intention

Fabric of the Universe

From the Pacific Coast Trail, looking from Southern Oregon to Northern California.

From the Pacific Coast Trail, looking from Southern Oregon to Northern California.

How to Contribute to Life

With the advent of atomic theory, we have been able to use the scientific method to observe first hand the building blocks our creator used to construct everything in our world. As we can see through powerful microscopes, the seemingly solid matter that makes up what we can perceive through the senses is, in actuality, empty space with tiny particles moving in relation to one another. There is more space than solidity in everything on the micro-level.

On the macro-level, if we lie in a hammock under a summer night sky, we see the light of stars reaching us from great distances. For every dot of light, we can perceive even more blackness of seemingly empty space. How do we humans fit in this scheme of things?

The answer is--perfectly well. Although it seems sometimes that we have made quite a mess of things as regards our useful place in this world, according to the Vedic world view, in the eyes of our infinitely loving creator, we are evolving upward and outward, right in place and right on time. That does not mean that we may abandon responsibility to our planet and our fellow travelers. On the contrary, as we become more aware as meditators, we can become better planetary citizens. It is our gift and our dharma.

Intention is everything, and as our intention evolves, so will the universe.

Intention is what animates matter. As we become more in touch with how to set intention, we become more in tune with the flow of nature. Meditation is key to identifying with the actual world, rather than our ego's fear based idea of it.

Lithia Creek in Lithia Park, Ashland, Oregon.

Lithia Creek in Lithia Park, Ashland, Oregon.

Forward balance

Morning, North Rim Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Morning, North Rim Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

the wisdom of bike riding

Delaying action until one has determined the wisest choice of procedure makes sense in managing the practical aspects of one's life. A person only needs a few experiences of going off "half-cocked" and having a disastrous outcome to become cautious. This caution can have a tendency to overcorrect, and we can become stuck in a paralysis of indecision, afraid to move forward. Some people can squander their entire lifetimes in this static netherworld.

Think about riding a bicycle. We pedal forward, and our body adjusts to the momentum, and before we know it, we are riding, making millions of micro-adjustments unconsciously and enjoying the breeze. If we stay in the moment, we can take actions as they come, not over anticipating non-existent dangers. We can actually begin to get pleasure from the process of riding, rather than cowering in fear of bad outcomes. If I make a mistake and fall and skin my knee, I don't over-react by vowing never to ride again. I get up, dress my wound, and seek the delicious freedom of riding again.

This is how consciousness evolves. Forward movement is key in attaining balance. We want to be able to trust the data we receive from nature to make the right decision, so we meditate. Twice daily we sit for about twenty minutes and calm the endless negative chatter that distracts us. We don't judge the outcome of a given meditative experience; we just just move forward. About 15 minutes after meditating, we can observe how we are feeling. In my experience and in the experience of most of my students, we feel better, calmer, more able to trust the data we are given in the moment to carry on with our day.

Balance isn't something we consciously work at. It is a quality that we enter into as a result of continual surrender. We surrender the need to have control, for the small "s" self (ego) to be the judge, jury, and executioner. We identify instead with the larger "S" Self (nature or God) and are able to trust the finer level of feeling, or intuition.

When we fall off the bike or temporarily stop riding for one reason or another, we don't waste valuable time beating ourselves up or feeling guilty, we just get back to the bike, to meditation, to forward movement again.

My trusty Marin.

My trusty Marin.

How can I manage well?

View from Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Monument, California.

View from Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Monument, California.

living without manipulation

Manipulation requires a lot of energy. When we perform an action, the closer to the purity of the original intent we stay in consciousness, the better. As we allow other considerations to enter, such as "how will this be perceived," "how can I control other's reactions to my action," the transparency of our intention becomes muddied.

The more energy we waste on projection and speculation, the more tired we become, and the less we have available to be present for happenings in the moment. If we constantly time travel into the future, we will miss the only time actually available to us, the here and now. What to do?

The only perceptive ability appropriate to choosing the correct action to perform is our divine intuition. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells the warrior Arjuna "yogastha kuru karmani." This translates to "Established in being, perform action." How do we establish ourselves in being?

We meditate. We give ourselves over to nature to direct and permeate our consciousness, twenty minutes, twice a day. The only agenda we have in doing so is to return to our simplest form of awareness. We fill up with healing adaptation energy, then we go out into the world and use it up. This is "establishing ourselves in being."

Then we perform action. Not an unruly chaotic action, but one grounded in our highest self. We act with the confidence of one who is connected to nature.

When we first learned meditation, we were told to effortlessly and innocently repeat our mantra and were rewarded with an inner calm, a sense of wholeness and peace.

This simple approach to existence is a far better and more efficient use of our intellect than paranoid mood-making or frantic convoluted explanations as to why we don't fit in with the rest of the universe. 

If we stay in the moment and continue our meditation practice, we stand a chance at increasing happiness.

Descanso Gardens, La Canada, California.

Descanso Gardens, La Canada, California.