Slither out of the dead skin of your past and future

Your past and yourfuture are like unwanted skin!  Rub them away with sharp awareness and slither into reality.  No past = no karma! 

Ego and persona with all their limitations are simply grooves etched by repetition and reaction into the mind  

so that our daily lives become like a laser that habitually falls into the groove and makes it ever deeper.

Awareness is the only virtue.  It is your true power so embody it.

Prowl with every hair into each moment of each waking interval in search of its very centre.

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Such awareness is a narrow bridge leading you out of the groove of necessity you have created into your unbounded True Nature, your absolute sincere heart.

Here and now you mirror each moment exactly as it is, and by doing so, you act and you laugh with relief.

Nothing else is needed.

                         

images courtesy of Mariko Kinoshita, Linden Thorp and megapixyl.com

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Divine Thread: our human legacy (Navajo Wisdom 1)

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The Navajo nation believes to this day that they are the direct descendants of the Holy People or Creation Gods. Their whole reason for existence is to carry their legacy forwards with each generation endowed with the physical and emotional attributes of human beings. Their way of life known as the Blessing Way, or Beauty Way, represents the female energy of creation – harmonious, peaceful, happy, undemanding.

In Navajo wisdom, there is no division between sacred and secular unlike in western traditions. Life itself is sacred, only sacred, therefore knowledge, the process of learning, is also sacred.

Holism is their way of life, a constant expression of interconnectedness and beauty. They astutely survey the misplacement of even one small element of life because it is bound to effect all other parts and so the harmony will be broken.

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I recently visited Monument Valley, Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgali (Valley of the Rocks) deep in the Navajo Lands straddling Arizona and Utah, and there I directly witnessed such harmony and beauty.
The hotel we chose was called ‘The View’ exactly because it is an astounding viewpoint out on to such Holy Rocks. This is considered to be the heart of the Earth according to Navajo Creation myths – the Monument Valley Tribal Park, 92,000 acres of majestic buttes, spires and rocks. Unlike other Navajo reservations, this valley is still inhabited by Navajo – 30-100 people depending on the season who live in hand-built houses without running water or electricity, tending their livestock and creating artifacts.

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‘The View’ hotel, the first in Navajo Lands, opened in 2008, followed by a renovated visitors centre in 2009. When driving at 5 mph down the unpaved valley road which weaves in between the sandstone ‘monuments,’ we could get a view of it embraced by the sandstone contours, built in a way which completely respects the majesty of the sacred.

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On arriving, after paying a modest entrance fee to enter the national park, we drove up to the rear windowless side of the hotel to enter the plain lobby. The experience was almost like walking into one of the rocks itself. The lobby is centred around a massive indoor chimney with a log fire burning in it, the walls adorned with Navajo artifacts, but it was the meeting with the beautiful female receptionists that moved me most.

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They exhibited the ‘Blessing Way’ perfectly. No masks. No posturing or acting. Their voices were low and respectful, their eyes used carefully, the information we required expressed succinctly. I immediately thought of hospitality training in western traditions, and how the customer is treated as a god and entitled to amass charm points during their stay! But these young women had the courage to show their true strong nature to all visitors equally. There was no effervescent welcome because we were expected by the spirits.

It was as if we were in the presence of the Navajo Creation Beings, moving in an eternal dance with them.

Their creation story states that once the Earth was made and after things had been placed on it, the First Man and First Woman pulled a single feather out of a Bald Eagle and blew on it while vowing that from that moment on nothing would be still in the universe, ‘not even water, not even the rock.’ (see ref: 1983:16)

We ancient spirits in human form, which is what all human beings are, can directly influence such movement. I had a sense that even the 58,000 year-old rocks were flowing amongst the warm breath of the Navajo guardians, and this sense of movement is still with me several weeks after my recent visit to Monument Valley.

 

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This experience illuminated the importance of venerating our beloved ancestors who laid the foundation of our lives. I have no single doubt that we are descended from the gods and have been entrusted to carry forward their sacred legacy. We can all choose to live as Holy Beings in this very life.

These stunning buttes below are called ‘The Mittens.’ They are the covered hands of the Earth beings pushing up from the Earth’s mantel in what was once a great ocean high in the mountains of Arizona.

Our Earth is a living moving monument to our divine origins.

 

 

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Images courtesy of Linden Thorp (4-9 February, 2017) and megapixyl.com

Reference: Pinxten, Rik and Ingrid Van Dooren, Frank Harvey Anthropology of Space. Philadelphia University Press. 1982

Australopithecus: we stood up and chose the wrong route

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The majority of human beings have decided that we will go our own way.  We no longer listen to the natural world, to our origins.  We are suffering and the Earth disintegrating exactly because we have turned our backs on our divine flame and torn ourselves out of reality with manmade concepts and synthetic realities. Only a few of us are struggling to get back!

It is said that this separation started when we stood up from all-fours to widen our view and pick the best fruit from the higher branches of trees and bushes.  We poked our head up into the sky for the first time between 3.9 – 2.9 million years ago. This species, Australopithecus, played a significant part in human evolution because it could stand up straight and possessed a gene which caused increased length and ability of neurons in the brain – the SRGAP2 gene. One of these species eventually became the Homo genus in Africa about 2 million  years ago (e.g. Homo habilis),  and so on to ‘modern’ humans, Homo sapiens sapiens.

 

art work by Mariko Kinoshita
art work by
               Mariko Kinoshita

Our increased cerebral capabilities and physical stature heralded the beginning of a period of human excellence which differed from animal excellence.  Once we could negotiate the world in a new way with our increased memory capacity and other intellectual tools and skills, we naturally were spiritual beings with a sacred intent.  We were still close to our divine origin with a clear mission to express what animals could not express with the tool of language and communication, the pen and the sword. But we were and are essentially mammals, and always will be.

Our species represented the pinnacle of the evolution of mammals, painstakingly nurturing our young inside us with love and handing down our advanced cerebral capabilities. This upright beautiful species would walk the Earth and create an unsurpassed civilization, going ever upwards. But instead of remaining close to the Earth, we have become aliens with synthetic realities who have gradually lost contact with our original reality, with the universe we are a crucial part of.

 

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It seems as if we were led astray by an evil power some would call the devil, but this is a fantasy.  Imagine this moment of choice – to stay with the sacred, or to move away to the secular:  sacred meaning worthy of veneration and respect: secular meaning ‘worldly’ or ‘temporal,’ not connected or separate from those things worthy of respect. The presence of so-called ‘evil’ is a fallacy because we each have that real choice now in modern life.  We can freely choose to either respect and integrate into a whole, or to doubt and find our own way, to become a splinter.  Another way of interpreting this is that we can choose to be positive and stand in full light, or we can withdraw to the shadows and negativity.

 

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So, now our spiritual evolution lags badly behind our physical and cerebral development, and so we have a choice to deviate from what is morally acceptable, from the ‘Middle Way,’ from our innate goodness and natural love. The love we are endowed with when we come into the world often dims or disappears.  The unconditional love of our parents lavished on us from the moment of our conception which we embodied as loving innocent children, turns into an accessory – something we ‘have’ or acquire/purchase.

 

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Instead of embodying our divine inheritance of love and immortality of the spirit, we have chosen to live in a tyranny of fear, greed and envy, clinging white-knuckled to the material world because we have torn ourselves away from the natural path.  We have taken everything into our own hands, respecting little and trusting no-one.   How can we assume our role as custodians of the Earth when our arrogance dictates and controls our hearts.

The real future of the planet Earth lies in the open hands of indigenous peoples who have made the right choice.  They continue to live with a sense of awe and form a partnership with the Great Mother Nature so that all species thrive and they dance to the rhythms of the planet.  Living in traditional life, undisturbed by arrogant consumers like us, they are truly integrated. They devote their entire energy and being to caring for and listening to the planet – their visual responsibility, and the greater invisible – the universe.

 

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Images courtesy of megapixyl.com

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To glimpse aboriginal life please read my book ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day.’  This is an account of my time living with Australians in traditional life.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUSPLYM  – kindle link

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Happy-Sexy-Twelfth-Day-Linden-Thorp/dp/1622129776/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434547522. –  ISBN link

U tube video link:

http://youtu.be/8Tc7XuC U38k – the author speaks

https://youtu.be/xCZ3FMGc0bs

Desirelessness: walking away from ‘civilization.’

I briefly lived with a tribe of Australian native people 11 hours by land cruiser south of Ayer’s Rock.  Our group went to help them to move deeper into the scorching interior of Australia in order to return to ‘traditional desert life.’  Their tribal leader, Ninija, had decided that the aging and young of her people should return to their ‘Lands,’ turning away completely form white-fella comforts and handouts.

During this adventure, my view of human life completely changed.  

The settlement we left consisted of primitive prefabricated housing and an air strip.  But not one member of the tribe lived inside the housing. Instead, they used them as a dumping ground for the heaps of material goods donated to them from white-fella do-gooders.  

White Australians have always wanted to ‘civilize’ these desert people, to make them respectable, useful to their average urban ways.

There is no such thing as a ‘gift’ to the desert dwellers and not one of the variety of items they receive is useful to their desert life: nylon dresses, leather shoes, plastic toys, kitchen equipment, tools made of metal.  They accept them and then quickly let them pass through their fingers. They are soon added to the tall heaps of detritus inside their unsuitable housing.

The day we left the settlement in our land cruisers loaded with prefabricated shade shelters to erect as the tribe walked in temperatures that most humans could never survive, Ninija and her people walked naked and barefoot.They carryied nothing except their few custom-made possessions to negotiate the harsh Lands and climate: 

Dilly bags woven from Mangrove string for their totemic badges; Wood and Grass carrying bowls (coolamon) sported on their heads, shoulders or against their bellies; custom-made digging sticks slung across their backs from ornate Kangaroo straps; beautifully crafted boomerangs for hunting; and perfectly cylindrical Hollow Log coffins containing the precious bones of their deceased.

As they slowly walked, the sheen of their black skins caught the strong sunlight and their blond and red topknots of wild hair blended in with the iron-rich ochre of the desert floor. They were joined occasionally by competing kangaroos on one side, and a massive flock of high Emus, great scratching Bird of the Lands, on the other.

They were walking away from ‘civilization,’ – known to them as ‘The Lands of Frowns and Fears,’ away from ‘safety.’ They had neither compass nor water flask.  Walkign away from health care and education; away from the culture of ‘the thinking‘ stuffed with words and ideas.  

Our ‘modern’ mobilized team followed them at some distance, kitted out in snake boots, fly-nets, clinging to our ‘possessions’ stashed away in brightly coloured waterproof rucksacks and pouches. We were highly protected by metal and glass, and cooled by powerful air-conditioning.

I have learned from these genuine custodians of the earth, that a desireless state is a truly pure and happy state.  It is ‘now’ and ‘here.’  Whereas, the future is a mirage and the past is dead. 

I have learned that time itself does not move because it is only a crude device, another delusion; instead, the only movement is of our minds

When our desires are frustrated, all of our negative emotions are generated because we cannot get our way.  In complete contrast, not having any single desire is contentment, no craving, no worries or attachments. Naked and without possessions, we can blend into the many natural realities of the universe

All desires are a mirage or like the horizon: we can never reach them because they are imaginary, a hallucination, delusional. And yet, we persist in running after such pots of gold from the desire to possess them, to drag them like magpies into our nests.

A state without desires is purity itself. If we allow them to ebb away then we do not need to reach out to gods and deities for benefits or protections

If we clear the bridge of the mind of such clutter, then we can walk straight out in the vast field of consciousness and awareness. There we can embody the divine, our original state.

Without worldly desires and clutter, we naturally embody the divine. This is our true human mission. 

Images courtesy of megapixl, etc: all licenses at lindenthorp@gmail.com

The story of Ninija and my adventures has been written as a novel called ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day.’ If you want to read more about desirelessness, please visit: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUSPLYM or watch the video trailer at: https://youtu.be/xCZ3FMGc0bs

Forward to my new book – Glorious Death: Glorious Life: Buddhists Cathars and people of the Earth

Buddhists and Cathars jacket

author’s forward

Glorious Death? Human beings are curious of and frightened by their own death and the death of others they love. Death is taboo to most of us, and it is understandable that the complete unknown is terrifying so we evade it, clinging to what we know even more tightly.  But I will show you in this book that there is a way to understand and to embrace death, and that when we do our lives are transformed. 

Glorious Life?  Life is both predictable and unpredictable; both happy and sad; both satisfying and dissatisfying, but what is certain is that we do not have control of it.  Like setting sail on a stormy sea, we are at once battered by waves and wind, and the next becalmed or shrouded in dense fog. However, acceptance of our impermanence is the master key to dealing with such fluctuations; we need to have complete mastery of our sails and rudder and to learn to sail with the weather, into the weather, instead of against it. Realising that all the challenges that the wild ocean throws up are spiritual tests and messages provided for us to overcome and interpret, allows us to strap in and actualize our human potential. 

Buddhists? Cathars? People of the Earth? There are so many spiritual pathways available to us in these days of diversity, but I have discovered that although they may have different appearances and structures, they are all reaching for the same lasting happiness and joy. They are all about mastering our restless fearful minds. The serenity and wisdom of the Buddhist way are well known.

The way of the Cathars (the Good), a medieval group of Christian mystics in Europe branded as heretics by the Church of Rome because of their spiritual beliefs, may not be so well-known because they were exterminated by the close of the 14th century. 

But now is the time of the revival they predicted 700 years later at a time when the Earth and its people are rapidly deteriorating.  The Cathar Creed is the perfect blueprint for us to fully realise that we special humans with our essence of pure love are not aliens here on Earth, but we are the good way for the Earth and its community to heal. 

People of the Earth? The surviving indigenous tribes of our world possess the wisdom to save the planet and to live in harmony. In fact, they are the only people who dedicate themselves entirely as custodians of the Earth, protecting species and living in awe and respect for what the Great Mother Nature has supplied to allow humans to evolve spiritually. The natural world which we moderns have made ourselves separate from provides the perfect conditions for us to excel in love and light, and to bring our intrinsic goodness to bear.

All three of these traditions have brought me personally to a breath-taking watershed.  I look down into the great oceans and I have no fear of death or life, and I have come to surrender to the truth that the world we think we know is just a tiny part of the vast invisible world, the ocean of spirits of love. This is our origin.  In other words, I have fully awoken to the reality of the supremacy of universal love, and that everything else is simply weather. 

I write this work, not from a place of dazzling qualifications or impeccable experience, exhaustive scholarly research or struggles for recognition or advancement. In fact, I have deliberately put aside such accolades and indicators of success, and instead offer a different kind of intelligence and a world of perceptions unique to their expresser. They are testimony above all to being a human spirit. My motivation is to share my view of the world as honestly as I can, striving to write from my true nature which I have consciously worked to uncover during my enchanted life.

I find my true nature to be akin not to heroes or celebrities, state leaders or explorers, but more to mystics and castaways, contemplatives and psychics. In my short human life, I have found the great truth in my own mind as I create it for myself, for it does not exist without my creation. By virtue of our dazzling consciousness, human beings are extraordinary creators.

Living and working in Japan, I have been given a unique opportunity not only to experience an ancient and bizarre culture first-hand but also to question or reappraise many aspects of life that ‘westerners’ take for granted. As a person of faith, one of those aspects is exactly that, faith.  It is well-known that most Japanese reject notions of religious affiliation and look both uncomfortable and incredulous when asked in public what they truly believe in or at any mention of spirituality.

It has been said that Japanese have little imagination which on the surface may be attributable to their passivity and conformity to the greater social conscience.  It is the social system and customs which expect them to be self-contained, restrained, and so they are often reluctant to exchange true feelings or experiences. They are however skilled readers of the air once they have trust.

Therefore, when a westerner, usually born, brought-up and educated in a Christian, Moslem or Hindu atmosphere, talks freely about faith feelings, it seems that it is almost impossible for them to grasp another life course outside superficially secular Japan.  In fact, many Japanese are rarely if ever exposed to foreigners: there are still strong traces of xenophobia from the 250-year period of the country’s closure.

Surely faith has to be recognised by those who realise its personal importance?  Faith?  Conviction?  Trust? These are not qualities that come easily to many Japanese because there are so many types of fear running through their veins. There is also a formidable sense of national pride and duty under the skin, a sense that everything Japanese is best, superior. Here religion and spirituality are very much a social pursuit.  This is part of the necessity of belonging so that the countless temples (Buddhist) and shrines (Shintoist) double as community, culture, and mental health centres.

It is from my stance as a person with a commitment to the intrinsic power of the human race and with indestructible confidence in my own true nature, that I write this book.  My life is unimaginable to most mono-cultural and mono-linguistic Japanese – packing up two suitcases and leaving my ‘homeland’ to live in this land of endemic shyness and nationalism, sampling many spiritual teachings and alternative disciplines along my route, and so on.

You Japan, though we are now one, cannot imagine my life.  So, I dedicate this work to you.  It is a bringing out of the roots of my faith, my origins, and the process of my life as a spiritual seeker.  I want you to experience my invisible Christian upbringing and education, the purity of my lineage; in fact, the whole purpose of my being; to experience my brushes with Islam and Taoism, Sufism and Hinduism, Judaism and Jesuits in the multicultural environment of my birth.

This is my mission: to share my blessed life with a nation which Kukai, the founder of Shingon Buddhism created a form of Chinese Buddhism especially for. He is recognised as, one of the very few Japanese who have attained a universality far beyond the limitations of nation or race.

In 1950, after the Pacific War was resolved and Japan was occupied by the United States, there was a purging of religion and education.  In Buddhist terms, it was called the Dharma Crisis, and through my involvement for 11 years with a Shingon Buddhist teaching, I have encountered this first-hand, although it has mostly been buried under recorded Japanese history of the period so it is difficult to research. Indeed, as a result of the government inquisition, all religious organisations, no matter what denomination, were scrutinised and subjected to a vicious authenticity check. 

The founder of the teaching was in fact thrown into prison for his deep convictions and faith with murderers and other capital criminals, his Buddhist instruments confiscated, and his qualifications and motivations examined microscopically.  This truly tested the faith of his small sangha(community), most of whom disassociated themselves, but those remaining deepened their conviction leading to worldwide strength of the teaching today. This Dharma Crisis was an enormous test of faith for the whole nation, and it has clearly engendered the moral and religious cowardice or seeming indifference that exists today as a result.

It seems that people, in general, are divided into two groups: those who need to know, and those who just-know. Those driven by fear and doubt, and those who are fearless and accepting. Those who think and those who do not. Those who consider the physical sun to be the only source of light in the world shining down on them, and those who are their own sun shining on themselves and others. Those who have taken up permanent residence in their minds, and those who have stepped on to the bridge of their mind and walked out into the limitless field of their consciousness.

As I write, I find myself conflicted and separated by trying to cater for both of these groups, not wanting to leave anyone out. For example, when writing about sincerity and secrecy in relation to the Cathar creed, The Church of Love, I have to describe the Cathar-Catholic history and struggle in great detail so that permanent residents can understand the background; meanwhile, I am longing to get to the spiritual centre of things, and do not want to be pinned down by the time-space continuum.

It feels as if there is a dense web of doubt and proof-seeking, a kind of contagion emanating from the thinkers, the limited, which threatens to draw me in.  So, I want to kick free of it and unconditionally dart around the infinite field which has no horizons or divisions, or tenant agreements, without any appointments or duration. I, therefore, have inserted small articles into the text so that the received knowledge concerning Buddhism, Catharism and Creation Spiritualism is available to those who need it.

Thinkers habitually make questions and construct opinions, which can potentially tyrannize a writer, blocking him or her from writing anything at all. They are natural fighters with an obsession with analysis and understanding on their terms, but they have the power to sway others in this modern life dominated by the intellect. Surely it must be an affliction to always need to justify and debate in order to be accepted, or to gain approval from the intelligentsia fashion leaders, but that is the norm in developed nations.

As Buddha is reputed to have said, People with opinions just go around bothering people all the time. What I write in this book is not opinion but insight gleaned from my spiritual training and awakening mind. And yet, I am unable to exclude this majority group because my message concerns them most of all. I have no dispute with anyone. (Buddha)

In the end, readers will make up their own minds about my Glorious Death: Glorious Life based on so many conditional factors. Therefore, writing anything using abstract symbols capable of such beauty, such harm, such hypnosis, such confusion, is a leap of faith into an abyss. I leap willingly.

And as for my own Glorious Death, the title of this book? I die every night in my dreams. It is no stranger to me.

Evenings had always been our special time back in the city, each one a life in its own right. It was usually initiated with flames and candles, and the opening of corks. Each a make or break, visible or invisible, irresistible attraction or cold polarisation. Now, in the mountains, evenings ended in small deaths in the full darkness and silence. We two isolated souls, which might sting or flee at any moment, were entirely invisible here. (Veil, a novel of Cathars and Troubadours by Linden Thorp)

To wake each morning is a blessing, a new start, a stand against the fear that the human mind throws up like the jackknife of a bully.  During all my moments, the Veil of my physical death flutters above me, giving me glimpses of the invisible world beyond the bridge.

My motivation in writing this book then is to share my journey and to drop seeds into fertile earth.  As a Buddhist practitioner, I have already written a great deal, but it was my discovery of the universal Cathar Creed combined with the realisation that I was a member of the 20th-century Cathar revival behind the scenes, that made me sit down and determine to create it.  I believe this perfect Creed entitled The Church of Love, will suit all beings regardless of their supposed level, caste, status, thinking or no-thinking in the visible world. All beings are perfectly equal in the invisible world.

In order to familiarise the territory before revealing the Creed, I share my blueprints and the spiritual schemes which have brought me to this Glorious point, this watershed.  Some would say perhaps that Buddhists, Cathars, and Indigenous Australians have no fear or doubt because they are at liberty to embody their beliefs. But I would go a step further and suggest that beliefs are dead thoughts, museum pieces, plastic flowers compared with the energy stream that these three breeds of spiritual giants stand knee deep in.

The energy flow of all humans without exception consists of light and love and humanity is itself the Church of Love.

The Church of Love recognizes that the way we (humans) are may be the way of those around us because we (humans) are the way.

Embodying love, being the universal energy of love, cannot be limited to inert thoughts or beliefs, or added to a tomorrow to-do list. It happens right now and here inside us.

Once we have put our visual accessories time and space aside, then reality consists only of now – this moment, not the next or the one before, and here – without borders or differences, regardless of weather or religion. The conditioned mind may think this notion embodying love is an interesting concept, an intriguing theory even, but it will immediately disappear as thoughts and theories always do the moment it is made conscious. By thinking about it, it is immediately made indirect, a mere interpretation. So, it is useful to create a mindful gap around this seed that has been dropped into your being and stay quietly in that gap. In other words, resist thinking about it or even giving it a name. Mark it as that thingy, or your favourite song – music is concrete so cannot be erased as abstracts such as words can.

The thingy must be gently held back outside the gap, prevented from its usual destructive, interfering activities. Then the love can flow freely, indiscriminately, for all of the people around you: like a fresh mountain stream cascading across everything in its path.

In this gap, this opening, you can use your borrowed human muscles and limbs to flow or swim into your day ahead. Staying in this fluid state you enter a crowded space, a train carriage, a shopping centre, or a classroom. With every square inch of your body and your energy field, you can live the divine love that you have eternally embodied once the conditioned mind is quiet.

Then you make eye contact only to love. You spread your lips in a smile only to love. You extend your arms and stride forward with your legs only to love. It is absolutely the only agenda your spirit has. Next, staying for as long as you can in that identity-less gap, just radiate into now and here, and others around you will radiate in response. They will use their eyes only to acknowledge your light and being.  They will spread their lips in a smile only to radiate.  They will extend their physical form in a sincere gesture of appreciation only for the light you bring. And they will expect nothing in return.

Inside this gap is where we belong. It is our true nature. There are no labels or identities, no hierarchies or structure. It is the flow and flux of our energy origins, the wide river of our indestructible human love and light.

THOSE WHO ARE, KNOW.

(CHURCH OF LOVE, CATHAR CREED, CIRCA 1244)

 

March 2016, Osaka.     

 

Gratitude to Mariko Kinoshita for her gorgeous artwork

Temple Chronicle: 20th February

Homa

The world of words demands that we churn out concepts and assertions mindlessly. Each word creates an image in our visual libraries and memory banks. The bridge of the mind leading out to the vast field of consciousness is so cluttered with verbiage and images that we cannot move. We are blocked in.

But unblocking is not just a matter of clearing out, discarding our highly documented lives out on to the scrap heap. No matter how badly they make us suffer by living always indirectly, marooned in our own minds, we have created them in our unique way. They are what we amount to so far, our materials. But we can be sure that materials are not permanent.

So we can first acknowledge them, accept them as our way up to this point, and then we can tenderly build a fire and set them alight, watching them burn with gratitude.  They are a means whereby and without them we would be deprived of their richness.

In the desert, in the Dreaming Lands, aboriginals set light to large tracts of land to promote new growth in the universe, and to send cleansing smoke up to the sky travelers. Japanese Buddhists write prayers and mantras then burn them in a special Homa fire to convey them into the invisible world, and to burn away human delusions. Fire cleanses and promotes new growth, so let go of the archives and new growth is guaranteed to appear. The bridge will instantly be unblocked.

We must keep creating because that is our modern way, teeming with diversity, but we can discard, empty the trash on a regular basis, and spend a little more time each day in the great still silence where words and images have no purpose. Then we can slowly and steadily intersperse listening with looking because sound is concrete whereas images are abstract.

And words? Concentrate your attention on the sound of the words instead of the meaning. Listen to the heart behind the words that reach you and linger lovingly there without reacting or categorizing, or trying to make them permanent. They are the utterances of a fellow true spirit after all.

With a sincere heart and awareness, you can cease to assert and window-dress your ego when you interact with other true natures in your vicinity. Asserting is merely a desperate attempt to make yourself and your world permanent in someone else’s eyes, and in your own. It excludes and separates.

When you speak remember that you are essentially spirit so you must express yourself in an artfully vague way like a breeze, the rapid flapping of the wings of the hummingbird, or the constant fluttering of a candle flame.

We actually have no single ‘claim’ to make via our soft lips or balanced on plump tongues because we are pure love energy, and the human throat is best-suited to singing. Instead of words, fingers and eyes and warm breath and our unique fragrance will register our sincere heart with perfection. Therefore, it is wise to refrain from talk until you have checked your free flow of love.

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THE GRAIL WITHIN

This is a response to Gille Asselin’s inspiring comments on today’s show – ‘Nurturing the Spiritual Spelunker in All of Us.’  (http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/87522/the-search-for-the-inner-grail)

Dhyana mudra

The grail within is not a physical entity although we can express it or channel it by using mudras, or gestures. The opening of the hands in the shape of a cup or goblet, or lotus, at the level of the heart is powerful connection with the Air and Ether. For me, one of the most potent mudras is the Dharmachakra mudra representing the turning of the wheel of Dharma for Buddhists and Brahmins, which was common in the Golden Era of Human Beings when the gods walked among us.

This is the gesture of complete balance, hands resting in the lap, fingers interlaced, thumb tips touching lightly, at the level of the navel chakra connecting us to the Earth. The shape created by the hands in this meditative pose, symbolizes the oval, or ellipse, of the whole universe, through which all energies can flow freely back and forth. It could also be the wide mouth of a chalice tipped forward so that the substances of the universe pour back into the Earth, replenishing all we have selfishly taken.

spiritual practice 1

The Cathars made predictions and promises related to this search for the grail within. Below is one of the more mysterious codices of their Church of Love creed written 700 years ago. I believe I was there, involved in writing this, and that one of my missions today in our troubled times, is to try to exemplify it, to use abstract words to try to touch the rim of the grails of those who read this.

coolamon

I also mention the tireless emptiness of indigenous peoples: their grail has never been within – their grail actually is the cup or coolamon (carrying bowl) of the universe – and yet civilized people have tried to force it inside, under the poison of roof and window and separateness.

The Church of Love recognises that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemic act for conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.

This creed was created 700 years ago at a time of little hope for the survival of the Good Christians. The Catholic Church was determined to destroy the heretics, and even diverted their armies from the Crusades in the Holy Land to Languedoc in South-Eastern France to ensure their eradication. Such hatred and slaughter is still remembered by the people of the Carcassonne, Toulouse, Beziers and Narbonne, the vivid targets during a 20 year period. It is estimated that 30 thousand civilians were massacred, and several hundred Parfaites (Cathars) or their sympathisers, were burned at the stake to ensure that they went straight to the fires of Hell.

The Romans had no idea that for the Cathars there was no single flicker of fear of pain in such a death, only the joy of knowing that they were at last freed from the Hell of life on Earth dominated by the Bad God, the Catholic God. They knew with supreme confidence that the flimsy veil of death would be lifted easily, freeing their spirit, their essence, to go where it was needed in the infinite and eternal dimensions of the invisible world.

The ‘supreme transmutation?’ The ‘ultimate alchemic act?’ The early Christian teachings exemplified by the Good Christians, were gnostic (2nd/3rd centuries). In other words, they contained ‘secret knowledge’ not simply ‘knowledge.’ In Buddhist terms this is ‘Esoteric’ or ‘intuitive’ knowledge, the secret initiations made by master to pupil in a continual unbroken line from the Buddha, not ‘Exoteric’ knowledge anyone can discover from books or academics. Gnosticism is a term used to describe ancient people who considered the material world was created by Satan, or a Demiurge, so instead chose to fully embrace the spiritual world. Such seekers were aspiring for enlightenment, salvation, oneness, a state of perfection, and they could achieve this by altruistic acts to the point of personal poverty, sexual abstinence, and finding sources of wisdom in other human beings.

If we regard the mind as all, the absolute and only way we perceive the world, then the lower frequencies are represented by the material world, flesh, time, and an imperfect contrived world. But the upper frequencies are represented by the divine soul and perfection, the eternal and infinite, beyond the limitations of time and space. We can all access our higher self by putting down the mask, by opening up to our true nature.

There are consistent features of the gnostic blueprint for life on Earth:

  • the supreme divinity is remote
  • emanations or appearances of further divine beings occur
  • the illusion of a Creator and/or demiurge which we must transcend
  • that the world out of reach is essentially good and we are trapped in a flawed world
  • a complex cosmological drama in which a divine element falls into the material world and becomes trapped there
  • the possibility of the divine being reinstated through a process of individual and so collective awakening.

The key notion is that those trapped on the material plane cause an instability in the fabric of divine nature.

In Buddhism, everything is ephemeral, is constantly changing. Nothing is static and so we need a supple non-reactive mind to cope with this. Everything disappears or perishes eventually in the view of visible humans, except their faith and unconditional love, and other invisible and eternal energies. It could be said that there is alchemy and transmutation at work at every moment.

As a Buddhist practitioner, grappling with attachment to human life, I was once fascinated by how unaccountably different photo images of myself were, and then through a dream I realised that I could see karmic changes and adjustments, and imprints from other lives became clear to me. So, I assembled a collection of images of myself and pinned them to a board in no particular order. Were they really all the same person? Then, like a thunder-clap, I could see the instability of my form in human flesh. I became totally convinced that in any second my physical form might be extinguished. As Van Gogh said about his self-portrait, ‘This is not me; it’s a copy.’

depression

The partnership between humans and their consciousness, and the Heavens and Earth, is an important element of all religious practice. The Buddha stressed the importance of making bonds with the universe by using certain mantras and mudras which enable us to become one with the universe. Here it is perhaps important to mention ‘interpenetration’ which Buddhists substitute for monotheistic-style prayer. If we are to be included in all aspects of the Universe and not separated away as aliens, then we can focus our attention on another different constellation of energy and exchange ourselves for that energy. Energy after all is transmutable, can flow if it is liberated from its imposed ‘permanence.’ In fact, the aureole (a circle of light around the head or body of a deity: halo in Christianity) are still used to remind us of the spiritual origin of all things manifest in the material plane. As above, so below as Gilles mentioned.
reclining Buddha aureole

The mind is all in Buddhism. So, we can learn to use it to penetrate and ignite an exchange. We may interpenetrate with those in pain or suffering loss, taking on their sufferings and healing them, taking on their negative karma, as well as donating our accumulated virtue and merit to them. A Mahanyana Buddhist takes a vow to stay behind in samsara until all sentient beings are liberated.

Likewise, the Cathar energy or spirit is a constant presence in the invisible world especially today during their revival 700 years on. Becoming one with the universe is the principal aspiration, so that we are not separated away from it by our own synthetic views. The ‘supreme transmutation’ is surely the moment at which no synthetic views remain; in other words, emptiness. When the cup is emptied of every last drop.

alcheringa

Indigenous peoples are supremely integrated when they are living traditional life according to ancient tribal laws handed down orally, and fully absorbed in protecting the precious Earth and all its inhabitants. This is sacred work in One heart with the universe. But when their integration is interfered with by developed peoples they become unstable, torn out of their oneness, or rapidly ‘disintegrated.’ This has happened repeatedly during the history of so-called ‘progress,’ but it must never be allowed to happen again as the balance of the Earth depends heavily on the wisdom and protection of its ancient peoples. Where we moderns have failed miserably, self-consciously trying to be heroes and tame the earth for our selfish purposes, indigenous peoples have preserved the Dreaming Lands and they will save us all I am convinced.

ninija, my spiritual guide, who I helped to move back into traditional life from a government settlement, is almost torn out of the Lands by the lusty pursuit of lumaluma, white-fella ghost. He woos her and enslaves her with his bottles of alcohol and nicotine, and his promises. Eventually, she escapes from his relentless taunting and cajoling, and returns to the Burial Grounds so beautifully prepared by her people, led by Gina-granddaughter. Ginger-son’s (her son found dead in a telephone box in lumaluma’s city) spirit approaches quickly and she must officiate.

It is dusk and ninija and gina arrive at the Burial Grounds to a resounding cheer from their people. But almost immediately ninija drops her head, lank hair covering her eyes so that she cannot look at them.

There are no ears or eyes in her beneath her flaxen hair, constantly falling into her face. Here, eyes are absent. Eyes mislaid. Eyes that belong to Rock, crave Sky, catch green Fish in Waterhole, can identify the camouflaged body of giant Lizard from its desert hide and kill it dead with a boomerang. But, ninija no longer has eyes for ‘Here’ and ‘Now.’ She has left them somewhere in lumaluma’s city; somewhere in lumaluma’s hollow; somewhere in his bottle.

And there are no longer the ears of ‘Now’ and ‘Here’ in ninija. No listening stillness like a sheet of bark on which the Desert paints her sounds. No knowing the tread of Emu, of Wombat. No hearing the season’s changes in the Wind as Rainbow Serpent prepares to move on his thirsty journey back to the ocean after making white-fella Dreaming site. No hearing his shiny belly making new Waterholes as he slithers.

ninija great Traditional Landowner, has walked away from her Lands. She has gone from ‘Here’ and ‘Now’ with her people, with her joyous gina by her side holding tight to her hand. Instead, ninija is in a time and place of ‘Then,’ of ‘There.’ She looks and looks, frantic for ‘Now’ and for ‘Here’ at this ceremony. She searches for the wild, and the living with the wild, and the strong and ample of ‘Now’ and of ‘Here.’

….She walks unsteadily. There are no words on her lips, in her tongue, for she must not speak until ginger-son has gone on his way. Her words whirl like boomerangs behind the black Rocks of her eyes, inside words. She whispers, ashamed, raising her arm and moving it slowly across the beloved Burial Grounds.

‘i look your body paintings my people. Strong marks of Kangaroo, or Wombat, Bandicoot, of Platypus and the white Sea-Eagle in the Wet. Red Ochre. Black of Burned Wood. Bark brown. You make many-many Fires of Casuarina for big smoke to carry off his Spirit at the Djang. You make coffin. Paint with Emu. Stick on feathers you find. Cover with Paint bark. You dig long trench with many digging sticks where we can clean ourselves when we frighten away mokuy Spirit, bad Spirit.’

            ……ninija is bewildered. Her painting sisters pull her to the women’s area so that they can begin to paint her chest and neck with Ochre and Ash marks of Pelican Traditional Landowner. But she waits inside just like white-fella, and asks questions just like white-fella. She sits back as the paint is daubed on her skin, wondering if ‘Now’ is about to be dropped at her feet from the beak of white Cockatoo.

As the women skilfully use Hog-tail brushes to stipple her feather markings along her shoulder blades, she wonders if ‘Here’ will be continued in a drop of sweat dripping down her neck. She is with her sisters as always, but she is waiting to take ‘Now’ and ‘Here’ on the end of the long Rootail brush as the first circle of cool mixed Ash and Ochre is painted around her neck. The women sing in adoration of their Pelican leader, gondwan, craving to receive just one glance from her enlightened eyes, but there are no eyes for the ‘Now’ or ‘Here’ or ‘the Lands’ in ninija.

The ceremony goes on around her, but she is absent. And worse, she is breaking the sacred Laws on yet another count, for she must put all her heart into ginger-son’s journey, his new life in the Spirit world, not into the broken and discarded body and its human life story. That is not ginger. That is old Snakeskin, Lizard tail, Beetle-case. His perfect smooth Spirit will leave behind his wasted and empty body.

Ninija closes her drowning eyes and tries to track down ginger’s Spirit as it approaches the Burial Ground, listening across the miles and miles from lumaluma’s city. But suddenly, unbidden, she is consumed by immense fear and panic as the shiny doors to her fleshy heart, installed without permission by lumaluma, slam closed. Fear and panic because of white-fella’s meddling. She cries out inside, her voice splintering with white-fella doubt, with white-fella alien questions. She can no longer feel or see or hear or smell. She is being torn out. She is being separated from the Desert Mother. She is being shifted away from the antics of the Sky Heroes for the first time ever.

That something stealing her away from ‘Here’ and ‘Now’ sits behind her. It is dressed in a black theatre cloak. It wears a wide-brimmed hat. It has heavy black boots of shiny leather. Then, by some magical process, some mixing of her special powers and lumaluma’s ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy,’’Now’ and ‘Here’ suddenly appear in the long, manicured, beckoning finger of lumaluma.

Consolamentum

Now is certainly the time for the ‘supreme transmutation!’ There are no questions and were never meant to be. If we remain with our higher vibrations we go way beyond such intellectual trinkets. We too can integrate into the whole! We must because now is the time according to the Skies! We can each offer up the contents of the Grail, our unique contribution to the Heavens and the Earth.

(for more from ninija see ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day’ by Linden Thorp) http://www.sbpra.com/lindenthorp/:http://www.amazon.com/author/lindenthorp_inthefield