Sunday, July 31, 2016

This weeks blog is on the Elements and the San Bushmen Hunter-Gatherers  

In order to survive in the Kalahari wasteland the Bushmen have to be closely related to and dependent on the elements. One can survive three minutes without air (or oxygen,) three days without water, three weeks without food and three months without connection to other humans or love.
Air is readily available, water not so much so that they have had to develop ingenious method of finding and conserving it. Shelter is essential for survival and this is provided by the Earth Mother element. They also sleep on Her crust close to the fire. Fire is required not only for warmth but for cooking and protection from African predators. Love is not a challenge for the clan - there is an abundance of it. 
When one is so close to the elements there is an intimate connection with not only Nature but also the spirit world and the Great Spirit. To be a hunter-gatherer means relating to Nature and all its elements beyond the five senses and they are constantly receiving intuitive feedback from the bush and "spirit" to help them survive. Attending to their most basic needs leads to a profound spirituality that makes it possible for them to travel out of body into the spirit world with their trance dance. Here they converse with the ancestors for vital information and then bring back healing energy with hands on techniques to the clan.
Hence it is not surprising that the Ancestors say...

By emulating the Bushman experience as closely as possible and not separating ourselves from the elements we can nurture ourselves and others. The closer we get to the Still beings, the Growing Beings and the Wild Beings  the more are Nature's secrets revealed.

Fire is a virtual miracle, testifying to our survival as a species . It makes us remember who we and our ancestors were eons ago.

Bushmen making Fire in a primal way

Sipping water with a hollow reed out of a hollow tree trunk after the rains and spitting into into an empty ostrich egg for storage. There is no natural water in the Kalahari and not so long ago the only other methods of obtaining water were from a specific root, bitter melons or sucking it out of sip wells in the sand with the same technique as above.
There is an old cowboy saying that people will fight over oil but kill for water. Lets hope the way things are going with climate change it doesn't come to that. 

Luther Standing Bear was correct when he said...

We have lost our oneness with the element and the other "Beings."

The creation story as drawn for me on an extended visit to the Kalahari Kua San Bushmen in 1987, shows the Earth Mother as a pregnant woman. Her belly ruptures giving forth all that Nature can provide. The hunter with his bow provides the male element and one can also see a child, the fire, the sun, moon and stars (with Bisi the Creator invisibly presiding.) Simple but profound.

1987 was a small window in time when one could still experience, with the fast disappearing clans in the remote Kalahari what life was like for our ancestor hunter-gatherers.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


In the beginning was the Word and the universe was created in a vacuum of empty space formed by the Creator by the Tzimtzum - a cosmic contraction and possibly a referral to the Big Bang. If the Infinite One had not withdrawn His/Her presence to allow for the possibility of creation nothing could have existed. Therefore He/She had to be present but only present enough for something else also to exist and not be obliterated.
This cosmology develops from the opening lines of Genesis; "And the earth was without form (Tohu) and empty (Bohu) and darkness was of the face of the deep (Tohum.)"

Then ...

... All of which were animated by the "colored" winds or breath (Ruach) of the Creator (Prana in Yoga or Moya in Zulu.) 
(In all humility I am sharing these quotations from the ancestors and trying as best as I can to delve into their mystical meaning with the help from various writings and teachings. However, much still remains obscure to me.) 
There are six sephirot on the Tree of Life that represent Ruach. As they increase in vibration up the Tree from Yesod (Foundation,) to Hod, to Netzach to Tiferet (the Heart of the Tree) and then to Gevurah (Judgment) and Chesed (Mercy) possibly the colors change with each higher vibration as I have done above in white and shades of grey.

80% of our bodies are composed of water. Emoto's work on its molecular structure and how it can change depending on the surrounding "vibration," good or bad is profound. Prayers to water or beautiful music cause the formation of spectacular crystalline forms when water is frozen and visualized with a dark ground microscope. On the other hand rap music or negative intentions cause ugly crystalline structures. Swimming in a pristine mountain stream will have a completely different affect on body, mind and spirit compared to bathing in water coming out of a faucet using soap and shampoos. The vibration of this water can be changed with prayer, sacred music or plants etc. and by doing the mechanical cleansing prior to and separate from the sacred bath.

Emoto's photos of dark ground microscopy after freezing water that had been subjected to different energies - light or dark.

Cleansing by bathing in water was customary in ancient Israel and  has been replaced by the Mikveh, used today by religious Jews. Some biblical regulations require full immersion in water that must be flowing, for spiritual cleansing. Serious impurities or energetic pollution require "living" water eg. a flowing river or spring. 
Lourdes and other places where "Spirit" (Wind, Ruach) reside and the water is sacred have resulted in documented spontaneous remissions of diseases (Vatican Medical Commission) that have defied the best that Western or any medicine has been able to offer.
In sangoma tradition bathing with sacred plants is essential for restitution, release and healing.
According to the New Testament (Matthew) John's baptism was directed from God for cleansing and the remission of sin. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This is the 4th blog on the Elements and Nature

The Ancestors

In Zimbabwian culture the Nyami-Nyami is a powerful snake-like water spirit that resides in the Zambesi river. 
All Southern African sangomas know that in order to be initiated one has to go to the "water" to engage with the water spirit. In Zulu it is called the Unzunzu. Below is a Shona soap stone rendition of the serpent Nyami-Nyami.

 In Yoga the Kundalini experience has sometimes been described as like drowning in water. This is tantamount to engaging spiritually, fully with the Shakti, femine like energy that is key to mobilizing the Kundalini. When the Shakti, feminine, Kundalini rises up the spine and meets with Shiva, the masculine principle at the crown chakra a Oneness Experience or Unity Consciousness occurs. This is when the OBSERVER - THE OBSERVED & THE PROCESS OF OBSERVATION fuse into just one thing (Samadhi to the Yogi.) Many of us have had what Maslow called a Peak Experience which is like a "mimi" Kundalini. The Kundalini is described as a serpent coiled at the base of the spine or first chakra, and is key to the enlightenment process.

The sangoma who is initiated is certainly liberated in a different way after encountering the water spirit - Unzunzu or ? the Nyami-Nyami.

In the Yoga system of Chakras each has an increasingly fine vibration as the Kundalini energy rises upwards through the different chakras and their elements.

In Isaiah's vision of the Six directions, each direction; North, West, South and East has a respective element; Water, Earth, Fire Air and Archangel; Uriel, Gabriel, Rafael and Michael. In addition all Four directions have a river, wind, color, animal and "being" (growing, still, talking and wild as one travels anti clockwise from North to East.) Shechina - the feminine aspect of the Divine is above. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

This is the Third blog on connecting with the Elements and Nature - Water, Wind (Breath) and Oneness

The top Sephira or energy center on the Tree of Life is blue in color and represents the element of water as well as undifferentiated light and thought or wisdom (fantasy, imagination or if you like the Einstein archetype.)

(These sacred rivers today are thought to be the Tigris, Euphrates, Ganges and Nile.)

We are all animated by the breath of the Creator and as Kabir said; "What is God? The breath within the breath." Furthermore 80% of our bodies are water so that there is, in a sense, 
a river running through us. Spirit and Breath of the Creator permeate all Four Beings - Still, Growing, Wild and Talking.
"We are all one, though not the same." The Ancestors

There is no duality and 
"The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose, I am here and you (or they) are out there!" Roshi

 The same life force; breath, prana, chi, ruach (Hebrew,)  moya (Zulu) runs through all the beings, just giving each a different vibration. Even the still beings are "alive" with the Creator's breath.
The Ancestors

Sunday, July 3, 2016

THE STILL BEINGS, (earth, rocks, mountains,) THE GROWING BEINGS (plants, trees,) THE WILD BEINGS (& THE TALKING BEINGS)

A consequence of this connection can be a sense of equanimity, inner peace and harmony or "Wilderness or Nature Rapture. To connect we to have an inner intention rather than being externally or goal oriented (photography, working out, high tech outings such as climbing, kayaking etc.)

The principles of being "Inward Bound" and having deep rapturous experience in nature are simple; 
Do it for its own sake as spiritual practice & not to perform or look good on Facebook or elsewhere 
Find nature or wilderness where you are most comfortable. Physical challenges can often lead to more self mastery and self esteem but possibly at the expensive of a spiritual deficiency.
Go alone if possible or walk alone in silence.
Don't get hung up on hard skills & fascinations - high tech gear, cameras etc.
Take the bare minimum & have as little separating you from nature as possible but still be warm, dry, well hydrated and fed as well as not lost.

Remember that...

Its still possible to communicate if we slow to their vibration; slowest in the case of the still beings and from there on up to higher vibrations with the other beings.