Growing a New life

I’m not trying to be a promoter of all-products-Alberto V. My intention here is simply to share possible impacting information with anyone feeling sparked by further interest over a subject mentioned. albertvillo893.jpg

I’ve read most of Alberto’s books, but not all—not the one he mentions here. I like his explanations of energy-related subjects and what some call “neo-shamanism” or modern shamanism, which simply means looking at ancient, indigenous philosophies/life practice perspectives and applying that applicable knowledge to our present society/living environment.  It represents a particular view of life and how we live it that appeals to me in many ways, especially since it recognizes how interconnected we are to all of life, including the earth as a living being herself. That appeals to me.

So to me this so-called ‘modern shamanism’ is a philosophy, not a religion. It pertains to how I view my place in this world, so it reflects more a perspective that I share, than a belief system. I choose to view my life a certain way because of that perspective; and my chosen perception on all those affecting factors in life is how I make sense of what I experience.

That being said, I like to read Alberto V. because he says interesting, thought provoking things. He is a trained psychologist (PhD) and cultural-anthropologist, not to mention all the actual life experiences with indigenous cultures that he has logged over the years. Likewise over the years, his writing skills have helped to shift my perspective on life.

logofourwinds456.pngI do receive his weekly newsletters from Four Winds Society (as can you), and occasionally there are some pretty interesting ones that I mention here. This one appeared this morning, so I’ll share it with you. To me the point of the entire newsletter message is this “…find tools to help them identify and transcend the guiding myths that keep them tied to a disempowering world view, and find a new, more empowering personal mythology that supports their ability to dream a new body and a new world into being.”

“New Mythology for a New World

The right side of the neocortex, the higher brain, operates on stories and myths, not facts. The success of TV series like Game of Thrones, and the Harry Potter books attest to our fascination with fantasy and myth. These affect us at a far deeper level than we realize. From a very young age, we fall under the spell of powerful fables that influence the way we perceive the world and, consequently, the choices we make every day.

The myths of the ancient Greeks centered on the antics of the gods on Mount Olympus and the exploits of heroes like Hercules and Achilles. A classic American myth is the rags-to-riches tale of the self-made man who rises to fame and fortune through determination and hard work. Along with that is the story of the plucky orphan who overcomes a challenging and loveless childhood thanks to her courage, dignity, and winsome charm. Like all good myths, these end in triumph, with virtue rewarded.

The Judeo-Christian traditions have left us with powerful myths that operate in the psyche like computer programs running continually in the background. We’re not even aware of them, but they drive our basic sense of self-worth and our vision of the world, coloring the way we live from day to day.

One of the first Bible stories we learn as children is that of Adam and Eve who disobeyed God, were banished forever from the Garden of Eden, and can no longer commune directly with the Almighty─or with the rivers, rocks, trees, and animals. But indigenous people, whether sub-Saharan Africans or Australian Aborigines or Native Americans, hold no such belief. In their mythologies, they were not kicked out of the Garden. In fact, they were given the Garden and entrusted with maintaining it, as the caretakers of earth.

Another persistent myth we labor under is a belief in evil as an independent principle in the universe. But far more compelling to me is the view that we live in a benevolent universe that will go out its way to conspire on our behalf─when we are in right relationship with it and when the hardware in our brain is able to sustain the experience of Oneness.

The values and beliefs contained in myths are so strong that once you find your personal guiding myth, you feel compelled to change your life to conform to it. Transform the myth and your values and beliefs are transformed─and the facts of your life change accordingly.

Just as the invention of the printing press altered our worldview in the centuries that followed, the world wide web and AI are a transforming narrative of our age. We do not know the new myths that will emerge in the coming decades, but we do know that the old myths have exhausted themselves.

At this point in our history, it’s clear that the human species needs to be more collaborative, creative, and cooperative─qualities that are aspects of the archetypal Mother figure. To bring balance back into our relationship with Mother Earth and with one another, we need to improve on the masculine mythology of domination, conquest, and hierarchical power. And on a personal level, we need to overcome the self-focused, power-hungry, battle-fixated, dominator mindset.

Changing your personal myths requires interacting with familiar stories in new ways so that you can use those energies more wisely. You could revise how you engage with your inner warrior, for example, by giving up judgement toward yourself and others─and reserving your adversarial energy for only the most essential battles and the athletic field.

Readers of my new book, Grow a New Body, will find tools to help them identify and transcend the guiding myths that keep them tied to a disempowering world view, and find a new, more empowering personal mythology that supports their ability to dream a new body and a new world into being.

You can pre-order Grow a New Body at https://growanewbody.com

 Warmest blessings,   Alberto Villoldo, PhD

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2019 – Year of Beginnings

For this third day of January 2019, my post will be a mix of influences I’ve witnessed since January first.

Lee-Harrispicimage.jpgIt started with an energy update from Lee Harris on “2019 – Year of Beginnings” which I think is worth hearing, so I’ll list it here if anyone is interested:  https://www.leeharrisenergy.com/p/january-2019-energy-update

The gist of it from my notes was that this is the year of elevation (out of the mire of contentiousness and social dishevel).  2012 – 2019 was a 7-year cycle of clearing us energetically.  2019 – 2026 is a cycle of elevation – a brand new beginning bringing with it a lot of momentum and forward movement.  He says to create your personal change powerfully and purposefully. Live life more passionately.  Expect January to be more of the bubbling to the surface of major issues, but February is the beginning of the change—a vocal ‘stand up and speak your truth’ month. This is the time right now to be very clear on exactly what you DO want in your life, as that is what you will call to you now.  Speak your truth and stand up for what is right for all.

So then shortly after seeing the Lee Harris video, someone put through this gorgeous 49301924_2441835785844099_6951581753156829184_n.jpgsnowflake on Facebook that I found mesmerizing along with a quote from Einstein, one of my personal heroes.

“The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation. If we look at this tree outside whose roots search beneath the pavement for water, or a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees, or even our own selves and the inner forces that drive us to act, we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune..”   Albert Einstein
snowflake photo by Kenneth Libbrecht

Quote source: How Einstein Saw the World
https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/how-einstein-saw-the-world/

 

Then the next day “Tao and Zen” on Facebook added another D. T. Suzuki quote that I thought really explains how you incorporate that Zen  perspective into everything you do:

49511253_2446887465338931_7342677059904208896_n.jpg“The idea of Zen is to catch life as it flows. There is nothing extraordinary or mysterious about Zen. I raise my hand; I take a book from the other side of the desk; I hear the boys playing ball outside my window; I see the clouds blown away beyond the neighboring wood — in all these I am practicing Zen, I am living Zen. No wordy discussion is necessary, nor any explanation… When the sun rises the whole world dances with joy and everybody’s heart is filled with bliss. If Zen is at all conceivable, it must be taken hold of here.”   D.T. Suzuki

Zen & the Art of Living Deeply
https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/zen-the-art-of-living-deeply/

***

In summary, to me as we start this new year together, I choose to view it as Lee Harris does—that it is a year of beginnings, so let’s stand up and speak our truth and choose our way forward with clear intentions and a strong sense of purpose.

Then as Einstein said, let’s recognize our interconnectedness and the Divine Plan behind our social, cultural, and even personal interactions occurring on this one living planet that we all share.

And lastly, as D.T. Suzuki said, “Be grateful for everything. Observe without judgment. Consume less, create more. Let go of fears and desires. Listen to understand not to respond. Be patient and generous. Love deeply.  Live simply.”

Here on this third day of January 2019, I think those are good personal goals to adopt.

Works for me.

The Return of Primordial Light

Holiday messages are nice, and many received reflect the overall appeal and optimism of the season, no matter the faith.rbuckminsterfuller67-2x.jpg

I am not religious. I do not follow or prescribe any particular recognized religion.  But I write about the many aspects of spirituality that personally appeal, because to me spirituality means our personal connection to the energies around us and from which we have emerged. And that is how I relate to all of those different religious philosophies.

buckyuniverse68.jpgYou can call those philosophical energies “Universe” as Buckminster Fuller did, or you can call them The Tao as ancient Chinese philosophers did, or you can call them God or Yahweh as Judeo-Christian traditions proclaim, or you can simply call them the Transcendent Still Point of All Being.

Whatever you wish to call them, many believers feel especially close to key tenets of those religious philosophies this time of year—sending peace, love and good wishes to all.

I would say that the philosophy of the Shamanic tradition is a very nature-based, direct connection to life and the cosmos we inhabit, and as I watched that beautiful full moon setting outside my window on this winter solstice, I gave thanks for the view and for my part in the whole of this present earth-based drama. A few days ago Alberto Villoldo of Four Winds Society, sent out his winter-solstice, holiday email to all who subscribe. I found it pretty appropriate to our current situation, so I’ll share it here.

“From the bottom of our hearts all of us at the Four Winds Society want to wish you a holy and joyous Solstice on December 21, 2018.

We invite you to light a candle or a small fire in your backyard and join medicine men and women around the world who are gathering on the evening of the Solstice to pray for the “return of the Light.”villoldoenergyquote

This is not the ordinary daylight we all wish we had more of in the Northern hemisphere (and a bit less of in the South), but the Primordial Light.

Primordial Light is the creative power of the Universe which is available to us to create beauty in the world, and to heal ourselves and others. But to work with Primordial Light we must remember the way of the luminous warrior. We must live and act fearlessly, know the answer to “Who am I?” and the ways beyond death into infinity.

Like the shamans of old, we are luminous warriors. We dare to speak the truth, uphold universal values that honor all life, and perform daily acts of courage.

This is so important in this age of cowardice where half-truths are readily embraced as real.

We wish you the strength and steadfastness to continue creating the sacred every day and dreaming a new and healthy world into being.

In Beauty,    Alberto, Marcela, and the Four Winds Society team.”

And to that I would simply add that during this holiday season and throughout the year ahead, be at peace no matter the circumstance, be love no matter the degree of hatred all around you, be as courageous as you were always meant to be, standing tall in the midst of such cowardice in our governing bodies—stand tall and speak your truth.

This is what we do—this is who we are. We, as Luminous Warriors of Divine Primordial Light, welcome the return of the Light—the return to TRUTH as a Universal Standard for governance.

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Blessings to you and yours, and may the year ahead be full of love and laughter for all of us.

Let’s make it a good year for everyone!

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Shoshin – The Beginner’s Mind

Sounds a bit paradoxical, but I can easily say that despite lessIknow45.pnghow much I’ve often thought that I knew throughout my life, or how hard-won that advanced knowledge came into being for me, the older I get the better I appreciate how little I actually DO know.

In truth it seems that with every passing day I feel this almost humorous certainty growing stronger within me: a certainty-of-my-own-ignorance—that jolting realization that what you once believed to be truth, actually wasn’t, and you may never know the REAL truth no matter how old or knowledgeable you become because that TRUTH exists in a realm that is incomprehensible to your present existence.

This body shock of awakening to our own innate ignorance can be scathingly honest and quite humbling.

It certainly was to my ego.

But to those who study Zen, this isn’t some new concept—some might simply call it ‘cultivating the Beginner’s Mind.’

What is Beginner’s Mind?  Here’s a good explanation first from Wikipedia, then from a Zen master himself.

Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning ‘beginner’s mind.’ It refers to having shozinbeginnersmind.pngan attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.”

Text source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin

Master Shunryu Suzuki can explain it far better than I can:

“People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross‑legged position, or to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our mind pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense.

In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means ‘beginner’s mind.’ The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind…

For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our ‘original mind’ includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self‑sufficient state of mind.

This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.

The most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner’s mind. There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind.

You should not say, ‘I know what Zen is,’ or ‘I have attained enlightenment.’ This is shoshinmaster.jpgalso the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner.

Be very, very careful about this point. If you start to practice zazen, you will begin to appreciate your beginner’s mind. It is the secret of Zen practice.”

Shunryu Suzuki
from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

 

So I acknowledge that here I sit in my own ignorance while trying to make sense of our life existence.

These are the very things I often write about: What is reality?—What is consciousness?—What are we doing here? Why are we here? Who benefits and how do they benefit from our incarnating here during this time period or ANY time period?

All those unanswerable questions come down to the battle in our minds over the relevance between our DOING and our BEING.

Here is a basic truth as I presently know it:  I AM.  I EXIST.  I EXPERIENCE.  I OBSERVE.

And I try like the dickens NOT to judge the value of what I am observing because to do so implies a comparative knowledgebase that I do not have—at least not from my humble human perspective.

the-older-i-get-the-less-i-know-by-that-i-mean-the-less-i-am-sure-of-i-view-p-403x403-nkb3nfSo each day I open my eyes and wonder what this day will bring to me. I wonder what new realization will occur to my sensing abilities. I wonder what type of sense I can make of whatever is happening to me and around me, but knowing full well that ‘making sense’ is a judgment in itself.

However, I also know that only through shoshinbeginner’s mind—can I simply observe all and note those observances without judgment or expectation—knowing I must simply allow all occurrences (and not labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’) to flow along with the river of life into the great sea of consciousness that connects us all and patiently awaits our return.

This I also know:  Beginner’s Mind is not easily achieved nor sustained for long unless you willingly intend it.

Brigit Anna McNeill’s Prose on “Winter”

“We are approaching the threshold of winter.

Life is being drawn into the earth, painlessly descending down into the very heart of herself.

And we as natural human animaljessicaboehmanearthpic.jpgs are being called to do the same, the pull to descend into our bodies, into sleep, darkness and the depths of our own inner caves continually tugging at our marrow.

But many find the descent into their own body a scary thing indeed, fearing the unmet emotions and past events that they have stored in the dark caves inside themselves, not wanting to face what they have so carefully and unkindly avoided.

This winter solstice time is no longer celebrated as it once was, with the understanding that this period of descent into our own darkness was so necessary in order to find our light. That true freedom comes from accepting with forgiveness and love what we have been through and vanquishing the hold it has on us, bringing the golden treasure back from the cave of our darker depths.

This is a time of rest and deep reflection, a time to wipe the slate clean as it were and clear out the old so you can walk into spring feeling ready to grow and skip without a dusty mountain on your back & chains around your ankles tied to the caves in your soul.

A time for the medicine of story, of fire, of nourishment and love.

A period of reconnecting, relearning & reclaiming of what this time means brings winter back to a time of kindness, love, rebirth, peace and unburdening instead of a time of dread, fear, depression and avoidance.

This modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, over spending, bad food and consumerism.

And yet the natural tug to go inwards as nearly all creatures are doing is strong and people are left feeling as if there is something wrong with them, that winter is cruel and leaves them feeling abandoned and afraid. Whereas in actual fact winter is so kind, yes she points us in her quiet soft way towards our inner self, towards the darkness and potential death of what we were, but this journey if held with care is essential.

She is like a strong teacher that asks you to awaken your inner loving elder or therapist, holding yourself with awareness of forgiveness and allowing yourself to grieve, to cry, rage, laugh, & face what we need to face in order to be freed from the jagged bonds we wrapped around our hearts, in order to reach a place of healing & light without going into overwhelm.

Winter takes away the distractions, the noise and presents us with the perfect time to rest and withdraw into a womb like love, bringing fire & light to our hearth.”

  • illustration by Jessica Boehman
  • words Brigit Anna McNeill

Sunday Chuckles

I am a fan of NASA’s Facebook page because they post such amazing images of our solar system and beyond.  So this morning, they posted this fantastic image of Jupiter up close and personal; and it got personal to a few folks out there which made for some much needed laughter.

nasalodo987.jpg  NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

 “Inkblot test!    What do you see in this image by NASA’s Juno Mission to Jupiter? We keep finding new shapes hidden in Jupiter’s swirling clouds. Look closer: https://go.nasa.gov/2qMt8ih

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To which the viewership responded in hilarious fashion:

  • Scott Dew I see our lord and savior Cthulu
    • ( according to Urban Dictionary: “A character in Lovecraft’s tale ‘The Call of Cthulhu’. Cthulhu is a monstrous entity who lies “dead but dreaming” in the city of R’lyeh, a place of non-Euclidean madness presently (and mercifully) sunken below the depths of the Pacific Ocean.Cthulhu appears in various monstrous and demonic forms in early myths of the human race.”)
  • Марио Колев Here come the religious people, even if their god is fictional….
  • Daniel Harden It’s a lady giving a Velociraptor the Heimlich.
  • Liz Gaffney Air quality in Los Angeles right about now due to fires. (So sorry California.)
  • David Jobling I’m not religious but I can see the full nativity here, which is a bit of a head trip.
  • Arun Krishnarayan A Bird of prey on the right and Gandalf with a bad cold.
    And at the bottom is a shark with a wide open mouth & woman lying face down in the middle.
  • Saranda Tessera The only true god is Zeus.  Scripture tells us so. Anyway the picture of Jupiter (Latin for Zeus) is breathtaking. What a chaotic creation.
  • Steve Parkinson Keep your sky pixie nonsense off scientific fact pages please.

At least the comments made me chuckle. 🙂

Our minds constantly associate familiar memories to objects and items that we are unfamiliar with in an attempt to identify the threat or safety of them before we proceed further in encountering them. And likewise, if you want to see something that others may not see in a burnt piece of toast, you will do so mainly because you are looking for it no matter where you look.

Unimaginatively I see an amazing image of Jupiter’s atmosphere with wild weather interactions.  (But I totally concur about the lady giving a Velociraptor the Heimlich–it’s clear as day.)

The Morality of Consciousness

“Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception…” ~ Helena Blavatsky

einstwein and rabindranath .jpg

Morality is one of those words that mean different things to different people. As Helena Blavatsky (of the Theosophical Society fame) stated above: We, as do all other things, have our own kind of consciousness, and that consciousness is based on our personal plane of perception.

So to some people, morality may mean nothing at all because it would be counter to that person’s self-interest. You needn’t look farther than the news shows to see that demonstrated daily.

But for mutual understanding, what exactly is MORALITY?

I’ll list Wikipedia’s more expansive version of what morality means:

“Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with “goodness” or “rightness”.”

Talk about subjective interpretations of morality in those personal planes of perception.

Perhaps my concepts of ‘goodness’ and ‘rightness’ are quite different than others. I know as I listen to Evangelical preachers on television harping on Christian morals and righteousness that I often wonder how their own stated hypocrisy over supporting such corrupt and vile government leadership can so easily skew their personal sense of righteousness and godliness.

To me, that seems very strange indeed.  Morality clarkquotemorality67.jpgfor them must be more transitive and dependent on their personal desires that coincide with standing before large groups of gullible people willing to be led in the preacher’s desired direction.  Isn’t that called manipulation rather than salvation?

I personally like Einstein’s concept of religious morality: “My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance—but for us, not for God.”

Morality?  Universal standards of rightness and goodness?  How does this compare to our present state of national affairs?

Seems a little off to me but then, who am I to judge?

I’m just an American voter.