Tag Archives: intent

Chuck’s Place: Stopping the World

I could not get enough of Professor Luther. I took four undergraduate history courses with him. A supreme dramatist, Professor Luther made history come alive. When you sat in one of his lectures, the door to the present world was closed and you were transported into the midst of the Russian Revolution or the Protestant Reformation. Professor Luther stopped the world.

He was always impeccably dressed, conservatively, in a three-piece suit and narrow tie. He was thin, of medium height, with eyes that were shifty with an almost hidden condescension, but truthfully hiding a scholarly knowing, and as his student you knew that he was alone in his knowledge and awareness. You were never going to be his friend; you were always the student of this man who so clearly knew something that you did not know. He would take you on a journey into a different world, but in the end he would leave you back on the shore as he turned and walked away without a backward glance. He was gone, without attachment to his students, until the next journey.

As I sat in the classroom, waiting for class to begin, I would wonder where he was. He always simply appeared, out of nowhere. Calmly and quietly closing the door, he’d walk in measured step, in deliberate trance, to the podium and with a glint in his eyes, his face almost vibrating, he’d shift us, the students, into another time and place. He was a mouse that could roar. He’d whisper and he’d boom in a thundering voice, like an opera singer that could span the vocal range in an instant. Equally, he would pause in dead silence for what seemed like an eternity, as we sat waiting for what came next. We were captivated.

I’ve come to realize that Professor Luther’s dramatics were actually a subterfuge to his real teaching, which was, in his words: It’s not the truth that matters; it’s what people believe to be true that constructs reality. As Professor Luther recapitulated history in his courses, this truth was exposed over and over again. Professor Luther’s technique was to catch our attention through stopping the world, whereby showing us that reality was merely a consensually accepted description or interpretation.

The shamans teach us that it is only through stopping the world that we might glimpse the relativity of what we call reality; that our world is a description we all agree upon. Reality, in shamans’ terms, is: where we decide to place our intent. Likewise, the shamans contend that there are other worlds we might inhabit, other truths we might discover, if we are willing to shift our intent, if we are willing to let go of the description we cling to so desperately in an attempt to consolidate ourselves and feel secure.

As I laid down my pen after writing these words, I next spoke to a journeyer fresh out of the rainforest, having just experienced sacred ayahuasca ceremonies under the guidance of shamans. In synchronistic agreement, this journeyer shared the experience of having the world stop: Reality is where you place your intent. The interpretation that is assigned to an energetic experience becomes that experience. For instance, if we think dark thoughts our world becomes hell. Our beliefs, what we attach to, generate our reality. Our beliefs, our descriptive interpretations of life, create and construct the world we live in.

Within that same hour, in another synchronistic agreement, I read Jan’s blog after it came out on Wednesday. Jan describes how, in her own recapitulation, she completely dismantled her ancient description of herself. She stopped the world, deconstructed and reconstructed herself. She entered a new reality unburdened of past secrets.

America, at this very moment, finds itself poised to stop the world and generate a new reality. The lines are drawn now between the truth and the forces richly investing in influencing what we believe to be true; the simple truth against a total lie; total simplicity versus total greed. What world will we choose to now construct? The truths couldn’t be more apparent—thank you nature! The lies couldn’t be better funded nor more comically presented. The stage is set for the ultimate revolution: Do we evolve into a new sustainable description of reality or do we go down, nobly dancing and singing on the sinking Titanic? Let’s thank both nature and the extreme forces of greed for offering us this amazing opportunity to stop the world.

Stop the world—tolerate the tension of disorientation. Let it be.

Are we going to evolve or are we going to stay the same? This is our collective challenge, but, like all revolutions, it is but the subterfuge, the drama. The real challenge is whether we, as individuals, can look into the mirror of the outer world and take on the responsibility to truly stop the world—the world we signed up for, the world we uphold, the world that must be stopped. It is our extreme attachment to the security of the world we know, regardless of how insane and unworkable that might be, that keeps us the same, merely complaining about the mess we feel powerless to change. The real culprit in all of this is our personal unwillingness to stop the known world we are so attached to and place our intent on a new description, a new viable description of the world.

The shamans have extremely pragmatic tools to accrue the energy to stop the world. One such tool is to erase personal history. The shamans are definite that upholding a uniform description of the world requires tremendous reinforcement. Every day we engage in an incessant internal dialogue that judges and categorizes everything, especially our selves, as we constantly reaffirm the same description of who we collectively are, who you personally are, and how it all fits together.

Socially, we engage in the dialogue of catch-up. “So, what’s new? What have you been up to? How’s so and so, and such and such?” What ensues here is filling each other with the data of each other’s lives, which is then affirmed, categorized and judged. Energetically, we walk away comfortably reinforced in who we are and who they are. We now hold each other to the expectations emanating from the presentations of ourselves. Our world is protected, defined, and known. This is family; this is friendship.

Catch-up ensures consistency and uniformity, as we remain fixated within the known world, the known compound of the self. When shamans suggest we erase personal history they mean to break all the rules of the familiar, in effect, to shatter the uniformity of the known and open the gate to unfamiliarity—the gateway to stopping the world.

If we are used to playing catch-up we might try withholding, not sharing, some or all of our experiences with family and friends, simply allow ourselves to hold them in total aloneness. In contrast, if our familiarity is to withhold everything, we might challenge ourselves to tell all. The operative principle is to break ranks with a familiar definition of self, consciously and mindfully intending and engaging life beyond a static definition: engaging life beyond the veils of illusion. Take a walk on the wild side; inhabit a new description of self. Make room to become a self unknown to the self. Change your name, but be careful not to stay the same, with merely a new name that fits an old description.

Another related tool that shamans employ to accrue energy to stop the world is to disrupt the routines of life. Many people wake up in the night and struggle to return to sleep. Redefine the night. Choose instead to get up, get dressed, and take a walk—outside. We can be assured that within moments we will feel the sensation of stopping the world and stepping into a new reality. We will notice how frightening and exhilarating crossing the threshold from routine into the unknown can be. That is the real challenge. Can we really do it?

Can we eat two meals a day or eight? Furthermore, whatever we do today, can we not repeat it tomorrow? Can we take a different route to work? Sit in a different seat? Watch a different show? Wear our underwear backwards? The possibilities are endless.

Every time we disrupt the routines of life or erase personal history we accrue energy toward a major stopping of the world as we practice becoming comfortable in flux. It is only through becoming comfortable with consciously stopping the world that we can allow for new possibilities. All who individually engage in these practices are stalking life in a new world. This kind of new world is truer to the flow of energy. This new description of the world is sustainable, a description in flux with the true flow of natural energy.

Be empowered, stop the world, and when it comes time to vote, change the world!

In flux,

A Day in a Life: On the Road to Mindfulness

The world has grown larger in the past couple of centuries as we have gone beyond our villages and towns, beyond our states and countries, as we have sailed and flown to foreign parts and discovered other villages, towns, and countries. Hopefully, we have learned that the people in those other countries are just like us; flesh and blood, with feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes; that they also love certain things about life; that they love their children, husbands and wives; that they too are fallible and make mistakes just as we do. Hopefully, we have gained a broader view of humanity as a whole and now understand the greater interconnectedness of all things and that we are all responsible for what happens on our planet no matter where we live. Hopefully, we have learned that we are all the same in so many ways, because now may be the time for us to return to our villages and towns and countries, taking with us all that we have learned. Now may be the time for us to utilize what we have learned, for all humanity.

With the crisis in Japan the world has changed. We must accept this fact. We must figure out how we want to live now that we can no longer rely on trade with Japan to support our abundant lifestyles. Our cars must come from within our own borders, our food must be local, our responsibility to the entire world rests on us all making changes that are good for the Earth. We must not only change our personal lives, but we must pressure our governments to change as well, to be a part of the greater world without a doubt, but to make decisions that take into consideration the larger global picture that we have a greater understanding of now that we have all become world explorers. But it is time for the explorers to take what has been learned and, with that new knowledge firmly grasped, return home and change.

So how can we personally change? How can we as individuals make progress toward changing the way things are done? We can start with mindfulness. In the Buddhist sense, mindfulness is staying present in the moment, in as many moments as possible throughout the day. It is being mindful of how we walk, how we eat, how we talk. It is being mindful of how we drive, how we spend our time, how we think. It is being mindful of how we love, how we give, how we receive. It is being mindful of what we choose to look at, read, and allow into our bodies. It is being mindful of our thoughts, judgments, criticisms of our self and others. It is being mindful of our intents, our prayers, our desires. In essence, being mindful is being aware, and being aware of ourselves in the world is how we can be mindful of how we can change.

In practical terms, we must first accept that we are all living in Japan now. Our world has changed. That is the first thing we must take into consideration as we turn and study our personal responsibilities to this changed world. How can I mindfully be present and aware?

“Most of the time, we are lost in the past or carried away by the future. When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace, and love.” So writes Thich Nhat Hanh in The Long Road Turns to Joy, A Guide to Walking Meditation.

I propose meditation in everyday life, in constantly reminding the self to be present, as the means of gaining greater awareness of ourselves in the world and greater awareness of what we must do to change and flow with the energy of nature, now guiding us in this process of change. This does not have to be anything more than reminding the self to focus on each task that we do, to do it mindfully. Personally, I try to be mindful from the moment I wake up. I am not always successful, since it is impossible to be mindful every moment of every day, but the more often I pull my thoughts back to what I am doing the more I am able to be present. Each one of those tiny moments of presence, of awareness of the moment, adds up. Being mindful throughout the day is really very simple.

When I get out of bed and put my feet onto the floor, I say to myself: I am putting my feet onto the floor. I feel the floor under my feet. I am walking, walking, walking. I am waking up with each step. I am noticing the morning darkness or the morning light. I am walking.

When I make my morning coffee, I say to myself: I am making the coffee. I am running the water, measuring the coffee, thanking the earth for the water, the coffee plantations for the delicious coffee beans. I am staying mindfully focused on what I am doing, turning this process into a mantra as I awaken to a new day mindfully. When I drink my freshly brewed coffee, I say to myself: I am drinking this coffee. I am drinking and feeling each sip I take. I am mindfully drinking my coffee.

As the day goes on, I continue to remind myself to pay attention to what I am doing. When I eat, I say to myself: I am eating now. I am eating this delicious food that someone else has grown and tended and I thank them for it. If I keep thanking and focusing on what I am doing other thoughts easily leave, but they come back quickly, so I must again remind myself of what I am doing. This is practicing mindfulness.

In accepting that we are all personally responsible, as citizens of the world, we can turn to the small things in life as the place to begin making the most changes, having the most impact. As we mindfully go about our day we may discover where we are sloppy with our time and thoughts. We may discover that, as we pay attention to each task, we slow down considerably and in so doing gain not only peaceful moments of calm, but discover that we don’t really need to hurry at all, because we see that in slowing down mindfully we have plenty of time for the things that really matter. And that is the crux of what our world is asking of us now. What really matters?

Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment

“The First Noble Truth,” writes Thich Nhat Hahn, “taught by the Buddha is the presence of suffering. Awareness of suffering generates compassion, and compassion generates the will to practice the Way.” If we are to practice the Way, live mindfully in balance with nature, inner and outer nature, we must be aware of suffering. Right now there is suffering in Japan, in the Middle East, and in our own countries there is suffering every day.

We can mindfully remind ourselves of this by saying: I am aware of the suffering in Japan. I am aware of the suffering as the wars in the Middle East are waged. I am aware of the suffering in my own backyard. I feel this suffering. I accept the truth of suffering. I know what it means to suffer too. I now turn my heart outward and send compassion on the wings of intent. I am mindful of my power to change and to change the world by my intent.

This is mindful living. Try it.

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

In mindfulness,

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below. And don’t forget to check out our facebook page at: Riverwalker Press on facebook where we post daily comments and quotes.

A Day in a Life: The Observer

Take note: The Observer is always present. It’s clear that we all have one. But how do we access this most pragmatic and sage voice of wisdom? I like to call this aspect of the psyche the Ancient Spirit Self, but for today I will stick with the term Observer.

Lately, in dream work, I have noticed this Observer most clearly. Having set my intent to access this aspect of self over the past few weeks—writing about it on the website and meditating into quiet specifically to access it—its voice has grown more pronounced. That is how intent works. I bow to intent today in writing about my experiences of the Observer.

Last week, I wrote about two dreams I had in Dreaming Intent. I noted during those dreams that I was both Participant and Observer and since then I have been aware that I am always both Participant and Observe while I dream. Even in waking life we are Participant and Observer, though perhaps it is easier to experience these two sides of the self in dreaming. With our busy minds and the difficulty we have in shutting down our thoughts, the dreaming world might be a good place to begin experiencing the Observer and note the difference between this voice and other voices, such as those related to the ego, the voice that speaks most loudly as we navigate the everyday world.

We all dream and I suggest that in dreaming we all clearly experience ourselves as Participant and Observer. Think about it. Recall a recent or old dream and note from what perspective the dream was viewed. Most likely, even though while deeply immersed in the dream there was another aspect of awareness that was present, as if directing the action or watching from afar. This is the Observer.

For instance, while dreaming recently, I clearly heard my Observer self telling me to wake up and write the dream down. “You know you’ll forget it, or you just won’t get it right if you don’t wake up now and write this down,” it said to me, rather sternly. I rather reluctantly got myself up to a sitting position, reached for my notebook and pen, which I keep open and ready beside the bed, and, in a half-awake state, in the dark, I wrote out the experience of the dream.

In the morning, my first thought was that I would most likely have to elaborate on what I had written, sure that I had not captured the essence of the dream during my bumbling state in the night. But, when I took a look at what I had written in the dark of the night, I saw that I had most clearly captured the dream, that I did not have to elaborate or alter a single word that my Observer had instructed me to write down.

This fascinated me on two levels. First, I noted how my ego jumped right in with its judgments, sure that I could not have captured the full essence of the dream. But when I read what I had written, I pointedly asked my ego to step down and be humble, to not be so quick to jump to conclusions. Second, I was fascinated by the language that flowed out of me in that dream state. I decided that I must learn to trust the Observer more often. I liked the tone of this Observer. It had simply and truthfully captured the dream. I note that the Observer, present in both my dream state and in my half-awake state, was the voice of truth, of reason—the one who knows all—and when I listen to it, I see that it does, in fact, get things right.

It is humbling and almost frightening to note that we all have this voice of reason within us. We all have the potential to get our lives in order, to live as ancient spiritual beings, and yet we relinquish this most central aspect of ourselves as we navigate the world from our participant selves, our egos, thinking that they have all the answers. I find this pretty scary while at the same time I note that it is how we must live in this world. We must build our egos to the point where they can topple without our attaching to them, without our needing them anymore. They will always rise up again and again to test us, to challenge our Observer-Who-Knows-All, seeking to thwart our true need for this aspect of self to live more fully. The ego is there to both draw us from this inner aspect of self, and challenge us to more fully embrace it.

In our dream world we have the opportunity to more fully connect with this Observer self, to understand how it directs us to not only observe and take note of the truth, but how it pushes us to act, as it did in my dream, asking me to: “wake up you sleepyhead and write this down!” In gently nudging us awake, night after night, it asks us to remember its voice, its sober and truthful tone, its pragmatic and knowing insinuation that we are fully capable of hearing and acting on its directives. We just have to train ourselves to do so.

As I mentioned above, we are both Participant and Observer in dreaming and in waking life. Personally, I intend to keep studying this inner and outer phenomenon. I intend to be more alert to myself in both roles. When am I Participant and when am I Observer? Am I indeed both at the same time, all the time? Can I switch over to Observer, ancient spirit self, volitionally in waking life, even when I am not meditating? Yes, I believe it is possible. And to do that, I must remind myself constantly to stay present in the moment.

I know—and perhaps it is my Observer telling me this—that if I constantly remind myself to stay in the moment that I will more fully access this aspect of self. So, I elect to challenge myself this week to more fully stay in the moment. That is the intent I set, with the added intent of being able to hear the clear voice of the Observer, as clearly as I heard it in my dream.

I ask that my Observer wake me up throughout my day and tell me what I need to know. This is my intent. Why not try it too, and then let’s see what happens!

If you wish, feel free to share or comment in the Post Comment section below.

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

#747 I Set My Intent

Written by Jan Ketchel and including a channeled message from Jeanne Ketchel.

I set my intent to channel a message from Jeanne for all of her readers. Let this message be personally and universally significant for our times. I ask that those who read it receive a deeply personal experience from the words and the meaning they imply. Let this message convey a profound and enlightening insight for each reader and let them see its personal significance reflected and synchronistically repeated throughout the day and the coming week. I ask that this message from Jeanne be imbued with the intent of the seers of ancient Mexico, that it catapult those who read it into deeper awareness of themselves as beings comprised of energy and that they see this and know this more deeply than normal. I ask that this message also be imbued with the reminder to all of us to stay in the moment, to retain what we learn, and to give ourselves permission to act differently from this day forth. I ask all these things of Jeanne, of the universe, and of the seers of ancient Mexico and any other enlightened energy that wishes to partake in the greater effort to move us, the human race, on our journeys to awareness and change. Thank you.

Jeanne once told me that we channel through our heart chakra. I do heart-centered breathing to open my heart chakra. I feel it slowly cracking open, widening like an aperture, as I set this intent and wait for the words that I am sure will come to guide us today. I wait.

These are the words I perceive:

There are many beings capable of guiding you, My Dearest Ones, but the most important one is you. Each one of you is set with all you need. Your main job as a human being is to find your river of energy, the wellspring from which your energy flows. It is within and without.

You will tap into its source deep within the self through your greatest organ that pumps your life blood, that sends all your energy pulsing through your body: your heart. As Jan says, this is where we channel. From beyond place and time, I access this scribe who so faultlessly passes on my missives, through her heart.

I encourage on this day that a concerted effort be made, in the name of all true human potential, to access this vital organ of significance. Do not ask for more than awareness of its potential at this point; it is all you need to begin. Find its personal meaning.

Is your heart indeed your wellspring? Is it your pump, your river, your flowing energy button? Can you push this, prod this, or nudge open this central place of life and awareness, asking it to awaken?

Yes, you can. Try it. Ask the self to simply place a hand of intent upon your heart and feel its beating, its efforts to alert you to the truth of its energy source. Your heart is your source center, your beat of life, your grand cheerleader that nudges you along and allows you to exist in that form, but in all forms as well.

This is your center of energy. You can accept this idea or not, but if you wish to be part of the intent of this message I ask that you become acquainted with this truth. Your heart beats your greater truth, your awareness of connection to all things.

Find this center of self. Notice how it personally communicates with you and begin to ask it to remind you of its importance in your life, not only as the place of flow of life blood, but as the place of flow of all life energy.

Listen to your heart. Place your attention upon it today and in the coming days. Make this your personal intent. Ask your heart to speak to you, to guide you to awareness of the intent of both this query and this response. Ask it to tell you what you must truly know about the self, at this moment, in order to advance another big step upon your journey.

Ask it to remind you to stay connected to it and your personal intent. Find that it answers you in many languages: in spoken language, the language of visions and insight, of seeing and knowing, of interplay with mind, body and spirit reflected all around you. Ask it to keep you on the path that is right; on the path that may not be clear but that is clearly your path to change.

I ask, as Jan does, that this message carry forth its purity of intent to purify your heart of all negativity, judgments and condemnations alike, forced upon you by others or personally accepted though no longer right or necessary to bear. I ask that your heart grow soft and open to new awareness, insight, and experiences that only you may understand.

Do not fear your heart’s own intent, which is that your personal journey be transformative without restrictions; energetically enlightening, so that you may all suffer through your issues of contentment and disturbance, brought on by your restless spirits so that you may no longer suffer ignorance or fear of the true journey you have before you.

Open your hearts to yourselves first, My Dears. Accept your path. Listen to your truth-speaking heart. Be guided by the significance of your present life. And do not fear your journey.

This is how you will learn what awareness is, what intent is, and how it is present at all times to guide you. Ask it to come forth from the self, to meet the greater intent outside of you, greeting you on your path.

Look with optimism and joy for your true awareness of self as an energy being, and take your next step forward from that place. And don’t forget to look at the world around you as you go into each moment of your day. You may indeed experience a new kind of self in a new kind of world. Welcome to the magic!

Thank you Jeanne and all our guides in the universe—ancient and wise—as well as our own heart-centered personal energy, ancient and wise as well!

Please feel free to post comments or respond to this message in the post/read comments section below. And thank you for passing the messages on!

Most fondly and humbly offered.

Chuck’s Place: The Midas Touch of Intent

I intend a change. Midway through the night, I am suddenly awoken. Outside sounds abound around me. I am captive; they will not let me return to sleep. For hours they exhaust me. All I can do is breathe, breathe into deep relaxation.

The next day, I am present, but a step behind the action. My intuition, ordinarily my guiding light, is shut down. The world moves at its normal pace, but all I can do is watch it unfold as I fumble for words and meaning. I meet extraordinary challenges in the day. I notice an exhausted, detached calm.

The next night, I dream I am at the Grammys. I sit next to Bob Dylan. From his seat he delivers an acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award. He rambles on, monotone, almost incoherent, like he’s talking to himself. Someone from behind, with a long wooden pole, tries to poke Bob, to make him shut up. I protect him by deflecting the pole. He deserves respect.

In another dream, I’m in a large lake at night. I’m swimming. A huge oceanlike wave is approaching. I dive through it, only it doesn’t pass, it engulfs. I realize it’s a tidal wave. I’m now well beneath the surface. I do seem to be able to breathe. I’m not overwhelmed by fear, but it does feel like death is imminent.

More and different challenges appear the next day in waking life. Encounters coalesce around the theme central to my intent. It’s clear I am being softened, made malleable, as intent pulls me forward, pushing me to experience a much deeper level of groundedness and detachment.

The next night, in a dream, a Chinese man translates the soup choices on the menu at a restaurant. I choose the soup called: “A Light Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” Something has shifted; light can now pass through where once I was caught, between a rock and a hard place.

This series of events, which occurred in different states of my multidimensional self—dream body, physical body, social body—were all different ripples of the same intent, synchronistically related. This is the Midas Touch of Intent. Once the universe engages our intent, like Midas with his golden touch, intent turns everything in our path into gold; everything becomes the substance of our intent. You simply can’t get away from it. Everything, indeed, becomes meaningful and is tied to the intent of our intent.

On the first night, after I set my intent, intent awoke me and refused to allow me to sleep. It was as if the Sirens had me under their spell, all I could do was relax my body. This physical experience shut down my intuitive function and rendered me a therapist without vision. In the dream with Bob Dylan, I sought to protect the icon that deserved respect, but the truth is, it was time for new life: change. This is the time of revolution. The old kings must now die to usher in a new era. Jan informed me the next day that an Indie band from Canada called Arcade Fire, had won the Album of the Year Award at the Grammys. Like Bob Dylan, I too had to let go of the old self to make room for the new.

In the next dream, a tidal wave, like Noah’s flood, swept away the old and ushered in the new. There was nothing I could do but breathe and go with the flow, into the unknown. Finally, I experienced a new self, my intent realized, a new life, where once life was frozen between a rock and a hard place.

Jeanne cautions us to be careful of what we ask for when we set an intent. She suggests we be specific, but also be prepared, as the path intent chooses to realize our intent may not be as we expect. Midas might have been wise to choose a more careful intent so that he would have been able to eat his food, rather than have it all turn to gold when he touched it!

Intent will ripple through all the dimensions of the self. At first, the meaning of events may elude us; sometimes we are simply in the grip of the experience and need to allow ourselves to be led along. What choice do we really have, once we are in it?

Suspend judgment. Go with the flow. At some point you will arrive at the shore of a new self, intent realized, and marvel at the magical journey that brought you there.

Bon Voyage!

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,