Tag Archives: peace

Transportation

There is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence

There is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence

One of the privileges of living in Cambridge, England, is King’s College and its chapel. You may have heard about the choir that performs there throughout the academic year, particularly at Christmas and Even Song service on Sundays?

Recently we went to this Even Song service and enjoyed the power this opportunity for contemplation offered. I went along without the expectation of following the service, but rather to experience the sound of the choir. My experience with energy has shown me that part of the reason hymns, psalms and services are sung in the manner that they are, is because the energy of the sound takes you beyond the surface level thinking of the conscious mind and deeper into the calm pool of the subconscious, towards a meditative state. You have to let the sounds wash over you and you feel the calmness take over as the service progresses. This service did not disappoint. The voices and the acoustics worked their magic beautifully. I had to stop myself listening to the words so that I could be affected by the primal power of vibration and rhythm.

For me it was a struggle as my conscious mind latched on to words it recognised. I had to remind my self to let go of the meaning and feel the experience of the sound on my soul. It was beautiful. Towards the end of the service I did listen to the words and they were so much more beautiful when heard from this place of calm and serenity. Couple this feeling with the visual experience of the vaulted ceilings and stained- glass windows and the ethereal became real.

The combined affect was to calm the anxious soul and to remind me that there is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence, if only I’d give myself the chance. This Sunday service was my chance. I believe all services, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan or whatever are a chance to reconnect to the Source of our Being. Call that Source God, Spirit, energy or whatever, the reconnection boosts your strength and resolve to do good, be good and have trust and faith. I believe yoga, martial arts, meditation, fasting, dancing, chanting or drumming for spiritual rituals strive for the same reconnection to the Source which is the essence of spiritual practice.

At last, I felt the connection between religion and spirituality. Religion I saw in the service, the vestments, the buildings and the prayers. Spirituality I experienced in the words, cadences, rhythms and sounds of all that religious metaphor. It was transporting. And where did it take me? To myself and to the Source. Perhaps that is the point of religion? Perhaps I should have learned that at Sunday school?

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If you would like to attend choral evensong, here is an article by Rupert Sheldrake who was involved in the creation of a website called Choral Evensong allowing you to find church services with free choral music across the British Isles.

The Spiritual Message of Christmas

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Have you ever thought about the spiritual message of Christmas? Do you wonder what Christmas is about and that it might be about more than eating and drinking?

Christmas shares a number of common features with other festivals from other religions and cultures? Many religions and cultures have a common spiritual message contained within their festivals. Many festivals have similar practices the relevance of which have been lost over time to common understanding. Light is a common theme to many faiths and festivals. On a very practical note light can represent warmth and comfort against the harsh cold and darkness of long winter evenings.

 

Christmas also coincides with the winter solstice, December 21st, the point of transition at which the year draws to a close in the rhythmic cycle when nature sleeps and begins the slow awakening towards growth, warmth and summer.  Light is an important theme in the winter solstice as the transition of the seasons are being celebrated and witnessed. I believe there is a deep spiritual message contained in the concept of light that is not simply restricted to Christianity, but also to Judaism (Hanukkah), Hinduism (Diwali), Paganism (Winter Solstice) and other faiths and traditions across the world. Throughout Christian history, in an attempt to be embraced by many people, the church drew on parallels between non-Christian ideas and Christian concepts and made them their own. One example of this is Easter, where pagan ideas of the Easter bunny and Easter eggs have become as big a part of the celebration as the Christian message. It is my opinion that Christmas is no exception. The spiritual concept that so many people across the globe and throughout time have embraced during this time of year, of light being a beacon of hope and change amongst the darkness, the stale, materialistic and self- absorbed ways of old and entrenched traditions.  It is easy to get confused by dates and think that because these festivals do not fall on the same dates as each other and often do not fall on the same date each year according to the Christian calendar, that they are not related.  Reviewing these festivals and the messages of these festivals we can consider whether they might be spurring people towards similar spiritual developments and understandings?

 

The story of Hanukkah is the tale of the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Syrian King Antiochus and the miracle of the light that burned in the temple, representing the presence of God, while the Jews went about the task of making the temple holy again after Syrian occupation. This is a story of good over evil, of freedom over tyranny and of the light of hope and enlightenment over the darkness of ignorance and narrow- mindedness.

 

Jesus’ story is very similar in that Jesus was born in a time of Roman domination in The Holy Land during which the Jewish hierarchy was rigid in its interpretation of the Jewish Law. The star that led the Three Wise Kings to Jesus’ birth heralded a change for the state and the religion of the region.  Jesus himself became a beacon and light of hope for people who suffered under the tyranny of the Roman Empire and Jewish control.  Jesus marked a change towards love, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance and taught a different way to the status quo. Of course the star has great symbolic meaning to Christians. It led the way for the Kings and Jesus is the light that leads the way to God.

 

The story of Diwali has it that it is the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. In Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Kali (the goddess of creation and destruction).  Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity.  It instils charity in the hearts of people.

 

According to the BBC website, Pagan traditions were born from ancient people’s life outdoors. “The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Because of this many ancient people had a great reverence for, and even worshipped the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that the word yule is thought to have come. At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale.

 

The ancient Romans also held a festival to celebrate the rebirth of the year. Saturnalia ran for seven days from the 17th of December. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. Men dressed as women and masters dressed as servants. The festival also involved decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles, holding processions and giving presents.

 

The Winter Solstice was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months. It was the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year.”

 

There are many common themes of good and evil; light and dark; the light overcoming the darkness, destruction and creation; the emergence of the new order from the old order and rebirth. As with all spiritual messages and practice, these themes and ideas encourage us to look within to evaluate ourselves and how we are measuring up as beacons of light or dark. With respect to personal energy, this time of year is a time of contemplation and reflection. It is a time for each of us to look within and seek our own personal rebirth of new insight and understanding. I hope that this festive season leaves you renewed, having reached new perspectives that lead towards your growth and fulfilment in this New Year.

 

 

Heart Energy

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In the previous blog David Brown talked about the heart and its condition in relation to compassion and love. He explained how we can make sure we keep our own heart in good order. He talked about our feelings and emotions and the link they have with the heart.  He felt compelled to discuss this in the light of the recent killings in Paris. We talk in terms of being “stone hearted” or “broken hearted” and “cold hearted” in relation to emotions. This is because we store our emotions in the heart. The heart keeps our blood pumping around our body but it has a much more important job to do than that.

 

Universal Energy force of nature

The focus of the discussion that David and I are having with our readership is one of energy and the importance of it to the mind, body, emotions and spiritual aspect of the person. We have tried to illustrate the fact that universal energy is impact on all levels of your being and life. No more so than the emotional and spiritual aspect of the person.

We have said in many blogs that we take universal energy into our body and this energy feeds all aspects of our person and being. This may seem confusing, ridiculous, inconsequential or just plain not important to you. This single truth is of immense importance to your life and being. This subtle energy of which I speak, which you can just ignore if you so choose, will do many things for your being and life condition. To understand this fact and to act on it means that you have control over many aspects of your life, health and future.

 

A gift from the Universe

On a physical level this energy is electricity and magnetism but on a spiritual level it is the breath of life itself and a gift from the universe. It feeds your body, your life and being on all levels. David talked in his blog about taking this energy into your heart. I understand that for some people reading this, what he is saying to you may escape you.

In the wake of the Paris atrocities that blog and its message may well seem trivial. There is nothing trivial about that message, it is far more profound a message than it may seem at first glance. We are taught to see ourselves as separate one from the other by society and religion. We are separated on so many grounds. We separate on ideas; ideals, religion, politics, country of origin; ethnicity and skin colour are some of the factors that are used.

 

No Separation

In truth there is no separation between any of us. We are one people, the human people of the human family. That is our connection one to the other. We are one race, the human race. We have one home, the earth. This should be obvious to each of us but it is not so for most of us. Look around at the state we are all in at this point in time. So much hate, anger and killing on the grounds of things that seem important yet are inconsequential when looked at that through the lens of what truly connects us. Religion is not important unless you make it so. How we treat each other is important no matter what we may say or do. How we treat each other as part of the human family is of paramount importance. We have all been thrown into life for a time to live, love and grow. How we live, love and grow is important for at the heart of that importance is compassion for each other. Without human feeling and connection there can be no compassion.

 

Compassion starts with empathy

Compassion starts in the hearts of men. It is through empathy and seeing the other person as part of you that we have compassion. Seeing the humanity in the other person does not start and end in the intellect but it is more about a feeling in the heart of mankind.  When we connect heart to heart what do religion or ideas matter? We are connected by a greater force than any of those. We are connected through the energy of the heart.

If we feel others as part of ourselves and love them as ourselves we cannot harm them for we harm ourselves.

It is when we see others as different or less than ourselves that we can do harm. To separate the other person is to separate a part of ourselves. This is what “being spiritual” means. This is what spiritual connection is. It is a connection one to the other through the heart of you.

 

Heart connection is a wisdom and truth

Ideas and teachings come and go. There are some things that are universally valid and therefore unchanging.  Humanity’s connection through the heart is one such wisdom. It is a constant of the universe and will never change for man. When we go to pray, or talk to God or align ourselves with one religion or the other, we are seeking a strengthening of our human connection through God. I do not wish to get into discussion here on what God is or isn’t or if he exists. That is not the point of this blog. This blog is explaining there is a universal energy that ties us all together, and we can draw on this energy to strengthen our own connection to each other.

We must look to the condition of our own hearts first and condemn others if we must second. I read an article this week about a Muslim lady who was attacked verbally by a man who brought her to tears. How is this man any different from the terrorists? He was terrorising a woman who was peacefully and lawfully going about her daily life in her own country.

I remember and lived through racial abuse in the past in Britain. We have moved past that time and we should all be proud of that. We should all pat ourselves on the back for our own tolerance and sense of humanity. Britain has come such a long way. I have not walked down any British street for decades and been racially abused. To all of my country men and women who have worked hard so that I can have done that, I would like to say a personal and special thank you.

 

Taking care of freedom

Let’s all take care. Let’s all take care of each other and keep this the country we all wish to live in. Let’s keep our sense of humanity for that is part of what the terrorists hate about us; our wish for tolerance of each other because they have none. Freedom is an important part of a healthy human being. Being free to think and act in a loving and kind manner and to add positivity to life and the lives of others.

Let us make sure we keep our humanity and do whatever we need to do to stop this madness from taking a moment more of our precious lives. Life should be about love and laughter not killing and hate.  To keep the love in our own hearts healthy use meditation or just contemplation and bring in good energy into the heart.

Peace and Love Lynette.

In our next blog we are going to share a life changing meditation with you.

 

 

Paris Atrocities

ThinkstockPhotos-497189328At the time of the recent atrocities in Paris on November 13 2015, I was assisting on a training week. The participants of the training week and I spent part of the Saturday morning analysing the emotions that came up for the participants. We found that as well as the usual feelings of anger, hopelessness, powerlessness and despair, the events also brought up within us feelings of compassion and ideas about the power of human connection. I think that for there to be acts of kindness, humanity and compassion, there needs to be a connection to one’s heart. Being totally connected to one’s own heart facilitates connection to the hearts of other people.

 

When we are truly connected through our hearts one to another, there is no way acts like those of 9/11 or November 13th 2015 in Paris can ever happen as the connectivity one to the other and true love of humanity does not allow for it. Heart energy plays a huge role in compassion. To freeze the heart is to stem the flow of life giving energy that keeps the body healthy, and the person whole and connected.

 

Acts of terrorism come from frozen hearts. No one is born with a frozen heart and so it has to be gained over time. We have to ask ourselves what brings a person to this frozen place of a cold heart? How does it happen? With each person who gains a frozen heart the world becomes a progressively colder place.

 

We cannot let this happen!

 

We have to ask ourselves what will this do to our personal lives and health or the health of the planet if we allow the progression of an ever colder and disconnected humanity.

 

Opening our hearts and freeing its free flow of loving energy is essential. Free flow of loving energy is how we will heal the world. Not by bombing each other and blowing each other up. Negative or positive energy flow goes deeper than global issues. This goes to the core of our being and our humanity. I believe in the power of energy. It is a non-emotional force without morality or ethics. We give it those labels. What energy has is vibration, specific signatures that attracts more of the same. War breeds war. Hate insights hate. There is much fear in the world and the only thing that will combat it is a concerted effort towards love which resides in the energy of the heart.

 

This is my personal call to you to you to ask you to do one thing every day that may scare you! I am asking you to love in the face of fear and hate. Together let us halt the tide of fear and hate. This current situation of increasing hate that is growing on both sides may seem hopeless, and you may feel powerless.

 

Yet I promise you this: if we fail to connect to our hearts and allow the energy of the heart and love to flow there, there will be nothing to counter the growing momentum of fear and hatred in the world.

 

In our book Nourish the Flame Within, we talk at length about such themes of love and hate and there are meditations that connect you to your heart energy. By working on drawing energy into your body from above, you can power up the energy in your heart. Your heart is the place of emotion and your connection to others.  A healthy heart on all levels will ensure our connection to each other.

 

On my training weekend of which I spoke I opened my heart to the pain people must be feeling around the world with regards to the current situation of separation and hate that is playing out in terrorist atrocities. Normally I would not publically comment on these political acts but this time I felt compelled to do so.

 

We must all dig deep as the growing tide of anger takes us forward. We must all examine the condition of our own hearts and our position on humanity. For this situation will get worse before it gets better and each of us must make sure we stand on the side of good. Love, kindness and human connection is the only true good, for anything less than that must surely be negative and therefore wrong as negativity breeds negativity. None of us can ensure anyone but ourselves stays true to love and humanity. So let’s start with ourselves and see how the wave we create can change this terribly negative situation to one of love, human connection and hope!

What are martial arts really about?

Martial Arts is about the power of the mind, body and spirit

Martial Arts is about the power of the mind, body and spirit

What is your impression of martial arts and martial artists? In your mind are they tough fighters? Do you think of MAA (mixed martial arts) competitions, violence and aggression? Are martial artists thugs in your opinion?

Would you shy away from martial arts because of this perspective? Would you be drawn to something that sounded more spiritual, graceful and elegant? Would you consider martial arts if it was more artistic, about self expression and personal development?

If so, then please read on. This blog is designed to dispel some myths about martial arts in general and to high light some of the central and fundamental precepts behind martial arts.

And if you still like the idea of the aggression and competition of martial arts then I invite to read on too. You may not always enjoy this aspect of martial arts, nor may you be aware of its awesome power and potential which opens to you when you train with a different perspective and understanding.

The Great Masters have always been men of Peace

Bruce Lee, Morihei Ueshiba, Myomoto Musashi and Master Tesshu were all violent men in their youth. It was only when they contemplated their mortality that they realised the futility of violence and they began the quest for greater and deeper understanding of The Way or The Tao. Nelson Mandela was essentially a terrorist as a young man and Gandhi used to beat his wife and children before fear and hatred gave way to love and compassion.

Martial arts can show the way to compassion and love if we choose to use the body and mind to explore the connection to self and others and the world at large. It is the cultivation of the spirit, or intuitive energy of our being, that brings this connection and the peace that comes with it. Not all martial arts styles teach this way of peace. I believe it was always the true way it was taught in the past. In the modern world some have discarded these principles in favour of the physical aspects only. In my experience a person needs the mind, body and spirit to be healthy and strong and able to work together to mutually enhance the life experience so a person can live a meaningful and fulfilling existence.

Martial arts is unique I think in offering the potential to cultivate all three aspects of the being. It is not an easy path, yet it offers the chance for true freedom, creativity and self expression, keeping the energy flowing on many levels of the being and creating the opportunity to find real peace.

This is why I have continued martial arts for over a quarter of a century. It was not why I started. It is why I stayed and why I continue to teach-so that others may find their own path to peace and harmony.

Over to you

What is your experience of martial arts? Has it changed with time? Has it changed with teacher or style? What has martial arts taught you about peace and connection….. and about violence? We’d love to hear from you and enter further into this wonderful subject of energy, peace and connection.

 

Changing Seasons, Changing Energy

Spring is the most wonderful time of year in the United Kingdom.  Each season has its beauty and its own energy, and for me no one season is better or worse than the others.  Each has its own unique magic that is a celebration of nature and the fluid forces that drive the cycles throughout the year.

Many ancient South_Africa002and traditional cultures lived their lives in harmony with the changing cycles.  Many of the festivals that they had were a celebration and honouring of the changes in energy from sleeping to waking, between winter and spring, and the natural power of full bloom of nature during high summer.  Nature has its own natural preparation for slumber as crops are harvested either by man or by the wild animals as they bury nuts and eat the berries and other fruits of the land, and finally the deep calm and sleep in winter.

We are approaching the stirring of nature’s energy from her sleep.  The snowdrops are flourishing and the bluebells are also beginning to break the surface of the forest floor.  It will be a while until we get the stunning carpets of blue in the forests, but when we do the world will be alive with the vibrant pulse of bird song, nest building and courtship rituals.

Nature’s balance is such that the opposite will be happening in the southern hemisphere.  Here it is autumn.  The birds will be migrating away, the chicks fledged, the leaves turning crispy reds and browns and the wild life preparing for sleep.  Then, it will be deep winter.  Scientists give complex explanations for the whys of nature, but really it just responds to the forces of nature, to remain in balance and harmony.  Living things feel the shifting energy and respond by their nature.  Trees shed their leaves, animals grow thicker coats and head for warmer climes and some hibernate.  Meanwhile, in the North, high summer is the plateau of energy.  The surges of spring and new growth are over, and the hum of nature’s power is strong and forceful.  All of nature celebrates.

Humanity enjoys the changing seasons just as nature does.  Even in the hectic flow of our daily lives and relentless schedules, we rest more in the winter, play harder in the summer and work more diligently in the spring when we create and in the autumn when we harvest.  With the seasons, man is in harmony with nature.  The subtle yet powerful forces of nature are irresistible to us.  For thousands of years, humanity has lived with nature’s ebb and flow, and although we do that less now, we still honour the changing seasons, not just in our religious holidays, but in our everyday changes in mood and behaviour.

These seasonal changes of energy are as much a part of the living energy of the universe as the energies we discuss in Nourish the Flame Within and the soon to be published Feel the Power.  The seasons are something we see and experience every year.  Some of us pay attention to them more than others, but we all feel their presence, their power and their unique gifts of joy, work, hardship and learning.

What do you love about the seasons?  How do you experience the changes in energy and how do they affect you.  Do you live in harmony with the seasons, or do you battle on relentlessly throughout the year.

I would love to hear from you and get some fascinating discussions going. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below.  We are interested in genuine thoughts and discussion.

Beyond Religion

Compassion is beyond religion- it goes to the root of our humanity & nature.

Compassion is beyond religion- it goes to the root of our humanity & nature.

Gandhi said that he was a Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew and Buddhist.  It implies a devout connection to principles that encompass all world religions, without a commitment to any particular religion.  No one can say that Gandhi did not embrace principles of respect, love and compassion in the actions in his life.  He believed in these principles.  He used them as the guiding principles in all his actions, not least during his non- violent protest of British presence in India and its subsequent independence.  He inspired Martin Luther King in his quest for equality for all peoples across the world in a non- violent form.

These men lived for their causes.  Their respect, love and compassion can never be destroyed.  That lives on for respect, love and compassion are founding principles of the universe.

Karen Armstrong, a former nun and founder of the Charter of Compassion, has researched the world’s religions extensively and she has distilled the common thread that links them all: compassion (see her TED talk: My Wish: The Charter for Compassion).  She uses this principle as the founding concept of her charter that encourages individuals, communities and nations to use compassion in their daily lives to improve the world (www.charterforcompassion.org).

Compassion comes from connection- to the universe, to the planet, to the animals and to our fellow human beings and humanity at large.  With that connection we understand that we are all one, from the same source.  If we respect other people we respect our self and if we hurt another we hurt our self.  That has been the message of great leaders such as Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Gandhi and Martin Luther King throughout human history.

Humanity separates one from the other on many issues and factors. Humanity will separate on the grounds of colour of skin, race, religion, politics and location to name a few. These things are not important, but humanity makes them so. We are all bound through a golden thread, and that thread is our humanity itself. We are all one family of human existence.

Living one’s life with compassion is a choice and each individual has free will to do so. Intellectually understanding the concept of compassion is good but truly making compassion part of our own living experience on every level is even better.

I do not subscribe to any religion in particular. I do not feel I need to do so. I know that I am a product of the universe in which I live and which created me. I know that through that I have a connection to the universe and that it is possible to consciously strengthen my connection to it.  I can do it through prayer, meditation and attunement. These all enhance spiritual connection.  All of these methods will strengthen my connection to the universe and deepen my feeling of connection to and compassion for all that exists. A Charter of Compassion maybe a good step forward.

There is nothing wrong with subscribing to a set of principles dictated by a particular religion; however we can live our lives as a good a decent person even if we do not. That is what I try to do. I try to be a good person rather than subscribing to principles laid down by any religion.  There is an argument that religion is the basis of our moral behaviour, but I believe there is a moral code built into us by nature itself.  This can be seen in animals’ behaviour and many instances of compassion that they too have been seen to display.

We can respect everyone as that is a choice and decision we make. Love and compassion grow out of respect. Respect first, love and compassion follow. No one needs to love anyone. We all need to behave with respect and kindness. That is what makes the world safe. Love is a very personal emotion. Love for another person will grow out of their actions to us. Love cannot be conjured up out of thin air. We earn love by our own kind and respectful actions to others. We can respect each other as fellow human beings. We can show compassion and kindness by choice.

We cannot love all human beings all of the time. However we can respect them and behave with compassion regardless of how we feel about them. We can offer them water when they are thirsty and food when they are hungry, and clean clothes or some finance if they need that.  There merely needs to be respect for their humanity to do that.

We all have a place in life and have to live together and find peace and harmony amongst ourselves for this existence to work for the whole. How best can we do that? To respect my fellow man means that I do not harm him. I allow him the freedom to live his life in peace and hope that he has the grace to do the same for me.

In recent weeks we have witnessed the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris, France.  We have to learn that we cannot kill each other just because we do not agree with each other.  If we do not agree with each other we can at least respect the other person’s right to life and their point of view, even when we think they are very wrong.

A person must have a desire to respect others.  Without that there can be no love and compassion. Respect comes from understanding the necessity and validity of behaving and living in harmony with those principles. There must be a benefit for them. The benefit is harmony and personal safety.

Compassion, respect and a deeper understanding of our place in the universe as well as our role in the universe are the foundation of these actions.

The message of love and compassion is preached by religion, but religion is not its source.  Compassion can be seen in nature.  There is no religion in nature, save the religion of living in harmony with the natural forces of the natural world.  I subscribe to that principle, to live in harmony with the natural forces of the earth and the universe.

God is the natural forces of the earth and the universe.  World religions are divided on God’s true nature and it is not my purpose to enter into a debate about that here.  My idea of God embraces all the world’s religions’ visions of God.  I may not agree with the details, but I respect the views each religion has on God.

There is a natural order to life of which we are a part. All religions have a purpose and that purpose is to light the way to God, higher spiritual connection and those higher forces of the universe. Their purpose is also to give us an understanding of what life is and our purpose within this life. This can be achieved without the aid of religion just as easily, if a person has the mind to do so.

Understanding ones place in the order of life and your personal spiritual path helps to kindle respect and compassion for everyone regardless of religion and other people’s beliefs. It is important for us all to live in tranquillity both with our self and fellow man.

We have a connection to God and the universal forces. God is the universe. Our connection to each other stems from that source of power. The universe created us and we are part of it. We are always part of that source however we can become emotionally disconnected from it. We can also be unaware of its true power and influence on us. We can draw on this great power of the universe for strength, guidance, spiritual and emotional sustenance. We can use it to show us the true nature of respect, love and compassion.

Through desire anyone can consciously enhance their connection to all of the universal forces which will in turn show the way to a life of respect, love and compassion.

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.

Energy Therapy- Sound (Part 6)

Sound has been used as a powerful and effective tool for helping to improve health and well- being for thousands of years.

Sound has been used as a powerful and effective tool for helping to improve health and well being for thousands of years.

The last blog that I posted in this series was about Reiki and my session with Reiki Master Teacher Lynette Avis at her The Living Energy treatment rooms in Suffolk.  As we have been friends and colleagues for some years now, at the end of the Reiki treatment, she invited me to try something new and exciting.  She said she had been training to do Sound Therapy, a qualification she has now attained, and now part of her extensive range of treatments.  She wondered whether I would be willing to try it.  She said I would be amazed at the experience!

As we discussed the theory behind sound therapy, Lynette was laying out a range of different musical instruments (gongs, drums, bells, bowls, tuning forks, even the human voice can be used).  She explained how certain instruments affect different parts of the body due to their different vibrational frequencies. Sound has been used as a powerful and effective tool for helping to improve health and well being for thousands of years. Himalayan singing bowls for example have been used throughout Asia for millennia in prayer and meditation, and are now used to promote relaxation and well being.  Sound therapy was formally introduced to the UK in 2000 with the establishment of The British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST) (http://healthysound.com).

Recently, science has provided valuable support and insight to these ancient techniques.   If you were to look at your body with a powerful microscope you would see that it is not a solid object but is, in fact, a myriad of tiny waves of energy. Over time these waves are influenced by a variety of different stressors such as diet, lifestyle, environment, relationships, job and other factors that can cause imbalances and weaknesses in the body which can lead to poor health and disease. The use of sound can redress these imbalances returning the body towards full balance and better health and well being. In a sound therapy treatment the practitioner plays a combination of ancient and modern instruments to gently bathe the body in powerful, healing and balancing vibrations. A good sound therapist will know which instruments and sounds to use to help the system to balance itself by releasing the denser energy that can hold the body in an unhealthy state. Based on information about the client’s present medical conditions and previous medical history the practitioner will adapt the treatment accordingly, using relaxing or stimulating sounds to try to rebalance the body.

A study conducted by BAST measured the effects of sound therapy on the autonomic nervous system (ANS- the part of the nervous system that controls your heart rate, breathing and digestion etc). Clients were connected to a machine that monitored stress responses.  Each client demonstrated an overall decrease in arousal of the ANS compared to the control group, who were lying down relaxing. This study suggests that sound therapy has a profoundly calming effect on people affected by stress at a deep level. Sound therapy is a complementary medicine designed to work alongside orthodox medicine. Sound therapy can be used to treat individuals with fertility issues, chronic pain, cancer, stress-related illnesses, IBS, ME, tinnitus, mild depression, anxiety and arthritis.  Sound therapy is said to help not only physical illness, but also help balance the emotions and quiet a busy mind. Most people feel calm and relaxed following treatment. For some, this feeling will last several days.

After her initial joking introduction and having fully set up her treatment room for the session, my introduction to Sound Therapy began.  I was again lying on the treatment table face up, fully clothed and covered by a blanket to keep warm.  I closed my eyes and allowed the sounds and the vibrations to relax me and take me away to a very calm and peaceful place. Some instruments were used close to me while others actually touched me and I could feel the vibrating sensation move through my body.  It was a deeply relaxing experience and extremely enjoyable.

On the BAST website, there is a wonderful quote from its founder, Lyz Cooper: “Our organs, chakras and different areas of our bodies, all sing a different note, which when blended together, produce a symphony as individual as a fingerprint”.  I would say that the therapy experience not only made me feel relaxed, but also more harmonious within my body and within myself.  It was a truly wonderful surprise to experience and certainly not anything I would have volunteered to do in the past.  As to the future?……..  I would snap up another session in a shot!


Again, my thanks go to Lynette Avis for her patience and good humour in explaining Sound Therapy to me and introducing it in such a fun and exciting way- you are the consummate professional.

References:

Life is a Bowl of Cherries

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Life is a bowl of cherries. Not necessarily for every one though. It depends on perspective. What is to one person good and happy circumstances would be the lowest of the low to another person. It is a bit like hot and cold water. Depending on our previous experiences the water temperature will be perceived differently.

Life is– vibrant and full of variety. Each cherry varies in colour, size and flavour and the enjoyment you derive from this variety depends on perspective.

Compare the colour of red cherries beside another red object or in front of a red background. How red are they? Now put them in front of a blue background. How red are the cherries now? In front of the red background, the cherries may seem to have lost their vibrancy. When placed in front of a blue background, the colour contrast renders their red colouring as vibrant and intense as can be. This is the power of perspective.119168579 - Copy

It is the difference in how we experience these everyday phenomena that informs our unique life perspective. The variety of experiences we encounter throughout our lives enrich us on a deep level – as they say, “variety is the spice of life.” If we resist opening ourselves up to different experiences, life is the same –same –same. Boring! To add vibrancy, we must embrace variety and recognise the power of perspective when tucking into life’s bowl of cherries.

Let’s take this analogy a bit further. How often do you think about how your life experiences impact you? Most of the time, we just experience without thought as to what experiences add to the quality of our lives. It is commonly thought that to be happy we must only have happy experiences. This is not true. We must have variety of experiences to make us whole, balanced people.

To achieve balance, the key once again is variety. Balanced people are whole because they are at one within themselves and not at odds with the variety of life’s experiences. A machine that is broken – in pieces – is not whole or in good working order. In seeking balance or restoration of “good working order” for ourselves, we must at some point come out of balance. We must tip one way and then the other to discover the correct equilibrium of experience and variety.

Going too far out of balance can cause trauma, but it is important to know that no one has to keep trauma. An individual decides within the fabric of their own being how much trauma they retain or release in any situation. When a trauma is so severe it has become deeply internalised, you must first decide that it is to be released and then set in motion the tools for implementing this release.

Meditation and hypnosis are excellent tools for such release. Hypnosis and meditation are bed fellows – they are very similar but offer direct benefits for the release of trauma.

Life can be whatever we wish it to be; as individuals we have power.  For the most part, each person is in control of their own ship. All is perspective and view point. Life’s cherries can look equally delicious set against a red or blue background. It is up to the individual to decide which background they prefer and why.