Category Archives: Emotional Health

Rebuilding with Minerals


As we move on our spiritual journey during these degenerate times, it takes a keen eye to decipher the most suitable way to live our lives.  Ideally, it is something that leads to a peaceful mind, a proper self-esteem and a genuine happiness.  Yet, it seems the more information we gather about good health, the farther we move from it.  More often than not, the right knowledge is lacking which continues to make us codependent.

maple-tree

An interesting fact worth noting from the DrPasswater website:

“Let me give you a very interesting statistic. In 1985, The New England Journal of Medicine published an article titled “Paleolithic Nutrition”. The authors, who had credentials as anthropologists specializing in the Paleolithic era, determined that, on average, our caveman forebears got around 11,000 mg of potassium daily and about 700 mg of sodium.” — Dr. Richard Moore

As we understand how our diet falls very short of the above ideal, this can be very discouraging especially after we calculate the daily intake of our potassium and sodium.  We know that the modern diet is filled with terrible processed foods, but many of us don’t realize how detrimental sodium can be.  Since birth, we have developed this bad habit, through no fault of our own.  And once this habitual tendency progresses into our teenage years it is often very rare for any of us to grab any fruits or vegetables to get the proper nutrients in our system.  I’ve noticed the destructive nature of our plight works in two distinct ways:

First, the lack of natural minerals in our diet becomes problematic for our skeletal, endocrine and nervous systems. Second, the addition of synthetic additives (such as MSG aka Natural Flavors) and other toxins leads to gain weight and feeling sluggish or lethargic. It’s no wonder the average person would totally give up on the task of losing weight and experiencing their natural health with is everyone’s birth right.

We could complain all day and night but that will really not change our condition.  So, whether we think this is a terrible thing that society has done to us is not the point.  We must rise about that.  A better way to look at it is this: Now we have an opportunity to gain more knowledge (of a correct and incorrect diet) and do something about it.  We are put on this earth, just at this time so that we can learn and perfect ourselves.  And we have a choice.  We can either spiral out of control and just live our lives with these terrible addictions & cravings or learn from our parents mistakes and help our children who are the next generation to live better.

In relation to food, these addictions come in two categories.  These are: salt-cravings and chocolate-addiction.  When we are young, it doesn’t really matter much to us.  We enjoy life in the moment.  However, as we get older we begin to see the detrimental side-effects of these devious and mindless bad habits.  No matter how delicious these foods are and no matter how necessary our mind tells us these little pleasures give us; there is a consequence to disregarding the laws of nature.

With weight-gain and depression more pronounced these days, wouldn’t it be nice to know the root cause of our problems and have an easy solution?

We have to begin somewhere.  On the physical level alone, there is a path to follow and a way to attack the problem.  Rather than sleeping for hours during the day time and hiding under the covers try gaining this knowledge.  Rather than getting your stomach stapled try this protocol.  Rather than getting liposuction try getting to the root cause for achieving essential health.

Dharma knowledge:

When studying the dharma in a serious way, we may be blessed to find some old and rare scriptural text.  These holy texts, translated into new and pristine books may come into our hand by the blessings of those  accomplished masters that have compassion for all sentient beings in this world that are lost and suffering.  We are then afforded an opportunity to be graced with certain knowledge that past masters whose spiritual discipline sheds light on our difficult situation.  The one simple and powerful truth, when really seen, is quite wonderful to behold.  Usually it’s something so simple that many will pass it up without discerning what benefits are within the tiny seed hidden within one line of text.

It has been passed down through the ages that there are special foods that a yogin eats while practicing austerities on the spiritual path.  To those that wish to benefit everyone equally, our bodies need nourishment to sustain ourselves till the end of the quest.  So, it would make sense to explain a little about which foods have the best nutrients.  I suspect, the key to health has already been categorized by the Indian or Tibetan sages as three sweets.  And MH has discussed this (on his Forum) to some extent and from his own perspective outside the traditional path laid down by the great Mahasiddhas.

The three sweets are classified as: honey, molasses and sugar.  These three forms of food, when researched properly, in a scientific or esoteric way… show that the properties inherent inside are quite abundant with a complete range of minerals that the body does extremely well with in rebuilding the body to function effectively.  Here is a clear indication, from our Master Herbalist, the types of minerals he believes are the best nature has to offer us:

“Maple Syrup is the best, Sorghum is next, unless you could find cane sugar turned to black strap with out making it taste nasty. Fruits are sweet sugars and maple syrup is sweet tree and sorghum is sweet molasses.” — MH

tapping-maple-tree

For those that follow MH over the years knows that he favors Sorghum over Black-Strap Molasses.  Yet, I have concluded that Black-Strap Molasses has a distinct advantage over Sorghum; namely having more potassium and magnesium.

Black-Strap Molasses and Maple Syrup could quite well be are missing key to our basic health and survival.

For me, Black-Strap Molasses feels like it has more potency than sorghum. When we look at the science, the nutritional charts prove Black-Strap Molasses has a greater quantity of potassium and magnesium.  Whatever the differences, these two minerals are the basic building blocks necessary for balancing the immense salt problem we have today while diminishing these unstoppable cravings.  On a physical level, it gives us the most nutrients needed for rebuilding and repairing our worn out hair, skin, nails and bones.  On an emotional level, it can help greatly with depression and the cold-disease (of a weak nervous system) that plagues a lot of us in this modern society.

The Experiment:

Recently, I took up to self-experimenting once again.  I still have no interest in fasting or altering my diet in any way.  So, I kept it quite simple.  I started adding a few tablespoons of Maple Syrup each day.  After only two days with this regimen, there were some remarkable results that I only found while fasting and holding to a vegan diet.

maple-syrup

While taking two or more tablespoons of Maple Syrup daily, I noticed that the craving for salt was lessened to a considerable extent.  I no longer craved salt as ravenously as I would over the past several years.  Having the knowledge that consuming too much salt causes weight-gain is quite a daunting thing to hear.  And as my research deepened, realizing that excess salt can increase the risk of developing cancer later in life is a shocking thing to discover.  Having this knowledge is good, but not having the will-power to do anything about it is disturbing.  MH, the Master Herbalist, tells us:

DR. JOHN R. CHRISTOPHER WAS 100% ANTI SALT ALL HIS CAREER.  TODAY IN PA ON A NEWS CHANNEL THEY HAD A SPECIAL ON HEART ATTACKS AND THEY STATED THE HEART ATTACK VICTIMS HAVE 1,500X TOO MUCH SALT AND THIS SALT IRRITATES THE ARTERIES AND THIS FORCES PLAQUE TO DEVELOP TO PROTECT AGAINST THE SALT. — MH

So, for me… after building a foundation on taking in natural-minerals solely with Maple Syrup has yielded some amazing benefits.  Whenever a slight craving for some salty-food would kick in, instead of eating a whole bag of chips, I just ate a smaller portion.  Having this basic support of natural-minerals made all the difference.

straight-from-the-tap

Having this abundantly within my body, it was easier to move away from addiction.  It was a natural will-power and not something forced.  I was pleased to feel more in control and not having to deny myself any sort of fun – (eating some salty snacks without total abstinence) allowed me to feel content while not having to be stoic and rigid day-by-day.  MH goes on to tell us:

“DR. JOHN R. CHRISTOPHER AND MANY GREAT MEDICAL AUTHORS EXPLAINED SALT IRRITATES THE KIDNEYS AND DESTROYS THEM AND THE MORE DESTROYED THE KIDNEYS ARE, THE MORE THE VICTIM DESIRES MORE SALT….CANCER IS RELATED TO OVER SALT CONSUMPTION…SOME OF THESE DISEASED PATIENTS WILL SNEAK AWAY AND GO OUT OF CONTROL EATING SALT AS IT TAKES THEM EVER CLOSER TO CERTAIN DEATH.” — MH

maple_tree_tapped

Later, as I added Black-Strap Molasses to my diet it would help decrease the cravings for chocolate.  Now, this protocol is unique because there is no sense of loss or deprivation.  Certainly, you can eat chips or chocolate at any time because the key is getting the proper ratios to salt and potassium under your control.  Over time, you will be pleased as you observe the natural will-power that develops with just a few tablespoons of Molasses and Maple Syrup on a daily basis.

From Health Impact News website:

“The ‘master mineral’ magnesium, which is involved with over 300 cellular metabolic processes, some vital for heart health. It also assists absorption of calcium into bone matter, which molasses also abundantly contains.” – Paul Fassa

Since our bodies need large quantities of magnesium to help absorb and utilize calcium,  this greatly assists in the development of bone structure & strength.  Comparing the nutritional charts to Maple Syrup, Black-Strap Molasses has a much higher quantity of magnesium.  MH goes on to explain:

“I HAVE SEEN AMISH THAT MAKE MOLASSES PROVE THIS AS FACT. They have NEVER EVER brushed their teeth for 3 generations and their teeth are perfectly white, fully developed jaws that keep their molars for life.” — MH

non-gmo-sugar-cane

Our Master Herbalist tells us that his greatest dental book ever written was in a Molasses book. The book claimed that if you raise your child on Molasses every day of their life, they would not have tooth decay.  MH says, “The book claims 1 tablespoon per day per child for LIFE!”  Furthermore, looking at the root cause of things, the most important point is the relation to the mother and child.

What if the mother took molasses every day while she was pregnant?

“The author of a molasses book states that if the mother consumes molasses, her child will be fully developed, it states if the child consumes molasses daily, it will never have a tooth decay.”– MH

We can infer, and I totally believe it to be correct, that the baby would naturally benefit in such a deep way.

making-molasses

I know of a community of Amish that make and raise their children/family on daily SORGHUM and I have seen their teeth and they are all SNOW WHITE. They tell me they have not used tooth brushes for 3 generations, they don’t need to!” — MH

MH further elaborates, “These poor Amish are barefoot, walk in goose /chicken poop everyday, they do not bathe….they do not wash diapers, they shake them out, hang them up and reuse them…in simple words, they are the dirtiest Amish you can find…..YET, their teeth are PERFECT!”

Signs of Health:

So when working on yourself, you just need to pay attention to the proper signs inside and outside of your body.  If you were to embark on a similar journey then by all means take the necessary precautions and responsibility while gathering all the knowledge you can.  We know that MH doesn’t value vitamins as they are a synthetic product.  And if we were to already be doing other herbs, you would have no scientific-control or criteria to determine what is creating the effects in your body.

Therefore, STOP taking all extraneous herbal products and vitamins.  Just try one or two tablespoons of Maple Syrup each morning and night.  See what happens and how you feel.  Try that for a week.  See how that affects your skin, your hair, and teeth.

syrup-4-breakfast

Then try taking one or two tablespoons of Molasses daily.  Go slow…perhaps your body might only be able to take a teaspoon or half a teaspoon.  Only you know best.  After doing this, you may experience some or all of the following results:

  1. Hair becoming less dry and more rich, losing grey hairs, hair growth
  2. Nails becoming more clear and rosy
  3. teeth stronger, whiter, gums healing
  4. skin clearing up, wrinkles shrinking and scars begin to dissolve
  5. Not feeling so cold, body temperature normalizing
  6. Feeling like one can stand strong as an adult, spinal health, structure stronger
  7. Addiction to salt becoming less and less
  8. Cravings for chocolate diminishing

And if you are new to all this natural-healing lifestyle, it is quite possible to see absolutely no results at all.  Therefore, if that is where you are at, and you are interested in having better health, then you would follow the other protocols such as: a liver flush, a parasite cleanse, and later complete a 7, 14, or 21-day OJ fast.  This blog has tons of articles to explain MH’s theories much easier to understand.  Just type in a search word in the upper right hand corner of this blog.

And remember, the protocols for doing these cleanses will help you successfully navigate life’s hardships and one day experience your perfected natural-state of being.

Let me know how it works for you.  Post a comment.

Light & love,
Neo

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Filed under Emotional Health, Physical Health, Tibetan Medicine

Trauma Release Exercise


Dr. David Berceli has come up with a siveteransmple way to alleviate the suffering of those who have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  He offers a suitable method to induce what is sometimes referred to as “neurogenic tremors” in the human body. 

His technique is called the Tension Release Exercise or Trauma Releasing Exercises or just TRE for short.  It is another excellent way to help re-balance the Autonomic Nervous System and get closer to the root of the problem. 

This method has been used with thousands of soldiers, emergency organizations around the world, areas where natural disasters have occurred, and general populations in war-torn and politically oppressed countries.  It has been taught as a way of addressing PTSD and more programs are being offered in the United States

“Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives.  That’s a suicide every 65 minutes.  As shocking as the number is, it may actually be higher.” — Department of Veterans Affairs

The statistics above were taken from 1999 through 2011 in 21 states.  That’s a staggering 8030 veterans dying each year!  David Berceli has found a method that is helpful for anxiety disorders, PTSD, general stress, and the myriad conditions caused by trauma.  It has also been found to help decrease tremors and seizures in conditions like Parkinson’s, MS, restless leg syndrome, and Epilepsy. 

On a positive note, athletes are also finding it to be great way to speed recovery after workouts.  A common response from most people who do TRE’s is sleeping better and feeling more at peace.  The key to the various benefits of TRE is that it is addressing the core reason for these problems and conditions instead of merely chasing symptoms.

Testimonial:

Frank B. has one of the most important and inspiring testimonials that I have read.  He tells us that, “I have two military sons that have served in Bosnia and IRAQ.  Both have returned with strong symptoms of PTSD but were unwilling to seek out professional psychological help.  They will not discuss their war time experiences with anyone.”

“After hearing about Dr. Berceli’s Trauma Release Process and learning that physical exercises were the key, not years of verbal dialogue with therapists, I immediately ordered books for my entire family.” — Frank B. 

“Although we have all benefited greatly from the exercises it was the psychological improvement of both military sons that was absolutely astounding.  Being soldiers, they had no problem doing the exercises and both saw improvements within weeks.  What a miracle!  They continue to do the exercises and are amazed at the results.  I can not thank Dr. Berceli enough for bringing peace back into their lives.”

The Theory:

Dr. David Berceli was looking for an easy way to relieve stress and trauma for humanity.  In studying other mammals, he noted that every mammal except for humans has a natural way of relieving tension that is elicited during the fight/flight/freeze response.  He discovered that humans have this capacity as well, only we have used our newer cognitive brain to subdue it. 

From the sunrise website:

“Tension Releasing Exercises elicit neurogenic tremors to release the body’s tension and the resultant physical and emotional blocks that can be causing tension, anxiety, PTSD, and numerous other symptoms associated with holding patterns.” – Rick Stockwell

Dr. Berceli has developed a technique that elicits these neurogenic tremors in the human body quite effectively.  It is said that fear and pain is something encoded in our DNA (if not our subconscious mind) and this method is available for all of us to tap into to find relief.  The results in relieving chronic tension, trauma, and trapped physical and emotional patterns in the body can be amazing when experienced for oneself.

Example:

As anyone who has researched this method in the past knows this information has been almost non-existent and kept more or less hidden.  Recently, Rick Stockwell has taken this program a step further and explains the principle behind this unique methodology in a comprehensive way.  He explains that the best way to understand this comes from observing how animals shake their body after a frightening experience.  If we own a dog, cat, or bird it may be easier to see how this behavior in the animal kingdom works.

“What they’re doing is something all mammals (including humans) have ingrained in their system as a way of ‘shaking off’ stress, anxiety, and fear.  Once they are done shaking, the stress is gone from their body.” — Rick Stockwell

He goes on to say,  “I’ll never forget our poor little poodle when we were huddling under an alcove in Utah as a huge clap of thunder rang out and lighting simultaneously struck just outside the alcove.  The poor thing shook for almost 2 hours as my wife comforted her.  But then she was done.  It was out of her system, and she was back to normal.  She didn’t hold onto that traumatic experience for years or decades like humans do.”

With this simple explanation, it seems quite apparent that animals have an innate ability to heal a traumatic experience and remove it completely out of their system without the pain of having a higher brain/mind that constantly stores that information. 

The Method:

There are two known positions that we can gather from the all-too-brief YouTube videos.  The first is lying down with legs butterflied open and the other is standing with your back up against the wall and sinking down slightly.  For some people it may not be wise to do these exercises on your own.  If you already have a severe trauma and are isolated (without a good support-system in place) then it is best to err on the side of caution and refrain from these exercises.  When it is likely that painful things might come up for you; it is best to work with a qualified therapist to help you get through the heavy emotions together.

Of course, the temptation is always there.  Just make sure this is something you can handle all by yourself.  If you are an intermediate or advanced yoga practitioner it probably would be alright to explore this healing modality.  As always, you are likely to gain more intricate understanding when you reach out for help.

Principle: Two opposing forces are in play here to initiate the body tremors.  For instance, when you let your legs go towards the floor (with the natural weight of gravity) and then pull your legs up in the opposite direction, then an automatic shaking begins.  You just have to find the right balance for it to work.

VARIATION ONE: Lay flat on your back.  Have your feet flat on the ground.  Keep your legs and thighs off the ground but at an angle.  Allow gravity take the weight of your legs (towards the floor).  Next, move your legs in the opposite direction ever so slightly.  You should start to feel tremors kick in spontaneously.  This tends to be isolated only within the leg area.

VARIATION TWO: Lay flat on your back.  Have your feet flat on the ground.  Keep your legs and thighs off the ground but at an angle.  First, allow gravity take the weight of your legs.  Second, move your legs in the opposite direction ever so slightly.  This time add a third element.  Press your feet towards the ground with just a slight force.  This has the most amazing affect of spontaneous gyrations resonating throughout your whole upper body and spine as a continuous shaking occurs.

VARIATION THREE: Lay flat on your back.  Have your feet flat on the ground.  Keep your legs and thighs off the ground but at an angle.  Lift your bottom slightly off the ground.  At the same time, allow gravity take the weight of your legs and move your legs up in the opposite direction.  This is done ever so slightly.  You should start to feel tremors kick in spontaneously.  This tends move the lower and upper body side to side.

To get a visual, the first two variations move the body like a dolphin’s tale does – with an up and down motion.  The third variation moves the body, side to side, like a shark or fish naturally does.

Note: Years ago when I was working on this method, I could feel the neural network being formed and strengthened along the spine.  It was interesting to experience the nerves or channels develop from the bottom of the spine upward towards the head.  With all other healing modalities such as standing stake, chi kung or boading-balls… the nervous system would develop from the top of the head down to the base of the spine.

It is quite thrilling once you get the hang of it.  And with some contemplation, you can figure more ways to work the other portions of your body and limbs as well.

Good luck!
Neo

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Filed under Emotional Health, Mental Health, Physical Health, World Issues

The Hara Line


Barbara Ann Brennan (born 19 February 1939) is an American author, physicist, spiritual healer, businesswoman and teacher working in the field of energy healing.  In 2011, she was listed by the Watkins Review as the 94th most spiritually influential person in the world.  Since she has provided immeasurable benefit to myself and others I would rate her much higher.

As this information is hard to access, and the only website (the wingmakers) has since shut down, I felt compelled to place this informationhara line meditation in a PDF file for safe keeping.

The image at the left shows part of the exercise of aligning the tan tien to the core of Mother Earth.  Performed in this manner, grounding becomes a much easier thing.

When we are dangerously spaced-out from incorrect breathwork then we can quickly see how this exercise becomes invaluable.

The Hara Line:

The hara-line is our alignment to our life purpose and over time it can become bent, off center or even broken as we become disconnected from our true purpose.  Regularly straightening it and maintaining it can have a massive impact on our sense of direction and purpose in life.  It will give us an overall sense of being “on track”.  It connects the earth’s core star, via our dan tien, soul star and the universal self.

One point that Barbara Brennan talks about in her book is how well a martial artist’s energetic core is developed.  For instance, when a martial artist has practiced tai-chi for many years their hara line is properly connected from the tan tien to the earth’s core in a solid way.

As I have also witnessed, the martial artist’s hara line is incredibly stronger than the ordinary individual who doesn’t have that sort of self-discipline.

This work definitely makes our body more grounded and functional which is why Asian cultures incorporate tai-chi as part of a daily routine in the work-place.  The added benefits to this meditation connects the hara-line all the way up to the soul seat and Godhead which would surpass the martial artist’s capability.  Eventually, this will bring about more mental and emotional health while increasing balance and harmony.

Misalignment:

This is an example of a broken hara line.

hara line broken

Correct Alignment:

The image is an example of our hara line that is in perfect alignment.

hara line

As Barbara Brennan puts it:

“When you have aligned your first point of individuation from the godhead with your soul’s sacred longing and with the one note with which you have drawn your body up from your mother the earth, you have aligned yourself with your life purpose.  You may not even know what it is, but you are aligned with it, and your actions will automatically be synchronistic with it as long as you remain aligned.”

Click here to download: Hara Line Exercise

Light and Love,
Neo

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Guru Devotion


About a year ago someone relatively new to the dharma emailed me asking if he could begin posting sutras on our Buddhist Sutras Yahoo Group.  Unfortunately, he suffered from the mental disease called schizophrenia.  Last January, we talked many times through email before he signed up.

I told him of the positive benefits others have received just by copying and printing sutras and he became inspired.  Later, he received consultation from a lama about the merits of reciting sutras.  The lama told him if you do so, then all his negative karma would be gone after a year.  A few months shy of a year, I got this wonderful letter:

Hi neozen,

I completed my massive chanting homework.

I recited the High King Sutra 21,000 times since May, and the Padmakumara mantra over 1.35 million, and true Buddha sutra 2,000 times. I’m trying to complete the High King avalokitesvara sutra 30,000 times by the end of the year.

I feel like my negative karma is gone already.  For the first time in 1 and a half years, I was able to go out into public without fear or anxiety.

I just finished my last post on a sutra.  So, I might be taking a break from the site.

Thanks for all your help.
A mi tuo fo

Merits:

The merits of posting these sutras are not well known.  Dharma students often skip the sutras in favor of tantras.  That is understandable.  Yet the sutras offer a firm foundation for all the tantras to stand upon.  The disciples who EMBRACE, READ, RECITE, EXPOUND and COPY these sutras receive immeasurable benefit.  From the Sanghata Sutra:

“If all the sentient beings of the million world-systems were bodhisattvas, compared to the mass of merit of one who makes charity to all of them, if the mass of merit produced by one whose mind becomes inspired with trust towards one Tathagata, and one who makes their mind inspired with trust towards a million world-systems completely full of Tathagatas, and one who hears this Sanghata dharma-paryaya would produce a much greater mass of merit than that.”

Benefits:

To understand how we can heal from these negative karmic afflictions that are latent in our subconscious mind, we need to know the benefits of guru devotion.  If we have a qualified master leading us, we can be free from the most troublesome mental, emotional and physical disease.

The benefits of guru devotion are not well known in the west.  To us it is either a foreign concept or we reject it because so many charlatans have deceived us in the past.  Because of this, we think of surrendering our will to somebody as unwise.  From the 50 Verses of Guru Devotion:

It is from your Guru that powerful attainments, higher rebirth and happiness come.  Therefore, make a wholehearted effort never to transgress your Guru’s advice. – Verse 25

When we find a qualified lama it is more precious than anything we ever encountered before.  Since we have accumulated negativity over beginningless lifetimes it is worthwhile to take note of how to reverse this condition and develop virtue.

Consequences:

Since the benefits of proper guru devotion are so high, the consequences of belittling a highly-realized master is quite deep and serious.  The law of karma is quite exact.  Vajrapani once asked Guru Shakyamuni Buddha what the negative consequences of belittling the guru were.

Taken aback, Guru Shakyamuni replied, “Oh, Vajrapani, please don’t ask me that!  If I were to enumerate those consequences, humans, gods and even dauntless bodhisattvas would be terrified and die of shock.”

When Atisha came to Tibet he told the Tibetans:

“All the major and minor realizations are developed by relying on the guru but since you Tibetans regard your guru as simply an ordinary man, there’s no way you can develop any realizations.”

Download:

If you are a Buddhist then there is a very important text that is a must read.  The 50 Verses of Guru Devotion was written by Ashvagosha in the first century BCE.  In Tibetan it is called Lama Nga-chu-pa.  In Sanskrit it is called Gurupancashika.

After a disciple has taken refuge in the Triple Gem and developed a pure (Enlightened) motive, he should be given this (text) to take to his heart (how to abandon his own arrogant self-will and) follow in his Guru’s footsteps (along the Graded Path to Enlightenment). – Verse 48

In order to help such disciples and save them from the worst consequences of belittling and transgressing their guru-disciple relationship, Ashvagosha wrote this book.  Click to download the .pdf file: 50 Verses of Guru Devotion

It is a wonderful text to read over and over again.  If we pay close attention to it, there is no doubt we will be perfectly mindful in his presence and receive the most blessings from our guru.

Light,
Neo

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Filed under Emotional Health, Mental Health, Tibetan Buddhism

Summit of the Victory Banner


One of our Buddhist teachers recently related this story to us.  Since this scripture is not easy to find I will post it again.  As the story goes: Indra was defeated by the king of the demi-gods, and full of fear went to the Buddha for help.

The Buddha told him to recite the Sutra called Powerful Armor Which Is the Summit of the Victory Banner in order to make himself invulnerable to harm from others.

VictoryBannerSutra

I believe it would be equally important for meditators and not just warriors to know that such a remedy to removes obstacles exists.  Since it is such a powerful sutra to uphold here it is:

Homage to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

Thus have I heard:
At one time, Shakyamuni was dwelling in Indra’s celestial realm of the thirty-three, sitting upon a rock slab as white as wool.  At that time, Indra, the king of gods, had become defeated by the demi-gods.  Having been completely defeated and frozen with fear, he speedily went to where the Buddha was sitting.  He bowed his head to Shakyamuni’s feet, and addressed the Buddha as follows:

“Oh Lord, I went into battle against the army of the demi-gods, and I was defeated by the king of the demi-gods, T’hag-Zang.  I was completely defeated, as were all the god’s armies from the realms of the thirty-three.  Oh, Shakyamuni, how can we become victorious now?”

The Buddha answered:

“Indra, king of gods! Recite the Sutra called, Powerful Armor Which Is the Summit of the Victory Banner, which makes one invulnerable to harm from others.  Previously, when I was a bodhisattva, I also received this Sutra from the Tathagata Zhengyi Mit’hub Pa’i Gyaltsen.  Having received it, I also taught it extensively and perfectly to others.  There is no doubt that if you recite this, there is no name of fear.  Not even for an instant will you experience fear, timidity, hair-raising fright, or bodily harm.”

The Buddha spoke:

TATYAT’HA OM JAYA JAYA VIJAYA VIJAYA JAYA PRAHINI SHANKARI SHANKARI PRABHAD KARE

For I and all sentient beings:

SARVA SHATRUM DZAMBAYA DZAMBAYA SATAMBAYA SATAMBAYA MOHAYA MOHAYA BHAGAVATI
JAYAWAHINI MAT’HA MAT’HA PRAMAT’HA PRAMAT’HA GRASA GRASA HASA HASA HUNG HUNG LA
HUNG LA HUNG LAMBO DHAREY TRE NRE TRE CHATUR BHAGA DRE CHATUR DAMSHATE CHATUR
BHUJE ASI MUSALA CHAKRA TRISHULA VAJRAKA VAJRADHARI

Protect, protect me from all harm!

BHAGA WATI HANA HANA DAHA DAHA PATSA PATSA MAT’HA MAT’HA PRAMAT’HA PRAMAT’HA
DHUNA DHUNA VIDHUNA VIDHUNA HUNG HUNG PHAT PHAT BHANJA BHANJA PARA SENAYAM
VIDHANASAYA SARVA SHATRUM NASHAYA DWAJA AGRA KERAYURE TITA TITA TITA VHITA VHITA
ULAKA MUKHI ULAKA DHARANI TRILOKYA MAT’HANI VIDWAN SAPARA SENAYAN

Protect, protect me from all harm!

TSALA TSALA TSILI TSILI TSULU TSULU KAMPA KAMPA KALA KALA KILI KILI KULU KULU
MUNJA MUNJA ATA TAHA SAMA VIDWA NASAYA PARA SENAYAN

Protect, protect me from all harm!

TRASAYA TRASAYA BRAMAYA BRAMAYA BUDDHA SATYENA DHARMA SATYENA SANGHA SATYENA
SATYE VATENAM SATYEMA BUDDHA SATYE MATI KRAMA DHARMA SATYE MATI KRAMA SANGHA
SATYE MATI KRAMA SATYE VATINAM SATYE MATIKRAMA LAMBHO DHARI LAMBHO DHARI KUTA
KUTA KUDTA KUDTA KUDTA KUTA PAYA KUDTA PAYA RUDDRA MANAYA VISHNA MANAYA CHANDRA
SURIYA BAMMANA TRE LOKYA ADI PADI MANAYA SARVA DEVA ADHIPAMANAYA SARVA YAKSHA
RAKSHASA GANDHARVA KUNBHANDE MAHORA GADHI PATI MANAYA VIDWA NASAYA PARASENAM
RANGA RANGA RANGHA PAYA RANGHA PAYA DZALA DZALA PUSHPA MALINI RUNDHA RUNDHA RITI
RITI TSITI TSITI DHITI DHITI VRI KUTI MUKHE PARA SENA KULOD SADHANI KARI HALA
HALA HILI HILI HULU HULU HE HE RINI RINI RINIMATI DZAMBHA DWAJE SARVA BUDDHA
AVALOKITE

Protect, protect me from all fear!

SARVA TAT’HAGATA AVALOKITE SVAHA GUNA RAJA PRABHA SODTA ME SVAHA SURYA ARKA
VIMALE SVAHA CHANDRA ARKA VIMALE SVAHA SARVA GRAHA NAKSHASTRA DHEMI KARANE SVAHA

Protect, protect me from all fear, obstacles, contagious diseases and conflicts
SVAHA!

“King of gods! By reciting this exalted Sutra, Powerful Armor Which Is the Summit of the Victory Banner, also known as the Mantra Which Makes One Invulnerable to Others, whether engaged in battle, fights, conflicts, or wars, wherever you go, you shall not fear and you shall be victorious.

If you attach this Sutra to the peak of a victory banner, or wear it around your neck, you will be protected from every human leader or powerful warrior.  The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will manifest in the form of beautiful ladies in front of you, who will grant you fearlessness and protection.  You will become glorious and overwhelm all opposition.  You will enjoy continuous fortune, purity, great fame, glory, and prosperity.”

Shakyamuni having spoken thus, the world with Indra the king of gods, devas, humans, demi-gods, and ghandharvas rejoiced and praised what the Buddha had said.  This completes the Sutra called Powerful Armor Which Is the Summit of the Victory Banner.

Order expensive prayer flag:  Hither and Yon

Order cheaper version:  Victory over obstacles

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Assertive Discipline


GoodWhen we examine our internal reactions to the game of chess it is a lot like life itself.  In one way, it can lead you in the wrong direction and bring up pride and ego.  I may have played too many games in the past several months to know that.  But I really wanted to distill the essence of the game and see what it had to offer in the game of life as well.

Losing in chess can be hard to take especially when the other player arrogantly disobeys the principles of the game and is certainly not as smart as you are.  You later smile at how his pride mirrors your own.  It is a difficult game to master.  In a deeper way, it is a thorough analysis of fear.

“Fear has its use but cowardice has none.” – Mahatma Gandhi

You see, in chess there are empty threats and there are real threats.  Empty threats instill fear in a beginner which leads to an immediately retreat.  But, the advanced player knows that it takes exactly two moves before that piece would be captured.  You learn you have to respond positively rather than react negatively.  You learn to lead and take charge rather than being passive and being lead around by the nose.

Early fears:

In the same way, growing up can be rather difficult.  We may have had harsh and unreasonable parents punish us all the time.  We may have often heard preachers yelling ‘fire and brimstone’ creating unnecessary fear and guilt in us.  We may have had heard so much from the medical community using fear to gain our compliance.

We may even watch reality TV-shows and find them to be quite disturbing.  I recall a pregnant mom say, “Please don’t let my baby die.” many times over and over as she gave birth.  There was no reason to suspect anything was wrong.  It was an irrational fear.  Now, more than ever, we can see before our very eyes that small children are literally born into a world of fear.  It is more disturbing when you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that infants are adversely affected in a subconscious way by the fearful things they hear.

Officiating sports:

For over twenty years, I had officiated sports as a part time job.  My father got me involved with it near the end of my high-school year.  As he was in charge of our local area, he knew it would be a great way for me to make money starting each spring.  Unfortunately, I always seemed to get into conflicts with the worst and most aggressive people around.

Since it is inevitable that one team must lose, the resentment always seemed to be focused on the umpire.  I never wanted any trouble and it was always hard to keep everyone happy.  I wished to do a good job, as best I can, and be on my way.  I wanted to make the right call and take pride in hustling and knowing the game.  I wanted peace but the nature of competition brings out the worst in people.  Things would often go much differently than I had planned.  The reality was, I could never please or satisfy everyone.  I never knew if this job was my lot in life – a curse or not.

Fortunately, I made a breakthrough a few weeks ago that I wanted to share with all of you.  It was something that I wish I had discovered twenty-years ago and hope it may benefit someone.  In a world that appears to be getting worse and worse, the bullying more rampant and goodhearted kids committing suicide I thought to express this.  It certainly would have saved me a lot of effort and emotional stress if knew this from the start.

The major problem is, this sort of success is hard to come by.  It can be very complicated.  It cannot really be learned from a book but it is a start.  Each situation needs to be well-thought-out in a general and specific way in order to handle people successfully.  To treat people with respect and tact should always be the ideal to follow.  For best results, it needs to be worked out with a partner or coach for life-long changes to take place.

The classroom:

I remember, a long time ago, when I was a new teacher.  I had been assigned a small fifth-grade class that had major behavioral problems to such a degree that they were separated from the ordinary class.  I tried many techniques to reach them and nothing really worked.  Finally, I tried to display anger without any words by smacking a yardstick on the table.  It broke right in half.  All the kids laughed.  That wasn’t exactly the effect I wanted to get across.

I sort of gave up researching how to effectively manage behavior problems in the classroom.  I must have read hundreds of books but nothing clicked until now.  A few weeks ago, I came across an older white-haired gentleman during a softball tournament.  He was an umpire.  Yet, I had never seen him before and we immediately began talking about the game as he was a fist-year umpire and I was an old-veteran.

After giving him some advice of the different leagues in our area and how each of them behaves and which ones are easy-going and which ones were tougher – I related a problem I had.  I told him things seemed to be getting worse and worse in this degenerate age.  The adult players are getting more and more aggressive and even the young girls have been talking back.  He asked me what had happened.

Breakthrough:

I went on to tell him that I made a call at first base that (an adult male) player didn’t agree with.  This player had yelled and argued as he drifted down the right field line.  He yelled that the first-baseman’s foot was off the base.  After I took my position behind the catcher the same player came jogging in and went on to show me how much the player’s foot was off the base.  Then, he proceeded to bump his elbow against mine to make a solid point and continued off into the dugout.  Come to think of it, I was being bullied.

In my mind, the internal process that is felt first is shock.  It is a definite surprise.  I thought: How could anyone do such a thing?   Shock is a form of fear.  It stems from aggressive behavior.  It is a form of manipulation we call intimidation.  A real gentleman wouldn’t do this.  It is not respectful and often used by those who have no class.  I assured him that he was still out, but did nothing else.

So this fellow umpire says to me.  This is what you say whenever this happens:

“Coach, if any player EVER touches me again they will be ejected from this game and possibly suspended for life!”

I was surprised how I felt when he said this.  It was surprising because he was talking rather quietly.  He didn’t have to yell at all to get his point across.

I put myself into the offending player’s shoes as he delivered his warning.  I felt slightly fearful upon hearing what he had to say.  Later on, as I contemplated what had worked most effectively in his delivery, I discovered there was a key element underlying his whole line of reasoning.  What he said was completely TRUE.

It is true that you can’t touch an official.

It is true that I had the power to eject him.

And it was also true that if I reported him he could be suspended for the year if not for life.

So something clicked inside me.  This was something I had been looking for.  This was something that each adolescent needs to hear in their own way to create healthy boundaries in life.  So I let it settle down into my mind to see if I could work out the steps intellectual.  In order to pass it on, I first needed to have success in the “battlefield”.

Five Steps:

  1. Create the boundary
  2. Bring their negative behavior to light
  3. Issue a warning
  4. Threaten punishment
  5. Administer the consequence

When I got back on the field I immediately had a successful experience.  Tying in the words of the sagely-advice of this umpire and the patterns of chess it started to make sense.  But I needed even more proof.  So I tried it again the following game to see if it worked well and could be duplicated.  It did.  Here is what I discovered:

The first step is to create the boundary.  It can be easy as saying “Stop.” or “No you can’t do that.”  The key is to stay something you object about their behavior.  Start out being peaceful and calm.  There is no need to yell.  It should be effortless on your part.  Too often we get lazy and say nothing.  When we fail to speak up we usually will have more problems later on.  Better to nip it in the bud from the very beginning.

The second step is to bring their negative behavior to light.  This means you verbalize their wrong and offensive behavior.  If you are already a thoughtful and ethical person then you have the advantage as you know what is right and wrong and what is acceptable or not in society.  You might say, “No swearing, please.”

Too often we get overwhelmed because we know that people can react unexpectedly in an infinite variety of ways.  So make it easy on yourself by directly pointing out whatever it is that you find offensive.  When done right, there is a sense of joy that is felt.  It is very satisfying when you can remain in the moment, and not be disturbed.  When it comes about effortlessly then you know you are on the right track.

The third step is to issue a warning.  You just say something like “You can’t do this or we will get another pitcher.” or “You shouldn’t do this as it is dangerous.” or “You can’t do this, as it is against the rules.”  Most reasonable people will respond appropriately.  If they don’t understand you, now is your chance to explain the rules in detail.

The fourth step is to threaten punishment.  Most of the time we threaten to punish someone out of the blue.  A threat without prior warning is not right.  You have to look at this from both sides – your side and their own.  If you threaten punishment by ejection or detention and skip all the previous steps, then it doesn’t allow anyone to learn their role or what is expected of them.

Furthermore, when you skip the previous steps it doesn’t allow them to process their emotions or analyze if their behavior was in fact bad, wrong, disrespectful or dangerous.  I used to do this and start out at the fourth step.  It can come across as overbearing and irrational.   I would get angry or defensive stares and never knew why.  Now I know better.  From their point of view it is like you are being hysterical or unreasonable.

In the first few steps you should be calm and peaceful and now is the time to be a bit stern or wrathful.  You might say something like, “If you swear again, I am going to eject you.” or “If you put a fake tag on a player again, you will be ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Note:  If you go overboard and threaten someone’s life then that is not what we are talking about here.  It is always your responsibility to set safe boundaries and at the same time build up someone’s positive self-esteem.

The fifth step is to give a consequence.  When you give a consequence it is your chance to eject someone with the proper arm motions of your favorite professional umpire.  It is important to follow through on your previous threat to show others that you are serious and your word is good.

If you are in an authority position it is your duty to protect the group when one person jeopardizes the harmony or safety in the classroom or on the playing field.  So you might yell forcefully, “You’re ejected!” or “You’re outta here!”  Then when they kick and scream, you simply explain to the coach that this person has to get off the field in a timely manner or they will forfeit the game to the other team.

KEY POINT:  If you go slow and listen to their responses after you state your objection then you allow others to save face.  What this means is that they have the opportunity to come clean and apologize to avoid any further embarrassment.

After they apologize this is where saying, “Thank you.” or “I appreciate it.” comes in handy.  A proper role-model sets the example of good manners to educate people on how to be, talk, and act properly.

A useful insight:

The first argument occurred during the very next softball game.  An adult male displayed some very childish behavior because he believed he tagged a man out at second base and I missed the call.  This time something unusual happened:

When I told this grown man to stop jumping up and down like a child having a tantrum, it felt as if a rubber-band was being pushed back.

It was quite amazing to know that I was getting some positive feedback in an intuitive way on an etheric level.  It was not confined to a small area but it was all-pervasive to the size of the diamond.  Perhaps this was occurring on the subconscious level – the aware mind meeting the unconscious mind and his energy being pushed back.

Whatever the case may be, the main thing is he stopped his behavior immediately.  Just by my verbalizing and pointing out his negative action; he calmed down.

What usually occurs when one person abuses their power over another…the weaker and more sensitive person takes on so many emotions.  The majority of it is not even their own.  When we don’t understand these emotions and are unable to process them, it often leads to suffering and depression and possibly suicide in certain people.

IMPORTANT:  We do best when we follow the middle path.  If I had been too extreme and threatened to eject him at this point, it would have backfired.  He would have been angered and even justified in his confusion as to why he was being talked to in such a harsh manner.

Two types of people:

Basically, there are two types of people.  There are those that are PEACEFUL and gentle and there are those that are WRATHFUL and aggressive.  The gentle person is someone that has a conscience while the aggressive person does not.  Whenever you point out a person’s bad behavior they will react in one of two ways: either shame or fear.

Those who are peaceful and have a conscience will react first with shame.  More often than not, when you bring to light a conscientious person’s negative behavior a person will later apologize.  To keep your sanity, don’t expect it.  But do give them space and allow some time to go by.  They need to process their feelings.  When you do it properly, by allowing them to “save face,” a good person will usually come around and apologize.  If you are over handed and skip the above steps you won’t allow this to come about.  So be patient for their benefit and growth.

The aggressive person, who doesn’t have much of a conscience, will react first with fear.  He usually behaves badly out of pride or just to impress his friends.  If you expose his faulty behavior he can no longer be covert about it.  He thrives in pushing past all boundaries.  It is thrilling for him to do so.  He just needs to have you push back in the right way.  When you do this properly and with skill you are actually helping him develop a conscience.

Ultimately, we hope this fabricated conscience develops into true compassion and responsibility later on.  On the other hand, if you don’t say anything to either type of person, they lose respect for you and you lose the chance at developing self-respect.  If you do nothing, then you as a sensitive person will take on much suffering and depression later on.  Don’t let it get that far.

Final Point:

In the second day’s experiment, I had only utilized the first four steps during the game and I was delighted to get the right responses.  It took time for them to come around but each of them did.  I got three apologizes during that night and was satisfied with the way things went.

When this works out well, it is really beautiful to behold.  There is an art to the game of life and it is best lived effortlessly.  In addition, it is truly freeing when there is no further thought or anxiety about your past actions or theirs.  Meditation and other important activities can resume.  Rather than taking home all their baggage along with its depression there is peace and contentment.

hope that helps!
Neo

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The art of sacrifice


I was never good at chess but always loved to play.  There are certainly good points and bad points to the game of chess.  But if you don’t get too involved or obsessed with it we can analyze the principles and take only what is good from it.

chess set

Value:

The relative value of pieces must first be known.  The pawn is worth one point.  The bishop and knight are worth three points.  The rook is worth five points and the queen is worth nine points.  The king, because he can be captured and the game lost has infinite value.

Once you understand this you can make an educated choice on how to move or capture your opponent’s pieces.  As you learn to make better choices, you can definitely apply this to your life – whether it is raising a family or developing yourself on the quest.  Chess teaches us to utilize our often neglected reasoning skills.

Sacrifice:

Compassion is the understanding or empathy for the suffering of others.  It is regarded as a fundamental part of human love and foundational to the highest principles in philosophy and religion.  It is much needed today in our society yet it starts with a good intention and proper goals in life.

In chess, one of the great tactics is to sacrifice material to gain a special advantage later.  This teaches us a nice lesson not to be greedy solely for the purpose of material gain.  This is the heart of the bodhisattva’s way of life.  He or she lives on good principles and not bad ones that consist of harming others.  In other cultures, this type of hero is called a good Samaritan in Christianity or a Caretaker in the Native American religion.  It is a universal principle that shines through in most religions.

Needless to say, one of the most surprising moves is considered the queen-sacrifice because her value is among the highest.  When executed properly a master will, more often than not, win the game.

“Combinations with a queen sacrifice are among the most striking and memorable.”  –  Anatoly Karpov

There are two types of sacrifices.  The good sacrifice and the bad sacrifice.  The good sacrifice helps gain an advantage later on.  The bad sacrifice is done without proper forethought and planning.  It would be more of an unconscious impulse – something akin to a martyr complex.

In the spiritual world, it is often thought that we must sacrifice our self in order to attain enlightenment.  Of course, this is very true but how you give up your self is very important.  Without the guidance of a guru and without the guidance of proper scriptural sources you may just believe that suicide is the answer.  Therefore, without any consideration you end up seeking your own death without thinking of how it will affect your parents, children or spouse.

You truly will be creating negative karma if you act selfishly and without awareness.  The results of suicide are told over and over that you end up in a hell realm or a bad migration in your next lifetime.  One must contemplate this, consider the consequences correctly and receive proper instruction before one can gain confidence to act correctly in all situations.

Vipashana:

Chess may have a hidden element in it that could be the starting point to proper insight (vipashana) meditation later on.

I always wondered what would happen if two Buddhas played chess with each other.  Who would win?

By studying the texts of the great chess masters, the answer is already known.  They tell us that the perfect game will consist of neither a win nor a loss.  If either player doesn’t make a mistake then the game will certainly end in a draw.

Two important questions:

  1. What is his intent?
  2. What is his weakness?

If you keep these two questions in mind; you will be ahead of the game.  Often you will just look at your side of the board and rush to make your move.  But each move consists of an intrinsic advantage and weakness.  You just have to discover it.  When you get stuck ask the question, “What weakness did he leave behind?” and you will learn to expand your awareness to his side of the board.

Life stories:

Here are two beautiful stories that hit the essential point.  In the first, we might not see any immediate benefit to the Bodhisattva hero.  On the surface, it just seems like he lost his life.  But it was a conscious act of compassion that eventually leads to his full enlightenment.  In a future life he does awaken to Buddhahood.  Naturally, this act did not go unnoticed by the Buddhas who have the eye of omniscience.  This compassionate action sped up his development as positive karma was created.

In the second story, we see the power of a realized Buddha making a sacrifice with the principle of crazy wisdom.  Since he was a Buddha there were no harmful consequence to him and his action only enhanced and benefited all who heard, saw and believed the display-like miracle.

1.  The touching story of The Hungry Tigress is from the Jataka tales.  This is one excerpt from a collection of past life stories of Shakyamuni Buddha.

The Bodhisattva, in a lifetime before he became the Buddha, came upon a hungry tigress and her cubs.  Seeing the tigress was too weak to hunt, the Bodhisattva sent his traveling companions away to look for food.  While they were away, he threw himself over a cliff, thereby offering his body for food to the hungry tigress and her cubs.

2.  The story of the Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava is part of a long discourse given by the late Khenchen Palden Sherab in 1992 on the life of Guru Rinpoche:

With Guru Rinpoche and Mandarava we see the deep sacrifice of both the master and the disciple.  Wanting to learn the dharma from the Guru rather than lead a worldly life and get married, the princess was sentenced to prison for her actions while he was to be burned at the stake.

“The men ignored her and Guru Padmasambhava was captured.  His hands were bound and they led him off surrounded by hordes of people.  They wanted to make sure that he did not try to run away.  By royal decree, his punishment was to be burned at the stake.  Mandarava was sentenced to prison for 25 years, while all 500 of her attendants were sentenced to ten years.  All of this was the king’s decision.  A great quantity of wood was collected from the local households and soaked with sesame oil.”

Guru Rinpoche was tied in the center and the pyre was lit.  The king ordered that no one be allowed into the area for a week except those who were tending the fire.

“Now while Guru Rinpoche was in the midst of the flames, the fire transformed into water, which soon became a lake encircled on its outer perimeter by a ditch sporting a halo of upside-down flames.  In the center of this beautiful lake there was a wondrous lotus flower and above that, Guru Padmasambhava was sitting in the posture of royal ease, even more glorious than before.”

Sutras:

Vimalakirti explains, in The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti that even sharing the dharma with others is a great dharma sacrifice.  It definitely is not an easy action to perform.

Vimalakirti explains that:

“Those who teach it to others, whether it be no more than a single stanza of four lines, or a single summary phrase from this teaching of the Dharma, will be performing the great Dharma-sacrifice.”

The truth is that obstacles can arise when doing any type of good deed.  Furthermore, it is much harder to spread the dharma that helps liberate sentient beings lost in confusion.  As one common axiom explains:  No good deed goes unpunished.  People often reject unsolicited advice.

Computers:

Most people that love computer programming and chess believe that calculating up to fifteen or twenty moves means more intelligence.  In reality, that is just the power of the intellectual mind and not necessarily intelligence in the sense of having Awareness and Compassion.  For basic game-play, one just needs to utilize three half-moves as the chess coach Bruce Pandolfini advises.  You move once, your opponent moves, then you move again.  This is called a combination.  Only in certain instances does one need to calculate up to ten moves and that usually is near the end of the game.

In Buddhism, there are explicit instructions on how to develop the mind.  With a little thought we can see how our body and mind is also like a computer.  Our ordinary mind, while still unenlightened has a glitch.  The main misconception – the belief in an inherently existent self, needs to be corrected.  Once we can organize our mind properly we surely gain better clarity.  One way to do this is to study and reflect on the scriptural teachings.  And if you are fortunate enough to participate in shedra courses you will be all the better for it.

Final point:

The sutras and tantras tell us that on the eighth stage of a Bodhisattva’s realization there is no longer any separation between meditation and post-meditation.  At that point, there is no compulsive reification of concepts.  What this means is that when you turn away from the chess board, the next moment you no longer have the same habitual thought-patterns going on.  If you lost the game, you can let it go.

In fact, you can let anything go – whatever good or bad things happen, you just abide in the nature of mind.  This is Mahamudra.  In the next moment, you can bring your awareness to the task at hand.  This is something we should all aspire towards.

good luck!
Neo

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growing like a tree


Zhan zhuang is the Chinese word for “standing like a post” or “standing like a tree”.  This form of standing stake is a special method of spiritual training in Chinese martial arts.  Static postures are used for a certain length of time in order to develop efficiency of movement and perfection of structural alignment.  It is very important to those working on core issues of abuse or physical trauma.  Surprisingly, it is an efficient recovery process for those suffering from stroke that has lead to partial paralysis.

“Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung is primarily a set of stationary exercises practiced in well-balanced postures which increase the flow of energy in the body and build up internal strength.  Externally, you appear to be motionless but in reality you are growing from within.” — Master Lam Kam Chuen

When there is a serious core issue at hand, it is understandable that there may be an aversion to any form of physical exercise.  Fortunately, with this posture you will be surprised that just 2 – 3 minutes a day can increase a lot of HEAT in the body.  Most people believe that cardiovascular exercise necessitates a lot of vigorous movement, however, zhan zhuang does confer a significant amount of physical conditioning.

“On first glance you may assume that standing in one pose for a few minutes is extremely easy, but don’t let that fool you.  Zhan Zhaung is one of the most demanding forms of exercise ever developed.  In my opinion standing in the second position “Holding the balloon” for 15 minutes will give you more of a workout than power walking for 3 miles.  It will definitely build your endurance!” — Two Bears

You can move into the posture anywhere and anytime you feel cold or have the urge to go to sleep during the day.  You could be cooking or at the line in the bank or grocery store.  Just a few moments is like having a cup of coffee – it is a natural way to refresh yourself.

“If one is tired and listless then practice Daoyin exercises and close up the breathing to attack the illness.” — Tao Hongjing

Some schools use the practice as a way of removing blockages in Qi flow.  This blockage removal happens, when correctly practiced, causes a normalizing effect on the body.  It is thought that a normalized body will be less prone to muscular skeletal medical conditions.  Furthermore, it is also thought that when practiced for developing a relaxed posture will lead to a calming effect on the mind as well.

Those unfamiliar with zhan zhuang can experience severe muscle fatigue and subsequent trembling at first.

This shaking is normal and once sufficient stamina and strength have been developed, the practitioner can develop “zhong ding” or central equilibrium.  Once you develop this sensitivity to specific areas of tension in the body you can more readily sink and relax with simple mindfulness.

Main Principle:

Many internal styles of chi kung use this method to develop whole body coordination and relaxation.  The standing posture is thought to strengthen the body’s Central Nervous System and develop the coordination required for effective martial arts performance.

How it works:

Any habitual tension is automatically reduced by your own body weight assuming a lower center of gravity.  The muscle tissue shortening (or lengthening) is normalized by this practice and the body regains its natural ability to function optimally.

Due to various conditions in life such as poor posture (hunched at your desk), poor sleeping habits (lying on stomach), and poor eating habits (gaining weight) can cause an elongation or shortening of the skin and muscles which throws everything off.  Also any painful incident of shock (someone dying), trauma (car accident), or abuse (rape) can upset the mind and leave its imprint in the body.

You just stand still, bend your knees and tuck your tailbone under.

After getting into position, just relax and be a witness to the changes that go through your body and breathing as it tries to regain balance.  As you breathe, watch how your body adjusts itself in order to stay balanced.  That’s all there is to it.  Over time you will build up an effortless strength and a healthy tone to your muscles.  When you experience the joy of having a body you are realizing for the first time what it means to be grounded.

Attitude:

Allow the body to self-regulate and don’t force it.  When you are tired of playing, then stop and move on to something else.  However, if you go at it seeking unreasonable results and trying to stand beyond your current limit will cause more problems than it’s worth.

Some positive effects:

  1. This exercise is particularly effective for a body that is intolerant of cold
  2. This practice automatically regulates poor sleeping patterns

Unfortunately, when your nervous system is damaged then you are more susceptible to the harsh cold temperatures.  Now there is no more need to rush to get under the covers to combat fatigue or coldness.  Whenever you notice you are tired during the daytime then just stand up and do this exercise for a short while.

Some people get into the bad habit of staying up way after midnight.  The body will return to normalcy with this exercise and you will discover there is no real need of staying up late anymore.  The slight shaking itself can tire you out and put you to bed immediately; giving you a complete rest that night.

Movement exercise:

After working with this static form for a few weeks it is important to understand some of its side-effects.  As I suspected, there seems to be the habit of the body “freezing up” with this form.  This locking and stiffness is simply cold, fear-energy coming up.  Be mindful of this happening to you.  This is a common pattern for those not well-connected to their bodies.  I believe it is a big mistake not combining this with a movement exercise.

Whenever the spine and muscles freeze up, often pain sets in shortly after.  Therefore, it is most essential to combine this static posture with a movement exercise to free up the cold energy.

This video of the 8 Pieces of Brocade (Ba Duan Jin) seems to go along very well with this form.  It takes only about two minutes to perform.  The movements will help to keep the body limber and release the cold energy and other blockages.  I wish more teachers would emphasize this point of combining static postures with movement forms for our health and safety.

Download the Adobe file of the Eight Pieces of Brocade to see each of the eight movements more clearly in order to memorize the form.

TIP:  You could practice zhan zhuang for 2-3 minutes a day and then use the Chinese Health balls for 5 minutes to remove the residual pain in the neck and tailbone.  Together they work in perfect combination until you get the proper feeling of what it is like to sit, stand, and walk effortlessly.

Videos:

The most well-known example of zhan zhuang training is the horse stance.  To learn how to perform this exercise properly you can look at some of these videos that I have found to be helpful.

Beginner video: Good instructions and commentary along with ten days worth of lessons of the basic 5 positions with Master Lam Kam Chuen

Intermediate video: Perfectly shown here by martial artist Yogi Cho from Ireland – with 12 positions of standing like a tree:

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Refining the nervous system


MH, the master herbalist, told us many years ago that his youngest son would frequently walk on his tiptoes.  Shortly after, Trevor would get the nick-name tippy toes.  I never understood exactly why this would happen until recently.  His father says, “Trevor desires to be Bare-feet and walk on his tippy toes! Even today, he still must jump often through out the day in steady pace or seek the trampoline.”

The bible gives us a hint and inspires us to achieve that child-like quality that we have lost as we enter adulthood.  We know from the bible it says:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” — Luke 18:17

A very true statement indeed.  We can learn so much by becoming innocent, carefree, and experiencing joy – playing freely in the moment.  After working with various movement therapies over the years, the rational part of it is slowly coming together.  I had the wonderful opportunity to work with a Feldenkrais Therapist for about four months.  I visited her once a week and she worked with me in her home; guiding my body with her hands to move in new, unfamiliar ways.  It wasn’t always easy (as painful or angry emotions do surface) but the results paid off over the years.

After many months of working with her, she helped me achieve something I never had before.  I had “unlocked” my frozen hips to a certain degree that it felt like I was in a cradle rocking freely in a swing.  That lightness of movement was amazing.

Years later, I continued to work towards wholeness.  I found a Chi-Kung master who taught me a practice called Chi-Lel Chi-Kung (LCUPCD) which allowed me to be self-sufficient in regards to adjusting my spine.  I no longer needed to visit the chiropractor again.

Recently, I took up the practice of the Chinese Health balls that would take my body to a whole new level.  There were a few experiences that happened that will prove useful for therapists, lightworkers and those seeking better health.  Know that this is a culmination of many different movement exercises and one therapy alone cannot be the sole cause of this success.  Nonetheless, I believe that in order to have a more perfected nervous system you need to be aware of three things.

The first thing I noticed was having a spring in my step.  As I continued rotating the health balls in my hand I could discern the tailbone would begin to resonate with vibrant energy for up to twenty minutes after the practice was finished.  This was very hard to notice at first but it was happening.  There were tiny contractions moving the tailbone back and forth.  After that, the energy would slowly move down the root chakra between the legs.

When your tailbone begins to move as a dolphin’s flukes in the water your nervous system is almost perfected.

Second, I began walking on my toes just like Trever did; except not as pronounced as his heels were.  In a way, I felt like I was walking like a ninja — walking toe to heel.  To me, this indicated that my tailbone and all the nerves along the spine were at its peak strength.

If you can reach to this stage, it is as if your vitality is at the level of an eighteen year old with the joy of a seven-year old.

Thirdly, as I kept practicing with these exercises the breath unfolded in a more spontaneous way.  It was amazing to experience the breath just spring back into action after each exhalation.  When the nervous system is weak, breathing incorrectly happens as a matter of course.  When this is the case, it is like the breath would “hang-up” and there is no automatic return-breath.  When your breath “hangs” like this, it’s as if you exhale and the breath doesn’t want to return on its own — except in a labored way.

Furthermore, if someone were to criticize or speak harshly to you, you wouldn’t have the energy or courage to bear it.  Your chest would be caved-in and you could not display a sense of self-respect or speak strongly in return.  Upon refining the nervous system to this level, there was a complete sense of freedom and feeling of joy.  After exhaling, the breath was effortless and would return on its own without any heaviness.

WITH SPONTANEOUS BREATHING, YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM IS PERFECTED AND COMPLETELY NATURAL.  THE BODY AND VITAL ENERGY (SPEECH) ARE IN SYNC AND THEY MIRROR EACH OTHER.

Now you can go on enjoying life and walk in infinite possible ways.  Even getting up from a seated position is joyful.  Falling down is also easy and without fear.  You begin to play in your movements as a child would.  A joyful feeling becomes your nature and a simple smile runs across your face.

Good luck!
Neo

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Sungazing method


MH has talked about sungazing as one of the important ways to get back to health.  He always says the modern person spends too much time in indoors, in the dark – and in the long run this is definitely not good for our health.  In the past, he has recommended conceiving children outdoors to create more Aware Beings.  I don’t know much about that but it would be interesting to hear feedback on children conceived under the sun and how they behave in life afterwards.

At the Solar Healing Center website Hira Ratan Manek has one of the better methods for practicing this form safely.  I accomplished three months worth of sungazing which is up to the 15 minute mark and had many good results from it.  Once you start gazing at the sun it will activate the pituitary and pineal glands in the brain.  It will also open up blockages in the spine right away.  Another good quality about the practice is, it will heal and repair the functional channel to improve digestion.

When you gaze directly at the sun, the most important benefit is steadying the eyes.  As a rule of thumb, when the eyes are steady the mind becomes steady.  As we intentionally still our body there is a better chance to deepen our meditative practice and stability can be gained.  A famous quote from the bible says:

“Be still, and know that I am God.” — Psalm 46:10

You can gaze directly or indirectly at the sun.  When you are fully and properly trained, gazing DIRECTLY at the sun will yield the most benefits. In this case you will experience the deepest penetration of light and energy into your system.  When you are not too experienced you can gaze INDIRECTLY and let the light begin to enter your system slower as you stare into the sky alone or look through the leaves of a tree with the sunlight being diffused.

For best results, it has been taught to stand on sand or dirt and not the grass while gazing at the sun.  If you are not sure, try both until you can perceive what is better.  After working with it I am sure you can discern that standing in sand, gravel or dirt is a lot better energetic wise.

The method: Stare at the sun for ten seconds on day one; then add ten seconds to each day.  Blinking is OK.  When finished, palm your hands over your eyes and concentrate on the after-image of the sun until it disappears.

  • After 90 days all mental disorders and mental diseases will be cured
  • After 180 days all physical disorders get cured
  • After 270 days hunger pangs disappear and you attain victory over taste and hunger

Power boost: Looking at the sun for 30 seconds early in the morning reduces melatonin levels right away so your body temperature rises immediately.  This will counteract the tendency to sleep all day like a vampire and you feel super-charged.

It is very important to practice during the safe hours. Research more about it at the HRM website:

“No harm will come to your eyes during the morning and evening safe hours.  The safe hours are anytime within 1-hour window after sunrise or anytime within the 1-hr window before sunset.  It is scientifically proven beyond a reasonable doubt that during these times, one is free from UV and IR rays exposure, which is harmful to your eyes.” — Hira Ratan Manek

RULE: It is import to get thoroughly educated first and NOT exceed 44 minutes as it will be dangerous.

TIPS: I discovered two things with my own observations of this practice.  First, if you bare your teeth to the sun – the bones all through-out the body are infused with healing light.  Second, if you close your eyes and face the sun it feels like an acupuncture session as the individual channels that are in most need of repair get energized.

IMPORTANT: Always palm the eyes afterwards as this will be cooling.  If you are attuned to reiki…the symbols in the palms will add more beneficial healing energy into your eyes and throughout your nervous system.

One last thing, BEFORE each session it is good to drink a glass of water to hydrate your body and AFTER the session it is best to walk on the grass for some time to ground the solar energy that you took in.

Good luck!
Neo

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