Monday – August 31, 2020 – The Great Nest of Being
We have been “practicing” yoga together three times a week since April of this year. The “lock down” started, yoga studios shut down, work slowed, social distancing was put in place and we decided to invest 3-4 hours a week “on the mat.” We all downloaded the Zoom app and we were all set to engage in our quest.
We focused our intention on the two fundamental components of the energy within our world; The Yang and The Yin. Sunday morning is our Deep Yin Exploration. Tuesday’s are our Yang Inquiry. And, Thursday’s we experiment with the integration of the two.
Sometime during the summer we added a fourth session. Monday night at 6:30 pm we study meditation and several “maps of the territory. Each session we “sit” together for 10 – 15 minutes in a silent and sometimes guided meditation. This session has added context and texture to our inquiry and our yoga practice.
There is a deep concept one eventually becomes exposed to when studying the map of the Spiritual Technology of Kabbalah. I desire to introduce this concept to you. REMEMBER, we are looking at the maps with an open mind. It helps to suspend your current held beliefs. In sharing this concept I don’t do so to inform or to put forth a practice or even a belief but rather to awaken the mind that seeks.
There is a common core that can be found in most all mystical maps of the territory. Virtually all of the world’s great wisdom traditions subscribe to a belief in the “GREAT CHAIN OF BEING.” According to this nearly universal view, reality is a rich tapestry of interwoven levels, reaching from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit. Each ‘higher’ level envelops or enfolds its lower dimensions – a series of nests within nests within nests of Being – so that every thing and event in the world is interwoven with every other, and all are ultimately enveloped and enfolded by Spirit, by God, by Goddess, by Tao, Brahman…..by the Absolute itself (SOURCE). The Great Chain of Being is more like “THE GREAT NEST OF BEING,’ with each senior dimension enveloping and enfolding its junior dimension(s) – a situation often described as “transcend and include.” Spirit transcends but includes soul, which transcends but includes mind, which transcends but includes vital body, which transcends but includes matter.
Now, with that brief intro………Here is a 25 minute video on the Four Phases (Really 5 because there is a zero phase) of Kabbalah. REMEMBER, we are only inquiring. Nothing to believe here. Just checking it out.
In our yoga journey (remember the eight limb path) we are currently focusing on the sixth limb Dharana – Focused concentration. Our target or destination is Samadhi – Union with Source. Time to begin to check our what is this thing we call Source.
Tuesday – September 1, 2020 – Torah Portion
This week’s Torah Portion is called “Ki Tavo” – translation……”when you enter.” In the “story” the Israelites are about to enter the promised land. Interesting that this portion has no Zohar reading. This means that there is a concealed secret somewhere to be found. The portion talks a lot about blessings and curses and the giving of ‘first fruits.”. The Torah portion can be found in Deuteronomy 26:1 – 29:8.
Wednesday – September 2, 2020 –
Here is a book recommendation. Not required reading.
“There is nothing that will cure the senses but the soul, and nothing that will cure the soul but the senses.” Oscar Wilde
Friday- September 4, 2020 – Assumptions
The word “Assumption” has gotten a bad wrap. Its reputation has been smeared throughout the years. I don’t remember who said it or where……I think it might have been in a movie or something…..but have you ever heard…….”Don’t Assume…. It makes an ASS out of U and Me.”? One thing we have learned on our journey is that we are conscious of only a very small fraction of what is real or available. We are limited by what we can sense. We are limited by what we have been exposed to and, probably most importantly, our unconscious/subconscious mind is hidden from us. We are only consciously aware of but a tip of what is there.
When or if you stop and think about “it” isn’t it strange that anything is happening at all? “In the beginning” there was nothing, then a ‘Big Bang’, then here we all are. Does this not seem extremely weird? Why is there something rather than nothing? There has always been two general answers to this question. The first is the Philosophy of “oops.” The universe just occurs. There is nothing behind it, it’s all accidental and random, it just is, it just happens — oops. The philosophy of oops is embraced by many theories of thought…..positivism, scientific materialism, naturalism, empiricism. The philosophy of oops always comes down to the same basic answer ……. DON’T ASK! In Modern, Post Modern worldview the question itself (Why is anything at all happening?, Why am I here?,) is thought to be confused, pathological, nonsensical, or infantile. To stop asking such silly or confused questions is, they all maintain, a sign of growing up and a mark of maturity.
As your yoga guide, I don’t think the philosophy of oops holds water. In fact, I think it is infantile, nonsensical and immature. The study of Dharma is a quest to learn about, understand and directly experience the true reality of our universe, of our world, of others and of our Self. The yoga journey is all about awakening the seeking mind. This week inquire into the assumption you hold on this. Have you adopted the philosophy of “oops?
In preparation for Monday night’s Mapquesting/Meditation session read Chapter 2 in Vipassana book -The Starting Point. Also, read the section in the introduction entitled “Swimology” page 10 and write a brief answer to the question – “What is Swimology?”
Saturday – August 5, 2020 – “The Fall”
Many religious, mystical and spiritual “maps” represent the human being as being in a “fallen state.” Do you “see it” this way? Have you considered this? Do you hold a different ‘belief’ on the subject of the state of a human being in this world? Have you concluded that it is not an important issue? Does thinking about it give you a headache?
Let’s ASSUME that we are in a fallen state. Where did we fall from? What did we fall too? When did this happen? How did this occur? And WHY? Furthermore, is there any hope for rehabilitation, recovery or redemption? Or, did we fall from a worse situation and we are better off right where we are?
Let’s further ASSUME, upon years of exploring and seeking that, although we have not found the specifics of our FALL, we have an intuitive sense that re-connecting to our original state, prior to the FALL, is likely a good thing. And furthermore, investing some quality time towards this endeavor is something we wish to do. In fact, many of us have, throughout our life, inquired into several paths of inquiry. Some of us have primarily focused on one path.
The eighth limb of the yoga path is Samadhi, union with Source. Is union with Source the original state? Once we get there will the journey end? As your yoga guide, I am suggesting we “go for it” this month. What do I mean? We are currently exploring Dharana (the 6th limb) – focused concentration. Let’s focus on the ‘goal’ the destination of Samadhi. This week practice focusing on one thing at a time and when there is a void then focus on union with Source. Then, in a few weeks we will transition our focus towards Dhyana, the 7th limb; deep meditation/absorption. Our target for connecting with Samadhi will be on our Sunday Class on September 27th.
I have more to say on all this as you may quite imagine. In the meantime, here is another short video on concentration in meditation.
For weeks 1 – 4 visit next pages