Slow your breath down and make it feel silken and smooth.
Archives for November 2012
There is much wisdom in being an idiot and I should know. I mean idiot in the sense of the archetypal Fool, he or she, who is without guile or contrivance, free of artifice, airs and graces, unencumbered by the burden of self-importance, unfettered by restrictive social conditioning, unclouded by false beliefs, clear of prejudice and willing to greet all comers and all eventualities with perfect equanimity and magnanimity, having fully transcended the realm of preferences, knowing that every coin has two sides, every cloud has a silver lining and every silver lining has a cloud, thus fully awake to the inherent yin-and-yang dynamic underpinning the mechanics of the universe and everything that moves within it, for in this state and only in this state, can you be said to be living in heaven on earth, only in this state can you be said to be inhabiting hyper-reality and only when inhabiting hyper-reality are you fully able to manifest whatever reality, or appearance of mundane reality you want, so if you want to attain to that state, begin at once by allowing your whole body to shudder like a horse and as it does, imagine yourself shaking yourself free of the burden of your own self-importance, releasing entirely the weight of the myth you’ve been carrying around about who you are and what the world is and instead allowing yourself to be totally comfortable with not knowing who you are or what the world is, thus free of all prejudice and, in this state, encouraging a vision to form of itself in the frontal aspect of your brain, in which you see yourself living exactly the kind of life you want to be living, complete with all physical and material resources required to facilitate it, letting yourself fully feel what it’s like being in the body of such a person and finally reminding yourself that person is none other than you, upon which you are free, in your own time, to almost stop reading this implausibly long, yet not so un-deftly constructed sentence and return gently to the everyday state, feeling subtly transfigured and transformed, as well as ready and raring to go with the next step of your fabulous adventure, one I wish for you to be so splendid today, tonight and through the weekend, you have to physically restrain yourself from running naked and ebullient to the highest natural or human-made point in your district and shouting, ‘Barefoot is a brick,’ for all the world to hear.
When your vision is directed too much towards the ground, you only see the problems – your mind gets in the way of your spontaneous creativity, in whichever field you’re choosing to express it at the time. Whereas when your vision is trained mostly upwards and outwards, your mind more naturally gives way to the higher impulses coming through, whence originates the creativity that gives your life its adventuresome quality, without which you might as well give up and lose yourself in the depressing realm of daytime TV.
To make things look up, in other words, look up. On the other hand, it’s also equally valid to spend some time shuffling along watching the pavement. I do it myself occasionally, especially at the nadir of a down phase but the trick is not to get caught in that posture habitually. There is a direct correlate between physical posture and state of mind, as you know and the most obvious one is that when your head-top feels suspended so the spine is elongated and upright, your spirit will lift likewise and it’s actually much harder to do this when you’re looking down. So look up and life will look up.
That seems to be my overriding message of the day (and night) – look up. The remarkable thing is how still it all feels, when all the while we’re hurtling through space at 19 miles per second, spinning on our axis at 1,000 miles per hour and being bombarded by quarks and neutrinos at ridiculous speeds from all quarters. You’d never know it though, would you?
Talking of quarters takes my mind to Barcelona on a cloudy afternoon for some reason – when I was residing in the wilds of Catalunya, I would go there occasionally to get an urban energy injection when I was missing the London buzz but it never really hit the spot – it just compounded the melancholy and made me miss London even more – you don’t notice it at first but it’s very melancholic in Barcelona and Catalunya in general, that’s why Dali was so nuts – the melancholia gets to you there. That wasn’t why I came back, mind you – I’m good with melancholia and was handling it with surprising aplomb – I came back because the Tao was pulling me here and glad that it has because my love affair with London has been ongoing. What a place and what a face – you know, ever since I was a wee child, I’ve felt the presence of a benign female spirit here, a goddess, presiding over the city and whenever I wanted something to happen here for me, whenever I wanted the city to yield me various results, I would talk to her about it and she’d invariably deliver.
The Romans, when in occupation, many centuries ago now, considered London to be a city ruled over by the goddess, Isis. I never knew that as a child but can totally see it now. Ultimately Isis is the Tao, as are we all and the Tao is a maternal force, nurturing us and sustaining us as we wend our ways. However there’s something particular about the London aspect of the Tao and I wonder if it might not be a bad thing to come to London from wherever you are in the world to talk with her. Imagine that – turning London into a pilgrimage centre. I guess Trafalgar Square would be the epicentre, so I have included an image above taken there when I broke the Guinness Book of Records for teaching tai chi to the largest crowd of people at once, to illustrate how paying homage to Isis might look from the foot of Nelson’s Column, though myself I often wander down to the river and stand on the steps of Cleopatra’s Needle, which seems to have some special telluric power beneath it. I throw my past into the water along with any patterns that might be snagging me and then imbibe the new, ready to start the next leg of the journey. The Romans actually called the Thames, ‘Thamisis,’ which I believe meant flowing Isis – the stretch of it that runs through Oxford is in fact still called the Isis. Why all this talk of Isis, I don’t know. She must be coming through today. I’ll let you know if I channel anything good.
Meanwhile, have a wild Wednesday.
With the global economy having joined the global ecology on the slippery slopes now, heralding inevitable transformation in the underlying warp and weft of all aspects of life, it’s likely, unless burying your head deep in the sand, you’ll be occasionally finding yourself feeling somewhat existentially insecure and wondering about the future, in terms of how it will turn out and even how much of it there might be left. At such times of insecurity it is paramount to focus attention on developing a secure internal base from which to experience the accelerating changes in the external world, that you might grow in sanity rather than the opposite, for no matter how turbulent the outside, if the inside is stable, you are able to be more clear-minded, confident, unflappable and therefore more able to turn whatever happens, or fails to happen, in any one moment, to your advantage.
One of the surest ways to build a firm internal base is via meditation on a daily basis.
The Taoist style I’ve been interpreting and developing into something simple and straightforward enough for everyday use by anyone at any time and which I espouse in a near endless gush on a pretty much daily basis for your existential delectation and delight, requires no special equipment or costume (incense, cushions, rugs, throws, blankets, shawls, hats, false ears, robes, baggy pants, corsets, candles, dimmer switches etc), can be done with eyes open while in the midst of activity and needs only a short while spent – just five minutes will do the trick – as long as it’s done on a daily basis, which isn’t as onerous as it may seem, even to the laziest dilettante, as after only a few days of practice, it soon becomes apparent that it makes you feel so good and stable, in a subtle yet radical way, the whole day long, subsequent to practice, it becomes addictive, hence desirable, rather than a chore.
There are a few aspects to attaining a basic grasp of the fundaments, the most powerful of which is the breathing. Start the process now by concentrating on your breathing, gradually causing it to decelerate measurably, making the in- and out-breaths of equal duration, softening the quality until it feels as if you’re reeling silk from a cocoon, allowing the belly to swell as the breath comes in and flatten as the breath goes out again and counting nine breaths before drawing your awareness back to the external world.
This will almost instantly slow your mind down, increase focusing power and bring peace and calm to every cell in your body.
Gradually you train yourself to remain in meditation the whole day and night long, as you work, rest and play, by which time you can be said to be a bit of a master (or mistress).
May you be fully in command of yourself today and tonight and may the results be profoundly pleasing to the spirits.
In respect of the Wisdom Drop topic of the day – pure love and how to engender it as a state in which to sail through the everyday world as you go about your business with others, thereby instituting a personal force-field magnetic enough to attract even gods and spirits bearing great gifts, let alone mere mortals, simply by learning to relax your chest fully at all times, it seems funny me telling you how to relax your chest, seeing as it’s your chest but if you’ll allow me in to such an intimate area of your person, I might be able to proffer a tip or two to accentuate the process somewhat, the effects of which could be well to your liking and it goes like this:
When the solar plexus is tense, the whole thoracic cavity tightens up, constricting the flow of blood, energy and love. Start by grabbing the lowermost ribs, one side in each hand and gently yet firmly prizing them apart to afford yourself maximum lateral expansion – hold for a few seconds, continuing to breathe freely all the while and release.
Tightening of the thorax causes the pectoral muscles to contract. Press with thumbs on the fleshiest part of the upper chest muscles directly in line with the bottom of your earlobes (when facing straight ahead) – use approximately 4 ounces (110 grams) and hold for a few seconds, breathing freely and allowing your ribcage to drop.
A tight thorax causes contraction in the small muscles all around the breastbone.
Use fists to play a gentle (4 ounces of pressure) Tarzan/Jane style drum roll on the lower part of the breastbone for a few seconds.
Chest tension causes the breastbone to cave in, in turn dampening the spirits.
Keep your neck and ribcage still and relaxed, drop your shoulders and raise your breastbone towards your chin and remain like that as you continue about your business.
You’ll notice, if you followed those steps carefully, an increase of circulation and relaxation or vice versa, throughout the chest and warm, loving feeling spreading all about.
Allow this feeling to radiate around your person as you work, rest and play – let it touch (bless) anyone you encounter or even think about – and you’ll enjoy an entirely different and much expanded reality today and tonight, which is precisely what I wish you, dear Member: a day and night of such expanded reality, you realise everything in the universe is yours to enjoy, without exception.
So here we all are, mostly rushing about on the surface of the planet, as if its heliocentric orbital speed of 66,000 mph wasn’t fast enough for us, all busily focussed on doing our chores, fulfilling our obligations, making our moves and generally working towards making dreams come true and with all that action is easy to lose perspective and forget where the real treasure lies.
When you eventually drop your body so you can get finally off the planet, the only thing you take with you, if anything is taken at all, is the love you’ve shared with others in all its various forms: those moments of pure soul connection with others, that happened for no other reason than love wanting to express itself – that’s what you take with you, if anything – that’s what gives your life meaning – not how efficiently you get through all your tasks, nor how well you manage to organise your physical existence, though at times, when caught up in the cut and thrust of the everyday, the very notion seems a bit wet, even though it’s not – to the contrary, acknowledging and accepting that love is the most precious jewel in existence and then living from that stance, is the boldest move you can make. And the truly beautiful, magical thing about it, is that once you do, the details of your material existence have a habit of sorting themselves out in an implausibly elegant way – far more so than when you spend your entire focus on them. It’s magic and I don’t really know how it works, other than by emanating a field of pure love around yourself, you attract even gods and spirits bearing great gifts, let alone mere mortals.
The key to realising this hallowed, yet eminently attainable state, while engaged in the everyday world, lies in simply relaxing the heart (chest region) at all times, especially around others, no matter who they are, something I’ll be talking about in more depth, should you be keen to experiment, in today’s Members Wisdom Drop.
Meantime, may you be blessed with waves of pure love moving freely and with full force up and down the connection between you and the world today and may the events triggered thrill you to the bone.
With love, BD
Each moment you’re free to create the appearance of reality anew and Mondays are as good a time as any to do so. By choosing a different skin for your window on the world, a different prism through which to order the appearance of things, you cause the appearance of things to alter. When I mention appearances in this context, I’m referring to the deepest level of appearance, based on the notion that reality itself, the Tao or realm of causation, is unchanging even though it is constantly generating and only its effects are visible and that these effects (the world you perceive, or as the ancient Taoists called it, the world of the ten thousand things) are merely appearances, which change shape and position according to how you perceive them. This is the basis of magic in the true sense. For instance, choose to see the world as a place of wonder and opportunity, a warm, nurturing place that is only here to facilitate your healthy growth and perfect happiness and let that choice resonate soundly throughout your person and within but a wee while, the appearance of reality and, hence the way you experience it, will alter to match that.
One way to get your choice to resonate is to repeat it aloud or under your breath, as appropriate, in affirmation form and to link doing so with various habitual actions performed during the course of a typical day or night. So, for example, if say your choice was as above (but obviously make your own choices here), before taking a shower you’d say it, as you left the house you’d say it again, as you entered the workplace, you’d say it again and so on and of course, you’d say it as an antidote any time the words or actions of other people, and/or the thoughts in your own mind, caused a flurry of tension within, so that by the time you got to bed, your unconscious mind would be in no doubt what your choice was. Your choice would have resonated all the way to your bones and you would be that choice and by and by the external world would have reshaped itself to reflect that.
May this serve you well and may your world be full of wonder and opportunity today and tonight.
With love, Doc
So it sit here. I empty my mind. I think of you and all the members. I hold a copy of the I Ching up in front of me. I close my eyes. I ask the Tao or whatever unseen consciousness is guiding this whole show, what’s its wisdom for us all for the week. Then I flick the pages by running the tip of my thumb over them until I feel my motion stayed and open the book. It opens at hexagram 49 – Evolution.