There is a lot of talk in spiritual communities these days about “I create my own reality.” As with other things that get obsessed about this idea is often expressed in polarity; either a given person obsessively believes this is fact or they can’t even approach entertaining the idea, think it is impossible and that those who believe it are delusional. This is an unfortunate division, but not because it divides people from each other, rather because this split divides the individual from themselves.
As we sink deeper and deeper into the root of our being, awareness itself, we expose ourselves to a vastness beyond compare, a limitlessness that is often referred to as the void. It goes by many names depending on the tradition and language we describe it from. Each description is useful, in its own way, to help us integrate this absolute into our awakening life.
The mythic being Kokopelli has become an icon representing a wild passion for life, the playful fertility of creativity and the sly character of trickery that brings forth beauty through opposites. The origins of this being are quite sketchy.
According to the scholarly research (see Kokopelli – The Magic, Mirth, and Mischief of an Ancient Symbol, by Dennis Slifer) he is most likely a modern invention, being a composite, a reworking of ancients symbols and various aspects of different beings from different traditions. But even if this being is the result of a contemporary spin on old ideas, I do not think that invalidates the potential authenticity of the teachings he has to offer.
Love is not the answer. I have never heard anything more ridiculous in my life.
I mean, I see a lot of men and women who relate to the craft, relate to the vibes of magical dreaming energy, but their inquiry seems to end at a few trinkets bought to decorate their bodies and bookshelves, a few psychedelic visions that, perhaps, make them feel like seers and a few tragic life wounds that, oh, don’t they make us feel so real. But where are the witches?
My best friend just died. It’s a real head/heart… trip. I am having all the well documented experiences that such things bring, I guess. I am right on schedule with my grief. All is going well in the process of my loss as I digest and embody this intense experience.
As with quite a few words that are used in the context of spirituality, the word meditation has come to mean many things to different people. It even often means different things to the same person, depending on the context. While this is a powerful aspect of language, being able to speak on more than one level at a time, it can also be an hindrance when communicating directly. So I will begin with clarifying some of what is meant by the word in the context of what I teach.
There are a wide range of practices from around the world which are called meditation. I find that they all can be placed somewhere on a spectrum between two polarities of approach. On one side, lets call it the right side of meditation, we have the practices which can be generally refereed to as “mindfulness” practices. This includes insight meditation, Vipasana, Zen, Transcendental Mediation and other such approaches. On the other side, the left side, we have what I call “creative” practices, which include all manner of visualization and energy work.
In the spirit of the new year, and the traditional positive attitude that many seek to initiate at this time, here are some interesting things about how the mind works, which are being pointed out by neural science. Two findings in particular I have found extremely beneficial to know and practice.
The meaning I see in the world is a powerful determining force for how I experience the world. From where do I derive meaning? I find it is in how I describe things to myself. From an early age I was trained to describe things this way and that, often so fast I don’t even see the process taking place. But what happens when I encounter something for which I have no description?
Human history, in its essence, is the history of the human mind. What I am born as was begun long ago in an evolutionary inquiry that has resulted in things like me (so far). On this journey, thoughts, ideas, biases, decisions, reactions and more have all passed through the human mind and had their defining influence, to one degree or another. What I experience now is just as much made of a mammal mind that is seeking shelter, food and companionship as it is a cultural mind that is trying to define itself beyond Nature. My mind is the ongoing process of these eons of interaction, influence and reflection.