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Buddha Spirit

Buddhapadipa

By Will

They say when you leave therapy, you start therapy. Soon after leaving therapy over a year ago, I started a new daily spiritual practice with a yogi, and was taught Hindu meditation, and also learned about energy located in the body-mind. Soon after this I felt drawn towards a local Thai buddhist temple, and began to practice traditional buddhist meditation, and studied the buddhist path or dharma. I felt that I had come home. The concepts of conditioning and attatchment in buddhist psychology were also fundamental in psychotherapy, inasmuch as they were basically saying the same thing. This new connection expanded on my ten years of psychotherapy practice as both are based on the natural law applied to the problem of human suffering. I was discovering more about my own path and a method or practice to bring me closer to my own reality and truth.

The next six months were spent meditating, studying and practising mindfulness and the buddhist path. Very quickly I noticed that I was happier, not indulging in short term pleasures, but longer term intentions of loving kindness towards myself and other beings. A light had been switched on inside me and I felt I had a life of purpose. Then, out of the blue and after 6 years of celibacy, I met someone – Or you could say our ego’s recognised each other. Immediately, we set sail on a passionate and lustful relationship which was exiting and fresh. Shortly after our relationship began, I attended a four day silent satsang with Mooji, and as if I was mean’t to hear it at that exact moment, he spoke about relationships and spirituality. I do not remember his exact words but he said something like; just as the true self begins to be recognised the ego embarks on a forceful attempt to sabotage this awareness by introducing it’s trump card – A relationship. Looking back my instinct was aware of this at the start of the relationship, but very subtly the ego managed to convince me otherwise, in a slow and subtle contamination of delusion in the mind.

Buddha said; Of all the worldly passions lust is the most intense. Our relationship was intense and tested both my partner and myself to breaking point. Vulnerability, power, dishonesty and continuous drama and reinnactments of past conditions, were draining us both of vital life energy, and sabotaging our personal inner peace and freedom. Both our wounds embound themselves in each other. Often I felt engulfed and trapped and I missed my precious inner connection that was seemingly fading out bit by bit like dying flames of a fire.

Intimate relationships can enable us to recognise and welcome the powerful opportunity to awaken to our deeper nature. They can bring us face to face with our gods and demons forging brutal honesty, awareness and equanimity. My relationship brought me to new crossroads where I faced a pivotal choice. Do I hold onto wishful fantasies and grasp outdated story lines, driven by my ego, or do I use the difficulties in my relationship to awaken compassion, wisdom and a dedication to inner truth. One cannot know this, one must be this and acknowledge this deeply within ones heart. Our on and off relationship was like a very long meditation, where I lost the connection with my breath – but now I have come back to it. Watching it slowly rise and fall. A chance to start again. The most powerful agent of growth and transformation is something much more basic than any technique: A change of heart. My heart grieves the loss of my true self and my ego grieves the loss of his mistress. From darkness into light, we behold the gift of peace.

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves ~ R. M. Rilke

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My Spiritual Path of Dreams

By Jenny Alexander

When people talk about dreams as spiritual experience, they usually seem to be thinking in terms of what Jung called ‘numinous’ dreams – that is, dreams which have an unmistakably spiritual quality, inspiring awe and wonder, and often bringing revelations.

These ‘big’ dreams do indeed feel like wonderful gifts from outside the self, and they stay vividly with you across the decades, lighting your life. But dreams which feel quite ordinary can also be a doorway to profound changes in consciousness.

For example, I once dreamt I was having coffee with my neighbour. I was fully aware that I was dreaming – lucidity is very common in experienced dreamers.

Normally, in lucid dreams, my waking ‘I’ might be there as an observer or commentator, and occasionally if I didn’t like the way things were going, I might intervene and change the action of the dream.

But this dream didn’t have any action at all. It didn’t have any narrative to distract me – I was just sitting there, drinking coffee, and I was bored. There was a silky cushion beside me, and I ran my hand absent-mindedly across it. I noticed how smooth the fabric felt; I ran my fingers along the hard ridge of the trim.

I thought, ‘Hold on a minute – this is a dream!’ Since nothing much else was going on, I went on testing the evidence of my senses and yes, I really could smell the coffee; I could feel the crumbly biscuit between my fingers and taste its light vanilla on my tongue. I could hear my neighbour’s voice, talking to me. I knew it was a dream, but it felt exactly the same as ‘real’ life.

When I woke up, I could feel the quilt resting lightly across my body; I could see the light from the gap in the curtains ribboning across it; I could hear my husband’s gentle breathing and smell the warmth of our two bodies. But now I knew that my mind could create a whole different reality which felt as real to my senses as this one. So the senses were unreliable witnesses, and waking life a reality no more substantial than the dream.

When you read back over old dream diaries, you will also find that seemingly ordinary dreams can be precisely predictive, and you may find so many of these that it’s impossible to dismiss them all as flukes and coincidences.

According to our normal understanding of time, it should not be possible to predict the future, but the experience of predictive dreaming shows irrefutably that it is.

So gradually, actively engaging with dreams can dissolve the narrow rational and materialistic viewpoint, through which we normally understand life. In the words of William Blake, ‘man has closed himself up, ’til he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.’

The practical, experiential path of dreaming can lead to a falling away of ideas and illusions, and open you up to the mind-blowing reality. ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.’

Jenny Alexander is a successful children’s author www.jennyalexander.co.uk

She also teaches adults creative dreaming and writing. Her blog on the subject is called ‘Writing in the House of Dreams’ http://jenalexanderbooks.wordpress.com

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Love is the Cure

By Will

I go begging door to door, for divine love,

Carry me to a world beyond, these aching limbs,

My lover always alone, while surrounded by others,

Ten thousand thoughts, about why I am less,

Like an oasis in a desert, I am a foolish son,

Inferior to anything under heaven’s sky,

She share’s my pleasure, but not my pain,

This poem calls, for love to cure.

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A Dangerous Method

By Will

In the wonderful film adaptation of John Kerrs book ‘A Most Dangerous Method’ we see Sabina Spielrein at the hub. The beautiful and disturbed young woman comes between the deep friendship of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, and ignites their turbulent relationship. It is as though over some time, Sabina’s neurosis is somehow magically transferred and displaced onto Freud (The Father) and Jung (The son). The dynamics between are extremely complex and endless, and initially the gravity of these dynamics seem to focus on sexual energy and intellectual discovery, Sabina providing the fire. The trio form the most perfect recipe for turbulence, and for me the essential premise is a reproduction of some triangular previous family setting, where each one of them is fighting to be seen by the other and have their needs met.

With Jung’s real Father passing away when he was young, he perhaps needed another father figure and mentor, and Freud needed a natural heir, someone to carry on with his analytical work, or rather to further enlarge his ego identity, and hence the relationship was established. As this relationship developed neither party managed to get their needs met which made them “bitter antagonists, locked in a savage struggle that was as much personal and emotional as it was theoretical and professional.” The rationalist Freud knew that Jung’s religious and superstitious approach was not concrete enough for the students of the mind and could jeopardise his theories within the analytical community.

During her analysis with Jung, Sabina painfully confesses to getting exited both before and during the beatings from her Father, especially when her Father mentioned ‘The little room’ where this took place. Sabina’s very physical symptoms mirror the physical abuse she once endured and her juxtaposition between getting attention by beatings, enjoying it and feeling guilty about it, created a serious splitting of the self and promoted her extreme self loathing. This humiliation was made worse by her having to kiss the very hand that beat her after her torment’s. Sabina ‘fell’ in love with Jung, his care and non judgemental empathy allowed her to stay with these awkward emotions, but ultimately she desired to return to the beatings and to conquer them by reciprocating them with Jung, in a safer environment. Ironically their relationship was both traumatic and healing. These ‘love beatings’ confused Jung as he seemed caught between his natural wolf instincts, promoted by the coke sniffing Otto Gross, and his genuine passion for helping others and becoming a prominent and original psychoanalyst. ”Never repress anything,” was Otto’s belief, and he acted as the catalyst that both freed and trapped Jung.

When Jung broke off their intense relationship to avert public scandal, It is said that “Spielrein found in Freud a friend and mentor, confiding to him the details of her attachment to Jung.” Perhaps Sabina wanted her relationship with Jung validated and made real, through confiding with Freud, insisting that she was genuinely loved in return. Instinctually part of her picked up on Jung’s guilt, and in her search to reclaim power, she engaged with Freud knowing that it would give weight to his theory’s of sexuality that Jung did not entirely agree with. Freud could then use what he knew about Jung’s personal life to exert further control over the psychoanalytic movement or again another attempt by Freud’s ego to be god like. It is very interesting that Freud fainted twice in Jung’s presence or perhaps it was what Jung symbolised to Freud…. A real God, not a fake one.

After Freud and Jung’s friendship came to a close, Jung was deeply ambivalent about the future. Jung perhaps witnessed this as another painful loss mirroring the loss of his own father, and suffered a 6 year long breakdown or breakthrough, where in solitude from the outer world he dug deeper into his own inner psyche, emerging as a prominent psychoanalyst in his own right.

“More ominously still, both men privately justified their disregard by implicitly casting her once more into the role of patient, as though that role somehow precluded a person from having a voice or a vision of his or her own” ~ John Kerr

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Zen Photography and Daily Meditation.

Zen photography and daily meditation and relaxation.

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Spiritual Quotes

A selection of some of my favourite Quotations read by Will Senior.

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Father and Son

By Will

Prior to law I had rights, a right to watch my seed grow,

Half a block from home but mountains away he lay,

This sick game only deals in crumbs of compassion,

Every day I die on the first inch of her territory,

Every right I claim for myself meets deaf ears,

Bless he who have toiled for freedom trampled under foot,

Victimisation and discrimination against love,

This my sole weapon, I bring down with full force.

 

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