Thursday, January 15, 2009

role of body in spiritual life

Well, the question of the role of the body is a big and important question. if I can have my awareness on my body as well as on outside of my body at the SAME time, then something Higher can come in.

This is from a Gurdjieff person about the role of the body:

"When I find myself in an emotional reaction, I may be able to see that I'm losing far more energy than I suspected. But if I can withhold my emotional manifestations, my tantrums, my whining, and my self-pity, and instead bring all of my attention to an awareness of how my body is, in the moment of the situation confronting me, the leakage of that energy may be reversed and become available for a work toward the realization of my own being. I become a grown-up person in that moment, and capable of what grown-up people can do."

The body is the transformer, that's where the spiritual side meets the physicality. The body is the conduit.

A buddhist teacher Milarepa said: "... this material body, made of flesh and blood and mental consciousness, is gathered together by the twelve chains of cause and effect - one of which is volition - originating from ignorance. This body is the blessed vessel for those fortunate beings who wish for freedom, but it also leads sinners into the lower realms. I understand that in this body lies the vital choice between enourmous profit and loss, relating to eternal happiness or misery on the border between good and evil..."

So there are no conventional notions about the "evils of the flesh", as well as modern fantasies about sacralization of sensuous indulgence. it is obvious that, as Milarepa pursues his spiritual search, some transformation is taking place in his body of a nature that is at the same miraculous and in accordance with law. Yet this material tranformation is ... result of work of meditation. ... what we are dealing here is the creation within the human organism of a spiritualized body that provides extraordinary energy and support to the basic work of meditation.

THE LINK BETWEEN THE SACRED AND PROFANE NATURES OF MAN IS ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE BODY ITSELF, which then, in a saint, becomes the stepping stone to further levels of consciousness and compassion. "
Jacob Needleman, "Lost Christianity". He also wrote "Why cant we be good"

There is a lot more about bodies. SOme teachings (like Gurdjieff) talk about creating finer more subtle bodies inside the physical body, and that can be done only via meditation and Inner Work.

Notice that mind is considered as one of the senses.

One historical way of dealing with this: all that is demanded of man is that he believe with his mind and conform his outer behavior to the rules and rituals laid down for him. He is not required to be inwardly active; he is not required to surrender his dreams more than once or twice in his life, if at all. Here it is necessary for man to be good, but it is not necessary for him to develop. (in other words, he is just physical body on the outside, inside doesn't matter). - this is the churchian way, and the way of most "christians" - I saw it with my own eyes in that man who wanted to date me - he was exactly like this.

Another way: although we are One with God, we need to internally develop, i.e. put inner effort, before such ideas can be concretely realized in an individual. Man needs to develop oneself to intermediate levels of being and consciousness that can permanently relate and harmonize all parts of the human structure. There are very specific instructions as how to go about this, e.g. meditation. ( body is a vehicle for something Higher, and there is more than we can see with physical eyes.)
from "Lost Christianity"

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Applied spirituality: relationships

My meditation group leader shared a few pearls of wisdom about relationships. We are all in relationship to everything around us, including other people, and perhaps including our family, children, partners and spouses.

So, relationship work applies to anyone, single or not. We all relate to other humans, animals, plants, organizations, etc. If we happen to have significant other(s), then the relationship Work is intensified. That's called marriage yoga :)

He said that the Work for anyone is to get the answers from within. This is totally cognizant with any real tradition - everyone says: prove it for yourself. Try it for yourself.

When people are weak, they seek answers from outside, e.g. from church, other people, etc.

To get the answers from within, one needs to really develop attention so that one can hear that Inner Vision. For that, one needs to RESPECT the inner "advisor" in my case, inner _____ (fill in the blank with your name) who always knows and always tells me the right thing to do.

So far I haven't trusted that because I never spent the time to get to know this inner advisor. We are all raised in a very shabby way. Very seldom do we learn about listening to this inner voice.

If I sit and meditate every day, I will learn to trust that voice more.

So - do it! At least 15 mins in the morning, ideally 30 mins. Morning is the best, because the mind and the body are fresh.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The way to health is to be Open

There is someone whom my mom dubbed "teenage star" and rightfully so. Although the person is over 40, they hang out with 20 yr olds, do late teenage kinds of things like parties and concerts, and dress and behave as if they just that age when they are old enough to drive and go out at night and they DO!

So, anyways, I had a brief feeling that the teenage star was after me. It is very difficult to figure out when a teenager is after you, because they don't talk. They kinda hang around you, coming closer physically, but never talk to you. If I smile, they come closer. If I frown, they go away further. I suppose they are not really skilled in talking, and are very skilled in physical attraction.

Well, more mature people - like myself :) - I am not giving away my age though :) are into talking. That is what makes a relationship interesting and meaningful - sharing, talking things over, and growing together. Yes of course the physical is there too, but it's not THE most important thing. It is the spice in the soup, makes the dish tasty. The spiritual connection is the dish. That's the basis. The spices need the main dish, we cannot eat just the spices alone.... The dish has to be there first.

Talking is necessary because that is a way to share and grow. Especially when problems and issues arise. That's where "marriage is the hardest form of yoga". To hang in there and be honest and be gentle and communicate with another from the open heart is NOT exactly the easiest thing in the world, and yet, it is necessary. Our partners are there so that we can Work on ourselves.

Recently I was fortunate to be in a relationship like that and it was very nice. It builds trust and a very deep connection, and then it is extremely productive for self growth. The subjects we talked about and issues we have resolved made us grow and blossom very quickly. There was no fear of saying "I love you" and actually living that. That's a mature partner, an adult man. (well until it got to truly difficult questions :) and he bailed out in a jiffy. I am very good at asking difficult questions :)

A while ago there was a young male who ( misjudged my age - I look kinda young) and went after me, and that was educational. He was baiting me strictly on his physical attributes, and the only way to respond would be in kind. Well, what happens when that kind of flair is gone? Poooof! The whole relationship is gone. I'd say, it would last about .... a month or two? and that's it....

Then there are older people who are young inside and bait you silently but then it is too subtle and can be easily just ignored. If they don't talk to you, then .... of course they are not giving themselves away and wont' lose anything, but on the other hand, they won't gain even a friend or a positive experience of getting to know someone whom they liked.

And maybe they are afraid to risk and have the object of admiration make fun of them and reject them. I suppose most people will do that. I _try not to. It is humiliating, so I try to be very kind and extra respectful to those who are brave enough to state they like me. Maybe it doesn't look that way to those who are interested, though.

On the other hand, when they do become a friend, like it happened to me once, then they might have higher inspirations although it is not possible to carry it through. And then they might feel hurt at the end no matter what.

Hm, this is not easy.... The only way to proceed is with extreme respect and kindness. And a lot of forgiveness.

Where I see this at play in my practice is that this comes through bodies I work on. A person who is tight emotionally will have a tight body. The heart is closed so the chest is tight, the blood sugar levels are not working perfect, the adrenals are exausted, .... People who are really scared will have even worse problems, like drugs or drinking, etc..

Fortunately or unfortunately, the only way to truly be healthy is to be OPEN on all levels, to have integrity and courage, and to be genuinely ourselves.

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