Holding the Earth

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I feel so privileged to be here at Monument Valley staying in a Navajo Hotel called ‘The View.’ These ‘monuments-butte,’ free-standing rock formations, appeared about 570 million years ago. This was once the ocean floor and the mantle of the Earth uplifted in these strange forms known as ‘The Mittens’ to crack it. Later the ocean subsided west during the shifting of the tectonic plates: the resultant mud became sandstone and limestone.

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Such an ancient scenario to suddenly arrive in, but arriving creates such a connection with my Earth! I am One with it! I am sandstone and limestone: the desert paints me in rainbow colours against the gigantic Moon.

 

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This is my Earth! I am inspired to become its custodian once more, to hold it and look upon it with complete awe! Only putting aside the synthetic reality created by my limited mind will allow this to be.

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Images by Linden Thorp.

Avoid desires to be touched by the divine.

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It is our countless nagging desires that keep us separated from happiness, from the great truth. But there are 2 principal desires: the first is to avoid death; the second is to avoid living fully.

The intellectual mind conjures up such desires as a distraction from the free flow of our energy.  Our divine origins have led us to the manifestation of our unique energy in the world of form, and from that moment on we must undergo a huge battery of tests until the for we are tenants in deteriorates and vanishes like dust in the air.   The tests are mostly about attachment.

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Our energy flows.  It must do because the prime reason for the existence of energy is movement. But we have bounded that energy in a human form and we must carry the weight of thousands of years of conditioning, of the desires of our nation, our community, our family and our ancestors. Most people under such weight abdicate responsibility for their energy, and even forget it completely.

Can we sustain the weight while also keeping the flow of our energy and life force moving.  Or will we become static and passive, and start to live a lie, ignoring our most basic energic urges?

If we can detach form the forms and material temptations, and allow our selves to flow naturally, then there are no fears, no negativities.  Just a vital pulsing river of all life.  This is the glory of our human consciousness.

Energy is the only thing we possess.  It is dynamic is we allow it to be.

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images courtesy of megapixyi.com

Divine Thread: from the gallery

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Most of us live in a world in which the past dominates us. It seems to have such a strong influence, magnetizing us to always look into another time and making comparisons with the present. It is as if we sit in a high gallery strapped into a chair, our necks braced into position forcing us to look down on a dream which we are taught makes our reality. However, this is true conditioning, a kind of indoctrination.

The past is not in any way dynamic because it is produced by the mind as something which we amount to, something we can either regret or revel in. But above all, it is something we know, especially our personal past. We are separate from it but we can look at it whenever we like – the subject and the object.

 

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In fact, this manmade concept of ‘time’ has been created exactly because of our doubts and fears of the unknown. Time is a synthetic reality in which we can create many desires and then go about realizing them. But such activity is only a distraction from the reality of the unknown. To find true liberation we must embrace what is unknown courageously.

Desires are eternally repetitious in the dream of the past and projected into the dream of the future. The pattern is always the same, circular, a circle which keeps us captive. And the mind just goes on creating this pattern and ingraining it so we can live blindfolded, effortlessly. So that we feel safe because we think we know!

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After thousands of repetitions, particular experiences become more and more weighty, artificially significant. Then, ‘reality’ seems so convincingly real that we relegate everything else to the realm of dreams.

However, if we are living on auto-pilot, repeating everything, again and again, we are not in any way aware. Dynamism only comes into play when our full awareness is activated. Most of us prefer to be deeply asleep with auto-pilot engaged to the inconvenience of awareness. Why not allow the mind to work automatically, taking over every moment of our existence so that we can sleep.

If we sleep, we will never know Oneness with the Universe. We will never know the vast field of consciousness and the joy of each moment of the unknown. Wee will never embody the creature we are, stepping into every moment for the very first time.

We will never ‘know’ that we are composed of pure energy and that the only thing that energy does is to move eternally, flowing on in the wide river of all life.

 

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One day, someone told me that they owed me an apology. I was surprised saying that I was unaware of any mistake or offence they had created. They tried to apologize again. My response was that I would tell the person they offended when I met them and that it was not me because I am in no way the same even from moment to moment, let alone from day to day.

 

 

Images courtesy of Megapixl.com: see licenses at lindenthorp@gmail.com

To read more about ‘going beyond all dualities,’ our Divine Thread, and Oneness, please visit my web site at http://www.divinethread.wordpress.com

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Somnambulation: how many seconds can we really stay awake?

Most of us spend most of our lives asleep!  We fall into routines often by choice exactly so that we can sleep. We walk down a busy road in a dream staring into the wide-open sleeping eyes of passersby. We try to get our obligations fulfilled, our daily chores and duties finished quickly so that we can get back to sleep. We let most of our lives fritter away while sleeping.

You may be able to stay fully awake for a few seconds while something takes your attention, for example, the incredible curves, points and texture of these ice mountains, but then you drift off into your slumbers again.  And increasingly, it is only the visually sensational that holds your attention, so we are completely unaware of so many other invisible dimensions. 

If you close your physical eyes and hold back the constant stream of images and words which flood by, then perhaps you can count 3 or 4 of your own breaths before you are distracted again by the flooding. But this place of stillness and near-silence is REALITY! – the place where your spiritual eyes open wide. 

It is remarkable that human beings so rarely directly experience the full force of our natural and intended condition.


So, please remember to wake up for tiny periods during the day ahead. Take a moment to count your breaths deepening them as you go, or close you eyes and count from 1 to 10 without being distracted. This wide silent focus is reality, is being fully human! It is being entirely integrated and not separate from the Universe!

For me, this reality is heaven! And I go there whenever I can.

          

                                                       

                                                                        TRUE NATURE : Our Supreme Inhertance


Temple Chronicle: 21st February

architects of our world

Our human lives are a process, a means whereby, but what is the result, the end-product? Our story began with the moment of birth and it will end with the moment of death. Between these two points our physical form develops and matures, and then as its season draws to a close, it starts to shrink and slow. We, our spirits, are temporarily housed in a flesh form to participate in the visual material world which is subject to varied and numerous conditions. It is logical then that the conditioned mind expects results from the progress through the years of our lifespan.

Religions use certain terms for this end-product, this resolution of the years and the effort – Heaven or Hell, Nirvana, Enlightenment, Paradise, Zion, Avalon, Swarga, Valhalla, and so on. But words and images die the moment they appear or are uttered or thought. ‘Birth’ and ‘Death’ are also only words, but we identify ourselves with them – ‘my birth,’ ‘his death,’ and so on, and once again they are dead, in the past, dropped like a heavy stone into a deep pool.

Without using any special labels or grand proper nouns, we have always flowed in the vast wide river of all energy, and we always will. Energy is vibration and light which is subject to no conditions, not even human’s facile ‘time’ or ‘space.’ It goes where it will dependent on nothing, consuming the darkness, flowing and flowing. There are no rewards or results in any dimension except the joy of being and loving with company in our human boats, and breathing in concert.

The conditions throw up obstacles in the way of our flow which create detours, sluggish pools, and rapids. The build up of the heat of negative emotions and violence acted out in the form world, the jarring of separations and limitations, the tattering and fraying of the fabric of the universe at our human hands, causes drought and the flow dwindles to a trickle, or floods which extinguish the divine flame of the flow.

Can you desist from throwing obstacles into the flow now and here? Can you give up your addiction to collecting, to hoarding, to getting and spending, to violent acts of separation from your fellows? Can you say you will no longer depend on creating parallel worlds in your mind with words and images so that you can just flow and flow, laughing and loving? Slap bang in the centre of this moment and in no place in particular, can you accept that there is nothing you have to do except be, and in your full being the flow flows without end?

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Temple Chronicle: 8th February

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The field of energy humans inhabit is not as it appears to diverse human eyes. The arts give expression to the vast differences in individual views: today, the disparate imaginations of around 7.4 billion are at work every moment. These local energies are surely not separated by skin and skeletons though the logical brain insists they are. Therefore, if we close our eyes and our mind’s relentless analysis and classification, our energies merge into one fabulous multi-faceted diamond. Such a gem can illuminate every dark corner of the universe with divine light, purging away all the accumulated impurities.

Our sensitivity to each other has been deadened as the eyes have gained the monopoly on the material world. Progress and civilization have gradually removed the necessity of using the spiritual eyes and along with it unconditional looking. But we can once again use our ancient tools of divination and healing by cleaning away the accumulated detritus on our diamond facets. Our suffering, our conflicts, and doubts, are the grinding wheel that will remove the layers. The masters invite us to accept and embrace our adversity so that we can uncover our true nature, our Buddha nature, and cut away all our negative karma.

Light exists without conditions. We humans are beings of light in our divine form, and light is love and goodness. It needs the darkness and evil so our deteriorated and diluted essence can apprehend it.

So let your light flow to consume the darkness so that everyone can see with their spiritual eyes.

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Temple Chronicle: 5th February

 

higher mind

The objective of all Buddhist training, of any spiritual training, is to first become a better, happier person, and then to look after other sentient beings, developing unwavering respect and compassion in that pursuit. The majority of humans aspire to ascend and so get clarity on themselves and their place in the world. They have deliberately sought a method of getting control of their negative emotions so that they can allow their natural goodness to prevail at every moment.

According to the Buddha, we are each a stupa, a shining tower to house the essence of the Great Truth (Tathata {Skt} Shinnyo {Jpn}), but the divine can only work in us when we are empty of delusions, self-serving desires and attachments. There are numerous ways we can ‘practice’ to realize this emptiness, but there is a danger that we ‘practice’ with ego, becoming attached to the practices themselves, forcing and striving to achieve these states. The word ‘practice’ is unfortunate in many ways because it implies imperfection, apprenticeship, and an impending performance. However, immediate realisations are numerous in the same way that performances can be spontaneous and their performers unknown.

This struggling against the current of the natural, this shouldering and manipulation and grasping by religious means, is perhaps burying our true nature even more deeply. Aspirants in Japan must start from scratch in terms of their faith, so are often initially benefit seekers, believing that they can acquire protection and benefit from the deities. These expectations are ingrained in the popular Shinto practices, and the line between Shintoism and Buddhism is quite blurred. So, they often barge into zealous practice, giving it their best for a probation time, and then, if they are not happier, wealthier and wiser, they may go on to try some other faith path.  These tactics often come from fear and superstition in my experience.

It is interesting and at the same time quite shocking that human beings often long to wipe clean the slate of their beings, to erase everything so that they can be reborn, totally transformed. Many of us view our thinking as flawed so we block it, hide it away; we experience a frisson of guilt at having such thoughts and then bury them, perhaps forever. We have rendered thoughts permanent and visible as everything and everyone else is. But it is possible to just let our thoughts appear, let them surface as detritus or debris in water. We do not need to condemn ourselves for having so-called bad thoughts, in the same way as we do not applaud ourselves for having so-called good thoughts. Thoughts are epehemera.

It is impossible to wipe the slate of our human existence and our spirit entirely clean, unless we synthesize amnesia or undergo brain-washing. Instead, we can adapt and accept – making the effort to free the flow of the water of our life. We humans are essentially beings of light, formless tennants. Water is similarly formless; in its natural state it flows wherever it wants to, wherever it can. Sometimes over-zealous practice can freeze that flow, fixing our nature into a glacier. Emptiness is the free flow of our waters, which are healing and cleansing, refreshing and exuberant.

Once we did not need to make an effort to keep our divine flame alight by spiritual practice. We were truly living out our original nature, flowing freely, merging with the fluid natures of those around us in loving harmony. Then, we learned to utilize the intellectual mind to interfere in this natural process, and our blindness began, leading us to go our own egocentric way towards the secular and personal power.

We may meditate, we may reflect, we may take empowerments and initiations, we may doggedly follow the letter of our teacher’s advice, but we must not lose sight of the truth, the suchness, which is deep inside ourselves, inside our unique stupa. We must not rule out the possibility that our ancestors were divine beings who handed on their divinity through the generations to us, and that in simply being, sitting with ourselves exactly as we are, that spark will burst into joyful flame once again.

The master invites us to appreciate ourselves, our inner beauty, while at the same time making certain we are completely honest with ourselves.  What are we really feeling?  What are we imagining we are feeling?  What are we hoping we will feel?  This is the true basis and function of meditation. Before embarking on a spiritual path, we must come face to face with our deep selves, naked, so that our true nature will be revealed.

Do we truly feel the icy stab of the first pail of water poured over our own warm flesh? Or do we feel it vicariously as our Master pours it? Do we rise before dawn with our entire consciousness, 100% present, in order to watch the reality of the sun rise in the sky, the sun rising inside our sky? Is it really our true nature which takes the prayer beads now, in the centre of the moment, completing it with all our might? Is our stupa dedicated and perfectly purified in order to embody the light of the great truth?

Mindfullness engenders enlightenment.

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Temple Chronicle: 3rd February

interfering

Those who follow.  Those who are followed.  Followers or leaders, there need be no division.  What prevents us from taking the first step to being different from the conformists surrounding us?  Fear?  Prohibitive karma?  Ignorance of the millions of opportunities staring us in the face each moment?

Followers are by their very existence separated from the followed one.  They are the victims of a small act of violence which places them at a disadvantage, rendering them passive to superior instruction.  This is not the Buddha’s way, not the middle way. In adulating even a Buddha, we are being excessive, servile, insincere, because we turn away from our own Buddhahood.   By maintaining an even breath and softening our gaze on what is not real, we become one again, in one heart.  We become one with the master because we are the master.

Such purity is hobbled by a complex system of filters and refineries designed to keep us back, keep us quiet in our sprawling communities, to make way for so-called leaders. This is all enacted in the blind tyranny of the visual world.  Close your eyes and mute your memories and conditioning by embodying your breath, and you will quickly realize that such differences, such separations, are imaginary.

In each tiny interaction with others – a smile, a murmur, a passing fragrance on skin, a positive thought, a word – we leave our traces behind. We cannot see them, count them, or erase them. But our influence endures and we echo it.  Each entity of goodness sparkles and  remains, eternal, but we are blind to them because of our deluded view.

Only when each unique moon of goodness is glowing in its place will the chaos of the sighted be dispelled, and the ocean its original calm.    

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From the Field: for vertical movers

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Love has no secrets, no hidden places, no dark corners. It is pure energy, the bright light of our spirit. It depends on nothing and no one, is contingent on no conditions. Neither is it subject to the laws of cause and effect. In the same way, light is subject to no conditions because it is a universal law, and if we have crossed over the bridge of the mind out into the field of consciousness, we are the light, we become it, we are the love, we live it.

We, our spirits, are manifest as fleshy vessels exactly so that we can convey this love and light to illuminate all the darknesses in the world, and so guide others across their own bridges. Nothing more. But we become ensnared in choices dreamed up by the ego mind, and so gradually lose our connections with our divinity.

Light and love have no history. They are not influenced by man’s mere ideas, or the toys of the intellect. They have no reputation to be damaged, no pride to scratch, no measures or rubber stamps to apply. No gender or race or social class. Physical affection per se and lustful affaires de coeur are embedded in time and space, endurance and nostalgia are their taproots, but real love is deathless, innocence, the nectar of gods.

Neither light nor love needs initiations to be started, or any medium to convey them. There is no beginning to them and no end, but our bodies have the potential to make them finite, fixed, strapped to culture and custom, to ego and fear. Lie still down on the ground, and see how the mind interferes with what the body will do next! To move consciously it tries to start the move, to do by pushing, pulling, lifting, because we feel we have stopped when we lie down sheltering from gravity. But we are never still because we are pure energy, so if we let go of the finite weight and space-taking of the body, cease to interfere in it with the mind, it will move naturally, continuing on balancing the good and the bad along the tightrope of life.  Awareness in the field of consciousness means the body will take care of itself, but most of us are dead to our freely mobile child within, fixed as ‘mature adults.’

Initiations involve vows – firm wishes that we must never break – and offerings – sacrifices, renunciation – but neither light not love can perform such things, or have any need to. If our bodies are vessels for light and love and their conveyance, and nothing more, then we have nothing to offer. Both vows and offerings are worldly external reflections of the divine. They are misunderstandings, crude assertions in the name of the sacred, mere delusions. Instead, think of your physical entity as a light tower for the divine to shine from, or as a window for the universe to stream through, not a commodity to offer. When we fully occupy our true nature, we are not separate, so it is impossible to offer something to others.

To enable us to live, we borrow breath from the universe, from the atmosphere. This is our link and it is the only offering we can make when death comes and we must return what we have borrowed. The breath will keep us in contact with light and love while we are human. Each focused breath will guide us to the bridge so that we can see the field beyond, and when we are ready we will walk across. It is this bridge of the mind that makes us different to animals, but without it we are also animals. When and as we cross it we must have deep gratitude to them because they are our origin, their innocence and unconditional love belong to us. But they have stayed loyal to the Earth, never abandoning their life support as we have, never stepping into a manmade world and viewing nature as redundant, as not worthy of respect.

Humans have the route to understanding through the bridge of the mind. Animals do not, and it is irrelevant to them. But understanding does not need to be a separation, though through excessive thinking and abstraction, we have frequently made ourselves remote to it. Understanding is not a concept, something we interpret, something we synthesize. Understanding is a gravitational force, which pulls us towards the love and the light, and so makes its power more potent. It is understanding that leads us to embody love and light without constraints.

We all have the ability to listen unconditionally to the suffering of others, becoming one with them, sharing our light so they can illuminate their true nature. The gravitational pull of love and light strips away the fetters and straps of ego and conditioning, to reveal their diamond inside. Understanding grinds and polishes away the dirt of darkness and delusion so that the light can be reflected in a trillion facets of their spirit. All at once, they step into the bright light of themselves so that they too can illuminate others.

We beings of light and love have the power to reverse each other’s gravity, to dig out each other’s gems from the detritus of the lower mind. Across the bridge, all the gems reflect their light until everything is healed, the suffering drains away and the totality of innocence floods back into its place. The pugilism of mental constructs ebbs away like a mistaken attack. Time and space were mere glittery baubles or sticky fingers in the ears to block out the screams of death and pain and our disappearance after all.

Then we can see that it is fear that seems to have jostled out our native light and love, injecting darkness and distortion into our spirits in their place. Animal fear has crept up on humans, become subjectified, taken out of context, interpreted, jettisoned. We have found other more ‘civilized’ ways to survive than animals, and we are arrogant with it. Arrogance and fear are gross partners, kidnappers, highway-men. But breathing borrowed breath together in unison will blow them away.

…..an extract from my new book which is almost finished.

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.

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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.

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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