The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Miles to go before I Awaken...

The above are two links to the actual book promotion videos for CASANEGRA. These are new promotional tools created by Simon and Schuster…enjoy!
In meditation this morning, again I found myself migrating to a multi-sensory mode: visual, auditory, kinesthetic. Interesting: all of my basic sensory input was covered. My mental “garbage” was minimized. Strange how my mind has such a range of wobbly response. Visualizing my inner light, or my image in a mirror (searching for light) while feeling my heartbeat. And with every inhalation “I” and every exhalation “Am.” I didn’t want to make it so complicated. Just was “leaking” all over the place, internal voices, visualizations and sensations struggling to pull me out of my grove.

So for about 9 days now, I’ve hit it very regularly and powerfully. Didn’t meditate yesterday morning, but was up at 5 to work with Tim Piering and the guys, and we went through the Hsin Hsin Ming—incredibly powerful stuff (Jed McKenna would approve.)

Every time my ego tried to interrupt by oozing through another sensory modality, I could shut it down with a different facet of the same exploration. Interesting.
I was 172.6 this morning. I'm taking my weight down to 165-170. That was my best fighting weight, when I was 30. I was faster than hell, and hit like an elephant, thank you. If I protect my joints with Yoga, push fitness with Kettlebells and the Bruiser, and slowly increase overall coordination with FlowFit, the results should be interesting.
On my morning tea box, there was a reference to "easy yoga for flexibility and spiritual growth." I'd bet not one in a thousand readers of that has any real idea how to actually make a physical movement relate to spiritual advancement. Here's a key: breathe. Get advice from a yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation teacher on breathing. Or get a copy of Coach Sonnon's Be Breathed or FlowFit. Then use a movement that is slow and gentle enough that you can split your attention between motion and breath. Take yourself to the edge, where you can feel the strain. How is your breathing? Calm it. Feel what happens to your body.
Now. During the day, at least five times (every hour divisible by 3) stop and breathe for 60 seconds. Have goals in all three major arenas. I promise you that over the course of a week, you'll deal with stress in all three areas. As you learn to root yourself in calm, you will eventually SPONTANEOUSLY breathe calmly under stress.

You will go to the root, as it were. When faced with anger, you will see fear. Dissolve the fear, and there is nothing but love. When dealing with inappropriate appetites, you will see your own animal conditioning. Calm the beast, befriend it, and find an ally. When plagued with self-doubt and lack of focus, you will discover a lack of clarity. Remember your core values in life, and find the eye of the storm. Do these things, and even without "religion" or a specific ethical or spiritual path, you will make progress. If you HAVE a spiritual path: this will accelerate you like you may not currently believe.

Had Daniel Keys Moran over to the house last Friday. Terrific guy, had forgotten how much I enjoy talking to him. We talked the air blue on every subject imaginable, but the topic came around to the nature of human existence. He takes the position that we are complex machines. That works for me: any notion that can be broken down into words is less than, and different from, the Thing Itself. But from that mechanistic perspective, I can easily see the nurturance of morality and ethics, especially if one sees the Small Machine (the “I”) as a cog in the Big Machine.

I mentioned to him that there were only three things I found worthy of living for: Knowledge, Pleasure, and Honor. Why, he wondered, am I poking around at this Enlightenment thing, especially since I suspect it can be dangerous? Knowledge, I said. I want to know the truth. (Yes, I get the perverse contradiction there: there is no “I” to know Truth. Nonetheless, language is all we have. But there is no “we”…aw, crap.)
At any rate, he asked me which would I choose: Happiness or Truth. I said that was a “red pill or blue pill” question (love me some Matrix!). He wanted an answer. “Truth,” I said. “I’ve been happy.”

But as I’ve said, I’ll wait to push at it until Jason is 18…I have miles to go before I Awaken…

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