Diary: The Fox On The Kymin

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An ecstatic walk up The Kymin. For the first time in a long time, I have experienced joy in being completely alone. One is never alone in the woods. Everything here conspires to occupy your senses – bird song wreathes you in melodic clusters, and you feel the complete fullness in the emptiness of existence. The air is fresh with flavour, medicinal pine sweeping into my lungs – you just want to grasp every protruding piece of bark in your hands, like Mayan hieroglyphs, that are actually secret keys to organic space stations.

“I pause for a while by a country stile” opening onto a meadow, where, in the coming summer, one’s eyes will be blinded by bluebells. I see the visions of a century’s old boy perched on that stile, and feel impelled to access my own inner child, walking along the stile as on a bucolic tightrope, limbs wrapped around the wooden vine-posts overhead. I look down on a friend’s hilled mansion and marvel at the power altitude can lend to perspective.

I feel happy standing here – all else ceases to matter; no interruptive thirst for conversation, or brooding desire to be touched, when I am already touched by the penetrative essence of the wood. Everything glistens – every rock is a jewel – and the trunks of old trees are the gnarled faces of old men; sylvan spirits that find beauty in the grotesque.

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There are wood nymphs, too, of course – a whole panoply of fair folk, dancing in ecstatic procession behind The Spring Queen of the wood, somehow still gentle, even in the maddest of their March-mad antics.

But the view on top of The Kymin beside The Round House is unrivalled – it is addictive; you look at anything else, and it only makes you want to look at it more. There is a beauty to the cluster of town houses in that expanse of free landscape; and I pick out all the places I am used to experiencing at insect-level: the row of path-lining aspens down Vauxhall Fields – the single oak that stands as an Axis Mundi in its centre – the spire of St. Mary’s – and the many Welsh mountains beyond.

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Families chatter around the railings – unappreciative parents stuck in irritable protection mode – imagination-led children – and people picnicking in a square field circumscribed by electric wire.

It is interesting to hear how birdsong develops this time of year. Robins, who whistle so thinly, sadly, in winter, become full-throated. Blackbirds, who began singing at the end of February, uninspired, and repeating the same half-meant phrases, as though cleaning the cobwebs from their syrinxes, have now really taken to their theme. You can hear the languor-suppressed passion and excitement in every phrase they sing, occasionally taking the best-loved phrases of their combatants, and then striving to make them better, like duelling saxophonists and trumpet players in a throbbing bebop band. I have occasionally heard the explosive rapture of the blackcap, but I do not think they are in full-concerto mode quite yet.

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But, until The Universe grants me more longevity in love, Nature will remain my First Woman. I shall cling to her – hide myself in the verdancy of her bejewelled clothing; loving getting to know even smallest parts of her – the flowering of wood anemone – the perfect meditation mats of mineral-encrusted boulders – the primroses, common speedwells, forget-me-nots – the effortless affability of daffodils – the duelling riverine currents of The Monnow and The Wye.

There’s something deeply therapeutic about the sun in spring and summer; the way it penetrates your skin and sinks inside your soul, chasing even the weediest of your dark thoughts away.

But now for the crème-de-la-crème: while still sat on my woodland stile, without either of us thinking of it, a fox sauntered unexpectedly by. His coat was faded from dirt and hunger – but I was so awe-inspired, honoured, majestified at having this prince of creatures stood so near to me, that I sat there, slack-jawed, unable to look away.

But, once we’d both gotten over this little spell, as though returning to the normal rules of things, he scampered over the new-grassing meadow, intermittently looking back to see what I was doing – a fox looking back at a fox. Sylvan muse indeed!

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***

There is something very shocking about spring now. I am so much impaled on the point of every moment, that each moment seems eternal. Like laying on the slope in Chippenham Park yesterday, nailed to the ground by the rays of the sun. I felt like I would always be there – and, in the intensity of mixed joy and heavy pain, I had little to prove me otherwise.

And now, sat here, blue tit and great tit beeping out to one another in crystalline Morse code, I can feel the light heaviness of that eternity again – just page and pen, page and pen – on and on into the sunset.

I’m definitely feeling healed now.

Coming up here is one of the best things I could have done.

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Mantras – Peaceful & Wrathful – An Introduction

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(Extracted from a conversation with a client)

Okay, let’s talk about mantras. Mantras are chants of sacred syllables, and one of the most powerful spiritual practises. The Hare Krishna mantra is, of course, the most well known, as is ‘Aum.’ The great thing about mantras is that they don’t necessarily have to be chanted out-loud – you can keep them going in your mind at all times, so that, whatever you’re doing you’re always engaged in some kind of spiritual practise – and such continuous practise fruits results very quickly.

 

Most mantras are associated with different deities and  energy patterns/beings, and therefore have different effects and powers that they convey. In Tibetan Buddhism, these are roughly grouped into two different types – the Peaceful and the Wrathful. The mantras of Peaceful deities are very good for developing peace, tranquillity, wisdom, patience, healing, equanimity and other enlightened qualities. They’re very gentle, reassuring, and loving, though they will still challenge you from time to time, and can reawaken old memories and psychic powers.

 

The mantras of the wrathful deities are very different, and usually far shorter. They are much more challenging and demanding, but, for that very reason, they get things done a lot quicker. Rather than making us more placid, these mantras generate a huge amount of energy, and make life incredibly more vivid and intense. They have a great fondness for placing you in crazy or strange situations, which force you outside of yourself, and demand you to be more spontaneous, real, or authentic. They will not let you hide from anything! Nor will they hesitate to make you break-down and reduce you to rubble if they think it will do you some good. But, the effects they produce occur incredibly swiftly if one is sincere; and, through them, one can gain powers, awarenesses, memories, and abilities very quickly – you just have to be very brave, as they will always give you far more than you bargained for! Very good for dealing with one’s shadows, personal demons, and visits to the underworld.

It’s usually good to know several mantras for different purposes, and to work with both Peaceful and Wrathful deities, so that you can cultivate both the passive and active/aggressive sides of enlightenment. Usually there will be 1-3 deities that you will develop a close relationship with – though, it’s good to have a strong central one.

If you would like to learn more about mantras, and be recommended some, please contact me at reubenftourettes@hotmail.co.uk

 

Tao Te Ching Teachings: Centering Integrity

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“Without disintegration”

What helps us to keep mind and body close together? Te, or integrity/power. To have integrity means that every part of you, no matter how seemingly disparate or contradictory, is perfectly integrated into a harmonious whole. You reject or dismiss no part of yourself, but explore and express it in a healthy way, so it can be put to good use, and dwell in its rightful place, like a computer code that only functions when all of the digits are in the right order and combination.

When we disintegrate, it is a sign that things are not in their proper place; that we have suppressed or ignored important aspects of ourselves that need to be explored and expressed. When we act in accordance with The Way, we possess integrity; when we go against the Way, we disintegrate. It is as simple as that. All power and unity comes from being centred. Stay centred at all times, and integrity will stay with you.

Diary of a Mystic: The Tiger

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Good meditation today. I managed to throat sing and chant with a far deeper resonance and endurance than I have done for well over a week. Produced some truly majestic sounding overtones, and still feel as though my understanding of the mechanics of the production of these frequencies is growing ever deeper and unconscious. Chinese chanting, and  Tuvan chanting too.

I used Tara’s Mantra, and the tantric technique of imagining myself with her female body, allowing great cosmic energy to penetrate my vagina. Worked on bringing this energy into all my chakras, and especially the energy channels along my spinal column which I still feel especially need more work.

I saw a stripped tiger. In China, the Tiger is a symbol of autumn, whiteness, the lungs, decay and death. It is the protector of the West, and it’s element is metal. This metal is the alloy of transformation. Like a mineral, it can be manipulated through fire, purified, and then eventually solidified into something else. It is the element of deep and lasting change, as opposed to something fleeting and ephemeral that can easily snap back to its habituations.

In Chinese astrology, the tiger is also representative of Aquarius. Thus, he is gregarious, powerful, innovate, eccentric yet sometimes conservative, lively yet sometimes reckless and impulsive, and also, quite often, promiscuous.

The symbolism of the tiger is said to be based in anger, aggression, personal power, strength and vitality, as well as representing the sudden, swift, and unpredictable. Given our closeness to entering into Aries, I think it is a good warning to channel that fiery strength in a positive way, and not to be allow it to make you destructive. Arians have a lot of personal power, but can be very quick to anger and conflict. It is a warning to keep that power under wraps, so that I control it, without it ever defeating me. Using my personal power in the most beneficial way. Being spontaneous as opposed to being impulsive. Being prepared for the unexpected – but also acting in a sudden and unpredictable way, so as to overcome others.

The bear also made another appearance, but we already explored his symbolism recently – solitary and withdrawing. Both of these creatures are loners by nature (I think) so perhaps it is an encouragement to enjoy being single and going it alone? The appearance of the ant recently was certainly very significant, as I have been very productive and industrious these last few days, able to be quite persevering, unemotional and prolific.

Diary of a Mystic: Trance Martial Artist

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Interesting trance session yesterday. I began by chanting out-loud, but quickly opted just for doing it internally due to my still slightly hindered respiration. I swiftly entered into a trance, and began chanting very fast in Chinese. It seems these hidden sides of myself are generally more able to come forth when I chant internally, as opposed to vocally. There was a lot of pitch and timbre variation in the chanting. Sometimes low and calm – others times seeming to get overwhelmed and almost strident. Lots of shifting energy within that felt as though it wanted to just be roared out, which I attempted at times.

About half way in, I began doing movements, jabs with my hands, Tai Chi-like gestures. I felt like I was both doing a martial arts routine and some sort of ceremony. At one point, I made a sudden stabbing motion, and equally, also felt as though I had been stabbed. It all felt very theatrical, but quite real at the same time – so I was uncertain if this was just a stage production I was reliving, or a genuine fight.

I stood up, and made more spontaneous movements, shadow-boxing, kicks, punches, stretches and lunges. The style felt quite erratic and unpredictable. I am not enough of an expert to know, but perhaps I was aping the monkey-style, or some other animal-influenced fighting system?

All in all, a very satisfying and interesting trance session. Certainly limbered me up and made me feel more powerful.

Dream Diary: Sleeping on the River

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I enter some underground world that is meant to be a recreation of some Tibetan paradise. It sounds like an idealized, ancestral culture. The practice that really stayed with me from the dream is that all the members of these tribes would go to sleep by swaddling themselves in enormous leaves, and just float down the beautiful warm river. It was completely safe to do this – and, because they all had a peripatetic lifestyle and no permanent encampment, it was of no consequence to them if the river carried them to a completely new place. They would just move on, and adapt to wherever they found themselves when they woke up, because the land would always give them what they needed.

I was encouraged to try out for myself this technique of river sleeping, and it was incredibly relaxing and comforting, being held lovingly in the all-embracing flow of this magical river. The landscape seemed to be tinged with blue, and the spiritual beings who lived there were also floating down the rapids.

When we returned to the surface, the place where this wonderland was stored just seemed to be a somewhat dingy old mining facility. As we came out, I could see the shimmering of water on the ceiling and was wondering where it was coming from. There was a pail of water on the other side of the room. Perhaps that was the source of the river?

Interpretation:

Mystic wonderland underground. This is an exhortation to return to the source, to the beautiful mystic realms and ancient Ways that exist within me. My meditation and general awareness has been far too shallow lately, and if I really want to feel happy and interconnected again, I must return fully to them.

Sleeping on the flowing river – allowing myself to relax in the all-embracing current of The Way. Trusting myself to this Ancestral Force, knowing that I can even go to sleep in it, and lose myself in it, without having to worry about danger; always knowing that I will always be able to adapt and find nourishment in whatever new locale of experience I happen to find myself. That this wonderland is meant to be Tibet in some way is also a suggestion from the spirit that I need to bring back awareness to my past life identities, and interweave them beneficially with the awareness of my current existence.

But the wonderland is just contained within an ugly mineshaft. A reminder that the supernatural hides within the natural – that the waking time and dream time are one – that reality and delusion always co-exist. (The wonderland is reality, the normal world is delusion). The mine-shaft is actually a mind-shaft – a reminder of the need to always dig in as deep as I can into the primordial origins of my consciousness, and that, like the ripple effect on the ceiling, the reflection of the sublime can always be witnessed in the waking world.

Diary of a Mystic: Return to Health

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Was late meditating today. Didn’t start until around three O’clock. Found it very tough at first. A huge weight of unhappiness made me feel very uncomfortable, and I was disturbed a few times by my new Buddhist posters falling down (though I do adore my new shrine). This unhappiness definitely felt like more knots on the cusp of being undone.

I started speaking in Chinese for a bit, and then did some throat singing. This had a major healing effect on me, and really helped me shift a lot of the energetic knots that my illness and sadness had tied up. Plenty of colours and inner worlds. The sounds were lovely, and I produced a lot of very high overtones. I feel like I’m beginning to get better understanding of the psychological use of the larynx in throat singing. It really is singing straight from the voice box, and sonic manipulation thereof. But, the grit in my throat still held me back, and eventually forced me to stop. Still, I feel much happier and healthier for having done it. I wish I was in peak health so that I could just carry on doing it.

A lot more psychic and energetic awareness after being outside for an hour or two today. Could both see and feel the flow of energy quite effortlessly. Was a little delirious, a little happy. Still have a lot of pain and sorrow to express. I feel like there will be a lot more revelations coming out of me soon. But it’s such a treat to feel connected to The Way and the gods again, and to really take delight in spirituality and spiritual practice.

 

Diary of a Mystic: Vajra Lands

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First thoroughly enjoyable and integrative meditation since I first came down with this illness. Given all the anger, bitterness, and ill-will I’ve been experiencing as a side effect over these last few days, I decided to use Vajrayogini’s mantra to help me eat up and transform these unpleasant emotions. And it certainly worked, as I feel much more gentle and mentally pliable now than the misanthrope I’ve been masquerading as for these last few days.

The energy that envelops everything was no longer kept at a distance from me that horrifying fever fire, but could actually fully enter into my being. It was truly blissful and pleasurable, as though my being was gently being suffused with yogurt, milk, ambrosia, or some other sweet elixir of the Gods.

The initial imagery was of some jungles, and a face that looked rather Mongolian. But, to my knowledge, I don’t think Mongolia is a jungle terrain, so it was more likely a Chinese kingdom I was seeing, or maybe even something from Central or South America.

Then the scene takes an almost anime turn, two beautiful lovers, in a watery, nebulous, rainbow space. It is quite indistinct, but I feel very turned on and sensual, a delicious sense of hyper-sexual unity that continues throughout the meditation.

There is one scene that almost feel like a living painting. We are sailing down this psychedelic, jungle river. All these beautiful and mysterious creatures lurk elegantly along the banks. Roaming through clouds and beautiful vajra lands.

Diary of a Mystic: Rhino

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A lot of incredibly powerful wrathful energy came through me yesterday evening. It was a very unusual experience, like being a child, I felt incredibly happy and ecstatic, yet also very quick to wrath, and felt anger about a lot of things. It began when I was preparing for my massage, and then came through as a black Dakini-like figure during the massage – my face was contorting, and I was struggling quite a lot not to go into trance right there in the middle of the session! Had it been a friend accustomed to such things, I might have allowed it; but I had a responsibility to he client, and could not go full shaman in that moment. One day, I will do, when I have clients coming to me precisely for that reason.

I decided to subdue it by meditating after my bath, and doing a Vajrayogini meditation. Though my parents had gone to bed, I still felt impelled to chant spontaneously in that mysterious Asiatic language. It was a lovely, serene meditation, and I felt soothed very quickly, like entering into deep space, occasionally suffused by a beautiful dark blue light.

At one point, I saw a rhino before me, and I quickly became the rhino. I could feel the power of its enormous horn protruding from my third eye. I was strong, stolid, stable, serene and silent. A heavy piece of ponderous peace. Here is a list of attributes associated with the rhino as a spirit animal:

  • Agility
  • Solitary
  • Wisdom
  • Paradox
  • Freedom
  • Stability
  • Gratitude
  • Longevity
  • Judgment
  • Grounding
  • Peace of Mind
  • Self-Assurance
  • Unconventional
  • Sensory Perception

 

I would say all of these are extremely relevant to my current experience. More and more I am relishing my solitude and freedom from all constraints. The need for stability as I acquire ever greater and more volatile sources of energy. Gratitude for everything, especially the opportunity to love and serve all beings. Judgement, so that I have the perspicacity to still do the right thing, and not allow the impulsiveness of these new energy flows to get the better of me. And I feel thoroughly unconventional in just about everything I do at the moment, and, indeed, am likely to get more so!

The rhino bathes in the warmth of mud. I, too, must sink deeper into the earth as I re-establish my shamanic roots, taking the underworld as my bathing ground, so I can reach ever greater heights.

Feeling other people’s emotions more and more. Bodhicitta really is like being in love with every single thing.

 

 

Visions of Sisyphus

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After note: Also had an image of a man pushing a boulder up the side of a very pointed Himalayan mountain. However, once he reached the pinnacle, the boulder fell down the other side, and he flew up into space. This throws some interesting light on the legend of Sisyphus as a teaching about reincarnation. We incarnate into lives to learn, to become stronger, kinder, and increase our spiritual power and integrity. However, once we reach our climax, and we achieve much, we crumble and die, and are cast into another body, and thus, have to start the cycle all over again, right from the very bottom. It is enough to master the teachings of the Tao & and Dharma in one life time – but to have to return to it again and again, right from the bottom – what an endeavour!

This is the why the understanding of past lives is so useful in eastern countries. Because their reality is widely recognized, beings who are reincarnations or emanations of great teachers of holy men become recognized early on, and are able, with special training, to continue right from where they left off. One of these beings, reborn in the west, however, has to deal with a whole new set of obstacles – the pathologization of spirituality and mystical experiences in our culture – still pervasive literalist Christian dogma and superstition – and the quest to discover teachings which are foreign and opposed to our culture, and not very easy to come across.

However, a truly motivated spirit will always have the integrity to return to their original nature, regardless of the depravity of the society in which they find themselves, and The Great Spirit will orchestrate things so that all the right lessons, teachers, and experiences, fall into their path. Everything is well-taken care of. We just have to do our best, and not submit to ignorance and defeat.