Thursday, November 26th, 2009 | Our Best Advice | No Comments
Today, on Thanksgiving, as this painting by Salvador Dali so beautifully reveals, the shock of recognition is eternally real. Gratitude starts with recognition that things are not only real, they can also be surreal. See more at the DALI MUSEUM, and at Virtual DALI to ponder and enjoy inspired feelings of surreal ingenuity. Put yourself on a gratitude diet as a day of beginning a new 2010 cycle (rather then wait for New Years eve). We don’t need to plan it, just drop in. A gratitude practice for Thanksgiving you might enjoy.
If you find yourself drifting out of gratitude, simply bring your focus back to the breath coming out underneath your nostrils, landing on your upper lip, then re-observe your thoughts and feelings in your body, continue watching them. This is a meditation called Vipassana I learned from a teacher by the name of Goenka (when he was alive and still teaching in America). Tirelessly, he traveled back and forth between US, Europe, and India teaching this technique for a nominal fee, usually held as a weekend retreat in some bucolic setting. Once I learned this technique (which literally took one weekend of sitting none stop starting at 4:00a.m., with brief sleep interludes and lovely vegetarian food), I continued practicing it on my own with remarkable results. You don’t have to be vegetarian to practice any yoga (regardless of cultural trends).
We undergo a lifetime of unfolding pivot transcendence. Despite those who wish to teach Enlightenment as the be-all and end-all, it actually isn’t. It is the beginning of a journey undertaken consciously, with deepened capacities of consciousness continuously unfolding of greater realization. I recall clearly a transcendence level sitting with Goenka. My body became a rhythmic expression of energy I could consciously track (internally for how energy movement flow unfolds in all those “organs and systems”, and externally in simultaneous sentience experience expanding unlimitedly), all of which occurs in differential consciousness. For those who are interested in learning various Yogas, I don’t know who took over Goenka’s practice so I cannot endorse what they teach today. He was a much beloved sage, a wonderful teacher, a profoundly skilled masterful elder I’m deeply grateful to have encountered. You can do Vipassana without a teacher if you wish, just start watching your breath and remember to breath, consciously. Breathing consciously brings great insight, or a joke about it. Either way, you’ll benefit.
I’ve been greatly blessed with guidance in my life, and daily give thanks to have had remarkable “meetings with remarkable men and women”, who assisted or mentored me on a worldwide life journey. Forgive my digression today into a personal flavor of thanks giving, but Thanksgiving calls to us like a beacon of light our native Indians, and Benjamin Franklin, were deeply inspired by. Franklin wanted the Turkey to be our national bird (not the eagle as finally decided).
As has been long known and written, there is no “one right way” to give thanks or behold a spiritual unfolding, and anyone who insists upon it is teaching dogma, not spirituality. Ignorantly, dogma is in no short supply in our country or overseas. Vipassana means to see things as they really are. One of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation, it has been taught for more then 2500 years as a universal remedy for universal ills (read: harmonizing imbalance), which the Buddha described as Art of Living. Don’t let my waxing about this deter you, read, there is much to learn from those who came before. Jesus called it The Great Way, a sublime esoteric key and path phase complementarity (as my husband Roger teaches, but his syntax and language is not always easy to truly understand. It requires undergoing a new educational form he designed for the 21st century). Whether you’re into new education or not, consciousness is always real, not the doctrine about it, but real. You might be interested to learn how far SCIENCE has come that it can now easily manipulate our sex and other physical attributes; in the animal world already executed for many years. But, is it real, or man made unreal? What happens when we play God and can create worlds? Upon what wisdom basis will we know how to separate cultural dogma and religious fundamentalism leading to dead ends, from a new life enhancing and advancing Vision? We are made to be deeply creative beings.
I am grateful for and subscribe to learning all ancient wisdom traditions, imperative for ones deepening life journey. This prepared and brought me to meeting Roger, who is not only the greatest gift in my life but also my best friend. ok, I caved into cultural ritual today including my family I feel deep gratitude for– just couldn’t help myself gushing about gratitude inspired by those near and dear. Do not be afraid to explore new gratitude paths in yours. To nay sayers who think this post long winded, I say, get a sense of adventure, love, and humor. You’re unconditionally on the fast track to enlightenment, may as well enjoy the journey rather then “grim” your way to devolved obsoleteness. What you do, the action you take, matters.
There are those who subscribe to positive thinking mode of ‘intentionality’ currently rampant in motivational workshop syndrome. Positive thinking may help as well as intention, but it is good to remember the fairy tale saying “be careful what you wish for…” still holds true. True orders of advanced powers are fraught with booby traps to keep those ambitious for unbridled “more”, out. Some Times, meeting a need through the negative is not only necessary, but required. As the original epic play turned into movie Mahabrata, (by director Peter Brooks) shows, the struggle of good and evil has long been understood in India’s poetic heritage. Some critiques dismissed it as a botched western interpretation, but Brooks first presented this esoteric poem as a theatrical play audiences were forced to undergo for nine hours, without a break. That epic viewing ran for four years worldwide, in itself an homage to overcoming our expected comfort zone for the sake of Art. Literally, you did not leave the theater, no intermission (some didn’t even take mother nature breaks). For the television film version (on DVD) it was reduced to six hours, which I recommend over the subsequently further reduced three hours version. You will enjoy it as a deep transform key, with profoundly memorable multi cultural actors performing classical archetypal acting- provided you’ve got capacity for learning from movies. This story reveals a more refined appreciation of life which the East Indian poet Viasa brilliantly delivers as he tells the story to a young boy who comes to ask questions. The Bhagavad Gita is the complete epic this teleplay is part of, a story in deep transform esoteric tradition. Yes, yes, I know blogs are meant to have short and sweet post entries. Just skip this and see our other TIPS instead if too long, or bear with me a bit longer.
There are three paths to enlightenment taught by Greek wisdom tradition: Tragedy, Comedy, and Mystery. My path happens to be one of great mystery (with a bunch of drama and comedy thrown in too– God does have a sense of humor as any comedian will vouch experiencing it first hand). I’m laughing joyously all the way, as the song goes. Try new things to experience new gratitudes. The world is unendingly mysterious (as my father taught me since early childhood, thanks dad).
Or try a method used in our time by Gary Craig that’s mysteriously interesting he named Emotional Freedom Technique - one you perform with your fingers tapping on your head and body. Craig discovered that if you tap on certain Chinese meridian points (see his website for specifically where), without any effort your conscious awareness simply releases a deeper awareness, an awakening-freeing from blockages stopping a natural flow of harmony. As my husband Roger calls it “combing out the knots of history”. Don’t let others throw you off your ‘beam’, a spontaneous balancing learning unlocks. Most importantly, learn how to learn.
Related to EFT, the following gratitude statements can help you get started whether for yourself or someone you know, to quickly assist helping emerge out of a funk or prepare for a job interview, or if an employer, to continue relating to those working for you with gratitude. There are people currently fighting clinical depression in this economy. A little technique like this is easy to do, and finding gratitude deeply releasing. These statements are general (posted by a practitioner on Craig’s newsletter which I’ve altered some slightly to make them more universal). Do add to it with very specific statements and words that are personal to your life. EFT can support you in allowing thoughts/emotions like blame, anger, resentment, frustration, or negative beliefs to melt away. Or use it simply to explore awareness, or for someone you know who’s feeling blue, or unsatisfied. Use it as a surrogate for someone else, tap on their becoming healed. Pray aloud or silently in your garden or a public natural setting with gratitude (not asking for ‘things’), or offer a song of gratitude to someone spontaneously, sing to animals, kids, or the starry night as I like to do.
Use these statements while tapping on the seven consecutive points of EFT shortcuts Gary Craig uses on these Chinese meridian points: – (1) Eyebrow(EB), (2) Side of Eye (SE), (3) Under Eye (UE), (4) Under Nose (UN), (5) Chin (CH), (6) Collarbone (CB), (7) Under Arm (UA), and (8) Top of Head (H) – while repeating the following:
1. I am grateful for my life
2. I am grateful for all my experiences and what they have taught me
3. I am grateful for my ability to choose how I respond to my life
4. I am grateful for the opportunity to change
5. I am grateful for my loved ones
6. I am grateful for this amazing planet and all the richness it offers me
7. I am grateful for my freedom, its unlimited unboundedness
8. I am grateful that I can change the way I feel
9. I am grateful for all the blessings I have received
10. I am grateful for discovering new ways of enjoying contrasts
11. I am grateful that I am never alone
12. I am grateful that (God), the highest unlimited source of love, is watching out for me
13. I am grateful for all I have learned this year, and my ability to learn quickly
14. I am grateful for the guidance, help, and insight that has been given to me
15. I am grateful to finding new resources, and that I am free to change and grow
Or, if you wish to simply gaze at profound photos towards serenity and deep wonderment, a special book of photography by Nick Brandt, On This Earth (Chronicle Books), makes an inspirational gift to buy for yourself or give someone this holiday season (see portfolio at his website). Brandt’s photos are remarkably moving, confirming ancient wisdom traditions teaching that it’s important to feed the energy of gratitude within you. As you gaze at these photo images, if you are feeling stuck, simply use more statements of gratitude to get your positive emotions charged up and moving again. There is no way you can not experience Brandt’s remarkable in-sight, eye sight, and deep sensitivity to the wonders of our unique animal kingdom mystery on this planet, and Africa; the place of origin we emerge from according to “them bones” archeological digs continue to unearth.
I’ve posted today’s entry with a Dali painting, the Mahabharata, Science breakthroughs, and the wonderful Nick Brandt images from Africa, as a way to share the diversity of our tremendous heritage and art. Please share them, buy Nick’s book as a gift for someone to remind them how remarkable our planetary culture truly is, and enjoy your day. Have a Grateful Thanksgiving with someone you love or a stranger. And a deep thanks to all those who help make our life meaningful and successful. We truly treasure you, and your patronage. Come visit us at our new office, or go online to our website to learn more about our services. Have a lovely holiday season, and stay tuned for more TIPS.
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