How Do You Feel When You Look At The Stars?

How does anyone feel when we can see a night sky? Diamond bright pinpoints of light; some older than our own planet, wink and twinkle suspended above us, as we marvel and endeavour to make sense of what and why it is all happening.

That is, if we take time to notice at all.

At the time of my birth, the Plough, or the Great Bear [Ursa Major] was in the Sky. Little Bear following on [Ursa Minor] has since become an inspiration to me for a story of how a Mother and Cub became constellations. It intrigues me as to how any Constellations formed.

Chaos. That was the state of play at the time of the Big Bang; was it not?

It is said the Greeks first looked at the Sky and tracked the ‘wandering lights’ calling them ‘Planets’ they may have in the Western Hemisphere, it is however just as possible that the Mayans were tracking those stars too, even earlier in time. We have less evidence for that since the data on that was destroyed by Conquistadors and the Priesthood sent from Spain to relieve the Natives of their Gold and replace it with something less than was evidently good for them.

We are not the only beings that look to the night skies, the Wolf sings to the Moon, letting the other members of the Pack they are there. The lone Wolf also sings to the Moon and the Stars.

Birds and even Butterflies and Moths, Cetaceans and so many other creatures are mindful of the night skies.

It is only at certain phases of the moon, in certain seasons that the seas become a massive nursery of new life.

How do they know? How do they calculate the right time, the right phase? It’s as if they have an inner clock that is energetically wired to the changes happening around them.

We had that.

We still have that, we just find it hard to find it and release it from the cubby hole of gunk and stuff and technology and stresses. If we bother to look for it at all.

Even though it’s muffled chimes ring on, under it all.

We don’t look up.

We don’t see anything beyond a rectangle of technology, that is our world now.

Shall we one day, instead raise our eyes to the Sky again and wonder at it’s magnificence? Will we still know the mythology of the constellations? Shall we understand the dying light of stars long dead, shines still as it traverses distances that we cannot conceive?

Shall we look up and know that is where we began?

What is it to understand that we are the stuff of Stars? How does that translate to mundane tasks like paying the Taxman, paying rent, paying….and working in order to pay…?

When we dream are we dreaming on beams of Starlight? Is it memory? The being in the deepest of darks, our way lit only by those pin spots, themselves now only the stuff of dreams, since never discovered, never charted we can only see an impression of what and where they were; their existance shown by the beacon of bright energy diminishing as it travels to the ends of the Universe.

How is it, to conceive of that? The magnitude of it all?

How do I feel when I look at the Stars? Humbled, connected, a part of and apart from, small, a speck of dust from one, the only evidence of it’s existance… Powerful that this element is within me. Consciously aware of the knowledge that I am, here, now, a being who is all of this and more.

Purposeful and joyful and sad all at once.

I seek the moon, I seek the Plough, I breathe in the night air, I open my throat and I HOWL ! I celebrate the night Sky I celebrate being. I call upon any with the eyes to see and the ears to hear and the heart to love and the will to walk forward.

Such a feeling is that.

Singing The Song Of The Soul

How Are You Changing The World?

How am I changing the World?

Think about it. The question today is, ‘How are you changing the World?

I am thinking that there are many of us who have no clue that what they do everyday has any effect on the bigger picture at all. Also that there are too many things to be worrying about than the ‘bigger picture’.

We are in an interesting position at the moment. Globally we have the same issues.

How we are adressing those issues is not the same.

Individually, culturally and economically we are not seeing the same things the same way.

At the moment we are seeing the need for survival. It’s what we are being shown, globally. What we are not shown is what is deemed okay to put on the back burner for the forseeable future; while we deal with this issue in front of us.

Just because it’s on the ‘back burner’ doesn’t mean it’s not going to burn!

Obfuscation

The way the media works in the 21st Century, is a bit like a spider’s web. It’s complex, it has it’s own beauty, it feeds its builder and it traps prey. Once caught in the sticky threads the food source is sent into a coma; it is then exsanguinated at the Spider’s leisure. The dish of the day had no inkling that what it was getting into was going to have such a consequence, but now there are so many other cocoons, cut aways, discards; deftly sliced out of the web and left dessicated, finished with. Old News. The dish of the day was only looking for new sources of food itself, bright shiny new things to consume…

some are aware and awake

There are some, some who are aware and awake to what is on the ‘back burner’ and they do their best to give it a stir, put the gas on a peep, look after the sustanence for the Diners who wait to be fed… there is a menu, and that menu is written by those who are in charge of the Kitchen. Those who will decide how the food is sourced. The quality, how it will be prepared and if it can be replaced by something similar but not quite as good. After all those Diners, they don’t know the difference and so the top tables will be given the meat and the others will get the offal. The menu is not the same for all, but the idea is.

The awake and aware Sous Chefs are trying hard to make sure that the food that goes out is as good quality and well cooked across the board. They don’t have access to the ordering of the ingredients. They don’t have the contacts to the buyers, they are not ‘qualified’ to be in that strata. They themselves have to eat the offal even thought they prep the meat. They themselves know where the ingredients are coming from and how they have been treated, but they don’t believe they have a voice. They are so few…

Don’t drop the ball

One ingredient, one idea, doesn’t fill the bellies of all Cultures. There are many wonderful ingredients to be found in many different Cultures. Many menu setters are just leaving them off the menu entirely so that the Diners have no clue that their choices are being funnelled into one main dish of the day. There are many ‘food critics’ who wax lyrical about the ‘dish of the day’ in whichever of the main restaraunts they frequent. They can tell everyone how good this diet is, how wonderfully sustaining and appetising it is. How it will keep them healthy, happy and rich. At the top table at least, for they are the ones writing the menues. They are not the ones eating stuff they serve.

The main foodstuff is fast food. For those not at the top table (those who sell it, but won’t actually eat it) it is readily available all over the World, almost. For those other tables and the Kitchen porters, they are the ones whose livelihoods depend on those who write the menues. They are the ones who are told they must give up their own cuisine and only eat THIS from now on. They must stop being who they are, leave their wonderful recipes behind, see them destroyed and the source of their ingredients taken and destroyed also. The Source of the food, the Source of the sustenance, the Source of our being is tossed around from Top table to Top table….

Complete co-operation, equal,sustained & inclusive of Cultures which remain undisturbed by dogma

There are voices coming from those ‘kitchens’. There are some changes on menues available in parts of the World that we are getting to hear about; a soupcon here and there. There are some of the ‘old ways’ being brought back into our conscious awareness. The increase of some appetites are being shown to be gluttony personified.

We are not just not seeing the demise of freedoms we are not seeing the demise of indigenous cultures and many of them have been subsumed by dogmatic ideals that have deemed them ineffective as they don’t fit the factory fodder of fast food, ideological meal deal chains.

One of the definitions of the word Shaman, is ‘the one with eyes to see in the Dark’ well the lights in the restaurant are dimming… many Shamanic Cultures have been shown the door, many have been sent to prison and starved of their sustenance… a food that can feed and aid the World, as every Culture in the World has known the recipies themselves.

How am I changing the World? I have begun with myself. How I think, how I perceive that my individual choices gather together with others and become an avalanche of ‘stuff’. Each of us makes choices daily, on what we buy, where it comes from and how ‘convenient’ or cheap it is for us. We make choices on what we are told we ‘need’ not on what we actually require to live. That’s what we see. We as Human beings are all near sighted in that respect. We are kept that way so we keep the Top Table full and replete at every meal.

A while ago in the UK there was an advert for a Union. Whether you agree with Unions or not is not the point here. What they showed there; is.

This is the ad, https://youtu.be/iewSJ6nTEv4 Everyone has a voice, everyone has a choice, everyone can be ignored as a individual. When we pay attention and we get more voices to join us….

If Music Be The Food Of Love

The top of my top list of albums

The prompt for today is Music and the question is ‘what’s on your playlist?’

Being an older personage and having an eclectic taste in music there is more off my playlist than on it. That is not to say that what is not on it is not favoured…more that the storage capacity of my phone just can’t handle the list!

From Beethoven to the Beatles, from Jim Croce to Eddison Lighthouse, from A – Z from the 1920’s all the way to now there are songs and memories attached to those songs and pieces of music. I remember Mozart’s 40th symphony getting into the charts when I was still quite young, 1971 as it happens. The year before All Things Must Pass, was released, though my introduction to it took a wee bit longer to occur.

Music can be an all consuming passion. It certainly manages to transport us TARDIS like as within the notes, lyrics and melodies are the hooks to faces, places, times, events, loves found and loves lost. Bitter Sweet Symphonies indeed. There is so much of our lives in the music, like touchstones, each song is a memory, a feeling, a place in Space and Time.

All Things Must Pass is a treasured box of memories. It is also a good thing to remember. Impermanence, even now I wonder how many songs are not on my list that hold pieces of my life’s experience.

Shall I seek them out, or wait to be surprised while listening to a radio show sometime?

For me there is less music that is new. The compulsion to have everything, all the time, in a gadget does not fill me with glee.

I would rather dance myself into trance with James Asher’s Shaman’s Drums than listen to ads with musical interludes.

The Salve of Solitude

solitude and the sea

Solitude is a state of mind and being for me.

I can be in a space with anything from one other to 500 or more and still be in a state of solitude. I believe that we are in that state naturally. It is a sense of Self, not of being alone or overlooked. That is not solitude that is loneliness – as I see it.

The mind is a Universe of solitude. For some it becomes filled with fast moving thoughts and ideas, inspirational blasts of energy spark off, firework like, and they find it nigh on impossible to close the door on those intrusions.

Yes, the mind is our Universe, our very own.

We can travel light years in the time it takes to have the notion. Somewhere on the other side of the Universe, the mirror of that reflects the very same notion.

We have such power, such a wealth of Resource and yet we actively, voluntarily chain ourselves to dogma. Dogma that is not even our own, but handed down in whispers each keeper adding or subtracting from the original so there is nought but the skeleton of the message left for us to make some kind of sense.

Therefore I travel within my Universe. I will look for and sometimes find another Universe that is at one with my own, not the same, similar in it’s make up.

I suspect that there have been many who have discovered the solitude of the mind lately. It has been recorded that this cessation of constant chatter, for some has caused distress. They have forgotten to remember the natural state of solitude in the womb, even when there are multiples, each one is its own Being. Each one nourished by one umbilical cord to the Source.

Is it that which we seek so ardently? Are we always seeking that one Source? The solitude, peace and comfort, the fertile dark of the womb, do we look at Space and wonder how we connect to Source without a physical umbilical cord? Is that why people feel disconnected and lost now?

Source has always been manifested in the physical, but has all ways been metaphysical. The transferance of our Universal minds to a gadget, a search engine, has physicalised the miracle of the mind’s ability to seek out information and store it. There is now and has been for some time; outwardly focussed validation of Self, of identity. Solitude has not been sought for many as they see it as a vacuum. Perhaps a desert of being with just themselves. It makes no sense really to be afraid of oneself, and yet we are many of us, strangers to ourselves.

I go inside for solitude, and in that state I perceive and understand many wonderful things. I meditate on these and when I feel that I can take the hustle and bustle and noise of the other’s chaos of having to be seen to be popular and right and frenzied, then I will bring myself back to the party, oft times to hear someone say to me, ‘Cheer up, it might never happen.’ a vapid platitude to which I have been known to answer, ‘It just did’.

A Dream That Became…

A Dream That Became…

The Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet.

When I was about 5 years old, something happened that has had a lasting effect on me.

I was awakened by an unfamiliar voice. It was a gentle voice. It did not however, belong in my house.

I was not afraid, more curious. I have always been just that; curious, and as Alice would say this was indeed, ‘curiouser and curiouser.

I lay, listening for movement, any indication of another person in the room or next door in my Parent’s room.

All was quiet.

I whispered, ‘Mum’ and waited. She had bat like hearing and I can tell you it was impressive; what that woman could hear when we didn’t particularly want it heard, and with only one ear! The other, well she burned that ear drum out with peroxide when she tried to dye her hair as a teenager.  This night however, this night she must have been sleeping with her ‘good ear’ on the pillow, and Dad was snoring. I was alone with the disembodied voice.

As I believe most children of this age do when confronted with situations that are not entirely ‘usual’ and there are no Parental guides; I looked for instances where I knew there would be a ‘how to react’ and I didn’t have one really, so I did what I have done since in these situations. I decided to ‘wing it’!

I sat up in bed, in the dark and I waited. The voice hadn’t seemed at all menacing, it actually sounded like someone does when they are trying to stir one from sleep in the morning. He’d said my name three times in increasing volume and intensity. There was no shouting, just an increase in the volume and that kind of importance factor. The ‘you really have to wake up now’, tone.

As I waited and my eyes adjusted to the dark; it never occurred to me to turn on the bedside lamp, it seemed like it wasn’t really so dark at all. In fact it was quite light really. Then a tiny speck of bright light pierced into my awareness. There at the end of my bed a couple of feet off the floor, something was happening.

The bright thing looked like a tiny square tile, and it was glowing golden yellow. It sort of flipped open like a book and became another tile of light, and another and another. These were not all golden yellow, these others were blues and greens, a mosaic of tiny tiles of light in my room; not just randomly there but coalescing into a form.

As the form took shape there was, I realised more happening, there was sound! No, not the voice that had awakened me, but a tonal sing-song kind of chant and a deep long bass tone. I had never heard such a sound before…then how could it be so familiar?

Being 5 or so, I didn’t dwell. After all there was this truly wonderous sight in front of me sitting, suspended, somehow at the end of my bed. He was beautiful. He was peaceful, he was entrancing.  He was made up of these greeny blue, turquoise tiles and the golden yellow light. He sat legs crossed with something in his left hand and his right was held up as if in greeting. At least that is how it looked to me at the time. He was exotic-bright. He was in my room. I was woken up to see him. I wanted so much to go with him, I remember leaning more and more toward him.

And then he was gone.

From that time onwards, when I was in distress, emotionally, mentally, physically I would have a dream. It was also after the ‘visitation’ that I became fascinated with Tibet and everything about it.

I dreamt that I was with a group of people and we were travelling in Tibet. We found ourselves in the mountains and there was a monastery. We went through these fantastically painted doors and there was a long room, banked up on each side behind rows of butter lamps were monks. Their robes red and orange, their faces serene, they chanted a sing-song chant I remembered. At the end of the room there was a stone dias, upon which a lectern stood. There was a single long window just above and behind the lectern and on the lectern was a great tome of a book.

Each of us in the party took it in turn to ascend to this lectern and as we approached the book a monk appeared from one side with a circlet made of iron. This was placed on our heads as we read a page of the book. As we read the light spilled from the window behind us and illuminated the pages of the book. To me as I waited my turn it looked like they were being bathed in the light. Their faces shone in some otherworldly way.

My turn.

I was suddenly there, at the lectern. The book was the grandest, most unique thing I have ever seen. The binding was what looked like wolf skin, I had my hands there and there was that energy, it was red, from what I could see of the edges, but it was what was written on the pages… before the Monk placed the circlet on my head I could see some kind of language there, it made no sense to me. Once the circlet was on my head, everything changed. The light was so bright, it cold burned my eyes. They were not what I was using to read. There was something else going on. It was indescribable. What I remember is, this was the relating of the journey of my Soul through time. This one set of passages in this book was the story of me. There was the future there also, it was there, I read it.

They took the circlet from my head and I was no longer able to remember the information. It seems the future will unfold as it is written and not to be ‘edited’ by me. Though, I have an idea that there is a way to do it.

I dreamed that dream for years.

Then in January of 2019 I received word of a pension I ‘forgot’ I had. I also saw that my friend and Teacher, a Nepalese Shaman was taking people on pilgramage to Mt Kailash. I immediately knew I was going on that trip.

I was 60 years old. I finally got to Tibet.

I finally saw the butter lamps and heard the chanting and most amazingly I heard the bass tone of the Tibetan Horn the way I remembered it. I had heard it on the film Kundun by Martin Scorsese and recognised it. I had seen one in a shop window on Glastonbury High Street, but when I was in Tibet, so high, the atmosphere, the energy, the knowledge that a whole culture was being quietly and incrementally erased brought that visitation sharply into focus.

I have never dreamed that dream again. It stopped shortly before going to Tibet. The one thing that I brought back with me though, the one thing that made my heart and Soul sing when I found him in the deep dark belly of a shop in Kathmandu… my visitor, with his robes made of shiny turquoise tiles…

my visitor

 

 

A Spectrum of States

Spectrum: Definition: A spectrum is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary, without gaps, across a continuum. The word was first used scientifically in optics to describe the rainbow of colours in visible light after passing through a prism. wikipedia

We have many spectrums in life. Two of which for example would be light as stated above and the Spectrum of Autism which is a specific set of variable behaviours across the continuum of ‘perceived normality’.

Consciousness is on a spectrum. We have various levels and states of consciousness. It is known now that we are always in one state or another there is no real, stark awake and aware state; it is all a spectrum consciousness that we move along via oscillating waves.

As with any oscillating wave they are made up of amplitude and frequency modes, our brain waves operate in KHz

Frequency band

Frequency

Brain states

Gamma

>35 Hz

Concentration

Beta

12–35 Hz

Anxiety dominant, active, external attention, relaxed

Alpha

8–12 Hz

Very relaxed, passive attention

Theta

4–8 Hz

Deeply relaxed, inward focused

Delta

0.5–4 Hz

Sleep

Sciencedirect.com

As shown the oscillation frequency changes show different activity in the brain. Gamma: Concentration, problem solving is in the high frequencies however Beta is a myriad of activity and at its peak anxiety dominated; here you would have stage fright or butterflies, paying attention to external stimulus. An example of this might be when we are going somewhere for the first time and we are ‘mapping’ our journey, thinking of the possibility of being lost or late or both, so we make a point of noting places and signs. Once we have been there however we relax more, we are still paying attention but we are comfortable as we recognise the route

Alpha is almost cruise control, here you will find the sometimes elusive ‘zone’ this is the state of being in flow. A resourceful state for creativity, a space of deep knowing and being at the same time. Connection. So connected are we in this state that we can do some insightful work seemingly without effort. We are calm, Zen like and we are at a peak learning capacity as we passively absorb information.

Theta; this is the state of being both inside and outside of the recognised trance state. Here we are almost but not quite in sleep mode, we drift just above the Delta wave and here we have some very interesting things that can happen. Meditative, entranced, deeply relaxed we can be inwardly focussed.

The saying that ‘where the mind goes the energy flows’ is absolutely correct, even physiologically speaking. While dominating the activity of the brain there are brief burst of

 

activity known as ‘sleep spindles’. A peppering of these higher frequency bursts of brain waves may be important for learning and memory (Fogel & Smith 2011; Poe, Walsh, & Bjorness, 2010)

It is this oscillation amplitude and frequency that is the focus of Binaural Beats. This idea of stimulating and accessing the Theta state is not new; our Ancestors were doing it from very early times and still today using a percussive sound wave for example a drum, rattle, a Didgeridoo. Though the didgeridoo is a wind instrument it has a percussive wave that will ‘hit’ some people (as will the drum) reverberating through the chest cavity.

The people who knew how to make this happen an epoch or so ago, they were Shamans. The word comes from the Tunguska people of Siberia and my favourite explanation of it is ‘the one with eyes to see in the dark’. The Dark, those recesses in the mind like the depths of Oceans. Today we can access those deep recesses and take a peek behind the curtain.

The rhythmic element is key to attuning the brainwaves to the external soundwaves. In order to reach Theta, the beats of a drum or shake of the rattle has to emulate the natural oscillation of our brainwaves. They are an external dial if you like, that we can operate to change our brainwaves and allow us to access Theta at will.

In this state we have what might be linked to lucid dreaming. It’s called an ecstatic state from the Greek ‘Ekstasis’ which of course is the root of the word ecstasy, and means ‘to stand outside or to transcend oneself’.

Within this particular oscillation is another state, an accessible state; a state which in and of itself provides a rich and deeply resourceful cornucopia of connection to collective consciousness. This is the state that Einstein could well have been accessing when he ‘dreamed his theory of relativity’. It is known that he would purposefully access a different state within which he would allow his thoughts to coalesce, settle and to become clear.

The high frequency sleep spindles firing off as active waves inside the Theta wave could well be the dendrites sparking information at the synapses at deeper levels, which I would posit would be a split second of inspirational information.

We also know this as an altered state of being. As is Delta – sleep, more levels, spectrums within spectrums of consciousness. Here we dream, and then we go to the deepest state of sleep and we lose all awareness, or at least most of ourselves do. One part of us is all ways conscious. This part keeps us breathing among many other things.

Writers and other creative people are often asked how they come up with their ideas, the concepts of their work. Some will say it just happened, others may say they dreamt it, few like Aldous Huxley seek the state of being where it comes from; some have utilised hallucinogenic drugs to do so, either not having knowledge of or caring to use the natural way.

All were looking, seeking through the spectrum of states for the ultimate connection. As a Hypnotherapist I see and experience these states and help others to induce them in themselves to heal.

 

By utilising those ancient techniques, I also help people access the Theta state; where they can find inspirations, answers, resources and relaxation. A Shamanic trance state is a natural state we all have the ability to find; maddeningly it can be quicksilver in its way. We have to record the information Dreams disappear from our awareness with the morning light, melting like fog in the Sun.

However when we know how to access our states of awareness and to actively find within them that which we seek. That is a prize beyond measure.

Dreams are there. Dreams are a necessary part of our wellbeing. The capability of accessing states of relaxation and getting into that zone purposefully… ask yourself, what could you do to make your life better by being able to do that?

There are upcoming taster events for beginners and the more experienced journeyers. These tasters lead into a series of monthly Circles to deepen your practice if you wish.

See Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/shamanismscotland for more information and updates