All posts by Michael

The Battle For The Soul Redux

What do you mean? What battle?

Let’s use some of our “tools” we have been using in yoga, meditation and mapquesting sessions for confronting, exploring and understanding:

First, suspend belief and disbelief

Second, Remember that we receive “information” in three layers. Initially, something comes into our awareness. We hear about it or we read a book about it. Then, we may choose to pursue some intellectual inquiry about this thing. We talk about it, research it, try its ‘practices and techniques. And then we have a direct personal experience with this thing that has come into our awareness field.

Third, we learn through metaphor…..After receiving the perspective offered then compare it to other maps we have experienced. For example, can you locate where the ego lives in the Vipassana technique? Is it in the realm of consciousness? Perception? Sensation? Reaction? The Physical?

Listen to this short video. I have attached the other video he was referring to from the movie Revolver. He is talking about Ego.

The battle is within. The Ego seeks pleasure and avoids pain. If you allow the ego to run free then the momentary reactions of liking and disliking will create formations (Sankharas) of craving and aversion. These creations then mold a perspective through which consciousness flows.

The enemy has been located and he lies within.

Let the battle begin!

Session “One”

So, I am guiding a three session introduction to meditation. ‘mindfulness and yoga for a new group. We are meeting once a week for 45 minutes. Recently had our first session and this is a ‘recap.’

First of all, I am very excited to be working with this group because they are a business involved in the health and wellness field and they are exploring “alternative” approaches to integrate with their current systems and procedures which is primarily a mainstream western medical approach.

Since my motivation for trying yoga 23 years ago was to enhance my healing path….and….I am very familiar with western medicine with having to engage with the diabetes since 1976…..it is almost a dream come true to work with doctors and nurses and their support staff.

In our first session we covered the three levels of wisdom according to the Buddha: 1. Received Wisdom, by reading a book, listening to a lecture…etc. This level is the awareness level, 2. Intellectual Wisdom. via inquiry, study, testing a practice or application and 3. Direct Personal Experience, the highest level of wisdom which one incorporates what they “know” via their experience into their perspective.

We brought into our awareness the yogic philosophy of The Koshas. There are five of them and they are the five “layers” or “veils” or “bodies” that make up a human being: The Koshas are:

The Five Koshas

We juxtaposed the five Koshas with The Buddha’s 5 processes that make up a human being, the growth process and The Kripalu BRFWA Process of Transformation:

 Kosha       The Buddha                    Kripalu                GROWTH   

1.  Physical.                          Physical                            Breathe                Confusion

2.  Energy                              Reaction                            Relax                     Exploration

3.  Mental/Emotional    Sensation                          Feel                        Incubation

4.  Higher Self                    Perspective                    Watch.                   Illumination

5.  Bliss                                    Consciousness               Allow                   Celebration

I think……that the next step in integration of western style medical perspective and alternative Eastern Style medical perspective will be a willingness to expand the perspective of what we are, who we are and why we are. We are not simply our physical bodies. In fact, the physical is but less than 1% of the all that is. This is not my opinion but is scientific fact according to Quantum Physics. More on this in a later session……The TRUTH is that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience but rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Over the next two sessions we will explore this from all three levels of wisdom using the practice of meditation, mindfulness, yoga and mapquesting.

I left the group with the assignment of practicing BRFWA. In this post I further challenge the group to contemplate what their current “Creation Story” is.

Now, I know that there are several “camps” of thought on this question. There is one camp that has ruled out any further thought on this question. They have determined we live in a physical universe and that a creation story is simply that….a story. Evolution is adequate in answering any questions of creation and existence. There is another group that has contemplated this question and just determined it is unanswerable. This group is generally not interested in any further inquiry. There is another group that has adopted the creation story of a religion. Most religions have their own creation story. And there is another group that is truly seeking. Perhaps, this group is stuck in seeking?

Nevertheless, in this first session we talked about the ability to suspend belief and disbelief for the practice of meditation and yoga. To cultivate a state of inquiry and openness as we explore. To “empty our cup” of what we believe, think we know or have discounted and put in the disbelief column of our awareness and, therefore, perspective.

However, the practice of yoga is a spiritual path. There is no doubt about that. The destination is Samadhi or connection to Source. So, it behooves us to at least contemplate this Source, our origin and our current relationship to it.

Now, I know I am pushing the envelope here with what I am copying and pasting. However, if you choose to read further do so with an open and inquiring mind. Don’t seek confirmation with your current belief system. Just follow the Buddha’s path – Let it come into your awareness, seek to understand and note your experience with it. It is a writing from one of my Kabbalah teachers on the Torah portion of the week. See how it applies to our practice …… Don’t worry if you don’t understand some terms or references. Just try to receive the message my teacher is communicating . Enjoy….

Until the revelation of the Zohar, whenever this section of the Bible was read over the millennia, the challenge was always in understanding how to construct the Candelabra out of one piece. But the Zohar shows us the deeper significance of this section and what it can teach us about our own lives.

In questioning the construction of the Candelabra, Moses indicates the difficulty for us today to connect with the totality of the Lightforce of God in the physical world, which is limited. The difficulty of creating a Candelabra represents the difficulty in creating unity—unity between ourselves and God. This is what the Zohar tells us was the deeper significance of what God and Moses discussed.

The only thing that can sustain us in every aspect of our lives is the Lightforce of God, which means having a connection with the Flawless Universe. But because we are unfamiliar with it, chaos reigns supreme in every aspect of the physical world. There is not an aspect of physicality that does not experience chaos in some form—death, decay, and so on.

The physical world is fragmented. Take medicine, for example. It is difficult today to find a general practitioner; if you have something wrong with your arm, you go to an arm doctor, if you have something wrong with your finger, you go to a finger specialist. There is no longer a connection to the totality. 

What the Zohar teaches us is that we must examine the body and connect to the whole. This is what holistic medicine is about—unifying and connecting the physical body with the Lightforce of God, which is already complete.

This week, the example of the Candelabra teaches us that there must be a totality of connection; it cannot be broken or segmented. This is a very deep lesson.

We can acquire this kind of knowledge from the Zohar and transform our consciousness. Before we can demand that we live in a totally Flawless Universe, we have to have unity within ourselves. We should work to remove that which creates division, not only within us but also towards others. The purpose is to not only create a unified system, but also to create a unified person. We have to strive to create that unity within ourselves, which creates unification between the realms of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. This does not mean that we pay no attention to the physical. We are talking about a state of consciousness by which the physical world does not influence our decisions. Unfortunately, most of us succumb to the physical world. 

We have the power in our consciousness to override and elevate ourselves. No matter how difficult the physical weighs upon us, we can still rise above. This is what we are trying to achieve.

Any time the challenges of the physical world become the deciding factor, we distance ourselves from the Flawless Universe. This week the story of the Menorah reminds those who permit the physical world to control them, how to be whole. The most important aspect of Beha’alotcha is to understand that if we have difficulties on the physical level, it is because our consciousness still permits the physical world to dominate us. As an example, if you are working in your business, do not permit your business to become your master; always remember your higher consciousness.

The Four Levels Of Desire

When a person desires something, he or she will do one of four things:

  1. Try to make it happen
  2. Do everything he or she can do to make it happen
  3. Make it happen, no matter what
  4. Make it happen, but for someone else

For the person who has the type of desire that makes him or her do something strictly for the sake of another – this person is master of the universe. And for those who do achieve this highest degree of desire…..you will be tested even harder than the rest. You will be asked to forfeit that one thing you worked your whole life. For what seems like no reason. You will be asked to give it up to make someone else’s dream come true. This is the stuff of great movies.

“War”

IF YOU WANT TO GO WAR…

If you want to go to war you need to first know your strengths and weaknesses so the enemy cannot exploit them.

If you want to go to war you need to first find balance so the enemy won’t be able to throw you off-kilter.

If you want to go to war you need to first control your emotions so the enemy cannot influence you.

If you want to go to war you need to first study the enemy so you’ll understand him better.

If you want to go to war you need to first prepare your body, mind and spirit.

If you want to go to war you need to first connect with your Creator for guidance, strength and endurance.

If you want to go to war you need to first unite your people.

If you do all these things properly you will not want to go to war anymore.