Diary of a Mystic: Trance Dance

Vajrayogini

After reading about the Dakinis, I decided to learn Vajrayogini’s mantra today. After offering prayers to the three jewels, as well as my usual homages, I began to chant the mantra, using the throat singing techniques I began to unlock yesterday. Beautiful, full-throated sound. I did try and visualize Vajrayogini in form during the beginning; but, the throat singing dominates your entire being, and it’s hard to do anything consciously – you just have to sort of submit to it. Again, that wonderful feeling of wide-open spaciousness inside.  It’s funny to think singing constantly, and leaving little room for breathing, could fill you with so much energy and air, but it really does!

After about fifteen minutes of chanting intentionally, I slipped into trance, and things began to proceed much more naturally on their own. Went through a variety of sung and spoken songs. One moment was quite casual – it just sounded like the shaman within me was speaking, so that was an interesting new development. Still not sure of the language though.

I began to dance in final third of the meditation. I think all of yoga, and interrelated practices, as well as the positions meditation deities are depicted in, all originally stem from what the shaman does spontaneously in trance dance. Personally, I much prefer the spontaneous version to the artificially codified one! Makes me look at a lot of practice very differently now, and explains why I’ve always hated doing things by rote – wanting to do something new every time.

It really does push you at times. You do feel like the song could kill you, and that’s part of the ecstasy of it. At one point, I moved around on my hands and knees, like I was imitating an animal. I’m not sure what, but most likely a bear – maybe even a polar bear! – I think, pawing the ground, and wiggling in time to the undulations of the song.

Really loving becoming a shaman. But I must get a shaman’s drum – that would open me up to whole new heights.

I was quite surprised when I came out of the trance to see how peaceful and gentle I looked, given the ferocious, and often otherworldly noises I was emitting. Power songs of love and healing, good for all the world.

 

 

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POEM: The Shaman’s Drum

tengist-shaman

The shaman wandered through the worlds

Beating his drum

Upon the face of the Earth

Every blow

Carving space with sound

Chanting a song

Sung right from the womb of the world itself

We prayed, we danced, and laughed

Worshipping nature

As our greatest teacher

But then the warriors sprang forth

With their chariots and their weapons

They were too proud

To receive the beneficent gifts of nature

They were not content

With their own allotment

But had to seize other men’s too

They took their all-giving mother

And sought to enslave her

As a great prostitute

A nurturing slave

To their maniacal greed

Eventually this lifestyle

Came to be called ‘Civilization’

All the ancestral wisdom that went before

Was debased in favour

Of eternal indulgence and servitude

For the one directly feeds the other

The selfless Way of the Past

Was usurped by that Tyrant, Ego,

It grew so powerful

That people eventually

Projected it out of themselves

And began to call it God

Thus Ego spaketh:

“Though shalt have no god but me”

But the true God is infinite

And manifests itself in all possible forms

Is it not as much an act of worship

To relish these forms

In addition to the womb of silence

That begets them?

But the great civilizers did not understand

That multiplicity and unity are one and the same

Akhenaten was the first to make this error

Before he was turned into Moses

And had a horrible, unwieldy book written about him

Narrating his innumerable sins and misdeeds

And those of his atrocious relatives

No more did men commune in the woods

In the trees, or in the mountains:

All of these sacred topographies

Were now declared as ‘accursed’

The haunting place of malefics and demons

The realms of witches and wraith-conjurers

We were called worshipers of both idol and devil

Whilst they paraded their own idols and iconography

Throughout the world

Investing more power in the devil

Than they ever attributed to their God

Who was so angry and jealous

It was impossible to tell them apart

Not content with crucifying

Their own God

Whom they stole

From the very pagans they persecuted

They decided to crucify the world

In equal measure

But times are changing

The Shaman’s Drum

Is being beat again

Beating out the hypocrisy and corruption

Of those reverend, saintly ones

So that the Way can truly

Return to the world

And with it

Peace in its wake

Diary of a Mystic: Trusting my Guides

thunder bird

More channeled chanting as I walked the dogs. Feeling upset, and with a recalcitrant mind, there were much more resistances to the spirit today than usual. It really had to reason with me, and gradually break down all of my barriers, before there was any sort of unity or peace. I had to remind myself that this is what I wanted – that, in being truly spontaneous and connected with things, does not always mean exactly following the same rituals every day. Sure, it is good to recite the Tao Te Ching – but, living the spontaneity that the Tao Te Ching teaches is much better. Though my bonds are being loosened, I am still caught in a rut, and bound by so many self-imposed restrictions of the mind.

The great thing about these chants is that, I don’t understand their meaning, I can’t intellectualize them, and I can’t really control them – I just have to be completely receptive to them. This is why I got the Earth Hexagram the other day – as I sign to be receptive like Earth, so that the seeds of shamanism and my psychic abilities can all be planted therein. I really need to kill my limiting, rational mind, as it is the source of almost all of my suffering.

The spirit today was Native American, and Chinese at times. I could see the Chinese man in his embroidered finery, taking part in a festival of dragons, dancing wildly in time with crashing cymbals and other powerful, shamanic trance music. I wanted to dance too. I feel like I need to go somewhere alone in the wild, or come together with others who would understand, to truly embrace this shamanic awakening. I cannot resist this. I must not be slow, like Carlos Castaneda, though it seems he and I share more of the same problems than I’ve thought. So much to still unlearn. So, so much!

The Native American spirit was more typical, had dark hair, traditional clothing, and three eagle feathers in his hair. He was alone and peaceful. I am trying to remember some of the specific advice they gave me, as it was quite profound. Being a channel for these spirits – who are all versions of me – is a bit like being worn as a pair of clothes. I just have to let their choices be my own, and not fear them, as they are working for the good of me, and the good of everyone – agents of wisdom and the spirit. I guess my fear is that they might make me do something dangerous while I am absent – but, not only is the danger necessary, but the greatest danger is really not following their wisdom, and allowing it to return to me as my own.

Visions of Sisyphus

sisyphusjpg

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.

Wrathful Deity Channeled – The Shaman’s Power

vajravetali

Sat down to meditate. Prayed and invoked a lot of different deities. I used Tara’s mantra, and visualized myself as one of her wrathful aspects, holding a lotus flower containing a spinning dharma wheel, seated on a moon disk in a lotus flower, Amitabha on my crown, and surrounded by a coronal wreath of fire.

As the feeling stabilized, I focused on her feminine attributes, channelling powerful energy through my imaginal vagina, and expanding my breasts to feed all the living, visualizing myself in consort with an appropriate male partner, and then switching it around, so that I was also the male, with a Vajravetali like figure.  Indestructible corpse – what a beautiful name! Channelling the whirling energy between us up through our crowns and out of the head into a womb of power above.

The channelled chanting starts quite early, barely ten minutes into the meditation – possibly the quickest arising yet. It is a short, repetitive mantra, most likely Tibetan, and, at first, starts out in just a muttered whisper, before gradually building in volume as the energetic sensations arise with it. It is easily the most demonstrably wrathful spirit I have ever channeled – my body swings, writhes and contorts rhythmically and pendulously with intensity and purpose, stretching and adapting my body in all sorts of unusual ways. No doubt, a fool would consider such an experience to be demonic possession, instead of a powerful, yet volatile, healing and awakening. It latter switches to a secondary mantra, which also sounds Tibetan. In general, the performance my body gives reminds me a lot of the dancing engaged in by the Tibetan oracles, who also rely mostly on wrathful deities for oracles, particularly Yamantaka.

The visions are of many wrathful spirits, definitely Yamantaka, and other blue, flaming, horned beings, possibly Sipe Gyalmo (who I invoked) and other Bon deities. At one point, I can feel these horns growing out of my head, and see a multiplicity of Yamantakas dancing upon the hazardous peaks of the Himalayas, raging with joy and power.

It feels like a definite Kundalini experience. There is a huge onrush of energy flowing through my lower three chakras, particularly my root and sexual chakras. I have not felt such a surge of sexual and Shakti prana for quite a long time – I don’t think any of them have ever been quite as intense, yet purely channeled, as this. It rises up into my imaginary womb, hopefully helping to burn away the karmic traces of sadness and grief that have become trapped there.

It strikes me that one of the reason the Vajrayana and Dzogchen traditions of Tibet are so powerful is because, though Buddhist, they are still essentially shamanistic in nature. Most of the Shamanistic traditions in the world have been utterly slaughtered, forgotten, or destroyed. Yet, the Bon and Buddhist traditions of Tibet are still being amazingly preserved and practiced to this day; and, with every passing day, more and more of its powerful, ancient secrets are being revealed and shared with the world at large. It is the greatest, greatest of gifts.

The reason it is so powerful is because of this dynamic coupling of the carefully codified wisdom and compassion of the Buddha Dharma, mingled with the natural, mystical, ritualized wildness of the Shamanistic Bon religion, tamed and wielded to perfection by Padmasambhava. Shamanism is always so powerful because it taps directly, and spontaneously, into the most powerful and ancestral of energies, without any remote requirement for intellectualism or even understanding. The shaman can do a lot of what he does simply because he does not understand, or even need to, in order to do it. Such a state of affairs is a puzzle to the ignorant, Western mind, which feels like it needs to grasp, explain, and intellectually reduce everything, before it can finally accept it and make use of it; rejecting everything that is misunderstood, even if it clearly and demonstrably works.

Of course, the shaman’s Way is not for everyone. It require complete grounding, courage, and fearlessness – the willingness to become repeatedly insane on a regular basis. Fortunately, for me, I have longed for insanity ever since I was a child, and so am perfectly suited to the role – especially as it is one that I have taken on in many, many lives. I am so grateful to have this part of myself reawakened, and look forward to sharing it with the rest of the world, to the benefit of all.

OM AH HUM!

 

Astral Travel Part 2: UFOs, Dragons, and Tongues

celestial_palace

At one point in my travels, I decided to turn myself into a spaceship. This made me think about the UFO phenomenon. UFOs, whilst having many shapes and types, are usually described as being silent; capable of aerodynamically impossible manoeuvres; moving at incredible speeds; and have the ability to pass between dimensions.

The reason UFOs are able to thwart aerodynamic laws is because they do not operate on aerodynamic principles, but instead, on quantum-holographic principles. UFOs are created by the minds of their inhabitants, and driven by the minds of their inhabitants. The majority of extra-terrestrials are very psychically and spiritually accomplished beings – to think of them only on a physical, earthly level is very ignorant indeed.

I also changed my form into that of a dragon. I could feel myself shifting through the dark avenues of existence, thunder and lightning booming and exploding in time with the contortions of my body.

Towards the end of the meditation, I began to chant spontaneously for about half an hour. The chants sounded as though they were shifting between Chinese, Tibetan, Native American, and a mixture of other languages I wouldn’t be able to place. They kept shifting and changing before settling into a mantra that went:

HEY DA HEY HOOOOOOOO – BUMDELUMDEDADUMDA!

As I chanted this mantra, I felt merged with the deep serenity of the void. The way the mantra kept shifting taught me something about the nature of sound geometry. The language was completely unimportant – rather, it was the way in which I shaped the sound that was most important, vigorously latching it onto the patterns of reality.

Prometheus Revisited: Stealing the Fire Without Getting Caught

Torch

Everyone is familiar with the Ancient Grecian legend concerning Prometheus’s storming of Olympus in order to bring the gift of fire down from the Heavens. But the story is by no means endemic to the mythological world of the Ancient Greeks. Parallel stories can be found on every corner of the globe. The Zulu Shaman, Credo Mutwa relates an almost identical story in his book, Song of the Stars, in which a trickster hero ascends to the heavens to get fire to warm the people, following a global cold spell in which the sun could no longer be seen as a consequence of a row with his wife, The Earth.

While this particularly variation of the story may be attributable to an historical period in which we were starved of sunlight following a massive ancient cataclysm between the earth and Venus, as posited by Immanuel Velikovsky – the traditional explanation that ethnologists and anthropologists attribute to it as an explanatory story regarding the invention of fire is absurd, and insulting to its deeper symbolic meaning.

‘Storming the Heavens’ was an important pastime to the ancients. In the classic Chinese book Journey to the West, a mischievous monkey king breaks into the palace of Heaven to gain heavenly powers, and to eat from a peach tree that will give him immortal life (sound familiar?) but gets caught by the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin and trapped inside a mountain for an immeasurable span of time, in the same way that Prometheus is tied to a rock for the rest of eternity, and is punished for his intransigence by having his organs ripped out and renewed on a daily basis.

As entertaining as they are, these are both incredibly meaningful stories, super-abundant in esoteric meaning.

“Storming the Heavens” is a reference to the astral flights of both modern and ancient shamans, achieved by meditation, drug ingestion, or torturous shamanic rituals. The shaman is a mediatrix between the astral world and his earthly community. He ‘storms the heavens’ to attain knowledge from the Akashic records, or Library of Babel, which he can use to heal and enlighten his people.

The fire he ‘steals’ is not earthly fire – why would anyone travel to space to steal fire, when it is easy to generate on Earth? – But the fire of illumination and enlightenment that is the aspiration of every spiritual seeker, which he will use to bring light into a world benighted by ignorance.

The turning away of the sun is a reference to this original period of ignorance (the true meaning of ‘original sin’ which, regrettably, mainstream Christianity has taken to mean ‘terminal sin’) – but also alludes to the necessity in meditation to turn attention away from the external world, and to focus one’s inner light on the darkness within, to the find the palace of heaven inside.

The fact of Prometheus being punished was probably a later addition by storytellers who sought to stigmatize the story’s shamanic origins and message. But it is also illustrative of one of the main pitfalls and difficulties of spiritual practice: it is not enough just go to heaven within during meditation – unless we bring it back with us, and find away to incorporate what we have learned into our lives, and the lives of everyone, then we are still chained to the rock, having our organs pecked out by the vultures of time. We must make regular trips to heaven if we are to fully understand or make sense of its infinite realms.

Interestingly, the fact of Prometheus’s disembowelment also makes it a precursor to Alien Abduction Syndrome. As many other researchers have noted, when shamans ‘storm the heavens’ whether from consuming Ayahuasca or any other method, they commonly report being operated on by spiritual beings who disembowel them, and replace their innards with crystals. Recent ingestors of the substance, as well as its chemical compound, DMT, also report being operated on by aliens, and having some sort of surgery performed on them.

Truly, the legend of Prometheus is a shamanic story, as these findings show.

Steal the fire as often as you want.

The only person who will ever punish you is yourself.

 

Short Story: The Blind Photographers of The Underground Temple

hermit

Photographers live principally underground.

Largely blind, with mole-like eyes, they feel their way along cavern walls, wearing dank sack-cloth robes.

Prior to becoming a photographer, all acolytes must have their eyes gouged out; once cauterized, their sockets are replenished with an unknown, semi-coagulated chemical – a milky, opaque quality to it – that half hardens, whilst still retaining its leakless fluidity – a dangerous, volatile chemical.

During periods of planetary conjunctions, these chemical pools within their eyes sockets begin to bubble and effervesce. The liquid heats up to a scalding intensity. Bilious streams of steam squeak out from behind their eyes. The heated liquid spatters out onto their skin, leaving them with a latticework of scars.

The periods of boiling are intensely painful. The deeper the pain, the deeper the photographers burrow, to try to hide their screams from others. But it is also when they experience their greatest inspirations. The pain drives them out of their ordinary consciousnesses: propelled into worlds where imagination is the ruler, they come back bewildered, inspired, haunted, raving at each other to try and convey their experiences; but, lacking the words to do so, they jabber at each other like a box of pixies, before better venting their madness through art.

Though blind, their sight is revived fourfold when a camera is placed before their eyes. At night, they rise to the surface of the world, and use their sacrificially enhanced sight to capture images beyond the ken of the surface-dwellers

Though the surface-dwellers can see, they are so weighed down by the worries of the world that everything to them just appears to be uniform and dull. This is where the acolytes come in – it is their responsibility to remind the world of the impenetrable colours surrounding them.

Only by blinding themselves, and withdrawing into the folds of darkness, can they show the sighted the wealth of what they have missed. They hide glossy magazines and 12X8’s outside their houses, in the hopes that this will one day inspire them to wake up.

The Demons of the Mind

Whether they be the horned, bewinged, goat-like satyrs of the Western World, or the flesh-devouring, multi-headed wraiths more common in the East, demons play a popular part in the global imagination. Every country in the world, no matter how anomalous or unique, possesses its own personal heritage of demons and the systems of Hells or torturous realms in which they are often both prisoner and jailer. Even Buddhism, with its strong emphasis on compassion and loving-kindness, has devoted numerous murals to the intricate portraiture of the cleansing purgatories that await the evil and impure; and Tibet, for all its veneration as the birthplace of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – (my personal hero) – has possibly one of the richest pantheons of demonology in the history of the human race.

But just what does this demonic fixation say about us? Why do they cleave so eagerly to our thoughts and our nightmares? Why do we need demons?

Everyone is familiar with the story from The Gospels regarding the ordeal of Jesus in which he was tempted by The Devil for 40 days and 40 nights. Buddha, too, as he sat under the Bodhi Tree, assiduously striving to attain enlightenment, was constantly beset by the devil, Mara – (the personification of selfishness and greed) – who did his utmost to prevent him from achieving tranquillity. Looking beyond these famous personages, and into the biographies and legends told of mystics and sages – and often artists, too – we find this same trend repeating itself. Whether the mystic in question was Christian, Muslim, Korean, Japanese, Hindu, Taoist, or Yaqui Shaman, we hear the same old story of saintly spiritual seekers being waylaid by devils in the wilderness, attacked, tempted, bewildered, and seduced, some emerging triumphant, whilst others, less unified in their will-power, succumb to their wiles and charms, and end up either mad or dead.  Many modern scholars and researchers – including Jacques Vallee – have drawn parallels between these tumults and more recent accounts of the Alien Abduction Phenomenon. The demons have followed us into the present. But just what is it they want with us? Or rather, what is it we want with them?

The Tibetan Buddhists – or, specifically, in this case, the ‘Chödpas’ – would go one better in these accounts. Instead of allowing themselves to be assailed unawares by these murderous imps, they would deliberately invoke them, in order to fully test the strength of their psychic development. In a ritual known as ‘Chöd’, the initiate betakes themself to a burial ground or alternate location of sinister repute, draws attention to themselves by blowing through a human thigh-bone trumpet, and undergoes a meditational practice in which they visualize themselves as being surrounded by demons and other spiritual beings, to whom they offer their body as a source of sustenance. In vivid, gruesome detail, they imagine themselves as being eaten, and torn apart, piece by piece, by these wretched fiends, until there is nothing left, and they are then liberated from the torture of selfishness.

It might seem strange to most people that anyone would choose to betake this terrifying ordeal of their own volition, but behind it is the desire to achieve the greatest of accomplishments: complete freedom from fear.

Fear is the root of all evil. Take it away, and no impurity or delusion can prevail. Greed is driven by the fear that we will not have enough to survive. Lust is driven by the fear that pleasure is only temporary and can only be begotten by external things. Anger is fuelled by the fear that things will never go our way unless we violently coerce them too; jealousy, by the fear that good things only happen to others; and paranoia by the belief that the universe is conspiring against us. Together, all of these children of fear form a nightmarish plexus, a self-imposed prison that prevents us from being ourselves, enjoying our lives, and joining as one with reality.

So, to excise fear, and become completely fearless, is the only way to attain utter freedom. No matter what we may accomplish or achieve otherwise, if we still have fear, then we are still imprisoned, and have a lot more work to do if we wish to escape.

That’s why the biggest demon of all is LAZINESS. LAZINESS is very a clever demon. He deludes us into loving our prisons. “You might be very unhappy in here,” reason the demon, “but it’s a lot worse out there. If you stay in here, you’ll be comfortable and safe, and won’t have to do any work. You’ll only alert the guards, and cause a mass of confusion if you try to escape. Best stick with what you know – even if that makes you miserable.”

These lies of LAZINESS’s are very effective, and most people succumb to them at one point or another in their lives. Why? Because the only way to escape from Fear is to confront Fear directly. And it is much easier to stay ensconced in our self-made hells, then to attempt to navigate The Valley of Death that lies outside our cage.

So what are demons?

Demons are what happens when our negative thoughts and beliefs are repeated so much that they begin to take on a life of their own. We all get beset by worries, fears, and concerns from time to time. If we ignore them or deal with them, then they will go away. But, if we pay them too much attention, and begin to take them seriously, so that passing fears turn into lifelong patterns of habit and belief, then we have promoted a weak demon into our lord and master. It is like trying to get rid of flies by coating yourself in honey: what you sought to dispel has become part of you, and it’s a hell of a process trying to wash them all off.

Meditation is the best means of achieving this purification.

The Meditator as an Exorcist

 

More and more people are becoming attracted to meditation as it’s begun to become a much more mainstream practice. But people are still very afraid of meditation, and will make as many excuses as they can to avoid trying it. “I can’t do it,” they say, “my mind just won’t turn off!” Of course it won’t! Not at first! It takes practice! No one can play like Steve Vai the first time they pick up the guitar, or speak fluent French when they first open a phrasebook. So why do we expect to be virtuoso yogis the first time we pick up the mind?

The reason people are afraid of meditation is because it takes an enormous amount of courage. It is easy to stave off thoughts when we are in a state of constant action, watching fast-paced television, listening to music, and doing several jobs all at the same time. But when we seat ourselves in stillness, and these distractions are no longer available to us, there is no hiding anymore. We must look directly into our minds, confront the demon-filled hells we find there, and tear them apart piece by piece. It is like Room 101. All our fears are created by us, for us. And only we have the power to either maintain them or take them away.

“Mankind will do just about everything to avoid looking at their own souls,” observed Carl Jung in Psychology and Alchemy. And, considering how much we’ve neglected them, it’s no surprise they’ve grown so shabby. But if you meditate with perseverance and courage, never giving up, then you will be able to turn your Hells into Paradise, and your demons into Buddhas and angels. ‘All things are Buddha things’ sayeth the Zen Monk, even demons. Find the Buddha within the demon, and you will revoke all his power. That’s why Lao Tzu said:

When Tao harmonizes the world

Demons lose their power

Learn to harmonize your own mind, and no demon will ever be able to enter into it.