlled, allowing you to see the emotional response for what it is, gaining better perspectives of the situation at hand and acting from a still place to sort out the situation.

Very often you find your attention or awareness in the outer, spinning wall of air and the resulting confusion.  What if you could shine your light of awareness on the still centre while the storms of life rage around you, allowing you to see with more clarity, make decisions with a better understanding of the broader perspectives and feel calm as you make your life choices and move your life forward in your desired direction?  If so, peace would always be yours.

It is simply a question of focussing the mind on peace.  To strive is to move forward, not to be in turmoil.  Peace is to remain centred in control of your attention, expanding your awareness and strengthening your power.  This column of peace in the centre of the tornado draws energy from the environment around it- up from the ground beneath it; down from the universe above and; in from the spinning world surrounding it.  This is how stagnation is avoided- the growing energy in the centre seeks outlets of creativity, enquiry, curiosity and endeavour ensuring that life becomes a journey of adventure, growing wisdom and endless learning- the true meaning and purpose of martial arts.

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.

Intention and energy free flow

 

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What do you achieve without intention?  I believe you will achieve just a list of random accomplishments that happen by chance or by the work of others. Without intention you become a bystander in your own life. Life becomes something that happens to you rather than you becoming an augmenter of your own life story.

Throughout my exploration of energy it seems plain to me that intention is the one thing that drives the direction and flow of energy. Once you decide to do something you may move heaven and earth to achieve it. Your intention focuses your energy that builds your dreams. It cuts through obstacles and helps to gravitate other elements into your life path.

It is easy to experiment with intention and to understand its power. Just look around you at the people that you may know. Take a look at their lives and the way they conduct their decision making. In time you will notice that those people who have clear intentions about what they are and where they want to go in life have the most successful outcomes. You will see that this plays out in all areas of their life. It is not just about work or money it is about all aspects of life.

Intention induces free- flow of energy.  Just by deciding that you want something to happen can set wheels in motion and overcome obstacles that will ensure its outcome. It may not happen immediately.  Sometimes it may take years and in all of those circumstances you will have to add energy.

For instance, you decide that you wish to have a certain career, friendship or path in life. You will have to add the energy ingredient to make that happen.  Intention is the driver, the reason you embark and continue upon the journey.  Energy must be added in some form.

Take the classic scenario of wanting to meet that special someone to share your life with. You do have to make some sort of effort to find them of course.  Sitting at home on your lonesome and watching TV will not bring them to you. You have to make the physical effort and interact with people to find that special person.  This all requires time and mental, physical and emotional effort on your part.

Having made the decision to meet that special someone, you must put yourself in situations whereby you have some good chance of interaction with like- minded people.  All you then need do is be authentic and open to the possibility of meeting someone and the energy of life will work in its natural way. If you go looking for him/ her there is a focus that restricts the natural energy flow of mutual attraction and compatibility.

Too many expectations restrict the flow of energy. They over- focus and impede nature’s way. This is a form of tension and only clouds the clear focus of intention. Tension, of any kind, is a sign of restriction and reduced energy flow. In tension means your intention is focused, not on the goal, but on forcing something through- it may not be time or the conditions may not be right.

Fear, worry, stress, greed and doubt all cloud your focus of intention on your goals and either can restrict energy flow or redirect it away from your true desires and towards a negative outcome.

Very often the fear of being alone means you remain alone.  What you are focusing on here is being alone and that is what the energy of the universe hears you say. That is the vibration that you are sending out to others and the universe. The intention that you are giving is one of fear and loneliness not of mutual companionship and compatibility. You have to be careful how you direct your energy and which quality of energy you are employing. The mind is a powerful tool and energy is a potent force of action and reaction.

If you find that your focus is on fear or any other negative feeling, it is worth exploring the true source of these emotions. The correct conditions must exist within one’s self as well as without to enable your desires to manifest. Simply being aware of the influence of correct conditions is enough to shift your focus into a positive space of energy free- flow so that your desired true intentions have time to grow and your dreams realised.