Spiritual: a quick definition

08/04/2015 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

L1070383

People often talk about being spiritual. Others deny that the spiritual realm even exists. But what does being spiritual actually mean? Here is a definition that works for me:

Beyond the levels of thinking and feeling lies pure consciousness, which we experience as pure love. Reaching this is spiritual transformation.

Once you’ve been there – really been there – you’ll always have it. It never goes away, although sometimes we manage to forget it for a while. However, we always remember sooner or later. It has a way of reminding us.

We get there by being fully present in the moment, and thus forgetting our ego-centred worries and desires. Looking at a beautiful aspect of nature – such as a flower, or a small child – can bring us to the shores of the spiritual realm. So, too, can a regular practice of meditation. Sometimes, this happens spontaneously, especially in those moments between sleep and waking. And it can also happen in extremis, when our ego-driven policies are no longer working for us, and we find ourselves yielding to a different, infinitely vaster view of the universe.

L1070382

Next week a new, huge series of meditations begins in the Studio. Term by term, for seven terms, we’re going to focus on each of the main chakras – the energy centres that enable us to function in the physical realm, and also to develop our deeper understanding of life. This epic theme is designed to suit all levels of ability, and you can dip in and out as you wish. The intention is that we will focus ever more fully on the building blocks of our human psyche and our interface with the wider world.

This term, from now until July, we’ll be focusing on the base or root chakra, which is concerned with physical survival and manifestation. Join us whenever you can. And I hope you will experience the bliss of the spiritual, one word at a time.

Base chakra meditation: red shimmer

02/05/2014 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

Red rose 2

I am sitting in a small group meditating on the colour red. This is a challenging subject, because as Jennie will point out during the chat session afterwards, there is a duality around the colour red, as far as we humans are concerned.

On the one hand, red is about life and passion. It’s the colour of Valentine’s Day roses, a symbol of romantic love. On the other hand, red is about danger and anger. When we ‘see red’ in our minds, we are said to be furious. And when, in real life, we see red blood, it often means that someone has been injured or worse.

Red is also the colour associated with the base chakra, or root chakra. We can view this chakra as a concentration of spinning energy at the base of the spine, an energetic interface between the individual human and the wider world.

Primal survival

The base chakra is intimately concerned with survival, at the primal level. It’s about the building of the blood and bones of a being from the clay and water of Mother Earth. It’s about the creation and maintenance of the earthly vessel that contains our spirit.

And here’s the thing: the vessel, your human body, is fragile. Every day there are at least a thousand ways in which it could crash and die. And yet, most of the time, it doesn’t. It keeps going. Somehow, it contains the cellular wherewithal to grow and mend itself again and again. It is a spectacular example of self-regeneration.

Of course our bodies are vital to us. At this period in our evolution, we couldn’t function for long on this planet without them. And most of us grow very attached to the personality that goes with our own individual body, though sometimes it’s a love/hate relationship. We may or may not believe that our spirit endures. But we can be sure that the personality that occupies the body will never be quite the same without it.

Given the miracle of our bodies, it’s ironic that so many of us look at them with criticism. Why would we do that?

Red rose 1

However, at this moment, while I am meditating, only fragments of those thoughts come through. They will be developed in the conversation afterwards. Meanwhile, I am trying to focus on the deep, velvety red colour of a flower petal. I am becoming that colour. I am imagining all the cells of my body are that same velvety red. I am an embodiment of the colour red. It is a good feeling, and I am enjoying it.

Roller coaster journey

Still meditating, I become, briefly, a blood cell, travelling through the amazing branched corridors of my body’s circulatory system. I am surprised and delighted to see that the blood cells all around me as I travel the roller coaster corridors are shimmering. They are vibrant with life and vitality.

And then comes a new insight: the blood we invariably see is not living blood. It is always injured blood: stressed, altered and either dead or dying. We can never see blood in its living, vibrant state, because it is in a closed system, away from our view.

Yes, we might see it through the lens of an endoscope. But that’s not real. It’s a digitised representation. It does not, and cannot shimmer like the real thing.

As I am marvelling over this insight, I hear a voice. Its tone is reassuring and calming.

“You can never see all of the shimmer,” says the voice, confirming my thoughts. Then it adds something else, totally unexpected:

“You can never see all of the angels.”

And suddenly I am suffused with a feeling of happiness, laced with tears. I am touched, immeasurably, by the wonder and mystery of our physical existence. It is such a mystery, such a miracle, so magical. Our physical lives, yours and mine, are unbelievable treasures. How did we get to be so lucky to step into these vessels?

And then I am travelling through vast, endless, complex tunnels. They branch and rejoin and keep on going. This isn’t my blood system any more. It’s immeasurably bigger than that.

It feels like I’m in a cosmic circulatory system of which we are all part. Forget evasive politicians and corrupt bankers: their actions are smaller than dust particles. These are the real corridors of power. We are each of us part of the cosmic system. It’s breathtaking, elegant and immense.

You can read more about the themes we’re meditating on this term here.

Red rose 2

 

Seven ways to strengthen your base chakra

13/06/2012 at 11:05 am | Posted in Happiness, Healing, Meditation, Nature, Uncategorized, Wellbeing | 10 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

A healthy base chakra connects us with nature.

“An excellent course. Just what I was hoping for. A real gift. Many thanks,” emailed a student. “You said that you would think of a solution to getting my base chakra more engaged. Any luck please?”

Defining the base

The base chakra means different things to different people, so I’ll put forward a quick definition here. The chakra system is a useful way of explaining how we interact energetically with ourselves and the world. The idea is that there are energy concentrations – vortexes of spinning energy – at key points in the etheric energy field in which our bodies move and rest.

The base chakra is situated at the base of the spine, and it’s all about how connected we are to the physical world. The base chakra is about our physical survival. It’s about feeling safe, and solid, and definitely here, on this planet.

To achieve a healthy base chakra, it’s good to know how it feels to have a healthy base chakra. To do that, I like to consider Stone Age people. We – our ancestors – lived for tens of thousands of years – far, far longer than modern civilisation has lasted to date – in a sometimes fluctuating, but always very natural environment. There was hardly any sense in those days that we controlled the world. Instead, we saw ourselves very much as part of a huge, intelligent and creative system. We were physically healthy to a degree we can scarcely imagine today.

Here are seven ways to safely balance and engage the base chakra, so that you feel grounded and stronger.

1) Imagine.

To help you imagine the ideal state of primal health, and a superb connection to the physical world, I have put together a simple, free, guided meditation for you to listen to: the Stone Age Meditation. For your audio copy, just fill out the form below, and I will send it to you (I’ll also pop you on my emailing list for future updates).  

Listen to the the Stone Age Meditation several times over a few weeks, and note the difference to your own state of wellbeing.

2) Take pleasure in simple tasks. Make a point every day of spending time mindfully on a simple activity related to your survival. For example, preparing a meal, or maintaining your home.

3) Find a nature totem. Go somewhere natural, and find a stone or a small piece of wood that pleases you. Keep it with you. Whenever you touch it, be aware that you, like the small object you hold, are always connected with the wider natural world.

4) Grow food to eat. Bean sprouts or salad on a window sill are an easy start, and all you need is a few seeds, and some earth. Don’t spend a fortune on a gardening kit – think Stone Age, and use basic stuff that you can find in your locality.

5) Buy whole foods. Consciously seek out groceries that have not been overly processed. Befriend your local farm shop.

6) Walk. Make walking a part of your daily life. Where possible, step outside at the start of the day and walk barefoot over dewy grass. When driving, park half a mile short of your destination, and enjoy the journey on foot.

7) Spend time in nature. Being in green spaces is calming and grounding because it’s our home environment – it’s just that we forget it sometimes. Seek out fresh air. Remember this: you are part of nature, and nature is part of you. You are unique, and special. There has never been anyone quite like you on this planet, and there never will be again. You are part of a whole, interconnecting stream of planetary life – and you have your role to play. Be proud of that role.

Love and blessings to you.

WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.