Meditation Journal

Summary
A collection of thoughts, insights, and experiences arising from meditations. See the Resources for further reading!

Eric Armstrong
TreeLight.com/essays

These thoughts and ideas, arising in meditation as they did, ring true--for me, if for no one else. This writeup is the place for me to record them. Since they aren't hallowed by tradition, I can scarcely put them in Tantra Lessons, and while each of them is significant in its own right, they don't quite rise to the level of Magical Moments.

2011, Jan

Memories

The first 15 minutes after waking is a great time to do Yoga Nidra. (Relaxing, letting the mind drift, attempting to repeat my affirmations and "proclamations", or affirmations made with royal certainty--at just the right time, when I'm just at the edge of awareness, before drifting off.) If I'm really tired, of course, I'll go back to sleep. Which is good for my health. But if I'm ready to rise, 15 minutes is plenty of time for a bit of Yoga Nidra.

On this occasion, a series of childhood memories began to come up. I kept looking for one that I needed to process, but didn't find any. I kept trying to experience them more deeply and more vividly, as well. Didn't have much success, on this occasion. But the memories were ncie!

Lotus Flower

After reading about Gopi Krishna's "Lotus Flower" meditation last night, I had a nice meditation on that subject this morning, after my Ipaslu practice. Two factors fed into that meditaiton:

Armed with those images, I meditated, focusing on the 7th chakra, imagining a Lotus Flower. Only did it for 5 minutes. (Powers of concentration need improving!) But it was nice. I felt the roots coming up from the center of head. Then I felt them coming up from the heart. Then I felt them coming up from the root chakra.

It was all very mild, but it does seem that there are at least 3 points of "root" connection for that Lotus Flower!

Lesson

Called to Babaji to teach me! First lesson: Don't be so self-indulgent! Don't serve only when inspiration moves you, but strive to imagine what would be of service, and do it.

So I now item #3 in a series of "proclamations" (super-positive affirmations) to add to the two I gathered the week before in a visualization and manifestation seminar.:

  1. I AM DEEPLY IN LOVE. 
    (External partner, internal connection, bathed in/swimming in an ocean of love)

  2. I AM DEVOTED.
    (Bhakti. No blockage between self and inner guidance. It comes to me, I do.)

  3. I SERVE CREATIVELY. 
    (I serve by creating--writing & inventing--and I serve by imagining what is needed and doing it.)

Dreams

Found myself in class of some sort. The class kept changing locations, and I was always late--but always because I was learning something else! I always felt bad about not being there, though. (I wish I could clone myself!)

Hang Sau Flows

So many energy flows to follow in meditation! A couple of weeks ago, I found a wrinkle in the Hong Sau meditation that made a significant difference in how it works, for me. This morning, it expanded:

I tried inhaling from those points to the base of the skull, but it didn't work so well. (Now though, as I write, it seems to be working great.) Gosh. There are so many energy flows to follow! I have a feeling that, one day, you get to where you're aware of all of them simultaneously--and at that point, I'm betting you're pretty darn enlightened (and/or out of body!).

Golden Lotus

I woke from a nap, and knew that I needed to start writing. I'd been putting it off all day. After writing a little in the morning, I watched some sports on TV, then took a bike ride to the grocery store, and then came back for some more sports. So I knew I needed to write. It's part of my creative devotion!

A few words came to head. Then it occurred to me that I should start by meditating! Of course!

Right after rising is always a great time for meditation. It's the perfect time for Yoga Nidra, and for Lucid Dreaming, as well--because you're asleep enough for vivid visualizations, awake enough to exercise control, and not so sleepy that you drop into a deep slumber straightaway.

The fact that all three are best done in the same mental state suggests that they are all different parts of the same elephant! In fact, meditation adds an important ingredient to that recipe! it is said that Thomas Edison used to drowse in a chair with a rock in his hand, and a tin pan below. When he began to fall asleep, his grip relaxed. The dropping rock then woke him up, preventing him from going sound asleep.

With that technique, Thomas Edison managed to stay in the "twilight zone" where creative insights occur. (It's also where memories surface, and transcendent experiences occur.) Sitting upright in meditation serves the same purpose, I expect, because if you fall asleep, you also fall over!

I begin and end, as always, with the "traditional bow" I learned from Grandmaster. (Think child pose, with hands flat on the floor under your forehead.) My own wrinkle is start with hands in prayer position to support the forehead, gradually moving into a position where hands are crossed palms-up, with thumbs on top, then thumbs to the side, then hands side by side, palms up, and finally palms down next to the head.

Once again, the focus was on the Lotus Flower. I sometimes call it the "Gopi Meditation", because I learned about it in Gopi Krishna's book, Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man. (Someday, it will be golden, or redish gold. At the moment, I don't experience any real color.)

This time, I focused on the Lotus, then the root in the center of the head--the 3rd eye/6th chakra that Ipsalu course #1 was so good at awakening. It brightened Then the roots trickled down to the throat chakra, while keeping the light bright in the 6th. It grew a little brighter. Then the trickle down to the heart chakra that my martial arts training woke so thoroughly (surprise!).

By that time, an article came to my head, and was fully written in moments. After a minute or two fully visuallizing that, I promised to work on it next, and went back to the Golden Lotus meditation.

This time, I began to visualize the energy from the lotus stem entering through the base of the skull, instead of the top of the head. That seemed the best way to make the connection to all of the chakras, except for the 3rd eye. (It could go that way, but it seemed to be most comfortable entering directly through the top of the skull.)

Note:
As I write, I feel the Lotus energy making the connection directly, through the base of the skull, and through the third eye. I wonder if this is the ida (3rd eye), pingala (base of skull), and sushumna (crown) energy circuits that the kundalini texts keep talking about?

I also visualized energy traveling up to the Lotus on the inhale, traveling down on the exhale--first to the throat chakra, then heart, then 3rd, then 2nd, then 1st.

This is all very interesting in one respect, at least--I spent 20 minutes meditating! The exploration and visualization keeps my mind pleasantly occupied, enough so to actually sit there for 20 minutes at a time, relaxing and having great experiences! (Yesterday morning's experience was so great, in fact, that there didn't seem to be much that was really worth doing in normal life! Or maybe I was just fatigued. Yeah. That must have been it.)

That "active" form of meditation is a hallmark of the tantra technique. As Saraswati writes in Yoga and Kriya, the mind has a mind of it's own! When you try to make it sit and do nothing, it rebels! I've been exposed to Buddhist meditation in the martial arts. It's hard! If you're really disciplined, you can "conquer" yourself, and eventually arise at the same exalted states of being. All spiritual ttraditions get there, eventually. The only problem was that I could never bring myself to do them! Not for long enough to do any good, at any rate. I could do them pretty well with someone leading the way, but I just couldn't make myself sit and meditate on my own the way I knew I "should"--especially when I was training in the very spritually-oriented martial art of Jung SuWon.

But this form of meditation, I can do! It's something I've been doing every morning for the past couple of months, as I practice the "Ipsalu Formula". And now I'm adding "Golden Lotus" meditation in the evenings!

Energy Flow (wrote "Energy Glow" by mistake. Freudian!)

Wrinkle: The energy flow isn't so much "across the crown and changing color from bluish silver", as it is "over and up to Svadasthina and exchanging the flow for one of pure redish gold from God/Lord Shiva/Universal Love Consciousness Energy". The flow followings a path something like the stem of a strawberry!

Last night, I was reading that Shakti=Energy. And of course, Shiva=Consciousness. As I wrote the above, I realize that Shakti (energy), Shiva (consciousness), and Bhakti (love and devotion) correspond to the three major centers of nerve plexes and hormone glands in the body: head, heart, and gut! Except that Shiva and Shakti come from beyond those centeres, and Bhakti is devotion {to/with/inspired-by/gratitude-for-grace-from/union-with} something larger and greater (beyond the self) as well.

Direction

I was watching the energy flows move through the body, then out into the body, and back again. Many circuits! But by focusing attention, I could sense one. Then shift to another. At some point, I expect I'll be feeling all of them at once time. Samahi! (Like what  I'm feeling now, only multiplied by 10. Or 100. Or 1000.)

It came to me that the first book I publish should be my collection of Magical Moments. The first release should be self-published using electronic media like Amazon's Kindle, It will net a few dollars, but more importantly, it will inspire others, and bring me to my publisher.

Cleaning!

It's great for the first step in the Ipsalu formula, "Activate"!

It starts with Hang Sau/So-Ham, or simply focusing on the base of the skull to open it and let Shiva/consciousness enter. Soon a thought/inspiration comes about what to do. It might be stretches, or exercises. Or it might be cleaning!

Moving things, scrubbing things, and cleaning them does a great job of raising the metabolism. Pretty soon, I'm hot enough to take off my shirt. Then I'm sweating.

And done with consciousness, feeling the connection, you're not doing it alone. You're doing it with your love consciousness present within you--your partner and inspiration. There is a terrific feeling of love and devotion.

Complete Breath

There is a slight error in Bodhi's description of the complete breath, I think. The diagrams show someone hunching their shoulders in the final stage. But I don't notice any increase in lung capacity when I do that, and I've never seen it recommended anywhere else. All I really notice is an increase in muscular tension.

On the other hand, when I do a complete breath, I notice that the shoulders do rise slightly at the very end--they move very slightly upwards, along with the entire torso, as part of the final expansion of the chest, rather than by themselves, separate from the torso.

Since there is a slight rise, I'm guessing that Bohdi misunderstood the instructions, just slightly. (It came to me in a meditation, at any rate, so that's the theory I'm working on!)

I remember doing the same thing once, when I read a book that seemed to recommend a "backhand" serve. So I developed a pretty decent backhanded tennis serve. Years later, I re-read the book and found that what it actually described was a "Texas Backhand", where you shift your grip on the racquet by 45-degrees, so your forehand and backgrip is the same. But you still serve using a forehand! I had just totally read it wrong! I'm sure I've done it before. I just happened to discover that one.

Garlic Bulb Stem

It came to me that the bluish silver Shakti energy does not so much "pass over the crown, changing color as it moves across the center."

Instead, as it gets to the center of the head, it moves up, to the Sahasrara center, and is exchanged for reddish gold Shiva energy!

In my meditation, the path followed the curves of a garlic bulb stem.
:__)

Shiva, Shaki, and Bhakti!

In Kundalini: Yoga for the West, I was reading that Shakti is energy. (While Shiva is consciousness, of course.) Rising the next morning, it became clear to me that our three connections to the universe were Shiva, Shakti, and Bhakti. In other words (in a slightly different order, the head, heart, and gut!

[Jan: It made me wonder once again about what the practice you mentioned, where you check in with all three to be sure that your decision is sound. You mentioned that when all three agree, it's always the right decision. What WAS that practice?]

Mantra!

I've turned off Pandora at work. Much as I love it, I'd rather have the mantras in my head. I always have one or another going. Mostly it's Om Namah Shivaya. Sometimes it's Om Kriya Babaji Aum. Occasionally it's the Gayatri Mantra. And there's a new one below I want to learn (Shivoham).

To block out the sounds that keep me from concentrating, a found a great site that generates white noise. (Or you can choose pink or brown nice, each at a slightly lower frequency. Brown works best for me.)

The site is SimplyNoise.com. They have things you can buy, too. But the stuff coming from the web is fine--except for the occasional ping from email, or the buzz of an error! The nice thing about the white noise is that I can keep the mantra going in my head while working! (When I totally focus on what I'm doing, the mantra will go away. But as soon as I sit back for a moment, it's right there again.)

Ready for a Relationship!

Spent time at work over the weekend. With the mantra going on in my head, I was "serving", with love. It was wonderful.

On my back, I wanted to be returning home to my partner, to serve her, too, with love and devotion.

Yes, I think I'm ready for a relationship! In the meantime, I did puja to my inner partner, my Universal Love Consciousness Energy connection!

Universal=Outside, vast, total expanse, all-encompassing
Love=Bhakti, devotion, serving, bliss
Consciousness=Shiva
Energy=Shakti
connection=one with, feeling the flow: within, through, and with all

Golf with Love

Playing golf this weekend. The trick will be to keep the mantra going in my head, and find a way to "serve" with love and devotion. I was able to keep the mantra and postive feelings going while playing soccer. It should be possible to do it while playing golf!

Night School

Every time I go to sleep calling on Babaji to teach me, I dream about being in a class. Last night, I learned a few things, too. The first one eluded me as I woke, but I was able to retain a couple.

One was kriya-style variations on the sitting straddle stretch. The first was rotating the upper body only, creating salsa-like separation between upper body and lower body they teach in Latin dance. The second was a hip rotation that helps to free up the leg-hip joint. When I did it, there turned out to a third, in between those two--a torso-rotation. It's a bigger move than the other two, so it's less subtle. It also doesn't seem to do as much.

Mantra: Shivoham

Found this spectacular mantra by Manish Vyas at YouTube. (Have to get the CD it's on: Sattva.)

I'm looking everywhere for the lyrics. I found one site with lyrics for Shivoham, but they aren't the same lyrics!

So I'm still looking for those lyrics. And at the YouTube site, there are several other mantras to listen to. (Four of them, at least.)

This facebook page seems to be collecting them. (Ain't the internet great?)

Bhakti

Just found this site devoted to bliss through Bhakti/Mantra:

"Over passing years, the mind has taken over the being. Humanity has fallen victim to the futility of the intellect. The emotional being suffers under the power of the intellect. As long as the being is not allowed to express itself, man will experience a deep and unexplainable void within."

The program (consisting of 1- to 4-day sessions) was designed by a Nithyananda Gurukul. (Does the "Ananda" in the name signify a connection to the Babaji lineage?)

It has a section called "Life Bliss Program" and one called "Mantra Therapy". And another called "Quantum Memory Program".

The main center is India, but there is one in Los Angeles (Montclair) and another in Cerritos (wherever that is).

Got there from this site, while searching on the phrase "haran doham shivoham" (in an attempt to find lyrics)!

"I am just back from a four day dip in bliss. All we did was talk about the different bhavas, or bombs that explode your consciousness, or paths to the Beloved. The meditations we practiced were more powerful than anything I have ever done, or imagined in my life."

Quite a recommendation!

30 Jan

Heat!

The light activity that starts the Ipaslu practice doesn't really raise my temperature. Hong Sau is wonderful and opening, but no temperature change. Aswini Mudra and Vajroli Mudra. Fine. I'm sitting, and temperature is absolutely normal. The I start doing Cobra Breath. Within 3 breaths, the heat is starting to rise. Pretty soon, I'm sweating. Profusely. This has been happening a lot for the last week or so.

Meditation Mudra / Lotus Flower

During meditation, it came to me that with palms up, thumb and index finger touching, I'm making a Lotus Flower! The three other fingers, outstretched, are the green leaves at the base. The thumb and index finger rise up to make a perfect profile of the Lotus bulb!

Energy Expansion-Contraction / Babji Yantra

A week or so ago, I read about a meditation in Yoga and Kriya: Visualizing/feeling your energy field alternately growing larger and smaller--outward beyond your body, and inward within in. It said the field would expand only to a certain limit, but it would keep on shrinking down to a single point. (At which "point", you're done.)

When I did it, I found that yes, there was a limit to the outward expansion. And when it shrunk, I found that the center was at the heart! Nice!

Today, I spent time looking at Babaji's Yantra--a small dot inside a triangle, inside a circle, inside a square. When I closed my eyes, the colors changed to their inverses, as they do. I could see all three images clearly. The first to appear was the triangle--I realized that was me/Babaji, sitting in meditation position, which forms a perfect triangle! Then the outer circle--energy expansion. I didn't really see the inner circle clearly, but I knew that was the heart!

2 Feb

Purity!

Lay in bed praying for help to purify my body so I could be in the presence, to purify my mind so I could hear clearly, and purify my heart, so I could experience the love, channel the love, and express the love.

That's when the thought arose: "Purity" means eliminating contaminants, debris, and other things that are not part of the true "essence". But the correlary is this: Your essence is pure! The dust, debris, and contaminants you have accumulated are not part of you. They are impurities that can be removed.

Like a glass of water with mud and silt, the water is pure. When it's stirred up, everything is cloudy. But when you're calm and still, the impurities sink to the bottom.

That's fine and dandy for those times when you manage to remain calm and still! And with practice, you can do that more and more. But it also helps to clean the water! To do that, you need to stir it up, then dip in a bit of mesh and pull out some of the particles.

Over time, you can use finer and finer screens. But you still have to stir things up! That's tantra. (And martial arts training.)

8 Feb

Shiny Colored Ball

In college, I once wrote a poem about a vision a shiny, luminescent, multi-colored ball, whirling and spinning. It was inspired by the vision that friend Jon Bentz had for a magazine called "Gallimauphri"--a word from British sailing ships meaing "pot pouri" or "stew". (Somehow, his vision of multiple facets of the magazine turned into a multi-faceted gem, shining bright with white light and flashes of color.)

In meditation today, I saw that ball in my inner head. Hadn't thought of that poem in years, but it seems clear I was connected with that orb when I wrote the poem describing it.

17 Feb

Interesting Dialog, the Morning after a Hard Day

Me: What should I do? Everything's so horrible. I don't have the wisdom to know.
Me: Am I on the right path? Should I stay? Should I go?
Inner voice: One thing goes wrong, and you get all negative and start losing faith.
Me: I know. I'm terrible that way. Please forgive me.
Inner voice (kindly): The important thing is for you to forgive yourself.
Me (trying, failing): I can't do that from my perspective!
Me (finding a way): I can do it only when I look at myself from your perspective--like a parent looking at a child, seeing its true nature.
Inner voice: Exactly.
Me: Oh! To do it, I need to be one with you! That's the point!
Inner voice: (smile)
Me: (big smile)

23 Feb

Opening Chakras / Meditations

Middle of the night meditations are going really well:

Inspirations

A couple of weeks ago, my inspiration was to finish writing up Magical Moments, and sell it at Amazon on Kindle. (Still working on being disciplined enough to finish it.) So an affirmation/proclamation came to me last night:

I finish things.
I am a finisher
!

As I awoke, another couple of exercises came to me for incorporation into the Kriya Yoga sequence: downward dog trapezius pushup and Japanese pushup into cobra. I don't quite have the internal mantra to go with the poses, and I don't have a final sequence, but the practice is growing, thanks to my familiarity with a variety of exercise regimens, including Hatha Yoga, Makko Ho, calisthenics, and my martial arts practice.

It comes to me just now that the energy-breath meditation I describe above is one I can carry with me throughout the day. (I should be able to add mantra to that, eventually.)

The last couple of nights, I have been seeing a stretching device that can be used to promote "pancaking" (going flat), and at the same time, a form of breath-focused, meditational stretching. I am supposed to develop the product and promote it. I love that!

11 Mar

I am Loving

Practiced Yoga Nidra again this morning. (Right after waking while still drowsy is a good time to do it. Although I generally fall back asleep, when I wake I recall the things that came to me, as with lucid dreaming.)

In this vision, I set up a paper bag for a cat to crawl into, and put a towel into it for her to make a nest. That brought to mind a cat I loved when I was young, but neglected terribly, nonetheless. (In many ways, I had been neglected as a child. I was "passing it on". But I still feel terrible about it.)

When I rose, I meditated on that thought, and felt the emotions as deeply as I could. (Tantra has taught me to embrace such things and feel them, at least to the extent that I am able.)

It came to me that I am still loved--that I am still "in love". That was the affirmation I gave myself doing Yoga Nidra in my Ipsalu Tantra Level course:

That was a good meditation. Off I went to work. On the way home, I thought of my wonderful cat, once again. (It is clearly a well that will take some excavating, for I have only scratched the surface.)

It came to me that the person who was so neglectful was not the person I wanted to be! (It has been the cause of failed relationships, too.) I want to be someone who is loving!

(Oddly enough, I need to be more loving at work, as well. There is a fine line between helping to improve things and being judgementally critical. I find myself on the wrong side of that line way to often.)

Meditated on that thought when I got home. A new affirmation came to me:

I am Loving

Wonderfully, the Ipsalu Level 2 course is right around the corner. (In a couple of weeks, at the beginning of April.) In Level 1, I broke through to experience a love connection and maintain it for something like 2-1/2 months. In Level 2, I look forward to breaking through the internal barriers that stand in my way, and becoming a truly loving person.

Becoming Loving

It's interesting how affirmations work. In a sense, they're true. But clearly, I don't love enough, or I wouldn't have been making the affirmation in the first place. That sets up a little stress, resulting from the "cognitive dissonance".

Of course, that is how affirmations produce change in the first place. The self-image you hold causes you to choose actions consistent with that image. Otherwise, you create dissonance, which is stressful.

But when past actions keep coming up that are at odds with the affirmation, the cognitive dissonance and attendant stress can rise rapidly, to the point that the only way to reduce the stress is to say to yourself that the affirmation is, at least partially, a lie.

But the one thought that has no stress behind it, the thought that is accompanied by pure joy and happiness, is the knowledge that Shiva/God/Love consciousness is going to help me to become loving--to become a loving person, not only basking in the radiance of love, but channeling that love and radiating it outward to others.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Can't wait!

(It helps knowing that Ipsalu Level 2 is only a couple of weeks away, and that "to become loving" will be the central theme I have going in. Ain't life grand? Ain't it amazing how things work out?

13 Mar

How Can I Serve You Today?

I was reading more in a marvelous little book last night, Sadhana in Sri Aurobindo's Yoga. I read up to through the chapter called The Way of Works. (Tonight, I'l read the next two: The Way of Mediation and The Way of Love. All three are paths to god-consciousness (sadhana).

The part that was most useful in a practical way was simply this:

1. Consciously dedicate your actions to Shiva/God/Love Consciousness.
2. When done, consciously express gratitude for the opportunity to serve.
3. As much as possible, keep doing both while performing the action.

He points out that there is a progression: At first, you only manage 1 & 2. Then 3 happens, in spots. Then it happens every time you stop mental activity. Finally, it happens throughout the activity itself. (That's a lot like my experience with mantra. See Mantra Magic. So mantra will undoubtedly be an integral part of my practice.)

I've been feeling less connected, of late. This wisdom gives me a way to re-forge the connection in my daily activities. Just knowing that makes me happy.

Meditating this morning, the question that came to mind was, "How can I serve you today?". That seems like the right question to ask in a morning meditation--to start the day by dedicating it to the one true Love of the Universe. (As I write, it strikes me that a small gratitude meditation at the end of the day couldn't hurt, either!)

16 Mar

Dreams

Dream (a few days ago)
Lady: "When was the last time you spoke to your father?"
Me: "I don't know"
Lady: "That's terrible!"
I didn't really think so, but then I didn't know anything different. As I tried to decide, I woke.

Tried to meditate on it, and witness the emotion. But I was so happy, and feeling so good, that there was no emotion to witness. (In Scientology, they say "your needle is floating". You're in this feel-good happy place where negative emotions don't register, so there is no way to do any processing.)

Afterthought: No touching
The woman who raised me after my mother died was a friend of the family. She once said that my mother never picked me up or held me very much. She said that children need a lot of that. (A very wise woman, that.) That's why I love animals so much. They're all about touch. I can rub and cuddle and be happy with them, and them with me. So I feel a lot of love.

Dream (last night)
Throwing football with ex-girlfriend -- plus several kids, and her boyfriend
I was throwing with her, or so I thought. Boy friend seemed to be throwing with the kids.
But one kid went to left of girlfriend, the other to the right. The boyfriend was throwing towards the
middle, and the two girls were swarming around here

She threw to me, but I missed the catch, so it went by. I threw to her, but it fell short. I retrieved and threw again. Short once more. By this time, she was getting involved with the girls swarming around her, playing with them as they all competed for the other ball. Threw once more,

Afterthought: Mental slavery
After losing my father, and being "abandoned" on  a weekly basis, my mother never had to discipline me physically, I was too afraid of losing her love!

I remember the last time she did. She said it would be the last time she would ever spank me, because I was old enough not to need it anymore. (I was 4 or 5 at the time.) I had apparently developed enough of a memory to remember such lessons, because I don't remember any times before that. So her timing was perfect, in that respect.

So instead of physical punishment, whenever I did something wrong, she would patiently explain why it was wrong, until I understood and agreed. There was no standing in a corner, or anything physical at all. But neither were they any of the feel-good endorphins that come from physical stress. And it was never "over", in my head, because the lesson was always in my mind.

Combined with fear of abandonment, the result was kind of "mental slavery". So as a kid, I was definitely a momma's boy. I was a goody-two-shoes who would tattle to any authority figure. I wasn't good enough at sports to make many guy friends, and I was way to shy, self-conscious, and lacking in confidence to make any girl friends. So I was very much a "loner", except for a few close friends I made now and again in childhood. (At total of three, at different stages of grammar school. In high school, I actually had 3 close friends. And a girl friend or two, thanks to help from a "social leader" who played matchmaker.)

Interestingly, the "mental slavery" is a relationship I have unconsciously wanted to get back to. Hence my fantasy of a female dominant as a sex partner, and my interest in tantra as a spiritual practice, where the woman is expected to take the lead. At the same time, there is a powerful inner drive to be strong, independent and free. (Partly a natural masculine impulse, partly the need to avoid fear of abandoment, by being perfectly able to survive on my own.)

Witnessing: Inner Conflict
Witnessing these things, all together, it's clear that I was right to avoid an active relationship with a female dominant, unless and until I could find one whose goal was to set me free. In tantra, that is the goal, so there is a possiblity there. (But it's asking a lot of someone else, to be sure!)

The big story, though, is the huge conflict between the drive to be totally independent, to avoid the fear of abandonment and at the same time, the drive to be in a close relationship, both for the sake of physical touch and for the sake of the mental authority-figure I have been unconsciously trying to get back to. It's good to have those drives up at the conscious level, at last. Perhaps now I have a chance of sorting them out!

17 Mar

Mantram

Woke with a sexy thought in my head, and was instantly aroused--as is typical for me, when waking up. Did the Ipsalu "ee-ah-oh" sigh to transmute the energy, bringing it upward.

It worked, but since I was wearing my "silence headphones" at the time, I made a few discoveries. (I use the word mantram, rather than "mantra", because the discoveries were more about the effect of single syllables, rather than the chanting/singing of devotional hymns.)

Note:
I learned to sleep in noise-eliminating headphones when I was going broke trying to create a startup company. The apartment upstairs had a long, metal-edged floorboard that was slightly warped. When the people upstairs stepped on one end, the other end rose up. When they stepped off, it fell back into its metal support with a noisy "clang". I couldn't afford to move, I was under a great deal of stress, and I needed sleep. So I learned to sleep in headphones.

When I came to California, I found that the East West Book store had really good headphones that silence everything. (Most places sell "safety" headphones that let voices through. They attenuate the high-pitched sounds that cause ear damage, but aren't as good for total silence.)

With the headphones on, there was a wonderful resonance, not only in my head, but also in my body. I could feel different parts of my body vibrating with different sounds, so I began experimenting. I did the ee-ah-oh, the oh-mm (Om), then ah-ooh-mm (Aum).

I noticed that when I did the descending pitch, the "mm" tended to resonate in the muladhara chakra (first chakra, at the base of the spine). I also noticed it in my head, of course. But there was a definate harmonic I noticed as tingling at the base of the spine.

As before, I noticed that Ah-ooh-mm with a rising pitch, it ttended to rise from heart, to the throat. But when I did it with a descending pitch, it tended to go downward, to the 2nd .

When I did "ee", I noticed it totally in my throat, with no resonance in the 2nd chakra. I tried "I" and "ay", as well, but did not notice any particular area I could associate them with.

Correction:
I found later that "ee" resonates totally at the base of the skull--the "Mouth of God". "I", meanwhile, resonates at the base of the throat. Neither of them has a lower harmonic. But "ooh" has one in the second chakra (sex center), just like "mm" has one at the first.

Then it occurred to me that with "mm" resonating at both the top and bottom, it should be possible to put the sounds together in a circular patter. So I came up with a series of descending tones: 

mm (head) -- ee -- ah -- oh -- oo -- mm (muladhara) --mm (head)

The "ooh" comes naturally as part of the transition from "oh" to "mm", without any special emphasis, so the "oo" and "mm" are very close together, as they are in the body. The cycle stimulates each of the chakras, in turn, from head to base. (I'll try going the other way tomorrow.)

And with the headphones, the result is a very pleasing resonance you can feel. (It turns out that mantram is a big part of tantra, as described in The Yoga of Sound, by Russil Paul. And East West Bookstore is run by the Self-Realization folks up the street in Palo Alto. Self-Realization has its basis in Babaji's Kriya/Tantra Yoga, so perhaps the headphones are for this kind of vocalization, as least as much as they are for meditation!)

21 Mar

Blockages Interfere with Manifestation

In Saturday's session with Jan Robinson, I learned that there is an intelligence quotient (which I have in abundance), and an emotional quotient (which is not so developed, in me). The secret to manifesting your dreams, it seems, is to bring both of them up to the same leve.

When I asked, "Why?", I learned that Ego acts to preserve itself, to prevent change (literally, becoming someone else). So I need to heal the emotional injuries from my past. I have a ton of physical energy and spiritual energy. My goal has always to been to create the freedom to pursue my visions and do the "important" work. But I haven't manifested that reality, because that would mean becoming a "different person". That made sense.

Note: "Genius" is an accurate description. (I have books, inventions, and software designs to my credit. But somehow, the ability to channel energy into manfesting the freedom to pursue my visions has been curtailed. So I am only a recognized genious among certain small groups of people who know my capabilities. The larger world has yet to be informed!

To be a genius is to be capable of creating something new. Everyone has genius, to some level, and in some respects. But only someone who manifests their creative visions has their genius recognized by the world. Also: It's not the recognition that is important, but the support that comes from it, which provides the means to pursue those goals. (But, if I'm honest, I would say that I am also afraid that, given financial means, instead of being productive, I would lie around and bask in the sun, lacking the impetus to solve the real problems.)

Here is a short list of current projects, in various stages of completion:

  • Book: Trail Running
  • Book: Healthy Diet and Weight Loss (Joni!--see 22 March)
  • Book: Systems Theory Investigation of U.S. Social Systems (explain the mess we're in)
  • Article: Mantra Magic
  • Article: Indian Foods
  • Article: Magical Moments
  • Invention: Stretching aid
  • Invention: Biofeedback headset for Yoga Nidra "deep dive" into subsconsious (Jan!)
  • Program: System for managing documentation tasks (nothing good exists)
  • Program: Voting Advice System (regain control of corporations and government)
And yet, with all those things to do, I still spend evenings and much of the weekend "recovering" in front of the TV, so I'll have the energy to go to work the next day--because, truth be told, creative energy is only good for 4 to 6 hours a day. (Ask any independent writer.)
But the remnants of the industrial labor system mandate an eight-hour workday! (And its only 8 hours, thanks to the labor unions. Some places expect 10 to 12 hours a day--or 60 to 80 hours a week.)

In my meditation, it came to me that the emotional scars create blockages that interfere with the flow/expression (outward flow) of energy. For me: Blockages in 2nd (sex) and 3rd chakras (power) remain, with a harmonic (derivative blockage) in the 5th (throat). Fourth (heart) was opened in Jung SuWon. Sixth (3rd eye) and Seventh (universe connection) were first opened there, and are opening more with my tantra practice.

(In some sense, too, they were always open. But the opening is even more pronounced after finding out about the "Mouth of God"--the energy portal at the base of the skull.)

I got some great homework exercises to do from Jan, exploring past relationships. Looking forward to doing it. At the same time, I need to do more investigation into biofeedback & Yoga Nidra. With Jan as a guide for the exploration, getting into the right state of mind could allow magic to happen!

22 Mar

Your Essence is Pure

Last night, at a healthy-cooking class given by Joni Sare, I had an opportunity to relate some facts about seeds:

A plant, depending on its environment, will have all of its expected nutritional content, or little.
In good soil, it has everything expected. In poor soil, almost nothing.

But every seed is perfect. It has 100% of everything it needs, or the seed isn't formed.
So a good farmer who takes care of the soil is rewarded with many seeds.
The poor farmer gets very few seeds.

And it should be noted that in Indian foods stores, seeds are sold in very large bags.
They are a staple of the Indian diet.

Meditating this morning, it came to me:

You, too, are perfect.
You may be warped by a bad environment, or starved by a barren one.
But your essence is pure.
In the right environment, you will flourish.

26 Mar

Tears

Cried this morning.

I found out yesterday that the Ipsalu level 2 seminar I was planning to go to was canceled. This morning, it really hit me that I wasn't going to go, and I was dejected.

The big thing was that my connection to God/Shiva/Universal Love Consciousness has been growing steadily weaker, day by day. More and more, my daily practice is a matter of "going through the motions", rather than truly connecting. (It's never 100%, but the sense of real connection is well under 50%, approaching the teens.)

One thing I've learned from Ipsalu / tantra is to experience the emotions, when they come up--to really feel them. So I dwelt on it, as I began my practice. That's when I cried a bit. Looking for sensations, I found a tension in my eyes. I felt it, and as I relaxed, I sobbed in short bursts of breath. (For me, that's a lot.)

I realized then that the source of the emotion was a feeling of abandonment. I wanted so much to connect, and it felt as though the chance had been taken away.

Then I sat to meditate, and it occurred to me that if I play my cards right, I'll be able to get to the session in May. It's across the country in Flordia, but I have a bit in savings and a short contract opportunity that just might give me exactly what I need to get there.

Doesn't matter if it takes every last dime I have...

28 Mar

Feeling Good Again

Was despondent on Sunday, too. Called my mentor and left a message. She must have gotten it, because somehow I felt better that afternoon. By this morning, I was back to my old self, feeling fine.

29 Mar

The Nine Chakras

Last night, I counted 7 chakras in the body, and two outside, for a total of nine.

Tantra class: A-u-m (Ah-heart, ooh-supposed to be 2nd chakra, mm--supposed to be head--but I felt ooh in the throat, plain as day

Experiment a few of nights ago: A-ee-m. Felt and heard the "eye" ("I") in the throat as the voice moved from Ah to ee.

Then last night, in The Yoga of Sound, I read that "Aim" is the "Bija of Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and learning"(!) --p. 252. (In Sanskrit, "i" is pronounced "ee").

So in rising tones, I had heart-Ah, throat-I, base of skull-ee, head-mm.

After doing that a few times, I tried "Aum" in descending tones. Sure enough, there was heart-AH, second chakra harmonic-OOH, and base chakra harmonic-MM. (There was still resonance in the throat and head, respectively, but focusing in the harminic tingling brought that sensation to the foreground.)

The one chakra missing was the 3rd chakra (the power chakra). Sure enough, I heard/felt the resonance there as the throat made an "OH" on it's way from "AH" to "OOh".

So I now had "AH-(EYE/I)-EE-MM" (in rising tones), and "AH-(OH)-OOH-MM" (in descending tones).

That made a total of 7 chakras in the body.

Then there was the notion that the "crown" chakra is actually above the head. Well, in tantra we draw in Shakti energy from the below the base of the spine, from the "earth". So that counts as a "chakra", at least as much as the crown. That makes 9, in all.

(Come to think of it, "crown" is aptly named, because a crown is not part of the body at all. Rather it is something sits on top of one's head. So when we "draw in energy from the earth", as we say in tantra, there is good cause to call it the "earth chakra", since we're sitting on the earth. (Even in a building, the foundation is ultimately the earth.)

30 Mar

Enjoy!

Started out right at step 5 of the Ipsalu Formula this morning: Enjoy!

In Hong Sau meditation, followed the breath from 3rd eye through middle of skull back to base of skull, awakening everything in the path. Then breathed into the heart, feeling it grow and expand--at which point the base of the skull glowed brighter, too.

Then focused on the lower chakras. Fell the 3rd (power) chakra expand first. Then felt the harmonic tingling at the base of spine. Then observed the slight tingling in the 2nd chakra (not as strong, but it will get stronger).

The whole process was additive, too. At each stage, the new awareness added to the one before, so at the end I had all kinds of chakras spinning and humming. I wasn't aware of anything in the throat, and the 2nd chakra was a bit weak, but I'm sure everything will grow stronger, in time. (I wasn't aware of any current flowing up and down, either. But the chakras weren't exactly disconnected, either. There was a mild sensation of energy vibration between them.)

Then it came to me what to have for breakfast (salad!). But before doing that, I did the remainder of the formula, focusing on staying aware of everything that was going on (presence!).

2 Apr

In Love, Learning/Loving (w/gratitude)

Yoga Nidra before rising:

The connection is not as over-poweringly strong as it once was, but it is still there!
16 Apr

Shiva's Trident

Shiva is always depicted as carrying a trident. Today, I was once again marveling at the 3 energy pathways at the top of the spine--base of skull, crown, and 3rd eye. Each one is a channel for energy, in and out. But at the base of the spine, there is only one. Then it occured to me that Shiva's trident is a perfect representation of those pathways, where the shaft of the trident is the spine.

17 Apr

Tears of Gratitude

Didn't feel really connected most of last week. Didn't feel like meditating when I first got up today. Did in the early afternoon, instead. Felt a good connection, and was immensely grateful to guru/Shiva/Babaji for always being there, no matter when I am ready to (re)turn to the source. No matter how often I turn away, or for how long, guru/Shiva/Babaji is always there, ready to embrace me when I once again (re)turn to it/her/him/all.

27 Apr

Orgasmic

Cobra breath was orgasmic today. A slighly different story has been formulating in my head, to go along with the practice. It's a bit different than the one I was orginally taught. (Let's just say that Shakti and Shiva get together a little earlier, with orgasmic results.)

Today, I noticed/felt how the whole process resembles an orgasim: The build up and explosive release, followed by a flood of relaxation. I went with that feeling, and experienced nothing less than a mild orgasm with each repetition. Great way to start the day!

19 Jun

"Attachment"

I attended a Krishna Das "workshop" over the weekend. Great chants. Good stories. Not so good Q&A, mostly due to semi-inane questions. (On the order, of "What was God thinking when...?" -- so wrong, on so many levels.)

The main philosophical message was to avoid harmful attachments, Be Here Now, and like that. Meditating later, I understood what "attachment" really is. It's thinking about the present or future! So being attached to a house can mean being thinking about having a wonderful house in the future, worrying about not having it in the future, or it can mean missing one as you think about how wonderful it was in the past.

But if you are totally, completely in the present, you enjoy when you have it, without missing when its gone, or worrying or desiring it in the future.

23 Jun

Pressure Waves

Had a short, 15-minute Ipsalu Formula session this morning, so I wouldn't be late for work.

In a yoga shibir (instructional seminar) over the weekend, Swamiji Asanganand Saraswati taught a concentration/meditation technique:

  1. Sit absolutely, totally still, moving nothing (except your belly, as you breathe).
  2. Watch your belly move.
  3. Do nothing else:
    • If you move something, stop.
    • If you think of something else, well, when you become aware of it,
      return to what you were doing.
  4. Either set a timer beforehand, or make note of the time when you stop.
    • If it feels like you were meditating longer than that, it's a sign you were uncomfortable. Do less.
    • If it fells like you were meditating for much less time than that, it's a sign you're ready to do more.

I applied that technique to the end of my Ipsalu Formula:

24 Jun

HeartFlame

Came to me last night, while doing a Namah Shivaya mantra meditation.

With both hands in your lap, place one palm on top of the other, with thumbs touching lightly--the standard meditation position I learned in my martial arts practice. Without moving anything else, lift both index fingers so they touch at the tips. You'll find that they meet just below the tips of the thumbs.

If you now lift your hand so you can look it, you'll see that the thumbs and index fingers form a "heart". The index fingers, meanwhile, make a little "flame" inside the heart! (Just like the phrase, "it warms my heart", because when the heart chakra is active, you feel heat in your chest.)

(The index fingers could also be making an "eye". It is interesting, though, that the eye is positioned vertically, rather than horizontally. It makes me wonder: Is the "third eye" oriented vertically, perhaps? Why not? It could be. It would be interesting to see what the pineal gland actually looks like.)

"Pushed Down"

When lower abdominals are contracting forcefully on the exhale, and Moola Bandha has recently been released, the consciousness/energy appears to be "pushed down". Otherwise, it tends to stop somewhere in the region of the solar plexus or belly. But the "pushing down" moves it all the way mooladhara, the root chakra.

Shiva and Shakti Unite

When I do Level 1 Cobra Breath, I find that Shiva and Shakti unite, and it is the excitement of that union that the 3rd eye is stimulated. I'm guessing that other chakras are stimulated in a similar manner.

Note:
It has been discovered fairly recently that the heart literally has a "mind" of its own--a nervous system and a system of hormonal messengers that is very much like the brain in both scope and size. (The HeartMath Solution.)

And
it has been discovered that the gut has as many nervous system cells, and a system of hormonal messengers, as well (reported in the Fast Five Diet, p. 47).

Is it any wonder that the head, heart, and gut are considered the 3 major chakras? (It turns out that fat cells also have a system of 40 different hormonal messengers. But that system is distributed all over the body, so it doesn't have the concentration of nerves that becomes recognizable as a "chakra".)

25 Jun

Yin/Yang Symbol

I now understand at least part of the Yin/Yang symbol. When Shiva is one energy, Shakti is the other. They come from different directions, and where they meet, they spiral around each other. That spinning vortex located at the chakra where they combine.

I don't understand the part about "a little of bit of each is in the other", just yet. But the part about them rotating around each other now makes perfect sense.

7 Aug

Healing the Wounds of the Soul

Focusing on the Mouth of God (base of the skull) wakens the inner eye/love consciousness. The martial arts experiences opened the heart to the love of compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness. Together, they can penetrate the knots in the lower chakras, bring memories to light, and witness them with love, for true healing. (The techniques of Yoga Nidra, Theta Healing, and Brain Wave monitoring can help. Motivated to write to an article.

15 Aug

Five-Phase Breath Energy Meditation

The Five-Phase Breath is somthing that came to me a while ago, after Swamiji Asanangand's yoga shibir (discourses and instruction on deeper practice of yoga). He described a type of breath called Kapalpati, where you forcefully exhale and then inhale naturally.

I didn't fully understand it at the time, and as I experimented with different ways of doing it, I came up with the Five-Phase Breath. (In Kapalpati, you're supposed to get into fairly rapid rhythm, at whatever speed is right for you.)

The Five-Phase Breath works like this:

This morning, the slow energy waves I've been following from time to time aligned with the Five Phase Breath:

I find I can do it two or three breaths in a row, and then relax for a few natural natural breaths, just enjoying the energy flow.

Note:
It turns out that this is a variation on the SoHm/HmSo meditations described in Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. (I was led to it by a line in Rudra Shivanda's book, In Light of Kriya Yoga, on page 216, where he has a line in a poem that reads, "Hamsa mantra true Self to find".)

In the In that one, you only focus from the navel to the throat. But the effect is virtually identical--except that going just slightly higher activates the "Mouth of God" at the base of the skull (for me, at least!). That produces three variations. When I add my heart-chakra energy meditation, I get this sequence::

16 Aug

Bubbling Memories

The Five-Phase Breath and SoHm/HmSo meditations are calming mind and body, so I am beginning to sit longer, and get more out of it.

As I sit in meditation, memories occasionally "bubble up". That means I'm in the theta state, where memories arise. (A recent PBS show on sleep reported studies that show, while REM sleep is characterized by vivid stories, dreams also occur in non-REM sleep, but then they are simple memories. The meditation-memories are like that.)

Because I'm also in alpha (at the alpha/theta "crossover") I'm aware of these memories surfacing.
Sometimes, when there is no particular "charge" attached to the images, I'll flit from memory to memory.

But often, I'm discovering is that the images arise for a reason.

  - Sometimes, it's to forgive another.
  - Often, it's to forgive myself.
  - Sometimes, it's to express gratitude for the experience.

There may be other reasons I have yet to discover, but there is a definite sense of "cleansing" going on.

18 Aug

Fitful Dreams / Mental Energy

Didn't feel rested, when I woke. Agitated dreams most of the night. Must have burned off a lot of energy thrashing around.

I had a couple of great meditations, during the night, though. Read about SoHm the first time I woke (at 2 am), and went to sleep doing it. Then meditated more fully on it the second time, and did the variations I described in the Note I added to the 15 Aug discoveries.

Despite feeling sleepy when I woke, I have been writing energetically since I got up. So maybe I rested during the meditations, and the deeper states caused fitful dreams while processing things!

In fact, now that I think about, when I tried to go back to sleep the second time (at 5 am), I had strong inspirations to get up and go write some more! That's the feeling of connection I love--to be a channel to express that energy. It's the greatest feeling in the world. (But I made myself go back to sleep anyway. Maybe that's why I was sleeping fitfully. I still had all that energy that had to wait until morning to express itself!)

26 Aug

Love Energy Poem

Had a good meditation in the middle of the night. Waking, I had a marvelous vision/dream.

They met, and after a while, they knew.
The feelings were growing inside.
Eyes kindled, she looked at him.
"I think...", she said.

With finality, he replied: "Yes."
They came together as one.
Now their eyes blazed,
Acknowleging their passion in their embrace.

They were now free.
Free to ride the energy tide.
Free to raise the energy, to use it
For spirtual unfoldment,
and inner growth.

And then, coming again into each others arms,
to renew the energy. To rise it again.
Raising it. Riding. Rising it.
Love as an ever-renewing joy.

Note:
The next night, I had a dream (1) in which I woke from a dream (2), in which I had been dreaming (3), about having a dream (4), in which we met again! (I think I'm excited about the Ipsalu Level 2 Workshop I'm going to next week!)

27 Aug

Less Caffeine, Closer Connection

Have been tapering caffeine for the upcoming Ipsalu Level 2. And have been writing out a mantra as an exercise. One of those two changes has put in closer connection. I have that joyful "connected" feeling more of the day, and more often.

September

Visualizing Colors

I've been getting better at visualizing colors. It became clear that seeing a color is a left-brain activity--a nice balance for all the right-brain verbal exercise I get in a day.

It occurs to me that by combining words and colors in our meditations, we are achieving the kind of left-brain/right-brain balance that allows for genius-level creativity.

Reason for Yantra Meditation

I've been wondering about the purpose of meditating on a geometric form, or "yantra". Then I saw the question you need to answer to apply for Level 3 Ipsalu training: "Are you aware of your inner state every moment, especially when you're having a hard time?". At that point, things became more clear.

"Total Awareness" is a zen principle we worked on constantly in my martial arts practice. To be aware every moment takes a lot of mental discipline--especially when things aren't going well.

The state is easiest to achieve when meditating, which is usually happens with eyes closed. But "life happens" when your eyes are open, generally. So meditating with a Yantra gets you used to achieving harmonious emotional balance and self-monitoring awareness when your eyes are open.

Chakra Emotions

3 Oct: A week or two ago, I noticed that gratitude made the heart-chakra meditation much more powerful. It really opened my heart, filling me with joy. (Partly because of the enlightenment I experienced during my full-time gratitude meditation exercise, I'm sure.)

Today, it came to me in my meditation that each chakra must have a corresponding emotion! In addition to focusing on the sounds and colors of the chakras, focusing on the corresponding emotion must help to awaken that chakra into a positive, energetic state. So I meditated a bit more, and came up with these:

Chakra Emotion Notes
6th: 3rd eye/Center of head Wisdom Wisdom, by virtue of connection with 7th chakra (higher Self)
5th: Throat Persuasiveness, Confidence Confidently persuasive.
Persuasively confident.
Confident in ability to persuade.
Confident because of ability to persuade.
4th: Heart Gratitude  
3rd: Solar Plexus Power  
2nd: Sex Passion  
1st: Root Safety, Security  
October

Meditation Pendulum

Using a small hand-held pendulum as a "divining" rod is an old practice. If it swings one way (for example, forward and back), it means "yes". If it swings the other (back and forth, for me), it means "no".

Had a decision to make about a job offer. Meditating today, I put it into the hands of the divine. "Lord, let me know what to do. I will happily go wherever I need to go, do what I need to do". I thought about finding a little pendulum I happen to have, but didn't know where it was. I kept meditating.

A few moments later, I noticed I was swaying to the music. Hmm. The new job? Forward and back. Ok. But maybe that's just the way I sway. The current job? Back and forth. Tested it 6 or 7 times. The same each time.

Went on to other meditation practices, and came back to the question one more time before ending. Tested both jobs. The answer was the same, each time. Yes to the new job, No to the current one.

Lovely! A built in divining rod, and one that only works when you're in the space you need to be in to connet to divine wisdom. Because there is no way I on earth that I can see over the hilltops to see which path is right. But the "eye in the sky" can tell which is the best path to follow!

Saphire and Silver, Rubies and Gold!

Where the visualization exercise calls for a gold & or reddish color, today I saw Rubies set in Gold! And where the color was to be blue or silver, I saw a huge, beautiful Sapphire in a Silver setting. Nice!

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