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JOURNAL 2008~2010                                                                                        

"There is something very therapeutic in leveling with one's readers and bearing witness to the truth as one sees it."
        
 JOHN CURTIS GOWAN

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 To buy the book;  Hathaway Alignment Sessions  click here

 

 

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"The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing."

~~~
John Muir

 

Follow 38harmony daily Tweets journaling at ~~~~~>

 

 

Enjoy learning by Listening to some audio's on the subject of Alignment
http://www.youtube.com/user/38harmony#p/a/u/0/NFao_g2cqyM

 

 

05/26/2012

 

    "The body is now, I believe, our forest, our jungle, the "outlandish" expanse in which we are invited to let go

of every thing we think, allow ourselves to be stripped down to our most irreducible person, to die in every

experiential sense possible and see what, if anything, remains."  ~ Reginald A. Ray, Ph.D. 

From the book TOUCHING ENLIGHTENMENT,  Finding Realization in the Body.

    In exploring our physical body, our breathing provides an excellent tool for us to feel our internal deposition.

Knowing what constitutes our structural physical alignment is also a factor that makes the opening and unfolding of

our body a remarkably beneficial journey.  

 

~ there is no place of pilgrimage as fabulous and as open as this body of mine, no place more worth exploring ~ Saraha

 

 

 

2/25/2010 

Picture  Kelley & Harmony
in Delhi N.Y.

 All of the statistical facts are undisputed by experts in the fields of environmental studies. This with Kelley's description tell a small story of the health risks involved for much of NYS County's.  

CATSKILL’S FUTURE
by Dr. Kelley Snodgrass

Getting the Big Picture—Doing the Math

Getting the Big Picture on gas drilling in the Catskills requires some effort. We may need to gather some facts and, yes, do the math. Calvin Tillman, mayor of the town of Dish, Texas came here in February to give us a vivid picture what our lives could be like after the drilling begins. Once the leases are signed and the drilling starts, it’s too late. The damage is done. Even former “bring it on” gas drilling boosters in his town were horrified by what they saw once they got the Big Picture. Once-upon-a-time dreams were shattered by polluted air, respiratory disease, nonstop noise, dead animals and worthless real estate.

So what’s our future if the Gas Drillers get their way? Let’s gather some facts and do the math.

Fact: Hydrofracking takes a lot of water: the lowball estimate is one million gallons. Could be lots more, but let’s keep it conservative and simple. But that’s just for one well.
There could be eight wells on each well site. Do the math: 8 million gallons per site. Water has to be trucked in. Figure on thousands of truck trips per drill site.

The Big Picture: Expect a huge increase in heavy truck traffic on our highways and roads. Expect more noise, congestion and fumes. Between the site preparation, hydrofracking, and waste removal, millions of truck trips will be required for this process.

Question: Will this damage our roads?
Answer: Such increased use by heavy trucks will do extensive damage to our bridges and roads.

Question: Who will pay for repairs?
Answer: Ask your town supervisor. Road restrictions are about the only leverage towns have over the drilling companies. Home rule does not apply to drillers. You cannot vote “No to Drilling!” (at least not from the town level of government).

Fact: Catskill well pads will be huge: 5 to 15 acres. That’s big enough for a highway truck stop. How many of these cement pads will grace our hills? Let’s do the math: Since wells can be spaced at 16 per square mile and Delaware County has 1,468 square miles we get 23,488 wells maximum. Let’s lowball this and just say we get 10,000 wells in this county. If each pad has eight wells---do the math please--- 10,000 divided by eight = 1,250 cement well pads coming your way in Delaware County. Divided evenly among the 19 towns we get---1,250 divided by 19 = 65 Truck Stops... err…well pads for each town.


The Big Picture: Town of Delhi: 65 truck stops, Meredith: 65 truck stops. Town of Franklin: 65 Truck stops. Kortright: 65 Truck stops. Town of Andes: 65 Truck Stops…get the picture?

Question: Do these well pads have to be lighted?
Answer: Yes they do! With stadium lights. Say “good bye” to the night time sky. Like to watch the stars? Forget about it!

Question: Will they shut off the noisy diesel-fueled compressors at night?
Answer: Nope! They have to run 24/7. Gotta keep the gas line pressure up. The silence of a January midnight in the Catskills?—Over!

Question: What will they do with the toxic waste?
Answer: They plan to store it in open pit ponds next to the well pads.

The Big Picture: Town of Delhi: 65 toxic waste ponds. Town of Franklin: 65 toxic waste ponds. Meredith: 65 toxic waste ponds. Andes 65 toxic waste ponds etc.

Question: How much toxic waste will there be?
Answer: First, the math: each well produces 500,000 gallons of toxic sludge, with eight wells per well pad, that would be 4 million gallons of toxic sludge per well pad. With 65 well pads per town we get 260 million gallons of toxic waste in each town sitting around in open pit ponds. With nineteen towns we get almost 5 Billion gallons of toxic sludge in Delaware County.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the TREES! Yes…the drillers prefer the high spots, so a lot of trees have to be cut. Ever wonder how many trees are on five acres? Well, it’s around 3,500. If the drill pads are sited in forested areas, the trees have got to go. Bring on the chain saws, bull dozers and cement trucks. Drillers like to operate on flat cement surfaces. Who knew?

Question: How many trees will have to be cut down to make way for the drilling pads?
Answer: Given that some of the pads will go into open fields, not all pads will require extensive chain saw and bulldozer work. Let’s say one out of three sites will be in forested areas. The math: 65 well pads per town with 21 requiring clear cutting (21 times 3,500= 73,500) Seventy three thousand trees go down in each town. About a million and a half trees will fall in Delaware County to make way for gas.

Question: I have a lease with a gas company. Can they just come in and cut down my trees?
Answer: Yes they can!

One parting thought…
Many people would say that the quality of life in the Catskill Mountains is priceless. Maybe so. But I can see where a few companies are about to buy it up and shred it for about six billion dollars. You do the math!

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Related Links & Updates

Note: Kelley is keeping informed of future developments. He thanks Calvin Tillman for opening the story to NYS residents.

See; http://txsharon.blogspot.com/2010/02/calvin-tillman-to-rescue.html 

On twitter Re-tweeted by ~ thegreenboriin; http://twitter.com/thegreenboriin

AMAZING RT @38harmony Health 101, Article on Gas Drilling http://bit.ly/ddgHr9  #water #eco #enviro #pa #ny #nyc #sierraclub #frac

 

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01/18/2010

Some Before and after pictures of Alignment of the feet & having arches for structural integrity of the lower body.

http://www.alignment.org/B&A.htm 

 

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01/01/2010 Happy New Year :)

    “What is the New teaching? A revolution has to take place. A revolution based on one very simple physical truth. There is a division in the center of our back, where the spine moves simultaneously in two opposite directions: from the waist down towards the legs and the feet, which are pulled by gravity, and from waist upwards, through the top of the head, lifting us up freely.

     The pull of gravity under our feet makes it possible for us to extend the upper part of the spine, and this extension allows us also to release between the vertebrae. Gravity is like a magnet attracting us to the earth, but this attraction is not limited to pulling us down, it also allows us to stretch in the opposite direction towards the sky.”

 From Awakening the Spine ~ 1991  by Vanda Scaravelli  1908 - 1999 ~.  

 

    From Madam Scaravelli, a yoga master, we get clarification that we can work with the breath to support & lift the upper body while allowing the lower body to give weight to the ground. This is especially felt when one is standing in one spot for a period of time. As I coach people to allow the knees to relax and feel the hips are allowing the weight to drop down the legs and into the ground. At the same time one can work with expansive breathing to lift the upper body and restore the upper body space and spinal alignment if that has been compromised at all. I would have to say from experience that this is in most bodies I have worked with as well in people I see moving through their daily life.

     I believe, that most internal problems are a result of people handling the body as if it is a victim of gravity and they slowly shut down internal space. This also leads to many more structural problems of the joints of the body and by the time people reach their 60’s they may have many serious physical problems.

     Vanda uses nature as an example, where trees and plants which grow in two direction; the roots going into the earth as well as the stems or trunk of the plant reaching upward. She has used this metaphor in her teachings of Iyengar Yoga.

    These very same ideas are part of Alignment yoga which I have been working with since 1963. However, in our practice we take some different turns as opposed to the traditional practices of Hatha Yoga. This doesn’t diminish the value of doing yoga practice but the emphasis is on releasing the body from any stage of development and working with establishing alignment while in motion or action. Alignment in Action would be an apt way of stating the directions of alignment principles, since they are used in performance and don’t come as a practice that one does for an hour a day even though one may start off treating the alignment principles as a practice at first to develop insight and groove in those insights to our everyday activities.    

     The basic difference between practice and performance for me is that in introducing people to Alignment Yoga people can start to correct the physical structure of the body as they start introducing alignment principles to their body in an informal manner and see how this relates to moving their body. The insights have a more practical application in the daily activities whether sitting, standing, walking or running.

    I feel, that the potentials of our body as an element of nature has some remarkable abilities that we are awakening to and have yet to be fully documented as a coherent data base of what the body is capable of in a natural state.

     “What is the New teaching? A revolution has to take place.” Is an appropriate statement as we move and grow our understanding of the human form.

 

Blessings
Harmon Hathaway.    

 

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4/11/09


Man needs a healthy body in order to have a healthy mind filled with good thoughts. It must be recognized that the purpose of sports and music is to confer health and happiness on man. There are three benefits to be derived from sports and games: team spirit, mutual understanding and joy. Even if men speak different languages and differ in their habits and cultures, in the field of sports they have a common bond, a spirit of camaraderie. True education consists in the cultivation of good thoughts and acquiring good qualities like truthfulness, devotion, discipline, and dedication. These are also the qualities that should be acquired through sports and games. These qualities serve to impart health and joy to the subtle body.

- BABA



Our health is the most important element of being with the physical body. When there is a problem our attention usually is absorbed by any issue that comes up and we are occupied with examining what is going on with our body. This is fine since we can be with the body and work on resolving any problem without running to a doctor for every little thing that crops up. As we learn more about our alignment and breathing we can generally handle most somatics that come to the body, for what ever reason.

If we place our attention on the area that is feeling constrained or bothersome and create some space in the body around this area, we can feel the somatic change and even subside. In being aware of the body we learn to trust that we can handle most symptoms as they arise and we will find comfort in our own way of working with things that arise in the body.

The majority of people seem to have an opinion that only doctors know what is going on with the body, an opinion promoted by the media, drug company’s and the AMA. This generally is not healthy since we give up our own intuitive ability to work with problems as they arrive.

Let’s take the common back problem that tends to visit most people as they pass thirty plus years of age. This usually can be handled by creating some expansion in the area of the back that hurts with breathing. As we address this back problem during the day while walking, sitting or lying down we will make discoveries about what works best for us as we address the issue. If the problem persists we may see a chiropractor for an adjustment or a good massage therapist to help us along.

For the most part doctors may give us a pill, some conditioned advice, and suggest no movement. Looking at the three possible solutions that doctors have for us:

1. Pills are generally a problem since they are foreign to the digestive system and can shut down our ability to work with any pain that is there. Ideally we can build on our understanding of our own body and how to work with it by feeling the reality of what is there. This does not mean we have to dismiss pills altogether if the pain is severe or we are losing a great deal of sleep from the pain. Using common sense with managing pain is called for when it gets so annoying that we are hindered in doing anything.

2. Conditioned advice usually creates more mystery for us about our body because doctors generally advise from their medical training, which excludes most alternative therapies, and seldom give clients credit for being able to make informed choices based on an integral approach to any physical problem. Of course, other fields of understanding the physical body other than standard medical curriculum are not part of doctors training and would require much more schooling then may be reasonable which suggests a ‘no blame’ consideration for doctors unless they appear totally dogmatic.

3. If rest is suggested that may be good however, we still need to be with the body and any pain so we may work out of the problem, this could actually require some movement. I have found that some people have an intuitive sense of what to do for handling a physical problem. I know farmers generally like to keep moving and working even though problems are visiting. A suggestion of ‘no movement’ is exactly the opposite of what we would want if we are going to work through a back problem. Even traditional Hatha yoga will provide some stretches that will help us stretch the muscles of the back that tend to contract during a period of having pain. Experience with my own body and decades of working with others leads me to the conclusion that rest and movement are both ideas we can apply to problems and determine which works best for us.


The severity of back problems can have a full range of pain from throbbing pain to mild pain and we need to deal with this spectrum using what we know of alignment and breathing. I am not against using a pain pill in the severest of situations but we still need to work with our bodies to bring about a resolution of the physical problem.

In brief, when we learn to trust what we know of alignment and working out of somatics as they arise we will develop our comfort level for working with our own body as we move from day to day.

"By becoming a conscious choice-maker, you begin to generate actions that are evolutionary for you."

-- Deepak Chopra
 

 

03/27/2009

What is Nature Intelligence?

 

 “What all form has in common is its intelligence. This dynamic is common in makeup and flow. How it expresses the flow is determined by the unique qualities of the form itself. All form must have intelligence in order to exist because all form must be linked with and express its soul dynamics. Intelligence is the organizing dynamic that provides the movement of soul through form.

 By Machaelle Small Wright

 

Natural alignment of the body is a built in instinct for what is empowering us as we interact with the physical elements of life as it is.  Breathing in prana joy and feeling the internal spaces of our body expand open and then relax as a pleasurable exhale moves out of our body, we are establishing flow with nature intelligence. Repeating this process helps us develop a state of mind in which we can contemplate peacefully and reflect inherent balance.

 

Being at home in the body begs the question, what is being at home in the body? From an NLP point of view I would be prompted to tell the brain I love being in the body at least three times and then asses how that feels. We can use language to alter the wiring programs of the past and give our brain information that is enduring. By breathing in and expanding our body from inside and then breathing out peacefully we also have a way of stabilizing our being in the moment.

 

“Perhaps you can start to understand why yogis call the breath a vital force—not in the philosophical sense, but in the feeling sense. Upon inhalation, you draw in a vital force from the throat to the abdomen, charging the body with energy and life. Upon exhalation, you release and radiate this force as subtle pleasure and joy through out the bodymind itself.”

The Simple Feeling of Being, pg. 113. Ken Wilber.

 

 

Thus our breathing becomes a primary for us. Helping our bodymind experience becomes more flowing and natural. Intunement does not have to be that complicate or evasive. If we focus our attention on the immediate actions of breathing while feeling the expansion and contraction of the body we are in the present. You are reading this text in the present. So the obvious fact that we are present in the body is easy to establish, the action and interaction then become part of the process of being mindful.

 

A win win situation

 

~~~~~~~~

  

Our body has an inner and outer life, the ‘project’ is getting them in tune with physical motion. Motion, performance and actions, become the barometer of our good, true and beautiful experience as it relates to equanimity of being.

 

Peak performance illustrates the usefulness of using breath and alignment as we move in time and space enjoying the activity.      

 

~~~~~

 

Character is the true ornament of man. The loss of this ornament is the source of all his suffering and misery. Man does not realize the purpose for which he has been created by God. God’s creation is pregnant with profound truths, mysteries and ideals. But man has forgotten these ideals. He is unable to appreciate the significance of his legacy. Of all the powers in the world, human power is the greatest. Man assigns value to everything in this world, but he is unable to recognize his own value.

 

  - BABA

 

~~~

03/06/09

I always believe that it is much better to have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than one single religion or philosophy. This is necessary because of the different mental dispositions of each human being. Each religion has certain unique ideas or techniques, and learning about them can only enrich one’s own faith.

DALI LAMA

 

Development for our Health

The body inherently gravitates to being aligned.  What happens to our body form as it ages is more a result of ignorance of what alignment is all about for the physical body. Being able to understand alignment comes from our own common sense of what feels good, true and beautiful at any time. If we have a physical problem and the method used to solve the problem in the most non-abusive way and in a prompt way, then! we can develop an appreciation of the physical experience with fuller health.

 As we are applying the tools of alignment to our body we naturally move in the direction of better health and unlock the self-correcting elements of our 7 intelligence's. Conscious breathing is the most practical way of exercising our upper body muscles while introducing more internal space to the body. This does not intrude on what we are doing, in fact it brings more focus to the moment. As we are enjoying the play of breath in the body and allowing the natural rhythm of being awake to the present, our body will find natural movements and sound that help in the unfolding of our wellbeing.

 Integrating our inner work with an outer awareness of body gives us an opportunity to become more intuitive and imaginative as we go through the days of work and play.  

 

 

2/28/09

 The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.
The Dalai Lama
 

 CEO’s of surviving corporations conducting business with an awareness of right livelihood ask that others be represented in the decision making, sort of an integral type of approach, that includes other humans in ones internal shaping of the world. That is what makes a Co-oporation endure. Yes the world may have mad men (mostly men, the ladies tend to be more caring and sharing) but, all form is heartily connected with Buddha nature, the Great Liberation, Naturalness and Divine Energy too, how about that!

 Best to stay on the nondual side of the street it is more in sync with nature. Being still like a mountain mirrors patience. I guess the our gang lyric ‘accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative’ will suffice as a western contribution to our language.  

 As we are mindful of breathing in the body we can witness external events with a composure of grace and dignity. Our dignity is of form and its innate structural truths. Our grace is from our being in the moment. Understanding our natural structural truths, alignment and breath, we are accessing the inner subtle level of being (subtle body) and bringing it forth.

 Quieting the mind and feeling the body with breath, is simply, being grounded in the moment and allowing ‘let it be’ to ring in your ear. As you know this all makes for transformative experiences rich with love in the moment.

 Allowing neutral states of being, we glide into subtle textures, lifting up our form and introducing more grace and dignity.

 Our western consumptive habits can slide away as we bring awareness to the breath and the body. Just sitting, standing or walking with some attention on our breathing and how we are moving our form through time and space helps our cognitive, aesthetic and physical intelligence's to be in sync with each other.

  

PASSIONLESSNESS

The first characteristic of a dharmic person, or a practitioner, is passionlessness, which is an interesting theme for Westerners. You have all kinds of possibilities of organizing and creating occupations -- from chewing gum to taking trips to the Bahamas. You are always looking for ways to solve your boredom, your boredom problem. In contrast, passionlessness means experiencing boredom properly and fully. You don't immediately fill the gap with all kinds of things....In Western society, when any little irritation comes up, there is always something to cure it. They even sell little pads to stick on your spectacles to keep them from sliding down, so that they will stay on your nose properly. From little things like pads for your spectacles to the biggest of the biggest, as long as anybody can afford it, the Western approach is to cure any kind of boredom, any kind of irritation at all. So passion is connected with being unable to relate to boredom -- needing some kind of sustaining power. And a practitioner is someone who can maintain himself, who can relate with boredom.

From "Seven Characteristics of a Dharmic Person," in THE COLLECTED WORKS OF CHOGYAM TRUNGPA, Volume Two, pages 484 to 485.

 

Weekly letter from Ocean of Dharma

 

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02/22/2009

  

The teachings that come from Natalie Merchant’s song are profound indeed. Having the treat of hearing her yesterday I had to read the Lyrics. This song is from the album Ophelia

 

Lyrics;   and    Watch

 

~~~~

Love plays its lute behind the screen --

 By Fakhruddin Iraqi

(? - 1289)

 English version by William Chittick and Peter Lamborn Wilson

  

Love plays its lute behind the screen --

where is a lover to listen to its tune?

 

With every breath a new song,

each split second a new string plucked.

 

The world has spilled Love's secret --

when could music ever hold its tongue?

 

Every atom babbles the mystery --

Listen yourself, for I'm no tattletale!

 

~~~

In response to a friends letter:

 Problems with the neck and the long muscles that run from the mastoid processes to the sternum generally are a result of long term shortening of this muscle line. A way of correcting this is to be aware of the chin being closer to the collar bone as you are working with breathing whether sitting, standing or laying down. See this article on the C of the ABC’s of alignment for a demonstration of the above ideas.

 Working with both a chiropractor and a massage therapist can be helpful, however we need to understand this positioning of the head and neck so we can maintain this principle of alignment ourselves.

 You wrote:Well, some folks are just not ready for the work. But what has happened is I have been doing more of it myself from your book. So maybe this was to benefit me and get you and I in touch and keep the thread running for those with Like Mind. I did have a question. Is there an exercise that can release my neck muscles? My acupuncturist is working on it, I apparently have a compressed vertebrae up there and we need to keep me open so I don’t become a surgery candidate. Any suggestions would be gratefully accepted.”

 ……..That there is compression in the area of the vertebrae is evident from what you feel and the need to introduce expansion or length to the area is outlined above. No operations that ’FIX’ the situation will ever leave you feeling better and from my experience with people who have had neck and back operations was that they suffer more from the limitations imposed by the operations, which leave them constantly feeling uncomfortable and looking for more remedies.

 Acupuncture is great, that combined with a really good massage therapist/chiropractor would be very helpful since you understand the ideas above about upper body alignment.

 By the way movement of the head and neck, rather then keeping it still, is very important because the discs of the spine depend on motion for there self contained feeding system. Most people feel they need to keep the neck still after some problem and that is the opposite of what the discs need. Play with motion and discover what feels helpful and comfortable.

 “Thank you for the time you spent with me on the phone to try to help my friend, but perhaps in the future I can bring it up again. The good part is he is NOT doing surgery and has decided to live with it for now. Maybe one day I can get in there close enough that he feels comfortable to try what you know. All in due time.”

 As you work with your own body you will gain more confidence in explaining and demonstrating alignment to others. I am glad that your friend postponed any operations, perhaps he got something from your efforts!

 

Blessings

~~~

The I Am


Goin to playland everborn.

To be with you

One and the same lover I have always had;

Eternities bliss

One with me/we are the same

One with me/we are the same

So you know I love you

In a sky of dreams

In the land everborn.
                       

                    hh

 

~~~

02/06/2009

  

Today is Monica’s birthday, the candles are lit to represent the light Monica brought in. Her gifts of understanding of the human form have infused us all with a wonderful truth of love in form. OM AH HUM.

  ~~~

This mornings read focused on the article below, and what we all face as non-integral design forms try to defy gravity for the 'good of all'. I include the wonderful quote from Prof. Mencken.

  

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

-H. L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

 

Why GM crops are dangerous

INTERVIEW

 

02/04/2009

 

Response ability

 

Our ability to respond with our natural, integrally informed and intuitive intelligence, which also resonates with our subtler inner forms, is a transcendental experience. As is said ‘One with everything’! 

 

Our ability to respond to external events while breathing and feeling happy depends upon being present in our body. With each breath we take we update the good news. We love feeling good, happy and immediate, we have a tactile relationship with life and with our senses being perfected for the perception of what is good true and beautiful.

 

By focusing our attention on breathing in and out as we are doing an activity we add Mindfulness to the activity. A win, win situation where growth is an ever-present phenomena or dance.

 

 

From http://www.shambhala.com/html/learn/features/ctr/email-quotes.cfm

 

 CONTENTMENT

Contentment is connected with appreciating what you have, with some sense of rejoicing, which is often very hard. You are constantly involved with possibilities of change, all the time changing from one thing to another. You cannot celebrate your own life as what you have, what you are. You are unable to celebrate the simplicity of the practice itself and the simplicity of life. But being contented with what you have IS a celebration.

From "Seven Characteristics of a Dharmic Person," in THE COLLECTED WORKS OF CHOGYAM TRUNGPA, Volume Two, page 485.

 

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Exercising

 

In opening the body to breath we are also providing an exercise program for the muscles of the body. It feels good to feel alive and free in the body. Reacquainting ourselves with our esthetical, subtle natures, we awaken to what is in the moment.

 

With each breath we take we open pathways to heart and higher mind. If this is true, I would say; Breathing is an excellent exercise. The benefits of being mindful of the breath leads to a land where emptiness will reveal itself.

 

Being with the breath and feeling the contentment and equanimity of natures grace, we can walk, sit, stand and perform, mindful of the grace and dignity of life itself.

  

1/30/2009

  

Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.

          This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

          At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

          Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

 

Rabindranath Tagore    1861 - 1941

 

01/29/2009

 

We are perfection born in a garden of delight. Then knowledge enters and we are talked out of our true sense of it all (Innate Intelligence). We know what feels good naturally. Our senses are open to the ‘noise’ in the space and we do have a sense awareness of what is productive, useful, intuitive and fulfilling. By that I mean, we love nourishing food and good vibrations for our natural senses. Our inner ear listens while our subtle body and causal body digest the ingredients of the space. That is some remarkable fine tuning our system does while eating prana.

  

01/27/09

 

Being mindful of the body, we breath in a long breath that fills our lungs and helps us exercise the muscles of the body. We can do this both formally by taking ½ hour practices with expanding the body open or informally which is while we do things in the world.

 Wow! We can be at work and get paid to perform our daily Free Health program. Awareness blossoms as we become healthier, happier and more mindful of our 7 intelligence's tweaking  our being in the body.

 ~~~~~

Letter from a dear friend in Australia  11/11/2008

 

Dear Harmony,
Have just on an impulse re-visited this e-mail and clicked the link to your page and it seems you've entered "How We View Our Body" just now.  It ends with 4/11/08.  Is this true?  It's incredible.  Amazingly so.  I've had limited access to computer last 6 weeks or so but had it repaired this afternoon (on an impulse, when a simply enquiry led me to an honest technician who without any fuss - or delay - repaired it!).  Have floated into, November 4, the new day (it is 42 mins past midnight here), listening to good music on You Tube and whilst floating with this soundscape have hopped over to my e-mail in-box and on an impulse opened yours that you'd sent me on June 20.  Here I find confirmation and a reminder that our body is ours; and that this sentiment/blessing has been gifted from you from a possible few breaths ago.
That's incredible.  Thanks.
Dora xxx

~~~~~

01/17/2009

 

“ I believe deeply that we must find, all of us together. A new spirituality.”

            ~~~Dalai Lama~~~


The Spiritual Dimensions of Obama's Leadership
© 2008 by Gordon Davidson and Corinne McLaughlin

 

http://www.visionarylead.org:80/articles/Obama.htm

 

~~~~~

1/16/09

Man needs a healthy body in order to have a healthy mind filled with good thoughts. It must be recognized that the purpose of sports and music is to confer health and happiness on man. There are three benefits to be derived from sports and games: team spirit, mutual understanding and joy. Even if men speak different languages and differ in their habits and cultures, in the field of sports they have a common bond, a spirit of camaraderie. True education consists in the cultivation of good thoughts and acquiring good qualities like truthfulness, devotion, discipline, and dedication. These are also the qualities that should be acquired through sports and games. These qualities serve to impart health and joy to the subtle body.

- BABA



Our health is the most important element of being with the physical body. When there is a problem our attention usually is absorbed by any issue that comes up with our body and we are occupied with examining what is going on with our body. This is fine since we should be with the body and work on resolving the problem without running to a doctor for every little thing that crops up. As we learn more about our alignment and breathing we can generally handle most somatics that come to the body, for what ever reason.

If we place our attention on the area that is feeling constrained or bothersome and create some space in the body around this area we can feel the somatic change and even subside. Being with the body is an every day affair and if we learn to trust that we can handle most symptoms as they arise we will find comfort in our own way of working with things that arise in the body.

The majority of people seem to have an opinion that only doctors know what is going on with the body, an opinion promoted by the media, drug company’s and the AMA. This generally is not healthy since we give up our own intuitive ability to work with problems as they arrive.

Lets take the common back problem that tends to visit us when we pass thirty years of age. This usually can be handled by creating some expansion in the area of the back that hurts with breathing. As we address this back problem during the day while walking, sitting or lying down we will make discoveries about what works best for us as we address the issue. If the problem persists we may see a chiropractor for an adjustment or a good massage therapist to help us along.

For the most part doctors may give us a pill, some bad advice, and suggest no movement.
Lets look at the three solutions that doctors have for us. Pills are generally a problem since they are foreign to the digestive system and can shut down our ability to work with the pain that is there, which builds on our understanding of our own body. Bad advice usually creates more mystery for us about the body. If rest is suggested that may be good however, we still need to be with the body and any pain so we may work out of the problem. A suggestion of no movement is exactly the opposite of what we would want if we are going to work through a back problem. Even traditional Hatha yoga will provide some stretches that will help us stretch the muscles of the back that tend to contract during a period of having pain.

The severity of back problems can have a full range of pain from throbbing pain to mild pain and we need to deal with this spectrum using what we know of alignment and breathing. I am not against using a pain pill in the severest of situations but we still need to work with our bodies to bring about a resolution of the physical problem.

In brief, when we learn to trust what we know of alignment and working out of somatics as they arise we will develop our comfort level for working with our own body as we move from day to day.


01/15/2009


The integration of the subtle and causal bodies with the physical body I believe, is helped along by understanding the principles of physical alignment and how to maintain the esthetics of our form. What ever we do, from sports, running a big cooperation, (hopefully integral), bringing up the kids or building a barn We can be mindful of our physical alignment.

In this way we structurally represent what is good, true and beautiful for us as well as our action. That’s my suggestion for having your own natural health care system that has been provided by nature herself. Did I say that it is free, fun and instructive. As Ken Wilber says “Emptiness is in love with form”. How do we accomplish this amazing feat of being in love with form? Saying, I love this form three times would be a very good start, then saying I trust my body 3 times. This is a verbal exercise to break down any resistance that may be wired in to diffuse. Learning more about natures gift of form we become more comfortable with taking responsibility for our own health.

Thich Nhat Hanh writes in his book Buddha Mind Buddha body; “As you walk, be fully aware of your foot, the ground and the connection between them, which is your conscious breathing. People say that walking on water is a miracle, but to me, walking peacefully on the earth is a miracle, Each step is a miracle. Taking steps on our beautiful planet can bring real happiness.”

It is clear to me Mr Hanh is telling us that as we apply this attitude to our activities we will also become more joyful and happy.


01/14/2009

Reading the morning news about the world at large, I am happy that I have drawn from the wisdom of the east and post modern philosophy of the west, which arrives at more embracive and integral, (google Ken Wilber), views of the world. I feel comfortable with positive views for humanity. Seeing potential for real change and modals that can be used to create natural order in time works well for me.

Meanwhile we experience contraction of an economic system, dire predictions for the global community and a general feeling of speed. I would say that the speed is from the movement of information the flows around the world and brings one up to date on just about everything. From the internal side of the fence, order and balance are sought for being humble as one proceeds to make a difference.

You all know my solution for internal order is being with the breath. Breath keeps me present as I feel the grace of my own sacred child playing in the space. Playfulness and fun are terms that need to be resurrected in our brain so they my steer us to platforms of radiant wonder.
 

 

11/28/08

 

O you who have departed from your own self,
and who have not yet reached the Friend:
do not be sad, for
He is accompanying you in each of your breaths.

Khwaja Abdullah Ansari

 

Love is the tactile texture we can hear, smell, touch, taste, feel and see. Our evolving nature uses these senses to open the doors of heaven on Earth. When our breath is comfortably expanding and contracting and we are feeling our tummy expand and contract, like the universe itself, we have surrendered to  higher holons.

 

That which is good, true and beautiful is immediate, right away, now and rather obvious, don’t you think?

With each breathe we take we can feel the immediate, we can feel the textures of  time and space. Our 7 intelligence's freely contextualize and our auto-poetical nature evolves and ascends. 

 ~~~~~~~~

 

Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week

November 20, 2008 

MADNESS AND SANITY

When we talk about madness and about sanity, it is extremely important, and everybody should know, that there is only ONE point, rather than that you belong to either of those groups (the insane and the sane.) You don't have to belong to one in order to become mad or another in order to become wise or liberated. You don't have to associate yourself with either the good or the bad, but you become the one. And that one possesses both good and bad simultaneously. That's a very important point in terms of experience. It is extremely necessary to know that.

From "The Bardo of Birth," in TRANSCENDING MADNESS: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE SIX BARDOS, page 78.

 

Reflecting on the principles of light and what is referred to as ‘the Dark Night of the Soul’, I got a sense of the freedom or connectedness we can physically experience in both the pre-rational and early rational stages. A natural connectedness that nature lets us have in our early days, before the onslaught of cultural holons, that must be adhered to if your “going to make it in this world”. I felt in our search to capture this freedom again we let go of the rational and go trans-rational. Once we are comfortable with high trans-rational and move towards the Integral states and feel comfortable that the inner subtle body being is resonating with the gross body form. At this stage the absence of this connection, to me would qualify as a Dark Night event and our sensitivities are hurting before waves of love come quietly in and decide to stay.
 

~~~~~~

Understand dualities

"Life is the coexistence of all opposite values. Joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, up and down, hot and cold, here and there, light and darkness, birth and death. All experience is by contrast, and one would be meaningless without the other."

-- Deepak Chopra

Life is full of dualities, opposites. Despite their apparent opposition, each extreme in a duality is necessary to fully actualize the other. Each depends on the existence of the other. For example, we cannot know honesty if we don't know deception.

The key is to not resist or suppress the negative. We need to acknowledge its existence, though we may choose not to express it. When we embrace wholeness, we move to a higher perspective.

"The light which man has discovered within himself makes him more aware of the dark; through the good which attracts him, he sees the evil which is the line of least resistance; the activity leading to pain simultaneously permits him to visualize the contrasting pleasure, and thus he experiences something of both hell and heaven."

-- Aart Jurriaanse
 

~~~~~~~~

 

10/11/2008


Develop good habits: doing Bhajan (group singing), practicing Asanas (yogic postures), meditation, silence - these will give you peace and joy, a clear brain and concentration. They will discipline the wayward mind. --Sri Sai Baba—

Adding to the list above working with our body in both traditional and postmodern ways we can develop a dignified approach to living. In any work we do with breadth we really have a large selection of practices to integrate and work with. Breathing practices of various kinds can be viewed as different modules for working with our breath. They all have truths for us to work with, but as we work with different practices we will select and choose what works for us now.


Expansive breathing, which is used in alignment work, address basic ideas of establishing alignment and works for maintaining health as well as providing a grounding for being in the moment. Having worked with people over 45 years the same expansive breathing practice for creating more open spaces in the body is introduced initially. Depending on the age and preference of each individual the reactions have always been positive as well as dramatic for many. For most with no particular physical issues they connect with the openness and lightness that expansive breathing brings while older folks with issues will express their delight with a release of symptoms and pains, while also feeling that the breathing gives them a way of working with their own body. Since each of us is at a different stage of development the breathing practice is referenced differently.

In most cases the general feeling of well being is the underlying event from which each person can grow.

 

~~~~~~~~

 

06/07/2008

 

WAKEFUNNESS

I have felt;  the natural evolution of the body, following its self correcting intelligences, begs for more internal space for the ingestion of prana energy. Learning how we can use breathing to introduce more participation, for our internal intelligence's performance on planet Earth, is a wisdom we can engage in.

Body knowledge encompasses blending our * subtle body states with living openheartedly. Breath becomes the tuning fork for us to use as food for our interconnectedness, wholeness and trust for our physical form, as we relax into natures integrity. Feeling expansion of the breath and then the contraction of the breath keeps us in touch with the rhythm of the OM vibration or resonance that plays in time and space. This promotes our being in a state of meditation or wakefulness.

Natural states of awareness are accompanied with our breathing action, where we are the witness to mother natures (breast milk), nourishment. Love, is the healing elixir we imbibe with each breath. Meaning; love and nature are friends in the cosmic dance.

Being with our ‘gross’ form the physical body, for me, is an unfolding dance manifesting the natural art form we are. Having the capacity to be natural keeps us in touch with our nondual nature.  Being immediate, spontaneous, natural and joyful are sensations of our form that are much appreciated when present.  

 

04/20/2008

FEELING BETTER

 

Felling better has two aspects; one is feeling physically better and the other is feeling what is going on with our intuitive and emotional being.  Based on over 45 years of working with alignment and expansive breathing I have observed that both the intuitive and the emotional are tweaked by learning to do alignment work. For example; I have found that things we find difficult or are unhappy with become even more intolerable as we open the body which provokes real change of bothersome conditions. This may seem like a negative but, the better we feel the more likely we are to change what feels like a limiting condition. That is one of the positives of working with our breath. I have often noticed  where people who have relationships that are unfriendly, will create positive change.

 

By taking up expansive breathing, as is practiced in Alignment Yoga we create more space in our body. This brings more attention to areas, both physical as well as emotional, and we can better feel what is going on inside of our world. From this vantage point we can allow our intuitive intelligence's to heal our personal dimensions.

 

If we feel somatics that are alarming we can examine these somatics with breathing; by examining the results of sending breath energy to areas of our body that we discern are in need of comfort. Breathing becomes a tool for the natural examination of discomfort as it arises in our body. Alignment principles are also tools for us to work our body. For example; A 40 year old tennis player told me that he was getting hamstring cramps in his legs while playing and viewed this as an ageing factor. I suggested to him that the next time he felt the hamstring cramps come on, he can trying stamping his feet on the outside pads of the feet for a little bit and see if they ease. Four months later I met him again and he exclaimed “that worked”! He then proceeded to fill me in on how he doesn’t have this problem anymore. I was then able to talk to him of the alignment principle of relaxed knees and having arches in our feet to help us maintain and elevate our performance.

 

FRIENDLINESS TO ONESELF

 

The recognition of sacredness comes from developing a basic sense of gentleness towards ourselves, so that the irritation of being stuck with oneself is taken away. When that kind of friendliness to oneself has occurred, then one also develops friendliness towards the rest of the world, at the same time. At that point, sadness, loneliness, and wretchedness begin to dissipate. We begin to develop a sense of humor. We don't get so pissed off if we have a bad cup of coffee in the morning. A natural sense of dignity begins to occur.

 

Chogyam Trungpa

 

~~~~~~~~~

04/17/2008

From: Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week by Chogyam Trungpa
 
NO ENEMY
 

For the Shambhala warrior, the actual, basic notion of victory is not so much that you have one-upped your enemy and therefore you are victorious. Rather, no enemy exists at all; therefore, there is victory. This is the idea of unconditional warriorship and unconditional victory. In connection with this, the concept of sacredness is that fearlessness is carried into everyday life situations, even brushing your teeth. So fearlessness occurs all over the place, all the time. Fearlessness here is also unconditional. In this way, fearlessness becomes cheerful and very light. There's no need for cowardice or fear at all, or any moments of doubt. Actually what we're talking about is doubtlessness, we could say, rather than fearlessness. There's no doubt. There are no second thoughts. Everything is a complete warrior's world. So here victory is not having to deal with an enemy at all. It is the notion of no enemy. The whole world is a friend.
 

 Four a free subscription visit the Chogyam Trungpa website by clicking on the following link: http://OceanofDharma.com
 

~~~~~~

Thought for the day

Love alone can reveal the Divinity latent in all. Love is God. Live in Love. Love lives by giving and forgiving; self lives by getting and forgetting. Love is selflessness. Do not waste your life pursuing the narrow interests of the self. Love! Love! Become what you truly are - the embodiments of Love. No matter how others treat you or what they think of you, do not worry. Your own heart shining with Love is God's Love. You should constantly remind yourself, "I am God." The day you see yourself as God, you become God.

 

- BABA

 

 

04/14/2008

For the 2012 buffs ;) GOOD NEWS

 

----The International Indigenous University

presents

The Ceremony of 8,000 Sacred Drums

March 21, 2006

Otomi Ceremonial Center

Temoaya , Mexico----

 

According to a Sacred Prophecy revealed at the Otomi Ceremonial Center

by the Otomi Elder Sages as a Vision of our Venerable Ancestors,

 

Prophecies...

 

500 year-old Otomi Prophecy...When 8000 sacred drums play together, an

intense healing of Mother Earth will commence.

 
Inca... Call it the 'Age of Meeting Ourselves Again'.
 

Hopi... Predict a 25 year period of purification followed by End of

Fourth World and beginning of the Fifth.
 

Mayan... Call it the 'end days' or the end of time as we know it

 
Maori... Say that as the veils dissolve there will be a merging of the

physical & spiritual worlds.

 
Zulu... Believe that the whole world will be turned upside down.

 
Hindu... Kali Yuga (end time of man). The Coming of Kalki & critical

mass of Enlightened Ones.


Aztec... Call this the Time of the Sixth Sun. A time of transformation.

Creation of new race.

 
Pueblo ... Acknowledge it'll be the emergence into the Fifth World

 

Cherokee... Their ancient calendar ends exactly at 2012 as does the

Mayan calendar.

 

Tibetan... Kalachakra teachings are prophesies left by Buddha predicting

Coming of the Golden Age.

 

Egypt ... According to the Great Pyramid (stone calendar), present time

cycle ends in year 2012 AD

 

Dogon... Say that the spaceship of the visitors, the Nommo, will return

in the form of a blue star.

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

04/08/2008

 

Manifesting the Immaculate.

 Animating the immaculate as we breathe in the grace and dignity of open space is an art form for our body. Being what we have always been, always will be is the natural way of being with form. As we prepare our outer form to appear as light, there is an outer display of that which is good, true and beautiful. Raising our light and feeling our grace and dignity as form, brings a fruitful turn of events, as impressions of grace and dignity ripple out from a dream vision of our own creative contribution.

 What a mess I must confess, I find myself in. What a sight, what a fright we delight in. Bring on the awakening, love is everywhere.

 From this oneness we have acquired the gift of form by nature. Learning to feel better means, feeling both sides of dualism with our 7 intelligences and choosing well I feel. Choosing to be mindful of breath helps in our identifying what feels true for us as we bring in healing elements of Prana or breath.

 Felling better has two aspects; one is feeling physically better and the other is feeling what is going on with our intuitive and emotional being.  Evidence suggests working with alignment and expansive breathing, emotional balance becomes available to us. For example; I have found that things we find difficult or are unhappy with become even more intolerable as we open the body, thus provoking real change of the bothersome condition. This may seem like a negative but, the better we feel the more likely we are to change what feels like a limiting condition. That is one of the positives of working with our breath. I have often noticed this with people who have relationships that are unfriendly, to put it mildly. The need to come to terms with negative emotions can be a prime force that we recognize and alter for more beneficial outcomes.

 The blending of the causal and subtle body with the material body or natures form is a journey of discovery and exploration for us. Coming from a world friendly view we recognize all life as sacred. The blending of the subtle emotional body with our physical form, as breathe flows in and out, reminds us that we are part of the here and now. We are the Grace and Dignity of divinity animating form when breath is flowing and awareness rests its head in the fields of flowers that are everywhere.

 Being with the breath as a friend that examines our insides and looks to purge the system of non-realities can be sweet for our experience with the conventional world and what is good true and beautiful because, our unified system is a transpersonal work of Nature. I give thanks to the Divine Mother in all of us!

  

RADIATION WITHOUT A RADIATOR

Free passion is radiation without a radiator, a fluid, pervasive warmth that flows effortlessly. It is not destructive because it is a balanced state of being and highly intelligent. Self-consciousness inhibits this intelligent, balanced state of being. By opening, by dropping our self-conscious grasping, we see not only the surface of an object, but we see the whole way through. We appreciate not in terms of sensational qualities alone, but we see in terms of whole qualities, which are pure gold. We are not overwhelmed by the exterior, but seeing the exterior simultaneously puts us through to the interior. So we reach the heart of the situation, and if this is a meeting of two people, the relationship is very inspiring because we do not see the other person purely in terms of physical attraction or habitual patterns. We see the inside as well as the outside.

Chogyam Trungpa --From "Love" in THE MYTH OF FREEDOM, page 110.
http://OceanofDharma.com
 

~~~~~~~

03/09/2008

Decision

 

if you've ever seen the hole

at the bottom of your soul

then you'll understand the goal

of learning to control

the fear that takes its toll

as you move from role to role.

 

If you're made to realize

with a pair of empty eyes

the infinity of skies

that so far above you rise

then you'll want to break the ties

that bind you to your lies.

 

if you live but feel the pain

till you know that it's insane

and decide that none can gain

from living life in vain

then you'll know that you must train

the working of your brain.

 

From; The Rise and Fall of the Mind by Michael Cook

 

~~~~~~~

 

03/04/2008

 

 the Dali Lama.

This question was asked of  his Holiness:

 

“What practice could I do, I asked, that would most powerfully reveal the hidden dimensions of mind and landscape? His Holiness laughed and said, “Buddhism is not about faith in a transcendent deity or higher being, but about thoroughly investigating the nature of our minds and emotions…and discovering the way things truly exist.” In Dzogchen, he said, nothing needs to be abandoned or rejected. The mind’s innermost essence - and its interconnectedness with all things – can be discovered in every moment, in the flow of every experience.”


The Heart of the World
pg. 25
by Ian Baker

~~~~~~~~

 

The Grace and Dignity of the body.

 

By placing our attention on our breathing we can feel an expansion inside our form. The intuitive and the cellular expansion of our awareness as Prana informs the cells of our body. One of our bodies’ foods is breath and the more we partake of the free food of nature the more flowing and expansive we naturally manifest. Dignity and grace show up as we expand the body open and enjoy the ever-present moment  skillfully presented by breathing. Feeling our breath come in and expand our internal functioning, we are aware that our form can feel supported by our breathing. Having a feeling understanding of the body we can use breath as a way of feeling what is going on inside of us both good, true and beautiful as well as the hard feelings that contract the muscles in withdrawal and fear. Breathing is a constant reminder that we are in a form of delight. Dignity and grace are our guides as we cherish what we are given.

 

The constancy we have with the breath is like open space where there are flows of expansion and contractions and our connection with grace brings a dignity to the present. Our co~creative impulse loves to be expanded and open in our heart area. Fleeing what is present, sensing the vibrations and flows in the air, are the attributes of being with the breath. This is a union of sorts of the inner subtle body with the gross body. The evidence suggests; Breath awareness coupled with mindfulness of the body brings a flow of energy to the body that is uplifting and in tune with objects of our consciousness.

 ~~~ 

Virtues are more important than physical beauty. Observing the good and bad in the world, one should develop discrimination to choose the former. One should strive hard to cultivate virtues. Right from an early age, one should inculcate good qualities and develop good character. Wherever one may go, it is character that is of utmost importance. It is virtues that lend greatness to any person. If everyone develops good character, the whole country will become good. ~~~ BABA~~~

 

~~~

 

02/28/2008


Our Wise Body

"As we explore the extraordinary interplay of energies between the many aspects of our personality -- our needs, unconscious reactions, repressed emotions, aspirations and fears -- with the functioning of our physical system and its capacity to maintain itself, we soon realize how very wise the body is. With its intricately detailed systems and operations it portrays infinite intelligence and compassion, constantly giving us the means to understand ourselves further, to confront issues we are not looking at, and to go beyond that which is holding us back."

-- Debbie Shapiro


As we grow on a path to more and more freedoms one of the major stumbling blocks can be; the way we view our own physical sensations, from a runny nose to joint pains and muscular aches. Because, the thousands of sessions I have done with others and subjectively, with my own body, I can say at 71 I have a lifetime of experience with my own body as well as 46 years of objective experience coaching others in breathing and alignment. During this life experience I am comfortable with the feeling that full breathing and body alignment help us gain clarity towards physical symptoms that are playing in our space. All this takes is a trust in our own diversified intelligence to inspect, understand and unwind any symptoms that we may feel are bothersome.

This response came to me from someone who had read an article we wrote on standing;

I've been a PT, yoga enthusiast, massage therapist, among other things for a number of years. Lately, I have been contending with the reemergence of an old sports injury causing pain to the right hip. After self diagnosing and trying many approaches nothing really seemed to help.

Then I came across your generous blog. Curious, I performed your arch lifting standing practice without intending so much to address the hip (I was beginning to just accept it) as to simply experience the technique. What a surprise when I finished. 90 % of the pain immediately resolved.

What a cool technique you have there. It is very sensible, but more importantly, so simple.

Thanks,
jo


I insert this to illustrate that gaining insight about the alignment of our body, can immediately addresses symptoms of discomfort we are having.

The body design has natural ways of moving and being that make sense to our kinesthetic intelligence. How nice that such efficiency is self evident. This gives us a form of dealing with problematical symptoms, using alignment techniques. This in many cases beats ‘thinking’ a problem off the body. Some times breathing fuller for a minute or two will address a host of somatics that visit our body. When symptoms persist we can work with finding the location and sensations of the symptoms. Once felt we can work with opening those areas of the body with breath or movement sessions.

There are somatics that can visit which are just there and have no particular meaning other then what we place on them. Having a runny nose can be just such a somatic. What ever meaning given to having a runny nose,  by doctors, parents and peers tends to treat such an event as something that shouldn’t be happening! Now why not? Little children have this going a lot and perhaps, it is but a natural reaction to a host of environmental causes which cause the body intelligences to create flow. Many things that we feel, can be just a natural reaction of the body to what the environment is bringing to the body. The simple reaction of shivering in cold weather can be the body producing heat and circulation big time. Allowing this shivering to run its course usually produces a result the body intelligences are looking for. That is what trust of the body is all about.

When we do have a cold like condition with fever, chills and muscles aches, if we go to bed and allow the body to unwind, without taking all the additives offered to stop a natural process from happening; we could be treating this like a session. Having interest in our bodies’ current discomfort and being with the body can be a wonderful session of insight, discovery and release. We could say that what you are feeling right now is what is happening right now and getting interested in the feeling is a simple step forward to being with the body and the condition of the body.

The cause of a cold that requires bed rest can be an opportunity the body provides us with to pause and rest. Taking a hot bath and snuggling in bed or surrendering to trembling all over, can be a beneficial session as opposed to toying with ideas that say this cold shouldn’t be happening. Enjoy it and mother your self with appreciation of the time you have to give to your actual physical experience of what is going on right now with your emotions, mind and body. You are with yourself and trusting equanimity is right around the corner.

Emotional experiences also bring sensation to the body that we can observe. We can initially determine whether a feeling/sensation is comfortable or uncomfortable. If we examine the actual sensation the emotion brings up and get into the texture of the feeling, we let go of meaning and are focusing on the textural nature of the emotion. Insights can then extend in to the actions an emotion is asking of you. Anger may want to make you scream. OK, maybe undirected screaming can be a way of reducing the hold that anger has on the body. In giving sessions with freeing up sound this often becomes a small part of a long session. Breathing steadily while all this examination is going on helps center our attention while developing insight about the emotional and physical condition we are experiencing.

Clarity about what is going on with us physically and mentally is embodied in each moment. Focusing attention on how ‘it’ feels as sensation brings us in direct contact with the physical world as it is. Perhaps the Buddhist term bare attention is what is being developed with observation of the variety of Symptoms we can have.

 

LET ANGER BE IN ITS OWN PLACE

Student: If I'm angry, instead of either expressing or suppressing my anger, how can I just relate to it? Should I stop the anger and just relate to the thought process?
 
Chogyam Trungpa: You don't stop the anger, you just are the anger. Anger just hangs out as it is. That is relating with the anger. Then the anger becomes vivid and directionless, and it diffuses into energy. The idea of relating with the emotion has nothing to do with expressing yourself to the other person. The Tibetan expression for that is rang sar shak, which means "leave it in its own place." Let anger be in its own place.

From "Death and the Sense of Experience" in CRAZY WISDOM, pages 137 to 138.


~~~~~~~~~

01/10/2008

The word 'Vairagya' literally means that which is opposed to Raga (attachment). Vairagya does not mean that you should give up everything and retire in to a forest. Vairagya really means you should stay where you are, in whatever station of life you are in, and understand the subtle nature of things, while giving up worldly desires. It means that by using discrimination you should know what to accept and what to reject. You should strive to recognize the divinity in every object you see and enjoy it. Vairagya is not merely giving up things. It consists in enjoying, without attachment, things which were previously enjoyed with attachment. That is real Vairagya. That is the mark of a true human being.     ~~~BABA~~~

 


In the Buddhist teachings non-attachment is also a key point of any practice, but coming to understand that we do not need to be away from the living reality of the world in order to appreciate the subtlety in enjoying things as they are is useful. This is not to say that a retreat away from the daily grind isn’t helpful for revealing what we are attached to but, the notion of dropping out of life and taking up a monastic life style can create a dualistic view about life itself. Young people willingly take up a path of renunciation and can view others engaged in the daily routines, from a negative perspective.  This can complicate the whole process of living for the well intended youngsters. Now, the individual seeker needs to also find the value in others fulfilling life’s duties as well as finding their enjoyment in their old objects, like antique cars, or the old wood stoves.

 

Self development through study and examination of current as well as traditional teachings can help us navigate the complexities of cultural clutter we are all heir to. ITP, integral transformative practices is one way of looking at the variety of things that we can engage in while we fulfill the duties of everyday living. ITP is a form developed by our gifted mystical community in the here and now.

 

While it is suggested that we all keep up to snuff on the esoteric, the very immediate action of connecting with our breathing action and feeling its centering action is one of the many practices we can do without much fanfare. I encourage people to investigate the many breathing practices that are being presented while keeping an open mind for integrating breathing practices with other activities we engage in for growing and being a member of the co-creative community.

 

Viewing everything we do, whether it is work, schooling or engaged in any activity, as an opportunity to work with our breath and body while remaining focused on the present can be classified as right view. With this in mind we do need to become comfortable with the many ways of working with our body and our breath while we are active and in motion. This will simply help us enjoy the experience of living and appreciating all that we have.

 

Please avail yourself of our book Hathaway Alignment Sessions which will give you a foundation for understanding your alignment and how to use breathing for the maintenance of alignment. In the book there are many sessions you can do for releasing the body naturally. Below is a compliment we got from a dear soul in Australia;

 

I discovered your alignment releasing sessions in February this year and am continually stunned at what evolves. At first I was grateful to find a method to release those pinched nerves etc that is more effective than massage and stretching. Within two months I found my uneven legs of 30 years or more had righted themselves ... amazing! Must add that during my first releasing session I laughed so much I almost cried. At every session, as I relax into the momentum of the releasing of my arms, back, legs, jaw ... new movements evolve inspiring me to wonder about the relevance of particular energy pathways in my body.

                                                Dora Levakis - Australia

 

 

 

01/07/2008

 

Dichotomy

 

The brain is earth and water,
the mind is fire and air.
The brain’s deterministic,
the mind tries not to care.

 

The brain is full of physics,
the stuff you need to measure;
the mind is full of games,
and seeking after pleasure.

 

The brain is earth and water,
the mind is open sky.
And who are we? A blip of pain
that knows it’s going to die?

 

And who are you?
who wonders- “Who Am I?”

 

From: The Rise and Fall of the Mind by ~~~Michael Cook~~~

 

01/04/2008

A poam:

 

By Dame Catherine Gascoigne
(1600 - 1676)

English version by Stanbrook Abbey

 

One thing alone I crave
namely
All in everything

This One
I seek
the only One
do I desire

Rooted in One
is all
from the One
flows all

This is the very One
I seek
will have
only then
be filled

Unless I drink
this Spring
I thirst
for nowhere else sup I to be fulfilled

What or Who this One is
I may not say
can never feel
Nothing
more or less
is there to say

For the One is not simply in all
the One Being is over all

YOU are my GOD
holding me
within my very SELF

 

 

01/02/2008 

Blessings in the New Year.

"People should know that there is nothing closer to them than the Divine. Each one must strive to recognize this indwelling Divinity. Most people waste their time in observance of external rituals and forms of worship. Along with external observances, people should try to achieve internal purity. The human being is a composite of man, beast and God, and in the inevitable struggle among the three for dominance, you must ensure that God wins."  ~~~ Sri Sai Baba ~~~
 

~~~~~~~

2007 Christmas Card

~~~~~~~~~~

   12/23/07

It is not enough if one merely turns the mind towards God, one must endeavour to experience the presence of the Divine in every particle and at every moment. One must fill the mind with pure and sacred thoughts.

- BABA

~~~~~~~

Silence

In the silence

I hear you.

motionless waves

wash away the pain.

Silent voices call me

inside.

You are but a shadow of my dreams

but, I love you.

Kisses, ring so sweet.

Enraptured in your emptiness

I speak.

Holding the intangible sword

I love. 

Harmony

12/12/07

        There is a divine power that is inherent in every human being. You must strive to   manifest it.        
 

Sri Sai Baba

 

 Exploring the Integral World

Combining physical practices with the integral modules of linier development, I find, helps us become at one with our divine nature…

In the integrative world of our post, post modern masters we have learned that the master is in, at home and peaceful in the moment ....

 Speech as a tool for unfolding.

 Announcing, we are divine, helps us to focus and pronounce what is true, beautiful and good. We can feel the result of committing to the sacred as we feel the long breath enter, bringing ease and enjoyment. Love is another truth that is all-pervasive and also likes to be said. The real enjoys our expressing such words as love, happiness, everlasting light. Putting words into motion enlivens the space around us  As we pronounce words like; ever-present oneness, happy days and oh boy, our own awareness can feel the truth of the statements. As we feel love with the one and the many, our internal, contemplative and intuitive world softens with breath. Combining sound while clapping our hands with an uplifted feeling in our heart and you have the mother of all processes, I find.

~~~~~~~

 Monica Sunshine Hathaway~~~

Below are some writings of Monica's from her Journal.

10/04/94

YOUNG ANCIENT
Oh now I understand those ancients, now that they are dead!
I wonder if we could be the young ancient without killing it — just be it.

REFLECTION
When you look into the mirror
Do not look into it with the eyes of collected wisdom.
Look into it with young eyes.


FOOL’S GOLD
One has so much vested interest tied up in matter, energy, space and time — so many memories, so many shattered dreams; so much melancholia and cholera, bloodied field and phlegm clogged streams; so many definitions, beliefs, options; so much structured intelligence such as languages, sciences, arts, laws of social and religious origin, philosophies, literature, legends; ceremonies of empowerment bestowed on you by the God of your choice, initiations into cults, clans, sects, secret societies of family creation that pepper the world with the emotionally unstable medicine drawn from the wild seesaw of hopes and fears. Dreaming of another day, we live this one in a craze of pride and panic jumping up and down like a puppet on a string.
Yes, we are tied to both ends of the seesaw of hope and fear, constantly missing this day’s delights with a scornful shrug that casts away the light, claiming it to be just too ordinary, too mundane. So, being soldiers of fortune, we drag ourselves along, burdened down by our armor of dreams, our vision impaired by the clouds of a planned life.
What is there to give up? This is just a practice run. We haven’t even begun to live. We are too ill prepared for flight.

CLARITY
When engaging in the practice of mindfulness many of us tend to confuse clear intention by placing a dichotomic value on the intention, such as: “Intending to be a ‘good’ mindfulness practitioner.”
This ‘good’ brings with it the instability of emotions and actually casts a shadow over clear (or bare) intention. The shadow is belief in a permanent self (or practitioner) who is going to become better and better at the practice. It’s the old habitual encouragement of: “Every day in every way I am getting better and better.” The actual practice is clouded by emotional ambition if one puts a ‘good’ or a ‘better’ with the intention.
Intending to be aware of knowing a long breath in, a long breath out; a short breath in, a short breath out, is bare attention, where if one is intending to be a good boy or girl (or student) being aware of knowing a long breath in, a long breath out, a short breath in, a short breath out, the intention has subtly changed to being good at the practice and receiving accolades or merits for doing it rather than just being in the now movement, such as: “Intending to being aware of the breath entering and leaving the bodily process.” This intention is clear in that it introduces no self who is expecting reward or punishment for the time given to the mindfulness practice. Clear intention (naked) is all that is required — no promises of goodness or threats of badness to throw a cloud over the moment. The dichotomic seesaw only gives rise to unstable emotions.
Clear intention (naked) is all that is required.

GIVE UP
Letting go — out of the ashes of the moment a fresh moment is born.
 

Recognize the divinity in you and share that experience with all. ~~~Baba

 

~~~~~

12/5/07

 
  Hiding in this cage

By Kabir
(15th Century)

 English version by Sushil Rao

 
hiding in this cage

of visible matter 
 

is the invisible

lifebird

 

pay attention

to her

 

she is singing

your song

 

-- from "Beloved May I Enter: Kabir Dohas and Other Poems," translations by Sushil Rao

~~~~~~~

"Sing Your Own Song"

"Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable."
-- Brenda Ueland

~~~~~~~

   IMMUNE SYSTEM

Our immune system uses the motion of breathing as an exotic detector of Love, the call to home, paradise  and the high lands. We need just breath and the master within moves us towards grace. Identifying with our breath, which has no name, keeps the qualities of grace and dignity as wave lengths of light that flow out. The external sparkle of divinities magic, shows itself and we are amused.

Laughter, certainly is a loved sort of experience when it comes naturally and lightens the burden of all around. We laugh when we see the ironic qualities of belief systems at play. Laughter also moves the whole upper body and can act as an internal massage that releases held energy. Working with our breath also creates motion that both exercises our muscular system and establishes awareness in the immediate.

An informal mindfulness practice can help us develop wisdom and compassion as we grow our understanding of that which is true, good and beautiful. As we ground our experience with formal practices of meditation the every day experience becomes richer. When the formal and the informal merge being awake is ordinary and at the same time extraordinary. The rich quality of what we experience is a constant teacher for our intuitive nature. The complexities of seeing as we work through all the nonsense strengthens our will to be at rest.

 The benefits of feeling the ‘long breath’, as used in the sutras on mindfulness, is that it raises and opens our body from the inside, moving us towards alignment with our 3 in one nature. As we experience a long breath coming in we can feel our upper body expand and fill all around. Then on the out breath there is contraction of our body preparing for the next in breath or long breath. With this repeated cycle we come to appreciate what is given in each moment by the real, rough and rugged, yet gentle and loving are the moment to moment rhythms of nature. We can embrace and adore the external for all its shine. The challenges of the physical are met with love as we see the dream like aspects of the game. As Baba says “Life is a game play it” he encourages us to be uplifted and sharing as we journey with our own intuitive excellences manifesting inner visions.

 "After enough mirror gazing, we all develop our 'cosmic sense of humor.' We no longer try to be perfect, or try to get all our work done in time. We become content with whatever life brings. Just to deal with what comes up without crucifying ourselves or others is enough of a challenge."

-- Paul Ferrini   

 

~~~~~~~

06/01/2007

A plantain tree has a number of uses. The leaf can be used as a dinner plate, the flower is used in some recipes, the outer covering of the trunk can be used a good binding and packing string; but the main use of the tree is the bunch of bananas it yields. All the trouble that is taken for planting and growing the plantain tree is for its bananas, not its leaves, bark or flowers. So too, the main use of the human body is the realization of the Reality.   The rest is all incidental.

         Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 7, pg. 442.

  

Sai Baba gives us assurance that growing our awareness of the human body is a path factor. As we learn about Breathing and Alignment we are giving our attention to ‘the reality’. The good news is we can do anything physical and expand our awareness of our body, breath and alignment. As breath is brought in to the body it acts as a light, expanding and exposing the internal sore points or areas of conflicting emotions. As we continue to calmly breathe in and expand the body open we create more light and room to accommodate the Real. The real being the domain of love, forgiveness, kindness, and joy, helps us consider our body as sacred and a temple of light. A temple of what is good true and beautiful which thrives in the joy of living.

Realization, recognition, growth are activities we do as we breath in the prana energy that expands and informs us. Living and opening our body, as Sai Baba confirms, becomes our grounding and stabilizing force as we go through the day. Try the session below to examine how directly connected we are with the breath.

 

 

BREATHING SESSION

 

In this session we can feel the breathing action of bringing in breath and expanding our upper body. Space is created and our internal spaces feel fuller. Maintaining fuller breaths aligns our forces of nature. Our awareness expands out and we are cast into the world of the real. In the world of the real, love acts as a salve for our physical experience.  When crunch time comes we need just grab some prana and poof, away flies the dilemma as love fills spaces within.

 

Nature’s warriors rely on breath for strength, focus, grounding and kosmic energy intunement. Being with the breath as you sing and dance along the great white way, is nature’s way of respectfully evolving.  As a spontaneous child you allow your body to animate as it wishes, this may surprise you as you allow your body to make gestures of excitement and joy or allow energy explosions to arise and shake off doubt. Trust in breath to tell you what is good true and beautiful.  

 LOVE-ALL

~~~~~~~~ 

Spiritual endeavour must aim at individual illumination, social betterment and the divinization of the human community. ~~~Sai Baba~~~
 

Individual illumination, how sweet is this nectar from the sweet heart of our being, a request that we center our attention at home where the heart is and surrender to the breath of our being. The big cat purrs and blinks her eyes, in love with the blessings, ever-present shining in our eyes.

Social betterment, where the I becomes we. Happiness for the community can be the highest honor we give to each other as we welcome in the kosmic troubadours.

Divinization of the human community. Wow, the evidence suggests that we are Divine. Languaging divinity is the hearts song, the song we love to sing. Love songs of peace, grace, dignity, ethical outcomes and all the other goodies that makes our ‘eyes light up and our stomachs say howdy’.*

*(from song by the Andrew Sisters, Shoe Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy. 1940’s

 

02/19/2007
   

Awakening the Inner Child

“Destroy your ego; you have no need to seek liberation; you will be liberation itself”. – Sri Sai Baba
~~~


We can do this process as we read the following session for uncovering the inner child.

As you are sitting, position your self with breath and feel the sitting position that makes you feel erect; sitting on the sit bones, spine erect, and chin relaxed down toward the collar bone. Sitting and breathing this way we can feel the supportive action of the breath as we use breath to expand the rib cage up and open. Do this for 5 minutes or longer if you wish. Allowing all the joints of the body to relax and feel the breath.

After exploring this awareness of the body and breath allow your feet to swing forward off the ground and hang in place. Now allow them to move freely up and down and notice how child like this feels. If we allow the feet to relax, especially in the ankle joint, and shake we are releasing energy that has been constrained by ABS (adult behavior syndrome) or holding our legs still. Allowing your legs to move in anyway they want to move, turn over your body to a higher intelligence; the baby within. Focusing on alignment and relaxation we can surrender to our body and allow it to move as it wishes.

This is something we can play with all day long as we enter in to the body with breath and opening.

Sound

Awakening the child within using sound also works in this discovery process. The baby makes fun sounds as he/she explores all the possibilities. If we combine motion and sound then we have the fast track to resonating with a baby like feeling that arises as motion shakes off ABS. allowing the unfettered sound and motion of being open to what ever comes across the screen of our awareness.

As you are doing the session above allow sound to come out on the exhale. Any sound to start, because repetition will start to produce many sounds that are child like.

Suggested sounds to play with are; Ba-Ba or MaMa, DaDa and the ever popular NoNo. A short story is appropriate for getting an idea of making child like sounds.

I was giving a 45 minute presentation to children involved with acting and singing at Priscilla Beach Theater. The class was informed about what we will be working with for freeing and opening sound. The children’s ages ranged from 11 to around 7 and there were 8 children to participate.

After saying hello and inspecting the very shy children whose bodies for the most part displayed a timidity that was obviously because of the adult (me) in the room. I asked the children to take a deep breath and on the out breath make an ‘ah’ sound. They followed the instructions but all I got was a timed murmur. So we tried again a slight improvement even though I was suggesting louder. The theory here is making any sound to help open sound itself.

After many attempts with different words and sounds I flashed on No-No as a sound that we might explore. I said ok now I would like everybody to say the word No-No and lets see were it goes. They took in a deep breath, and before I had the time to be pleased they start yelling NoNo repetitively without an ounce of hesitation. This opened doors for further sounds and a feeling of playfulness.

Note: There are no wrong or right positions for sitting, how ever knowing the feeling of being aligned with breath will keep us from developing stress and tensions. Sitting in any position accompanied with breath and awareness of the space around the body you will naturally seek what is comfortable while sitting. Adding motion and sound some times brings us to a playful feeling of discovering the ‘Child within’.


“Be your own guru; your own teacher, you have the lamp within you. Light it and march on without fear.” Sri Sai Baba

~~~~~~~~~

February 19, 2007

You are the Body

“To begin philosophy by considering perception makes it seem that living things can contact reality only through perception. But plants are in contact with reality. They are interactions, quite without perception. Our own living bodies also are interactions with their environments, and that is not lost just because ours also have perception. On the contrary, for us that functions in many additional ways. Animal bodies - including ours - sense themselves, and thereby we sense the interactional living we are. In sensing themselves, our bodies sense our physical environment and our human situations. The perception of colors, smells, and sounds is only a small part of this.”
Eugene Gendlin

You are not the body is a phrase I have had a lot of trouble digesting for at least 45 years. The statement; ‘you are not the body’, to my way of thinking, can create separation in our intelligences by suggesting that our soul is ‘more important then our body. I have found within the same field of higher thought the expression of unity with everything is the order of the day, I agree. I like being unified with everything.

The Logic of being and not being the body bumps into the knowledge that you are the everything. This may cause a slight separation of the logical centers where we house a blend of both the intuitive intelligence, as well as our kinetic intelligence. Today we can thank our lucky stars we have arrived with a body that has the wisdom of great minds, both past and present, to bring order to the chaos of human life.

The timely wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh encourages us to breathe and be aware as we animate our form through time and space. Dancing (moving) through time and space is an art form developed by trusting our seven intelligences. We gravitate towards what is music for the soul and resonate with what is good, true and beautiful. In this fashion we cultivate and co-create a future that honors the forms of our multi-dimensional wisdoms. Trusting our internal form and our external world to grow and transform misunderstandings to a perspective of grace, love and kindness. Sounds good to me!

“The body's interactional intentionality must not be read as something only latent, only the prior work of a pre-linguistic, pre-cultural body. Rather, the body's interactional intentionality must be understood as always still with us, now. In sensing itself the body functions as our sense of each situation. It would be a gigantic omission to miss this role of the body's self-sentience, and to try to constitute the world out of percepts of the five senses.”
Ibid.


The state of brilliance, grace and dignity feel phenomenal when they visit and at the same time are familiar and reassuring to us. Obviously, in the past this state was present but somehow we get pulled into states of self isolation. Working with breath, as we access the mental landscape, is helpful because, the body senses what is true, universally good, and beautiful.

Being tuned to how we feel and trusting our senses to direct us in an ascending way, is so useful. I thought how awkward and baffled I was as a result of being schooled in the gibberish of 1940’s monologues that are passed on as the wisdom for getting along in the world. Oh! Were I awakened by an awakened one early, when all the value lines are open for growth, I would have created less samsaric interplay and more value in my sphere of influence. Be that as it may, Now is fine for feeling the gifts of all that awakens ahead.

“Both Heidegger and Sartre follow Kant in saying that, properly speaking there is no knowledge other than intuitive; and I agree”.

 “Unlike the hindus and the Mahayanists, the Pali Suttas teach the variety of the world is neither illusion (maya) nor delusion (avidya) but perfectly real.

Nanavira Thera  --- from ‘The Tragic, The Comic and The Personal. Buddhist Publication Society, Wheel Publication # 339/341. Pg. 78 & 39.

~~~~~~~~~

February 13, 2007

Brilliance

Everything around us is of the brilliance shining all around us 
We are the ongoing brilliance of time and space.
Surrender to the brilliance and shine
a smile of existence.

Self surrenders to the open space of the breath opening doors of perception of the brilliance. Allowing brilliance to perform the very miracle that we are, like a wash of breath, seeking the open spaces inside our body, raising the form of our machinations to lighter wave lengths. ’Spacing out’ as they say back at the club.

Each moment is of the brilliance with body, perception, time and space.
Warping space energy, full-filling our mystic body with ice cream. A youthful reference creates a smile as we always smile at the new arrivals. Reminders of purity of spirit without lies, bless the children who bring fresh eyes for us.
 
Brilliance, always brilliant are love waves washing the shores of our soul.
Higher, up further, sky-high, beyond, empty, naked, maxed, expanded, space time continuum, kaleidoscopic spectrums of kosmic energy dancing in the streets.

Love is a mystery arriving as a kosmic infusion of what is true and beautiful.
With each breath it grows by leaps and bounds. Soft warm words spring into action
softening the blows of ignorrence.

Silence is free of words
Pretending to be of importance.
Non-existent existence dances anyway.

Beholding brilliance we come to open in the now
Being non-being, cool, on top of ones game, all important for now,
Or the common, ordinary, plan spectacle flashing with stars coming out of our seams.
A light show of energy able to accommodate the present
Whilst laughing and smiling inwardly at the ‘adult’ story.

Sweet child within; brilliance, I surrender to the bliss of our brilliance.

~~~~~~~~~~

02/13/2007
 

Brilliance


by Scott Williams oil on board 12x14 inches.
~~~

Everything around us is of the brilliance shining all around us
We are the ongoing brilliance of time and space.
Surrender to the brilliance and shine
a smile of existence.

Self surrenders to the open space of the breath
Opening doors of perception of the brilliance.

Allowing brilliance to perform the very miracle that we are.
Like a wash of breath seeking the open internal spaces inside our body.
raising the form of our machinations to lighter wave lengths.
’Spacing out’ as they say back at the club.

Each moment is of the brilliance with body, perception, time, space.
Warping space energy, full-filling our mystic body with ice cream.

A youthful reference creates a smile as we always smile at the new arrivals.
Reminders of purity of spirit without lies, other wise known as ignorance.

Brilliance, always brilliant are love waves washing the shores of our soul.
Higher, up further, sky-high, beyond, empty, naked, maxed, expanded, space time continuum,
Kaleidoscopic spectrums of kosmic energy dancing in the streets.

Love is a mystery arriving as a kosmic infusion of what is true and beautiful.
With each breath it grows by leaps and bounds.
Soft warm words spring into action
softening the blows of humanatation.

Silence is free of words
Pretending to be of importance.
Non-existent existence dances anyway.

Beholding brilliance we come to open in the now
Being non-being, cool, on top of ones game, all important for now,
Or the common, ordinary, plan spectacle flashing with stars coming out of our seams.
A light show of energy able to accommodate humanatation
Whilst laughing and smiling inwardly at the ‘adult’ story.

Sweet child within; brilliance, I surrender to the bliss of our brilliance.

  

01/25/2007

MANIFESTING INNER GRACE.

 In the Big Mind technique we come to realize the master is in. In a recent audio of Ken Wilber and Carolyn Myss, Carolyn Myss makes reference to the Grace of our inner contemplative world. So I conclude; the master is in, full of Grace. Can we manifest this state of grace with our physical Body without self-consciousness and a light heart?

 The popular phrase in mystic circles ‘you are not the body’ can be a hindrances to manifesting who you ‘really are’, the Master within. Acknowledging we already are big mind and big heart lets us experience oneness with all things. We are, after all, the fabric of the all and the everything, which includes the molecular elements we call ‘my body’. Within this fabric lives intelligences that can function gracefully without conditioned language of one culture or another. Breathing brings us in to the body and love helps us live in the body. As we arrive home inwardly, we feel more at home with the living experience as wisdom helps us operate intuitively and gracefully.

 Bodywork, Yoga, Martial Arts and performance Arts provide venues for becoming ‘at one’ with the body and developing states of grace we can feel in our body. Integrated, with knowledge of our alignment, we appreciate the fruits of whatever activity we are working with. This is the evolving call for the coming millennium. Unfolding physical awareness on the planet, I believe.

 Developmentally we have many needs that are participatory and ascending as we follow our natural intelligences. Dignity and grace become distinguishing characteristics of our (I AM) manifestation. To me this is manifesting grace.

 ~~~~

“You can never tell the mind how the Divine moves.”  Adyashanti

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Breathing

Breathing in the upper body helps us sustain the energies of the higher chakra’s of personal dignity, rational thought and higher consciousness.  A feeling of grace and fearlessness in the body become the keys for awakening our appreciation to breathings gifts.  

Being present and contemplative with the breath as it ‘uplifts’ our upper body dramatizes the dignity of what we truly are. We are the all and the everything, no doubt about it amongst friends, and as such we uplift our body. Structure opens and brings our body and our cells to exist on a higher level as breath comfortably exists in our upper body. Breathing and being with the breath as we move through the events of the day helps us experience/cope with the nuances in all things.  Uplifting the sternum with breath naturally uplifts us, with a gentle strength, for a higher vibration in the space around us. In this sense, the feeling of being uplifted is keyed by breathing fuller and being with the breath and the body at the same time.

    ~~~~~~~~

    From the Daily Guru:

Open your hands

"More than any other part of the body, our hands reveal our inner state."

-- Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

Today, be aware of how you hold your hands when you're not actively doing something with them.

With the stress of our daily lives, many of us find our hands typically clenched in fists. This is proof of the tension we hold in our bodies. And ponder this: how can we receive the abundance of life if our hands are not open to receive it?

When you become aware that your hands are closed tight, stretch your fingers and spread them wide in the shape of a starfish. Deep breathing will also help you relax into the moment.

 

"What is always speaking silently is the body."

-- Norman Brown

 ~~~~~~~

01/15/2007

 Genius in Motion

 “Giving birth to bodhicitta in one's heart, buddha in one's heart brings freedom…………….We are talking about freedom from the constriction of our own capabilities. It is as if we were extraordinary children, possessing all sorts of genius, and we were being undermined by the society around us, which was dying to make us normal people………When we see something extraordinary, we are afraid to say so; we are afraid to express ourselves or to relate to such situations. So we put lids on ourselves -- on our potential, our capabilities. But in Buddhism we are liberated from that kind of conventionality....Fundamentally speaking, ladies and gentlemen, here is the really good news, if we may call it that: We are intrinsically buddha and we are intrinsically good.” 

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche**

 I often reflect on the discomfort’ we feel with the body’s display of excitement, enthusiasm, joy as well as being less animated than we actually feel with events of life. Being liberated and feeling liberated in the body begs for gentle, Ti Chi like, graceful expression built on the wisdom of what is good, true and Beautiful.

You could say that we need to trust our genius body that wants us to laugh, sing, dance, and be heart felt, while ringing with love for harmonizing with natures flow. The good news is breathing, being aware of the bodies extremities; the hands, feet, relaxed knees, hips and upper body, helps open our intrinsic, unborn, yet ever existent nature. Feeling our body while aware of breathing also gives us clues of the motions that want to play off the body.

 In opening seasons for alignment, having others relax their fingers and arms while standing or walking brings a lot of energy and motion to play off the body. Often people will wave their hands and arms in jesters of abandon that come from habits of holding still and not making ‘to’ much motion. Our fingers are amazing in the way they want to play, as we see in young children that have a dramatically free relationship with their hands and body.

 Allowing the fingers to move and dance in the space, performing mudras of internal grace, dancing hands that come alive with expressions of internal wealth we liberate the genius potentials.  There are mystics that use their hands as if speaking an ancient tongue. In dance and the arts of acting, singing, comedy, or talking we can bring that ancient tongue to the present moment. Allowing who and what we are to express the genius of our own nature is both the performance and self-confidence we are looking to reconnect with.

 Above Trungpa says; “they are dying to make us normal” ironically expressing how people are literally dying to maintain the status quo, by way of bewildered expressions.  We need be at home when all this bewilderment fills the air and do naught but retreat to the internal silence to cool the soul.

 The freeing up of our senses and genius can also be continued in the sitting positions by allowing our arms and hands to feel the air around them. I often sit at the computer and allow my hands and feet to move freely. This cuts down on the development of tensions that can be accumulated by ‘sitting still’. See Keys for Alignment for a more detailed examination of this idea. I foresee many physical problems for the coming generations because of the poor postural habits developed while playing games on the computer. All of this can be handled and reversed with some simple truths of awareness and physical alignment.

 Walking is so much fun when we allow the freedom of our extremities to wiggle and waggle like a teenager or a runner warming up. We often see Olympic swimmers both before and after competitions shake off and find relaxation in the extremities. This is quite different then manifesting a stoic strut of a stiff businessman, a walk that attempts to display order and ‘being on top of it’ yet misses the magic that lives in the moments of potential immersion.  Like a natural form of body work, athletes look for and find what makes them more relaxed and comfortable; we also need to find our own unique body expression that leads to being comfortable in the body. Walking is a wonderful way to work with the breathing and freeing up of our body form. Having a large open space in your living area to walk around in and allow the body to unravel what ever needs to be let go of is a blessing, however external walks can become sessions for discovery and exploration also.

 Using the book Hathaway Alignment Sessions can be very helpful in bringing more breath and awareness to the living situation.

 

**To receive weekly wisdom keys of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche the Tibetan teacher who opened up the teachings of Buddhism in America join the Ocean Of Dharma mailing list
 OceanOfDharma@lists.mandala-designs.com

 

~~~~~~~~~

12/13/06

Mind In Its True State

 When one seeks one's mind in its true state, it is found to be quite intelligible although invisible. In its true state, mind is naked, immaculate; not made of anything, being of the Voidness; clear, vacuous, without duality, transparent, timeless, uncompounded, unimpeded, colorless, not realizable as a separate thing, but as the unity of all things, yet not composed of them; of one taste, and transcendent over all differentiation.   

 From The Great Liberation transmitted by Padma Sambava

 

Mindfulness of Breathing.

The subject of mindfulness as taught in Buddhism is well understood and practiced by many happy leaders of our contempory unfolding in grace. In breathing for alignment of the body, the very focal point of our being in the world, we use breath to feel the physical spaces of our body. With the rhythm of our breathing we expand and contract our anatomical experience with the world around us.

By trusting our tactile instincts to respond naturally, with 7 flavors (intelligence’s), operating and vibrating with the outer world, a world where our excellence naturally born and ever existing, improves or provides a creative fix for all that can go array in the external world while promoting gentleness, beauty and grace for the fun of it.

By working with awareness of the breath coming in and moving out we place a percentage of our attention on feelings, or the rise and fall of emotions and thought, which key our next performance of motion. Motion provides the opportunity to learn something about the external world, also called inter-action.

Alignment and Breathing

Using alignment to open and restore our body by applying the wisdom of alignment and breathing to our daily performance is natural and comfortable.


“All hail to the one mind that embraces the whole Sangsara and Nirvana.”
Lama Padma Sambava


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12/01/06

Mindfully Sitting

 

“Combining Full Awareness of Breathing with full awareness of the movements of our body during daily activities—walking, standing, lying, sitting, working—is a basic practice to cultivate concentration and live in an awakened state.”

 

Thich Nhat Hanh, ,~ Breathe! You Are Alive ~ p43.

 

  Many people have a basic assumption that time on the job or while sitting is lost time. This assumption pervades work spaces where people may feel that their time is being given up to the job, a sacrifice they make to the system. Very noble but untrue. I feel, since it is a just a matter of placing some attention on our breath and our body this is easy and with out effort and gives us the advantage of using our time throughout the day. Using ‘our time’ or time itself, we develop a momentum with our awareness that will, over time, create changes in our external life that are more in touch with our ‘natural form’ or evolutionary form. This is based on the awareness that is developed over time by us and brings our natural self directed impulses into play.

 

  Trusting our body and awareness, relaxes the thinking mind, and gives us the freedom to enjoy the moment to moment play of our body-mind. This can be true even in the most “mundane” of activities. Try the process of awareness below at work and at home and make it a part of your awareness on the job or at play. The rewards will be discernable within short order and within a month you will know the power you have when you harness your own attention and time. The biggest plus is that breathing remains a FREE activity, (no charge!) that you can access at any time.

 

  Any notion that your attention should be on your work exclusively is an over simplification of what is actually going on with our attention and how we perform best. I say; that the more awareness we create in any working sit-uation the better the work we do. Attention can be viewed as open and free where we give attention to what we are doing as well as have attention on the physical movements of the body. Adding open attention, aware of breathing as well as changes that are going on around us helps us experience directly, like the warrior, gentle, graceful and wise.  Thus  ‘attention’ is broad and more useful then many people appreciate. “Whistle while you work” is a fine example of using attention for our benefit.

 

SITTING

 

Let's use Sitting at the computer or any desk job, for that matter, as an opportunity to use time for our benefit. The basic description and session type of approach will give you the tools to use for expanding  open our awareness and body. Dr. Deepak Chopra says “When you start to assert control over any bodily process, the effect is holistic. The mind-body system reacts to every single stimulus as a global event; to stimulate one cell is to stimulate all.”

 

*  A review of Sitting at the computer gives some details of sitting as well as a pictorial description of proper alignment for the body while sitting.

 

  Any instruction given is not to build a right and wrong modal for working with the body but a way of feeling the position of the body while sitting and making some adjustments that are comfortable for the body. We can feel the bodies’ position at any time and add breathing to the position; this will suggest changes that move towards feeling more open and comfortable while sitting.

 

  Starting with the feet touching the floor. Having both feet touching the floor with a feeling of an arch in each foot and the weight of the legs going into the ground vie the outside pads of the feet is a good starting point. As we add breathing to the upper body our feet and legs may feel like changing the position and even moving in an un-patterned way. This is often like childs play with the legs, which has its own intuitive side and results in a freeing up of the legs.

 

  Sitting on the ‘sit’ bones (see illustration) helps us to have the body erect and the upper body in a favorable position to take in a full breath that touches and expands most of our internal area’s. All the cells receive this intake of prana, the muscle cells expand and are exercised, the organs, heart, lungs,  pancreas, intestines, kidneys and liver are grateful for the space expansion provides. All the cells love the food of prana and the space provided for our natural, life-giving, tendencies. Providing ourselves with the food of breath and expansion, we set the body in a positive natural field, which is the bodies resonate potential or true nature. Then the good indicators like laughter, love and playfulness arise, IMHO.  

 

  The position of the head and neck can also be tweaked by the illustration. That is a feeling of length in the neck and back of the head where the chine comes down towards the coller bone.  The 3rd corner of the ABC’s triangle ( The Arches, Breath, and Cervical (head and neck) alignment keys). In this way we feel the space at work and play as well as the activity of the mind. Trusting our native 7 fold intelligences,  our interaction will generally be joyful, or as my mentors put it; good, true and beautiful.

 

*Deepak Chopra M.D. Ageless Body Timeless Mind. Pg. 85  

 ~~~~~~~~~

9/28/06

 

Breath Work-out

 

“Generally in the Buddhist tradition the first step is

working with the breathing -- not concentrating, not contemplating, but

identifying with the breath. You are the technique; there is no difference

between you and the technique at all.”  ~~ Chogyam Trungpa

 

 

Lets consider using the activity of breathing as a workout. We know that breathing is good for us and we know that breath has nourishing ingredients for us on many levels and that breathing is a tool used by yogis, athletes, nurses and natural health teachers. So breathing has a lot of good press! We can reason that doing a ½ hour of expansive breathing has inner and outer benefits worthy for us to consider using the activity of breathing as a WORK-OUT.

 

Breathing as a workout can be taken up any where we wonder. We could go to the beach and watch the waves roll in for an hour and use this time to do expansive breathing. While hearing the beat of the waves and feeling the wind whip past our ears, we can do expansive breathing. Or we can catch the morning train and decide to use this time for a breathing workout. Or we can fix the morning coffee and prepare the children's breakfast and do a breathing workout. Or we can drive to a favorite playstation and use this time for a breathing workout. Or we can write the next great novel and use this time for a breathing workout.

 

Expansive breathing is a workout of high order that address the spectrum of health for all ages, yet is free of cost.  Giving some attention for improving our overall health, wherever we are, can be as simple as stringing together expansive breathing patterns. Other forms of working out are fine and our breath workout sessions will make other workouts more productive.

 

In the process of doing expansive breathing we are exercising the smaller muscle groups of the upper body as well as the abdominal wall and lower back. If we ask these muscles to expand and contract for a ½ hour session we are exercising all these upper body muscles. The view that we need some form of apparatus or special space to workout in limits thinking and can create dualistic notions of fitness. The results of expansive breathing sessions generally speak for themselves, we can feel the increases of endurance to the upper body muscles and the releases of stress that may have accumulated to the upper body. We can also feel the composure of our awareness to the present external events.

  

~~~~~~~~

  

Have no other gods before you.

 

Imaging a better or a highly configured being creates the unobtainable. Now, we don’t want to do that? We are obtainable and at our best much of the time, but because of unobtainable imaging, we stall arriving at home. Home is right now, which houses the simple process of being human while doing the best we can as we grow and strengthen our good traits. Our good traits actually strengthen as we process the weak lines of development since, what is good, true and beautiful are well established in us by natures enfoldment. For this reason I say; relax and be as human as you are.

 

Give rest to the noble seeker in you, for the near perfection has been found. Answers and questions drop away, stillness has its day, as simple as that.

 

“In the present, when the mind remains as it is naturally, it is ordinarily comprehended by its own time.”

Padma Sambhava 

 

~~~~~~~~

5/13/06

First Thought


"Man is made or unmade by himself. In the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace."
~William James

Learning more about breathing acquaints us with the dynamics of breathing. We can connect with what ever is going on in our space by feeling the action of our breathing, then our informative intelligences give guidance for appropriate action. This is simple and straight forward if we trust our feelings and our body to respond in appropriate ways to events.

Breathing as you know is also part and parcel of health. If we can contribute to our health by breathing, we can also cut medical expenses to a minimum. By reading about and working with our breathing, we grow the potential to live without the concerns the culture presents as health information. Again trust of our own body system and what it is telling us works. Jesus wisdom “and a child shall lead you.” This works in many ways; we can learn from the play of children happy and laughing with genuine warmth for living and we can reconnected with our own childlike nature.

~~~~~~~

Adult Behavior Syndrome.

The non-child like movements of cultural confusion impinging on the body, works as a definition of ABS (Adult Behavior Syndrome) for me. The natural intelligences, prana connected, unfold our wisdom which has tactile connections to time and space. When viewing the pure joy and uninhibited movements of children and animals, something in us becomes transfixed. Is this our natural intelligences admiring something lost or unfulfilled? In our pet cats we can observe them moving from spontaneous connections within. Delight and equanimity radiate from them and they can become teachers. Nature it appears will prevail in all things.

~~~~~~~

“All beings come from a mother’s womb. We should have a clear realization of the oneness of all humanity.”
~Dalai Lama

Do we mess with Mara/Samsara in a way that we see is useful and ascending? Of course we do. When we wake up and realize how delightful being in the bodyform can be we naturally wish this for others. But, with each birth we are left scratching our heads wondering how could humans tolerate so much cultural nonsense. Children really demonstrate that they are having a hard time with all of the external emotional hits they receive on a daily basis.

What makes me so excited about our body-form is that I see we can recapture the youthful feelings of being in the body and having the genuine excitement of being alive no matter what our age. I have experienced this first hand from other people who shed limitations by working with breathing and alignment sessions. Based on our ground work done in life, we find the external even more transparent then before. This really is an adjustment we have to make as we intermingle with bound up energies. The youthful quality of flexibility in the body brings a reawakened joyful feeling that radiates to others. There is a mixed bag of experiences one can have in a culture that believes ‘adult behavior’ is with out excitement or motion. The idea of not making waves is just that on a molecular level. With each laugh and happy expression we may be greeted by some disapproval if the motion in others bodies is limited. Take heart, the real is always at hand.

~~~~~~~

"Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail."

John Donne

Mental Pressure

Because of the world situation and the many problems humanity has to work through, many people may feel mental pressure. This translates to feeling discomfort in the body that is hard to put ones finger on. The solution to feeling pressure has to come from our seeking to balance out some unknowns in the brain as a result of thinking about the external mess and the blitz of news events that come at us each day. One suggested solution is not to watch TV or read the news, which can work.

What I suggest is that you connect up with your breathing and start focusing on the areas of the body where you feel pressure. Keep this going until you feel some relaxation in the system. With this in mind you can also appreciate that you are not an island, but sensitive to what you are ingesting in the way of information. Reading good books and texts that uplift the spirit are useful ‘foods for thought’. Petting the cat or dog helps, as well as watching children at play.

~~~~~

Body Language

“I’m carrying a heavy load, I have to much on my shoulders, I feel overloaded” the language suggests that there is tightness in the upper body that has accumulated over a period of time. For one reason or other we have a tendency to accumulate tensions to the body that eventually weigh heavy on us. The language or expressions like “I can’t bear it” or “its to much for me to shoulder” indicates the body is saying enough, I have to lighten the load. Working with breathing our body is less likely to accumulate tensions and stress. There are many natural sessions we can do to release the body of accumulated stress and keep the body from taking more on. If we listen to the language we use to express how we feel we will get a hint of how the body feels about a particular idea or event.

“I can’t stomach that” is another phrase that is used to indicate that some thing is hard to digest. This seems to fit so many occasions we are heir to in the adult, civilized life we are engaged in. We are all familiar with the phrase “I can’t stand this”. No sooner do we get the phrase then our body is in motion. Good move! The body is saying this makes me feel uncomfortable and has the GUT instinct to get out of the particular situation. There are many cases where this action is pure poetry. Then there is the need to also be compassionate with others, in which case we can breath, start an inner Om sound and see what comes about. Our stomach is giving us a clue; these vibrational waves are hard to absorb and could become unwanted food or impressions.

Past accumulation of indigestibles generally comes out as a feeling of throwing up in many initial sessions of introducing full breathing. This is always welcome and good to allow the body to do to rid itself of past indigestibles. Animals have no problem with such an action but, we humans tend to shut down this natural body ability. In some sessions people will not actually throw up, but allow the body to experience the grabbing action of the muscle and even make sounds that come from the feelings of nausea. I have experienced fully throwing up, with all the sounds and noise that come with the event. I embrace the action and know that my intelligences are working to move something out of the bodies system. I don’t question such an impulse, but allow the body to do what is has to do to feel comfortable. This is working with the body to me or ‘bodywork’ with all its raw and rugged qualities. The sublime and graceful comes about by getting the kinks out of our system.


~~~~~~~

Flying to a tree top
In an open field
Swaying in a spring breeze
Singing a heart song
Having it heard.

Days go on
One mystical message
After another
Pucker up, for sure
Love is coming.

~~~~~

“The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrises.” – St. Clement

4/27/ 06

Eating Prana


We need to take care of the healthy seeds that are in us by watering them every day through the practice of mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindfully doing everything. We need to touch the Buddha within us. We need to enter our own heart, which means to enter the heart of the Buddha. To enter the heart of the Buddha means to be present for ourselves, our suffering, our joys, and for many others.

~~Thich Nhat Hanh ~~ pg. 236 The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching.


Breathing earns the primary position in all forms of transformative activities of our multidimensional art form, the body. In the process of breathing we are consuming and digesting Prana energy, blending material body with subtle body dimensions, tickling the soul, opening the heart and allowing intuitive actions to play in the space. Prana is a food we can eat all day long without overeating. Maintaining a constant wakefulness in the present we can observe non-separation with all its colorful diversity.

The nature of our potential for change is directly related to the truths we consume. We can make remarkable change by eating prana, plain and simple. Any truth works wonders in its application to the material world and we can see this with the body and the truth of breathing. Breathing is both sacred and ordinary as we move through days full of surprises. Breathing and thinking work well together since breathing allows space and flexibility for our thought moments to form in. Our emotional and kinetic senses are enlivened by prana food and formative thought patterns tend to have life giving impulses. Sounds pretty good to me!

A simple search of the word Prana will reveal all the goodies contained in this free food source. In breathing practices prana enters and we feel better for it. Feeling better refers to both the ups and downs of our living. The physical game plays out before us and we can make better choices with the energy of prana circulating in our system. The methodologies of breathing traditionally existed primarily in spiritual practices while in the contempory world we find breathing part of sports, health and psychology.

We also understand the use of breathing for its use in opening and maintaining the structure of the body. The remarkable aspect of our body to respond to breathing at any age and in any condition is something I have observed in thousands of sessions. By using breath to expand open internal spaces and elongating muscles, the body can open after a life time of tension, stress and poor postural habits. Bringing the body into alignment uses breathing to expand the body open and create more room for internal spaces and organs to exist in. The efficiencies of motion, when the body is open and the joints are aligned, presents us with the dignity and grace we see in any self respecting animal form. The ordinary experience can also have transcendental qualities by the very nature of conscious use of breath.

For me there are two benefits of working with our breath. One is the prana exchange, the second is the open body spaces. This activity becomes more of a practical way of going through the day in a relaxed fashion. Applying alignment ideas to the physical also gives a full array of wholesome work that we can do in a relaxed fashion with out making a big deal of the whole process. As Chogyum Trungpa Rinpoche would say, ‘the extraordinary is ordinary’ and we can except that notion that we are not doing anything special but living. The fact that we are dynamic in natural quantum ways doesn’t mean anything out of the ordinary is going on as we experience just that.

We could also say that prana is the ultimate organic food, not subject to FDA regulations, and full of nutritional gems of the ongoing play of life. As we ‘organize’ our wisdoms prana renews the constant festival of energy directing us to more joyful and happy outcomes. How we consume prana is but a matter of table manners. The master is within.

"If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life, as in hoping for another life, and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life."

-- Albert Camus
 

~~~~~~~~~

4/23/06

The Child Within

The purpose of our lives is to be happy
Dalai Lama


If there is a child within then there is also the potential for child like movements, yes?

The child displays excitement and joy in very obvious ways, before having adapted ‘adult’ patterns. As we work to free the mind and body of hindrances this childlike quality influences how we animate our form. Surely the childlike feeling is there when we are excited and we want to jump up and down, clap our hands and shout joyfully ‘Oh Boy’ for the gifts we are given. Dance as well as forms of body work that focus on self-transformation, provide opportunities to unlimit the body form of restrictive motion. As we expand open lightness enters and we connect with more universal rhythms and the lighthearted feeling of being young. When George Bernard Shaw pronounced “Youth is wasted on the young.”, surely it was out of appreciation of what it feels like to be young. The youthfulness and wisdom already contained in us just gets squeezed out by repetitious nonsensical activities, and we succumb to ABS (adult behavior syndrome).

The different neutral states of mind are also of a quiet observance of the Now where conscious awareness consumes the external patterns and reflects them with a childlike innocence and spontaneity. The emotional states from antagonism through anger, grief, apathy, constitute 1/10 of possible mental states on the path to happiness yet, most adult patterns tends to exist in these emotions. As we clear our body/mind of hindrances, excitement, joy and happiness become dominant states. The Buddhist, Abhidhamma Pitaka describes in detail the mantel states and refining process for unwrapping the child within. It is a given, that we reconnect with this child, peaceful and serene, pictured as a baby sitting on a lotus blossom, having risen out of the density of mundane thinking or samsara.

As we elevate our understanding of life and the body we enter into to these more joyful and happy spaces. The gifts we give ourselves with breathing and being mindful of our body, while observant of the rhythms of the now (Tao), are immeasurable. Developing our awareness of the spaces of the inner and outer movements of our intelligence systems, while breathing, connects us with our own kinetic sense of what is going on in our internal and external world. Comfort or as the Dalai Lama’s quote above indicates that joy and happiness act as barometers by which we select our actions.

‘Unlocking the inner child’ seems an appropriate path factor. We do have our moments where this childlike exuberance visits and we are caught between the worlds of make believe and the infamous ABS (adult behavior syndrome). The excitement of being alive overtakes us and we are thrilled with the joy of feeling connected with the infinite. What are we to do with such magical moments? Being childlike and surrendering to rhythms of heartfelt joy is as natural as a babies smile.

Being childlike also means that we become more sensitive to external, ascending and descending forces playing in the space. Our intelligence’s act directly with these forces naturally suggesting ‘approaching’ and ‘away’ movement. The tragedy of war makes us cry and feel sad while the love of and from others draws us closer. Appreciating our natural childlike abilities to read circumstances and respond in kind ways can even touch the child with in others. For me this all becomes obvious when watching children and animals playing.

DALAI LAMA—If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.

Peace.
 

~~~~~~~~~

3/9/06

Free Health care

It came to me that reform should begin at home, and since that day I have
not had time to remake the world. -Will Durant, historian (1885-1981)


The 3 Foods in order of importance as expressed by G.I. Gurdjieff. 1. Breathing –2. Impressions, (visual, mental, and tactile) – 3. Food.

When we talk of health it seems that we can also consider the ages an individual is at, young~~midage~~wiseage. Each age group tends to think about and reference health in different ways. Their approach to a particular method or discipline/practice also tends to be different. The complexities of any approach can be overcome by simple truths that produce observable positive results. Since the human body is universal in terms of structure, learning about our alignment and identifying 'what are the principles of structural integrity for the human form, works for all ages.

Being healthy can be related to how you are breathing, which can be conscious or unconscious. Unconscious breathing is were the body just takes what it needs and is fairly automatic. If you run, breath speeds up or if you are sitting breathing slows down. This type of automatic breathing is a process that takes care of our minimal requirements of breath and requires little attention. Conscious breathing comes as we place more attention on breathing as a practice and action.

We can learn different approaches from the many schools of breathing that exist. Most introduce breathing as a tool for relaxing our body/mind system, which can be effective for just that. Any warnings about breathing one way or another, from my perspective, can be taken with a grain of salt, since most warnings become road blocks to exploration. Personal investigation of a subject like, breathing and alignment, can build a framework of understanding which is ultimately useful. There is a tendency in man to make things sacred and then create rules around these sacred things. Have you noticed that? This tendency can impede personal exploration, growth and evolution, I feel.

My experience in 43 years of teaching and working with breathing and alignment has demonstrated to me that you can not over breathe. So any right and wrong way of exploring breathing need not be a concern. Trusting the body and our natural intelligences to discover what works remains a useful disposition. We can use breathing practice for different purposes like releasing the body of conditioning, centering our awareness and finding the master within.

I introduce breathing as a stimulant for both opening the structure of the body and releasing conditioning that is out of sync with what is natural for the body. Conditioning comes under the heading of belief systems which can be local or hidden in the very cells of the body that have DNA traces. An example of a DNA traces could be the reaction people have to ‘cartooning’ or critical examination of traditional ideas that have been maintained over centuries, such as identifying with a religion or country. This can be felt when finding your self reacting to name-calling that you thought you were free of. Something very deep is being triggered and if one breathes and feels the reactivity it may release. In this sense one is relaxing a hidden pattern that could be DNA acquired.

Breathing for opening the body restores spaces that tend to close down over time as a result of ignorance’s within the acculturation processes, to put it in soft terms. Discoveries in breathing and alignment that help us grow can be viewed as a ‘No Blame’* area since the knowledge is just surfacing. By using new tools we benefit, without feeling we have been neglecting our health.

Breathing for opening the body works efficiently with the use of alignment knowledge of the body. The reason for this is: 1. it helps maintain the openness gained with any practice and 2. It helps us appreciate our own body as a barometer for what is good and useful for us. We all have this natural barometer as children. A quote from the Dalai Lama may give some credence to the prior statement. “In children, we find what is natural to be the human character. But as they grow up, they develop a lot of conditioning and wrong attitudes. I often feel there is more truthfulness in a small child and I find reasons to have confidence in human courage and human nature.”

By giving some attention to conscious breathing we attend to our human quality, which naturally brings more grace and dignity to our motion. Breathing practice doesn’t always lead directly to calm or peaceful states since, full breathing practice can expose held energies or somatic experiences that need viewing and releasing. This releasing can be quite energetic as the body dissolves mental/emotional toxins and other indigestibles. Working with a friend or coach during exploratory sessions with breathing is helpful. If one is going ‘solo’ I have observed; the body will not present any thing you can’t handle nor will it hurt it self while working with breath and releasing. Afterwards the good indicators of lightness and calm will show up.

For health purposes, breathing awareness is primary for our three in one nature. Mindfulness meditation uses this tool and any traveler of the path, who is familiar with developing mindful awareness, understands the grounding aspects of breathing. When mindfulness is combined with using breath to maintain our physical alignment, then the tool of breathing is like the proverbial double edged sword that brings the sharpness of mind and body to the present. As time passes in the practice of both mindfulness and breathing, hindrances dissolve and we arrive at areas where ‘just being’ is a relaxed state with the body. The expansive and contractive aspects of breathing naturally relax as we are at home with whatever is going on in the space. From this disposition, the raw and rugged qualities of humor, joy and sadness of being human have rhythms we can live with.

Thus our free Health Care system is with us as we acquire knowledge of breathing, releasing and access natural remedies. Trusting our intelligences to find natural solutions to most physical problems seems to be the least intrusive approach. I have heard wonderful stories of the heroism in medicine and don’t mean to demean the field but, I have also heard of individual heroics of people who work out of major physical difficulties. From these explorers we do get many of our alternative health systems.


On the opening of a hospital, with free service, under the guidance of Sri Sai Baba he says; “There are hospitals with costly equipment and expert doctors, huge buildings and spick-and-span interiors, but they indulge more in profiteering than affording relief.”

* ‘No Blame’ is a concept often used in the I Cheng or Book of Changes.

blessings


 

02/19/06

LIFE AT ITS BEST.
By Meher Baba

If understood, life is simply a jest;
If misunderstood, life becomes a pest.
Once overcome, life is ever at rest.
For pilgrims of the Path, life is a test.
When relinquished through love,
Life is at its best.
~~~~

Does the Natural Health movements, with all their organic wisdom give us a modal for solving problems of a worldly nature? My thinking on this follows.

In the natural health field when a problem arises, natural and organic solutions are investigated and used. The problems of the physical are not viewed as things to ‘cut out’ or get rid of by medical means. We are aware that in the medical modal, which more often then not, earns the phrase; “the cure can be worse then the illness”, views what it calls ‘physical problems as something that ain’t ought to be there. When something arises for us naturalists we listen to the body and explore with organic forms of nutrition, as well as movement, how to deal with what is currently asking for some of our attention. In this way we often find solutions for our body problems with greater ease. Just a simple focus of our attention on solving problems brings spirit medicine to us and Walla, we heal & learn.

Treating the external world with a similar approach for solving problems might be very useful. For instance; the current problems that religious dogmas present to us. If we observe that when you try to ‘cut out’ or get rid of the problems of clashing beliefs, by blowing them up or numbing their development, bigger problems may arise. While taking the natural path, of applying natural loving-kindness that focuses on understanding the inflammations and resolving them with modern day organic solutions, like hands on therapy or kissing and recognizing we are all members of the same human family on earth, could be less costly all around. Traditional measures need to be integrated with current findings to solve present day dilemmas, I say. Where are the Statesmen that can integrate wisdoms and administer them to worldly problems?

This is a link to an artful and informative look at Islam. http://www.integralworld.net/index.html?harris21.html

This article indicates to me a problem that many people suffer from; INFLEXABILITY. One of the easiest ways to handle this problem is to introduce breathing practices. This is a great way to bring flexibility to any system. A Moslem friend told me that Muhammad loved breathing practices, maybe this is just a rumor but, if true, we should send in Yogi’s instead of solders to help solve this problem of inflexibility. A host of problems come from inflexibility like arrogance, stubbornness, bad backs, intestinal maladies, and a lack of a sense of humor to name a few. I find that breathing consciously makes the intolerable even more intolerable and the body will energetically move to remove the injustice.


~~~~~~~~~~


“In this century we have made remarkable material progress, but basically we are the same as we were thousands of years ago.
Our spiritual needs are still very great.” ~Dalai Lama~


We already resonate with what is true and when it shows up we feel intuitively, yes that’s true, I sense it. Conscious breathing promotes our resonate nature because, it keeps our attention grounded to what is. We know the body is! We know the body is a miracle of evolutionary magic that can help us fashion a life of love, community and playfully rugged living as it is. “Give me the field to till and I will plant the seeds for nourishment” a Sufi saying.. Nourishment is transformative energy fulfilling the inspirations of higher influences. An energy we can dream about but not phantom, yet, we access this with each breath we take.

When people come to me to solve problems I observe their body and how they handle the physical. I will introduce breathing and help them feel internal spaces in order to be more comfortable. Then the discomfort they are feeling changes and may even pass. Because we tend to relate to internal discomfort as externally caused, there is no end to the things we can blame. This doesn’t mean a persons problem may not be a bad relationship or undermining forces, but breathing practices can change perspectives to a more physically direct action that resolves some external conflicts.

The problem, I find with many intellectual problem solving ideas is that it tends to exclude the body from helping to solve problems. A shift actually occurred in psychology in the last 40 years as both body work and spirituality became included in problem solving modalities. Seems we are still working on what is natural body? When we consider such a question we need to include 3 forms; Soul being, mental being, and physical being. Now you see the subject just blows up on us. By honoring a three forms approach, perhaps we can find what is natural for the body that we are already doing. From there we can examine the many gifts of past and present masters that help us evolve our form, while coming home to our most divine nature or our forth form. The forth form is our everpresent awareness that gets a kick out of being alive, in my humble opinion.

We could say that the mind body and spirit are inseparable, a well accepted notion of the mystic scholars and practioners of planet earth. The medical establishment, bless their hearts, has a hard time catching up to this 3 in one nature and politically may find it financially uncomfortable. I know there are some who use medical knowledge for progressing our human condition, but a large percentage I believe become corrupted by the medical industries that haven’t a clue about natural health or just choose to ignore the subject.

In terms of evolution of the human form we have just scratched the surface, with what is natural for the form. A big question I run into a lot is can we exercise with out all the paraphernalia? Can we maintain some degree of fitness without becoming jocks? In fact, what is exercise? If we equate exercise with movement, then the daily actions of being in the body breathing and working with what is going on in the body while we go through the day can provide a lot of exercise. If we go out and dance or move around following the body’s natural impulses, we are doing a fun kind of activity that provides forms of grace and dignity just as animals display in motion. Problem is; most people have been hood winked out of natural motion and would be hard pressed to follow a natural intuitive pattern. This indicates to me that we do have a lot of ground to cover yet before we can harness all the potentials of the human form.

In thinking of fitness I would divide people of different ages in to three groups at least, young-midage-wiseage. Each age has different interests and inclinations. The approach to health is different for each age group and what will be considered fruitful for each age group also differs. Wise-age people generally are warm to solving problems directly with out to much dialogue. After all, picking up truths for the body is very direct and doesn’t need a lot of explanation. Once you understand how to use tools for body evolution you can advance on your own and even add insights to this growing field.

~~~~~~~~ ~~

February 17, 2006 from OCEAN OF DHARMA QUOTES OF THE WEEK

NEVER TRAPPED IN LIFE

We are never trapped in life, because there are constant opportunities for
creativity, challenges for improvisation. Ironically, by seeing clearly and
acknowledging our egolessness, we may discover that suffering contains
bliss, impermanence contains continuity or eternity, and egolessness
contains the earth quality of solid being. But this transcendental bliss,
continuity, and beingness is not based on fantasies, ideas, or fears.

From THE MYTH OF FREEDOM and the Way of Meditation, Shambhala Library
Edition, page 21. by Chogyam Trungpa

 

~~~~~~

02/01/06

Taking a Walk; Some notes on exercise.

I believe, because of the acculturation process we all inherit, there are a number of limiting movement patterns we pick up and use, perhaps for the rest of our lives. Adding to this dilemma are the small spaces we live in and the lack of enough space to explore and do natural body work in. Viewing health clubs or physical therapy clinics, there is very little room to walk around in. Ideally working in a large open space like a gymnasium or basketball court we can explore what the body feels like doing rather then doing what others have designed for “being in shape.” In terms of working out or doing exercises, I feel, walking and discovering the playful aspects of motion, is a form of exercise that benefits our emotional center as well as our body.
In taking a walk we find the opportunity to move the body in unlimited ways that come from the bodies need to move and unwind. This comes under the natural movement category. When energy is restricted to ‘adult’ type movement where any playful motion is held, we are in effect holding natural instincts still. Skipping as an example, may be verbotten on the city street even if the body feels like doing that. Recently I saw the football player Warren Sapp skipping down the field. This 300 plus pound defensive line man just broke out in a skip for 50 some yards as the teams were being introduced before a Super-bowl game. Very often you can see athletes doing movements that are purely child like out of a need to feel relaxed and express excited energy. We have similar impulses arise and it is worthwhile to give them free reign.
The contempory ‘getting into shape’, to my way of thinking, has many faults and even harmful ideas. The classical sit up is an obvious flawed way of viewing the body. See article on SIT-UPS. We may have different modes for being in shape or getting into shape depending on our own life style, but we need to become more discerning about what is “good” for the body in terms of exercise both inwardly and outwardly. We can view exercise from three points of view;
1. Muscle building
2. Movement based and
3. Natural movement that ushers from the body.
In natural action or movement we are looking at natures intelligences in operation. In the words of George Leonard; “What we call intelligence comes in many varieties seven of them: linguistic, musical, logical/mathematical, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, and two types of personal intelligences that might be described as intrapersonal and interpersonal. We vary in our giftedness in these seven at least. Still each of us comes equipped with enough raw ability across the board to achieve that seemingly rare and mysterious state we call mastery….” So our natural movement, which is also a result of being with the breath, accesses these intelligences and gives them free reign
When energy and motion are held over a long periods of time this often results in a feeling of depression in the body. In some sessions where a person says they feel depressed, I will have them walk around the room and mirror the depressed feeling with walking and sounds. This tends to be very effective and can lead to more motion and sound that can release the body from feeling depressed. Again we are exploring the depressed feeling playfully and acting out the down type of feeling that depression brings. In others words we are allowing the body to move as it feels. So we could say; by allowing the body to do what it feels we may find forms of release from limiting ideas.

blessings
Harmony
 

~~~~~~~

November 7  

Integral Events

The manner and appearance of a prophet,
Our secret origins, these are born
of a woman who still lives inside us,
though she’s hiding from what we’ve become.
 

----Rumi

 I have taken a long pause between writing for the blogs of enlightenment.com. My personal journal is currently composed of fragments, ideas and insights as a result of recently attended events, given by Ken Wilber’s Integral Institute, and a Tony Robbins 4 day event.

 Digesting and assimilating their work and relating it to my own journey gives the notion of change new meaning. Letting go of old modals for growth and development to accommodate the extraordinary work of these giants of the ‘western form” or school, requires an openness to allow the contempory wisdoms to grow and accelerate our own being in the world.

 This self directing and self creating process called living, thrives on the latest, up to date tools, processes and wisdoms that are being produced as I write. By this I am suggesting immediate external and internal teachings are working our external world to be comfortable with consistent transformation, which helps us peak our potentials, have fun, be joyful and naturally move to the promised land. Hallelujah!

 Notes on the Two Events

 1) The I-WET seminar of The Integral Institute.

 When we arrived we were greeted by a large open space for the event, with candles and flowers arranged around the room. With a group of about 110 people, this space was comfortable to be in and accommodated the body/mind quite nicely. For me, open spaces help in the transmission of teachings and honor the body.

 The event of getting wet, for me, was an immersion into the integral waters that produced a cleansing for the soul. The Ministers Burt Parlee and Diane Hamilton showered us with love, Huy Lam moved us with love and Stuart Davis made love to us with waves of song and harmonies. The weekend was extraordinary. Gifts flowed with such grace through the vibratory elegance of beings happy at the root. I do treasure the experience.

 As the weekend unfolded we worked with some familiar exercises to open ourselves as well as a new technique. The new technique was the Big Mind process presented by Master Diane Hamilton. I am impressed with the sense of this work called Big Mind developed by Genpo Roshi. Since the workshop I have worked with this process of the big mind and consistently found a route to having what is real on firm footing.

~~~~~~~~~

2)

 In September I attended Tony Robbins event called “Unleash the Power Within”. this was a four day event that gave an introduction to tools of Neuro-associative conditioning, a form with roots In NLP; Neuro-Linguistic Patterning. The audience of approximately 3,500 people, where in for a radical experience that Tony Robbins has been developing for some 25 years.

 This became a high powered event with high fives, shouting yeses, and punching the air, very similar to athletes celebrating a win. A volunteer crew of about 300 helpers worked the event with different chores like, attending a large log fire outside to create hot coals for the fire walk, for some 3000 people. Quite an achievement.

Tony’s presentation was highly animated and up tempo with two large screens displaying his every move. Each day began with lots of high fives and music to give a flavor of energetic up tempo activity. At first appearance this all had the feeling of a rock concert, but the days unfolded and I could feel the specifically designed experience was really playing with the inner dialogs of the audience. Creating changes for the mind and directing it towards a more positive creative state. In many ways this was an extraordinary work in progress, with Tony holding court for eight hour clips.

 After a long digestive period with this workshop I started to look a NLP WebPages for some deeper insights. I am currently doing a practice for addressing old patterns and using this brilliant psycho-physical system, the body, with less effort.

 ~~~~~

At these two events most communication I had with others, during breaks, generally moved around to discussions of the body. When people learn that I work with the body and alignment I get to hear all about their physical maladies. It is interesting that the majority of people I spoke with had one or another physical problem. Since I have worked with most physical problems that people present, we would talk about the simple and immediate ways in which one can address the problems.

I would have liked to see more presented on body directly. My personal favorite, of course, is understanding body alignment. I have no doubt from 44 years experience this tool works across the spectrum of physical performance. Results, results, results are what drive my excitement and desire to present directly, simple notions on being with the body. Everything we do physically benefits with the knowledge of what is alignment.

Along with all the fine tools presented at the workshops, include a respect for body and what it has to teach and you will have a well rounded tool kit for navigating the magical, uncreated  waters of our daily immersion in life.

 Peace

 Harmony

~~~~~~~

July25   Sounding Out

~~~~~~~

July 13 

Creating Internal Space


Drawing by Bernard S. Albinus. photo HH*


One element of breathing that we can learn to use is to create space in the body with the breath. The area most obvious for many is the space that exists between the hips and the rib cage. This space is lost over time because of the lack of any information on how to restore the length of the muscles between the upper and lower body. In fact we are presented with exercises, like sit ups, or promoted exercises, that ask us to build wash board stomachs, which only reduce the space between the upper and lower body. This has a price tag for a look that is erroneous, to me, since the internal space is reduced and secondly our long term health suffers.

By learning to expand the upper body off of the hips we can acquire the erect and dignified look we would also like to have. The many ways this also affects the neuro-muscular health of the body-mind may be speculative however, we can draw from the contemporary thinking that link are wholeness to everything we do for self-development with the body.

Viewing the wonderful drawing of Albinus we can see the space between the ribs and the hip girdle as well as all the spaces of the ribcage itself. The beauty of this drawing also depicts the graceful movement of the body in motion as though
gravity is not impinging its supposed force on the skeleton.

Whenever people bring a back problem to me, what I will focus their attention on is expansion of the ribs off of the hips and in turn elongating the lumbar portion of the spine. Having solved major back problems, many which are from 15 to 20 years old in up to 4 sessions, this has become an important tool for me to present. For avoiding potential problems that may arise, from digestive disorders, to weight gain to ordinary tensions, creating internal space has been the ticket. The resultant feelings of doing this expansive exploration is generally one of being lighter and feeling more youthful.

In my book on the subject of alignment I give breathing sessions that presents an ideal position for getting a feeling of expanding the upper body away from the lower body. This can also be viewed as stretching the muscles that intersect between the upper and lower body with the help of the breath.

The instructions are:

Lying in the position pictured in the Breathing Session, take in a deep breath that feels like it is lifting the whole ribcage, front and back. Sustain this lift by only letting out a little breath and then taking in more. Maintaining the breathing pattern of expansive breath in, a little out, will accomplish the stretch you are looking for. At some point you can use the lift of the shoulders towards the ears to assist in the process.

What ever the thoughts say about this, persist. Doing this for 15 to twenty minutes will give you the direct experience of elongation you are producing via momentum. At some point you may find that the body will pick up on this pattern and take over in an intuitive way and change the pattern or way it works with the feelings of opening. Once you are comfortable with this exploration you can even try to maintain the stretch or lift while walking.

Breathing in this fashion we are using breath to create space rather then to calm the system of body-mind. Yet, in the long run the muscles lying as designed by nature will have a calming or peaceful affect on us. This can also make other breathing practices more interesting and informative.


*Picture from the book Albinus on Anatomy by Robert Hale & Terence Coyle


The Day Sky

Let us be like
Two falling stars in the day sky.
Let no one know of our sublime beauty
As we hold hands with god
And burn
Into a sacred existence that defies --
That surpasses
Every description of ecstasy
And love.

--Hafiz

Peace

 

~~~~~~

July 1

Love the Body

“The Word was made flesh.” Divine Truth must be known by its effects on the body as well as on the mind.”
                                    Mary Baker Eddy.


Say hello to your bones, they are living cells after all, feel them and move them around. Motion helps lubricate the joints of the body and helps the fluid elements of our movement. We become more elegant as we wave our arms around, as if they were wings, feeling the grace of motion that comes from our visions and dreams.

In order to feel more fluid in motion a helpful process can be locating all the joints of the body. In the process of discovery, as we proceed to find, examine and feel all the possible motions of the joints under investigation, we can be loosening any misconceptions about location and movement, in that sense we become comfortable with our own structure. .

Using an anatomy book as an aid to locate the joints of the body, Give your self a 15 minute session. Touch and locate the joints of the feet, legs, hips, rib cage, arms, neck and skull. Touch, move and discover something about the joints of your body. The process can establish an awareness and comfort by feeling how much movement is at each joint while also clearing away misconceptions about location. We can visualize our own skeletal structure and its possible motions. Placing some attention on the action of our breathing while investigating Natures Miracle, makes the investigation all the more real.

By moving our body around while feeling the joints of our body we can get a better kinesthetic awareness of our body in motion. Full bodied attention feels the feet hitting the ground and the carriage of the body with a more 3 dimensional sense of moving in the space.

As breath is added to the body we can feel the upper body as riding on the lower body as opposed to all the weight of the body going downward. In walking, the ideal would be that our body moves with a feeling of penetrating horizontal planes. This feeling is dependant on supportive breath in the upper body, where not all the breath is let out with each exhalation. Runners often feel this idea of horizontal planes and it can approximate a weightless feeling.

What a marvel is the structure of our body. The design we have produced for the forms of Planet Earth are even admired by architects for the artful construction and efficient interaction. The poets fascinate with the love potentials of form in the animated presentation of what is possible and feels true.

If we are to grow, loving the body will help in this process. Carol Hanson developed a teaching of having people do 5 minutes a day of ‘loving the body’. A gift we can give ourselves for five minuets a day. Her experience, of the healing results for others were outstanding. Admiring our body and the incredible array of things we can do with our body is a very healthy attitude to have for action in life.

I like to use the phrase God in Motion or God animating the body. It gives me a better picture of what is really going on. The child is so happy in its skin, glad to be alive and learning. Maybe, as we pass on knowledge of love and truth, that will be the song of our children. The basic goodness in people does need to be primed every day.

“Teach your children that truth and happiness come from within; that they don't need to look outside themselves for approval; that even failures are successes, because they are lessons in disguise. These are the tools they will need to be successful, happy, and complete as children, and eventually, as grown-ups”.
Neale Donald Walsch


Peace.
~~~~~~

May 20, 2005

Breathing and Alignment

Breathing & Alignment here and now.

"The body has its own way of knowing, a knowing that has little to do with logic, and much to do with truth, little to do with control, and much to do with acceptance, little to do with division and analysis, and much to do with union." ~~ Marilyn Sewell ~~

~~~~~

In order to develop our own way of working with breathing and alignment I find that the position in the picture below has a simple dynamic that works for us in the beginning explorations of experiencing full breathing.


The position in the picture opens up the ribcage so we can fill the body with breath and feel what an expanded capacity for breath feels like. Generally when we are full with breath, the out breath will start coming out from the Lower lungs first and we can feel the stomach wall reduce as the breath leaves. Because the upper body remains open in this position our breathing mirrors what is ideally, full diaphragmatic breathing. With each cycle of breath our stomach fills again as well as adding more breath to the upper body. We can observe that the ribcage doesn’t drop down on each breath as it generally does while standing. This position helps us become acquainted with “Diaphragmatic Breathing” with a more aligned position of the upper body in place, without much effort.

One half hour in this position will present you with a multitude of insights about your breathing action. Working with a gentle feeling of the whole body expanding with breath gives us a feeling of what full breathing can be like for long periods of time.

When you stand up you will feel the result of spending time in this position. You will notice that the body does feel more aligned and the internal space of the body feels larger. In walking around the space try duplicating the feelings of full diaphragmatic breathing while in motion. Because of the upright position more focus is required on the inhale to fill the upper body. On the exhale allow the breath to come up and out from the lower body so the upper body doesn’t move down on the out breath.

In standing or walking the use of diaphragmatic breathing maintains the structure of our body in a more aligned position. As we progress with this practice by doing many sessions over the days, weeks and years of our life we will come to realize how dynamic our body is as we actively breathe prana, life energy, as part of our every day diet.

There are many forms of using our breathing that are suggested for calming the body and mind and for accessing and resonating with more peaceful states within us. Our ability to explore and understand these many forms becomes more direct as we work with full breathing as outlined above.

~~~~~~~

Perhaps your enlightenments will be steady, consistent, small, and not noticeable to the crowd. Don't let your achievements be defined by the expectations of others.

~~Jordan Gruber, poet, philosopher ~~

Peace

Posted by harmonhathaway at May 20, 2005 03:19 AM

Comments

Hi Harmon

this page was great to read I followed the advice and got some amazing things going on in my body. Thank You for the generous presentation. It is refreshing to go to a sight and get some real instruction that works instead of a lot of words.

Posted by: Tyler on June 15, 2005 08:32 PM  

 

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April 13, 2005

Standing for Release.

There is a profound wisdom in the body, in the pulsing of the blood, the rhythm of the breath, the turning of the joints. Once we are aware of its subtle power, the body becomes a sensitive antenna for tuning into nature and other people.
The LIFE WE ARE GIVEN George Leonard & Michael Murphy

 

Before I get into the idea of standing in one place on both legs, I must say, as I think about this as a subject, I realize standing on both feet comfortably is very much an unfamiliar position for most. To view doing such a thing for a set period of time might even seem odd. Of the many disciplines I have encountered I know of but a few requiring you to stand in one position for any length of time, of course their are cultural situations like the military where we do this. Usually when people stand for a period of time the tendency is to lock the knees and stiffen the legs or to stand on one leg or the other.

By treating standing as a session we can do for ourselves, we learn to become comfortable while standing on both legs. Adding breathing with the principles of alignment, (chin & arch) which I have out lined in earlier articles, we have alignment in place. The whole process of feeling our body this way broadens our awareness of being with the body. On another level the intuitive grows with appreciation for the nutriment supplied for performing as natural physical human beings with out ‘others’ ideas of how we should move the body. We empower ourselves by feeling our body as is. From the playful motion that comes as we relax our knees, to the potential releases from held motion.

We discover there are a variety of impulses radiating from our form as we stand. Observing childlike motions of rotating the upper body while allowing the arms to freely swing or to rock from side to side, we see that standing has a lot of content in it. The possibilities are an open exploration as we discover this position need not be an unwelcome exercise.

One of the first elements that I ask for in a session is that one stands on both legs equally. From this position I can see how someone is handling the structure and assist them in finding comfort with the standing position. By illustrating the feeling of soft knees and the arch of the foot being in place while standing one can discern the logic or reasonableness that comes from this position. With our body weight relaxing and flowing downward through both legs and into the ground, we can bring the ideas of alignment into play.

By standing while relaxing the knees and allowing the weight to go into the ground through the outside of the feet, from ten to fifteen minutes, different insights about our ‘just standing’ will occur. Also, for many, some vibrations can occur in the legs that are releasing by nature. This vibrational activity can also become fairly active in the muscles of the legs depending on the individual.

One of the purposes of this activity is to find some muscular vibratory trembling and let it unravel. When working with most athletes and especially teenagers this vibratory action usually comes on right away. When this happens it demonstrates, for me, that when we stand with alignment the muscles can start to release accumulated tensions. It also indicates how fast and naturally our body wants to work off the restrictions we have on our own motion.

This was a morning ritual for me when I first started to work with the alignment principles. I would stand for about twenty minutes a day to allow the trembling to occur in my legs. The result of feeling freer in the legs was one of many goodies that would occur. The ongoing awareness of being comfortable in this position for long periods of time and in many situations was helpful for being with what ever was going on.

If an event was uninteresting I could place some attention on my legs and feel what was going on in my body. If a moment is happy and playful my legs would have different stories to tell, from the relaxed bopping motion of teenagers standing ‘around’ to some energetic movement that excitement brings. The body is participating in the upright experience without the awkwardness many people feel while standing and listening to another.

This is not standing ‘still’ for in fact, many little things will go on for us to appreciate about our body. We can release the muscles of our lower body and find a softer and lighter feeling takes place instead of a held feeling going on in our legs. Some people have told me they find the many events of the day provide them with an opportunity to feel the standing as more natural rather then an uncomfortable position.

Using expansive breathing, we can feel our ribcage rise and expand open, while the space of the hips relax downward and we are standing in the space balanced, with a feeling of grace and dignity. For the body, just standing, with awareness is a thing of beauty.

During any period of standing there are also other ways to examine how our legs respond to feeling alignment and relaxation. A more intuitive instruction might be “let your legs do what ever they feel like doing.” This could illicit motions and actions that may surprise you. At the same time what is being released is held motion.

The simplicity of standing on both feet while being aware of how this feels and becoming comfortable with the stance, unfolds as you do it.


“Faith leads you to a higher state of existence, whereas reason and analysis lead you to full liberation.”
Dali Lama

Peace
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3/24/05

Baby Steps

“Let your body have a voice, let your body speak
Let your body have a voice, Let your body teach.”
                Lyric/Mantra  ~~Alicia Starkweather ~~

 Walking

 Many sessions that I do will start with walking around the room. After some points have been made about the arches of the feet I will ask a person to put the ideas into motion. By walking with the arches in place and the foot hitting the ground along the outside of the feet, while the knees are relaxed, one can have a good idea of how this feels for the rest of the body.

 Within short order one can have the principle of using the walk for establishing ‘structural integrity’, a term from the books of Rolfing, for the lower body. Interestingly, most knee problems will soften fairly fast with this instruction, because I believe, most problems with the knees are a result of using the structure with the legs turned in a semi or full collapse of the arches. When a person tells me right out that they have a knee problem, I will generally have them stomp a little bit on the outside of the foot and ‘Poof’ the problem is gone. Then it is just a matter of them learning to walk with better lower body alignment. 

 Another thing that can happen while walking is that the body habit of walking in a certain way can be relaxed and other types of things will show up. Like marching, kicking the feet out, or what ever patterns appear for the individual. Occasionally I will spend a large portion of a session having someone walk around the room allowing the body to do whatever it feels like doing. This can usually be real interesting, as a variety of patterns usher forth. The natural feel and texture of moving, while listening to our body, works to enlighten the body. Our resonate indicators signal; that we are more in harmony with space and motion.

 Marching around and thumping can lead to native dance. Sounds may wish to sing there song, without restriction and in the same native style. What ever the pattern is, it will usually change and run one style of walk after another. The end result is both an acquaintance with the playfulness of the body and letting the body express itself. Observing a two and three year old, we can see the animated delight of feeling good. Sounds of glee innocently fly in all directions. The Inner Rainbow Child feeling the body delights in every breath. By doing this we redraw some of ‘the blueprints’ or brain patterns, (processing) so we can express the light and laughter, without feeling awkward.

 This brings us to a subject I call baby steps. In some sessions I may have a person play with the feeling of walking like a baby, which has the element of not going anywhere. By moving and feeling short steps lake a baby takes, we can allow the intuitive nature of the body to unfold, walking as it wishes. Let’s call it motion without a purpose or mindfulness of our body moving and breathing while exploring some of the energy that can be waiting to display itself. If we live by others prescribed patterns then the physical can become ‘no fun’. Feeling the potential of our physical motion, with the mind passive, allows held energy to flow and unravel. 

 Sometimes, I encounter someone who will go in to the old ‘cho cho train’ type motion, or a little stomping where the feet hit the ground firmly. In many cases this then proceeds into a feeling of native dance that has a pleasing sensation as well as the expression of unfettered sound. All of this is fairly non-sensical or right brained activity since one has no purpose other then to feel the body doing some unfamiliar things that are not trying to make sense.

 By setting a time for a session of walking around a space we can explore our walking, breathing and making some body sounds. We can uncover another side of being with the body that is both playful and revealing.

 “Life is a challenge, meet it; Life is love, share (enjoy) it; Life is a game, play it.”
                                                Sathya Sai Baba

                                  

Peace

 

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