Hi and thanks for visiting this blog, of sorts. I try and regularly write often about various subjects I find to be transformative in nature… The world of plants, creative exercises in empowerment of various kinds plus what arrives in the conscious mind worth mentioning, in my humble opinion.
Some of the subjects at present:
Media coverage of events
Self-care as intrinsic motivation
Weight control / Body shaping
Tai chi science /
Fun biofeedback games (not the widely advertised ‘brain trainers’ on tv)
Reiki like practices
Intuitive exercises in S-elf-compassion
Good news for pain sufferers!! Corydalis root is used in Chinese medicine to quell moderate to severe pain working via serotogenic pathways not opiate pathways. Corydalis is a member of the Papaveraceae family which notably includes opium poppy. Medical science is (“patently”?) delighted that a pain killer has emerged not bearing the stamp of damaging psychoactive interactions, spell blinding lassitude many patients experience with many CNS depressant medications. The plant is presently being considered a potential breakthrough in the treatment of pain and so perhaps, some pain related addiction associated opiate abuse.
Zika threatens south Florida!!! Ken Horvaky posted on using Cuban coffee grounds to repel Zika borne mosquitos. As for affecting larval stages, invasive cinnamon, epazote, and others may be used. Non toxic Neem based insecticides as well. See my book section Underutilized Crops of Florida, this website
Alert !!! Cyanobacteria spread threatens us here in s. Florida! Many have spoken on the loss of habitat, polluting agricultural practices, shoreline and canal banks concretized and the subsequent loss of canopy. Various native trees black olive conocarpus erectus, / buceda buceras whose leaves and roots once shed potent anti quorum sensing chemistry`s into tannin rich waters? Erased its easier for new bugs to enter? From another angle here`s some recent updated articles, the subject of veterinarians addressing cyanobacterial poisoning with the amino acid l serine.
1/7/15 Self care and the intrinsically motivated individual
‘Self-care’ the epithet some feel lacks the pizazz of a driven media blare as it simply means, engaging activities that build health and add positive outcomes by inviting the emotional balance stress relief realm, affecting body mind in positive ways. ‘Other’ care it seems we are always more familiar, going for massages, pedicures, stylists grooming ect.
Self-care of the quiet type, chi gong etc seems to live in reverse this as the active participation and enlivening ones own health care support system, inviting good health that for the most part is unrelated to others participation. One may be exercising in a group but the results are more of a personal nature. This post skims the surface a few issues that can come up with various forms of self-care.
Yoga is practiced by millions of folks worldwide but must be considered in its appropriateness in regards the individual health status. Spinal anomalies may not respond well and trying to fit into a too rigorous or seemingly unforgiving program, may end up doing more harm that good. Many people with back issues however can benefit as compensatory factors tight connective tissue begin to elongate and warm, can loosen restrictions around bones giving more space for impinged nerves easing off, bringing improving function. The directed postures help stretch out frozen tissues (which initializes deep breathing response) and so circulation, innate postural correction, overall health can generally improve.
Some forms of chi gong are typically more gentle than many yoga systems as they don’t tax the body overtly with deep stretching instead, using gentle ranges of motion, often rotatory type movements or cross body patterns intended to easily free up restrictions and build neurological systems integrity, over time. Its easy to understand from a clinical aspect when things are inflamed its better to go slow and ease into body mind sensibility. Most types of chi gong employ some form of hand hovering or energy work at some point in their forms adding another element the work, the manipulation of the subtle energy field that naturally occurs around the body as static electric and photonic discharge.
In other-care Reiki for instance, one engages the energy field in the effort to aid another. With self-care chi gong one usually practices to build ones own chi and in certain circumstances does so to build chi for aiding in healing others. In chi gong methods may differ widely between schools of thought but generally the major energy centers are focused upon in some way that enables increasing energy to ones hands or belly for example. Interestingly as someone commented, most chi gong is practiced as a self-care regimen while comparatively very little of the art is practiced as a other-care type healing modality.
The reasons for this are many as one can imagine. There are fewer people practicing chi gong that is intended for healing others as this requires one carefully build ones energy over time and so often, modern life doesn’t invite the kind of pastoral living that honors developing focus in this way or, ones own health is considered foremost in need of attention.
Interestingly, some folks who are extremely psychic cannot receive energy work from healers such as Reiki practitioners as they feel too much’ some stating the karma of the people in the vicinity seemingly becomes a sensitization point that discourages them from practice? In this baseline yoga can appear as ‘safer’ practices as it doesn’t use hand hovering and focuses more upon the alignment of the spine and breathing. In regards this line of thinking it is historically noted some of yoga`s chakras meditations only being taught to advanced students who are ready for that kind of intensified inner work.
It is known from recent studies people with sense of place deficits may not benefit from open experiential techniques (ie (1) Reiki, or (2)’allowed’ spontaneous movement chi gong) instead benefitting more from directed activities (tai chi / simplified yoga) that focuses the mind and works through putting one in touch with strong sense of place awareness. Horizon gazing, balance training, grounding centering type practices, standing meditation can be helpful as they strongly anchor a person to their surroundings which is essential in todays oft hectic world, placing one firmly in some present-tense sense, a vibrant reality.
I hope some of these discussions are helpful to students seeking appropriate information of self care regimens. See also: EAS coursework this website.
8/15 information and meditation
It occurs to me that the need for information (didactic assessment engine) and or meditation (experiential open moments) often collide, fostering confusion or acting as enlightening moments in time as well perhaps seemingly contradictory phases as the case may be, in regards the cultural contextual ‘having an unsettled mind? The predicate of this query is to look at the perceived need for brain changing moments where the noise one carries around upstairs can subside into blissful breathing and being. Expanding on this, awareness of the true nature of reality it is said can follow, allowing insight into self and thus problem solving by seeing more deeply into ones own situation instead of just reacting to some overt stimulus. If comprehensive the deeper experience of self may allow one to better empathize with others and or see more deeply into ones environment admitting various perspectives. In regards personal meditation practice many people struggle with latent ‘upstairs’ noise and employ meditation techniques as a way to arrive back or at least perceive if only for a moment, the ‘original self, a place devoid of unsettled thoughts and emotion. On this some genius said not too long ago, maybe it was Gore Vidal?… ‘America, the place where neurosis is a cardinal virtue’ underlines the broader issue in an albeit lighthearted way!
In regards the notions of quiet mind vs busy mind’ these are zen (ie; ‘chan’, remember Charlie?) concepts which allow the notion of two types of mind, which invites a convenient simplicity from which to view humanities complex doings, in the light of ‘expanded consciousness’? The idea is that one could imagine what kind of mind produces what?’ to try and delineate how the world would look depending upon the mind that was there to create it. Think here here of what? Of course its harder than that to try and understand our universe to oversimplify things usually adds up to 0. Lets see for starters we could try and define consciousness. Usually attributed to base wakefulness, cerebral cortex on line eyes open this is often further expanded upon as applied humanistic concepts, for example having a sense of purpose, thoughtfulness and consideration for others, which while it may seem an excuse for its own existence potently goes beyond Darwinian struggle modes, towards reciprocity and cooperation. This is important as it implies the activation of the prefrontal cortex the moral or higher brain which allows for those truly human qualities of compassion and insight to emerge. However the felt need to heal others may also suggest self consciousness and ego-ic strategizing as far as one cannot fail in ones conscious choices, by stepping out of whats considered higher human functioning. A kind of mystical Confucian hierarchical mindset that waits for issues to come up, maybe at its worst a ‘solution in search of a problem’ mentality, to which that mind can best respond with its own need for silencing (of itself)? A meditation teachers musings…
This is an issue many healers face as they try and help their clients / patients: Ones own emotions or busy mind can cloud ones ability and skew healing sessions outcomes. This is not to instill doubt, only to gaze off in the distance some apparent conditional response one feels one must make on behalf of another, which itself denotes kinds of dualistic thinking and just maybe, the mind of competition. Ideas of ‘I cannot fail’ to heal so and so, such mindsets cloud the original mind of light not giving way the space needed for energy, to flow through? Seemingly stopping short of unity consciousness this mindset is contrasted against whats often taken the non-dogmatic unifying sentiment that ‘meditation will heal all ill`s’ or at least, allow healthy shifts in consciousness which then lead to better health. Increasingly the evidence supports such claims as meditative arts have shown broad scale effects in turning down many dis-ease processes. Impressive journals like the Lancet British journal of medicine lately do not typically shy away from such headlines, indeed much more info seems to come in from across the big lake probably owing the socialized medicine system and less of a need to satisfy big pharma interests by not publishing data which could in effect, ‘take the wind out of the sales’ so to speak, the newest miracle cure?
Punster-ism as signaling cultural malaise? versus factual investigations:
Looking on, in modern times an educational system exists which for the most part is fed by regional and political power structures which often ignores new research if it doesn’t fit into the conventional societal, medical models its discarded, ignored, passed over. Owing various factors, a kind of institutionalized ignorance exists owing the lack of research that gets through the net thereby keeping folks in the dark about many helpful alternatives. I witnessed this in the 1990`s teaching tai chi at a hospital wellness center where it seemed there was no collaboration, no interdisciplinary studies going on between alternative practitioners and physicians. This occurred even though the data had been out there for some years in regards tai chi helping prevent falls or even rid the body of heart dis-ease. Certainly there has been some improvement in these gaps either or construed information management’, but is often concentrated around northern centers of higher learning and seems less so, in the bible belt regions of the south where kinds of superstition or NIMBY sentimentality still lurks? “Enter the ‘unscientific practitioner”!?
Science on the other hand is often seen as a roadblock to transformative studies by some holistic practitioners as it is known must remain a distanced observer not connected to any experiment”, the cold logic of the static maybe even inflexible mind insisting on being ‘outside the wall’? Such insistences however can also be seen related in the meditator who rejects the science supporting meditative skill sets as hubris and unnecessary. This gets back to examining ‘styles of being which then exposes the various tenants of the ‘teaching schools’ vs the ‘consciousness only’ schools the former which often denies any miraculous actioning as falling outside, thus into the realm of magic and superstition based thought, just like bible banging folks. To simplify some apparent row, figures offer a Jesus unencumbered by dogma, maybe Samantabhadra Manjushri the Healing Buddha and others come to mind as unifiers of thought?
Various images fit in nicely our discussion as it draws attention to a departure from the strict meditative disciplines of Buddhism towards more lofty aspirations than simple self-healing or perhaps, what critics may decry some perceived abject quietism, witnessed from an (giggling?) outsiders perspective?
Titled ‘most worthy, the bringer of compassionate virtue’ ect this figure was one of Buddha`s contemporaries in whose name many faithful chant. The idea of the Wish Fulfilling Gem is large here and allows for healings to take place outside of a nominal base ‘steady mind’ quotient the narrower paths offer. The two paths of Buddhism Hinayana and Mahayana (Lessor vehicle / Greater vehicle) the latter allows for miraculous events and healing, the former of which often states its predicate while not outside of mysticism moreover, not placing too much emphasis on the miraculous either. (Miraculous is ordinary’ etc) Summing up that side:
Miraculous events, supernatural awakenings…
chopping wood and carrying water…
Thus the zen mind or ordinary mind” does not actually try and discredit healings, but only wishes to draw attention to the mind of awakening as fostering a renewed sense of self (laughter is good) or life force outside of concepts as well avoiding too much elation of a revelatory nature, which is witnessed as unbalancing. The distinction can be seen as applying but maybe not to those effects associated with ‘healers fixing folks’ (a dualism?) rather a taking personal responsibility for ones own health? It is in this state of dynamic tension the real teaching lives. We take from some experience what it holds as a teaching tool that in itself maybe allowing for miraculous events(?), but not chasing after high experiences, more channeling our energy in particular ways to help enable healing in ourselves and or, others. In this there is no duality if one sees oneself in others and sees in others the universal life force, which has as its sole purpose the continuation of healthy life energy extending onwards, never a nihilistic exercise in no nothing-ness.
Some of these trends seem to follow on the wish to depart from a present perceived bullying oratorical style of preaching / teaching common to many churches and temples (you`de never know it here) towards a more balanced perspective, one that allows for many avenues to enlightenment, falling within the generalized perspective of energy balancing lifestyles.
For more (or less) on this line of query see other entries ‘Light work’ go about half way down the page..
3/1/15 CAM conference
This past weekend I attended a CAM conference where experts shared info on special plants that heal people from weird dis-eases. Looking over some notes I wanted to share recent news that describes the following plants as possibly helping with various leukemias as listed below. NOTE: Please don’t experiment with plants!!!
Dillenia indica Elephant fruit, Annona glabra pond apple (murine cell line P388), Physallis angulata, Podocarpus, Tithonia diversifolia (flowers), Ashitaba Angelica keiskei (root).
Thoughts on art and creating 11/ 10/14
Creativity emerges for me coming from happenstance as in found object collection, conceiving of forms put together with image as well perhaps, some utilitarian function that a created object-de`art may hold? Owing cheaply available modern inventions like solar cells, wind up technologies, led`s etc a painting or sculptural work can act as light source for example or other techno-fun, useable form, having some function stealthily built into works of art. Adding an ardiuno board and one can make art do all kinds of things by employing various other technologies. Many thought forms come to me through this creative exercise…
An embraced techy objectification, hallowed be thine bread board’, ‘design for its own sake’, or the contemporary, ‘art does not have to have any function’ and not surprisingly, many artists and non artists alike both may feel it never had any to begin with? Except maybe, the expression and reminder of beauty…
Certainly beauty is nice to behold but art especially modern art may not ‘want to be’ so beautiful? Beauty in some strict context these naysayers argue would have to imply the ultimate objectification / object veneration ritual therefore, as it suggests that which can only be attained through the exercise of so called beautiful images, thoughts and feelings”? The video imagery on the link below my piece Gazing Through Time’ is just such an attempt to reconcile feelings of loss of natural surroundings and pristine wilderness where nature is portrayed as the beautiful girl surrounded by technology that nonetheless is supplying some benefit through clean power generation, justifying its own cause?
Technology to boot is cold and beeping, blinking a circuit doing what it is told through programming and or, in our worst fears failing to function properly and therefore to many folks, reminding of the folly of man, his rusty inventions and or those feeling-less spheres didacticism as an only foothold failing the test of humane-ness in its purest sense
. The state of decay of outmoded or dangerous technologies plus the sensitivity of technologies towards harm from emp ect, tend to make complex invention itself a potentially precarious notion as in dealing with machines that can go wrong and maybe therefore sparking old ideas as to those machines that should have never been created in the first place?
From such reasoning my recent work has emerged from unused parts added art glass museum quality dichroic glass and sensing technologies which cause one piece to shake when approached by a warm body! Drawn imagery combined with unused solar cells suggest decorated, illustrated low voltage, low wattage power stations, in that they cannot cause sparking or electrical shorts but perhaps trickle charge a cell phone. Maybe the attempt to illustrate the use of soft power and the life of nature, (buried under a heap of technologically driven mindsets and philosophies? Naw. Its all about raising awareness of clean energy technologies!
In reflection creativity on the larger scale, those thought forms that could easily undermine that same nature we all depend are in fact large, as we modern humans are regularly confronted by the explosion of toxic technologies and so, many wish to flee to a less complicated existence. But the conveniences of modern life make fleeing completely appearing, unattractive. Hence even people who live outdoors and forage for a living still use the internet and make phone calls ect..
The age of convenience = the age of enlightenment?
8 / 31 A prelude to Holosynchronous earthing practice
Planting or stance making is a common attribute of many holistic exercise plans as well the root of intuitive body approaches, those that allow the body to rediscover its own internal balance point through gentle exercises in self awareness. As postural correction and alignment process it is the precursor and foundation to the various standing meditation practices and health giving energy work in general.
An interesting part of the discussion which has only recently come to media spotlights earthing practices’ where science has charted the health giving effects of going barefoot correlating with rises in health imparting anxiety reducing neurochemicals. Owing the (re) discovery of healthy negative ionic earth energy, some are recommending people with insomnia actually ground themselves to earth during periods of sleep via some kind of single wire unit, which has the effect of inviting better sleep patterns.
A deep ecology state of being, like a tree planted in the earth’ (Tree gong?) the stance-making upright- body health practices consist of standing in shoulder width feet position, having the center toe pointing forwards. The slight toe-in position has the effect of placing more energy at the arches in general, strengthening and improving foot bone alignment. This can then allow an evening-out or redistributing the weight from areas of overburden brought on by overwork related muscle fatigue or, from sitting for long periods.
In overwork scenarios microscopic structures can go into spasm in order to limit motion and cause restriction, the body trying to reduce inflammations. Tweaks and malposition can result in knees for example spurred on by aberrant nerve signals from a compressed low back and hips. With decompression at the low back, a corrected foot position can aid improve knee problems as knees return to normal inter-muscular tensions, helping with some chronic pain scenarios. There are several self-suggestion modalities that wont be covered here) allowing internal inspection / active relaxaion to best occur. See EAS coursework…
In overwork scenarios the pelvis low back often retro-tilts (hyperlordosis) as the spinal muscles contract in response intense workloads. When standing in the rooted or planted posture once the foot position is properly felt, one intentionally allows the low back to ‘breath’ or flatten slightly, a slight elongation where the pelvis is felt as moving downwards away from the belly.
Also a springiness felt in the legs allows the low back to elongate more owing the hips and thighs taking up more of the weight off the low back areas, when moving into and out of squatting postures for example. Such acts of conscious decompression can be useful to suffers of low back pain but is contraindicated in cases of spinal laceration, active herniations etc, unless under a doctors care.
See EAS video outtakes above
Exercise with a twist’ slowed active ranges of motion that gently massage body parts can offer intelligent cross trainings that say to the body ‘let go’. Being low impact in nature they typically use less force and more guided intention as in conscious relaxation of parts through actively engaging the relaxation response. Over time some say 10,000 hours of practice, this allows some conscious diminishing of muscle firing to accomplish some task. A good example is Lateral Swing exercise from tai chi warm ups routines.
First off its important to consider relaxation as a skill to be cultivated certainly isn’t about slumping over in a heap but rather having a sense of verve that’s not necessarily undergirded by excessive muscle tone or emotion. Relaxation and focus’ routines further allow those with injuries to participate in low impact cross trainings that can benefit the recovery phase while inviting new feeling and thus new outcomes.
Science now tells us that muscles twitch receptors function to bounce one back into position, after stretching down to pick up an object for example. The body is givin the message to return to (whats perceived?) normal muscle length at standing upright posture by innate mechanoreceptor function.
Yogic practices that work by overriding this natural response are used to stretch out muscles that may have become habituated towards some stress or physical trauma, in the effort to at least partially override the now ‘protective’ rebound / splinting action. When this becomes a part of the mind body landscape albeit under the surface once symptoms have subsided, personality changes can occur as subconscious muscle tension eliciting feelings of anxiety and depression.
This is a common understanding in pt circles and holistic approaches alike that ‘accommodation’ as muscle tension increases after accident and so the need to address the condition before it becomes part of a persistent body perception, ie chronic pain cycles and the physical and emotional character of feelings of helplessness from enduring such cycles.
The proposition of stretching muscles in order to directly address what may have become muscle inequities, splinting locked or hardened flesh can also be approached in a more indirect way through stress relieving activities including silent meditation followed by self massage routines ‘patting down. As part of a comprehensive self care strategy this has the effect of stimulating circulation and thus dispelling any sluggishness after those well intended deep relaxation periods necessary for recovery. Always observe for contraindications…
Its important to recognize that the amount of force needed to move the body as in the initially discussed Swing exercise requires only a slight suggestion of movement, as the spinal rotator muscles naturally pick up the cue for rotating the body and thus the feeling of a mild momentum taking over. When stopping one can allow the body to slow down incrementally aiding the feelings of relaxation. Similarly, self massage patting down should be done with little impacting force while being conscious of any places that need to be respected / avoided ie, capillary fragility issues etc.
Media regularly speaks about what it knows’ and quite often, reflects on those contemporary issues fueling our understanding of the body mind and space, through the sciences. Some question however, do science heavy approaches as a strong focus feed media maybe in a way that exclusively promotes new science models, while ignoring already existing ones?
As an example of this, recently listening to a prominent radio show a researcher was describing his work as emerging from being understudy to the famous late great William Penrose, a renowned scientist who among other things, astounded audiences in the mid 20 century by proving on live volunteers that debilitating brain changes like epilepsy could be controlled by electrical current. Penrose applied current directly to a patients brain surface. His hypothesis were correct, the over-excitation of brain areas controlling automatic movement in epilepsy were shown to be malleable and controllable with the right amount of current.
Though sounding slightly ghoulish Penrose was also able to cause feelings of sadness to disappear in other patients and in this vein, his work continues through researchers who want to help patients afflicted with problematic dis-eases overcome various maladies. Modern outgrowth of such discovery, Cephalia is a lightweight head band device that attaches to a sticky electrode placed over whats often referred to as the pineal activation site’ sending a pulsed wave of microcurrent that has been shown to reduce migraine in 65% of tested volunteers.
Aside from the more dangerous nature of other prior examples re invasive implant-ologies, the most explosive moment for me during the program was the comment during the radio discussion coming as a cliff hanger about ‘how intelligence can be improved with deep brain stimulation’, apparently the statement suggesting sufferers of depression go out and get some brain implants? Barring anyone`s latent cranial masochism, we`ve known for over a decade that deep restful meditative states can work wonders, cause brain reorganization, cognitive enhancement and better function. A 15 minutes nap is all it takes, no wires or, plugs or infections, just people ‘plugged in’…
Rewind to the past, for 7000 years Yogic science has recommended certain acupoints or methods of concentration can be used to control blood pressure, brain waves and so on. One of the tenets of mind body techniques is simply that, ‘mind controls body’ or body through dis-ease afflicts mind’ such as toxicities build up in the liver say for example, lending some person towards angry outbursts and neuro-toximia.
Such allusion is not uncommon to holistic sciences and hard sciences that recognize the relationships between physiologies enzymatic, molecular biological energetic systems driving the heart to pump blood or, the kidneys to perfectly filter out waste as well, the health giving effects of various foods, proteins, fats, carbs and plant polyphenols that contribute to the incredibly intricate balancing act called vibrant human physiology, mind being a part of the overall equation.
Holistic sciences quietly speak their own unglamorous peace when updated studies pointed to gut neurons being more plentiful than neurons in the brain, leading to the ‘belly brain’ hypothesis (Michael Gershon MD) some say offering an explanation for gut feelings’ etc, though initially by hard science, simply viewed as the interaction of gut neuropeptides on each other creating feelings of satisfaction after a heavy meal = deep relaxation .
Speaking some self efficacy yet maybe going beyond simple feelings of satiety and rested-ness, the origin-alist notion of mind drives the body’ offers a holistic perspective that relies on body mind equations balanced between will and having feelings of satisfaction with ones life. The self examination platform has commonality to many experiences and can be allegorically arrayed for example, by imaging the car driving scenario. In open imagining moments, various constraint reactivity phases a person can experience might be entertained, such as some inexorable feeling that one must speed up when others are passing on the highway?
The sense of urgency to move, do and ambulate is saying something about the vibrancy of living things and so stepping down on the pedal, the seeming need to compete emerges out of this same aspect of humanity, the primitive reaction to whats perceived some kind of vague threat to …ego? In the case of the driver being passed, ‘that maybe someone is about to overtake them’, might then react by engaging a go speed-racer mindset? It is in competition the image is born, a reflection on the primitive parts of the brain involved with timing, reaction, awareness of space and movement.
The interesting aspect about we humans as a species the thing that makes us so unique, is that we can consciously imagine observing ourselves in such a situation and ‘catch the thief before he steals’ so to speak, by learning to recognize that trigger which might make one react poorly and thus, overcome various urges to act through thoughtful inner dialog-ing, self awareness techniques.
The question do we really need a special headband to help us do this?’ might seem a backwards ideation being that perhaps other less costly or at no cost methods being passed over in that they are intrinsically low tech, to some echoing a misanthropic next big thing, potentially dangerous therapeutic approaches loosely based on a current drive towards high tech everything, marketed into products, people often unawares? All that said, I do like Wild Devine…) see below on page…
Just as any success with low tech meditative interfaces directly exposes the notion of relaxation realized as a controlling mechanism for behaviors, through inner work bringing new awareness or, exposing activities which can work to quell extremes in the emotional inner landscape, technology too can be used for similar purposes. The question is in doing so, do we buy into the notion of technologies doing something which we could do for ourselves but for which convenience has gifted a seeming enough harmless replacement toolset?
Maybe better stated through the lens of ‘the least technological input upon our brains, nervous systems platform’, this suggests low tech ways to learn how to pay attention and relax at the same time’ through using focusing and diffuse awareness practices, those that can help one let go stress and anxieties subconsciously associated with negative behaviors. The other good thing is they require no equipment for example a computer screen which most of us view with too regularity as it is). Maybe helpful for chronic anxiety addicts whose brains have become seemingly hard wired or, folks with severe head trauma, biofeedback as a relaxation training tool may be useful as it trains autonomic responses away from hyper reactivity mode, towards more balanced brain wave states and healing.
One reason I feel discussion comparing or arraying high tech versus low tech methods is based on having had first hand experiences with various technologies and accessing emotional states when for example taking up intensive tai chi practice in my late teens. Prior to that time I had also learned how to meditate and ended up curing myself of headache.
Many years later I read how in one study (Marylyn Schlitz Phd) showed that teenage boys who learned some form of relaxation technique, meditation etc, were able to slow the growth of brain mast cells, a primary growth phase condition occurring during puberty. Mast cells are often found to be the component triggering inflammatory responses which apparently as was in my experience, a ‘controllable’ factor?
Later upon becoming an Ayurvedic tech I re-realized and confirmed earlier feelings that I associated with participation in various practices, when taking the Dosha test (physiologic type) quiz I realized I would actually have to answer the test questions differently, depending upon two variables. (1) Was I doing daily tai chi or (2) not? The reason for my dilemma was that I realized my tai chi as a moving meditation had begun to alter my perception towards a deep inner calm, a sort of ‘being state’ that I remembered from an earlier time. I likened this to being embraced and held as an infant, a kind of self-nurturing in this case that I was self- creating and along with, dramatic marked shifts in emotions and consciousness.
The shift was so strong that others noticed it too. My mother was delighted with my improved mood and the fact inanimate objects were more often left undamaged in my presence. I proceeded to take the test twice, in order to try and make some determination. In the first instance answering questions as per my body feeling state during periods of intensive 2 hours per day tai chi practice, the duplicate test questions on identical sheets showed the physiologic type characteristics came out different ie, the Dosha was more balanced between the Dosha specific typologies over the periods when I had been intensively practicing.
Today we are regularly informed mostly through a focused narratives like this) that people with high blood pressure and several other maladies can help control or lessen their symptoms through self-engagement practices, quiet meditation mostly those having a focus on deep effortless breathing. There are countless reports of patients overcoming symptoms through the steady use of such practices, yet if one listens to major media outlets like the one featuring brain probing scientists, including public radio, there is less a focus on self-improving soft technologies ie; the human being as energy interface point’ that fail to involve some kind of high technology interfaces. Why is this?
Such notice of an apparent exclusivity towards expensive and or not proven as totally safe technologies’ by big media radar begs some questions especially as it pertains to any presumed legitimacy of hard wiring humans brains, if such techo adaptations were to be used for evil purposes as is so often the case with unchecked weird science. Some of media in its intense fascination with high tech gadgetry in a way seems to be telling us that the human mind isn’t capable of very much but, ever stranger invention? And so we are told Luddites lamenting the way of much ‘study’, focusing on things we can create, rather than ‘looking inside for the answers’?
What comes to mind here are the various ap`s that can take pulse, measure breath blood alcohol levels but the former can also be accomplished by putting a finger over the carotid sinus for a moment or two (and you don’t have to share the information over a whole network).
For the new age crowds purchase at holistic trade shows of goggle apparatus produce flashing lights are intended to shift brain waves frequencies when instead, deep meditation if approached with patience can produce a slow strong wave, ‘down the rabbit hole’ color play, phosphene initiated display within visual cortex neural complexes, ‘the violet flame of meditation’ etc, witnessed during some persons meditative states.
Even while ignoring self generated relaxation as inconsequential we have known for 40 years that the brain is capable of releasing endorphins in the form of enkephalins, in brain neuropeptides that are 200 times more powerful than pure herion yet, such relaxation phases are seldom invited through much of macho culture lenses reeking of the famous militarists cynical tirade: ‘Religion, the opiate of the masses’? has now become ‘technology as evangelist’?
Abandoned visions (?) to take the discussion a little further, reasonable people can simultaneously agree that religion no matter which one has trapped all kinds of peoples into philosophic differences and dilemmas that tend to start wars. As a result, most of modern culture simply desires some healthy secularism and its purported objectivity, not to entirely abandon religion or promote its reverse, providential complexes expanding unchecked science, the problem of untethered and well funded curiosity probes?
In this the creation of drones, nanites, psychic invasions by spying discreetly laden technologies gifting the information to whomever, offers a place where supposed democratic governments seem moot on the point of the kinds of control needed to truly make respecting privacy a standard of conduct, a practice that strongly builds trade partners and in turn, if it is to be fully understood, exposing the potential ill effects of too much freewheeling high tech.
To some pointing towards those greater dystopian visions, Orwellian hubbub, others march onwards the quest for technological self perfection. Its true there are some useful app`s out there…Cut to commercial, complete with disclaimer) “For (future) neurologic illness sufferers the new self instigated Tv remote controller thingy’!!! that presumably would have to be toggled to ones wrist lest the symptoms comes on when one was unable to touch a button?’ in which case we are led to believe ‘a flick of the button is all it takes to get us up right’ (barring complications from embedded wires and wifi enabled gadgets lurking within).
To many concerned with the humanistic perspective on such issues, this describes issues of current importance re the potential gains in personhood science can provide or theyre loss, in the event something were to go wrong with so much untested or worse yet, ‘hackable’ gadgetry?
The point is, beyond ‘equipment’ (as in most anything other than ones body and mind), what can we ourselves do to thwart aging and invite the deceleration in the gears of timely demise, entropy, as much as possible reversing such trends? Getting regular exercise that’s meaningful, gardening, going for walks activities that connect one to earth and stimulating healthy brain responses offer a few answers.
Recalling an earlier time in my life, many strange looks could come the way of someone doing tai chi in a public park in the deep South and maybe at the very least, a suspected ‘personality defect’ label if one were to ascribe any healthy changes, or simply a mere ‘pandering pedagogy some sinophile slithering? Uninterested in what I perceived injurious hard sports often promoted to build character I felt I had alternately found an excellent exercise plan, one which gave back more energy than it consumed, was challenging but allowing exertion levels to be adjusted for and so, I proceeded to tell others about it.
Like many cultural balloons its also true Americans don’t like being told whats good for them, especially if it seems foreign, outside the box or ‘the future’, or if that new thing appears to be making whats considered, ‘startling claims’.
On the down side of blissful ignorance today we know all about the ill effects of full contact football = head injuries, but one must ask, how is it nobody ever saw that coming? Maybe ‘clipping’, the news stories that’s is..Hmmm?
Soft sports to the rescue non combat tai chi has been shown as having a positive effect on IBS, heart dis-ease, cancer, diabetes, bone loss issues (Lancet) and head injuries (Texas Head Injury Association) all without concussive force and the brain drain that goes with it. The list continues to grow.
Read a science based article on different styles of meditation http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24959124
Wellness as it is often thought of today offers a loaded buzz word that legislation has remanded largely to the targeted realms of smoking cessation and weight loss. These well meaning concentrations some say amounts to setting a normative baseline, in order to achieve the minimum goals physicians and present health care science recommends can help save lives.
To be real smoking does increase blood pressure and cause veins to constrict which can lead to narrowed passages, hardening of arteries and lung problems. But motivating people to quit is not easy. Tobacco`s nicotine masquerades as and inserts itself into the bodies acetylcholine wired systems, usurping control, turning down appetite and giving a perceived boost to energy levels. Hey, don’t even mention the extra chemicals added to most of these products. How to circumnavigate the beast?
A Hint: Chiding doesn’t help..
Weight loss while having its own complexities can also be tied in with issues around tobacco use as tobacco can be the crutch people lean on to keep slim, feel energetic and alert. When deciding to eliminate the excess calories of certain foods, those that boost anti oxidant levels are important to consider, as they can help clear plaques remove toxins and provide support during cleansing or detox. Luckily, here in the tropics there are over 500 rare fruit species that can flourish, so offering more chances to experience a well rounded anti oxidant rich diet coming from local nature. Coconut oil cooking is mmmm good. Recently some research has surfaced linking limes consumption to smoking cessation gains. Many polyphenols found in plants it seems could help in this way.
While its important to pay attention to above issues surrounding wellness focusing through acceptable means tested guideposts, some feel a one size fits all approach demonstrates cultural take away`s surrounding issues of acceptable’ thinking, in regards the subjects. Distinguishing among the various leanings, number one on the list at the authentic wellness quest seems; Is it really smart to employ the carrot and stick approach versus one of intrinsic motivation, when looking at smoking cessation, exercise, or addressing food addictions?
Logical premise: Years of research describes that only self-motivated persons can successfully navigate the cessation or dietary constraint issues that lead to better health. This focuses a lens on intrinsic motivation or doing something because it feels good to do it, as opposed to a perceived cultural norm one feels one must adhere to. While this describes the emotional content / self motivated narrative it leaves out the specific micro nutrients that can help with cessation and weight loss). Chocolate being a mood modifier and euphoria producing food is probably a good case study (attestation needed).
Healthy distractions like tai chi, going for a walk, doing some biking, swimming etc can remove the feelings of heaviness and free the mind through changing the picture, giving body mind something (else?) to do. Here the brain must change its focus as energy is taken away and delivered to motor and spatial recognition, balance centers etc making for brain changing moments in time. So the question arises, does the act of consciously shifting ones behavior amount to a moment of extrinsic motivation (fueled by neurochemical changes) or in contrast, ‘doing something because we feel we must’? Distinguishing among the two begins to go beyond psychological think tanks as it sheds light on personality factors that can play into a persons well being as simply, dependent upon natural urges to feel energized and or real recordable energy shifts.
Such discussion points out a tenet bio energetic therapeutics as in ‘energy goes where attention flows, staying up in ones head ie: living above the shoulders has its downside. Further into the issue of voluntary participation versus the notion that one might through hard exercise force oneself into better health through ideological or physically determined boxes, this offers little flexibility as it may not take into account physiological differences.
Age, stature, disability, and or physical fixations having theyre roots deep in physiology / psyche can offer complex equations, those not always perceived as accessible to ones immediate understanding or perhaps, simply not amenable to unrealistic or heavy self-imposed work-load, exercise demands.
Fitness Versus Wellness
So wellness if it is to be must be about feeling good, a nary fairy place one cant quite quantize or put a finger on, but having an unmistakable air people can immediately recognize. We see it in the person who although born with life threatening physical anomaly marches on through lifes challenges, glad to be alive. Beyond amazing stories of recovery, simply going outside and smelling the air signals the brain to uptake more oxygen owing sensors in the nose, ‘inspiring’ one to inspire air. We are wired for personal transformations it seems…
Wellness it appears isnt about covering ones eyes over in blissful ignorance neither is it working out till it hurts, but going forth with the knowledge that one can influence physicality through thoughts and actions, not beholden to any perceived notions that might work to limit ones perceptions of whats possible and find improvement, nourishment.
Teasing fun thought for the day… Breath don’t seethe!!!
Following up on the previous thread)…
One way to contact the effortless effort phase or second wind athletes experience is by training ‘allowed’ body movement similar to expressive free form dance but in this case, motivated by the bodies own silent effortless or incremental volition.
There has been much written on the subject, therapeutic basis built upon and discoveries made. Feldenkries, Craniosacral work, earthing practices and others employ such focuses both in assisted therapy sessions and as s-elf-generated phenomena helping a patient let go buried trauma and overcome debility.
In the case of initiating self generated deep somatic focuses the body is first grounded in stable posture. The term grounded applies to acquiring a feeling of stability in ones frame from practicing meditative balance training and alignment focuses as a prerequisite to practice, helping ensure both a physically and emotionally balanced experience as one progresses.
Why practice tai chi?
Considering the question, first off it might be helpful to start with the telling axiom; ‘Tai chi means many things to many people’.
Some open ended discussion on tai chi concludes commonplace descriptions, an art that looks hard to do but one might imagine, feels really good once getting the hang of it. Relaxed looseness or fang song’ describes an ideal bodily state that’s not stiff but not spaghetti soft either, a dynamic sense of being yet one that may give the outwards appearance of physical vitality sans, obvious athleticism?
Seeming paradoxes once surrounded the art before science was there to prove its worth in addressing heart health, arthritis and more. Certainly the effects of exercise in general cannot be underestimated owing exercises effects on depression and reversing the tendency of some illnesses to progress.
One best practice example of tai chi providing other kinds of salubrious effects for completely well people, is the mild stimulation of circulation that can occur without raising the heart rate appreciably. This can happen when doing exercise at no more an intensity than what would come from a medium to brisk walk, only breaking a light sweat if at all. Part of initial practice always involves remaining in a comfortable mind set that focuses on training relaxation which is initiated when training breathing to be slow and effortless, while slowly moving in up and down squatting motions, a common warm-up.
The combined action strongly works the quadriceps muscles sometimes called the bodies second heart’, the bellies of the conjoined muscles blood supply accounting for roughly 60% of the bodies circulating blood during physical activity. This being the case the exercise can be perceived as strenuous when first beginning practice, only becoming more natural over time as stamina builds.
Looking at exercises multifarious effects, training relaxation and stamina together through deep breathing exercises and slowed movement can be especially important for those in recovery or after illness that involve stress, that amounts to about 70% of all complaints) or where conventional exercise is not yet indicated. As it is known that combining relaxation training and exercise has a positive effect on stress related depressions, doing mildly challenging exercise that body mind perceives as nourishing, this is sometimes just what is called for when dealing with the combined load of stress, fatigue and poor performance. Beyond any nominative expectations other stories arise..
Tai chi can treat heart failure’ British Heart Foundation 2010
A striking finding, when looked at from the standpoint of related disciplines an old yogic saying may offer some insight, yet advice that might be hard to anticipate in all of its potential benefits? “Training the breathing trains the physiology’. Yogis know the power of breath to enable either the stimulation of the metabolism or the slowing down of the metabolism towards meditative, hibernative states. Many sources agree that achieving better control over systems that are normally acting as unconscious functions suggest, anti-aging effects.
Usually we think of this in terms of posture only. Into physiologic shifting breath regulation refers not only to lung capacity gains but the engaging sympathetic or parasympathetic systems load, due to increased inhaling (= nervous stimulation / constriction) and exhaling (= nervous relaxation / dilation) as they normally occur in relation the bodies inner feedback mechanisms. The carotid sinus and the fifth cranial nerve also called the parasympathetic nerve, is sometimes also referred to as ’the nervous systems nervous system’ as it communicates with endorphin release sites and numerous neuro-endocrinological sites in the gut, a feedback system that becomes engaged with deep breathing practice.
Using exercise practice focusing on the conjoined technique of moving up and down, slowly squatting, breathing in deeply, slowly and regularly without force, one eventually taps into what scientists call, ‘evoking the parasympathetic’, while doing what could be described a mildly challenging exercise. Here is one way profound relaxation and energy can coalesce together. With a focus on the breaths gentle movement and deep knee bends exercise (as long as knees are ok) keeping feet winged out slightly, with some training the paradoxical slowing of the heart occurs, while elevating the metabolic rate slightly. These taken together suggest novel changes; deeper relaxation coinciding with fat burning, anti-aging and anti-stress effects. Of course there are more points to ponder: Kiegling to keep blood from pooling, points alignment and others. See below…and video below…
Energy Exercise Care for Caregivers To watch video excerpts click on the link..
Mildly jump starting the metabolism yet only challenging the circulatory system in a mild fashion, here is ar key reason tai chi gong often gets recommended to heart attack victims and as a rehabilitative preventive agent for stroke, owing the arts conferred protection against rises in non-complex high blood pressure, often used in cardio pulmonary rehabilitation programs.
Method: Moving comfortably, slowly and evenly raising up and down, the breathing is usually trained towards inhaling on raising movements and exhalations on lowering down moves, with spaces left for transition breaths to be taken if one is feeling the need. The hands and lower body move as one, as if the hands are lifting parts of the body and pressing down onto earth, on descending body motion.
While this explanation leaves out a few (more than a dozen) key points, one finds some body motions monks discovered long ago could train the body to extend vitality and promote fatigue avoidance, through mind body centered actions. Presenting slight to moderate challenges to the lower body the focus on deep regular comfortable breathing suggests ‘no extremity’ aka the Golden Mien, never pushing oneself only slightly, patiently training towards increased oxygen stores.
With no potential contraindications one can use the method to become stronger over time through steady repeated action, all done while keeping a relaxed and unhurried mindset.
Use energy not force’
Training the mind while training the body in various ways offers the chance for tapping into attention based feeling states inviting wholesome rewarding experiences, those of letting go, averting amygdala / temporal brain areas dominance providing the chance for experiencing new and different feelings.
Due to the potential for producing mild sensory shifts, sensations of energy moving for example might be common but should not be focused on to any great degree. Also to be safe any contraindications against deep breathing exercise be examined beforehand for example, tendency towards lactic acidosis, etc…
While this discussion leaves out many various particulars that can be part of a regular routine, it gives some indication of the basic tenet of relaxation and energy together and how to increase stamina, without forceful exercise.
See also Holistic services page on this website for more info on tai chi practice.
10/ 3/ 2013
Light work, Reiki and hand hovering encompass a genre of palliative treatment modalities in use by therapists and clinicians addressing various pathologies. Today such techniques are clinically employed where human contact seeking to produce palliative touch effects is either impossible, or clinically discouraged.
As part of a broader interdisciplinary care in various controlled settings Reiki and its antecedents are known to improve quality of life for those with phantom limb pain (1), inflammation and has been used in experimental studies measuring edema and nociceptive changes, charting lowered levels in severity of pain, restlessness, anxiety, mood disorders, (2) as well as in clinical oncology settings (3). The author has personally witnessed regressing parkinsons in one patient from combined cranial sacral and energy hovering techniques.
It is largely agreed by researchers working in the field of quantum sub- physical realm studies that such entrances function via changes in ultra weak photon emission from bio electromagnetic fields producing effects within microtubule structures, corresponding to bio photons release / absorbance. Many authors feel in its ultimate sense, the study of human radiative light reflects the current understanding of a conscious universe (4).
Double blind experiments have been preformed under stringent conditions to test the Reiki exercises effects on increasing cancer cell death, this has been found tied to a dose dependant set of parameters (5,6). The results show cancer cell death in glial cells that received 5, 10 and 20 minutes sessions due to whats believed, bio-photonic excitation in the brains DNA. However lack of replicability is evident in some studies as not all experimental data can always be positively correlated, with certainty.
This seems to fall under the age old rubric of human performance being dependent upon many factors, mood, lack of sleep, jet lag effects, etc and so, questions remain.
Add to this because of potential conflict of interest status disclosing names of master practitioners employed in those studies being involved with what insiders refer to as special practices, remain anonymous. Of course the point of science is to test hypothesis in order to determine any variables not to point to a savior figure. One of the ideas behind presenting this information is to entertain the notion that certain practices would boost a healers output so to speak and or, allow improved ‘bouncing’ of light then directed, at an unwell person.
In particular relation to the overall subject come negative rumblings arising from the medical community as those many perceived false positives put out there by Reiki practitioners become the subject of much debate, scorn and refusal. Physicians, clinicians rightly fail to see any humor in light workers giving patients scares when weighty pronouncements are made; ” In ten years you will be very sick” sounds of dire psychological influencing rather than helpful advice to change ones ways in the present in order to avoid future ill`s, are what come to mind.
This is quite common. A person goes for a Reiki session receives treatment and then while speaking with the therapist after is informed of an ‘energy blockage’ that needed correcting. Any substantive conclusions the practitioner seems to draw if it cannot be confirmed by available standard allopathic tests may only stir up trouble, as the physicians own results can appear pitted against those persons and or ideologies that are perceived as, unscientific and outside the realm of medicine.
The reason so much study is being done in this field however is the fact that such interventions do carry clinical weight, even though evidence is somewhat lacking or sometimes found inconclusive. Into the fray, it is the contention of many healers that the appearance of dis-ease actually begins to occur years in advance of the visible obvious onset of ills for which modern medicine in its present state cannot yet perceive the existence of? For this reason there are various efforts underway to develop technologies gifting the same perceptual capabilities as trained high level practitioners.
Part of the science of healing with light describes the ultra weak field as the quantum realm where future events can be accessed via quantum collapse or momentary loss of time dependant reality. This notional take on reality and time independent events is said to permit the possibility of drawing some conclusions as to future developments that cannot be accessed, via present technological advances which are only able to see into present state cellular functioning. In this the subject of using biological light to make assessments of biological information is not new but very ancient, yet often clouded in mysticism and or what appears negative forecasting?
Similar to the way enzyme levels when assessed in the lab can help determine the course of events for a given illness or condition which is known to respond or behave in a verifiable path, the reading of the aura it is said can give other indications those that lie beyond present state reality. This would appear a good thing if the phenomena can be witnessed from a detached clinical perspective, one that works by simply allowing there are various ways to observe discreet realities, in order to better plan for possible future events. This however does not account for the differences in healers, personal clarity quotients, their methods of accessing information or the translational language that is required to accurately describe what it is they feel they perceive, in order to best help a patient.
All of this and more might count towards reasons why Reiki is often practiced in groups in that, if one is not on the top on ones game others will contribute their energy to the healing work, picking up the slack. In this scenario healing does not fall into the sole realm of a singular personage but is understood being experienced as a coherent field phenomena present among the larger group maintaining the clearest mindset possible, a state of emptiness or detached alertness which allows the energy to move most easily.
As for the subject of disclosure and counseling on any perceived finding this is an important matter one that requires sensitivity, some clinical knowledge and perspective so as to not upset the patient, while still maintaining the high standard of authenticity that’s need in discussing received impressions, so as to best honor the patients health care needs.
On this, it may seem hard to understand how such assessments made in a group setting could be taken objectively by a perceived ill person, owing privacy concerns. So many traditional healing sessions therefore remain private or semi private encounters in order to maintain the viability of non-disclosure of patient information.
References for Light work, Reiki
Clin J Pain. 2013 Feb 26.
An Alternative to Traditional Mirror Therapy: Illusory Touch Can Reduce Phantom Pain When Illusory Movement Does Not.
J Palliat Med. 2013 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]
A Canadian Experience of Integrating Complementary Therapy in a Hospital Palliative Care Unit.
Source University of Queensland School of Medicine , Brisbane, Australia .
BMC Nephrol. 2013 Jun 21;14:129. doi: 10.1186/1471-2369-14-129.
Phys Life Rev. 2013 Aug 20. pii: S1571-0645(13)00118-8. doi: 10.1016/j.plrev.2013.08.002. [Epub ahead of print]
Consciousness in the universe: A review of the ‘Orch OR’ theory.
Anesthesiology, Psychology and Center for Consciousness Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA. Electronic address: email@example.com
(5) J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Dec;18(12):1081-6. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.1502. Epub 2012 Oct 17.
Biofield research: a roundtable discussion of scientific and methodological issues.
The Institute for Integrative Health, Baltimore, MD 97209, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
(6). Hintz KJ. Yount GL. Kadar I, et al. Bioenergy definitions and research guidelines. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2003;9(3suppl):A13–A30. [PubMed]
Indian J Exp Biol. 2008 May;46(5):345-52.
Quantum squeezed state analysis of spontaneous ultra weak light photon emission of practitioners of meditation and control subjects.
Meditation or cultivating stillness?
Meditation can be accomplished using many various paths or, simply by focusing on the breath a sometimes forgotten element in todays often rushed daily life. The breath is observed as effortless entering and exiting nostrils often with eyes closed and spine erect but, relaxed. Bringing self knowledge as some quieting of the mind allowing deeper insights into self, setting aside a few minutes each day to meditate can mean personal shifts and the resolving of inner conflicts and so, better health, better relationships and more.
Opposite such seeming inaction / action, many have commented before, allowing ourselves to get up and prance around the room is less likely when minds are glued onto fixing some seeming insurmountable problem, that so often requires rapt attention and putting human feelings aside. Meditation as an exercise in observing awareness examining the insides of ones eyelids, therefore straddling the boundaries of consciousness and if one is open, exposing various mental machinations and how they can form real action in the minds eye.
Part of this describes how, while the seriousness it takes to fixate on demanding items that need attention means ‘things will get done’, the forceful and blunt action that less conscious actions can provide, may then be perceived as empty and or, in need of refining? A way to discover how our bodies react to stress and its letting go, adding to personal energy levels, by becoming more aware of body resistance and or pliability as reflecting physico-emotional reference points, makes some case for meditative self discovery.
In busy modern culture, scraping past what often appears self absorption ie; reading and all that comes with remedying dire glitches), experts tell us that the chances of myopia developing in young children is less likely when allowing times for resting eyes, not over focusing too much but allowing periods of total eye rest, thus avoiding eye strain. This means closing the eyes for fifteen minutes for every two hours of concentrated reading or study. So meditation it appears is preventive at even this most basic aspect of resting the eyes.
Ok time for a break….
The energy it takes to sit still is one of the interesting aspects of meditation that is almost impossible to ignore, unless one becomes habituated to it. A good rejoinder that helps to put some practice in perspective, a zen master once said, ‘sitting for a long time becomes toilsome’. Of course he probably wasn’t referring to having a busy mind clouded with a million televised images but one that sees its own moments of distillation or evening out and a self-recognition of the quieting of thought processes, which can then give way to the subsequent desire to put all that good energy somewhere, like ones own legs moving one off to some new horizon!
Note: Always doing pat down massage of the body after seated meditation brings the person back to the here and now, plus works to allay circulatory changes brought on by sedentary inaction. Note: Always observe for any contraindications
More discussion on the meditative lifestyle and working people…
For western culture apologists however the seeming ‘sitting doing nothing, nothing going on’ may appear a challenge to ones sensibilities as whole cultures often seem to pride themselves on actions that invite heavy workloads in order to ‘get ahead’. Quakers forgive me…the idea of ‘up and moving and getting going’ pervades much of present cultural standards, appearing on the outside as having little to do with quiet reflection and everything to do with, perceived norms of behavior and acquisition.
In another time and place such epitaphs meant reaping the hay or grain sown in previous months enough for animals and people to feed upon during winter months, stacking up provisions owing fall harvests, moving inexorably along with the seasons. In that world of movement and nature the breezes felt variables sky turning shades of yellow and orange lend deeper connection with our world, more than any cold sanitized space could ever offer, but with much toil.
In reaction to a present removed from nature’ status, we moderns might choose to fix up our homes and offices to ‘be more natural’ hire a Feng Shui expert or buy a book that tells us what to do. By recreating the sounds and movements of environmental energy, our inside spaces can become more agreeable by adding those sights from nature. Water elements being constantly moving we are informed, make internal living spaces more livable and so, less stressful. The idea is that by introducing natural elements into the home or work space nature brings one back to ones own self-nature, reflecting common down to earth connections. Maybe in such created spaces one can more easily experience feelings of letting go, stress easing off…
To be sure meditation evolved out of insight gotten from observing humanities desire to occasionally relinquish the apparent impulse for constant movement, the flurry of human activity itself that seems to be driving much of the world mad. This notion rests in the original mind all people possess which upon witnessing its own enlightened nature, self-suggests periods of an intentional relinquishing or detached observation of thought. Maybe at first the realm of imagination and dreams, or as some seers claim, allowing directed divinations, this is not the intention of simple meditation. In a more limiting some say balanced sense, still sitting if one steadily approaches the subject with sincere intent, this can amount to that moment of freeing and balancing the mind without any fanciful mental pictures or structured practice. taking a deep effortless breath….
Coming full circle the discussion, in some updated ways technology can actually help one learn how to tap into unfettered or exhilarated mind. Skeptics enjoying parallels might imagine Woody Allen`s Sleeper a new world of electronic companionship? Scary thought or, helpful reminder..
One such device that acts as a good excuse for sitting in one place for longer periods is ‘Wild Divine’ a biofeedback video soft / hardware where one puts diodes on fingers which sense and feedback information on blood flow changes etc, as one goes through the various scenes the program offers.
Using the program with or without the guided function, as the scenery changes on the video monitor one is given various tasks to do which help link one back to basic body mind using, breathing and feeling as entrances to shifting ones consciousness.
By learning how to levitate a ball with ones mind and emotions to take one example, this brings one back to a more vibrant inner reality one which easily gets clouded over with demanding tasks of the everyday work world.
So, technology in this case appears as a smart choice making option that allows direct realms allowing a reflecting back upon a deeper self. Instead of feeling oneself enmeshed in technologies grip, a freeing feeling is experienced. Or if one is having a hard time with one of the programs elements, one can shift over to another of the video games paths that admit some altering of ones own experience towards s mind state of inner transformational power. Read more below
10/20 Wild Divine
Following up on the previous, if you’ve ever wondered about home based bio feedback now is the time to check out Wild Divine (c) a video based connectivity software that invites the participant to see and experience changes in their own bodies via relaxation-al, self directed focus, offering awareness based skill sets and how to improve levels of function.
These programs were developed by a group associated with Deepak Chopra over 10 years ago. If you google it its got over 7 million hits so appears a popular way to access and make discovery ones own unique power, to transform. The Journey to the Wild Divine has several incarnations and can be purchased either new or used online ranging anywhere from appx. 600.00 to 100.00 depending on if its ebay or, the official sites newest application.
The version I am familiar with is called the Passage and consists of over 20 different scenes to navigate through, either as pre-programmed or chosen variations depending upon the users preference. The multiple scenic tours offer the chance to juggle balls with ones emotions through evoking feelings of elation or, more directed focus using various means, aiming a bow and arrow with ones intent, breath-work making pinwheels spin.
All ‘information’ is gathered and fed back into the machine via finger electrodes. As the participant goes through the various experiential moments blood flow changes sensed by the computer signal the video to readjust to those changes, real time fed back into that particular video scenario.
A recent favorite of mine is stacking rocks. In this scene one is tempted to gaze through an open balcony looking out over a high mountain valley. Surreal, slowly a rock that appears to weigh about 50 lbs is seen floating horizontally into the field of view. If one is able to breath slowly, naturally and focus ones mind without any worrisome distraction the heart rate will slow, the stress level will go down and the rock will soon (eventually?) find its spot, settling into place on top of a larger rock. This is repeated several times until a nice stack of 7 or 8 rocks is created. The challenge (or should I say non competitive stance) is to settle ones mind and direct ones awareness for a few minutes time, through practicing awareness building, aided by the technological device.
Awareness building techniques and technologies are good to learn about so that when one doesn’t have the time for more physical pursuits or when one wants a change from ones usual meditation practice one can sitting in one place, navigate body mind successfully. Awareness building technologies that help one navigate the realm of ones own emotions and thus physiology are incredibly useful, as they teach awareness of body mind and importantly, how our own emotions can help facilitate or negate, basic body functioning like blood flow, the creation of stress hormones and so, offering the greater chance for turning down both unfavorable body mind responses and worrisome thinking, simultaneously.
Lastly, guided meditations invite the participant to increase oxygen flows and move energy inside the body without having to engage intense workouts. Its generally agreed such moments allow increasing health and wellbeing through structured focus and letting go occurring with regularity, signaling increased health gains.
Intuitive body motion sometimes called flow’ is a common energy exercise chi gong variant that uses the persons own body energy to initiate body movement at the innate intuitive level. Among its practical basis lie the potential for undoing or unwinding compensations and restrictions that keep a person from living life to the fullest. The way this is best accomplished is by finding a reasonable stance width about shoulders wide, the feet are kept fairly straight forwards allowing the feeling of a stable base from which to move.
Sounding innocuous enough the practice is associated with releases and emotional blockage clearing that comes from allowing the body to move around in some path of its own volition. In this, the practice differs from more structured energy exercise in that there is no real routine to adhere to, except for attaining natural standing feelings of stability, thus offering an intuitive exploration of body.
There has been much written about free form entrances, a melding with the universe’ etc and thus many opinions for and against what can be termed open ended experiential entrances. One of the main predicates for initiating practice is stored memory of trauma and physical insult through living life and how past injuries can lie underneath the surface of awareness and bodily function. This provides some criteria for allowed body motion as emerging from cellular consciousness in relationship or juxtaposed, hard sports or difficult self-imposed routines compounded effects and how to deal with various unwanted compensations.
A kind of cross training offering new interneuronal connection and or the awakening of dormant potentialities owing feelings of stuck-ness released, athletes and anyone who wants better performance can benefit from allowing intuitive body explorations, as long as they tend towards those balanced rewarding experiences.
In my own experience as a teacher students have told me various things: One student commented how after the death of her husband the father of her two children, though she was no longer married to the man, she had never really dealt with his passing on an emotional level. One day in class after the group had been at this practice for a while, she had a mild coming apart where the emotional connection to his passing presence, was finally felt.
Though it is not the predicate of the art form to draw out past hurts, the story simply draws attention to held onto emotional grief that can remain hidden owing life`s fast pace, stuffing emotions and always telling ourselves ‘we have to be strong, big girls don’t cry’, etc.
To be open about the topic, those with manias, epilepsy or dis-balanced psyches may be advised not to indulge in such open ended body discourse? Others describe how persons who have a tendency towards schizophrenia can actually benefit, if the practice is begun before the onset of severe symptoms. However, the extended period of time these people seem to need to work through negative emotions can appear longer maybe exhibiting symptoms as in appearing they are unable to stop the motion?
For those who are completely healthy however such entrances can be a refreshing change from planned workouts where the regularity of everyday routine begins to feel like staleness needing some diversification. The body recognizes these changes in proprioceptive inner body sensing as refreshing, thus complementing the more logical driven working plans of planned movement activities.
Following on this notion, it is now widely understood that learning something new like a musical instrument can boost intelligence scores at least 3 points (1) and that new body motion also falls into the category of new learning activities, stimulating new inter-neuronal connections leading to the developing of new or unrelated skill sets, through new actions.
Like taking a sauna or a good massage such healthy changes in behavior (if sauna say for example is healthy for you to engage) some change allows new perspectives, new feelings, toxins release, emotional balancing, leading to a better life.