The ancient Taoists believed (and proved) that the way to make the biggest gains in life, was to continually invest in loss. To the Western mind, this immediately seems idiotic. However, this depends on what you’re investing in losing.
Archives for February 2014
As you glide along like water, every now and then, others will inadvertently or sometimes even advertently get in your way, on account of agendas of their own, causing you, if clued in, to divert and flow around or over the obstacle, just like water.
However, when defaulting to the non-clued-in state, as we all do from time to time, on account of misguidedly falling prey to momentary lapses into the realms of vanity and self-importance, the tendency is to take their obstacle-making actions personally. In fact everyone is living out their process as best as they can, each according to his or her current stage of personal evolution – you just happen to be in the way of that momentarily.
So let yourself be the one in the way and stop being in the way by yielding like water, while continuing in your forward momentum, swerving a bit to left or right or flowing right over the top, or even underneath if an opening permits so to speak.
You can only do this when divested of all illusory notions of self-importance and so carry your spirit lightly – and you can only do that when coming from a place of power within, itself arising from breathing properly and holding your body correctly as you go.
With that in place, it’s a simple step to remember that everyone and everything is merely the Tao throwing shapes and the Tao only wants your unbridled, untrammeled and unobstructed progress, at which all illusion of obstruction somehow seems to melt and he or she who was playing the part of someone in your way is no longer doing so.
But this obviously requires getting into the right frame of mind, especially when dealing with the more unmovable of obstructive presences, for which instructions await you in the Members’ Wisdom Drop - for which you'll need to be or become a member and it's worth it.
Meantime, I wish you a flow that carries you through fresher, more verdant, more wondrous and more magnificent pastures than you’ve ever hitherto dared to expect.
Finding myself obliged to make many creative choices on a daily basis in my work, choices governing such things as which direction to go from one chapter to the next as I write a new book, or which tracks to record when I go into the studio, or whether to sing in one octave or another, or whether a design for some promotional material works best, this colour or that, I notice that aside from the inevitable rational considerations, the organ used to clinch the deal is my intuition every time.
It’s a mystery this path we tread and there’s no way of knowing where it’s going to lead us, other than at some point we’ll be dropping our bodies but then the mystery still goes on because none of us has a clue what happens after that.
There are however a few basic tenets of wisdom which if adhered to with gentle persistence, will encourage us to remain optimally poised to derive full benefit from each and every step as we take it.
You have an allotted number of breaths this lifetime.
The slower you breathe, the longer you’ll live for, providing nothing untoward happens.
Don’t take anything personally now – especially you. That way if something untoward does befall you, the odds of which are high at some point when you consider all the forces lined up against you, you maintain the integrity of your mind and are not scattered to the four winds – you are able to observe it all unfolding from a transpersonal viewpoint.
Always bear in mind the cycle of yin and yang (empty and full) is operational throughout the affairs of your life. When things seem to be going against you, rejoice because it means next they’ll be going for you.
When things are going for you, rejoice because it’s wonderful when things are going for you and rejoicing makes them carry on like that for longer.
Always rejoice just for being alive even when it gets shitty.
Relax your body. Being tense blocks the flow of life-force which causes constriction on all levels including in your external affairs.
Be aware of your spine at all times. Consider it as the repository of your strength and power. The more elongated it is, the more length the strength and power has to express itself through.
Watch everything from the centre of your brain rather than your eyeballs and forebrain – by drawing the mind further back, you instantly free yourself of the chatter of your monkey mind and can see clearly.
Remember you have a choice in every moment: enjoy being here or resist it. by choosing the former, you reinforce the flow of positive energy in your body and throughout your affairs and things start working out better for you.
Soften your chest and allow yourself to be as loving and loveable as possible at all times. The more warmth you radiate, the more you receive from others and in warmth, miracles of healing occur more freely.
Desist from attempting to trap or otherwise violate another person or people, even with your thoughts. Let everyone be free to continue on their path without in any way hindering or delaying them – no matter who, no matter what.
Always assume responsibility for your own reality. Remind yourself at every turn that you are not a victim of reality – you are creating reality.
Avoid dwelling in any of the insidious forms of self-pity as this only drains your life-force. Always be ready to exclaim, ‘I love my life’.
It’s always OK to be afraid as long as you don’t indulge in being afraid about being afraid. Be afraid, breathe and meet whatever challenges you face with the totality of yourself.
Forgive yourself for being human and flawed and desist from trying to be perfect. Accept that you are perfect exactly as you are, including all your faults, no matter how many times you appear to mess things up.
Always trust that the Tao, the Great Way is benign and will deliver you to precisely where you’re meant to be.
And know that reality is a lot more nebulous than you think. All forms change over time.
Move your body as a single unit from a point just inside your navel.
Smile with your eyes, trust yourself and keep your mind focused on the moment rather than losing yourself in future or past.
Remain aware that everything and everyone is connected in an infinite continuum and that the love you transmit returns to you multiplied.
You are no doubt already adding to that roll-call, which is apt, as it’s a potentially endless list – one fitting for a whole series of daft little books to buy people at Christmas, however if you were to take just one of the above as the central theme of your reality for an entire day and night, it would alter both the internal and external conditions of your existence radically for the better.
Which reminds me to add, life is riddled with non-resolvable contradictions and to be able to accommodate the inherent paradox in absolutely everything including every aspect of yourself without trying to change it or make it all fit neatly, is the mark of true wisdom.
As is stopping when you’ve said enough.
May the mysterious path lead you to vistas gentle, sexy and serene today and tonight.
With love, Doc
My venerable tai chi master, who I witnessed recently hurling two people in different directions simultaneously simply by twitching his nose a bit like Samantha in Bewitched, is now teaching the fundamental methods of yielding and attacking, traditionally done by moving backwards to yield to oncoming force, winding the waist up in a circle and rebounding the force at the opponent by moving forwards, in a totally different way, whereby you actually move forwards into your opponents space to yield, which seems like a total paradox and is, but holding the paradox is the crux of Taoist wisdom.
This is actually similar to the art of hsing I, (meaning, ‘intention boxing’, the oldest of the three/four Taoist martial arts), wherein, rather than retreat from an oncoming forceyou all but dive through your opponent to ward off a blow. It’s subtle but extremely powerful. And why I’m telling you now? I haven’t got a clue. I wish I knew. It was in my mind and were this a Wisdom Drop, I’d feel obliged to discern the link and spell it out but here, in the inner sanctum, where I make free to simply be, come what may, I feel it could serve us better, dear Member, if you’d indulge me in a wee undisciplined ramble to see where it takes us, assuming you’re still reading this, which I sincerely hope you are, not that I really mind talking to myself – I’m used to that and in fact quite enjoy it - it’s what buskers have to do quite often till they’ve drawn a crowd and I am nothing if not a busker – in fact, now going totally off on a tangent, back in the early-mid 80s I went through an actual brief busking phase, picking the hardest spots in London to attract a crowd and then standing defiantly strumming and singing till I eventually drew one.
I was doing it for the thrill of momentary existential displacement, the adrenalin and also to boost confidence for a relatively large and challenging DRUM-OFF SHOW I had coming off (I used to gather a few hundred people with drums and lead them from the stage making an almighty rhythmic racket and wonderful fun it was for the time). And it was from that standing in the street singing and playing my heart out and yet being totally ignored by strangers till some stopped and a crowd formed, that I got into the idea of doing it with Taoist wisdom on a daily basis – busking – and it’s a beautiful thing, at least I hope you think so. Though of course, being human and possessed of an insatiable drive to create, there are days when what’s coming out seems to be without rhyme or reason and this is evidently one of them.
So where was I? You still there?
Am I still here?
Seem to be.
I was talking about following a flow and seeing where it took us, but my, isn’t Mercury in retrograde causing communicational havoc – marvellous confusion erupting at every turn. It goes direct again on February 28th but till then, continue to batten down the hatches.
I’m in London on Saturday at the College of Psychic Studies teaching a sequence of practical psycho-energetic techniques to open the psychic channels, to which I’m looking extremely forward.
Till then and on a totally different tip, I have a myriad of projects on the go and dealing with loads of people about loads of things all the time. I really must slow down a bit as I can hardly keep up with me. Ironic for someone who as part of their living shares the keys to slowing down and relaxing more.
It all comes back to the breath eventually – breathe slowly and the tempo of life decelerates to a manageable level – breathe too slowly and it slows down all the way and you die, however, so always err on the side of moderation in all things – not too much frivolity, not too much sobriety, not too much common sense, not too much stupidity and so on and you’ll increase your chances of enjoying life today, tonight and thereafter, which after all is the main point of being here – and anyone who tells you differently, consider removing yourself from there and then, for they know not what they say. That much I know.
Of course, enjoyment includes doing all you can to promote or at least not hinder the enjoyment of others, which in turn includes doing what you can to alleviate suffering wherever you can, though not to be fooled into believing that’ll please everyone, as it won’t – some people really do prefer misery and you must bless them for even that.
Yep, it’s a loony bin alright, this madhouse of a world we’ve created for ourselves but would you really have it any other way? Well of course you would rather things were a little more harmonious, abundant, loving and altogether spiritually refined but you have to admit it’s not a bad show as it is, providing you hold fast to the centre at all times.
You simply never know where it’ll lead you next, just as I hadn’t a clue where this piece was leading me and still haven’t – I simply can’t tell. And does it matter – fundamentally? Of course not.
Meanwhile, have a listen to Lightfingers, dear Member: a members-only Pure Barefoot Meditation Pod – it explains a powerful technique for healing and doing-magic purposes and it’s a nice if slightly unstructured groove to boot.
And truly if I don’t stop now, I’ll waffle on for hours I haven’t got for waffling on in, so will bid you a brief farewell and thankyou profusely for chumming me along.
May you have a day and night of such freedom of flow, you have to restrain yourself heavily from running naked and ebullient like a crazed angel to the nearest cliff-top or the highest natural or human-made point in your region and shouting, ‘Barefoot is a brick,’ for all those far down below to hear.
Hefty headphones or subwoofer required for this deep-bass, members-only extra-trippy-so-watch-out, journey to where you can stream light from your fingertips and make miracles happen - take care while driving, cycling or operating heavy machinery - with love...
In a in a world replete with bullshit, it’s increasingly crucial to plug into the unassailable virtue (truth) of your natural self, that aspect of you that is not tainted by the world’s self-deception and has remained pure and pristine as it was created and is being constantly created even as we speak. In other words, the world of appearances, where nothing is as it seems and is generally the opposite, comprises a ubiquitous hall of mirrors and to deal with being in this hall of mirrors without falling sway to the distorted reflections all around, you must access your inner, unchanging self with enough regularity and frequency for you to feel connected to the realm of causation, the Tao and thus not get lost in or confused by the illusion.
That is, if you want clarity and peace of mind.
Otherwise, simply carry on rolling around like the silver ball in a pinball machine, bouncing off the rubber walls of consumerism and status-obsession, if you find that fulfils you.
However if clarity and peace appeal, without further ado, circle your tongue 18 times counterclockwise, then 18 times clockwise, around your outer gums, concentrating just above the root of the tongue, whence the movement originates. Simultaneously push your neck back slightly, concentrating on the sensation of subtle stretch thus achieved where the muscles of the neck meet the base of the skull. Bang in the middle of these two sensations (worked tongue-root and stretched neck muscles at base of skull), you find what the ancient Taoists poetically called your cavity of original spirit, access wherein is granted to your true nature, your natural self. Having located this area, comprising your internal control tower, ensure it’s securely anchored in physical reality by relaxing all the muscles and sinews and breathing slowly and mindfully below all the while. In this centred state, tell yourself, ‘I’m in command of my reality here,’ then determine the sort of tone/s and outcome/s you desire from the day and night ahead and that’ll be what happens.
Repeat this procedure, or at least the centre brain, relaxing and breathing part, as often as once every 20 minutes throughout the day and you’ll be surprised by how effectively it transforms your experience of the everyday.
This is all a dream being dreamed by the Tao. The Tao is waking up from this particular dream and as it does we are too and vice versa, which is why reality as we’ve known it is so blatantly in the process of deconstruction at the present time.
The outcome of this paradigm shift is something each of us is responsible for, both individually and collectively, seeing as we each create our own realities and collectively co-create collective reality, such that it exists, hence the importance of not succumbing too much now to the distracting pull of the distorted perception engendered in the hall of mirrors, by returning to centre (cavity of original spirit) with frequency and regularity in the midst of the everyday.
Return to centre now and say hello to the Tao – return to the mothership - it will refresh your circuits and trigger a day and night of beautiful surprises – my wish for you.
You ever get where you just let yourself go and stop thinking?
You ever get where you’re just following your body wherever it wants to go?
You ever get where you’re so abandoned to the moment all you are aware of is the feeling of pure excitement for being alive?
Take yourself off on a little journey of the imagination to a distant land in another dimension, where the sky is deep gold all day and goes soothing, sensual rosy blue when the sun, which always shines everyday without the risk of global warming, sets and the days are 36 hours long to afford everyone more time to have fun, which is important because here, everyone is having so much fun under the golden sun just being alive, they can hardly fit it all in.
Vital resources here replenish themselves almost faster than they get used and people, who are all rather fit and handsome to look at yet not at all vain, naturally get on well with each other, enjoying healthy competition in the spirit of helping each other discover their weak spots so they can correct any imbalance – everyone is helping each other along. There’s no confusion – all communication is clear and everyone understands everyone else. They revel in each others’ differences. People love to big each other up and help each other feel progressively better about themselves, in fact people love to love and know how to give it and receive it without blocking it or messing it up in any way.
There isn’t much work to be done because they have it set up so that things run themselves, so the main focus is on how to have more and more fun and how to generate more and more abundance, at which they are consummate experts. And there’s no robbery, violence, envy or spite and no one fights or makes wars – no one hurts each other at all. Everyone celebrates each other’s good fortune. And they don’t have bad fortune there. None of it. It’s all good. Whatever happens to everyone is good.
They don’t even have dirt – it’s all spotless and smells sweet the whole day and night. And though they don’t live forever there, they have managed to perfect living healthy and strong for 500 years or so and are then happy to die, as they really have exhausted every possible way of having fun by then – not just superficially but really profoundly too, for they are profound people, which is what gives them all such a splendid sense of humour, for there’s much of that and much laughter and mirth, even though they don’t have bad fortune to make jokes about – they simply know how to have fun and trigger almost constant belly laughs no matter what. That’s how fully enlightened they are. And there you are, just not seeing the joke, shouting, “It’s so utterly boring here!”
Obviously you wished you’d liked it because it made so much sense on paper but you simply have to admit without the grit provided by a bit of friction, it all becomes a tad too bland, no matter how profoundly perfect.
So you fire up your inflatable personal transdimensional spacecraft contraption you just happen to have stowed in your back trouser (pants) pocket and within no more than a jiffy and without so much as a wistful rearwards glance, find yourself, having traversed the space-time continuum instantaneously, back here in this madhouse, relieved with every cell in your body to feel the grit beneath your toe- and fingernails from the friction of yin fighting with yang in the world of the ten thousand things – delighted to be back in this flawed, imperfect world, ready to continue your crazy adventure upon its surface for as long as the surface lasts or you do, with renewed gusto, enthusiasm and optimism, delighted to welcome the apparently bad along with the apparently good (both are relative), because you’ve seen how terribly dull it can be with only one and realise there can be no growth without friction.
And you want growth. You want to feel yourself growing more and more in your ability to be yourself and express yourself fully in the world. You love it every time you experience a quantum leap in this respect and you just want more and more of it. You’ve also seen how after every phase of constriction and pain comes a phase of growth and expansion, so you stare constriction and pain in the eye, and say, OK, come on then, bring it on, not because you’re a mad masochist but because you know that along with them comes expansion and growth.
There’s a nice Monday Wisdom Drop for you and may it serve well.