Sunday, August 27, 2017


David Cumes

The next few blogs will help show us how the Tree of Life manages the three deadly sins. Although somewhat similar to the Chakra system the energy centers or sephirot are more complex. There are ten as opposed to the usual seven chakras. These are arranged in three columns rather than one. 
The left side is "moon" like in energy and contracts or restrains like the parasympathetic nervous system. The right is "sun" like and expands like the sympathetic nervous system. These resemble the main sun and moon "nadis" or energy channels that spiral  up the central channel of the spine  and connect the chakras. 
Left and right on the T.O.L. are integrated by the central column which embraces Will - Intention - Passion. The center holds the balance. Daat just below the crown or Keter is not a true sephira and symbolizes Faith or Grace. There are 22 pathways linking up to balance the sephirot.
As we said in the last blog each sephira also has its light and dark side we need to integrate both through their three basic horizontal triangles.

The top triangle points upward & comprises; 
Keter (Crown) - Wisdom - Understanding.
The middle triangle; 
Love - Mercy - Judgment
The lowest; 
Foundation (basically Ego;) 
 Non Attachment - Attachment (to objects of our desire.) 
This triangle represents similar polarities to the lower three chakras below the diaphragm.
Both middle and lower triangles point downwards.

Tension between the three sephirot of each and their respective balancing allows the seeker to move up the T.O.L. and conquer the serpent coiled around the central trunk which represents; ego, monkey mind, our evil inclination or shadow and the dark forces outside of us, also called tricksters. 

In this way we can re-enter the metaphoric Garden of Eden (Buddhism's Pure Land, Yoga's Causal Realm.) When we do this we come into direct realization that we are made in the image of the Creator ...
 "I am that I am," which is Oneness or Unity Consciousness. Duality disappears, at least for a while, and the Knower, Known and Process of Knowing become One thing. The knowledge of this truth, however, remains forever.

Tiferet the heart of the Tree represents love and requires that we conquer our fears - including guilt, self remorse/recrimination, self condemnation and shame with Universal Self Acceptance (U.S.A.) and forgiveness, empathy and compassion In addition we should strive to have an unconditional positive regard for others. We don't have to like them but we need to love their humanity and its potential. The Bushmen of the Kalahari teach that to be a good healer (or seeker) we need to love people no matter what we think of them. Namaste in Sanskrit.

What makes us contract? The Five Judgments 
or Fears mostly on the left side 

(=Self-cherishing &
Desirous Attachment)
Ego (Foundation)
Kingdom (us on earth)
 in the center.

What makes us expand? The Five Loves mostly 
on the right side of the Tree of Life

the Crown is similar 
to the 7th Chakra
in the center.
in the center
(to the objects of our desire)

Next week we will look at what ancient wisdom teaches about these polarities but as a general gestalt to meditate on here are some.



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Sunday, August 20, 2017


In the previous blogs we have talked about ways to remedy ego, judgment and desirous attachment such as active and passive meditation, silence, nature, sounds and song, the breath and using the senses in other ways to connect with heart and soul.
There is no question that...

... but is also the hardest challenge we have to master. When it comes to karma we will be accountable to the extent we loved all four of the beings, not just the talking ones. The Bushmen healers say that to heal we have to open our hearts and love others no matter what we think of them. The yogis agree that of all the chakras the heart chakra is the most difficult to open. The Ancestors teach on love; "there is only one truth..."

The Creator loves us no matter what we do. Hence karma is built as a default into the soul and the law of cause and effect which determines future incarnations will allow us to perfect the soul.  One of the biggest impediments to the spiritual seeker is judgment. We do not need to judge others or ourselves but rather have compassion for their and our misdeeds since karma is relentless. When we cross the veil between the worlds there will be a spiritual tribunal on the other side to account for our souls' blemishes. 

The Ancestors teach...
There are ten Sephirot in the Tree of Life (Faith or Daat is not a true sephira.)
There are five sephirot denoting the five polarities where love can be expressed (designated below by a heart symbol.) The other five sephirot are called the five judgments (or fears.) There are only two basic feelings, love and fear. We need to decide what we want to embrace with our understands, judgments, attachments as well as being resident in a sentient or sensory body at Kingdom in the lowest sephira. How we balance these polarities and their triangles will determine how much we are fear versus love based and whether we contract (--) or expand (+)
Love or Fear
It all depends where we place the two: horizontally; --; or one horizontal one vertical; +
We need understanding, judgment and attachment 
just as we need wisdom, mercy and non attachment. 
Each have their dark side and both need continuous balance and fine tuning with spiritual practice - whatever method or methods work for us. We decide whether we soar or plummet.

Our guides as well as energy or anatomy maps, spiritual awareness and truth ("the truth will set you free...") and a 
regular, sustainable, enjoyable spiritual practice or practices are all essential.

The Ancestors

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Sunday, August 13, 2017


Africans say; "we pray by singing and dancing" and the Talmud teaches that "with song one can open the gates of heaven." 

The Ancestors

There are many ways to engage the five senses in meditation and there are intuitive senses beyond these five as well which will deepen if we do. Invent your own meditations - here are some ideas.

Candle meditation, being mesmerized by patterns on a patterned or nature screen or immersing in Nature itself.
Music, Chanting, Drumming, the mantra of nature's sounds. See last week's blog.

The Ancestors

Massage, Vipassana, love making ...

Aromas, Incense, Nature.

Something you love with intention and focus (chocolate, great wine.) So many forms of taste sensation - bitter, sweet, sour, salty, pungent, umami (the taste of glutamates such as M.S.G. an artificial one and one that makes some of us sick), coolness, numbness and a new one oleogustus - the taste of fat. Amazing what the taste buds can differentiate. Buddhists eat in silence and food becomes their meditation. We are blessed to be in a sentient body which we will lose when we pass on. We should enjoy it while we can - but responsibly.

The senses allow us to connect more deeply with the elements. As we travel up the hierarchy of chakras we see an increasing vibration from earth, to water, to fire, to air, and then to ether 
or what Kabbalah calls "Nothingness," ("Ayin,") 
the Buddhists "Emptiness."
 At the crown chakra we connect with the ether element and unity consciousness or the oneness experience or "I am that I am" in other words we "realize" we made in the image of the Creator.  We are also being breathed by the breath or wind of the Infinite One - ruach - wind, spirit, life force in Hebrew -  prana in yoga. 

The Zohar

We were all "nature bound" originally though technology has made us forget our primal hunter-gathers roots. It is not so long ago that we were wandering the savanna's completely reliant on the senses, the elements and Nature's bounty. The San Bushmen one of the last of the hunter-gatherers of the planet are able to access higher levels of consciousness through nature alone especially through the "soft" fascinations (scenes, sunsets, smells, aromas the mantra sound of the bush...) which meditate them into an alfa state (and beyond.) We can do the same with right intention.
"The Ancestors say;
"The force of the primal self manifested as love is the glory of God. Those who awaken it in others glorify him."

Each chakra element has its own vibratory connection, sound and meditation. Listen, see, smell, taste, touch, feel.
When we do this we begin to 
"hear what hearing ears do not and see what seeing eyes do not."

The Ancestors

Connecting the Senses with the Elements

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Saturday, August 5, 2017


The Ancestors

The easiest and most readily accessible form of meditation which is always available to us is our breath. We can become aware of it in an instant and this attention can initiate a parasympathetic relaxation response that balances flight or flight  and is calming. It works whether you have fear of flying and your flight is taking off or when you are in horrendous traffic. It is startling how powerful it is for patients undergoing procedures when they are told just to breath. The Lamaze method for childbirth developed by a French obstetrician is hugely helpful in managing labor. 

We are also able to hear the soft, still voice of the Creator if we are can be quiet and listen. We are animated by the breath of the Divine - this is what keeps us alive. Before we pass over to the "Elsewhere" it is this breath that is withdrawn when the "silver cord (attaching our soul to our body) is broken." The Zohar teaches and the Ancestors confirm that all four beings; Still, Growing, Wild and Talking are animated by "The Four Winds."  Wind in Hebrew is Ruach which also means spirit, life force, energy - Prana in yoga.
The Ancestors

The yoga system of Chakras reveals a hierarchy of the elements; first chakra - earth, second - water, third - fire and 
fourth or heart chakra - air.
Air changes to the finer vibrations of ether and spirit as one ascends up through the fifth and sixth to the seventh or crown chakra and beyond. 
Sound in any form can be one of the most powerful sensory forms of meditation. 
The fifth chakra is in the throat and is the energy center of the voice (and singing) as well as creative expression. Singing and chanting can be meditative. 
The Ancestors

"Divine sound is the cause of all manifestation. The knower of the  mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe."
Hazrat Inayat Khan

In nature we can find many aspects of meditative sound vibration from that of rain, to the whispering of the wind in the trees or the sound of a babbling brook and the song of the "flying beings" - natures breath or her pranayama.

The sound described above resembles very much the the description of the Music of the Spheres or the Oram Mor - the Druid term for the sacred sound of the universe. The Bushmen tell us to listen to the singing of the stars as does the Zohar.

As the ether vibration heightens at the sixth chakra the third eye opens and at the seventh we are at one with the cosmos.
Pranayama or the yoga science of breath is on its own a powerful form of meditation. The key to pranayama is the diaphragm which separates the lower three "survival" chakras from the higher chakras. Pranayama or breath meditation is a seminal way for increasing ones vibration and moving energy upwards into the higher chakras towards the crown. Patanjali stressed the importance of the phases of the breath - inspiration - expiration and breath retention or holding between as well as increasing the time intervals between and of each. He taught this as a way of attaining "cataleptic" consciousness and entering the higher Causal realms that lead us to our Atman or Self. With the breath we can be in the present moment, leave the important but spiritually inhibiting forces of ego, judgment and desirous attachment behind and move upward towards the spiritual truths and awarenesses of the higher principles of consciousness. 
There are many forms of pranayama. Thit Nat Han the acclaimed Buddhist teacher would recite the simple mantra "breathing in I know I am breathing in, breathing out I know I am breathing out." There are numerous yoga techniques but the two I recommend are Ujjayi and alternative nostril breathing which you can find online. Alternative nostril pranayama helps to balance sun and moon nadis or energy channels that spiral up the spine around the central channel. Meditation is always about balancing polarity; sun/moon, sympathetic/parasympathetic, left brain/right brain, masculine/ feminine, Yang and Yin. Sadly our Western way of living is focused around only one of these polarities and we need to balance or perish - at least spiritually.

Click to highlight the link and then play to meditate.