The Pause

Forward fold Pangon LakeOne of the final requirements I needed to fulfill the 500 hour yoga teacher certification at Kripalu was to complete “The Inner Quest Intensive”. This was a 3 day immersion program designed for participants to release the “False Self”, to shift awareness inside away from the external world of doing and connect back with the “Real Self”

Let me explain. Upon arrival at Kripalu, participants in the program were taken to a seperate registration table. We were asked to remove all jewelry, hair accoutrements, belts and shoes. We were only allowed to take in personal toiletries, a few changes of clothes, pillow and sleeping bag. Those that had physical limitations were given a mattress on the floor. All the clocks were covered. We were to remain in silence at all times unless it was our turn to speak in diades or triades. We ate as a group in silence, we slept in a large room together in silence, waiting in line during bathroom breaks, morning and evening wash times all in silence. We were all individuals yet nothing from the external world made one person stand out over another.

The goal was to strip away the Ego’s identification with external stuff and create an opportunity to enter the Silence. Silence is the only place where we can observe thoughts, sensations and emotions as they arise… to simply BE. Our ego is very powerful and believes it is in control of our experience here on earth. When we become so immersed in our external worlds the false self is created by the ego. Our beliefs, desires, habits and reactions are rooted in us by the ego. We need our egos, no doubt… they keep us safe. However, we are so much more than our beliefs, our doing, our material possessions.

We were expertly guided by a psychologist and a team of support staff to hold space for each one of us to ensure our safety. This act of silence gave each of us the opportunity to observe our thoughts. Notice sensations generated in the body when we have a thought. Observe if that sensation felt pleasant or not. Decide to hold on to that thought or change it. Consider where that thought came from. Follow it back to its roots. Was it based on a belief, on a past experience, did it come from a foundation of truth (my truth) or was it inherited from society, was it something my ego came up with so I could feel good about myself….oh so much to digest, assimilate and release!

This Corona virus is affording us all the opportunity to move into silence and begin to dissolve the ego’s controlling grip. Maybe, you will begin to embrace this “pause” as an opportunity to create a reality that feels good? In the beginning we are challenged… we don’t like to be controlled or have limitations put on us. The ego doesn’t like this and could possibly go on screaming and kicking for days. We don’t know how to be without all our doing. So many of us DO all the time we have a very challenging time with BEING.

Now is the time to make changes you’ve been longing for. Take inventory. Are you happy? Are you healthy? Are you stuck? Do you feel whole, complete, content? More to follow……

 

The Importance of Keeping a Journal

APRIORITY WHEN LIVING A MAGICAL LIFE

 Really?  How can writing down thoughts, practices and seemingly mundane occurrences in life propagate magical living?  I asked myself this same question when I was assigned the task.  The importance of a journal was taught the very first morning of study with Brian Osborn, a master in esoteric work. He launched into a lengthy discussion of journaling (as only Brian can do!)  a Magical Diary he explained is a journal to track our own progress.

The cornerstone necessary in living a magical life is to know what you want. The foundationis what are you doing to get it? What are your results?

I was amazed by my reluctance to writing a journal.  Instantly, I was resistant. I could think ofmany reasonable excuses.  I had no time,didn’t know what to write, didn’t know where to begin, knew nothing.  How important could this be, really??  Truthfully, I was scared.  I had to be brutally honest with myself.  The journal made me accountable.   

Our class was given clear directions on how to go about it.

  First get a journal that resonates with you, is esthetically pleasing, for more power design the cover yourself!  Have it be specific to one area of practice.  For example, if you are practicing dreaming have a Dream Journal.  For a meditation practice, a Meditation Journal.  Whatever spiritual practices you engage in have a specific journal for it.

         On the first page, write a prayer or intension to reveal the highest and greatest within you, for knowledge, experience, illumination and wisdom. 

         Each entry will include the date, time, and phase of moon.  For example: Monday, October 14, 2019 ~ 3:40pm ~ Full Moon (actually combust)

         From here you can describe how you are feeling before, during and after the practice.  What sensations, sights, sounds, smells were experienced.  If recording a dream, be as specific as possible recalling details including how you felt during the dream.

As with all practices, writing in a journal is only aseffective as you are.

Now for the rest of the story….  Struggling with being stuck, approaching the tipping point to action ….  Day began with my morning ritual of sitting, meditating, praying in silence with a cup of coffee letting my thoughts run as I observe restlessness take over.

Whenever I am really stuck and in need of answers I visitmy parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all “resting” in the cemetery.   From grave to grave, spending time inconversation, expressing gratitude, reflecting on things passed, finallyspilling the beans with what’s up.   I feel all their energies with me and we walk.

 We walk through a large field silently observing nature. Suddenly a large marsh hawk swoops down from above heading toward the opposite end of the field.  The raucous caw of crows grows louder until all at once unleashed from a giant maple crows take flight to fend off the hawk’s advances.  Neither the crows nor the hawk are afraid.  The hawk flies alone fearless, the crows band together as an army of fighter pilots each taking a turn to swoop on the hawk.  The hawk lands in a nearby pine. The crows eventually retreat, acutely aware of the hawk’s presence. 

I’m struck by the scene which played out before me, no doubt for my benefit.  I resonated strongly with the hawk, alone and fearless.  The hawk knows its power and strength.  The crow too is a fearless creature, although much smaller than the hawk. By working together as a group, crows defend their space.  Which one am I?

End of story……

Getting back home I needed to journal.  I picked up my journal for Magical Practices,although it may not appear as a magical practice, the mundane act of visitingdeceased family members, after morning meditation and prayers, on a Monday,while the moon is in a powerful state, is.

My journal opened to a past entry and behold, as I read, it confirmed my decision to make now, was in process two years earlier! What I entered was the result of a tarot spread I made after performing a hermetic ritual. The information I received was accurate. I needed time, life’s a process, my human self needed to catch up to my spiritual self. Amazed and thrilled I headed outside eager to contemplate my previous entry, reflect on all that has occurred taking me to this point, and write about my experience of the day.

Before I could sit a neighbor called out a hello.  I asked how her class was going.  She responded timidly, part of her assignment was to journal and was not going well.  I almost laughed!  I invited her over to chat about journaling.  She left excited and enthusiastic with knowledge and understanding of how the power of journaling assists us magically on our paths.

Discovering my past entry has reaffirmed my decision to move forward. The information I wrote almost 2 years ago needed time to manifest. I wasn’t ready then….I am now.