Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Post No. 028 - The flaws of scientific methods


On the ABC web site (that's the Australian Broadcasting Commission, by the way) was an article reporting a scientific study which apparently shows that positive thinking does not work on cancer. The article reported comments conceding there were benefits to emotional states, but claims there is no evidence of improved survival. Quoting from the article:

"Researchers led by James Coyne, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, found no correlation to a cancer victim's mental wellbeing and their ultimate chances of beating off the disease.

"The belief that a patient's psychological state can impact the course and outcome of their cancer is one that has been prominent among patients and medical professionals alike," Professor Coyne wrote in the study.

"While there can be lots of emotional and social benefits of psychotherapy, patients should not seek such experiences solely on the expectation that they are extending their lives," he said."


In my opinion, this is a good example of the flaws of scientific methods: "one size fits all" research.

In my opinion, there are some people who positive thinking would help, and others who it wouldn't. Accordingly, rather than ask "will it work?", the study should have asked "what are the limits outside of which it will/will not work?" In other words, what types of people will this work on, and what types of people will it not work on? That's a subtlety which does exist in research into medical drugs (notably, what the "contraindications" are for any particular drug), so hopefully that will eventually catch on in other scientific research circles.

In my day job as an engineer, I frequently use scientific methods, the results of scientific research, and work with scientists from time to time: it can be a very useful way of thinking - but it can also be inappropriate or even a hindrance. If I have to fix a problem quickly (e.g., for safety reasons), I'll use my engineering judgement - my "gut feeling", if necessary, "based on experience" ... well, that's the official engineering jargon. It basically means there are times when intuition and "guesstimates" are more valid than scientific method. Because of that experience. I have no problems pointing out flaws in scientific method - such as the research reported in this article.

However, that's just my opinion. The article details are:
Positive thinking doesn't stop cancer: US scientists http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/23/2066862.htm

Have a read and work out what YOUR opinion is :)


Love, light, hugs and blessings


Gnwmythr

This post photo is taken in the Bass Valley (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_Coast_Shire) southeast of Melbourne.

Tags: cross-fertilisation (ideas), science,

First published: Tuesday 23rd October, 2007

Monday, 22 October 2007

Post No. 027 - Communication

The following flow chart (presented as four figures - you should be able to click on each to see it full size) outlines the approach I teach regarding communication, and is based on the saying "communication is a process of mutual exploration to a common, shared understanding". Note that it is a process, meaning it takes time, that it needs to be mutual (if it is to be effective), and that it aims towards a common, shared understanding, meaning that respect is required, which means that concessions have to be made for the different meanings attributed to words, tones, etc. There can be a fair few lessons in communicating, which is why I have added a fair few tags.


Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post photo's are the flow chart :)

Tags: communication, energy work, interpersonal interactions, judging others, life lessons, personal characteristics, mirrorology,
First published: Monday 22nd October, 2007

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Post No. 026 - Judging others


Although I consider myself to be a spiritual person, I actually consider that I am an extremely judgemental person (I am an INFJ personality type for those who are familiar with such things) - but I judge people on the basis of what they do, and the sort of people they choose to be (as far as they can choose). I do NOT judge people on the basis of things they cannot choose (I am speaking in terms of the choices that are available after they have been born: I am NOT discussing the planning of an incarnation before birth/conception), such as their race, sex, sexuality, gender identity, any disabilities, etc.

Many people who are middle aged know of the comment in Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech (a great moment in the fight for human [civil] rights - not only in the USA, where the speech was made and was probably largely intended for*) to the effect that "I have a dream ... of a world where my children are judged, NOT by the colour of their skin-" at which point many people's recollections (in my experience) cease. It was an impassioned, genuine and moving plea for an end to racism, one which I wholeheartedly support - but Dr King didn't stop at that point. With the rest of it, it is (something like) "I have a dream ... of a world where my children are judged, NOT by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their CHARACTER."

Spiritual growth involves making decisions about what one is going to do - are you going to go along with the guy asking you to go and kill a few people 'cos he seems like a charismatic dude? No? Doesn't surprise me - that one's a bit obvious. But how about the dude (or "dudette") who has been quite accurate in what they've said so far, been quite supportive and helpful and understanding, and who you've developed quite well under, but now they've started to, say ... put the hard word on you in some way. Would you be duped, or would you maintain your faculties and reason and think and discuss your concerns with the head honcho/honchette concerned? (If you can't discuss the matter, you may have a problem.)

In my case, I am aware that there are people who's ambitions and consciously directed path in life are completely incompatible with mine. I don't have to mix with those people, or tolerate their actions. I consider that I should NOT hate them (see my previous posts on things like psychic attack [at http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/06/psychic-attack-energy-protection-and.html] for an explanation of why the emotion of hate, even if it is not verbalised or acted on, can still be a major problem), but I can judge their actions and say "those actions are harmful to ...". If the actions are harmful to me or third parties, I consider that no only am I warranted in taking some action, I am obligated to do so (see my post at http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/06/workshop-on-past-lives-part-1-working.html for my thoughts on the karmic implications of inaction).

As an example of this, consider the situation of someone trying to kill a child: you may not be able to physically restrain the attacker, but you can at least call the police (and if you don't, you would be charged with being an accessory). Again, that's a fairly clear cut example (and I touched on this from the point of view of kids who are abused but aren't believed by adults they try to tell in my post at http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/them-and-us.html).

What about someone who is ... say, a dangerous driver because they speed or tailgate? What can or should you do in that situation? You could say casually to the person "hey mate, have you thought about what could happen to others - maybe someones kid - if you have an accident?" If you know that won't work, well, I'll give a range of suggestions here: You could:
- report them through Crimestoppers (anonymously, if you wish)
- ask for/cast spells for protection for all those who are unfortunate enough to be anywhere near them on the roads
- do some work (spells, or at least ask) for them to get some constructive guidance in their sleep state (whether from their Higher Self or [constructive] guides) so that they grow up and realise the danger they are creating for other people.

Here in Australia we've had some very successful education which has changed social attitude to the extent that drink-driving is no longer socially acceptable. Now, if someone was going to try and drive while drunk, there is a good chance that the person's friends would take their keys off them. If you judge someone actions and find that they are going to harm others, there are plenty of precedents for taking action.

Another example I would put into this category is the person who does not accept people who are "different" - such as LGBTI people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex; if you haven't come across the last two terms previously, see http://www.transgendervictoria.com/?p=p_2&sName=definitions, http://home.vicnet.net.au/~aissg/ and http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=297615). Apart from the psychic attack that comes with holding those misbegotten beliefs, there is absolutely NO excuse for the lack of respect (including the lack of manners) inherent in failing to accept LGBTI people - yet I've seen too many in so-called Christian (I use that qualification, "so-called", because there are GENUINE Christians who do accept LGBTI people), New Age, Wiccan, etc, etc, etc groups who make that mistake.

The so-called Christians often claim their bigotry because of selective acceptance/interpretation of parts of the Bible; some Wiccans because of a mistaken belief that female essence can only be experienced by people who were born female, or that polarity can only be balanced by having someone who is physically male and physically female involved. Those beliefs are absolute rubbish - there are males around who are far better at tuning in to and calling on female energies than some women I know, and vice versa, and transsexuals are attuned to the energies of the identified gender rather than their birth gender - and that is without raising the issue of some people I know who claim to neither male nor female (I personally know two such people; also, see again the definitions pages I gave links for earlier).

I am a lesbian: I have quite a butch image (which actually started largely because I have had to build up my physical strength so I could realistically care for my partner, who has physical mobility problems arising from severe arthritis in her mid-40s [the choice was being able to wear strappy tops vs. being strong enough to lift her if she fell or got stuck somewhere: the tops lost out, and I've become quite fond of being physically strong - and judge anyone who would choose otherwise quite harshly, on the grounds of selfishness]), and have encountered quite strong discrimination as a result of not fitting other people's stereotypical view of what is "feminine".

I have even had someone - who claimed to be a lesbian, but also claimed not to have raised the issue in the words she had used - ask me if I and my partner "missed having the male energy" when we had our commitment ceremony! What complete crap - commitment ceremonies/marriages/relationships are about LOVE, not meeting some third parties misguided mistakes about balance!

Such mistaken beliefs are actively harmful of LGBTI people and, as a (karmic) result, the person who holds those beliefs. As a minimum, those attitudes contribute to the restrictions of life and quality of life that are inflicted on many LGBTI people; at their worst, they are DIRECTLY responsible for contributions to suicides. (Discrimination within the LGBTI communities can also occur [e.g., G against L, G & L against B, GLB against T, etc]; when it does, it is just as wrong as other discrimination - not more, just as wrong, and some of it IS attributable to the effects of being discriminated against by society generally, and NONE of that justifies any other person discriminating against LGBTI people, any more than the flaws and problems of any group of humanas justifies treating all of that group as if they are the same.)

As another example of this sort of problematic judging others, there is the person who claims to be being "respectful" - typically, respectful of women, and in the practice of their "respect" they condemn women to live restricted lives where they are unable to do much. There are sections of Australian society which are like that - and there are sections of the Wiccan world who are like that. (Did you jump to the conclusion that I could be talking about Muslims? Two of the best engineers I have ever worked with are women who are Muslim. They are EXTREMELY capable, and they are working in a profession that is still a bit of a "Boy's club".) I say to such people who try to justify their bigotry on the basis of "respect": deal with your own inadequacies which result in you feeling threatened when women are strong, independent and capable - and living their own lives, or whatever ignorance/prejudice/discomfort with anything or anyone new or outside your personal boundaries to date (see my coming post on courage, and my post on control at http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/control.html).

(Anyone who does have such problems also has to deal with the weight of the law, whether that is through breaching anti-discrimination law [did you know it is illegal to discriminate against women breastfeeding in public in Victoria?], using wrong pronouns in the case of transgender people or laws around assault or threats.)

If the person's actions are going to genuinely only harm themselves, I consider the situation is less clear cut. Ironically, situations such as people harming their health through perhaps smoking or maybe major weight gain would possibly be more likely to result in friends being concerned and saying something than other actions where third parties are harmed (e.g., the dangerous driving), but - in my opinion - the karmic case for taking action is less clear cut. (The friendship motivation is quite understandable to me, though, having been on both sides of that sort of situation a few times in my life.)

It's a bit hard to think of examples where no-one else is harmed. Probably one of the clearest examples I can think of is someone who is a member of the Flat Earth Society - i.e., someone who believes (or says they believe) that the Earth is flat. If they are serious, I personally consider them wrong - and, while I wouldn't hire them to be an interplanetary rocket scientist, I wouldn't hold their beliefs against them.

I personally have seen the down side of destructive judgementalism - I have been on the receiving end of enormous discrimination, including physical threats and prolonged lack of acceptance that nearly drove me to suicide. Despite that, I know that there is a constructive judgementalism, and neither shirk from being judgemental in a constructive way nor from saying so. I judge those people who have a problem with other people being themselves in ways that don't harm others (such as lesbians, gays, transgender people, women who don't fit social stereotypes, and men who don't fit social stereotypes), and those elements of the Wiccan world who have a problem with any balance of polarity that does not involve physically male and physically female people, as having a major problem themselves.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

* See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Have_A_Dream for more on the speech concerned, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King_Jr (accessed on Friday 17th November, 2006, at which time the article had a note advising that sections of the article required amendment to comply with Wikipedia’s standards) for more on Dr King. At the time concerned, Wikipedia article began with this, which is a useful sumamry: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American political activist, the most famous leader of the American civil rights movement, and a Baptist minister. Considered a peacemaker throughout the world for his promotion of nonviolence and equal treatment for different races, he received the Nobel Peace Prize before he was assassinated in 1968. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter in 1977, the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004, and in 1986, Martin Luther King Day was established in his honor. King's most influential and well-known speech is the "I Have A Dream" speech.

This post's photo was taken at Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve, near Frankston (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langwarrin). This was established as a military training reserve at the time of the British Empire's war in the Sudan in the 1880s, was used for training in the Boer War and then was converted to a hospital/recovery base for soldiers in the First World War. In the last part of the 20th Century (about 1970s, I think) it was converted to a Flora and Fauna reserve.

Tags: about me, interpersonal interactions, karma, personal characteristics, judging others, discrimination, polarity,
First published: Sunday 21st October, 2007

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Post No. 025 - Control



I'll begin this post by letting you know I will add more to it.

When I was doing my intensive learning, at a New Age group called ASPECTS (see http://home.vicnet.net.au/~johnf/welcome.htm), in the early 80s, one of the biggest "sins" we could commit was "control" - in the sense of controlling others. It is called lack of respect for free will in Wiccan circles, and I have seen some very interesting debates on it.

I agree that that lack of respect for free will, which I will continue to refer to as "control", is a major problem. I also consider that it is very, very, very prevalent in Australian society in other circumstances. The most common example of this is someone trying to pressure others into going to a party by saying "What are ya - a party pooper?" Similar types of control - and make no mistake about it: that is exactly what it is, and it is as evil as someone casting a spell to deliberately influence another - include pressuring people to drink ("What are ya? A ").

Swinburne University of Technology's "National Centre for Women" (now the "National Centre for Gender and Cultural Diversity") did a study of male engineering students in the 1990s, and found that humour was used as a weapon to control other (male) engineering students. (See http://www.sisr.net/ncgcd/ for more, including exploring getting a copy of the paper - the lead author was Dr Sue Lewis). This is a perfect example of the problem behaviour I am referring to as "control".

As with my post on anger (see http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/anger-is-noit-emotion.html), control can be viewed - at what I will call, for want of a better term, less progressed spiritual development - as a problem in it's own right. So, someone who is at an early stage of their development may acknowledge their problem behaviours as anger, smacking people in the teeth and control. As they get a little more experienced and evolved, they will start to look into this in more detail, and possibly identify their problems as suppressing problems until they explode, lack of of confidence in communication (leading to aforementioned suppression of problems), inappropriate ways of expressing frustration owing to lack of communication skills, confusing respect for people and inappropriate tolerance of behaviour leading to undue tolerance instead of smacking people in the teeth, lack of faith in the universe, wanting to be popular causing controlling behaviours, etc.

It is like training to become an elite athlete. Early days may involve learning to run around the block, whereas more advanced training may involve development of tactical running skills up hills, improved use of abs to maintain core stability in uneven ground, etc.

This does illustrate how important it is to "know thyself" when doing spiritual, psychic or personal growth work. It is fairly easy to develop one's psychic skills without developing oneself as a person, and then to take action which one genuinely thinks is helpful, wheras it is actually perhaps more based on what is personally comfortable for oneself. An example of this may be a spell to "encourage" someone to give up a life of crime: the other person involved may be trying to reinforce a lesson by learning something the hard way. in that case, talking to the person and doing some energy work to help heal them, or being an example oneself, or doing spells they ask for (for instance, to get a job to develop self esteem) may be more constructive.

Another point I will mention is the importance of not forgetting, as you start to identify more lessons, to remember that that in itself is a sign of progress :)


Love, light, hugs and blessings


Gnwmythr

This post's photo is also taken from the same trip I raved about in my last post, and is another view of the Ninety Mile Beach at sunset.

Tags: life lessons, interpersonal interactions, karma, control

First published: Sunday 14th October, 2007

Post No. 024 - Them and us



One of the aspects I found quite enlightening about Buddhism is the notion of integrating our darker self: those parts of ourself that we do not like or want to admit. This has also carried through into my experience of Wicca, where I've encountered it under the term "shadow work".





This view is quite refreshing when looking at the hard line "us and them" mentality of quite a few people I've met with respect to criminals. The attitude seems to be "I could never be like that". Well, I have to question that. OK, so maybe it would take a lot more than just a moment or two, or a month, or maybe even a year in someone else's shoes before you snapped and wound up like them: but if you genuinely grew up in an abusive environment where everyone took law breaking and violence as the norm, would you REALLY be so inspired that you could reject all that social conditioning and rise above it? I'd be happy with a genuine yes that only involved you breaking free of that yourself: you don't have to be a Bishop Desmond Tutu or a Mohandas K. "Mahatma" Gandhi inspiring others.





Oops - I mentioned Mohandas K. Gandhi: but he had a privileged upbringing, didn't he?





Our attitudes tend to influence our behaviour in different ways in different circumstances. For instance, in the example I gave of breaking free of social conditioning, I used a situation of deprivation and abuse: what is your situation? What is the social conditioning you had, and have you sifted through that to reject the less desirable or inappropriate conditioning and accept or embrace the good, constructive influences that encourage compassion? If not, then I would seriously question any "yes" answer to my previous question. I could say "You haven't been able to do this in a situation of comfort, so why would you do it in a situation of hardship?", but that is not an honest question: quite a few people's responses do tend to adapt to different situations (they "rise to meet the occasion", so to speak). So, I'll adapt that question: "Including allowance for genuine - not fanciful or wishful - 'rising to the occasion', would you, if born into a life of extreme hardship and abuse and surrounded by unspiritual values, be a spiritual person?"





I have thought about this myself, as I have had a physically privileged life (middle class Australia in the 60s and 70s) but some significant emotional trauma. On the basis of this life I'd rank myself at "pass; could do better". If take my most recent past life into consideration, I'd cut that back to "could do better".




Any time you get judgmental about other people, especially criminals (including child abusers*), I respectfully suggest that you could beneficially take a step back and consider the old saying "there, but for the Grace of Deity, go I".

Incidentally, this post is NOT an argument in favour of doing nothing and allowing the world to have miserable places on the off chance you could get incarnated into that and test yourself. If you take that attitude, your selfishness (failure to consider others' suffering) is resulting in you incurring negative karma. Have a look at my post http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/stress-warts-and-blackmailing-universe.html.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr
* Something I've heard from time to time is that child abusers are more likely to be child abusers themselves. Although I have heard of cases where abusers have been abused themselves, on the whole I consider that's a bit of an "urban myth", and a nasty one at that. The people I've known who have been the victims of child abuse have been (or been capable of being) good or even exceptional parents. I suspect that what comes through there is a desire not to repeat the errors they have been subjected to, something I have touched on previously (se http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/tough-love.html). In one case of non-sexual abuse, the person concerned had a tendency to repeat some of the mistakes of the parents involved, but that is more a case of people generally repeating patterns they are not aware of, particularly when they have been saturated by the values of a harsh or emotionally restricted culture. Before you think that it is impossible you could ever be an abuser, put yourself in the most deprived and depraved situation for raising a child that you could imagine, and consider how you would have coped and reacted both now AND before you were evolved enough to be considering that question. I experienced one incidence of sexual abuse as a child, at school, and people close to me have experienced prolonged and severe abuse (including sexual), so I tend to be as sensitive as anyone else about this topic, but I won't hate, or react blindly or dishonestly to try to salve my conscience or pain. (And there is a need for children to be believed when they talk about being abused!) Sorry to get so serious at the end of this post, but the topic is exactly that: serious, of great importance.
This post's photo is taken from the same trip I raved about in my last post, and is a view of the Ninety Mile Beach at sunset.

Tags: responsibility, about me, Buddhism, change, emotions, initiation, karma, life lessons, mirrorology, past lives, personal characteristics,

First published: Sunday 14th October, 2007

Post No. 023 - Stress, warts and blackmailing the universe



I am a wart: a worry wart.



I've got into this habit through engineering, where you keep thinking about problems (flexibly and creatively - you don't go over and over the same old ground, or be like a bull at a gate) until you find or invent a solution. It is a very challenging and very rewarding form of creativity (particularly rewarding, when you have the good fortune to work in an environmentally sustainable form of engineering, as I do [reuse of wastewater]).

However, there can be a time and a place for worrying, and there is a time and a place for not worrying.

My partner is a gem at the not worrying part: if she can't change or control something, she won't allow it to intrude into her life. As a worry wart, that can be frustrating, at times - but that frustration is a sign that I am learning. (I hope I am managing to be as useful to her.) I have observed that differences of "level of worry" can be a source of conflict in a wide range of situations: those of us in the worry wart camp may tend to assume that someone else refusing to worry means they aren't caring (that's an assumption - it's not necessarily so), whereas those in the "she'll be right, mate" camp tend to focus on one's inner state at the possible expense of improving things in the physical world - remember the description I gave at the start of this post, of how one can creatively "worry at" a problem, a bit like (I apologise for this analogy in advance: it's all I could think of) a hunting dog worrying at it's prey: the energy can be used creatively, and "worry" does not automatically mean "stressed out". Both can learn from the other.

I suspect many of us use worry as a badge to show we care - for instance, I've known young males to go off the handle because of kids they don't have contact with and allegedly care about, and feel that they consider this shows they care (whereas it actually only shows they possibly have emotional problems and confirms that they can be violent). I've also watched crowds baying for the blood of child abusers, and wondered at their motives as well: do they really care so much about their children, or is it about fear, frustration and wanting to control the world and people in it and force it to be something they feel is safe (which I could summarise as destructive expressions of "love")?

To take a view where one doesn't "worry about things", or does not "let things get at you", can be hard. Apart from the obvious changes to one's inner emotional landscape, one of the hardest things for me is others' reactions to this. For instance, at work a few decades ago I was told that if I wasn't upset by someone's else unethical or illegal behaviour, there was no need for anything to be done :so do I allow myself to be harmed by something so others will take the action they should, or heal myself and move on AND urge those who should to "do the right thing" anyway, even if I have been able to prevent someone else's attempt to harm me from doing so? These days I'm a bit older and wiser, and can see the comments that were made then as an attempt to manipulate me into making the life of the manager involved a bit easier. (Many years of political lobbying for human rights has helped me attain that point of view.)

Going back to "letting things get at you", I sometimes feel that people hold on to hurt to more or less try to blackmail the universe/Deity into showing some sympathy. "Hey universe/Deity, see how much this has hurt me? If you loved me, you wouldn't let this happen - or at least you'd come and give me a massage/tattslotto win/slab/ to make up for it!" Sounds trite, but it is easy to do, and I still find I do that at times. Maybe that is partly because it is easy to mistake sympathy for caring? (Mind you, I don't believe in this "hard love" rubbish: if the interaction between someone who allegedly cares and the recipient of that "care" is ineffective because it is presented in a way that the recipient cannot relate to, then it isn't caring. Did I word that carefully enough to include honest, constructive criticism? Maybe just read my post at http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/tough-love.html.)

Wherever you are at on this and other issues is probably where you are meant to be: the lessons you are meant to learn will be in front of you, although you may need to ask for help to learn them. Be patient with yourself: if you've been paying attention, you'll have noticed from this post alone that some of my lessons have taken me years to learn, and from one end of a spectrum (worry wart) to the other ("she'll be right, mate") and back again until I have (almost - I'm still working on this!) reached a state where I can put myself onto whatever parts of the spectrum I need to be in any particular situation.



Love, light, hugs and blessings


Gnwmythr

This post's photo was taken on one of my cruising trips through the Gippsland Lakes in the late 80s. Sailing has been very important to me in this and several other lifetimes: I mentioned it in my post http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/06/about-me.html, but I failed to mention that it has given a wonderful connection to the natural world, especially it's dynamic aspects - the wind, the movements of water (tide and waves), changes with time (sand bars can shift, coast lines changes, etc). The joy of sailing has helped me through times of great personal crisis, and has helped my spiritual and personal growth and development. I have sailed through the islands in the Whitsunday Passage (the islands are actually called, if I recall correctly, the Cumberland Group) in the early 80s, when it was already crowded but not as much so as now, and I prefer the Gippsland Lakes. The "Whitsundays" can be quite rough and technically tricky because of the 20"+ tidal range and the currents that generates (to get technical, wind over tide can make a nice day one subject to rough conditions with no change of wind at all: mind you, I enjoy heavy weather sailing - you don't master nature, but you can get to be part of it and see the dynamic aspects of Mother Nature); I have found the Gippsland Lakes more relaxing. This photo - and a few from other posts - is from one of my trips. In fact, it is close to where I turned round and took a sunset photo: this is a view into Boxes Creek.
On these photos, I am aware there are far better photos around: but this post is about myself and my life, so I am both personalising it by using photos I have taken, and helping to show the beauty of this part of the world that I live in. I'll stop waffling now :)

Tags: about me, emotions, life lessons, stress

First published: Sunday 14th October, 2007

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Post No. 022 - Anger is not an emotion


I read Jeff Lily's latest post over at Druid Journal (http://druidjournal.net/; the post concerned is at http://druidjournal.net/2007/10/07/positive-loving-kindness-using-opposites-to-banish-negativity/), and got to thinking about the opposite of anger.

I've found in my life that depression can be due to an anger that is turned inwards, but what is the opposite of anger? When I was around 8 or 10 I realised that I had a bad temper, and decided then that I would master my anger (bad temper), and use it constructively, rather than allowing it to use me. (Yes, young children CAN have such thoughts.) Over my life, I kept working at anger when I felt it - and I had the opportunity to observe the anger of other people, much of that being other people's anger that I was different in some way (e.g., anger over my being lesbian). There was always an underlying emotion behind the anger- and that helped me to realise that I do not now consider anger an emotion is it's own right.

Anger is one way an emotion is being expressed, whether that emotion is intolerance of other people being different, insecurity about oneself leading to feeling threatened or insecure and hence to angrily threatening others (I've been at physical risk because of such emotions in other people - which was one of my motivations to get involved in political lobbying, to protect people from such intolerance), or not wanting to change or broaden one's mind. It is an external expression of an emotion, as opposed to depression, which MAY be an internal expression of anger. (There may be physical causations of both depression and anger - e.g., hormonal imbalance.)

Anger is not necessarily destructive. There IS such a thing as righteous anger - one (probably poor) example is Christ and the money lenders; better examples would be a mother (or father) protecting their child from a serious threat (e.g., an attack by a bear) or someone acting to protect others through lobbying for better anti-discrimination laws.

Well, I hope that gives you something to think about - and maybe the edge to stand up to someone who is manifesting anger towards you or people close to you and say "being angry is a way you are expressing something else: what is that?"

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

I've added a photo to this post, after rushing initially and not doing so (and not doing a spell check, either). The only problem is, I'm not entirely sure where it was taken. It was in the late 90s, and I thinki it was at Hastings Marina, on Westernport Bay (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Port) in Victoria (from a boat, of course - looking back towards land). In any case, wherever I took it, I still like it :)

Tags: anger, emotions, energy work, interpersonal interactions, life lessons, personal characteristics, responsibility,

First published: Thursday 11th October, 2007

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Post No. 019 - Tough love and inconsistency



This post is going to be a bit shorter than most: what I want to say is that, in the overwhelming majority of cases I've experienced or witnessed, people claiming to be using "tough love" are actually just failing to handle a situation constructively owing to their inability to think of any other way to handle it. In, as a rough estimate, over 99% of cases, the "tough love" is no different to the former apprentice who bullies the new apprentice because they were bullied: a pattern of behaviour has been experienced, and because these people are so out of touch with their own soul, or their own higher forms of guidance, that they are doomed to repeat the pattern.


This is probably most obvious to many people when they see people repeating the parenting patterns of those people's parents (which means both the strengths and the problems get blindly repeated). It also happens very strongly in workplaces, and some people I have worked for have been, effectively, office psychopaths (look that up on the Internet - there is some quite specific information available now on it; try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopath or some of the links below) - and they are that, in part, because they were treated badly by other office psychopaths. I've also seen this sort of "tough love" attitude in managers who lack management or emotional competence or a touch of imagination/creativity.

The tragedy about this is that we are NOT automatons: we do NOT have to repeat the mistakes of our forebears, or those we have experienced personally. We have the capacity to rise above issues - we may need help, but we can use our minds to at least acknowledge that something is not ideal, and therefore should be changed. This attitude has been a major driving force in my life: I dislike dragging myself down to (some) others' level, and repeating their mistakes is one such way I can make that mistake.

I will be writing a post about control in the near future: if you believe in this "tough love" rubbish, I suggest VERY strongly that you read it.

The other characteristic I mentioned in the heading is inconsistency. Now, I am very pleased that I am somewhat changeable, and felt quite complimented when a friend mentioned I always seemed to have a surprise up my sleeves (that attitude can be helpful when other people are trying to manipulate you into a corner: you can change the whole ground rules, and take the discussion to a higher plane :) ), HOWEVER ... there are principles I stick to, things like sticking to human rights and standards of decency no matter what. Sports people (and supporters) who think it is acceptable to indulge in racist or other abusive sledging in or near a sporting arena - or that that can do so, and still claim not be racist, or claim that they are "good" people - are totally, completely and utterly WRONG. People who sacrifice human rights for economic gain (especially in the name of national economics) or political expediency (which the Australian Democrats used to do when pressure was put on an issue which had gay rights linked to it) are also behaving in a way that is just as unacceptable. Another example would be people supporting human rights or spirituality in one context, but not in another: for instance, not working in accordance with their spiritual beliefs (if those are constructive!), or allowing things like personal conflicts to be an excuse for overriding a commitment to human rights.

There are some universal principles which I consider people should adhere to: universal love (in a dispassionate, i.e., not romantic, sense) is one. Acceptance of karma and conducting oneself in accordance with that is another (I make exceptions for the very, very few extremist and mostly irrelevant cases that get thrown up, such as the masochist, which have nothing whatsoever to do with life as most people experience it). Those principles should not be ditched for simple, personal (or larger) expediency.


Love, light, hugs and blessings


Gnwmythr


* links relating to "office psychopaths":


http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/08/26/1124563022416.html


http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s1360571.htm


http://www.softpanorama.org/Social/Toxic_managers/office_stockholm_syndrome.shtml


etc



This post's photo was taken at the Werribee Open Range zoo.





Tags: personal characteristics, love


First published: Thursday 4th October, 2007

Last edited: Saturday 26th June, 2010 (fixed typo)

Post No. 021 - Breathing exercises


I mentioned that I would do a post on breathing exercises. I'll start this by copying something I wrote for some friends a little while ago:

(START COPY)

BREATHING EXERCISES

My information comes from the work of the very controversial author Tuesday Lobsang Rampa (as well as http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/08/purpose.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobsang_Rampa, see http://www.karenmutton.com/rampa/intro.htm).


Rampa claims to be a Tibetan lama who took over the body of an English plumber in the late 50s (with the permission of the plumber) in a rare for of transmigration. Critics usually deride this as an obvious absurdity, and I have heard claims that some of the description of Tibet are not actually correct, but the information in Rampa's books led me (as a teenager) to a practical involvement in Buddhism, spirituality and psychic matters.


I've forgotten exactly which book(s) the information comes from, but the breathing exercise for keeping warm is one that I have found works quite well (although it does require practise). This description is about the "alternate nostril breathing exercise" (my guess at a suitable title).


This exercise is supposed to strengthen and balance the mind. I have, at times, been concerned about using it, as I thought if I did so when I was, say, angry or upset, the exercise may strengthen the anger or upset - or that, if I was annoyed with someone else, I might inadvertently use this to strnegthen any projection of negativity towards that person. However, I have found that that is not so: my experience is that the exercise calms, balances and then strengthens the mind. Having said so, however, you need to assess the effect of this for yourselves - I can NOT guarantee that it is so for others, and I do know that crystals are helpful for some, neutral for others and harmful for a few, and keepo that possibility in mind for ALL techniques of working. If you find that the exercise is being counter productive, then you need to re-examine what is happening, whether that is due to external influences trying to stop you (I usually try harder when that happens) or the exercises not being suitable for you. I can't (and won't :) ) try to determine that for you.


Rampa sets great store by doing these exercises using what is termed the Complete Breath (also mentioned in Yogic texts). The Complete Breath certainly probably has health benefits, but I don't know that it is critical for this exercise - although I do find it tends to work more effectively if I try to use it.


A "Complete Breath": is based on using all the lungs: the idea is to use the abdomen first, then expan the ribs, then lift the shoulders. After filling the lungs this way, reverse the order: drop the shoulders, then ribs in, and finally compress the abs. Rampa sets this as an initial exercise for a period to develop some proficiency at this before working up to the next stage.
The next stage is breathing in one nostril, and then out the same nostril - to get used to the idea of breathing this way. The "Complete Breath" is supposed to be through the nose anyway (one exercise, claimed to cool the body and cleanse the liver/blood involves breathing through the mouth: that one I have found doesn't work at cooling the body, and I don't about the liver/blood). Start with around ten breaths in one nostril, then ten via the other nostril, and - according to Rampa, build up to 20 - 40 repetitions per day.


As part of this initial practice is holding the breath for a period. Rampa's "ideal" seems to be 8 seconds to breath in, hold for 32 seconds, and then breath out for 16 seconds - which is a ratio of 1:4:2. I have never, despite years of practise, been able to do this. I aim to keep the same ratio as best I can, but with a shorter overall period. In practise, what I generally do is count while I breathe in, hold my breath for a COMFORTABLE period (I don't want a tombstone that says "Here lays Kayleen, of balanced mind and blue of face"), and then breathe out taking twice as long to breathe out as I took to breathe in.

(In general, I now tend to breathe in for a count of 6, hold for a count of 24, exhale for a count of 12, pause for a count of 3 - so the ratio is all multiples of three.  9th September, 2013)


I also don't, these days, try to acheive a particular number of breaths. I usually combine this with something else, like meditation, or colour visualisations, and base the timing on that. If I want to do a minimum, I'll use three repetitions.


Having developed the nostril breathing, again according to Rampa, you can then start using the alternate pattern: - breathe in the left nostril (abdomen-ribs-shoulder), - hold (for a comfortable period, up to 8 times longer than the period taken to brteathe in), - breathe out the right nostril (shoulder-ribs-abdoment), - breathe in the right nostril (abdomen-ribs-shoulder), - hold (for a comfortable period, up to 8 times longer than the period taken to breathe in), - breathe out the left nostril (shoulder-ribs-abdoment).


Aim to do this 40 times per day - according to Rampa. I can't do this, and 40 x (8+32+16) x 2 = 8,960 seconds /day, which seems a bit excessive to me. As I said, I'll just do three as a minimum and often combine this with something else.


(END COPY)


I actually do now try to do more than 3 such breaths a day.

It's interesting to consider how this breathing could work. The theory of meridians suggests that energy flows around our body - various bracnhes of Yoga work with this to varying degrees (for instance, I read some discussion on this in the "Autobiography of a Yogi", by Paramahansa Yogananda [published in 1946; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogananda and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobiography_of_a_Yogi - which, when I accessed it for this post, had a caution that it was writen like and advertisement). Obviously, in this case, the theory is various postures influence how the energy flows and place some pressure on blockages. I have no argument with this (particularly as I work with [basic] shiatu :) ).

The mind can influence energy flow - hence the use of visualisation in many metaphysical techniques. A number of these techniques combine breathing - either for assisting with relaxation, or to enhance the effect of the visualisation. That suggests to me that breathing has a connection with the mind, and the organ which connects us to the mind: the brain. (to pick up on the theme in my post http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/08/purpose.html, maybe breathing will be useful training for us to direct energies when we are existing in higher realms?)


To digress for a moment, our brains are arranged into a right and a left hemisphere, with different functions having been identified for each (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateralization_of_brain_function). My training in applied kinesiology ("Touch for Health" - which I would like to learn to practitioner level one day, as I would shiatsu) indicates that functions which trigger each side alternately (e.g., cross crawling, or marching) can have beneficial effects in some cases.


Perhaps the alternate nostril technique helps to balance out the activity in the hemispheres of the brain, and thus helps with the balancing effect? I've tried to avoid using my fingers - e.g., by leaning to use an object to close each nostril, and still find the effect as powerful, but I'm still moving side to side so there may be some physical trigger involved as well; I've also found I can get a good effect by starting with the alternate nostril breathing, and then just using visualisation to direct energy in and out the relevant nostril.


In any case, the energy flows stimulated by this are, in my experience, very beneficial. If they are for you as well, please enjoy using this technique; if this technique is not for you, move on and may you find whatever technique you need (if any).

(I also consider the book "The Science of Breath", by William Walker Atkinson, writing as "Yogi Ramacharaka" in 1904, and now available at the Sacred Texts website at http://sacred-texts.com/eso/sob/index.htm, well worth a look. 9th September, 2013)


Love, light, hugs and blessings


Gnwmythr

This post's photo was taken in the Geriwerd (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grampians_National_Park) in June, 2006, as the area recovered from the fires. The photo is from the slopes of Mt William.


Tags: energy work, Lobsang Rampa, breathing, yoga


First published: Thursday 4th October, 2007

Post No. 020 - The secret science of hugs


I recently had the compliment of a friend saying he needed one of my hugs: that's nice, and it's not the first time I've had compliments on my hugs. I've even had a couple of people who commented on my "secret" for a great hug: opening chakras (specifically, the heart chakra).

If you have had much to do with psychic development work, you will know that protection is important, and that will include issues such as closing or sealing one's aura, grounding, flaming, psychic strength ... and closing chakras. Various psychic exercises will then require opening those chakras.

Each chakra is associated with a certain function: for instance, the forehead or "third eye" chakra is commonly associated with clairvoyance, the throat chakra with communication (including clairaudience, in some systems), the solar plexus chakra with emotions and will power, and the heart chakra with the various forms of love. The respective function is maximised when the chakra is "opened" (the function never completely shuts down, however: it is not as if, for instance, we are incapable of any comunication whatsoever if our throat chakra is not opened - or we are utterly incapable of love if our heart chakra has been "closed" by one of the techniques that are available).

(For some group work, people try to harmonise their chakras; I'm considering whether or not using the Sephira of the Qabballah can be used as an alternative to that - watch http://qabalist.org/q-blog/ for more on that :) )

Most people know of seven major chakras, but there are others - for instance, the hands and major organs of the body will typically have a (minor) chakra, and I will shortly be studying a system which seems to look at harmonics or octaves of chakras. I currently work with thirteen chakras: the only one I want to mention here is the "Earth Star" chakra (which I think I first read about in a book by Katrina Raphael about crystals that has gone walkabout: unfortunately, I can't find the two books of hers that I do have, so I'll have to post the details of that some other time). The Earth Star chakra is about 6" (15cm - we've been metric since the 70s or 80s, but some things I haven't changed over) below our feet (yes, that's right, dear reader: below our feet - after all, our aura does happen to extend beyond our body ... ), and is the chakra which connects us to Mother Earth. I personally consider the loss of common knowledge of this chakra to be part of the problem that humanity has in caring for our world. That, however, is a pet peeve for another post :) What I will add to this post (after my signature) is an edited version of an article I wrote for the Temple of La Veda (see ), which I'm not sure I actually completed and posted - it is based on some notes on chakra system (at that stage twelve chakras) that I sent to a few friends a few years ago.

When friends hug, it is the heart chakras that line up; if the people concerned are feeling fond of each other, their heart chakras will tend naturally to open up, and allow a free flow of energy between the two (I've not actually thought about this for group hugs; my initial reaction is that the heart chakras don't line up or connect, but maybe the group hug creates some sort of temporary energy centre where energies can flow through to each other).

This psychic openness is what gives a fair part of the nice feeling that goes with such a hug. It can be quite natural, and tends to happen more with people we are in harmony with, or who we like (those matters tend to be related, but aren't necessarily always related. Incidentally, when we relax, or feel comfortable, it isn't only our body language that is more at ease and "open": our auras and energy centres tend to also be more open and relaxed. (That is part of the problem when some people get drunk: their aura becomes so open that they can be partly possessed [technically, overshadowed or obsessed] and undergo a change of personality [usually to a personality far less pleasant, possibly even violent.)

If you want to give better hugs, allow your heart chakra to open. I find that quite easy, but if you don't, you may have to do some exercises (e.g., visualising doors opening, or a flower blooming, or perhaps the sound of the chakra increasing). As always, do such exercises with appropriate protection established first.

I mentioned protection: there is a risk with this openness, and that is that one may get a slug of unpleasant energy. That doesn't necessarily mean your friend is being malicious: it may simply be that, if you have more energy, they receive some of your energy, or that you are able to do some healing or clearing of negative energy. It may also simply be that there is a certain amount of incompatability between the two of you.

That isn't necessarily a bad thing: think of two colours that clash, or two scents that don't agree, or two sounds that jar. Each on their own is fine: it is the combination that is unfortunate. Most sources I read suggest that as we all evolve, we will become more in harmony with each other. I don't necessarily agree with that: I suspect there could well still be some moments of lack of harmony (especially on this world, where so many of us are going through such vastly different expressions of our soul - different paths, if you will), but the true showing of evolved beings is that they will be able to overcome any such lack of natural harmony and be able to work together.

Going back to hugs, if you've received a slug of something unpleasant, calmly and without rancour or anger clear or dissolve it, and then go on to be brave enough to open your chakras again when you next hug someone.

I wish you good hugging :)

Love, light, HUGS and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post's photo was taken in the valley where the MacKenzies Falls are located, in Geriwerd.

Notes on chakras:
Following the recent "First Keys" workshop, I though I'd put some of my thoughts regarding chakras down. I considered the "First Keys" workshop to be excellent, and I was particularly interested in a comment along the lines of chakras and energy pathways being potential - they have to be worked with to become "actual" (my words). That rang a bell with me - particularly as I recently read an article somewhere on the net challenging the notion of chakras, and also because I work with a twelve major chakra system (I am not referring to the other chakras in the hands and at major points within the body, which I first read about in one of Lobsang Rampa's books [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobsang_Rampa, and other posts where I have referred to Rampa - particularly http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/08/purpose.html]).

And at this point, I have to humbly make an apology, as I haven't been able to find the article challenging chakras nor the original source of the twleve chakra system (I THINK it may have been Katrina Raphael's third book on crystals [as a digression, I consider that she is the best author on crystals]), but I recall that one of the chakras, between the heart and solar plexus chakra is attributed in that source to Shirley Maclaine (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Maclaine).

I can say that the breathing exercises for the traditional seven main chakras I will write about are from "Energy Ecstasy: Your Seven Vital Chakras", by Bernhard Gunther (pub. Newcastle Publishing Co. Inc., Van Nuys, CA, USA, ISBN 0-87877-066-6).

Assuming everyone is familiar with the seven traditional chakras, I'll start describing my extra five with the lowest chakra: the "Earth Star". This chakra is located in the aura, around 6" (sorry - 150mm) below the feet, and (going from memory, as I couldn't re-find the original reference) has the function of connecting us with this physical reality - ie, Mother Earth. My personal opinion is that the lack of awareness of this is one reason that humans as a whole tend to be somewhat disconnected from Mother Earth.

Going upwards, the next extra chakra (this one is, I think, attributed to Shirley Maclaine) is between the heart and solar plexus chakras, and was described as having the function of connecting our emotions (solar plexus) with our love centre (heart chakra). From memory, this chakra was being manifested as part of a perceived trend towards a more loving, centred population (ie, emergence of New Age/Age of Pisces).

The last three extra chakras are: - Soul Star, to connect us to our Higher Self, located just outside the head but behind the crown chakra - Spirit Star, located about 6" or 150mm above the head, to connect us with the world of Spirit generally (much as the Earth Star connects us to physical reality; I see the Soul Star as a personal chakra, connecting us with our spirit personally, and the Spirit Star as connecting us with "all the spooks up there", to be a bit irreverent) - Causal Star, located about 12" or 300mm above the head, to connect us with Deity.
I'm not going to claim that this is a correct description of these extra chakras, but it's the best I can do, and reflects my personal practise fairly well.

Bernhard Gunther's book "Energy Ecstasy: Your Seven Vital Chakras", which I mentioned, describes a coordinated system of breathing and visualisation to promote good functioning of the seven traditional chakras; I've extended that in a way which suits me for the twelve chakra system, and the result is as follows.

Earth Star - I visualise the chakra as a mini-Earth, and as I breathe in (ie - visualise flowing in with my breath as I inhale) green, red and brown, and direct the energy to the Earth Star; as I breathe out, I visualise any disharmonious, inappropriate or "negative" flowing out of that chakra and leaving me with my breath, leaving the chakra bright, shiny and new (to be a little facetious). I may need to do this several times till I feel that the energy in that chakra is right (or, to put it another way, that the chakra is functioning properly). If I am doing this with my alternate nostril breathing, as I usually am, I aim to do this for one complete cycle of in right - out left - in left - out right, for the sake of balance. As I do this, I mentally chant either "Malkuth" or "Adonai" (which come from the Qabballah) or (since the First Keys workshop, as this practise evolves and changes as I do) "hum".

Base chakra - from Bernhard Gunther's book: I visualise a rectangular, red coloured box in front of the base chakra, at the level of the base chakra; as I breathe in I visualise drawing that red energy from the box into the base chakra, and as I breathe out I visualise any disharmonious, inappropriate or "negative" flowing out of that chakra and leaving with my breath. Again, if I am doing this with my alternate nostril breathing, as I usually am, I aim to do this for one complete cycle of in right - out left - in left - out right. As I do this, I mentally chant "ba".

Second chakra - from Bernhard Gunther's book, I visualise an orange pyramid with the top cut off in front of the second chakra (which he refers to as the "spleen chakra"; I've come across other terms as well and at this stage generally just say "second chraka", even though it isn't in the system I work with: I may change that shortly), at the level of the base chakra; as I breathe in I visualise drawing that orange energy from the box into the base chakra, and as I breathe out I visualise any disharmonious, inappropriate or "negative" flowing out of that chakra and leaving with my breath (Bernhard Gunther has visualisations for dispersing this energy for each chakra - eg, allowing the pyramid to collapse and direct the expelled energy in all directions in this case; I haven't used those for some time and find just generally either directing the expelled energy into a ball of light, or Mother earth fior recycling, works as well for me - but that may not be the case for others). I aim to do this for one complete cycle of in right - out left - in left - out right. The mental chant is "la".

Solar plexus chakra - from Bernhard Gunther's book, I visualise a green cyclinder completely around me; as I breathe in I visualise drawing that green energy from the cylinder into the solar plexus chakra, and as I breathe out I visualise any disharmonious, inappropriate or "negative" energy leaving the chakra with my breath. I aim to do this for one complete cycle of in right - out left - in left - out right. The mental chant is "ra".

Chakra between heart and solar plexus - I tend to lightheartedly call this Shirley Maclean's chakra, but that is only because I haven't really through of a more appropriate name for it. I visualise the earth in front of the chakra, and draw in blue and green (and exhale the disharmonious, inappropriate or "negative" energy) while chanting - since the First Key's workshop "Hum". (Obviously, I'm not worried about using a chant twice.)

Heart chakra - from Bernhard Gunther's book, I visualise a gold cross (or an ankh) in front of this chakra; I breathe in the gold energy from the cross or ankh into the heart chakra, and breathe out any disharmonious, inappropriate or "negative" ebergy, for one complete cycle of alternate nostril breathing. The mental chant is "ya hm" (I think I've got the spelling wrong there). This is probably my favourite of these exercise: it is the one that I get the most from.

Throat chakra - from Bernhard Gunther's book, I visualise a light blue cup (this is actually a simplification of the symbol used by Gunther) in front of this chakra; I breathe in the blue energy, and breathe out any disharmonious, inappropriate or "negative" energy, for one complete cycle of alternate nostril breathing. The mental chant is "ha".

Third eye chakra - from Bernhard Gunther's book, I visualise an indigo six pointed star in front of this chakra; breathe in the indigo energy, and breathe out any disharmonious, inappropriate or "negative" energy, for one complete cycle of alternate nostril breathing. The mental chant is "ah".

Crown chakra - from Bernhard Gunther's book, I visualise a purple lotus above this chakra; breathe in the purple energy, and breathe out any disharmonious, inappropriate or "negative" energy, for one complete cycle of alternate nostril breathing (or more, if needed). The mental chant is "om".

For the top three chakras I do not visualise a flow of energy: i simply visualise the colour in the location of the chakra. I mentioned in this that I am continuing to develop thius technique as I change with time, and the techniques I use for these top three are probably most fluid. I am interested in anything others find works well for these chakras.

Soul Star - visualise white light and chant either "Eheieh" (which comes from the Qabballah) or (very occasionally) my spirit name for at least one set of alternate nostril breathing

Spirit Star - visualise pure brilliance (this is meant to be something beyond any conception of being any one colour - or more colours) and chant "Kether"

Causal Star - this is a bit hard to describe (and no doubt harder to understand - sorry :) ), but I visualise almost the concept of energy. To understand this better, I would suggest reading some of the "Seth" books channelled through Jane Roberts (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Roberts), and can suggest a few in particular if anyone is interested (and given some time to check through them). I sometimes chant "Kether", sometimes don't chant and just enjoy the stillness.

Tags: chakras, Lobsang Rampa, New Age, interpersonal interactions, Seth, energy work, healing, responsibility,
First published: Thursday 4th October, 2007