A few years ago, back in the last century, before all the darkness started closing in on the world, I was working at a magazine called SPIRIT, a beautifully designed optimistic glossy lifestyle magazine for alternative-minded people and we had a big top style tent at Glastonbury intended to serve as a healing oasis.
Archives for April 2013
Stop resisting and say yes to the Tao – say, ¨Yes, Tao´ and then let the current of life flow through you. What, you may ask, am I talking about? Without realising it, you have, over the course of your lifetime, in response to moments of deep emotional pain, which at the time was traumatic and hence left unprocessed by the conscious mind, unconsciously given the command to various muscle groups to contract in order to provide a semi-rigid protective shield around you, specifically the muscles and soft tissue of the chest, especially in the immediate vicinity of your breastbone, beneath which beats your oft aching heart, which causes in turn chronic contraction of the solar plexus (upper abdominal) region, thus severely inhibiting your breathing and breath capacity. This then causes a reduction of energy and blood circulating above in the chest, which in turn makes the muscles surrounding the breastbone even more rigid. This constriction travels throughout the body, over time, slowly, inexorably causing the whole system to shut down and die.
And all because you wouldn´t let the Tao in. Fear of the pain was too strong and you made the wall too solid for life to be able to flow into you.
However, however strong you built that wall, providing you´re still alive, which I naturally tend to assume you must be to be reading this, though I know I should never presume anything, you could be a disincarnated spirit with internet access, though I doubt it, I bet you´re absolutely brimming with bioplasmic life and will be even more after reading this but I digress, as I was saying, providing you're alive you can reverse this vicious cycle and transform it into a virtuous one in a trice, simply by using your mind to give the command to your solar plexus to let go and allow the breath to start flowing without constriction or unconscious inhibition. This in turn enables more energy and blood to flow in the chest, thus encouraging you to relax the muscles and soft tissue there, which in turn makes you feel warmer, less fearful and so more confident to be kindly disposed towards others, which though it will inevitably lead to occasional moments of pain, as all interactions inevitably do at some point - pain is only pain - it will also lead to a far greater proportion of pleasure arising from moments of love shared with others – and that´s well worth any moments of pain, for love shared is the only true currency in life. When you die, the only thing you´ll be sure of leaving behind and possibly even taking with you, is the essence of all the love you shared. That´s the only thing that has any real, lasting value in this life. Not necessarily romantic love, in fact I wasn´t talking about that at all but unconditional, a priori, preatomic transpersonal love for life, expressed between two or more people on meeting, in the body language and sound of the voice even more than in word or deed.
Acceptance and breathing are all that´s required to turn any moment into a launchpad for a thousand miracles or quantum instances of healing.
Let life, let the Tao, the Great Mother Of All Life, in fully now, let it in to all your relationships, all your syndromes, all your complexes, all your problems, all your glitches, all your dynamics, all your situations, all your affairs, all your hopes, all your stories, all your perceived failures and all your glories: Let it in and watch how, without you knowing anything more than that you expect the best result for all concerned, this triggers a veritable stream of unexpected miracles, quantum events of healing, making whole and joining up all the disparate bits of your psyche and your life including all your relationships, that it may all roll henceforth with utter smoothness (relatively speaking).
And if after making the intellectually mildly exacting effort of following that series of somewhat complex sentence structures, rife with commas and dashes at every turn, you´re still wondering what the deuce I´m on about, it all boils down to this: relax your body and let life in, open your heart and let the love flow now and miracles will happen in your life.
Another day (and night), another angle on the Tao.
May you have a day and night of unparalleled clarity and acuity of mind, warmth of heart and strength of loins, during which you are surprised and delighted by a whole run of unexpected turns of event for the far better you weren´t counting on at all.
With love, Doc
Stop met tegenstribbelen en zeg 'ja' tegen het leven. Zeg ‘ja Dao’ en sta het leven toe door je heen te stromen. Waar ik het over heb? Zonder het te beseffen heb je in de loop van je leven als reactie op momenten van diepe emotionele pijn, die op dat moment traumatisch waren en daarom niet verwerkt zijn door je rationele brein, onbewust verschillende spiergroepen opdracht gegeven zich samen te trekken om op die manier een soort beschermend schild rond jezelf te creëren en dan moet je vooral denken aan de spieren en het weefsel van je borst, met name in de buurt van je borstbeen waarachter je zo vaak gepijnigde hart klopt, en als reactie daarop trekt ook je solar plexus samen (bovenste deel van je buik) waardoor je ademhaling en je longcapaciteit belemmerd worden. Dat zorgt er vervolgens voor dat je weinig energie hebt en dat er weinig bloed circuleert in het bovenste deel van je borst, waardoor de spieren rond je borstbeen nog strakker aangespannen raken. In de loop van de tijd breidt deze verkramping zich langzaam uit door je hele lichaam, waardoor het systeem zichzelf uiteindelijk uitschakelt en afsterft.
En dat alleen maar omdat je het leven, de Dao, niet binnen laat. Uit angst voor de pijn heb je de muur zo sterk gemaakt dat het leven niet meer door je heen kan stromen.
Maar hoe sterk die muur ook is, je kunt deze vicieuze cirkel direct doorbreken, simpelweg door je verstand te gebruiken en je solar plexus de opdracht te geven zich te ontspannen zodat je ademhaling ongehinderd en vrij van onbewuste belemmeringen weer begint te stromen. Hierdoor krijg je meer bloed en energie in je borst waardoor de spieren en je weefsel zich verder ontspannen, het effect ervan is dat je je warmer voelt, minder angstig en anderen met meer vertrouwen tegemoet treedt, en hoewel dat onvermijdelijk pijnlijke momenten met zich meebrengt - want dat doen alle vormen van interactie nu eenmaal en wat dan nog want pijn is alleen maar pijn - leidt het vooral tot heel veel plezier en warme en liefdevolle momenten die je deelt met anderen en dat maakt een beetje pijn heel erg de moeite waard, want gedeeld plezier en gedeelde liefde, daar draait het om in het leven.
De essentie van alle liefde die je gedeeld hebt, is het enige waardevolle dat je achterlaat als je sterft - en wie weet kun je het zelfs meenemen. Dat is het enige dat in dit leven een blijvende waarde heeft. En dan bedoel ik niet de romantische liefde -daar had ik het zelfs helemaal niet over- maar de onvoorwaardelijke transpersoonlijke liefde voor het leven die bestaat tussen twee of meer mensen als ze elkaar ontmoeten, en dan zit het-em misschien nog wel meer de lichaamstaal en de klank van hun stemmen dan de woorden en de daden.
Acceptatie en ademhaling zijn alles wat je nodig hebt om willekeurig welk moment te transformeren in een vruchtbare bodem voor een oneindige reeks wonderen en quantum-genezingen.
Laat het leven -de Dao, de Grootmoeder van al het leven- binnen, laat haar toe in al je relaties, al je syndromen, al je complexen, al je problemen, al je zaken, al je verhalen, al je hoop, al je mislukkingen en al je successen. Laat haar binnen in iedere situatie en zie hoe -zonder dat je iets anders hoeft te doen dan het allerbeste te verwachten voor iedereen die erbij betrokken is- dit leidt tot een stroom van onverwachte wonderen en quantum-genezingen waardoor je leven en je relaties zich ongekend soepel ontwikkelen (relatief gesproken dan).
En als je je na de intellectuele inspanning van het lezen van deze ietwat ingewikkelde zinnen nog steeds afvraagt waar ik naar toe wil, het komt hierop neer: ontspan je lichaam en laat het leven binnen, open je hart en laat de liefde stromen dan gebeuren er zeker wonderbaarlijke dingen in je leven.
Een andere dag, een andere kijk op de Dao.
Ik wens je een dag met een ongeëvenaard heldere geest, een van warmte overvloeiend hart en oneindig veel kracht die je verrast en verrukt met een lange reeks onverwachte wendingen waardoor het allemaal heel veel beter wordt dan je in je stoutste dromen durfde te verwachten.
With love, Doc
(Vertaling Peter Veen - www.qitalks.nl)
It´s wheel of fortune time. I keep a deck of worn Tarot cards by my laptop most of the time and use them a bit like worry beads, or as psychic CCTV, occasionally flicking through them and seeing which card pops out. Recently the wheel of fortune has been popping out with notable regularity.
This mad hatter’s tea party of ours has many fine attributes, the opportunity for global consciousness-proliferation afforded by this internet being just one example, the possibilities for adventure it offers being another, the opportunity it provides for sharing and experiencing the miracle of love being another and the chance it gives us to see and reach into the very mechanics of existence and thus glimpse the Tao itself, being yet another, but one attribute there seems to be a dearth of is patience.
It would be highly hypocritical of me to even intimate I’ve in any way managed to develop patience in the sense of mastering riding the flow of linear time, which relative to the instant nature of thought and desire sometimes feels extremely slow but I have found that by developing the practice of meditation in the midst of the action, I’m gradually learning to access more of it (patience) and therefore find myself riding the flow with progressively more ease, or rather with slightly less stress and so am feeling the need to share what I can with you, as I believe if we could collectively manifest more patience it would have hugely beneficial effects for the whole world.
What makes it hard waiting around for things to shift or become clear before they’re ready to, is the uprush of feelings within. If it weren’t for the feelings, the whole game would be so much simpler. However one of the main reasons we came here in the first place and got involved in all this madness rather than remaining graciously in the undifferentiated state out there in the ether somewhere, was to be able to feel things. Feeling things is what shows you you’re alive. Which is fine when the feelings are mostly pleasant but when they’re nasty or uncomfortable it’s not so fine and we instantly grow impatient for change.
However this tendency to change or run away from the feelings only allays having to deal with the pain, pushes it away for a moment but then it just creeps round from behind and bangs you on the back of the head when you aren’t looking.
When you break it down, the patience required for waiting for things to turn out rather than trying to force an instant resolution, consists in being willing to exercise the courage to feel what you’re feeling without trying to change it.
But there’s no benefit in doing so if you’re not properly poised internally to accommodate it, as it will merely knock you clean over and scatter your parts to the four directions, which you know, hence why the tendency to avoid the feelings instead.
However if you were able to accommodate whatever you were feeling in a state of equipoise, so your mind remained clear and your body calm, you would be surprised by how quickly the pain and discomfort dissipated and how readily the mind righted itself, enabling you to continue on your path unscathed, freer of burden and lighter of spirit.
There is a simple, powerful breathing and visualisation technique from Taoism, which if practiced in the midst of a powerful feelings uprush will steady you instantly and enable you to accommodate even the most painful, radical existential unrest.
Running round the inside of your waist is the only energy channel that traverses the body – all the others go up and down its length. It’s called the belt channel and its main overall function is to regulate and balance between the energy in the upper part of the body and the energy in the lower part.
Because feelings are essentially energy of one kind or another, activating an extra flow of chi in the belt channel by use of the mind and the breath, instantly restores psychoemotional balance during times the feelings are up so strong you lose your composure and ability to see straight.
If this was a book I’d have unpacked that a bit more but take it as empirical for now and try the following out even if your feelings are mellow, as it’s a brilliant regulator in general and as well as the psychoemotional aspect helps regulate all kinds of things including hormonal balance, menstrual cycles, sexual drive and body temperature.
As you inhale, imagine you’re feeling the breath enter between the two vertebrae of your spine at waist level, divide in two, each stream circling the waist, one to the left, one to the right, to meet in your navel.
Then exhale and feel the stream move back in a straight line to the spine ready to start another cycle.
Repeat this nine times and, as well as enjoying the pleasant, reassuring sensation it affords you in the belly and lower back region, check the effect it has on your mood, levels of intensity of feeling in the upper belly and chest and levels of mental clarity.
It helps if while doing so, you lengthen your spine, relax your muscles, draw your mind and vantage point backwards from your eyes into your centre brain between your ears and breathe so that on exhaling you pull your belly muscles back towards your spine to push out the air and on inhaling you allow your belly to swell like a sponge filling up.
What you’ll probably notice is if in the throes of a painful feelings attack, after three breath cycles, the feelings will no longer be leaking all through your upper body and brain but will confine themselves to the upper belly and chest, then after three or so breath cycles more, it will have begun to dissipate, then after three more cycles, you’ll have returned to a state of relative harmony. You’ll also probably notice a feeling of strength, both physical and psychic, settling around your middle like a girdle of support and along with that you may also notice your mind seeing things more clearly and your mood generally uplifted.
But don’t let me put thoughts in your mind. Try it and decide for yourself.
Me I’m going out to do some tai chi.
Have a beautiful day and night.
With love, Doc
This is a good week for exploring your urges and following where they lead you with less constraint exerted by your rational mind, trusting that your Tao will lead you precisely wherever you’re meant to be and with whomever you’re meant to be in this way.
If you’re in a relationship, this will be a week of coming closer to each other, of removing a few layers of subterfuge and growing in authenticity in your dialogue. If you’re not in a relationship, this is a good week to expect the Tao to send you someone compatible. However these are just the superficial expressions of what will occur internally.
This week portends a greater coming together with yourself, a deepened capacity for being yourself and accepting yourself as you are, as opposed to fighting with yourself for not being who you think you should be.
Allow the yin, the soft, the receptive to be predominant and the yang, the forceful, active principle to serve the yin. In a relationship, this will express itself by the man or more yang partner being willing to surrender to the yin or more female partner.
By doing so, success will come in all aspects of your life, not just the personal.
The yin energy corresponds to the material plane. The yang to the spiritual. The friction and fusion occurring as a result of their eternal dance provides the stimulus required to produce the spectacle we perceive as reality. Observing this stimulus and how it informs you and those around you, observing the play of opposites occurring in all people, including yourself, offers a key to handling all your exchanges with others wisely, compassionately and successfully.
Coming from a place of offering service rather than serving your own myth, is the way to induce the Tao to work to your advantage now.
With love, Barefoot
Sunday 28 April 2013
One of the wisest people I know, as well as one of the strongest and most grounded, not that it’s a contest, nor is there any validity in comparing people, as we’re all living out our own evolutionary processes in our own time - but still - is Russell The Spiritual Firefighter, a fireman, funnily enough, who as well as putting out fires and rescuing people has dedicated his life to helping people, often way beyond the call of duty in the most generous-hearted, selfless and untiring way I’ve personally ever witnessed. He trained in Buddhism with the Dalai Lama’s personal advisor up in the Himalayas, which was where I met him 15 years ago and we’ve been fast friends ever since. He’s a man of utmost compassion and it’s the authentic variety, developed over years of working in the emergency services on the front line of human suffering. I’m telling you this because I’m about to share what I consider to be one of his most important healing mantras with you, as it’s one I use often myself whenever my dealings with others threaten to overwhelm me with their complexity, as dealings with others inevitably tend to do occasionally but before I do, I feel the need to set it in context, or you might get the wrong end of the stick. This mantra has to be repeated with full respect and compassion for all sentient beings, no matter how much aggravation their words or deeds may threaten to cause you, so always with a light-hearted, well-humoured attitude. Sometimes when I’m in the thick of it, he seems to sense it from afar and sends it to me by SMS to remind me, as indeed he just did, hence this piece. It’s short, punchy, succinct and fun to say. You take a breath, relax, think of the world with love and a smile and say, ‘fuck ‘em all’.
Stop getting hung up on what others think of you, is what he’s saying. You’ll never please all the people all the time so accept that and stop trying – let go of worrying about it and get on with what you have to do – it’s silly to behave otherwise.
And providing the mix of what you contribute to the world on a daily basis in energy, thought, word and deed is at least 51% life-affirming, hence positive and healing in its effect, however subtly, as opposed to 51% life-negating, hence negative and destructive in its effect, however subtly, the Tao in the shape of the world, will always look after you in return, protect you from harm and bring you everything you need, as and when you need it.
And all that is contained in this simple mantra, which of course has a hidden subtext, namely, ‘love ‘em all’, which as a mantra itself works just as powerfully but usually more so after a round or two of fuck ‘em all – at least that’s how I experience it.
It contains the seed of one huge aspect of Taoism and following the Tao: being yourself, rather than being what you expect, imagine, or believe other people expect you to be, no matter who they are. What and who you are, in other words, is your business, not theirs’, providing you’re not violating them in any way, so fuck ‘em all.
Go on, have a go – it’ll make you feel a lot lighter of the burden of attempting to keep everyone happy.
May your light shine so brightly till next we talk, you light up the world for hundreds of miles all around.
With love, Doc
The very idea is a blatant example of the either-or model underlying the old paradigm now in the painful process of crumbling to make way for the new paradigm, which is based on a both-this-and-that model. One doesn't preclude the other, just as good doesn't preclude bad, or yang preclude yin.
I have been struck most this time in London, not with the fleeting glamour and glitz assailing my eyes, not that it isn’t sparkly enough, nor with the with the depth and intensity of the work I'm doing here, nor even with the stress and subsequent relief involved with one thing and another, but with this guy laying face down in the centre of town having a snooze amongst the crowd.
It’s easy to imagine falling out of the race, falling foul of the game, becoming disenchanted or disaffected enough to quit and let the pavement and a pile of discarded cardboard be your bed, such a ferocious race is it, so I blessed this guy as I passed and stepped back to take a photo, or rather in reverse order, feeling I owed him a blessing if I was to borrow his soul for a photo but I did so because I wondered if it might do some magic for him, perhaps inject him with the requisite levels of fairy dust to possibly re-motivate him, were he to appear here like this on these somewhat spiritually imbued pages – or perhaps he’s got the right idea – eschew comfort, privacy, dignity and safety and throw yourself at the mercy of the elements and passers by.
Myself, I’m too hooked, too plugged in to the collective to let go that much, though there are times, when I elect to go homeless for a while, though it's a relatively privileged version of homelessness, consisting of playing the role of angel and turning up at friend’s houses, spread variously around the planet all the way from the holy hills of North London, to Monaco, to Majorca, to Ibiza, to the Middle East, to France, to Thailand and all the way to India, doing the healing angel routine, help to sort out their lives and then move on when the job is done. I became so relaxed about blowing with the wind at one stage, I'd find myself somewhere, could be anywhere – drinking a coffee with some complete stranger or other and realising suddenly I have nowhere to sleep that night and not even giving a fuck – it is delightful liberation from the everyday. I've lived with no credit cards and hardly had any cash. I've healed people as I've gone and paid my way like that. And every now and then, I’ve blown into London, made a few calls to some of my rich and famous patients, who were always up for a bit of high price attention, done a couple of days of healing, made a couple of grand in cash and taken the next plane out to wherever my heart fancied. All very barefoot doctor in all respects – I never used a hotel in all that time.
Eventually though I simply have to bite the bullet and reintegrate, procure myself some credit cards and get back in the game. It was right after the first time, homeless for nine months, that the whole Barefoot Doctor circus took off and my life was never the same again. You have to let go to get what you want.
But this guy has let go so much, I wonder if he can come back, hence why I wanted to see if we could do some magic by sending him some chi.
The thing is you will eventually get what you want but in itself it won’t fulfil you or make you particularly happy. You have to do that for yourself regardless of whether you think you’ve got what you want yet or not.
As it happens you already have precisely what you want – this is it. And if you don’t like it you can always change it. But fundamentally it won’t make any difference to your existential state. The only thing that can do that, the only thing that can bring you the peace you crave and erroneously believe you’ll attain by achieving your goals, is relaxing into the here and now, letting go of the tension in your muscles, letting go of your breath, breathing freely and fluently, looking around at your reality as it’s presenting itself this moment and declaring, ‘I am the king (or queen) of no matter what,’ and really immersing yourself in that sovereign-like state.
That way you settle into enjoying your blessings, however paltry or thin on the ground they feel right now and by enjoying them, they grow, just like a plant when you water it and give it sunlight.
May you feel so like the king (or queen) of no matter what, you feel like you’re walking on a soft cushion of gold leaf wherever you do roam – or something like that.
With love, Doc