The Quantum Ocean of Consciousness and its Mind Waves

21 June 2017, 06h25:
Winter Solstice for the Southern Hemisphere

 

Today is the winter solstice – it is the day of the year with the longest hours of night for the Southern Hemisphere, whereas the Northern is experiencing the longest hours of daylight.

Winter, landscape, Tinted charcoal, The Cat Hatter, All Natural Spirit, colouring, page, coloring,
Winter Landscape by TheCatHatter with Derwent Tinted Charcoal

 

The winter solstice is aligned with Water, a free flowing and reflective element necessary for all life on earth. Winter is a time of rest when many plants have become dormant, yet southern countries rarely receive snowfall such as our northern counterparts and thus many animals remain active during the colder months. The lower levels of activity, clear skies and dull landscapes are an ideal environment for some self-reflection and contemplation. Here, water assists greatly with inner searches of discovery when we review our behaviour and thoughts, sometimes coming face-to-face with inner demons (shadow aspect). With great effort we are able to see the value of such darkness in times of need when they are brought to bear during struggles for survival. We are also able to cultivate new skills and use them as gifts for ourselves and for others during times of need (light aspect). [Music: Anywhere Is – Enya] Thus, this leads to our main theme of today’s article.


 

The greatest gift one can learn for oneself and to teach others is that of meditation. Conscious focus on one’s breath is a very simple act, but our minds are easily distracted and soon thoughts invade, leading our concentration elsewhere and hindering our journey towards stress relief (and later self-discovery) [Benefits of Meditation]. In general, meditation also involves little-to-no human interaction and a great deal of solitude. Many people avoid and even fear solitude. Modern day society will tell you that you are ‘introverted’, anti-social or socially incompetent when you actively seek out solitude. It is because of the fact that during times of silence; your inner most being, your deepest desires and fears speak the loudest. It is easier to avoid such scenarios, because we are much too often reminded of the ‘could haves’, ‘should haves’ and ‘would haves’ when we sit in solitude [The Lost Art of Solitude & What’s Great about Solitude]. We are duped into believing that the distractions of money and material things can bring us everlasting comfort and happiness without having to face your inner self.

 

“At the start of our practise, we have to recognise the nature of mindfulness, which we have to develop for as long as we are alive. The presence of mindfulness is what really makes the difference between true happiness and false happiness… True happiness is when we really have peace of mind. False happiness is when greed and excitement overcome the mind – the mind is agitated.”

Venerable Sujiva (2000), Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice.

 

“The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing; it refuses nothing. It receives, but does not keep.”

Chaung-tzu as quoted in The Way of Zen, 1957 by A. W. Watts.

 

Material distractions form the basis of modern society. When we refuse to face the truth of our inner self we will never reach a state of contentment and harmony, because we are always rushing and running after the next big pay check and the next shiny car. I am not saying that money is evil or unimportant and that all material things are distractions – no, we all need to eat sometime during the month and certain material things are needed in order to function properly in society. What we do need to realise is that we actually require a lot less from the outside world and a lot more of the inner world. Happiness and contentment are not external, both are generated from within. Also, it isn’t easy, it isn’t instant and it takes constant effort to create your own happiness. Especially in a world that doesn’t believe such a feat is possible. This is where a constant meditation practise (even of 5 minutes a day) can assist with gentle guidance towards the inner self and impactful stress relief. The effects and personal journey that meditation leads one through is hard to describe partly because our language is quite inadequate to describe such explorations of the spirit.

 

“The difficulty is not so much in the language as in the thought-patterns which have hitherto seemed inseparable from the academic and scientific way of approaching a subject.”

A. W. Watts (1957), The Way of Zen.

 

“Only when the veils of the old, overconditioned personal self drop away do we liberate the innate capacities of our ‘‘original self’’ to see deeply into the reality of this outside world. Only at the deeper levels of such an emancipation can our true nature register objectively. The result is an extraordinary, fresh impression: things as THEY are, not what they had always seemed to be in our overconditioned imagination.
What we see then are the ways individual things complement one another, as do yin and yang. But these words, like other language functions of the left side, are then no longer in the picture. Indeed, as Paul Valery phrased it, “Seeing begins when you forget the name of the thing you see.” ”

J. H Austin (M. D) (2006), Zen-Brain Reflections.

 

Waterfall, quote, spirit, spiritual, winter, solstice

 

One of the most striking descriptions that I have come across for the process was the comparison of the mind during meditation like the waves upon the ocean:

 

“Even though waves arise, the essence of your mind is pure; it is just like clear water with a few waves. Actually water always has waves. Waves are the practice of the water. To speak of waves apart from water or water apart from waves is a delusion. Water and waves are one.”

Shunryu Suzuki: Zen Mind, Beginners Mind (1970) – DailyZen Journal.

 

Shunryu’s analogy lets me understand that the mind is like an ocean, where the thoughts are its waves generated from far in the subconscious (or unconscious). Some thoughts crash onto the shores of consciousness. Then the aim of meditation is to let them pull back, returning to the subconscious once again. Therefore, one cannot have an ‘empty’ mind, which is a common misconception. One cannot empty the mind as thoughts are inherit to it. Shunryu also continues his teachings by noting that:

 

“When you are practicing zazen, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer. “

Shunryu Suzuki: Zen Mind, Beginners Mind (1970) – DailyZen Journal.

 

[zazen = seated meditation]

Here, Shunryu illustrates that we can objectively face our subjective reality and the thoughts that come with it. We must learn to accept what we have done and realise how we currently think without judgement or reaction. With this realisation we will be able to chart a new way of thought, which will eventually lead to a new way of action. A spirit-to-mind-to-emotional-to-physical cascade of sorts, one flows into the other and cannot be separated from the former.

When one comes to think of the mind as a flowing entity, capable of steering its own course of energy, you quickly find yourself in the world of quantum physics [Quantum PhysicsQuantum Metaphysics]. The laws of quantum physics are universal, unlike classical physics, and are able to influence any part of our reality, even our minds. Quantum physics has even demonstrated that an observer of a quantum event can influence its outcome. Thus the question becomes, if we step back from ourselves, our behaviours, thoughts and feelings – when we become mere observers of our life’s events: how much would we be able to influence what we have experienced and what we have learned from our lives? Ourselves?… We would, in-fact, be able to re-remember and to re-learn an entire lifetime’s worth of lessons. We would even be capable of re-writing experiences and memories. Such revelations would come to use like mind waves upon our own quantum ocean. It has the potential to become a deep and endless source of inner truth, ultimately leading to lasting happiness and contentment through all of life’s challenges and tribulations. The best of all is that: All of these valuable lessons lie within each and every one of us, we merely need to start listening and let the waves of wisdom crash upon the shores of our consciousness. Allow them effect upon our realities every day as we presently carve the path to ourselves and move towards a better future. I end off with phrases from the Venerable Sujiva, who gives us a practical approach to building on these memories and experiences, whereas Carl Jung gives an indication of its consequences:

 

“This means that a proper base of the lower experiences must be developed further before the higher levels can grow. For example, your concentration must last longer and deeper, before you are able to watch more phenomena. Therefore, when you watch certain new experiences, you have to watch it longer and clearer before you can watch deeper ones. For the third level to become stronger, the first and second level must become stronger too. You do not forget the lower levels. This means that there will be a constant repetition of the earlier experiences for some time, before a new experience comes. The lesson to be learned is that you must have patience.”

Venerable Sujiva (2000), Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice.

 

“The recollection of infantile memories and the reproduction of archetypal ways of psychic behavior can create a wider horizon and a greater extension of consciousness on condition that one succeeds in assimilating and integrating
in the conscious mind the lost and regained contents. Since they are not neutral,
their assimilation will modify the personality, just as they themselves will have to undergo certain alterations. In this part of what is called “the individuation process” (which Dr. M.-L. von Franz describes in a later section of this
book), the interpretation of symbols plays an important practical role. For the symbols are natural attempts to reconcile and unite opposites within the psyche.”

C. G Jung (1964), Man and his Symbols.

 

Thus, the Final Symbolic Message for the Winter Solstice:

Elder, Futhark, Travel, Runes, Zenned Out, Free, Oracle, Cards, Winter Solstice, Laguz, Kaunan, Gebo, Truth
Reflection will bring to light innate gifts. They will lead you to walk in your own truth.

 

– Meditating on the Shore of my Quantum Ocean –
All Natural Spirit

 

Previous Posts:

Summer Solstice 2016
Autumn Equinox 2017

 

Source Materials for the “Message of the Winter Solstice”:

Zenned Out Free Oracle Cards

Elder Futhark Travel Runes

 

 

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Listen to the Melody of Your Spirit … Dance to the Rhythm of Your Soul.

20 March 2017, 12h30:

Autumn Equinox for the Southern Hemisphere

 

Today is the autumn equinox – it is the day of the year where the hours of light and night are equal for both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. In the south we are experiencing a slowing of the season as we move to winter, whereas our Northern counterpart is experiencing a quickening as it moves towards summer.

spiritual, healing, move forward, let go, accept, acceptance, shrine, statue, sacred, deity, Kasa jizou, guardian, children, Japanese
Kasa jizou, the Japanese Guardian Deity of Children

 

The autumn equinox is aligned with Air, an ubiquitous entity made up of many different substances both alive and inanimate. Air allows for movement, as the wind dances through the leaves of the trees and carries aloft the omnipresent sounds of life around us. Air embodies expression, not only the spoken word and how we vocalise our thoughts and feelings, but it also embraces listening to all of life’s languages, including that of your intuition and that of our own bodies as we move through life. This communication can either be corrosive when used to subdue (shadow aspect) and inspirational when shared (light aspect) [Music: Changing, Paloma Faith]. Thus, this leads to our main theme of today’s article.


 

We are all familiar with the everyday and automatic forms of communication; the physical (body language and vocalisations – some discernable, others not so much), the emotional (our feelings which guide us and sometimes mislead us) as well as mental (constant mental chatter and thoughts take up most of our day, and mind space). The communication we focus on the least is with that of our soul – through our spiritual connection. I am not referring only to a religious communication with a Divine, but rather an inward (not necessarily internal) communication with your own soul.

Psychologists refer to two types of consciousness. The first and more primal of the two (mostly controlled via your reptilian brain) is the unconsciousness or sub-consciousness (they don’t separate the two). This is the part of you that controls the normal everyday bodily functions, keeps you breathing, your heart beating and your organs functioning – it keeps you alive whether your aware of it or not.

The other is our recently evolved and thinking part, our conscious mind (controlled via your mammalian brain), which is responsible for your personal identity, your choices, likes, dislikes and generally is responsible for the person you are currently. Most of us are in automatic mode here – we go through our daily routines (likely in a total rush) and we don’t challenge ourselves beyond the mundane needs and wants of our current lifestyles. It is comfortable and easy.

There is another type of consciousness to which the Hindus refer as ‘The Watcher’ and one which psychologists don’t formally recognise (oh BTW, psychology wasn’t recognised as a formal science until 1732! Up until then it was also classified as a pseudoscience, much like metaphysics today…) – this is called the Higher consciousness/awareness or our connection to the Divine (in whatever form it may take). The Hindus call it The Watcher, because it sees, hears and remembers everything in our lives. It is also an ancient entity, one that can draw upon the Universal Consciousness (see Carl Jung’s works). It is a very creative entity able to problem solve in abstract and often obscure ways. The challenge we face is how to communicate with this entity, to draw upon its memory data-bank and its collective database. Little do many people realise, but when you go into a ‘zone out’ moment, like those experienced on a long silent drive, a sudden epiphany, an intuition, experience a ‘sign’ or a Déjà vu moment– that is when you have made a temporary and/or spontaneous connection to this aspect of yourself.  Passive communication like this doesn’t require much effort, but active communication with the Higher Consciousness is a skill. All skills can be learned, practised and applied.

 

Thousand-Hand Guan Yin Dance
performed by deaf dancers

 

Yet, there is no guideline or rulebook for this type of soul communication, but fortunately a lot of different people have developed ways in which open the door to allow a quick peak into this place. Many of these communication tools also fall within the esoteric and metaphysical realms. Here is a list (not nearly complete – will likely add to the list in future posts) of tools which facilitate communication with the Higher Consciousness – you’ll have to work through them and find out which works for you. Including these in a spiritual ritual helps with everyday practice and conditions you to being open and receptive to what comes through. Sometimes it can be quite scary, such as during shadow work and at other times it can be wonderful such as when you gain insight into a specific situation or topic at hand. As I go down the list below, the messages you’ll receive become more abstract and obscure. Some of their meanings may take years to decode, which becomes a very personal and subjective process. This is why it is important to keep a journal on these so that you can review and add new insights as you go along your journey.

 

Tools for communication with the soul:

These tools are not instant gratification or quick fixes, neither are these tools medical treatments. They are part of a holistic health and stress management system – as with anything worth doing they take effort, time and most of all patience! Take small steps, go at your own pace no matter how fast/slow and try to keep a journal so that at the end of the year you can reflect back on your progress with much smug satisfaction (*Ahem* … also you forget some brief moments of insight and it is wonderful to be reminded of them again).

 

1) Meditation

Meditation is the simple act of consciously focusing on one thing. It is not about ‘emptying’ the mind – there is no such thing as the mind and its thoughts are inseparable. Here you sit (or walk), usually in solitude, and concentrate on your breath. You focus on the movement of your diaphragm as you breathe in and out. This is not easy and is an on-going practice with no momentous end result. Awakenings during meditation comes in waves, much like thoughts themselves, mostly brief moments and on occasion spectacular insights. The main aim of my meditations is to reap many of its physical and mental benefits (of which you can read here). In my practice I am not specifically aiming for Enlightenment and to my mind, once reached I assume one ‘transcends’ i.e ceases to exist in a bodily form … Anyways, there is an extended discussion on enlightenment here. The main thing here is to take small steps; start with 2 minutes three times a day, such as after waking, after lunch and before bed. This can be increased weekly, monthly or completely at your own pace. Remember there is no rush, no deadline or milestone. Keep it flexible; do not be robust about your meditation ritual as this will only demotivate you to do it.

 

Whirling Mandala (active meditation) performed by creator Zia Nath,
based on Sufi Whirling and Indian dances

 

Some posts I have made to assist you with meditation that can be found here:

#1 Meditaion Visualisation Aids

#2 Meditation Focus Tools

#3 Meditation Music Aids

2) Cognitive Reprogramming

Sounds very impressive, but simply put; it is the process of actively retraining the way you think. The first and most important step is that of positive thinking, which is the use of affirmations, quotes, inspirational pictures, mantras or crystal therapy.

I call these the ‘Light bringers’.

Affirmations & Mantras: Reciting positive statements (such as “Everyday, in ever way, I am becoming better”) regularly and can be integrated as a “ending off” step in your meditation ritual. These can work wonders on your general outlook for the day & your life. Change them up regularly so that they do not become monotonous and lose their effectiveness.

Quotes & Pictures: I have several dozen inspirational, beautiful, thoughtful, relaxing, and ‘do no harm but take no shit’ quotes and pictures on my cubicle wall at work. I read and look at them regularly (I have a large collection on my Pinterest board that I select from and printout) and even when I don’t actively look them, The Watcher sees and knows of them. This adds another layer of positive reinforcement to your thinking and daily attitude.

Crystals, Healing, Plate, polished, rough, raw, bracelet, malachite, cat's eye, haematite, hematite, tiger eye, wood, amethyst, lapis lazuli
A sample from my crystal collection!

 

Crystals: Crystals are beautiful to look at and are scientific marvels as each has a perfect arrangement of atoms (Seed of Life Geometry, Metatron’s Cube), which is shared by all things in the universe. They scatter and reflect light and each have their own metaphysical meanings (traditional or personal). Similar to the quotes, they are always there to remind you to stay positive and to bring into light the shadow. They add a physical layer to cognitive reprogramming since you can pick them up, hold them and gush at their light displays.

 

Some posts I have made to assist you with crystal healing that can be found here:

#1 Pearls

 

3) Divinatory Tools

Divinatory tools are thought of as only fortune-telling devices (a passive use by the seeker). But the tarot, oracle cards, I Ching and runes (to name but a few) can be used actively by the seeker as a spiritual tool. Here you actively participate in setting the intention that you seek. For example;

Thought of the Day or Week or Month (or whenever you feel like!): Here I draw a number of cards or runes (or both) randomly after my evening meditation. I do not look at them, instead they go on my table (with all my other spiritual paraphernalia, an altar of sorts if you like) and I look at them the next morning. During the day I think back on them and their message for the day – for instance, let’s say I would draw Stagnation; then I would look for things I do that have become stagnated, maybe it’s the way I think or do a particular thing. Where am I repeating the same pattern in hope for a different result and how can I change my outlook to restart the thoughts and productivity process or maybe to open the channels and let energy flow again.

Runes, Tarot, Herbs, Crystals, Grid, Feathers, Flowers, Stone, African, Hippo, Strength, Mannaz, Peorth, Algiz, clear quartz, points
Thought for the Autumn Equinox

Creative Problem Solving: When you get stuck on a project or come down with some form of writer’s block, I have found divinatory tools a wonderful way to get the mind out of ‘fighting itself inside the paper bag’ and back out towards being productive. Grab your cards or runes (or whatever, mix and match if you like) and draw some at random, then lay them down and try to interpret them in relation to your problem. Try to think of everything and anything (obvious and abstract) that the tools are telling you, start mind-mapping or jotting down impressions (words, pictures, colours, scents) even if it is unrelated to the problem – at some point you will find a small thread of inspiration that will lead to a string of solutions (and I have found that it even leads you to solutions that you can apply elsewhere and not only to the problem at hand).

Magick: The Elder Futhark runes lend themselves especially to what is known as ‘magick’ (and no this is not the Charmed type, but exploding potions and demons, of the personal kind, would be fun). This is more of a personal thing and takes on many different forms depending on who you talk to. Here I refer to energy techniques, especially for everyday use and during shadow work. The runes or cards can be used singly or in combination to generate a desired effect or give guidance by selection of a specific set of runes/cards by the seeker. They main thing is that this is not a random process and you choose what you want or need to happen, for instance you require good communication during an oral or public speaking (choose the rune Ansuz to take with you for the day) or you require protection during a ritual then call forth Thurisaz in your mind’s eye. These are very basic examples, but these will progress naturally towards more complex sernarios and become applicable to more areas in your life as you become comfortable with the tools.

A set of travel runes are available from my Online Store at $ 2.50

elder_futhark_runes_24_cards_print_out_by_thecathatter-dadu969

 

I have found that regular communion with the soul through meditation and personal magick adds an extra facet and special dimension to my everyday routine. I can take them anywhere and use them at any time, I can do and create whatever I like. Even if you only use your mind’s eye to conjure up the image of your rune/card or crystal it is enough to effect what you require. The more you use and practise with them the more you condition yourself to their effects and the more potent they become! Lastly, do not be afraid of creating some of your own magick! It is deeply personal and truly fantastic!

 

Related External Links:

Zen Habits: Breathe

Zen Habits: Meditation for Beginners, 20 Practical Tips for Understanding the Mind

Whirling Mandalas & Other Sacred Dances @ Realms of Dance

 

-Communing with the Soul-

All Natural Spirit