SO MUCH LOVE for quartz crystal singing bowls. at the sound healing session last week those beauties melted my brain & filled my heart with radiant peace. the wooden walls/ceiling of the integratron deliquesced, just like jodi foster’s wormhole pod in contact. and we made contact.
“As the hand held before the eye conceals the greatest mountain, so the little earthly life hides from the glance the enormous lights and mysteries of which the world is full, and he who can draw it away from before his eyes, as one draws away a hand, beholds the great shining of the inner worlds.”—Rabbi Nachmann of Bratzlav
“Just as a white summer cloud, in harmony with heaven and earth freely floats in the blue sky from horizon to horizon following the breath of the atmosphere— in the same way the pilgrim abandons himself to the breath of the greater life that … leads him beyond the farthest horizons to an aim which is already present within him, though yet hidden from his sight.”—Lama Govinda
find myself coming back (home) to bhava’s lessons because of the lovely music he plays (both live and on stereo) and his resounding, thunderous voice. dude can make adho mukha svanasana sound like a commandment, and anjali mudra an endearment so sweet you could cry. which, of course, is exactly the way it all needs to be.
he told us the moon was going on full and so had us salute it, hold our spread fingers up to gather its light and bring it - slowly, slowly - down into ourselves. walking east out into the last dusk afterwards my heart leapt nearly out of my chest - there it was! bright, immense, real! and second-sighted —
I’ve always been drawn to the moon with an intense spirituous magnetism, but this was something else—
“Everything on the earth in between and above is arising from one effulgent source. If my thoughts, words, and deeds reflected this complete understanding of unity, I would be the peace I am seeking in this moment.”—
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
TS: What are the correspondences between the Peruvian shamans’ findings and microbiology?
JN: Both shamans and molecular biologists agree that there is a hidden unity under the surface of life’s diversity; both associate this unity with the double helix shape (or two entwined serpents, a twisted ladder, a spiral staircase, two vines wrapped around each other); both consider that one must deal with this level of reality in order to heal. One can fill a book with correspondences between shamanism and molecular biology.
TS: Do you think there is not only an intelligence based in our DNA but a consciousness as well?
JN: I think we should attend to the words we use. “Consciousness” carries different baggage than “intelligence.” Many would define human consciousness as different from, say, animal consciousness, because humans are conscious of being conscious. But how do we know that dolphins don’t think about being dolphins? I do not know whether there is a “consciousness” inside our cells; for now, the question seems out of reach; we have a hard enough time understanding our own consciousness—though we use it most of the time. I propose the concept of “intelligence” to describe what proteins and cells do, simply because it makes the data more comprehensible. This concept will require at least a decade or two for biologists to consider and test. Then, we might be able to move along and consider the idea of a “cellular consciousness.”
TS: The implications of some of your findings in The Cosmic Serpent could be quite large. How do you feel about the book and what it says? Why did you write the book?
JN: I wrote the book because I felt that certain things needed saying. Writing a book is like sending out a message in a bottle: sometimes one gets replies. Judging from the responses, a surprising number of people have got the message loud and clear.
TS: How can shamanism complement modern science?
JN: Most definitions of “science” revolve around the testing of hypotheses. Claude Levi-Strauss showed in his book The Savage Mind that human beings have been carefully observing nature and endlessly testing hypotheses for at least ten thousand years. This is how animals and plants were domesticated. Civilization rests on millennia of Neolithic science. I think the science of shamans can complement modern science by helping make sense of the data it generates. Shamanism is like a reverse camera relative to modern science.
TS: The shamans were very spiritual people. Has any of this affected you? What is spiritual in your life?
JN: I don’t use the word “spiritual” to think about my life. I spend my time promoting land titling projects and bilingual education for indigenous people, and thinking about how to move knowledge forward and how to open up understanding between people; I also spend time with my children, and with children in my community (as a soccer coach); and I look after the plants in my garden, without using pesticides and so on. But I do this because I think it needs doing, and because it’s all I can do, but not because it’s “spiritual.” The message I got from shamans was: do what you can for those around you (including plants and animals), but don’t make a big deal of it.
amazing! sanskrit is not only one of the oldest languages in the world, but it’s incredibly sacred in that all its sounds carry vibrations that manifest spiritual growth (think mantra or japa). it’s the language of the vedas, which are themselves the sound of God (think aum). another amazing aspect of sanskrit is the beautiful multivalency of each word. take the first yoga sutra of patanjali:
Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah. Tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam.
yoga means yoking, connexion with, union, contact, performance, to join or integrate, &c.
citta means observation; thought; purpose, will; mind, heart, intellect, reason
vritti means activities, fluctuations, modifications, changes, or various forms of the mind-field
nirodha means channeling, mastery, integration, coordination, understanding, stilling, quieting
how many thousands of translations can we write for just this first sentence?! union, spiritual consciousness, is gained through control of the versatile psychic nature. then the Seer comes to consciousness in his proper nature. still doesn’t say nearly as much as the sanskrit verse does. I took a six-week intensive class on patanjali’s yoga sutras and the samkhya karika and still don’t claim to understand these texts or their language fully. but I do so fully appreciate their beauty, weight, and momentous importance.
“The eyes are our most sensitive organ, and when you look and look and look into another person’s eyes you are looking at the most beautiful jewels in the universe. And if you look down beyond that surface beauty, it’s the most beautiful jewel in the universe, because that’s the universe looking at you. We are the eyes of the cosmos. So that in a way, when you look deeply into somebody’s eyes, you are looking deeply into yourself, and the other person is looking deeply into the same self, which many-eyed, as the mask of Vishnu is many-faced, is looking out everywhere, one energy playing myriads of different parts.”—Alan Watts (via oceanofmind)
that first night we drove off a dirt road and, by the light of stars, pitched a tent. the milky way burned white overhead. in the morning the world was made anew, each move a sacrament. every particular a loving testament to the wonder of being anything at all.
in town, we feasted on orange & carrot juice. it only seemed right to anoint ourselves with it.
& spent the day exploring one of the most magical and majestic places on the planet. which, incidentally, is probably the most otherworldly place I’ve seen.
yoshimi’s cousin came by to say hi.
the sun set & the dark brought in the desert cold. tomorrow would bring snow.
today we woke up before the storm, packed up our tent and yoga mats and drove down old woman springs to the geomagnetic anomaly and spiritual convergence that is the integratron. we partook in a public sound bath, a unique meditation with chakra-attuned crystal singing bowls and lots of beautiful souls. underground, three rivers converge to give us the sweetest water. overhead, the powers that be weave together love & light to make matter but we see through it.
this weekend was nothing short of sacred! being on such holy ground gave our love new life, and our lives new love. but, as always, it’s good to be home.
Show me how you offer to your people and the world the stories and the songs you want our children’s children to remember, and I will show you how I struggle not to change the world, but to love it.
Sit beside me in long moments of shared solitude, knowing both our absolute aloneness and our undeniable belonging. Dance with me in the silence and in the sound of small daily words, holding neither against me at the end of the day.
And when the sound of all the declarations of our sincerest intentions has died away on the wind, dance with me in the infinite pause before the next great inhale of the breath that is breathing us all into being, not filling the emptiness from the outside or from within.
Don’t say, “Yes!” Just take my hand and dance with me.
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”—
true fax! I just saw food inc. it made me so grateful to know I live in a community with not just a famous co-operative market but also a famous year-round farmer’s market. and so, so sad to consider the big picture. kali yuga, for sure.
“Without meditation, and without a relationship to your mind, you fail to use the power of the mind. You fail to rely on your self. You complicate your approach. You do not use the beautiful designs given to you by birthright in this body, that link the effectiveness of body, mind, soul and you.”—Yogi Bhajan
yoga nidra means ‘yogic deep sleep.’ it differs from meditation in that you leave your waking consciousness for the conscious awareness of deep sleep. the idea is that in this state you are in direct communion with the divine energy of the universe (i.e. Love). it’s powerful enough to knock you out, if you weren’t already ‘asleep.’ it’s a very affirmative experience but also incredibly cleansing, and people have been using it for millennia to purify sanskaras.
you might try a yoga nidra class or workshop but I’ve found you can access this state just from taking savasana for a long time (after some restorative asana practice). the deeper you can go into the void, the better. follow your bliss!
when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy
out back, in our alley, the stars overhead shone cold. we paused, transfixed by the size of the wild and darkening yonder. one far light burned brighter than the others, planet size. plane size. still, it did not move like a plane, was not still like a planet. it wavered, its colors oscillated in fluid waves. it traced a triangle in the night sky. it mimicked geometry lessons, then, adding points, tracing lines and adding sides like flashlights on film long exposed. we shouted its colors in turn: pink! green! red! blue! I ran inside to get my glasses. we wished for binoculars. we layered up, and followed our star to the end of our street, where the pacific churns & breaks against the sandstone drop. and then there were two. two not-stars. we watched them dance above the horizon line. you found them playful. you played with the smaller one, telling it left or right and watching it move with you. I laughed in wonder when once it disobeyed. dim lights of night boats cruised the skyline, lined up in a row. formed triangles with the lights in the sky. we racked our brains to remember isosceles, scalene, equilateral. the first light fell, hit the water, broke apart, was many lights. negative space between them became matter. very dark matter. came closer. for some moments I felt fear, but you knew we were safe because we are only love. you folded your fingers in prayer and reflected your own light. and I knew I was safe with you. two remaining night boats formed a gate. the lights that were parts of a darkened whole floated slow above the sea. when a plane crossed its path, a flash shot out across the water, across the sky. we watched until it was over. I felt like a wind or a grace had passed through us. I felt witness to something celestial. you wondered if it was material, something those who govern us conceive in shadows. this really happened. we wanted to find out if anyone else saw but this story is the closest. someone must come out and say this really happened, I think. as crazy as it is. it happened and we were completely sober. maybe once I’ve written it others will seek it out, will find solace or courage to share the same. yes, this is real.
Your birth, O Christ our God, dawned the light of knowledge upon the earth. For by Your birth those who adored stars were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Justice, and to know You, Orient from on High. O Lord, glory to You
“All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time — namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”—Joseph Campbell, in response to the question “Do you ever have the sense of being helped by hidden hands?”
“Don’t look like anything, she say. It ain’t a picture show. It ain’t something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found it… She say my first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it came to me: that feeling of being a part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all ‘round the house. In fact, when it happen, you can’t miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh.”—Alice Walker, The Color Purple (via loveandzombies)