Thursday, July 30, 2009

Have we really gotten more "civilized" over the millenia?

From Riane Eisler's seminal book Chalice and the Blade - "Most of what we have learned to believe to think of as our cultural evolution has in fact been interpretation. Moreover... this interpretation has more often than not been the projection of the prevailing dominator worldview. It has consisted of conclusions drawn from fragmentary data interpreted to conform to the traditional model of our cultural evolution as a linear progression from "primitave man" to so called "civilized man," who despite their many differences, shared a common preoccupation with conquering, killing and dominating."

"Through scientific excavations of ancient sites, archaeologists have in recent years obtained a great deal of primary information about prehistory, particularly about the Neolithic, when our ancestors were first settled in communities sustained by farming and breeding of stock. Analyzed from a fresh perspective, these excavations provide the database for a re-evaluation, and reconstruction, of our past."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Living Universe - We recognize ourselves as intensification of aliveness!

Duane Elgin, author of "The Living Universe" was just interviewed in EnlightenNext Magazine.

"Q: Why do you feel it's important for people to develop this understanding of the universe as living?"

"A: Until recently, the dominant cosmology in contemporary physics held that since the big bang nearly fourteen billion years ago, little more has happened than a rearranging of the cosmic furniture. This dead-universe theory assumes creation occured only once, when a massive explosion spewed out lifeless material into equally lifeless space. Life somehow mysteriously emerged as nonliving atoms inexplicably organized and grew themselves into ever more complex forms. In this scenario, who we are and life itself are meaningless. We're just a speck of aliveness in a vast ocean of deadness, and when we die, we just sink into oblivion."

"But now science is starting to say , 'Wait a minute. We're living in a continuously regenerating system, and there are extraordinary amounts of life just pouring through all of it.' From this perspective, we see that the whole of existence is alive, and when we die, we die into this vast ocean of aliveness. We're beginning to recognize how extraordinary we are as a species and that what really matters is the extent to which we recognize ourselves as the intensification of that aliveness. Do we exist in a reality that has no meaning, or do we see ourselves in this much larger context? It matters enormously whether we're just playing biochemical games or we're authentically connecting with the deeper aliveness that permeates the universe."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Want to Learn How to Meditate? Discover your own Radiance!

If you want to "learn" how to meditate - for relaxation, stress release, spiritual advancement, higher consciousness, etc., then explore the teachings of the ancient Sanskrit yoga manual "Vijnana Bhairava Tantra." I have found it to be one of the best guides for discovering the moment to moment awareness which leads us to becoming attuned to our natural state of being - which I call "living meditation".

The whole goal of meditation is to connect us to the field of all beauty, awareness and conscious intelligence that has created you and of all the cosmos. And the goal is to discover that you are NOT ONLY connected to the creative intelligence that dreamed the cosmos, but YOU ARE the same creative intelligence that dreamed the cosmos. In exactly the same way that a seed contains the tree.

The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra was written down long ago as a manual to point spiritual aspirants to the moment by moment opportunities for us to open to vast cosmic creative intelligence that lives through us.

The text was written as a dialogue between "Lord Bhairava" (a representation of cosmic intelligence) and his Consort and reflection "Bhairavi" after she asked him his view of the nature of reality and awakening to our true nature.

My friend Lorin Roche translated this ancient knowledge into a book called "The Radiance Sutras" from which I quote the first four verses for your benefit here.

Want to experience "living meditation"?

Read these verses, apply their wisdom, breathe, recognize and enjoy your own Radiance:

"1. The One Who is Intimate to All Beings said,
Beloved, your questions require the answers that come
through direct living experience.

The way of experience begins with a breath
such as the breath you are breathing now.
Awakening into the luminous reality
may dawn in the momentary throb
between any two breaths.

The breath flows in and just before it turns
to flow out,
there is a flash of pure joy -
life is renewed.
Awaken into that.

As the breath is released and flows out,
there is a pulse as it turns to flow in.
In that turn, you are empty.
Enter that emptiness as the source of all life.

2. Radiant one,

The life essence carries on its play
through the pulsing rhythm
of outward and inward movement.
This is the ceaseless throb, the rhythm of life -
terrifying in its eternity, exquisite in its constancy.

The inhalation, the return movement of breath,
sustains life.
The outgoing breath
purifies life.
We breathe out the old air, the old thoughts, the old feelings.

These are the two poles
between which respiration goes on unceasingly.
Between them is every quality you could ever desire.

As the breath turns from in to out,
and again as the breath
curves from out to in -
through both these turns, absorb intensity.

3. Enter these turning points
In the play of respiration and expiration,
Where the rhythms of life transform
Into each other.

Breath flows in, then surrenders to flow out again.
In this moment, drink eternity.

Breath flows out, emptying, emptying,
Offering itself to infinity.

Cherishing these moments,
Mind dissolves into heart,
Heart dissolves into space,
Body becomes a shimmering field
Pulsating between emptiness and fullness..

4. In any quiet moment when you are breathing,
the breath may flow out and pause of itself,
or flow in and pause of itself.
There experience opens into an exquisite vastness
with no beginning and no end.

Embrace that infinity without reservation.
Dive into it, drink deeply of it and emerge renewed."