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

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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

Song: the perfect antidote to the banal

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‘There is a room around this song.’

Shocked, she wondered who thought of that? She asked who put this room in this library of other rooms to hold all the songs? It is called a ‘college of music,’ but an original college was a partnership, like the word ‘colleague’ today, not a huge institution with a whole unique ethos, surging forward, attracting fame and sponsorship, competing with other such urban necessities. Walls within walls, never still.

First everything is encased, captured. Then we must build a wall around it to hold it still, to make it stay so we can perpetuate it. Even the strings of this magical instrument ‘the piano’ that I am permitted to caress only the black and white teeth of are secreted away beneath designed wood, constructed, boxed. Must I play with these limits? Must I be held back? But wait! Questions are also constructed, their answers filed away in drawers.

Then suddenly amidst all this obsessive division, we will begin the song.

I have seen your face once or twice appearing and disappearing through doors and mirrors, your wine red lips, the hushed eyes of others with voice, the mutterings of your reputation, your talent. The light of you switches off and on again as you perambulate through the banal between songs, eating and drinking of necessity, speaking if spoken to, but saying as little as possible. You have always known that speaking the mundane is the poison, and you have found the perfect antidote in song.

You appear in this room indicating with your paper mantras – your score, as a talking point to get started, holding on to it scarcely with singing fingers. My mantras stand upright on the music desk only touched at the edges, but yours are cradled against the opaque skin of your forearms. Both are heavily marked, pencil, scratches, another kind of mantra made with numbers and symbols in Italian.

Before we start, oh how I long to get started, must there be this kind of foreplay? We both know that the poison is slowly killing us. Should we prolong the suffering for the sake of others? Should we stay to be like those who have not taken the antidote? Comfort in numbers, not to stand out for fear of being condemned as arrogant, or different?

The poison of containment behind walls and below roof tugs hopelessly at the fixed anchor of time. The tyranny of the visible, the prolongation of object permanence well into adulthood. Close the door, the drawer, the coffin lid, and now it’s gone. And the demented denial of the invisible, the inaudible, the untouchable, all the time the clammy jacket of space squeezing us tightly, holding us still until we are certain we really exist.

They do not realize that the poison of our ignorance and blindness hold us back, confine us, suffocating because we monopolize oxygen and are terrified that it will run out.

But once the learned conventions have been delivered, we can concentrate on the mirrors, polishing them up, breathing on them, rubbing, and they soon start to reflect. No decision to make about which of these miraculous antidotes to apply because they all work. The pages of scores are vague references, tacit, of no more concern so tossed aside.

We begin. We breathe as one in gratitude for the loan of just this one breath, and then the next, one at a time: gratitude and breath are key conditions that will make the antidote work.

I will start the song with breath-placed bent fingers perched on the cool ivory. Their tips are singing and they are calmed by air which convinces them that their nails should not tear away the wooden confines boxing in the gorgeous strings.

Seated beneath you, I am thrilled to be the soft underbelly of our union. My legs and feet drive the pedals, operate the dampers, quickly ‘on’ and ‘off,’ to promote the resonance or stop it summarily. I must be master of the used air in this song’s room because breath is required between strings and dampers, one for each key, an airiness which keeps the vibrations regular, oxygenation of the felt pads. Breath is also necessary for the highest treble strings, fine, taught, connected to the heavens; and the lowest bass, thick, loose, connected to earth which I never need to dampen with my foot pressure.

The convention of vocal song says that the accompanying instrument will start to set the mood. But I fail to notice the start because the antidote is already working. I am no longer conscious. ‘I’ has disappeared, leaving behind only poised fingers and forearms to weight them down. Fingertips and joints ripple and pivot, merging with you even before you let out a sound. There can be no human insubordination now.

The ethereal kiss is a delusion in the showcase of romance. The poison of possession, of fixing each appointed victim completely still with lips and arms, of pressing body weight, of the burn of skin friction and static. Crude, abstract, a stab in the dark, mirrors filthied by the poison and no antidote in sight.

Separate humans jammed together, confined, last-ditch, crammed in drawers and behind doors.

Conversely, this airy kiss of fingertips on strings is the perfect reflection of yours on lips like wild geese. Air and sound are only an apparition in the visible.

SONG

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‘There is a room around this song.’ 

Shocked, she wondered who thought of that?  She asked who put this room in this library of other rooms to hold all the songs? It is called a ‘college of music,’ but an original college was a partnership, like ‘colleague’ today, not a huge institution with a whole unique ethos, surging forward, attracting fame and sponsorship, competing with other such urban necessities.  Walls within walls, never still.

Everything is encased, captured.  Then we must build a wall around it to hold it still, to make it stay so we can perpetuate it. Even the strings of this magical instrument ‘the piano’ that I am permitted to caress only the black and white teeth of are secreted away beneath designed wood, constructed, boxed.  Must I play with these limits? Must I be held back? But wait! Questions are also constructed, their answers filed away in drawers.

Then suddenly amidst all this obsessive division, we will begin the song.  I have seen your face once or twice appearing and disappearing through doors and mirrors, your wine red lips, the hushed eyes of others with voice, the mutterings of your reputation, your talent.  The light of you switches off and on again as you perambulate through the banal between songs, eating and drinking of necessity, speaking if spoken to, but saying as little as possible. You have always known that speaking the mundane is the poison, and you have found the perfect antidote in song.

You appear in this room indicating with your paper mantras, your score, as a talking point to get started, holding on to it scarcely with singing fingers.  My mantras stand upright on the music desk only touched at the edges, but yours are cradled against the opaque skin of your forearms. Both are heavily marked, pencil, scratches, another kind of mantra made with numbers and symbols in Italian.

Before we start, oh how I long to get started, must there be this kind of foreplay?  We both know that the poison is slowly killing us. Should we prolong the suffering for the sake of others?  Should we stay to be like those who have not taken the antidote, comfort in numbers, not to stand out for fear of being condemned as arrogant, different?

The poison of containment behind walls and below roof, tugging hopelessly at the fixed anchor of time. Oh, the tyranny of the visible, the prolongation of object permanence well into adulthood.  Close the door, the drawer, the coffin lid, and now it’s gone. And the demented denial of the invisible, the inaudible, the untouchable, all the time the clammy jacket of space squeezing us tightly, holding us still until we are certain we really exist.  They do not realize that the poison of our ignorance and blindness hold us back, confine us, suffocating because we monopolize oxygen and are terrified that it will run out.

But once the learned conventions have been delivered, we can concentrate on the mirrors, polishing them up, breathing on them, rubbing, and they soon start to reflect.  No decision to make about which of these miraculous antidotes to apply because they all work. The pages of scores are vague references, tacit, of no more concern so tossed aside. We begin. We breathe as one in gratitude for the loan of just this one breath, and then the next, one at a time: gratitude and breath are key conditions that will make the antidote work.

I will start the song with breath-placed bent fingers perched on the cool ivory. Their tips are singing, and they are calmed by air which convinces them that their nails should not tear away the wooden confines boxing in the gorgeous strings.

Seated beneath you, I am thrilled to be the soft underbelly of our union.  My legs and feet drive the pedals, operate the dampers, on and off, to promote the resonance or stop it summarily.  I must be master of the used air in this song’s room because breath is required between strings and dampers, one for each key, an airiness which keeps the vibrations regular, oxygen at the felt pads. Breath is also necessary for the highest treble strings, fine, taught, connected to the heavens; and the lowest bass, thick, loose, connected to earth which I never need to dampen with my foot pressure.

The convention of vocal song says that the accompanying instrument will start to set the mood.  But I fail to notice the start because the antidote is already working. I am no longer conscious. ‘I’ has disappeared,leaving behind only poised fingers and forearms to weight them down. Fingertips and joints ripple and pivot, merging with you even before you let out a sound. There can be no human insubordination now.

The ethereal kiss is a delusion in the showcase of romance.  The poison of possession, of fixing each appointed victim completely still with lips and arms, of pressing body weight, of the burn of skin friction and static. Crude, abstract, a stab in the dark, mirrors filthied by the poison and no antidote in sight. Separate humans jammed together, confined, last-ditch, crammed in drawers and behind doors.

This airy kiss of fingertips on strings is the perfect reflection of yours on lips like wild geese.  Air and sound are only an apparition in the visible.

Temple Chronicle: 10th February

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It is only the conditioned mind, the bridge or verandah around the house as it is sometimes called, that is sustained by knowledge and cannot tolerate any other kind of sustenance. That clinging, that fastidiousness, is a massive block to freedom.  It is the spoiled child in all of us!

It is impossible to live via knowledge alone, always in its shadow, deeply longing to create it, to possess it, to make it permanent. It is only a ‘means whereby,’ a raft, a rope bridge to cross the roaring torrents threatening to overcome trapped angels. Knowledge consists of useful and fascinating patterns, but it is a digression to make its analysis and amassment our life’s work. Instead, we just need to immerse ourselves in shifting across that unstable bridge and stepping into the infinite field of awareness. Or, simply open the door of the house, and walk inside.

‘Attachment’ needs to be our major concern in our lives as humans. We live mindlessly, constantly searching for a warm place to rest then dozing off there, only to be awakened suddenly by a crisis, a demand, an accusation, a parking ticket, the wisdom of a master. But why do we crave warmth and the oblivion of sleep, intoxication and excess? Why are we desperate for a change of scene, something new, a thrill or the presence of a jester. Dozing and feeding the senses in the pleasure gardens of life is a procrastination, so as Gautauma Buddha and Jesus and all the gurus did, we must go forth now, right now, to find the middle path for ourselves blowing them a kiss as we go.

Tomorrow? Yesterday? They are figments, contrivances, thrown up by the conditioned mind. ‘Nothing is Permanent!’ we are told, and we know it in our knowledge base, but we never actually experience the raging torrents of the energy river beneath us as the masters have.

There is no logic behind a smile, a loving word, an aria, the aroma of nutmeg. Why would we want to turn them into stone libraries, and probably never look at them again? We have bred cultivated versions of flowers in order to preserve them on our human terms, but they are synthetic when compared with the native species that only botanists record the individuality of. Millions of unique seeds, blooms, dead stalks and roots eternally fluxing through infinity – this is giggling of our natural world.

We can inhabit the natural world and unlearn all the knowledge and experience of the mind world by lingering in the stillness and silence between loving encounters. What a glorious tapestry! Stepping into true nature, stillness, silence and the vibrating pulsing energy of live love.

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NB:  please be sure to let go of these words and go beyond for yourself!

Temple Chronicle: 9th February

no demons or dialogues

Our minds trick us into living constantly with negative and unnatural thoughts. All around us, there are many other negative energies exhibiting themselves in the world which overcome us with their cheap perfume. But they are unreal and regularly projected onto vulnerable beings. The state of ‘LovingKindness’ means that we gently but firmly refuse to take on these negative missiles, and with the vibration of pure love and light, bring a new awareness to the projectionist. A smile, a loving touch, can bring something new to someone who is jostled by fear. Those who project have wide staring human eyes, but they are outcasts from their own hearts, shivering in the cold. They understandably lash out at the nearest person, and likely those they are closest to.

The outcasts are not separate from us. We cannot reject them or escape from them because they are mirror images. All humanity is viewable in the cosmic mirror in one vast sky. It is only the thoughts which prize us into separate beings, arms and legs, parted lips, and certain permissions – to condemn, to adore, to decline from comment. The awakening of the entire species is our collective concern. A sincere smile is sufficient to rouse the oblivious, and eventually, the fragrance of divinity will seep through the strata.

LovingKindness is not something spiritual traditions have created or generated. It is eternal and interstellar, but we have found a way to uncover it. It is the fragrance of the flame of divinity which we can kindle with our wisdom at this time of disintegration.

Each flame is different and essential to the completed glow of full harmony and happiness.

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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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