The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday musings

You’re missing “Dark Night of the Soul” and “The Leap of Faith” and “Confront Evil—Victorious”
The Lifewriting mailing list is specific to writing and exploring the connection between Chakras, the Hero’s Journey, and creative consciousness. It’s also the way I promote my LIFEWRITING YEAR LONG COURSE. I sell enough of ‘em to buy sushi. The link is on my main web site.
Let’s tie Intermittent Fasting in with the rest of the personal development things, shall we?
MEDITATE DURING YOUR HUNGRIEST TIME. Now, for me, that would be the morning after a fast day. My system is like, WAY empty. I wake up wanting food. My body NEEDS food. Especially if I worked out yesterday (which I did) my muscles have been synthesizing new tissue, and building it out of stray amino acids…which are near depletion. Another twelve hours and I’m entering ketosis. So the alert bells are sounding. If you can calm yourself and find the “light,” or whatever you use as an analogue for a balanced, centered internal state, that is definitely a power move.

Take it further. When you reach a place of peace and centeredness, notice the way you are breathing. File this information away. How deep? How slow? Where in your belly? Now. One of the things about meditation is that it enables you to observe your process rather than simply being carried away by it. So, the next time you are upset, stressed, angry...note your breathing. I PROMISE that it will be much, much different from your centered breath. Consciously change patterns. How do you learn to do this? Why, the FIVE MINUTE MIRACLE, of course. Five times a day, at every hour divisible by 3 (9,12,3,6,9) stop and breathe for 60 seconds. This will teach you to consciously "shift states" at will.

As you go more deeply into your meditations, learn to identify states of creativity, sexual excitement, attention, near-sleep, etc. Keep this up, and you'll be mastering the ability to shift states almost at will. At this point, you are no longer controlled by your automatic patterns. You are slipping into the driver's seat.

And the state beyond that seems to be the one where you seriously speculate about who exactly the "driver" really is.
Remember that there are only two questions: "What is true?" and "Who am I"
Actually, there is only one. Can you figure out what it is?
Had a long conversation with Mushtaq yesterday about definitions. He is concerned that my use of the term “Enlightenment” carries with it certain baggage that might actually impede my ability to attain it. Fair enough. But I have a very specific meaning, which might not be exactly the dictionary definition, or even the originally intended definition:
Sustained, non-dualistic awareness or “awakeness.” Asking yourself multiple times during the day “am I awake” will eventually alert you to the fact that there are variable levels of this quality, and lead you to deeper and higher clarity. But (in my mind) the moments in which you are “awake” must be sustained until the ego shell crumbles. This ego-death is, so far as I can see, permanent. Now, you can put your old ego back on, sort of like an ill-fitting suit, to interact with other humans and live in this world. But “you” are gone. Looked at this way, “you” cannot become enlightened. But you can die, and release the truth of your existence. What exists on the other side of this is NOT the same as what existed before…but your friends and families are likely to misunderstand. Because this “new” being experiences the world in a completely different fashion, it may be difficult to relate to your old life and intimate relationships.
This is the reason that I ain’t sprinting toward enlightenment. I’m happy to graze around the edges: I have a family to raise, and a wife to love. And I will accept nothing less than fulfilling this joyous and sacred obligation. But when Jason is grown…well, I will have different options. And “I” want to see what’s out there, even at the cost of “my” own existence. “I” want truth. Truth is more important than life itself. As is honor.

But don’t worry about accidentally triggering this change, folks. Unless you’re meditating six hours a day on the secret mantra of DubbleBubble, you ain’t gonna wake up in the Kundalini Equation. That would be roughly equivalent to the guys who don’t want to lift weights because they “don’t want to look like Arnold.” Yeah, right. Ten years of Six hours a day, perfect genetics, Perfect diet, the drive of Attila the Hun, and a healthy dose of chemical stimulation might get you there. Your little hour a day in the gym? Not a prayer. These “outer edge” accomplishments are for the obsessed. It’s like saying “I don’t want to go for a walk, because I might end up in New York.”
I was 176.8 this morning. Better eat.

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