Tag Archives: conjuring mind

Soulbyte for Tuesday April 2, 2019

Don’t let worry eat your energy or overtake your mind. Worry creates more worry and thus a whole cascade of symptoms manifest due to worry. And what is worry but a thought, a conjured idea, an aberration, an irritation, a thing best left untouched. For indeed, worry can poison, infect, and infest. When worry comes knocking, refuse it like the plague! If your mind needs something to think about give it something soothing and positive, give it nice stories and pleasant dreams, give it something good to mull over. As soon as you smell worry in the air, tell it to go away, and breathe in the soft calming air of positivity, good health, and sweet loving kindness. You can do nothing better for yourself. Refuse your worrisome mind with some good wholesome fun and good natured play. And remember, if worries are nothing more than conjured ideas, then there really is nothing to worry about! Worry less, have more energy.

-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Soulbyte for Monday July 30, 2018

Keep an open heart but also an open mind, for the mind does conjure ideas that the heart cannot get in alignment with. A closed and narrow mind can take over and forget about the heart, but the heart stays true to its original intent no matter what the mind decides. You know this already in the ache in your heart, in its longing, in its deepest desire for expression. Keep your heart strong and active and keep your mind in alignment with your heart’s good intentions. In heart centeredness anchor your mind so that it will know its true guide and decision maker, your deepest inner self. Live from the heart.

-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Chuck’s Place: A Divided Mind

A divided mind is food for thought. The choice? Feed the entities or dip into a pot of serenity? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
A divided mind is food for thought. The choice? Feed the entities or dip into a pot of serenity?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico were definitive in their designation of the mind as an outside entity that has become a permanent member of the human being. In modern biological terms we might view the mind as a symbiotic partner that both preys upon and contributes to our human experience.

The parasitic quality of the mind is most evident in the experience of worry. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico observed how the mind generates empty concerns that are fueled by the fires of obsessive worry. This fiery fury excites the central nervous system and generates an energetic intensity that actually serves as the food for the parasitic entity.

Earlier this week Jan’s dream of the loud knocks on the door reminded me of living on West 86th Street in New York City in my early twenties. I’d lie in bed at night and toss and turn, terrified that someone was going to attempt to break in. We lived in a very secure 24-hour doorman building, yet my fears culminated in my getting up and barricading the double-locked and chained front door with several chairs.

In the light of day those nightly terrors would easily be forgotten or dismissed, but the residue agitation in the central nervous system could lead to attaching to many daytime concerns. The truth is, however, that worry is a product of the mind. Its conjurings impact the body’s central nervous system to generate an excited energy for its own consumption. This action by the mind is similar to a cancer cell that seeks to enter and feed off the energy of the cells around it with little concern for the well being of the host it is destroying.

Interestingly, another function of the mind, rationality, actually provides the necessary tool to counter and overcome the deleterious impact of worry. From an existential here and now place, the rational mind can take responsibility for where we place our attention. In the face of the extraordinary pull to fixate on the conjuring creation, the rational mind is free to decide to shift its attention, i.e.: “I can choose where I put my attention.”

I can sit and gaze at the clouds... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
I can sit and gaze at the clouds…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I can choose to place my attention on my breath. I can choose to place my attention on a chakra, to tune into the state of sensation in my heart. I am free to breathe into and expand my heart center, my solar plexus, my throat, my head. I am free to say the words of a prayer. I am free to repeat a mantra. No one and nothing can take away my right to place my attention where I want it. And with that I can effect a shift in my central nervous system. I can restore the calm that the predator seeks to disrupt. This may take continuous effort, but if I am persevering the predator gives up.

And so, like most challenges that we encounter, there is a valuable polarity to our divided mind that offers excellent and immediate opportunity for evolutionary advancement. The predator instigates trouble through its worrisome conjuring, yet simultaneously it offers us the awareness of freedom of choice through the rational mind. If we use this tool of choice to subdue the predator we reclaim our power of attention, and a calm central nervous system to boot. Longterm results are increased consciousness and control. With this powerful mindset firmly in place we are prepared for deeper journeys into the ever unfolding mysteries of life, and beyond.

With mind set on infinity,
Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Energetic Fact or Phantom?

What does your conjuring mind look like? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
What does your conjuring mind look like?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Riding in the front of the train, we encounter oncoming time, what is factually, energetically happening right in front of us, NOW. Speculation, in contrast, is riding in the caboose, the back of the train, inundated with mindless ruminating on life lived or life possibly to be lived, as the energetic facts of our life—what is happening now—passes us by without our awareness. Speculation plants the seeds of obsession, which in turn generates phantom life—energetic capital spent on an unreal world, an abstract world that runs on our vital energy. Energetic fact disappears as we are inundated with phantom “what ifs.”

Phantom life is generated by obsessional thinking before sleep or upon awakening in the middle of the night. Phantom life is worry, energy given over to the conjuring mind. Phantom life literally sucks the life out of us. Phantom life cannot exist if we don’t fund it with vast amounts of our energy.

In order to perceive the true energetic facts of our lives, we need silence—detachment from the internal dialogue that incessantly conjures our view of the world and all that we encounter. We need silence so we can see what is really there.

Silence is not the absence of noise, nor the absence of dialogue. Silence is mastery over where we choose to place our attention. If we let the mind say what it will, let the noise in the surround remain while we disengage our attention from its activity, we unhook, or de-tach. In this way, we free our awareness.

I offer a few simple examples of phantom thought and practical aids to achieving silence. If I really focus my awareness on an inhalation, I notice that I cannot hold a thought. If I am gripped by a thought that evolves into a phantom story, I notice that my breathing slows to a mere maintenance level as the story takes precedence. If I shift my awareness away from the phantom story that my mind is busy conjuring up and take a deep breath instead, the story desists. The two cannot exist simultaneously.

If I do Tensegrity, the Magical Passes of Carlos Castaneda’s lineage, I cannot maintain a thought. If I step into thought, I cannot remember the next move in the pass. I cannot maintain thought and accuracy of movement simultaneously. Magical Passes shift attention away from the internal dialogue, offering moments of silence. Any focused physical movement achieves the same outcome.

If I stare at a candle flame and listen to my internal dialogue, I notice that I lose connection to the flame. The flame remains, however, inviting my attention back, offering the opportunity to burn away my attachment to thought.

In practicing moments of silence, we eventually achieve mastery over phantom life; we hone our energy to be utilized with intent. In silence, we are fully present to the energetic facts of our lives. In silence, our energetic reserves are fully prepared to engage and live to the fullest, in NOW time.

In silence, from the front of the train,
Chuck

A Day in a Life: Illusion or Not?

I ponder the world as illusion. While channeling Jeanne’s message on Monday, I reached a personal moment of enlightenment when I grasped the idea that the inner world and the outer world are the same, that both are real and both are illusion. Carl Jung once noted that the inner world was as real or perhaps more real than the outer world. This has always been my experience, more of an inner world person than an outer world person. What I experienced in that moment of enlightenment on Monday was, from a shamanic point of view, a shift in the assemblage point, a shift in perception. This is when the world, as we know it, suddenly falls away and everything is seen and perceived differently. When this happens we are in another reality, “seeing” the world as it truly is, in shamanic terms, seeing the world as energy. So with that in mind, holding onto the idea that both worlds are real and illusory at the same time, I went into my week.

On Tuesday, I sat down to meditate in my favorite spot, looking out over the trees in the back yard. It was early morning; the sun was beginning to rise, battling the clouds for prominence. I wondered what the day would be like, rain or sun? I meditate with my eyes open. I softened my gaze as I did my breathing exercises, holding onto the out-breath ever so slightly in an attempt to linger a moment in emptiness and detach from thinking. Eventually, by focusing on slowly breathing in and out, I reached an in-between stage, where the outside world dissolved into a blurred picture and the inner world went quiet. This is a moment of shift in the assemblage point.

Sometimes I can stay suspended in this in-between space for a few seconds, sometimes longer. It’s as if my awareness is a thin sheet of glass, suspended between these two normal states of reality. I say thin, because invariably something will interfere to bring me back and then both the inner world of thought and the outer world of everyday reality come snapping back into sharp focus again. On Tuesday it was a flock of crows flying into the backyard that broke through the thin veneer of glass.

“Oh, here come the shamans, come to distract,” I thought. “Don’t attach.” And the glass immediately shattered as I watched the crows land in the trees right at eye level.

“Don’t attach,” I said again, softening my gaze. As I did so, I noticed that the crows literally dissolved as the glass pulled up between the two worlds again, which obviously was enough to pull me right back to thinking, to trying to grasp what I was experiencing. Of course, I wanted to check out if the crows were indeed still in the trees. So I looked directly at the treetops and yes, there were the crows sitting right where they had been.

“Okay,” I thought. “The crows are like these thoughts, flying into my mind and I must learn to let them go. I must learn to detach.” Again, I softened my gaze; focused on breathing, telling myself to let them fly past, just like the thoughts that were interfering.

“Even if those thoughts are attempting to grasp at this awakening experience I am having, it does not matter, let them go,” I said as I pushed everything away: thoughts, crows, trees, the inner and outer world.

“Just let it all go,” I whispered and, as the scenario played out, the thoughts flew away, the crows dissolved, and the thin sheet of shift, the glass, reappeared. I hung again in a moment of shift of the assemblage point, in inner silence, as the shamans call it, in nothingness, ever so briefly.

So, what did I learn during this experience? First of all, I experienced a volitional shift of the assemblage point, changing my perception of reality using a tried and true method: by meditation. Secondly, I saw the crows of thought and illusion dissolve into energy. If the crows are thoughts and thoughts belong to my inner world, I was able to underscore the moment of enlightenment I’d reached on Monday that the inner world and the outer world are both real and both illusion.

As I pondered this idea further, I thought about how thoughts are present only in the mind. In fact, they do not exist except in the mind, but they have the chance to become real when given form. In creative endeavors, as we paint, sculpt, dance, put them down in words and musical notes, as we write what we think, imagine, and discover, they manifest in this world of reality, no longer illusion but real. But until that manifestation they are illusion. These thoughts I now transcribe, though they existed in my mind, remained illusion until expressed in this form. They flew around in my head like those crows outside the window, seemingly real but not necessarily so, until this moment of landing, assembling into a long string of words that, hopefully, make sense.

I understand, in one sense, that my inner world, as real and important as it is to me, does not exist. And yet, I admit that it is extremely necessary, offering me the means to evolve, so I accept that my inner reality does exist. Even those very real crows existed one moment, but in the next dissolved, as I shifted my assemblage point so that the world of normal perception, reality, ceased to exist. At the same time, however, both the inner world and the outer world do exist; they are notches on the assemblage point. They are equally real, but equally illusion. But the thing to note is that our true awareness lies somewhere between or beyond those worlds, in the silence of that veneer of glass that is so hard to stay in. Does this make sense?

What I am getting at is that we all have these experiences. Our thoughts are simply thoughts, non-existent, present as energy inside us. If we can view them as such, we may be able to understand the idea of everything as illusion, but also as energy. When we hone that energy into something else, our thoughts become something different. They become tangible, expressed in forms that others can grasp, our personal experiences of illusion, of inner energy manifested.

Can we see the outside world in similar terms? The shamans say that our conjuring minds are responsible for the world of reality. We are taught from birth to see the world in a fixed position, and yet we all have had experiences of shifts in reality at some time or other in our lives, as Jeanne asked us to note in her message the other day. If thoughts are illusion, conjured by our mind, made manifest in the outer world, is not then the world of reality, conjured by this same universal mind, illusion as well? If everything we experience as reality at one time existed as thought, it stands that it can also dissolve back into its original energy form of thought, and thus, illusion.

As I sat and played with this idea the other day, dissolving the crows out of the trees one minute and placing them back in the trees the next I got it again, just how illusory the world is. My thoughts are nothing, the crows are nothing, I am nothing, but we are all energy. If we can hang just a little bit longer in that thin slip of world between the two illusions we may experience this sense of self as energy.

And why would we do this? As we shift our assemblage point, as we see differently, as our worlds dissolve, as we hold onto our awareness, we begin to train ourselves for the moment of death. This is what the Buddhists do, what the shamans do; they train their awareness for the moment of death. They learn how to hold onto awareness, how to stay connected to awareness of the self as energy so that, at the moment of death, they do not get caught in the illusions. They seek to hone the skills of awareness, so that they do not get caught in grasping, needing, desiring, in sadness or yearning for this world, which they have learned is but illusion.

According to these ancient disciplines, of Buddhism and shamanism, this is what we are here to learn. We are here to free ourselves from the endless cycles of being caught in the illusion that this is all there is. We are offered, with each new life, the opportunity to experience the moments of awakening to our true nature as energetic beings. This is what Jeanne was describing and asking us to note in her message.

Take note of the moments when the illusions of reality disappear, those aha moments when we experience life differently. These are the moments to keep striving for, to string together, until we fully grasp their significance and can volitionally return to them again and again. We must seek the space of thin veneer between worlds and thicken it so that we can stay in it longer. We must seek our true awareness and set it free in that in-between place; because that is what we will need to recall and hold onto at the moment of death.

The cool thing is that we are offered plenty of those moments of enlightenment now, in our present lives, in our present worlds. Try it. It’s fun!

Thanks for reading and passing these blogs on to others! Sending you all love and good wishes.

In awareness,
Jan

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