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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Ripple

I'm now at the point where I have experienced a sustained, intense expansion of awareness that has continued for several weeks.  I'm plowing through a lot of material related to the expansion of consciousness, and it's been a bit wild in terms of the feeling of direction and the precise delivery of answers to questions.  It's a linear experience, as if one bit of information leads to another, to another.  I will have a thought to search a word or phrase online, hours will pass and I will go through a lot of reading that reflects certain things back to me with frequency, seemingly coincidental.  I feel like I'm being taught some things about myself and the nature of the universe.  The radiating point has been continuous.  For the past few days though, I realize I'm awake and the first thing I check is to see if I feel the sensation pulsating in my back.  Unlike the first morning, it doesn't wake me up now, and most times I feel it once I stand up out of bed... I check for it first thing. 

Earlier I mentioned something that I called "information echo" but now I have a better term for it: The Ripple.  The Ripple occurs when the same subject, word or situation comes up randomly three or four times or more in a day.  It serves, it seems, as a means of direction, as if the universe is saying, "Yes".  The pace at which these ripples have been coming in has increased and it's much easier now for me to spot the phenomenon as some kind of energy stream that can be tapped into.  On the surface, that kind of idea now makes more sense to me than ever, because I believe in the principle of vibration, one of the Hermetic Laws.  I have begun to focus on keeping The Ripple part of my daily life.  When I think about it, I get the sense that it could be a form of subtle communication from the universe, in a cat-like way.

The concept of ripples as they pertain to intention and communication has been part of my mosaic since I first started exploring what I called The Field in an earlier post.  The Field is a vast void, shrouded in a mist near what appears to be a bottom, yet when I have found myself there during meditation I am usually just above the mist.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Compass Of The Heart

These past few days, since the 21st when I experienced the sensation in my back, the radiating pulsation point is still there.  This is completely uncharted territory for me.  It's as if I've keyed into some kind of energy grid inside which is a massive volume of information, like a window into something.  I perceive it to be Source Energy.  I believe I can say that confidently.  As I type even now, the radiation point pulses to varying degrees, and in doing so it has been directing my attention over the past several days.  When I have a thought, and if I hold it for a second or two, the pulse will increase in intensity with certain thoughts.  I can't help but wonder if I have activated my light body and tapped into another energy stream as a result.  So much has been happening lately that's new that it will take me some time to sift through and assess all that I've been experiencing.  I'll try and at least include the highlights here.  Although I have been and continue to write in notebooks, I could probably post ten posts in a row in order to do a play-by-play with what has been happening to me.

On Christmas Eve I was invited by a friend to participate in a feeding of the homeless on the west side.  I was taken by my friend to the home of someone I had never met.  For the past several years, this person and friends of his have spent Christmas Eve preparing meals for the homeless.  My friend didn't give any details before we arrived, so I somehow suspected that we were going to some kind of soup kitchen or organized food line to serve food, like you'd see typically on television.  It wasn't that at all.  It was a small house in Venice with four or five people.  They had a few tables in the back yard, and a couple of people were already going through stacks of food supplies and separating items to later include in bags.  I wondered just where these homeless people would be exactly.

The vibe at the house was warm and everyone quite friendly.  The house's owner was brimming with hospitality and made us some ginger tea before we started.  Shortly thereafter, my friend and I joined the other two people in the backyard and began an assembly line based on their instructions.  We loaded each bag with a hot meal, several sweets, fruit, chips and water and we finished in what seemed like minutes, despite what originally looked like a daunting task.  Everyone was motioned back into the house, as the owner had prepared us a fine Jamaican home-cooked meal that was really out of this world.  After we finished eating, again, I wondered where these homeless people were exactly who were going to receive the food stacked up in the backyard. 

The coastal west side of Los Angeles is filled with homeless people.  One of the first jobs I had when I moved here in 2002 took me to the 3rd Street Promenade, a closed street two blocks in from the beach.  For a shopping area, it's probably one of the nicest in LA sans Rodeo Drive and parts of Robertson Blvd.  There is always busking going on and occasionally you can see an act performing in the street that's pretty cool.  Against this backdrop, the homeless are all around, and you can find them en mass as you go further south into Venice and beyond.  As Harry Shearer has said in his weekly radio show "Le Show" for years when he recorded it in Santa Monica, it's the "home of the homeless."

A few more people had arrived as we finished eating, and shortly thereafter we got up to leave.  Typically I don't go into situations where I don't know exactly what we're going to be doing.  I'm all about spontaneity, but charged with a task in a new environment, I like a plan, a layout, or an outline so that I have it in my head as I go along.  This time I found myself just going with the flow.  The radiation point in my back was glowing in its pulsations from the time we had arrived at the house.  I had been in this new state of awareness that seems to be growing since my first visit to the Lake Shrine.  By this point, as we're leaving, the fact that I still had a question about just when the homeless were to begin strolling into the backyard to get the food gave the entire experience a surreal quality.  Everyone was so peaceful and happy and it was infectious.  I remember checking myself over and over thinking, "This feels like I'm dreaming.  It really does."

We all walked into the backyard, and someone opened the fence that was adjacent to the street.  The house was on a corner.  We walked closer to the food, which was near the fence and someone said, "Okay, how are we gonna do this?"  My first reaction was "Do what?" and my friend was told to pull her car around to the fence opening.  There was a palpable feeling of expectation, and the maxim "There is wisdom in uncertainty" flashed through my mind as I talked with the others while my friend brought her car over.  We started packing the cars.  My friend's car's trunk and inside were packed with just under two hundred meals.  We were motioned over to the house owner, where we said a prayer and he explained that the food already knows where it's going, we would just have to be open to receive the information.  My body vibrated at the notion of such a thing.  Years ago my New York attitude would have laughed that off as a joke.  Here I felt anticipation as if we were being guided, and my new awareness would lead the way.  The awareness is so blissful that it's completely easy to yield to it and the radiation point in my back, which has been constant since it started, was and continues to act as a guage.  I've never experienced anything quite like it before.

I got into my friend's car, feeling rather awed at what had just happened at the house.  It was all so random.  Here we were now with all these meals... and then a thought came to mind quickly and powerfully... "Be still and be like a balloon on your friend's finger, following a step behind."  Normally, that would not be what I would do, let alone have such a thought.  My stance would be, "Okay, here's a map.  Let's start here on the north side and canvas parallel streets going south until we get rid of the food."  My friend is normally the same way, but she was also in the same zone of awareness that I was in, or close to it, having had her own profound experiences of consciousness recently.

We were on the same wavelength.  So were the others at the house.  I could feel it.  After I had the thought, my friend asked me, "So what are we gonna do?"  She felt the same way that I probably looked in my somewhat awed state... we have a ton of food and no plan.  I shared the thought that had come to mind with her.  Immediately the next thought that came was, "Use the Compass of the Heart", which I told my friend and she agreed.  We would just pick a point to start, grab several meals and walk from the car until we found people who needed them.

The evening turned out to be one of the most compelling, sad, happy and surreal nights I have ever had.  We went through all of the meals in under three hours.  The only reason it even took that long is because we sat and talked with many of the people who wished to do so.  People just down on their luck, veterans, runaways, the mentally ill, the physically disabled.  It was intense.  Several times as we moved in the car from place to place, we would encounter something unexpected, as if you approached a stranger on the street that gave you a sad picture book, where that moment in time would be captured and put into the book.  This was a type of experience that was something new.  I wouldn't have been in the right place to connect with its fullness if I hadn't been maintaining this new awareness that I found myself in.

As we drove around, my friend and I were mostly silent in the car, with the only words spoken being, "Wait, here, stop," or "This way."  We were guided to each individual with this concept of the heart's compass.  The pace at which we would find people accelerated as the night went on.  We had no flashlights, no maps, just the food.  At one point we stopped in front of a bank.  There was a very tall, older man who looked to be in his 70s in tattered clothing speaking with someone on a bicycle.  As we passed by they were on our right.  We couldn't see the man's face as he was facing the bank talking to the cyclist.  We pulled over about a block down and I took out a meal to give to him. 

As I approached, the entire time this man's back was to me.  We hadn't made any eye contact.  I got about fifteen feet from him, before the person on the bike even looked away from him to me, and he put up his right hand and said to the bike person, "Excuse me, this gentleman has something for me."  He then turned around as he extended it toward me - to take the food - as I was still a few feet behind him.  The look on my face must have been one of shock.  As we had met people over the course of the night, each instance had a measure of some kind of synchronistic quality to it, but this one was the most intense until that point.  We exchanged words and I went back to the car... vibrating again.

We met some wonderful people that night.  I could got into a lot more detail but I'll save that for another time.  This experience felt like pure magic... each encounter.  It had a measure of deja-vu all through it, as if it had happened before or that my friend and I somehow knew all of these souls from some other incarnation... like we had ties to them directly somehow.  Sure, we as humans are all connected, just like we're connected to all of the life forms on the planet.  We come from the same place, so why shouldn't that be true?

The very last meal that we gave out that night was the most profound.  It was the longest gap between finding people of the evening.  We ended up in the Venice area near the beach, and this street was very quiet.  It was shortly after 9pm.  Over the course of the evening my friend and I had gotten adept at using this Compass of the Heart and we were really getting off on how accurate it was and how smoothly things had been going.  Thirty minutes had gone by and we were standing at the edge of a darkened parking lot right at the edge of the beach.  I kept feeling the energy point and direct me to a spot to the left of the center of the lot, but it looked as if nothing was there.  We then walked out into the parking lot, saw something which turned out to be an empty car.  So we just stood there, feeling the breezes and wondering why we were in a dark place with only one meal left and nobody else around.

Again, I could feel energy directing me in the direction beyond the car we were in front of.  We walked around it, toward the sand and we both said words to the effect that there was nothing out there.  We kept walking and I approached what I thought was a couple of trash cans.  I almost stopped and turned around when I could see that one of them wasn't.  I got closer.  Here was a woman of small physical stature in a wheel chair.  My friend was several feet behind me at that point and I motioned her over... "There's someone here."  I knelt down next to this woman and as my eyes focused on her I could see that she was either of Pacific Islander or Native American descent.  She wore a hat and a light jacket and I could see after a few moments that she probably hadn't used her legs in many years.  "What could she be doing here in the dark like this with no one anywhere around?"  I started asking if she was okay and told her that we had a meal for her as my friend approached.

"Nobody loves me!!!" she cried.  My heart broke into a thousand little pieces right there.  "I'm all alone now."  As we put the food in her lap she continued to tell us about her situation.  She had injured her legs in her teens (she was much older now) and she was telling us about when her parents had died.  My heart breaks all over again as I write this and think about that dear soul.  "I need a blanket!  I'm cold!!!" she blurted out after we had positioned the food in her lap and gave her utensils to use.  I then had a thought about my friend's favorite beach blanket, which was in her trunk.  I knew how much she loved it.  We had a picnic on the beach several weeks earlier and she brought that blanket.  As I turned to my friend to ask her if she wanted to part with the blanket, I noticed she was already running back toward the lighted street where the car was.  I stayed and talked with the woman in the wheelchair as she started to eat.

The sad fact is that there are people who need this kind of help every day of the year.  There are so many of them and their numbers seem to be growing.  I'll never forget that woman, or that night.  This was a brand new kind of experience.  We didn't really have to "do" anything with the food distribution.  We just had to be present in the moment and listen to our hearts and the hearts of others as we were directed.  I also received a special blessing afterward.  After we were done passing out the food, we returned to the house were we assembled the meals, where more people had assembled.  We didn't get home until late.  More good food and hanging out temporarily moved the homeless people that I had met earlier from my mind. 


When I got home, I made it a point to meditate and say prayers for all of those whom we had met.  I was meditating for about twenty minutes when in a flash, I saw in my mind's eye what looked like Paramahansa Yogananda approach me quickly from behind, laying two blankets over my shoulder (insert goosebumps here).  The first blanket looked to be my friend's red plaid beach blanket.  The second blanked was white.  Incredible.  The radiating point continues on the right side of my back.  I wonder, based on my current mosaic, if some of those that we encountered that night had connections with us from another time.  If they were mighty spirits who were here this time around in very humble form.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Something Entirely New - Going Down The Rabbit Hole

Whoah.  I've had my share of spiritual and consciousness-related experiences over the years, and a handful of them have been extremely intense.  At some point I'll try and recount them here if they come to mind or I find context for them.  The change in awareness that I have been carrying these past couple of weeks has continued, and something happened to me yesterday that was entirely new for me.  Yesterday I was walking in a hallway of my home when I felt something, probably best described as an icy finger, touch my back above my left shoulder blade.  I stopped and immediately swung my right arm back over my shoulder to touch the area, because the sensation, although it stimulated nerves (or felt as such), it was not something I'd never felt before. 

I suppose you could say it was similar to those occasional phantom pains we can get from time to time... super-quick and gone before you can react.  But this was different and not painful, just intense.  It felt like a mixture of hot and cold.  As I swung my right arm behind my head so that my hand could touch the area, the sensation that began as a singular point began to travel down my back diagonally, moving down toward my right side and leaving a trail of sensation in its wake.  My next reaction, right arm still bent back behind my neck, was to flip my head back to look up, because my brain immediately reacted as something must be leaking from the ceiling.  There was nothing there.

What's even more strange to me is that where the sensation settled, now on my right side below my shoulder blade, a sensation remains.  It's not the same as what I described as feeling like someone's icy cold finger anymore though.  Now it feels like a constant pulsation, radiating from the point where the movement stopped.  I only slept for about three hours last night but what got me up this morning was the new radiating sensation.  I have been meditating and reading a lot during waking hours, as if driven.  The drive I feel is like that of what I called a New Spiritual Wind in a previous post - that I've experienced every so-many years or so, but this is different.  It's as if my attention is being directed.  As I move from one book or meditation to another, it's as if there is a constant information echo through which certain teachings or principles appear to me at a rate of frequency that would be most comparable to advertising.  Wow.  More as this develops.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Living In The Heart

A friend recently gave me a book by Drunvalo Melchizedek, entitled, "Living In The Heart".  I was somewhat familiar with Drunvalo and his work with indigenous tribes around the world, but had not read any of his books.  I came across his work through a website called Spirit of Ma'at that contains some interesting reading and resources and I'd visited the site over the years a few times.  I've read a fair amount over the last few years, but not since "Far Journeys" and "Journey of Souls" have I felt such a profound impact from something I've read in the field of consciousness studies.

There is a meditation in Drunvalo's book that I found to be incredibly useful and enlightening.  In addition to some fascinating stories about indigenous tribes around the world, the book largely focuses on activating the Merkaba, or human light body.  The Merkaba is our vehicle to other states of awareness and ultimately other dimensions. 

                                                  Merkaba (or Merkabah)

It starts with the premise that the heart is the (only) place of creation.  The mind helps with the construction and logistics, but anything we create has to initially come from our hearts.  The mediation starts with what's called The Unity Breath, where you being a process of deep meditative breathing focused on being in unison with your spirit guides.  The meditation then moves to an act of intention whereby you are sending thanks to first Mother Earth... female energy (I've noticed that visual thanks in the form of graphics and pictures work really well for me... flowing in streams).  The second step is to radiate thanks to the Soul Grid, the energetic life grid that all things on and around the earth are connected to.  The third step is to extend thanks then to the Universal Source... male energy.  I've found that picturing visuals spiraling out to and between all three and circulating from there works well and is really easy to do.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Shadow Effect

A quick recap:  Since I started this blog as a sort of very occasional consciousness diary for myself in 2007.  A lot has changed since then.  Things continue to do so, and overall that's good, as change is good.  I've often had to reinvent myself as I've plotted along this path of life and I also think that is a good thing.  One who sits and just looks without moving, inevitably just sits.  I have my mosaic that I've talked about in earlier posts... my reality tunnel through which I perceive the world.  I actively deconstructed the one that I grew up with, starting in the mid 90s with a mantra of "clear the static" in the hopes of opening up and exploring my inner self. 

That process continues, albeit increasingly in terms of frequency.  Maybe that just happens if we're open to it as we age.  I have been to the aforementioned Lake Shrine several times now, and the awareness that I attained after my first trip there has stayed with me, along with a deeper sense of insight into a lot of things.  It's palpable at times.  People who have known me often use the word "deep" to describe me.  Diving, as it were, into the realms within one's self have now taken a leap that I didn't know was there, although in reality I did somehow.

I had learned in school about the Shadow Self, and have had the occasional conversation with others about it, but for some reason it was never anything that I took the time to explore actively within myself.  The whole concept was this sort of nebulous blob that I associated with my id in the Freudian sense, the deepest part of my being, that I viewed as my dreamscape alone for some reason, despite traveling to the same place via meditation.  I am rather eccentric in a savant-like way sometimes.  Perhaps I had put a wall up and remained, for the most part, oblivious to the idea that my shadow self contained individual, identifiable components.  Or maybe... I didn't really place too much emphasis on direct exploration earlier within myself because I was already doing it in other ways... unguided journeys brought on by various stimuli in my younger years and through character exploration later in acting, which I explored for about six years.

The lid really blew off for me this week when I discovered Debbie Ford and her film, "The Shadow Effect".  There had been a noticeable shift in awareness since my first visit to the Shrine.  Whether the Shrine had anything to do with it or not is questionable, however, the convergence of several other things mentioned in previous posts, Dark Night of the Soul among them, certainly played a role in the timing of this event for me.  I've never ordered any material from Debbie, nor have I seen the film until this point, despite wanting to.  I have mixed reactions to commoditized  self-help items.  Sometimes I indulge, but if if someone is pushing merchandise as my ticket to some new awareness, they can forget it.  I left studying Kabbalah at the local center for that reason.  Thankfully, this time I didn't have to (buy anything).  After watching the trailer I took the process of identifying my shadow components into active meditation with intent.  It's not difficult as long as you're honest with yourself.  These are parts the Self that we are all-too familiar with, yet refrain for the most part from sharing in public.  If and when we do, if we're not balanced with a shadow component, it can have disastrous effects, as the movie trailer shows.

This is rare for me... on my first attempt, many things fell into place.  First, I realized that I had already identified a few shadow components almost immediately.  I had already brought some of these larger components, albeit craftily in some areas but usually with some effort, and in the settings in which they had manifested at their times, with love.  The largest component took the longest and was the hardest.  In hindsight it has also been the most worthwhile.  These components have to do with part of my personality.  Some came out within my acting experiences, others in other places.  I've played characters my whole life, so in that respect it's nothing new.  But Debbie's process involves seeking out those parts of yourself, inviting them to come to you one by one, to acknowledge them as part of yourself and thank them for their assistance when they've helped you.  

For example, an angry component of your shadow self has probably protected you when others have hurt you.  The point is acknowledgment, thanks and then sending love to that part of yourself.  I have since reflected that if these components are a key to expanding one's awareness and growing as a being.  I spent one long evening sifting through all kinds of stuff in my mind, trying to identify as many components as I could find.  Ultimately, I could only find three main ones, although each had less powerful personalities.  At one point after pondering the three primaries for some time, an image of four triangles appeared in my mind.  It no sooner appeared than the outer triangles all shifted counter-clockwise, rotating on their sides until the one on the left had moved to become the top of the larger triangle.  I had an epiphany and it felt as though I had crossed some kind of line in terms of self realization.

What I saw was an equilateral triangle.  The center triangle, I felt, was a representation of my essence on a soul-like level.  Once I had seen the triangle and subsequent shifting of the outer parts, and I thought about how I had been engaging my shadows for the most part openly for some time, I felt more whole as a being than I have in some time.  I wondered if this was part of the "remembering" that I have been chasing after all of these years.  Certainly in terms of providing context in served a similar person.  

I walked away from the meditation with what seemed like a quantum leap of awareness, as if I had found a discarded schematic for an electronic device that I was trying to understand.  Things have really been moving swiftly lately.  I feel like for a time I have been making some progress in terms of raising my vibration and understanding my true nature as a conscious being.  This experience is a breakthrough for me; huge... and it was right in front of my face all along.  Connecting the dots illuminated what is a different world view, an enhanced mosaic.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Lake Shrine

My awareness has continued to change over the past year, and it seems as though as time goes on, my awareness continues to change and shift at a faster rate, as if it's getting to be more expansive and accelerating while doing so.  A friend recently invited me to go to the Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, California, which is the community that neighbors Santa Monica to the north, on LA's west side along the coast.  She gave no reference about the facility other than to say that she and other friends (some of whom I have met recently) often go to the Shrine to walk, meditate and enjoy the energy.  "It's beautiful.  You'll love it," said my friend.

After agreeing to go, I Googled the Shrine and was amazed to find out that it was started by Paramhansa Yogananda, who's "How To Be Happy All The Time" was a book that I had been using as a daily inspirational text for the previous two months.  I had purchased the book a few years prior, and it resurfaced after my move back in September and had been on the table next to my bed.  I had been reading it daily.  "A pleasant seeming coincidence," I first thought, which was followed by a "must-go" energy just because of the measure of same.  I had no idea that since my first two trips, days apart, that my awareness would change again, once during my first visit and again during the second, which is an awareness that is strong and I've managed to hold it since.

The Shrine is a fascinating place.  It's part of the Self-Realization Fellowship, which was founded by Yogananda.  There is a spiritual wishing well and a area that serves as a monument to the world's religions.  On the higher end of the grounds (it's spread up over a hill), there is a temple that holds weekly services and times of teaching. Territorially, it's not that large, but it contains both a beauty and an energy that is uncommon, at least to my experience.  I've spent a fair amount of time in nature, and I am easily awed with beauty.  That much has been true my whole life.  As a rebellious teenage punk in Greenwich Village around '81 or '82, I was taken by a friend to a shop for the first time that was then on 8th Street called Poster Mat.  As we walked around in the store, one particular laminated word collage poster caught my eye.  At the center of the word collage was the phrase, "Never lose your sense of wonder."  The rest of the poster had compelling words in different colors.

"That works for me," I thought, and I bought the poster.  It really resonated with me.  Many years later I was searching for something completely unrelated online and came across the author who was said to have originally coined the phrase that had become one of my mantras.  I don't recall his name at the moment.  I was going to say Dalton Trumbo (one of the original Hollywod Ten and an ultimately blacklisted author during the McCarthy era) but I don't think that's correct.  Perhaps it was a quote from Shel Silverstein, author of "The Giving Tree" and a man with many, many memorable quotes.  I know there's a band from England called Yeti who released a song by that name, but the saying is much older than that.  Words to live by wherever they came from.

Back to the Shrine.  This place is like a living diorama of the world in balance, at least that's what I was perceiving in terms of the energy that I felt there.  It's very powerful.  The Yogananda's teachings had already become a part of my daily practice by this point, and I considered it a real blessing when speaking with one of the staff members there who was kind enough to give us some of the history of the site.  Yogananda had a saying during his time here, "Whenever you think of me, there I will be," or words to that effect.  I couldn't help thinking about the seeming measure of coincidence after going through a few months of consulting "How To Be Happy..." on a daily basis.

When you look into who this being was, the people whom he affected and the nature of the Shrine and how it came to be, it's astounding.  The Beatles, in particular George Harrison, played a role in the development of the site, which was in its previous incarnation, according to the staff, a gravel pit.  The Yogananda had then been living in the LA area for some time and had the desire to construct such a place.  Without any physical effort, though only meditation, Yogananda placed himself within the mind of the gravel pit owner, repeatedly, over time.  Eventually the owner came to him in person, to which Yogananda replied, "What took you so long?"  and plans ensued for him to to secure the space for the Shrine from the then-current owner, whom I believe gave him the land or did so at a special price.  For me, this was a huge spiritual lesson.  If only I could do such things... if we all could... and if we could... surely the world would become a much more interesting place where unity could grow, instead of division.

I have since returned to the Shrine and taken some photos, which maybe at some point I'll put into a slideshow of some kind.  As I said, the energies there are very powerful.  I'm so glad my friend turned me on to the place and I hope to go there regularly.  I have since found that listening to George Harrison's "Dark Horse" album and its lyrics have taken on a whole other level of meaning, especially the song, "Give Me Love," which is a masterpiece.  My respect for George, which was already high, has hit all new heights as a result.  What an amazing individual.  It was also he (George) who financed Monty Python's "Life of Brian".  What fascinating person and bringer of good great things to the rest of us.  Without Python, my life would have been different.  They rewrote the concept of comedy on so many levels.  Harrison's insights into the human condition, which is found in the music he left behind, are profound and have such a delicate, true-feeling resonance to me, as if the universe itself was singing through him.  I'm so thankful that I haven't lost my sense of wonder.