When I don’t allow myself to accept my circumstances, conflict begins.
I put it to you, I have no need to experience frustration as long as my consciencious attention is fiercely focused towards observation of the fruits of the moment, with every one of my senses awake, tuned, alert, receptive.
There is nothing specifically prescribed to concentrate on. After all, where my body is located, it is surrounded by sights, textures, sounds, scents – an unending procession of the external stimuli of Realia!
I, or you, can engage in this close focusing now and then, if we like.
However, when I choose repeatedly to take the time to plunge myself into immersion of the sensory moment, then from out of this microcosm, I may be blessed to receive radical life-enhancements with the power to permanently change the way I perceive the quality of my life.
These are the slow-maturing fruits of microcosmic inspection. The sweetness they bring is so sublime, I overflow with joy and I simply have to share!
I know from my own experience there is an uncomplicated way to release joy and open the floodgates to love and peace, when I recognise that my mental images of the past and the future are illusions.
The distractions of frustration, fear and anger live in the unreal past and the impossible future. These products of misdirected attention are irrelevant and wholly superfluous to human requirements!
What validates this leap into a blissful state, where rushes of love chase away every last residue of fear?
Well, for a start, being intensely nose-to-nose with the absence of time in the flying moment is thunderingly awesome.
Here are the pleasures of non-attachment, where I cultivate my close attention, and it returns intensity of awareness back to me without locking any part of me into what I am doing with my directed attention.
Explanations about the pleasure of being released from the past and the future is not the thing. The thing is to be thankful.
Gratitude is the right reaction. Be grateful for release into lightness of heart. Be thankful for sudden intimacy with the giant world of intuition. Be in awe of the strange new ability to read hearts.
Flow in the moment helps self realisation.
In the moment when a fragment of birdsong triggers my smile, it triggers also my self love. The union of self with self is union with the whole of existence. What other respectful ways of being glad are there than the gladness of humility, awe and gratitude?
Counterintuitively, doing nothing all summer long wasn’t so frustrating as you might imagine.
When I wish for something other than the status quo, when I don’t allow myself to accept my circumstances, the conflict of frustration begins.
I arrived home from my operation dog tired. All physical exertion caused unpleasant dramatic effects. So exercise was obviously something to avoid.
With that, fatigue held me back. Fatigue was more of a welcome than a hindrance, because I wanted to rest, to sleep. My sleeps so refreshed me, I kind of looked forward to being tired. This became a self-sustaining cycle of pleasant reward for giving in to sleep.
Everyone agreed it had been a good summer!
My daytime luxury was to sit in the sun in the garden for long periods of time. I’d photograph insects and flowers, snooze. And then photograph flowers and insects.
Knowing that I was limited to these activities, grateful I have no need of employment, and with no other obligations, these few things quickly became what I owned.
I strongly suspect there is no need for anyone to experience frustration as long as their consciencious attention is directed towards observation of the fruits of the moment.
I learned to work on this internal reward system when I was still an employee at work, most often performing to others’ orders at others’ set times of day.
The moment of my activity becomes the world of my engagement and so it becomes my engagement with the whole world.
With the most repetetive boring work tasks, I set myself miniature milestones to achieve. That way I competed for efficiency with only myself. Only I and nobody else rewarded me for reaching my own set targets as I worked through my day.
I had no need to compete with others at work. The fact was I had no time to look over my shoulder, while I was so absorbed in my keeping up with my personal best.
These principles applied to filling sacks with builder’s rubble, as much as to achieving sales targets.
This state of mind can come from fiercely focusing on what my mind is making of where my body is, with every one of my senses awake, tuned, alert and receptive.
There is nothing special or specifically prescribed to concentrate on. After all, where my body is located, it is surrounded by sights, textures, sounds, scents – an unending procession of the external stimuli of Realia!
I, or you, or any one can engage in doing this close focusing from time to time, if we like.
Radical life-enhancements that can permanently change the way I perceive the quality of my life derive from this style of applied attention when I choose to take the time to plunge myself into and practise immersion in the sensory of the moment, either by choice, or because some life event, such as illness or injury brings these choices front and centre.
In my EveryNow blog posts, I try to write about these fruits of microcosmic inspection. My motive is simply to share the joy and the sweetness they bring.
I know from my own experience, there is an uncomplicated way to release joy and open floodgates of love and peace, when I can recognise the distractions of frustration, fear and anger as illusory, irrelevant and wholly superfluous to human requirements!
What validates this leap into a blissful state, where fear has no existence and rushes of love flit and flutter about with me on stage in the moment? Well, for a start, being intensely nose-to-nose with the absence of time in the flying moment is thunderingly awesome.
Here we have the pleasures of non-attachment, where I cultivate my close attention, and it returns intensity of awareness to me without locking any part of me into what I am doing with my directed attention.
The pleasure of being released from the leg-irons of the Past, and the cheeky cheery turning of my back on the caverns of Future is hardly worth bothering to explain.
And explaining is not the thing. The thing is to be thankful. Gratitude is the right reaction. Be grateful for release into lightness of heart. Be thankful for sudden intimacy with the world of intuition.
Accept and thank my lucky stars for the oddness of being able to read hearts!
Flow in the moment helps self examination. In the moment when a fragment of birdsong triggers my smile, it triggers also my self love. The union of self with self is union with the whole of existence. What other respectful ways of being glad are there than the gladnesses of humility, awe and gratitude?
There are awarenesses, resources of great value, that I am unlocking more and more on my Journey.
In seeking to embrace these, I am inspired by the example of my friend, whose startling quality of compassion in action and word has made me strive to understand its source, the better to assimilate and emulate this living spirit of compassion.
I see value in the observation of Acceptance in action. Acceptance requires no reasons, demands no constructs and it can be seen in the healthy balanced operation of every living organism.
I tap into vast reserves of value from the practice of Acceptance. Acceptance smoothly paves over the crevasses of treacherous impulse to blunder and bluff.
I am in confrontation every day.
These are great stirrings, as in coming upon a selfish owner who is letting a dog “worry” swans. Or these may be small, such as a person whose mere approach rouses an aggressive response in me. My negative response stems from my self regard blinkered from and blind to the life I share with people around me.
Acceptance is my confronted self choosing to reach up to a panoramic viewpoint, and consciously remaining where I am, while I offer to the eyes of my eyes the gift of the widest possible perspective at my location.
Once I arrive – and I can arrive in a flash – I am at once reduced to my true size relative to “where I am at”, and I am released to soar up to great peaks of lightness of being and down to lush fertile places of human comfort, warmth and joy.
Acceptance is my loyal friend when I walk hand in hand with my other awareness: Sufficiency.
Whenever I allow myself to come into closest connection with some external event, it can show me clearly and directly a total, utter and complete satisfaction. It is “Sufficiency”.
It is my awareness of sufficiency which links me directly to the sum of all joys.
Any joy piercing the living moment is sufficient.
I can choose to go out and about with a pocketful of forethought, so that, when I encounter a delight, I need not let it enter me only to pass me by. For example, I may be kissed, and as I stop taking breath, all the breaths I have ever breathed are contained in that kiss.
The treasure awaiting my discovery in any experience is made visible by my inborn ability to allow its inherent quality of sufficiency to overtake both it and me.
Sufficiency is the end contained in the beginning.
If I can only stop trying to dream, I can awake to find I am being dreamed by my dream.
The flesh of humility is clothed by the modest completion of Sufficiency.
Gratitude for this infinite store of sufficiencies!
In a foreign country in March, in the Year of my Life, 2013, I and my wife sat down to supper with a long lost friend for the first time in 47 years.
He and his wife had prepared for us a lavish welcome meal. Many years before, my father had arranged I stay with the family of my friend during my school holidays. His father, a decorative wrought iron blacksmith and Rabelasian larger-than-life character, and my father, a conference interpreter, met by chance after the war.
They quickly recognised their mutual admiration for their own idiosyncratic forms of ‘joie de vivre’. On that foundation, they were to become lifelong friends.
After we had toasted each other in a few glasses of fine local wine, my very dear friend began to tell me the Machiavellian story of his childless stepmother, the blacksmith’s second wife. I had known her only as a quiet capable motherly figure all those years ago. She braved out her husband’s alcohol-fuelled storms, she ignored his infidelities, mainly with wives of wealthy clients of his decorative wrought ironwork. She kept shop and did the accounts.
For me those summers were times of acceptance into the family, of joy and pleasure as a young teenager taking my first independent steps in the freedom of another country under the blazing August Sun.
As we enjoyed the meal, I listened with astonishment to hear how she had spent about 70 of the 99 years of her life scheming with great success to disinherit her stepson, almost ruining him and coming close to breaking his spirit, and, after I had come into her house as a guest and virtual second son, scheming to defraud my own father.
The welcome meal, a Cordon Blue affair, progressed with much joy. The setting was in a delightful spacious, three-story pinewood cabin, open fire crackling away, isolated high on the side of a valley with giant panoramic southerly views across a lake to a range of snow capped mountains – the Eiger to the east and Mont Blanc to the west.
My very dear friend advised me to prepare myself, saying all is not as pretty as it seems. Am I ready for a shock? With all this heart warming reconnection with a friend who had been like the elder brother I had never had, and with such fine wine and such food, I said yes. After all, what could disturb this now?
My old friend began to speak. Some four years after my life path diverged from my friend’s, and I had started out on my career teaching English as a Foreign Language in far away London, his step-mother was the first to hear of my failed suicide attempt at age 21. She saw her opportunity to turn the news to her advantage. To help cover up and protect her thieving ways from scrutiny, she made the choice to lie to her family that I had killed myself.
Silence now around the table. For me in that moment of the reveal of this true lie, I suffered a triple shock of pure visceral horror.
A cry escaped from my throat. It was the same animal outcry of bereavement when, 38 years before, I was shown by the black clad undertaker into the chapel of rest where my mother lay, with her blue eyes closed. I could not breathe. My wife, very alarmed, jumped up from the table to help me sit up and to comfort me. I said I was ready to hear more.
In that flash, with the pain that had extracted the yell from inside me, I felt for the very first time the intensity of the suffering my parents had endured when they were told while on a holiday abroad about my suicide attempt – an uncomplicated and somewhat half-baked cry for help it had been – at age 21. I had at long last begun my journey of compassion and shame for what I had done to them.
In that flash, I felt the grief and helpless pain my dear old friend must have endured for nearly five decades. My father had told me the news of his father’s fatal stroke in the late 70s.
After that, my own research to trace him for over 20 years had always drawn a blank. I had no way of knowing that he had decided to go ‘off grid’ to shelter from the sick pursuit of his stepmother.
A few days before my wife and I were to fly on holiday, by some miracle of the Internet, we had finally managed to connect. On an emotional long distance phone call, we agreed to rearrange our flights in order to have this extraordinary reunion celebration.
His stepmother had effected repeated attacks designed to ruin his professional career. Several times she had written to his employers, even tracking him to a well paid job in North Africa. She would falsely allege his dishonest, immoral, even depraved conduct. This may have been easy for her, acquainted as she was with casual depraved ways.
At this period, she took on the role of carer for his only daughter by his first marriage. And she devoted herself to fill the little child’s mind with toxic fear of her father. With money and psychological pressure, she gained the co-conspiratorial support of his first wife.
Thus the love and trust of his wife and mother of his only child was corroded away. His daughter, long since grown up, severed all ties with him. He engaged the equivalent of our Queen’s Counsel to fight to restore his reputation and his legal title to his father’s house, which had been constructed largely using my late Father’s funds, both with and without his knowledge and permission.
On hearing this, the woman sold the house at high speed well below market value. All its contents, including documents and photos from his life, we’re lost to him. Among these were photo albums and 8mm colour cine film containing records of my several consecutive blissfully happy summer holidays with the family.
He had gone ex-directory and off grid long ago for self-protection. That is why I had only chanced to trace him from his 1949 school photo. There he was, named and easy to recognise by his cheeky grin under his mop of dark curly hair, even though he was eleven years younger than when I first knew him.
I emailed my contacts to the school’s webmaster saying I had been seeking my lost friend. Then I powered down the PC and we took a bus into town. I got his call on my mobile at a coffee bar in Bournemouth. I was crying and laughing with happiness. I think I even blurted out my story to the barrista! In nearly half a century, he had once visited England. It was in 1979. It never occurred to him to try and look me up. Indeed, why would he? I was long since dead.
After that first phone call to me, it had been difficult for him, now age 80, to come to terms with the reality of my existence. So he had jumped at the chance to invite my wife and I to fly out and spend a few days as his guest. And, in that flash, I physically experienced the coldness and cruelty and above all the black darkness of the evil that his late stepmother had secretly carried and concealed for decades in her heart of hearts.
I have since learned there are some people who have suffered such violent emotional trauma, that their natural impulse to love is rechanneled into a perverted form of acquisition based on self-interest and hatred.
We all can find the right words to say, can’t we? Those socially accepted normal few words of respect and comfort we say, when we are told about a bereavement.
But I bear witness to you reading this here, that I found no gentle words. And I found no safety net to stop me from falling suddenly from a great height when, without any preparation, I was given the news of my own death.
Again and again, it is at the point of contact with the extreme fragility of life that life itself reveals there is only one path of acceptance. I see it in the eyes of the hunted animal looking with a final glance at the hunter before dying. Life clothes us with humility. A humility such as a bride and groom may feel as they arrive at the altar.
I accept, with all that I am, all of my gifts, whether they are naturally occurring, or come out of my own striving.
I accept my Acceptance above all.
I value and accept my Acceptance, because this Life, which is superabundance of Joy and Love, has found an acceptance in my identity, and has assumed a proportion of my identity without my volition and with an attachment that never did nor ever will depend on my acceptance of it.
This life allows me to glimpse with understanding, humility, unending gratitude and Awe the common condition of conscious sentience that I share with every particle, subatomic particle and energy wave that ever was, is and will be!
Miraculously, beyond crude casuistry or intense interrogatory, out of non-existence I am born.
Into the selfsame, unanswerable, miraculous non-existence I am to return.
This crucial instant in which the stasis of my sentience pivots, which never begins and never ends, sways and rocks me with tender reasurance, like I’m in a womb, suspended in bliss between my two non-existences.
Virtually undifferentiated and all but indistinguishable from the continuum, except for the miracle of life, “I Am Love”
How differently would we behave towards each other, if every one of us could directly experience seeing our Earth from space?
If we lived on a planet with PERMANENTLY CLEAR STARRY SKIES, how would we behave towards one another? Don’t reply! Behave as if you did
There never is any preparation for the fact of death. When the shock of it affects our loved ones, family, friends, friends of friends or acquaintances, or those with whose names and influences we have grown up, death immediately shakes us to our very molecules.
In a strange way, because death is so extreme, so absolute, death can be trusted. This is a certainty to be grateful for.
Death never hides. It never pretends or is ambiguous. It is subject to no interpretation or comprehension other than by reference to itself alone.
That is what sets the fact of death apart from regular human business. There are no arguments, no halfway compromises. There is nothing else to do but to meet the fact of death with compassion and acceptance.
The only preparation we can offer to ourselves is to explore our innate compassion, to undertake the lengthy process of cultivation of self-love, leading to the humility of Acceptance.
Long years of making a friend of Acceptance may lessen the chaos of the shock when death visits. We can bring to our awareness over time what our natural compassionate impulses mean to us, and we can examine with care and attentiveness the sources, the origins of compassion.
It may seem of practical help to reflect on how the origins of compassion derive both their beginning and ending in death. There is a continuous cyclic flow of energy conservation, whose non-competitive, symbiotic motive forces span the axes of death and living compassion.
Respect is due in equal measure to death’s inevitability and to our ability to deepen our acceptance of death with compassion
In our times, scientific research affords us quite a close understanding of the scale of the Cosmos in relation to this, our human stone construct raised in reverence of it.
Now I see this stone circle displays magnificence – it being forged up toward the implacable unknowable heavens through sweat and intellect, blood brotherhood, blood sisterhood.
And I see it displays an animal’s extreme, unsullied, inborn modesty. A modesty on display to hundreds of thousands of our generations. An unconscious puniness on the part of creatures who acted to preserve and remember the humility of their existence spurred on only by the evidence of their physical existences, led by the heart, at the insistent and unyielding promptings of the soul.
At one and the same time, this circle of stones blesses the builders for their ability to look beyond their small lives, and it frames the builders – and it blesses us too, their descendents – for our being Cosmic beings, conscious, celebratory, humble, proud, sacred human
TUESDAY 25th SEPTEMBER was the monthly Breathwork session “From Breath to Love – Conscious Breathing Circle” held by Karolina Mikulicz here in our home town.
When I arrived, I was the only one attending! So we agreed to have a 1-2-1 session.
After what happened to me in the last fortnight, I was in a state of high sensitivity and receptivity. I may share in another piece of writing, when I feel to gather the story together. It’s enough to say I had begun to make preparations in the last few days in the light of reasonable cause to believe the days of my life were numbered. It transpires that I am in no such danger. This is relief that I compare to being hit by a ton of bricks.
Karolina is, to me, wise far beyond her young years. Knowing how she has assimilated the healthy therapeutic effects of her own daily Breathwork practice over many years, I have come to have complete confidence in her skills as guide and facilitator. We always reach deep when we work together.
So, to be brief, (a tricky skill for me!) an obscuring chunk of cliff face fell away… almost all resistance due to fear melted away as if under high intensity radiation.
In the course of this evening’s guided Breathwork I found my core being, I call it: my unchanging awareness. I found my unfractionated identity, I see it as a white transparency with no material substance yet having the form of a swan’s body and whose being is available in maximal energy to enfold with arms, protect without limit or condition, to imbue me with life-power while not at all concealing or covering me.
In 1977, I had come face-to-face with this core essence of my being with the common descriptor being a white-hot kernel. The image of a light concentrated into white heat had arrived then. During my awakening in 2013, and ever since, up till today, the vision of awareness of my own heart has been of an orange-gold glow in my heart space.
In summer 1977, I entered a period of pain and incomprehension, and an involuntary process began. One by one, layers of self identity fell away from me. I felt with great alarm that I was soon to lose my sanity. At length all that was left of this 31 year old man, of his certainty and his received assumptions about himself was reduced to a white-hot molten pool resting immobile at the bottom of a huge immovable crucible.
Today’s “Real”isation arrived as a direct effect of having been able to release all vestiges of fear of trying and seeking by walking in the bravery of trust and innocent belief in the total support of the earth under me and the clean oxygen I fill my lungs with.
Something changed tonight.
There was no upheaval and certainly no pain. Pain comes only as an equal and opposite reaction to resistance. Abandon of resistance and its replacement with the gentleness of compassion and a childlike humility is what characterised the session this time. Karolina threw at me unanswerable questions. She stayed, guided and was by my side. I responded from my truth.
Later, at the end, we talked. This is how I tried to make clear what had changed inside during the latter part of our working session. A sacred chant that I remember I had sung before, and whose Sanskrit words I had learned, had been playing in the background. I was not the listener with this music in my ears. The music was playing me and my hearing was the music playing. The music was playing in me. I was conscious of not being the listener. I had no involvement in the joining of the music with my hearing.
A blending took place that I was fully aware of as it happened. I have entered a fusion between my core original self and the sensory experience of the material World around me.
Here I can not go all the way with words to describe this. I was totally receptive to the music while not needing to make any conscious effort at distinguishing it as musical sounds to which I was paying attention. The effect was of music happening in the way my blood happens to circulate in my body. The music was involuntarily musical in me. This utterly new experience was welcome and most lovely. I felt with all my senses and all my awareness the freshness of it.
With this clearing, whatever happens next, my lack of fear of my own death has received a big boost.
Karolina suggested I write up about this session. My thanks to Karolina takes the form of this short description.