Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Windriders' meditation - 2

"I tried it."
Orion nodded, pushed a cup of hot cinnamon tea and cloves across the table towards Elantha and looked at her without seeing her. If she was accepted by the guild, life as windrider was perilous, lonely and set apart from others. 
She had asked for his help, 'but does she know what she is asking?' he asked himself. 
She had asked.
"a beginning..." Orion smiled, the corners of his mouth going down.
The cave in which they sat was carved into the face of a cliff running for thousands of miles east to west. Windriders practiced in the breeze coming in from the desert, circling and driving like giant birds. 
"Yes, I know what I'm asking." 
Orion looked at her, shocked.
"Windriders vanish, the desert takes them, it is lonely and they are different."
"Is it that obvious?"
She nodded, "master, you are like an open book."
Orion sighed, "I know, I know. -- ok, then let's get started. What do you do in your meditation?"
"Breathing, in, out, awareness." 
"And ?"
"That's it."
"Does it bore you ?"
"Add to it then." 
"Is that ok ?"
"Is that ok ?" Orion let out a deep breath, "follow your heart... let her speak..." he shook his head in frustration. 
"Like...a necklace of beads ?"
"Yes, that will do. Keep it dynamic, movement, and add to it the things you want it in your life..."
Elantha nodded, she was familiar with those ideas.
Orion looked at her for a little while, "you are practicing now?!"
"Yes," she smiled.
"You can keep it going while we talk ?"
She nodded.
"What's next ?"
"breath, intent, awareness, .... breath, intent, awareness...."
"breath, intent, awareness...." they repeated the last incantation together. 
"Flow with it, don't fix it." 
He smiled, and added, "that's all, that's it." 
"In that case, I'm sure there is more to it," she smiled a challenge at Orion.
She was determined, she was older than any who had joined the windriders, and she was of the Aesinth, a people with all black eyes, no whites. They had strange, unpredictable abilities. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Windriders' meditation - 1

"I practiced meditation for years, more than ten years....and still....the windriders don't accept me." 
Orion leaned back listening to Elantha's litany. 

Windriders rode the winds of the desert Umi-jabour, from thermal to thermal, over the great Sea of Sand.  They were the lifeline and communications blood of the Morai. 
A week, even three weeks, they had to stay aloft, fly, and sleep at the same time. 
If forced to land, - only a few would ever get off the ground again. The heat, the cold, the vastness of the desert had swallowed countless windriders over the centuries. Even of the most experienced, sometimes simply vanished.
It was an honour to be accepted into the guild of windriders. 
One that Elantha had sought for more than a decade. 
"I am one of the best windriders," she looked at Orion," and then out to the desert. 
Orion nodded. 
"But...", he smiled. 
"But they won't take me," she looked down, "...I know why. I can't meditate like they do." 
"They have lost many..." Orion whispered. He was thinking of the bright eyed Jason, lost in the great storm of 3649. No one had survived that one, none returned. 
"I know," Elantha sighed and stood up, looked around Orion's spacious cave. She bowed to Orion and went to leave.
"Please wait," Orion, waved for her to resume her seat on the cushion opposite him. 
"I'm still sad about Jason," he looked Elantha in the eye, "but I have no right to decide for you."
"You haven't decided for me... I ...." 
Orion held up a hand, smiled and sighed deeply. 
"In all the years you told me about your practice, you moved from normal consciousness to deeper levels of meditation, right ?"
"And you're very good at meditating."
Elantha nodded. 
"What the windriders want from you is something else," he looked into the eyes of his student. 
The knowledge he would give her now would change her life, perhaps an early death. 

"they need you to meditate and be fully awake at the same time, for every moment, for every breath, for as long as it takes to reach safe haven."

"Simultaneous awareness ?"

Orion nodded, "the names don't matter, dreaming, meditation, awareness, whatever you want to call it." 
Elantha looked disappointed, "I tried that."
Orion shook his head, let's talk tomorrow..." 

Friday, January 26, 2018

are we tuning into robots ?

"I can't take it anymore."
'Cafe P' was full, every table on the footpath was taken.  I had just fought my way through the hubbub and found Madame P  sitting at a small table between a window and a Steinway piano.
She looked at me, motioned to the chair opposite her and sipped a strange smelling tea saying nothing, just looking at me.
"I mean: Are we supposed to just follows  rules and policies, like a machine ? Are we all supposed to be human machines, is that it ?"

My Cuppochino arrived.
Still she only looked at me, scanned the tables on the footpath, the steps of Parliament house across the road and smiled at me.
"What do you think ?" I pushed her.

She took a deep breath and said "Yes".
She poured herself another cup of that tea, the scent of Cinnamon and Cloves wafted across the table.
"Happy now?", she smiled a challenge at me.
"No !  -- Come on, everything is reduced to indicators and standard decisions. Where is the humanity ? Where is the caring ? No room for that anymore...." I let out a deep breath.
Elbows on the table, cradling her hot cup in both hands, breathing in the steam, Mme P waited for me to finish.
I continued, "my mum's sick. In the hospital they just do tests with machines, read the numbers and push her down this path or that path. It's all standard protocol. She is on a conveyor belt.
'Enter here, pay there, go left, right, left, depending on the results.... die or exit over there.'  Even the doctors can't do anything. "
Mme P nodded and looked at me like I was made of glass and she could see everything.

It felt like a physical force.
That's how I know awareness is a kind of force.
Maybe one day it'll be 'discovered' and then we'll be allowed to believe it officially ?
"Go on," I said, "ask me", I smiled at her.
Mme P nodded slowly, "so what's your question ?"
"Forget it, I know your answer."
Mme P chuckled and shrugged, "You're right, it's been the trend for quite some time".
"So what do we do about it ?"
Mme P shrugged, looked at the busy tables of her cafe outside and back at me, "you tell me".
"I don't know."
"Same here."
"Noooo. You always have something to tell me, some way to make sense of it."
"Things have been going this way for some time, and one day they won't."
"Arrgghhhh.... ", I couldn't believe she fed me such banalities.
"That applies to everything," I let out a deep breath, "so we just sit here and do nothing, is that it ?"
"Are we following procedures now ?" Mme P looked into my eyes, "or would you like standard sympathy and commiseration protocol 101 ?", she chuckled.
Mme P pushed her chair back at an angle, crossed her legs and leaned back looking out at the crowded tables of her cafe.
"Why what ?"
"The things you complained about ?"
"I wasn't... Ok I was.  You mean why are we turning ourselves into robots ?"
Mme P nodded, sipped from her tea and gave the tiniest of nods.
"We don't trust our humanness, its subjective, unreliable and unscientific.  Everything has to be repeatable, predictable."
.......... to be continued....

- Steemit asks if humans are becoming robots

Monday, November 13, 2017

How to be in the NOW --o-- (very practical steps)

"The NOW, the NOW, .... everyone tells me to be in the NOW !"
Felix put his cup down and looked at Orion.
"..but HOW ? How do I get into the NOW ?
I am running around like crazy, I have a 101 things to do and all I get is ONE more thing to do: be mindful of everything else. Geezz. 
I don't get it."
Felix exhaled, leaned back and shook his head.
Orion looked for something on his right, then held up a fresh pot of tea, a question on his face.
A spicy cinnamon and clove smell pervaded the cave.
Felix nodded and pushed his cup across the table.
Orion looked at him: "Oh my god, I should be doing the accounts but I'm surfing the net, I should be doing a thousand things and its all too much and I'm trying like crazy but I'll never get there.... arrragghhhh. 
Is that about it ?"
"Yep that's about how it goes," Felix smiled for the first time since he had entered the master's cave.

He stood up, walked over to the ledge. The dusty wind from the great sea of sand, Umi-Jabour, blew strongly and whistled on its way up the cliff face where Orion's cave lay. He looked down, four hundred meters below him , rocks and white bleached twigs. The bones of those who had fallen.
Why was Orion the only one who didn't put in a window or a guard rail ?
He turned and faced Orion, "I'm sick of it. Sick of living like that." 
Felix returned to his cushion, and the cup of steaming spicy tea, "how do you do it ?" he asked Orion, "you are the Abbot of the oldest tradition and you are always calm.  
Are you just good at keeping it all inside ?" 
Orion chuckled, "no, if I kept it inside I would have exploded long ago." 
"So what do you do ?" 
"Be honest." 

"About what ?" 
"About the moment you are in NOW." 
"I am here with you." 
"And you feel pulled to finish the work you promised Arthur, and you are in a hurry because you left your post to come here and talk to me and you don't want anyone to find out." 
"Uhhmm.... yes, yes, exactly."
"That is the condition you are in NOW. 
How can you be here," Orion tapped the table with his cup,"if you don't include all ?"
"Because I shouldn't even be here taking time to talk to you !" 
"Ok so include that too... that's part of the NOW." 
Orion leaned back looked out at the vast sand dunes stretching to the horizon and thousands of miles further on. Eagles soared past the cave.
"My master used to tell me, "acknowledge your condition in the NOW and you will have peace."
He looked at Felix, "I used to sit where you are now," he smiled, "and I used to argue with him even more than you."
Orion rarely talked about his master, Felix waited quietly, hoping he would say more.
"He used to tell me:  It is not your problems themselves,  it isn't the conflicts in your life, and it isn't even the misunderstandings which create this turmoil in your soul, it isn't any of those things.
Can you guess what it was ?" Orion looked up at Felix.
"... not facing the situation I am in NOW ?"
"Yes, true, but there is more.  What does 'not facing' mean? "
"It means.... not looking at the truth.... running away."
"Exactly, ...... but ....  running from ?" Orion looked at his visitor intensely.
"The problems and conflicts ?"
Orion shook his head, "can you go deeper ?"
"Exactly, running from ourselves."
Orion chuckled.
"Do you run from yourself ?"
"If you mean, distracting myself and never staying still ?"
"Yes, that's it. Good way to put it."
Orion narrowed his eyes and smiled, "Let's go even deeper: Why do we run from ourselves ?"
"Fear ? It would have to be fear."
"Yes. And what are we afraid of ?"
Felix looked out at the desert. Some of the windriders were training in the afternoon breeze.
"We fear ourselves."

Felix shrugged, "that's as far I got. I could never figure out the reason.
"You are almost there."
"Because there is a terrible thing within us ? is that it ?"
"Yes," Orion's smile was wide and happy.
"Is there ? Is there a terrible thing within us ?"
"What do you think ? "
"Yes, I think so. We need to keep a lid on it, keep things orderly and have rules and regulations, otherwise chaos will break loose."
"So then we really should run from ourselves, shouldn't we ?"
"I know, you have a better answer, " Felix knew the master well enough.
Orion leaned forward, "tell me, if we are basically terrible and fake, we have every reason to run from ourselves. Don't we ?"
Felix nodded, "ok, but what if we aren't ?"
"Yes, good point. If we aren't then we are running from a phantom, an illusion, a bogey man."
"So are we or aren't we terrible ? Is the real me really corrupt and terrible and needs to be restrained by civilization ?"
Orion shrugged leaned back and sipped more tea.
Felix likewise leaned back against the cave wall,"you won't tell me, will you?"
"There is no point."
"Why ? It would help me tremendously to know the answer."
Orion shook his head, "no, actually it wouldn't. You would walk out of here and think you knew something, and think you had the truth."
"But I would !" Felix said louder than he intended.
"No, you would have my truth, not your truth."
Felix sighed and rolled his eyes.
"I'm not playing word games," Orion smiled and stood up.
"Surely there is one truth, about this question."
Orion pushed at wall behind him, it was a long dividing wall that could be pushed into the rock behind.
"There is one truth about everything and that is:  It is your truth, and your's alone.
That is the only truth that matters in this case.
Find it.
If you really want peace, find it."
Felix stood up and followed the master into the next room, a great hall. From the ceiling hung three large gliders.
Orion unfastened one of them from its suspensendors in the ceiling and gently guided it to the launching rail.
"How ?"
" The same way you get into the NOW.
That same path leads you to find the truth of your BEing."
Orion strapped himself in and grabbed the line that would open the sliding window of hangar.
He looked at Felix, waiting for him to speak.
"You mean 'acknowledge my inner reality in the NOW' ?"
"Yes exactly,  and you will have peace."
"What if I find I AM terrible, and it is true that I am a corrupt cesspool of  evil ?"
"That question is why most of us humans don't want to know."
"But you know."
"You have to know for yourself, deeply fully beyond what anyone else says. That is the path to your true self, to your BEing."
"I'm not sure."
"That is fine.
It is honest. Acknowledge it.
You can only find yourself if you really truly want to know the truth, no matter what it is, and you are determined to face it, regardless."
"If I want the truth within myself above everything else ?"
Orion smiled, "and if you don't,  -- yet, --  then be honest... about that.
You cannot force yourself to desire the truth above all else, until you DO desire it genuinely from the depth of your soul."
"When, how can I ..... ?"
Orion shook his head, smiled and pulled open the door.
"It's a wonderful day to fly.... take the first step, the others will follow.... "
His glider shot forward and down, unclipped it itself and flew free into the evening breeze coming in from Umi-Jabour.
- Tengra Ngiam,

The above was inspired by the writings:  Love: Not a Commandment, But Spontaneous Soul Movement of the Inner Self  ---  in the Pathwork Lecture series number  133
Especially this article below (from Lec133) was seminal:
The acknowledgement of the immediate now is still not sufficiently understood and is often overlooked by the majority of my friends. 

Whenever you acknowledge the truth of each moment, you will be in peace, regardless of how much disturbance and unreality still exist in you as conditions to be gradually eliminated. 
                           Fully acknowledging your condition in the now must give you peace. 
So please understand and do not forget:  It is not the problem itself, nor the conflict, nor even the misconception which create turmoil in your soul, but it is your running away from yourself. 
                        Your not being in the immediate now, your fighting and struggling against it in an unconstructive way, causes so much soul-hardship.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Inner realities: Anger (part1)

Arthur pushed aside the thick curtain impatiently
Ah good, Orion was in.
He jerked the curtain fully open and stood waiting for the old master to notice him.
Orion looked up from the intricate device he was working on, his eyes lingered a moment on Arthur. Then he waved him to the cushions on the other side of the table.
"Master, I want to hit someone. I'm  REALLY angry.."  

"Ok ? You think it's ok ?"
Orion looked  at  Arthur, looked out at the desert  on his right and nodded.
He took a small piece of copper foil, bent it and attached it to others on the delicate looking structure.
"But you don't think it's ok," he looked up at  Arthur briefly, picked up the delicate device and held it out  against the  morning  light.
The air from the Sea  of Sand  whistled  past  the open  mouth of his cave, carrying the particularly dry pungent  scent of the desert in these northern parts.
"No I don't. I mean yes I do, I'm so furious with her. I just want to scream at her."
"But you came here instead."
"I shouldn't be this  angry should I ?"
Orion looked at him.
"You  are this  angry."
"But I shouldn't be......right  ?"
"Why not ?"
"You ask me 'why' ?"  Arthur took a deep  breath, spreading out his  arms in exasperation.
"You taught  me to be mindful to be calm, to observe my thoughts....and  now you ask me why I shouldn't be angry?"
Orion eyes flashed.
"I asked  you to be aware, to observe, not to force calmness where there is fire."
"I don't understand."
Orion stared at Arthur, "you are furious, yes ?"
"So observe that."
"But I'm sooo damn angry!"
"So? Are you trying to be calm or to observe ?"
"Humm... . "
"Calm may come eventually, but it's not what you DO."
"I know I'm not meant to judge, but I wanna  scream at her. I can't help feeling: Isn't it wrong to be this angry ?"
"Are you trying not to judge ?"
"Yes, but I can't."  
"Observe the judgement," Orion again looked at Arthur intensely, "Observe the  ' I'm so angry feeling...'."
"I'm just confused."
"Observe that. It is what IS."
"What  ? I don't get it."
"Whatever is, IS. There is nothing to DO, nothing to fix, nothing to clean and make presentable."
Orion turned the thing he'd been working on around very carefully, examining it, poking it here and there with a small metal rod..
Arthur stood up and  walked to the  edge of the cave looking down past his feet, six hundred and fifty meters to the rocky ground. 

In centuries past, many people had  "fallen" to their death from these caves. White bones, death and vultures had covered the bottom.  Now only grave markers lined the bottom.
That was when it had been the prison fortress of Ur-Ani-Ya. A place of such death and despair, - the scars were still healing five hundred years later.
Ur-Ani-Ya had mysteriously vanished, suddenly imploded in the last days of the month of Wendurath, 3178.
It was a mystery for five hundred years, until 3548, when the diaries of Aer-il-hambara, Chancellor of the house of Aer-Ayrus were found.
They were found deep in the cave system of Serianna, where the ancient fortress of Ur-Ani-Ya had stored its energy.
Now everyone knew the story of Aer-il-hambara the black eyed Aesinth, who had destroyed Ur-Ani-Ya, the most powerful fortress - and herself as well.

Arthur was sick of hearing it again again. The families of the the house of Aer-Ayrus knew nothing else to talk about.
He looked down.
Arthur's face turned red and beads of sweat gathered on his forehead, "I hate you."
He took  another deep  breath and stared at Umi-Jabour, the greatest desert in history, the Great Sea of Sand.  
Eagles soared past them on the updraft.
He turned around, looking at  Orion who was  still busy turning that thing he was working on from side to side and examining it very closely.
"Better ?" he asked without looking up.
Arthur sat down.
Orion looked at him, hid a smile, and  pushed the delicate structure to the side. He pulled out a bowl of dates from the shelf behind him and put it on the  table between them.
"I haven't really progressed  at all," Arthur took a  date,  "I just destroyed a year of practice  by getting  angry like that."
Orion shook his head, "you didn't. Omnia Mutantur, Nihil Interit".
Arthur frowned at the strange words, but let it pass.
"Calmness is not the aim, it's the result. If you aim for calmness you will not find it. You will get tight brittle control and more tension."
Orion spread his hands, "that's my experience. You may  be different."
He smiled and shrugged.
"So what, it's just the old 'observe, don't judge' mantra again, is that it ?"
Orion nodded, "yep, that's it,"  reached over to his right and  brought  out a steaming pot of tea.
"Even when I'm furious ?"  Arthur asked..
Orion nodded, "even  when I'm furious as hell. When I don't want to stop. I accept that. I watch it, I embrace it with love."
Arthur stared at Orion," are you joking ?"
Orion stared at Arthur, "wherever you are, take a step back. Look and see the 'me  that does not want to see'."
In another voice altogether Orion continued, "I see the resistance that never wants to give in, I see the hate that wants to murder...
I see and I observe."

"Wow," Arthur sat back exhaling deeply, shaking his head, "wow."
"Why ? You think some things are excluded from the oneness ?"
"I'm not supposed to, but, yes."
"That's honest," Orion smiled, "whatever you exclude, judge, cut off - you make it your enemy, you give it more power."
"Can't I win ?"
"Yes, if you will pay the price."
"What's the price ?"
"That another will win over you."
"No I mean win finally, total victory."
Orion took a deep breath, looked at Arthur for a long time.
"You mean win once and for all, always on top, always king ?"
Arthur squirmed uncomfortably, "I guess so".
"Why ?"
"To be King forever, to be safe forever."
"And others ? To be your 'subjects' forever ?"
"OK, you got me."
Orion shook his head, "no, I don't want to 'get you'.
Winning over the 'bad guy', is the illusion that keeps the endless fight going. Each side fighting for goodness, purity and safety through the annihilation of the other,... " he opened his hands, pointing his head to the desert on his right, "you get endless war."

The desert, Umi-Jabour, had been created in the greatest war the ancients had ever fought, over three thousand years ago. Their civilization had ended.
The continental plate had split, land had dropped, land had risen, and the cliff Orion's cave was carved from, had emerged.
"Yet each side only sought safety from the other...." Orion sighed.
He pushed a cup of tea in Arthur's direction, and they both leaned back.  
"The question is," Orion smiled his upside down smile, " what do you want most ? Safety or being in control ?"
"I would be safe by being in control, having the power behind me."
"Hmmm....," Orion looked at Arthur, "you can answer that one yourself, does power and control lead to safety ?"
Arthur  shook his head, "true safety comes from within yourself, - knowing that you can look after yourself better than anyone or anything."
Orion chuckled, "a textbook answer, but we'll let it stand."
Arthur sipped his tea, looked out at the Sea of Sand. A few windriders were circling in the updraft, Ari sensei and his students.
He faced Orion, "ok, let's say I have the power and the control: I am king forever, I am safe."
"Safe from what ?"
"From being powerless."
"So you have power and control just to have it, for its own sake ?"
"No, not quite. I have it to be safe."
"Safe from what ? Pain ? Death ? Unhappiness ? An assassin ?"
Arthur nodded.
Orion chuckled...., "we humans have tried that path over and over again. And fortunately it doesn't work."
"Why ?"
"It's not how reality is made. I can't explain to you 'why'. You just know it in your bones."
"And if you don't ?"
"Then you join those who try that path over and over again... until you truly know."
Orion sipped his tea, slowly lost in thought.
Arthur watched him.
The master's eyes moved to his visitor, "...and isn't that what we're here for ? To learn, to know - through experience ?"
Arthur was surprised at the question.
He had expected the usual insights and the masters touch.
They looked at each other.
Orion sighed, and hummed a tune from a well known song:
"Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.."

Arthur looked at Orion, a long time.
He was different these days.
"Tea ?" Orion pushed the pot of spicy tea towards his visitor.
Arthur poured himself a fresh cup.
"You came here to ask, 'what do I do with the rage, my murderous feelings, right ?" Orion said.
"You know what to do."
Arthur shook his head.
Orion looked the young man in the eye.
"Ok, I won't follow my anger, and I know I can't 'kill' the anger.  
What else ?", he waited then added, "ignore it?"
Orion shrugged, "an interim solution, it will surface again, and again. The ancients tried that until everything surfaced at once," he  again indicated the desert with a tilt of his head.
"What then?"
"You know."
"You are repeating a text book answer.
What you think I want to hear.
What is YOUR answer ?"
Arthur sat back, looked at the desert.
"It's no different from any other thought or feeling is it ?" Arthur mused.
"Yes, it's another thought, it's another feeling."
"But stronger."
"Yes, much stronger, but essentially the same as all the others."  Orion agreed.
"Then why don't I just treat it the same as all the others. See it. Watch it arise, watch it be, watch it fade." Arthur watched Orion's face.
Orion smiled his upside down smile, the scar on the left side of his face stood out clearly.  
He reached for the teapot and poured himself a cup of tea and dragged his strange device back to work on it and became totally absorbed with it.

Suddenly he  looked up, at Arthur:  "Ok, then, tell me, why you are here" he waved at the bowl, inviting his visitor to take some more, nuts and dried fruit, "what really happened ?"

End of part 1

By Tengra Ngiam
Hong Kong, 2017

This is an old prayer it came to me to rewrite. It’s about surrendering.and
I don’t know which side everybody’s on any more, and …I don’t really care. There is a moment when we have to transcend the side we’re on and understand that we are creatures of a higher order. It doesn’t mean that I don’t wish you courage in your struggle. There is on both sides of this struggle men of good will. That is important to remember… on both sides of this struggle. Some struggling for freedom, some struggling for safety. In solemn testimony of that unbroken faith which binds a generation one to another, I sing this song: “If it be your will”.

Leonard Cohen: