Tag Archives: meditation

Deep Simplicity

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Over the three decades or so that I have been exploring life through the lens of spiritual practices, one of the most touching aspects of this exploration is how the simplest of observations come back to visit, again and again, over the years. Rather like old friends they appear, time and time again, to share their wisdom.

Sometimes, these insights have a remarkable knack of appearing so simple and obvious. So that my mind looks at them and immediately reacts with ‘ah yes’ I get that. And yet each time that they revisit they reveal a deeper truth, as if this exploration is a spiral journey that repeats itself, over and over again.

Let me share a couple of these old friends with you.

One of these insights is that we create, or at least co-create, the world that we live in. In the parlance of the Christian faith, we reap what we sow. It has been my observation of late that this is one of the most profound and penetrating truths of our existence. Right here, right now we are creating, with our thoughts, our words, our deeds and our non-deeds, the world we live in and experience each day.

Often, we may seek to avoid what is right in front of us, right under our noses, and seek to escape into other realties, other parts of the Earth, other philosophies or high-sounding spiritual paths. Yet, here in this simple truth of creation is the beginning, the middle and the end of our human experience and of our spiritual search.

A second example, is the truth that our bodies are the embodiment of enlightenment itself. An observation most eloquently expressed in the teaching of Gautama Buddha. But, isn’t enlightenment some magical state alternate consciousness, the ultimate bliss of someplace else, other than here?

Again, it’s one of those insights which seem easy to grasp intellectually, nodding our heads knowingly before moving onto the next truth. Yet here, in this humble human body, at the visceral, gut, cellular level is enlightenment, the very essence of our awakened being.

Perhaps, you too have your favourite old friends, who revisit you from time to time and share the light of their wisdom?

With Best Wishes,

© David R. Durham
The Poet Photographer

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Natural Healing

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Our desire to heal when we are unwell is a perfectly natural one.

What we often overlook is that the most effective healing is self-healing. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it is the only true healing for our bodies, minds and emotions. And there are so many therapies, medical drugs and procedures, remedies and pills out there that we often overlook this simple fact.

So the question becomes what is the natural remedy or remedies for your situation? What will assist you in restoring your harmony and well being?

In many cases, it is fairly straightforward. For instance, if you cut your finger, well wash it and put a plaster over it until it heals itself.

In other cases, the solution is not so obvious. These more mysterious and chronic situations call for a slightly different approach. An approach which calls for investigation, questioning and above all listening to the results of that inquiry. This investigative approach can take many forms, such as blood tests, kinesiology, dream analysis and psychoanalytical tests.

Another more radical approach is to listen, deeply and in complete silence to the body. To simply listen, unimpeded by analysis, interruption or judgement, unobscured by pain suppressants. And whilst in this deep listening state allow the body to tell its’ story.

This deep listening approach to healing acknowledges our body in its’ most complete sense; the witness, memory and expression of our whole life experience as embodied spirit. This process also recognizes that our unheard story is often at the root of the energy blockages which are the source of our disharmony which manifests itself as ill-health.

So, with this rather radical approach, the story, your story, is witnessed without judgement or trying to change or to heal anything. This non-interference includes you. You are no longer judging, trying to change or heal or justifying anything etc.

To listen and to be listened to deeply, is the healing itself.

© David R. Durham
Spiritual Healing Website
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Spiritual Paradox

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A paradox can be defined as any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.

Meditation and many other spiritual practices, and hence their teachings, are highly paradoxical in nature

  • We learn the skills of meditation and diligently practice, so we can ultimately let go of it all.
  • Often we’re trying to discover or attain some other state of being, that we’re are already in.
  • Whatever we do think we have attained or realised along the way, becomes something else that have to let go of.
  • We think meditation is all in our mind, when it turns out to be primarily down to our heart.
  • We yearn for healing enlightenment, yet our liberation lies in compassionately embracing our darkness.
  • And in the end, the only time you can practice pure meditation, is when you know you no longer need it anymore.
  • We search for our dearest love in the rarest of experiences, only to find our true love was right here all along under our noses, here in the most ordinary of things.

Does this all mean that meditation and spiritual practices are a waste of time? Hardly. For it is only by going through these transformational processes, that we arrive at the simplicity of our natural awakened self.

© David R. Durham
Spiritual Healing & Counselling Website
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To Heal or Not to Heal?

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That is the question. Well, it is a question anyway.

It is not a question you may have pondered too much, and if you have, given the choice of experiencing healing or to not experience healing. Then I think most of us, if not all of us, would tick the ‘be healed’ box.

We humans, and I suspect many mammals, are motivated by two underlying urges: To avoid pain and to experience pleasure. And many of our decisions and actions in our lives can be tracked down to these two primal urges.

What if, we had a third view point? A view point which encompased all experience and refused to react automatically or unconsciously to it. How workable would that be? Would it be workable at all, or maybe just a little bit.

And how would the degree of pain or pleasure we are experiencing affect our decision? For instance, maybe I can resist reaching for a bottle of pain-killers when I get a mild headache. But toothache, no chance there, I’d be opening the bottle of pain-killers in a flash.

Working as a therapist, and reading some of the biographies of people who have survived extreme situations, it seems to me that different people have a remarkably different reactions to pain, and how they rate it on a scale of one to ten. There are a number of personal and cultural factors which can go some way to explaining these differences. For instance, during wartime people can and do develop a remarkable resilience to all kinds of abuse, whilst the spoiled and pampered rich-kid freaks out at the thought of a skin blemish.

So, let’s explore this third point of view, whether we consider it to be achievable, achievable only some of the time during mild experiences of pleasure or pain or just plain imaginary. What would this third point of view be like? And, would we gain or lose anything by practicing it?

The ‘I’ Consciousness:
This third point of view I have been eluding to is possible, and it is one of the primary results of many core meditation techniques. That is, becoming the observer, the unmoving witness of whatever is arising within your conscious awareness.

So what do we gain or lose by practicing this silent, accepting, meditation? A sense of calm, an awareness of what our thought processes are up to, seeing again and again just who presses our emotional buttons and how they do it and a deeper sense of who I am and what I am not.

This is all very well in the safe and protected meditation space, but what about ‘real life’ and in particular what about in the context of this article; to heal or not to heal.

Whilst the answer to the question, “To Heal or Not to Heal” may seem self-evident, there are at least two scenarios where this choice is either not possible or it is not desirable.

The first of these scenarios is where there is limited or in effect no choice. The terminal illness, the deep emotional trauma which will never fully heal or the missing limb which cannot be replaced. What then? I would suggest that any experience you have of practicing this third point of view as I have called it, would be very valuable. It would at least reduce the wasted and destructive emotional energy of denial, looking for someone or something to blame, or the pointless desire for revenge.

The second of these scenarios, is where you refuse to be dictated to by your circumstances. And, in the case of illness or injury, you refuse to be defined by your symptoms. This refusal can be particularly liberating for someone with a chronic condition of many years in duration. You know, the one everyone asks you about when they meet you. This condition is real, this is not about denying its’ existence, it is more about asserting your control and re-positioning your awareness on the bigger you.

The Bigger You:
And, there always is a bigger you.

In the silent meditation of deep contemplation, where we are encouraged to keep on letting go, keep on accepting whatever is arising in our minds and bodies. Until we let go of everything, including our desire for things to be different from how they are now, including letting go of ‘letting go’ itself. There is this you, untouched by any of this arising human experience; the good, the bad and everything in between.

In the liberating words of The Buddha Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism:

“There is an Unborn, Un-originated, Uncreated, Unformed. If these were not this Unborn, this Un-originated, this Uncreated, this Unformed, escape from, the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed, would not be possible. But since there is an Unborn, Un-originated, Uncreated, Unformed, therefore is escape possible from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed.”

© David R. Durham
Spirit Healer Website

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Gone Fishing

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Imagine you are sitting by a beautiful stream, green, glistening in the morning sun, with wisps of morning mist still playing over the surface. Spring is in full bloom, the water is flowing smoothly and effortlessly. Across the other side of the stream are fields, fields of spring-green wheat swaying in a gentle breeze.

There is a sense of effortless calm.

Just to your left, as the stream curves to the left, with green meadows on the left, and a small copse of trees on the right, you catch sight of birds skimming across the water catching flies.

And, as you imagine this scene, you cast out your line. The fishing rod held firmly in your hand. The float makes a small splash, as it hits the water’s surface, then it rests, elegantly, floating.

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And as you sit back, reflecting on the scene, your senses filled with the fresh scents and sounds of springtime, you relax completely. Sure in the knowledge that your not going to catch any fish, as you haven’t put any bait on your hook.

Just sitting, just being, just nature aware of nature. With no need for anything more, no desire for anything different.

And, if you can find yourself imaging all of that, well welcome to meditation.

True meditation can only happen when you’ve given up searching for something else, and when you desire no more. When all is accepted as complete. All is as it should be. Including you.

© David R. Durham
Spirit Healer
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Illusion Of Separation

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The illusion of our separation from our source creates a number of challenges and opportunities.

Challenges
The challenges primarily come from a run-away ego-structure which is overtly focused on personal self-interest and gratification, protecting its’ immediate bloodline and in defending and furthering the aims of its’ tribe. Various social norms seek to address this issue, norms often derived from a mixture of historical experience, cultural heritage, legal traditions and religion’s moral systems.

Other side effects of this can include a false sense of isolation or a “what’s the purpose of it all” kind of a feeling at times.

Opportunities
On the other side of the coin, when the limited personal ego-structure is examined and seen through for what it is, an energy structure used by life to come into human form, then different scenarios come into play.

Move in to the realm of the mystics and sages, and this phenomena is often traditionally dealt with by seeking to revert to a spiritual source, sometimes termed a “union with God”. To ‘return’ metaphorically speaking (as there can be no literal return as there never was any separation), to a base-state of consciousness, a kind of spiritual garden of Eden or mythical Shambhala.

An additional option, is rather than simply condemn the ego-structure, understand it as an intended temporary phenomena in the evolution of consciousness. And from there, explore what is to be done next, if anything, to further this expansion and enrichment of consciousness through the human experience.

The balance point of consciousness, or center of poise, in this exploration is a ‘just sitting’ style of meditation1 ; where for here, for now, there is a total acceptance of all that is arising in the current moment as being entirely appropriate and complete. Which includes accepting the personal ego-structure itself.

Whilst in this balance point, it is conscious awareness itself which then determines the next development in its’ evolution and growth.

© David R. Durham

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Spirit Healer Web Link

Note:
1This meditation style is only a meditation, it is not a prescription on how to engage with daily life.

Resting In Spirit

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There is a simplicity about resting in spirit, it has a satisfying quality about it, in that it needs no embellishment and nothing taken away.

A desire-less state. Content in its own awareness.

Perhaps, also, it is a death-less state? For death only arises as a natural conclusion to the birth of a desire.

And so, resting in spirit can seem to be the opposite of human living. And desire can appear to be an un-welcome activity, and something to be suppressed or destroyed in the interests of being more spiritual.

This negative attitude to desire has some value as unbridled desire is not a pretty sight, but it is also a limited one, as it fails to acknowledge desire’s role in an ever growing consciousness.

Resting in spirit is more akin to being at the heart of the wheel of living, at the centre of the storm of desires which drive the ever unfolding growth of consciousness. And, as such, resting in spirit has a dynamic quality to it, a dynamic stillness that can be characterised by moving meditation activities, such as Tai Chi. Like a flow we embrace as a surfer riding a wave. Symbolically we can see this represented in the Ying-Yang diagram: with the active element embedded in the passive, and visa-versa.

Consciously resting in spirit gives us a breather, a pause which allows us to observe and evaluate our current state of being. It is not meant to be an escape or a solution or a superior state.

Resting in spirit is a temporary pause, before we dive once again into the second-by-second arising of multiple desire cycles, that weave the rich fabric of our human life. This pause also allows us to experience ourselves as the co-creators of our human drama.

And this is why, learning just to sit in pure stillness during meditation is so important to us: simply being without expectation; without judgement as to how we’re doing; without the craving to understand or to experience something else; without trying to modify whatever is arising.

There is a simplicity about resting in spirit.

© David R. Durham

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Dancing Snowflakes

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If you imagine for a moment a still, cold winter’s night. A few clouds are in the sky, the frost is just starting to form and there is no breeze. Then, as if by magic, tiny flakes of snow start to float gently in the dark night’s air. Dancing down to the earth.

There is an effortless beauty about them.

Herein lies a perfect metaphor for timeless meditation. There is an effortless beauty about it.

A letting go of technique, a letting go of effort and expectation, an acceptance of all that is arising in our mind, body and whole being.

A letting go of letting go.

Resting in the eternal embrace of our creator, dancing in the ground of our being.

© David R. Durham

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