Tag Archives: detachment

Chuck’s Place: Extraverted Meditation

Buddha sending out the right vibration…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

At first glance, the title, Extraverted Meditation, would appear to be a contradiction in terms. Typically, extraversion is understood as an individual’s dominant orientation to focus on the outside world, particularly as pertains to relationships and the opinions of others. In contrast, meditation is generally viewed as an introverted practice that deeply withdraws from the sensations and influences of the outer world.

In Jung’s time, when East truly began to meet West, particularly as regards spiritual practice, he warned that the extraverted orientation of the Western psyche was ill-suited for rapid wholesale adoption of Eastern meditation practices. Nonetheless, as he himself encountered the depths of the collective unconscious, in the visions and active imagination he documents in The Red Book, he practiced yogic asanas to ground his ego.

In fact, despite the almost total focus on the brain of modern Western psychological research, the bottomline focus and interventions prescribed by most Western therapists come straight out of Tibetan mindfulness and Yogic meditation practices.

These are the assignments given to ego to still the central nervous system into a state of calm. Nonetheless, the reigning mantra and New Year’s resolution from most people is, “I have to get back to my meditation.”

The power of outer world events, particularly in the time we are in, is impossible and perhaps inadvisable to fully screen from one’s attention. This, coupled with the dominant extraverted orientation of Western civilization, undermines the coveted but under-practiced aspiration to meditate. How can the Western psyche, perhaps even the world psyche, adapt the powerfully beneficial practice of meditation in the flux of such an unsettled outer world?

The key, as in all meditation, is to begin with focus on the body. If the goal of meditation is detachment from the ill effects of outer world sensory impressions upon the sanctity of the self, the body can be seen as the central registry of all sensory inputs.

All of our senses receive input through the physical body. Our thoughts, with their associated emotions, register in the body as well. Thus, active inner attention to the body in outer activity and interaction is a valid playing field for meditation.

Place the index finger of one hand upon the wrist of the other hand. Keep awareness upon the index finger experiencing the sensations within itself as it meets the solid boundary of the wrist. Notice the vibration of touch.

Shift awareness exclusively to the wrist. Notice its sensations of being touched. Feel the vibration of being touched. Alternate awareness slowly from toucher to touched. Now, allow these two distinct perspectives of touch to merge into a single vibratory union of touch, union of self.

Carry awareness of body into the world. Open to an image in the media. Notice its vibration; study its energy. Shift awareness to the body. Notice its impact upon the heart, upon the muscles, upon the breath. With awareness, restore the body’s organs to calm. Release all clenching; intend deep peace. Embrace the integrity of self in calm vibration.

Return gaze to the outer image, notice its vibration, its intent. Return awareness to the body. Notice any impact of image upon inner vibration. Restore the integrity of calm vibration. Repeat dual attention until outer image is completely neutralized, your inner vibration a steady flame.

Interact with the world. Notice the impact on the body in encounter with other. Use awareness to calm the heart, unclench the muscles, and silence the mind. The mind is silenced with awareness focused on body sensation, intended to calm.

Notice the words, the emotional intensity, the intent of the other. See the vibration of the other’s motive. Notice the inner impact of that vibration upon one’s body. Choose to maintain one’s inner vibration of calm. Use the breath to steady the body. Use intent to maintain inner calm, with attention given to where the body feels impacted. Dissolve into love of the oneness of everything.

These are some suggestions for extraverted meditation. Allow every moment, whether innerly or outerly focused, to become a meditative opportunity. Gradually expand the oneness of self with the oneness of everything. “Got to keep those vibrations, vibrations a happening to me…”

Good good good, good vibrations!

Chuck

Check out Brian Wilson’s live enhanced Good Vibrations from his album Smile. Notice the South African insert.

Chuck’s Place: The Currency of Attention

Sign of the times…

“Pay attention” is a frequently delivered command. Indeed, when we pay with our attention we deliver our energy to the object of our focus. Attention is a powerful energetic currency.

Notice, for instance, the impact on your personal energy when you tune into the news, or some form of social media. The impact can be either depleting or empowering. Either way, we spend our energy in our emotional reaction to the news. That expended energy is delivered, on a subtle level, to the person we are reacting to in the news.

Children, most dramatically, seek our attention. Child educators know that getting attention is the child’s goal, good or bad. Once the child has our attention, they thrive on the energy of our focus, as well as on our emotional reactions. Tantrums are energetic goldmines for the tantruming child.

Even inanimate objects can absorb our energy. A trip to a museum is a case in point. Though fascinating and educational, objects of art demand our attention and can deeply drain our energy. We could say that a sculpture at a museum is imbued with self-importance. Were it not so, it wouldn’t be on display. Be careful how much attention you give it!

Self-importance measures the quantity and quality of attention we are paid for being alive. The ego, as the orphaned ruler of the personality, seeks the attention of others to validate its worthiness. This extrinsic dependency is the consequence of the ego’s separation from its wholeness, at the time of birth into this world. A blank slate seeks the approval of others to find its worth.

Shamans have astutely addressed this energetic stalemate. The fragmentation from Spirit-self, that accompanies finite life in a physical world, has led to obsessive dependence upon the attention of others to replace one’s lost Spirit. This attention-seeking behavior is considered by shamans to be humankind’s greatest energy drain.

Shamans discovered that a shift in focus, like the social isolation the world is currently experiencing, can result in the accrual of vast sums of energy within the self. That energy, combined with the intent to reconnect to one’s Spirit, can result in a deeply healing, inner soul retrieval.

To be connected to the life of one’s Spirit is to become guided by omens, the synchronicities from infinity that guide and inform life; to be in the world but not of the world, at an attention-seeking level. Attention-seeking is then completely replaced by the pursuit of right action, the best decision to be made under the presenting circumstances.

To dance with omens is to feel constantly renewed by participation in a fuller life, one that includes one’s essence, at a cosmic level. Attention received is not attention sought, but it is attention provided to guide the way to right action.

Save the currency of your attention for that which truly guides you to your wholeness. This is the world we are morphing into, a world of interconnected oneness. Let’s attend to that!

Attending Spirit,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Commodity of Attention

Where are you putting your attention, on the chaos or the calm?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Advertisers scramble for it. Politicians pay and compete for it. Children crave it. All of us long for it. More valuable than money itself is the commodity of attention. More important than anything  to the stock markets of the world, at the current moment, is where investors place their attention. Attention is the prime mover of humanity.

We enter the world at birth, archetypally programmed to receive  attention. Attention is critical for us to, literally, come on line. Without the attention of good enough receivers we perish soon after entry.

With the outside validation of attention, good or bad, our attention is cultivated to fill out our personality, as our inner nature is sculpted through the process of socialization. Our attention is consolidated into an identity, a consistent sense of self. ‘I’ is molded through the solidification of our commodity of attention.

In school we are taught to cultivate our attention, to focus it upon the task of learning and creating. This training introduces us to the power of attention that we all possess. However, we are also heavily constricted by the rules of how attention should be practiced and upon what it should be focused.

Our freedom to exercise our attention is highly controlled by forces seeking the energy of our attention to uphold the primacy of their own belief systems. Without the mass attention of believers, belief systems have no currency to influence the world.

The consensus reality we live in requires a critical mass of attention to remain solid. This consensus means that we give our attention in support of its premises and leadership. If we withdraw that support it loses the commodity that upholds it, our attention.

Attention is more powerful than a vote or the ability to win an argument. Attention is focused energy, a powerful commodity. When we develop our dreaming attention, we develop the ability to explore and consciously exist as a substantial, multifaceted being in many dimensions of life.

When we are in command of our attention in waking life we can navigate the world with ease. Meditation is nothing other than full command of one’s attention. Intent is immediately drawn to the beacon of our attention. To command attention is to command intent.

To simply give one’s full attention to the meal one is eating, void of conversation, outside stimulation, and internal dialogue, connects one deeply to the needs and workings of the body. One remains in- body, knows how long to chew, when to swallow and when the body has had enough. The power of this attention reshapes the body and heals its ailments. Yes, the power of attention in such a simple task can radically change one’s state of health.

Come into your full power. Cultivate and store your precious commodity of attention. Be mindful not to spend it all on social media or obsession with world dramas seeking to bind and steal your attention.

No one can ever take away your freedom to place your attention where you want without your consent. And with that freedom, and a critical mass of the commodity of attention, the possibilities for life in all worlds is exponential.

Happy Savings,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: A Shift of the World’s Assemblage Point

Being Intent, no matter what…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Carlos Castaneda faced the most ego-crushing fact. His role, as dictated by Spirit itself, was to end rather than continue his shamanic lineage, a lineage that had spanned twenty-seven generations.

Carlos’ dilemma mirrors the energetic configuration of our time, a time of endings.

Earth herself is in a time of major reshaping as she violently shakes free of the shackles of inertia that have bound her in place. Shamans would call the place of her frozen fixation, the world’s assemblage point, the place where the Earth’s energy is assembled into a consensus reality, the everyday world as we have known it.

The Earth abounds now with dismantling events, be they earthquakes, Senate trials, or viruses. Reality, as we have known it, is being rocked at its core. Institutions are falling like dominoes. Many dreams are vying to become the new consensus reality, the world’s new position of the assemblage point.

As I see it, the destructive phase of now will not be of short duration. The dream currently dominating is the ultimate completion of a one-sided American dream. That dream demands full expression. Perhaps that is the true contribution of our time, to not suppress and pass along that unfulfilled dream for future generations to have to complete. I believe this current dream has been long in the making. That dream spares not even a brush with apocalypse to fulfill its hunger for power and domination.

More comprehensively put, America is completing the ultimate ego over everything dream. This is actually a universal dream, not just America’s. The universality of that dream reflects a world developmental process that tests the viability of fixation at the level of total narcissism.

The current strain of the coronavirus has presented a most interesting challenge to the most populated country on Earth, China, the ancient home of the Book of Changes, the I Ching. Could an alternative dream be unfolding where China shakes off its materialistic dew and gets down to its Taoist roots, action in accordance with Inner Truth (hexagram #61)?

A totalitarian regime has chosen to lose face. No hiding its blemish; it is currently the home of a deadly virus. Superhuman efforts are being made to construct necessary hospitals, isolate large masses of people, and provide accurate safety precaution to all. Economic considerations pale next to the cooperative needs of survival.

Who knows what will happen, but at present this unfolding dream appears to attempt to stalk a position beyond the narcissism of damage control to face the actual danger, with rationality untempered by narcissism. Planet Earth is steadily insisting on a movement that assembles such a reality.

More dreams will  fill the world stage in the coming months; these are the trials of transformation. When Carlos Castaneda was confronted with deciding what to do with the hidden knowledge of his shamanic lineage, as he closed its door, he dreamed forward Tensegrity, offering anyone who wanted it the practical knowledge of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico.

Carlos, while still in this world, would marvel at Tensegrity workshops, that he was able to observe perhaps a thousand people practicing in unison the Magical Passes of his lineage. This was a sight no other Nagual—the shamanic leader of a group of no greater than 16 apprentices in each generation—had ever witnessed: the power of the mass impact of these Magical Passes performed in unison.

Carlos Castaneda believed that the time had arrived where a new power of the mass, spirit warriors from all nations and traditions, would energetically combine their forces of intent  to shift the world’s assemblage point to a new, more comprehensive position to ensure a solid foundation for survival.

The ending of Carlos’ line marked the end of the self-importance of any one tradition holding the exclusive keys to the kingdom. The mass movement of this growing collective intent is fueled by truth, love, and pragmatism. It includes movements such as minimalism, clean energy, small cooperative organic farming communities, respect for the Earth as a living planetary being, as well as the all-inclusive values and practices of all spiritual traditions, none excluded.

The traumas upon the face of the Earth now, though tragic, reflect a shaking loose of the current heavy inert fixation of the assemblage point that has long been preparing for a necessary move. Carlos demonstrated the necessity of letting go of old ways, particularly the dominance of the narcissism of self-importance, to make room for a new position grounded in the greater common good.

We are lured to give over our attention, our hopes and fears, to quick fixes or idealistic dreams that could stem the tide of this destruction. Best to do this with what shamans call controlled folly: detached passion; rather than deplete one’s energy through futility and defeat. Much more important is to place one’s intent upon joining with the Earth’s intent, as she aggressively shifts her own body to a new and necessary position of the assemblage point.

May all beings join in the intent of this new position of the assemblage point, where reason is stripped of its narcissistic veils and applies itself wholeheartedly to the pragmatism of world survival.

being INTENT,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Being Intent

Woke up at midnight to a powerful headache. So begins the internal dialogue: “You didn’t take care of yourself. You brought this on. You won’t be able to sleep well. Tomorrow will be compromised. There is no way this headache will go away. Well, maybe if you took some Motrin. Some healer you are. You are powerless to change this pain…”

Stalking healing intent…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The impact of this messaging stirs anxiety and fear, and a general belief of defeat and failure, accompanied by a somewhat depressed mood.

The net effect of this internal dialogue is to securely embody a definition of self as flawed, limited, and of low value. To stalk such an experience is to add an impartial observer alongside this internal dialogue, with the intent to separate itself from these negative wrappings, and unleash the fullness of possibilities.

From this impartial place of awareness, the observer suspends judgment, awaiting other possibilities. Suddenly, a vague memory appears with some certain knowledge: “You can relieve your headache through your own agency, through your own intent.”

Immediately, the internal dialogue chips in: “That experience you think you remember was a fluke, maybe it didn’t really even happen. There’s no way you can eliminate your headache short of 1000mg of Motrin. Some healer you are.”

The stalking observer decides to place its full attention upon the details of its prior self-healing experience. Recapitulating that experience, it knows it began by placing full awareness upon the sensation of pain in the exact locale of the head from which it pulsated. From there, the command had been issued to release and relax, deeper and deeper.

The stalker decides to apply this method. The inner dialogue casts its aspersions, but the stalker finds inner silence, by simply placing its full attention upon the sensation, and giving the command to release and relax. No attention is given to the internal dialogue nor any other thought thread. The stalking observer then fully merges with the intent, into a state of being intent.

Within minutes, as relaxation and release deepen, the head becomes completely spacious, as inhaled breath flows freely through its caverns. The headache is completely erased! It never returns. Being intent has operationalized and fully realized its intent.

Don Juan Matus joked with his much younger apprentice, Carlos Castaneda, about how much physically older Carlos appeared than he. Don Juan attributed his youthful vitality to his refusal to uphold physical agreements he had never signed up for.

Socialization shapes and limits what we believe we are capable of physically changing. The body itself is governed by inherited archetypal intents, in the form of subconscious programs. The internal dialogue upholds these ‘facts’ of physical life. These facts are rarely challenged by consciousness.

Yogis, for eons, have demonstrated that full consciousness can be brought to, and take control of, every organ and biological system in the body. Being intent is the active agent of that consciousness. The key is to suspend the judgments of the internal dialogue, leading to inner silence, and then shifting into being intent.

The Sorcerers of Ancient Mexico became such masters of being intent that they turned their prowess into defying death, staying in human form indefinitely. Modern seers, though they appreciate such feats, see them as traps, as all beings must eventually change form through physical death, the destiny intent of the human form.

Nonetheless, being intent certainly opens the door to possibilities in human form, which are well-worth exploring. To be able to erase a full blown headache and slip into deeply rejuvenating sleep is deeply appreciated. It may not always be possible, but my motto, taken from my earliest mentor, Dr. Efren Ramirez, has always been: Anything is possible, until proven otherwise.

May all discover the possibilities of being intent for themselves.

being INTENT,

Chuck