Do, Be, Do, Be, Do

beingIn the Quantum Activist, we are told that we influence each other through entering into the quantum field with thought and intention.  It is suggested to us that if we want to harness this intentionality, we need to be moving through a state of “Do Be Do Be Do”, referring to moving into a state of being and doing – acting from our intentionality, then returning to conscious awareness, and repeat as necessary.  This is as effective if we are working towards planetary harmony, or individual expansion.

If some of us could practice do good, be good, practice do-be-do-be-do regularly, be with God some of the time, and be in the ego some of the time, and let the dance generate creative acts of transformation, then I think we will hit a certain threshold and will be able to achieve very quickly the power of downward causation in unprecedented numbers.  This is a threshold that will carry us towards making that fundamental step that these changes will take hold in all of humanity, not just a few of us.” – Quantum Activist

There was a time I would have pulled towards being a Quantum Activist.  I would have believed it was my moral responsibility to try to create a better world.  We are living in a time of greater consciousness, I would have explained, and we must all harness ourselves for the good of the planet.  The very word “activist” would have been an apt description of how I lived my life.  I was very active.  I did a lot. I moved through out my day from one set of “doings” to the next.  At times, I would become overwhelmed by how much there was to do, whether in my life or in the world, and I would become anxious about it. I would feel that I was not doing enough.  I had to do more, be more.  I could spiral into believing that I had to go get everything on my bucket list done in order to feel that my life had been spent wisely.

In tantra, we are presented with a different view.  The idea of assigning meaning or significance to things moves us away from the state of being, moves us away from consciousness.  The divine is in all things.  We are one with all things.  And that includes the things we are labeling as good or bad.  Suffering arises from identifying with the experience of good or bad, instead of recognizing it as energy vibration.  The divine is present in all things, accessible to us in every moment of experience.

shiva shaktiI am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with doing. I am saying that for me, doing was a way of masking myself.  What I did was driven by a state of obligation, “should”.  A belief that if you can do something to help, you should.  If you see suffering, you have to do something about it.  It created separation between me and the divine consciousness.

In tantra, and in many metaphysical philosophies, we recognize that we do not experience the world as it is – we experience the world asGreen_cars we are.  Where our attention goes, energy flows.  This is beautifully demonstrated in one of the exercises of E squared.  The exercise is meant to show that all possibilities exist in our field of reality, but that we attend to only those that we consider significant or that align with what we believe.  We are told to go “create” a certain color car, or a unique object, and then see how they show up in experience.  I created green cars, which I chose because there are a lot of black, white and beige cars out there (I believe, so that is what I see). I didn’t expect to see green cars very often.  And within a 20 minute drive, I saw 12!  Did I suddenly “create” green cars, the way I create cookies from batter? Instead I aligned myself with the possibility of green cars, and saw that.

“Quantum physics is the physics of possibilities; possibilities proliferate when we sit quietly in the ‘be’ mode, doing nothing.  Occasionally, we choose from among the possibilities precipitating an action, a ‘do’ mode.” – Quantum Activist

The balancing act becomes the harmony in being and doing.  Attending as much to being as to doing.  In our culture, we value doing.  What are you doing tonight? What have you been up to? What is your action plan? Have you set your goals? What are you creating?  We spend very little time understanding ourselves from a state of being.  And we have fewer social conventions that bring attention to that state of being.  And so, when we are presented with pain in our experience, it is natural we move to action.  What must I do to end thisuniverse suffering of mine? And we make an external change. Tantra suggests that the divine wants to experience all things through you, so the feeling you have is part of that divine experience. The practice of not identifying with the story that causes  the pain allows us to witness the energy of the emotion, and move that energy through us.  The movement of energy and the clearing of the path create beautifully powerful moments of experience.  It also helps prevent manifesting from the same blocked energy pattern over and over again.

While many flock to books like The Secret, The Magic, or E squared to learn what they can do to feel better, the truth of the spiritual path is captured for me in Do Be Do Be Do.  The spiritual path is not about feeling good all the time.  It is about moving between being in consciousness, and doing what arises from being in flow with the energy of life.

Emotion, Ego and Energy Flow

paraaThere are so many beautiful truths in Tantric philosophy.  Tantra reminds us that all things are energy, and that our primary work is energy work. “Our thoughts, emotions, sex and spirit all exist in our body as different frequencies of energy. In Tantric practice we work consciously with these different energies, opening and clearing their flow pathways.” – Ozantra  One of the great reliefs in the practice of tantra is appreciating that the goal of tantra is not total equanimity.  Tantra is meant to enrichen life, not take one out of it into neutrality.

Recently, I came to explore the difference between ego and emotion.  They are used interchangeably by people.  But what I came to understand is that we are talking about energy and energy blockages.  Emotional patterns become types of ego-locks. It is the activity of tantra to observe these, accept them, open them, and ultimately to move identification away from the story that created these patterns.  “Recognizing and naming emotional patterns enables us to dis-identify, so our sense of self can be freed from the tyranny of their power.  This rescues consciousness and the ego from drowning in the power of the unconscious.  At the heart of these emotional patterns lie fundamental wounded ego beliefs from which emerge all the other emotional reactions that cluster around them. When we are taken over by an emotional pattern, we become identified with its core belief.  We may suddenly feel hopeless, unlovable, or impotent, and have no separation from this view. As we learn to dis-identify, we are able to begin to separate awareness from identification with our wounded beliefs that are the root of suffering. A stable functioning ego identity needs an awareness that is not continually overwhelmed by unconscious emotional forces”. – The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra

It is so common to judge emotional experience, and to label it as good or bad.  It becomes even trickier when we start to add to the story of the emotion that in some way the emotion is a sign that we have not achieved our tantric goal of consciousness.  “A distinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is the view that emotions — all emotions, not just pleasant ones — are intelligent expressions of energy that can open unique doors in our development and eventually lead us to the awakened state itself.” – Dharma Ocean

CrownWhen an emotion is explored, allowed to be expressed without being identified with, it is possible to release it.  In that release comes an opening, a moment of returning to that place of consciousness.  There is a sense of relief, peace, an OK-ness from which something new can evolve.

So many practices, spiritual modalities, religious principles, elements of psychology suggest to us that we are broken.  It becomes overwhelming to try to piece all these broken views together into a sense of wholeness.  The beautiful irony and truth of tantra is that we are already whole.  We are pure consciousness, and these energies are experiences. Insights.  Paint on a canvas that can shift and change as we move from identifying with The Story to Conscious Awareness.  It is that call of returning to wholeness that soothes and releases and removes us from fear.  What a beautiful truth.

If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

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I want you to know one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Pablo Neruda

Riddick and Root Chakra

riddickI love Riddick.  It does not make sense, on the surface. I cover my eyes during every violent scene.  I went to see the movie with my business partner, and after the movie he gave me a perplexed look.

“How is that movie You?”, he asked, waving his arms at the screen.  I started to laugh because of the perplexed look on his face.  He was looking at me the way my dog does when I explain to him he can’t have what I am eating.

But I love Riddick. I know it isn’t even good Sci Fi.  But Riddick should be dead over and over and he just refuses to accept that. And he manages to remain noble and honorable as he takes on the world.

Last week, I went back to Kundalini Dance at Prana Yoga. We danced through the root chakra.  It was quite moving because our instructor has done some very deep work herself, and it was evident in how we approached the class.  I had previously identified issues of safety and security (and one of you pointed out the flashing sign over my head saying root chakra and childhood issues). For the most part, I believed my root issues were a lack of groundedness.  I had been told I did not connect with my body. And once that was true.  But I have shifted.

I went to the chiropractor, and he commented that if every body had the mind body awareness I do then he would only need to spend half the time he does with clients. And then I did the Body Integration workshop, and found myself very able to work from body to emotion. In that process, I became aware of my block in trusting the universe. More than that, I believe my block is one from infanthood, based on my session with my counselor this week.

rootIn a deep way, I am blocking the flow of energy at the root and sacral chakras.  I get moments of fear akin to the fear of death, the panic you experience when you are facing a flow of adrenaline when encountering something that seems like inevitable death.  I get that feeling about relationship, and recently about failing in my business. This is irrational – I have been the main financial provider my entire life. And yet I am not showing the prosperity in my business that I have had in the past.  And in relationship, I am in a holding pattern of non-relationship relationships. I refuse to have the norms and expectations of society define my deep relationships.  I am not sure what I want, but in some way, not being in a partnership is allowing me to explore some important things without the limits of the word.  I recognize that relationship is not the limitation – my past beliefs and experiences are.  I just don’t believe I have moved enough to have a partnership that is fulfilling right now.

Which is why I posted the Joyous Woman prose.  That reflects some of my inner world. It is much deeper than that, but primarily it is my lack of trust in the universe that is blocking me at the root and sacral chakras.  At some point in time, when I needed to feel safety, it was not there. And I began to live a life of taking care of me through personal will while deeply, desperately wanting a parent symbol to parent me.  I have done the inner parent work – that is no longer crippling me.  But even deeper still in the belief, the knowing, that I can surrender into the universe.  So that is the work today.

Why Riddick? Because he is not afraid of death.  He simply choose not to give in to it.  Not out of fear, but out of choice.  He is my symbol of healing that aspect in me that believes I will disappear, be invisible, cease to exist. Possibly not the most elegant symbol in the universe. but who is judging? 🙂

From “Joyous Woman”

She’s putting an end to ‘inner domestic violence’.

For too long, she’s been trying to work on her outer marriage or relationship, while being divorced from her own self. In her insatiable seeking of her ideal mate, she kept allowing abusive/exploitative relationships, stealing of her power, endless woundings. Her victimhood story only deepened.

Until she took the route of healing her internal patriarchal masculine, and end the inner violence. She has withdrawn allegiance to the disrespectful inner voice that continually pulls her down, shames her, and tells her she’s inadequate.

She’s invited the divine partner to arrive inside. One that honours, holds, respects and adores. He tells her ‘you go girl’. He believes in her dreams, offers to plan & execute them. He helps her to be on track, and not fritter her awesome energies. Trust, healthy boundaries, and a deep calm inside are the new gifts she is relishing.

There’s a great romance brewing & an inner marraige is on the cards .

Sukhvinder Sircar
Art: Sonali Chaudhari

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Western Commercialization of Spiritual Awakening

peacockThere is a growing trend for bringing consciousness into Western culture.  It is part of the language, and has become part of our lifestyle.  We are more comfortable talking about being spiritual, as a replacement for religion.  We see consciousness festivals, conscious communities, books on conscious economy, and consciousness is a booming business. These are rooted in a deep yearning for deeper connection, service, and meaningfulness.

There is a corresponding degradation that may also be happening as these ideas become more and more acceptable.  About 40 years ago, yoga was viewed as fringe; you were some sort of hippie, or flake, if you did yoga.  Vegetarians were odd and marginalized.  Today, there is a yoga studio in every strip mall, and most restaurants have vegetarian and vegan options.  Is it possible that in the process of normalizing these sorts of conscious actions that we have lost the meaningfulness of their spiritual roots?

Recently, I took my Kundalini yoga teacher Yogi Amandeep Singh to a local vegan restaurant and yoga studio. He studied in India under great masters, such as Yogi Bhajan. As we reviewed the offerings, we engaged in a conversation about the westernization of yoga.  Yogic practices were developed systematically, through many centuries of wisdom, and designed with a significant awareness of the subtle energy bodies being impacted in each posture.  Today, there are many commercial yoga classes, such as hot yoga or aerial yoga, which are less about the yoga and more about things that appeal to a western audience.aerial

“I would say this is the number one problem in practice of yoga in the West, that people think that the purpose of yoga is to feel good. All the original authorities agree that the purpose of yoga is to transform yourself into somebody who can see things as they really are, see yourself as who you really are, see reality as what it really is. You discover that at the core you are divine, you are a manifestation of God. But in order to find that core you also have to see all the places in yourself where you are lying to yourself, inauthentic. Of course, that is painful, transformation is challenging and painful. These people practicing yoga to feel good and have fun – that is fine unless they think it will bring them to final liberation and full awakening. Then they are deluded. But if their goal is to have fun then there is no problem. So, this is the tantric attitude – not to put down or condemn anyone`s practice, instead it just tries to show when the practice is not aligned with the desired fruit. Any good teacher would ask you what you want and help you choose a practice that will lead to that.” Christopher Wallis, interview on Tantric roots of Hatha yoga.

What may be worth reflection is how the western commercialization can be working antithetically to the original purpose of spiritual awakening.  In the rejection of religion, in our movement to spirituality, we have lost the communication of truth for free, supported in a common community of interest.  It is free to go to “church”; but in the west, most of our spirituality is commercial.  We pay for it. We buy books, meditation CDs, yoga classes, and reiki treatments.  We go to classes and retreats.  And in the west, what underlies this is a belief that we are somehow lacking, broken, needing to be fixed.  How significant is this?  Consider how much money is spent on popular gurus: Deepak Chopra, Oprah, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, etc.  This is not a criticism of their work; they have stepped in to fill a need in our consciousness. But what appeals to the western audience is self help, and that may be a block in and of itself to true spiritual awakening.

kundaliniIn a teleclass called The Missing Piece by Christopher Hareesh Wallis, we are told that the tantric tradition was to make the teaching free and available to all who seek.  It was a natural part of spiritual life.  His intent is to return to that tradition in his practice.

One of the theses in the class is the idea that the western commercialization of spiritual truth may be creating blockages to that same spiritual truth being sought.  The self help movement of spirituality starts from the premise that we are broken in some way, and that we need to work on repairing those things.  This is contrary to the truth of tantra, which focuses on emphasis on direct experience of a divine reality that has transcendent and immanent aspects.  In other worlds, we are not broken.  In Tantra Illuminated, Wallis says: “All that exists, throughout all time and beyond, is one infinite divine Consciousness, free and blissful, which projects within the field of its awareness a vast multiplicity of apparently differentiated subjects and objects: each object an actualization of a timeless potentiality inherent in the Light of Consciousness, and each subject is that plus a reflexive movement of self-awareness.” 

But, that truth is abstract for the mind.  Hard to put on a marketing brochure.  And without the sexualisation of tantra, the west would probably not know what the word tantra means.  And of course, because of that, the view of tantra has again become marginalized into something removed from the essential truth of the practice.

So, it is time to take advantage of the asset of the acceptance of spirituality in western culture, and raise the bar.  As a consumer, do you want to study with a 24 year old who has completed 300 hours of yoga teacher training, or do you want to seek a master to guide you in your awakening? Do you want to buy a new self help book every month, only to return to the same root issues, or do you want to transform yourself through a deep practice of spiritual gnosis? As was said earlier, none of these are wrong, as long as we recognize that in this world of global communication, the student can look much further abroad than what is commercially marketed.  If the saying “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” is true, remember that our world is electronically connected. Seek your teacher in alignment with your readiness for spiritual depth.