When you meet a master swordsman
Show him your sword.
When you meet a man who is not a poet,
Do not show him your poem.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Rumi- Guest House

Rumi advises us to not only learn from everything that happens in our lives but eagerly welcome these Divine opportunities to transform ourselves.

Rumi - Guest House

This being human is a guest house
every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

I first heard this poem of Rumi at the Recocus on Recovery conference 2010. My apologies to the presenter who included it for I made no note of thier name.

Image from

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Monday, 8 February 2010

The Extended Mind By Rupert Sheldrake

We have been brought up to believe that our minds are inside our heads, that mental activity is nothing but brain activity. Instead, I suggest that our minds extend far beyond our brains; they stretch out through fields that link us to our environment and to each other. Mental fields are rooted in brains, just as magnetic fields around magnets are rooted in the magnets themselves, or just as the fields of transmission around mobile phones are rooted in the phones and their internal electrical activities. As magnetic fields extend around magnets, and electromagnetic fields around mobile phones, so mental fields extend around brains. Mental fields help to explain telepathy, the sense of being stared at and other widespread but unexplained abilities. Above all, mental fields underlie normal perception. They are an essential part of vision.

Images outside our heads
Look around you now. Are the images of what you see inside your brain? Or are they outside you - just where they seem to be? According to the conventional theory, there is a one-way process: light moves in, but nothing is projected out. The inward movement of light is familiar enough. As you look at this page, reflected light moves from the page through the electromagnetic field into your eyes. The lenses of your eyes focus the light to form upside-down images on your retinas. This light falling on your retinal rod and cone cells causes electrical changes within them, which trigger off patterned changes in the nerves of the retina. Nerve impulses move up your optic nerves and into the brain, where they give rise to complex patterns of electrical and chemical activity. So far, so good. All these processes can be, and have been, studied in great detail by neurophysiologists and other experts on vision and brain activity.
 But then something very mysterious happens. You consciously experience what you are seeing, the page in front of you. You also become conscious of the printed words and their meanings. From the point of view of the standard theory, there is no reason why you should be conscious at all. Brain mechanisms ought to go on just as well without consciousness.The standard theory of vision applies to all species of animals with image-forming eyes. It does not explain why there should be conscious vision in any animal species, or in people. There is just unconscious, computer-like data processing by the nervous system.
 Then comes a further problem. When you see this page, you do not experience your image of it as being inside your brain, where it is supposed to be. Instead, you experience its image as being located about two feet in front of you. The image is outside your body. For all its physiological sophistication, the standard theory has no explanation for your immediate and direct experience. All your experience is supposed to be inside your brain, not where it seems to be. The basic idea I am proposing is so simple that it is hard to grasp. Your image of this page is just where it seems to be, in front of your eyes, not behind your eyes. It is not inside your brain, but outside your brain.
 Thus, vision involves both an inward movement of light, and an outward projection of images. Through mental fields, our minds reach out to touch what we are looking at. If we look at a mountain ten miles away, our minds stretch out ten miles. If we gaze at distant stars, our minds reach out into the heavens, over literally astronomical distances

The sense of being stared at
  Sometimes when I look at someone from behind, he or she turns and looks straight at me. And sometimes I suddenly turn around and find someone staring at me. Surveys show that more than 90% of people have had experiences such as these. The sense of being stared at should not occur if attention is all inside the head. But if it stretches out and links us to what we are looking at, then our looking could affect what we look at. Is just an illusion, or does the sense of being stared at really exist?
 This question can be explored through simple, inexpensive experiments. People work in pairs. One person, the subject, sits with his or her back to the other, wearing a blindfold. The other person, the looker, sits behind the subject, and in a random series of trials either looks at the subject’s neck, or looks away and thinks of something else. The beginning of each trial is signalled by a mechanical clicker or bleeper. Each trial lasts about ten seconds and the subject guesses aloud ‘looking’ or ‘not looking’. Detailed instructions are given on my website, http://www.sheldrake.org/
 More than 100,000 trials have now been carried out, and the results are overwhelmingly positive and hugely significant statistically, with odds against chance of quadrillions to one. The sense of being stared at even works when people are looked at through closed circuit TV. Animals are also sensitive to being looked at by people and people by animals. This sensitivity to looks seems widespread in the animal kingdom and may well have evolved in the context of predator-prey relationships: an animal that sensed when an unseen predator was staring would stand a better chance of surviving than an animal without this sense.

 Educated people have been brought up to believe that telepathy does not exist. Like other so-called psychic phenomena, it is dismissed as an illusion. Most people who espouse these opinions, which I used to myself, do not do so on the basis of a close examination of the evidence. They do so because there is a taboo against taking telepathy seriously. This taboo is related to the prevailing paradigm or model of reality within institutional science, namely the mind-inside-the-brain theory, according to which telepathy and other psychic phenomena, which seem to imply mysterious kinds of ‘action at a distance’, cannot possibly exist.
 This taboo dates back at least as far as the Enlightenment at the end of the eighteenth century. But this is not the place to examine its history (which I discuss in my book The Sense of Being Stared At). Rather I want to summarize some recent experiments, which suggest that telepathy not only exists, but that it is a normal part of animal communication.

Psychic pets
 I first became interested in the subject of telepathy some fifteen years ago, and started looking at evidence for telepathy in the animals we know best, namely pets. I soon came across numerous stories from owners of dogs, cats, parrots, horses and other animals that suggested that these animals seemed able to read their minds and intentions. Through public appeals I have built up a large database of such stories, currently containing more than 3,500 case histories. These stories fall into several categories. For example. many cat owners say that their animal seem to sense when they are planning to take them to the vet, even before they have taken out the carrying basket or given any apparent clue as to their intention. Some people say their dogs know when they are going to be taken for a walk, even when they are in a different room, out of sight or hearing, and when the person is merely thinking about taking them for a walk. Of course, no one finds this behaviour surprising if it happens at a routine time, or if the dogs see the person getting ready to go out, or hear the word ‘walk’. They think it is telepathic because it seems to happen in the absence of such clues. 
 One of the commonest and most testable claims about dogs and cats is that they know when their owners are coming home, in some cases anticipating their arrival by ten minutes or more. In random household surveys in Britain and America, my colleagues and I have found that approximately 50% of dog owners and 30% of cat owners believe that their animals anticipate the arrival of a member of the household. Through hundreds of videotaped experiments, my colleagues and I have shown that dogs react to their owners' intentions to come home even they are many miles away, even when they return at randomly chosen times, and even when they travel in unfamiliar vehicles such as taxis. Telepathy seems the only hypothesis that can account for the facts. (For more details, see my book Dogs that Know When their Owners Are Coming Home, And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals.)

Telephone telepathy
  In the course of my research on unexplained powers of animals, I heard of dozens of dogs and cats that seemed to anticipate telephone calls from their owners. For example, when the telephone rings in the household of a noted professor at the University of California at Berkeley, his wife knows when her husband is on the other end of the line because Whiskins, their silver tabby cat, rushes to the telephone and paws at the receiver. ‘Many times he succeeds in taking it off the hook and makes appreciative meows that are clearly audible to my husband at the other end’, she says. ‘If someone else telephones, Whiskins takes no notice.’ The cat responds even when he telephones home from field trips in Africa or South America.
 This led me to reflect that I myself had had this kind of experience, in that I had thought of people for no apparent reason who shortly there afterwards called. I asked my family and friends if they had ever had this experience, and I soon found the majority were very familiar with it. Some said they knew when their mother or boyfriend or other significant person was calling because the phone sounded different!
Through extensive surveys, my colleagues and I have found that the most people have had seemingly telepathic experiences with telephone calls. Indeed this is the commonest kind of apparent telepathy in the modern world.
Is this all a matter of coincidence, and selective memory, whereby people only remember when someone they were thinking about rang, and forget all the times they were wrong? Most sceptics assume that this is the case, but until recently there had never been any scientific research on the subject at all.
I have developed a simple experiment to test for telephone telepathy. Participants receive a call from one of four different callers at a prearranged time, and they themselves choose the callers, usually close friends or family members. For each test, the caller is picked at random by the experimenter by throwing a die. The participant has to say who the caller is before the caller says anything. If people were just guessing, they would be right about one time in four, or 25% of the time.
 We conducted more than 800 such trials, and the average success rate is 42%, very significantly above the chance level of 25%, with astronomical odds against chance.
We also carried out a series of trials in which two of the four callers were familiar, while the other two were strangers, whose names the participants knew, but whom they had not met. With familiar callers, the success rate was 56%, highly significant statistically. With strangers it was at the chance level, in agreement with the observation that telepathy typically takes place between people who share emotional or social bonds.
In addition, we have found that these effects do not fall off with distance. Some of our participants were from Australia or New Zealand, and they could identify who was calling just as well as with people down under as with people only a few miles away.
 Telepathic emails are the latest version of this phenomenon, and an extensive series of experiments with emails has given very similar results to the telephone experiments. positive and highly significant statistically. (The details of all this research on telepathy in people and in pets are published in a series of papers in peer-reviewed journals, and the full texts are available on my web site). An automated version of the telephone telepathy test that works on mobile telephones is now up and running and can be accessed from the Online Experiments Portal on my web site (www.sheldrake.org).

Extended minds
 Laboratory studies by parapsychologists have already provided significant statistical evidence for telepathy (well reviewed by Dean Radin in his book The Conscious Universe, Harper, San Francisco, 1997). But most laboratory research has given rather weak effects, probably because most participants and ‘senders’ were strangers to each other, and telepathy normally depends on social bonds.
The results of telephone telepathy experiments give much stronger and more repeatable effects because they involve people who know each other well. I have also found that there are striking telepathic links between nursing mothers and their babies. Likewise, the telepathic reactions of pets to their owners depend on strong social bonds. I suggest that these bonds are aspects of the fields that link together members of social groups (which I call morphic fields) and which act as channels for the transfer of information between separated members of the group. Telepathy literally means ‘distant feeling’, and typically involves the communication of needs, intentions and distress. Sometimes the telepathic reactions are experienced as feelings, sometimes as visions or the hearing of voices, and sometimes in dreams. Many people and pets have reacted when people they are bonded to have had an accident, or are dying, even if this is happening many miles away. There is an analogy for this process in quantum physics: if two particles have been part of the same quantum system and are separated in space, they retain a mysterious connectedness. When Einstein first realized this implication of quantum theory, he thought quantum theory must be wrong because it implied what he called a ‘spooky action at a distance’. Experiments have shown that quantum theory is right and Einstein wrong. A change in one separated part of a system can affect another instantaneously. This phenomenon is known as quantum non-locality or non-separability. Telepathy, like the sense of being stared at, is only paranormal if we define as ‘normal’ the theory that the mind is confined to the brain. But if our minds reach out beyond our brains, just as they seem to, and connect with other minds, just as they seem to, then phenomena like telepathy and the sense of being stared at seem normal. They are not spooky and weird, on the margins of abnormal human psychology, but are part of our biological nature.
Of course, I am not saying that the brain is irrelevant to our understanding of the mind. It is very relevant, and recent advances in brain research have much to tell us. Our minds are centred in our bodies and in our brains in particular. However, that they are not confined to our brains, but extend beyond them. This extension occurs through the fields of the mind, or mental fields, which exist both within and beyond our brains.
The idea of the extended mind makes better sense of our experience than the mind-in-the-brain theory. Above all, it liberates us. We are no longer imprisoned within the narrow compass of our skulls, our minds separated and isolated from each other. We are no longer alienated from our bodies, from our environment and from other people. We are interconnected.

Sheldrake R (1999) Dogs that Know When their Owners Are Coming Home, And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals. Arrow Books Ltd.
Sheldrake R (2003) The sense of being stared at, and other aspects of the extended mind. Arrow Books Ltd.
Sheldrake R (2009) A new science of life. Icon Books
For full details and bibliography, see www.sheldrake.org

© Rupert Sheldrake 2009

How to deal with Zen Enlightenment by Write-At- Home

Things You'll Need:

Step 1
 The first thing you realize after you achieve Zen enlightenment is how stupid you seeemed to have been before you became awakened - that's because you realize you had been enlightened the whole time anyway,and you just didn't know it. But that's not a problem. It's just an observation, and you'll quickly come to terms with it.

Step 2
 The biggest problem many people discover after becoming enlightened is that most of the people who surround you in your every day life are still asleep, or not enlightened. It's like you're the only one who is not a walking zombie of some kind -- yet, all these sleeping zombies think YOU are the one who is lost of confused about life. It's like what Mr. Spock said in a "Star Trek" episode: "In a world of the insane, it is the sane man who would appear insane." Anyway, you should not try to wake these people up -- or you can if you want to - -either way is fine. Just make sure that you see what you are doing.

Step 3
 After enlightenment, a lot of things seem rather petty or ridiculous, such as your job. So, should you quit your job after you achieve enlightenment? This really has nothing to do with whether you are enlightened or not. If your job is petty and ridiculous, then just realize that fact, which you will anyway. You may decide to do some other, more meaningful job, or stay in your old petty job. Observe what you are doing, which ever way you choose to go.

Step 4
 If you were miderable before you were enlightened, even though you were already enlightened and didn't know it, and you find yourself still miserable, that's natural. To see that you are miserable is what it's all about. If you are miserable then be miserable. That's what being enlighted is all about -- if you are enlightened, you'll know that.

Step 5
 Most people who become enlighted have a spouse or significant other who remains unenlightened. This is no problem what-so-ever, and there is nothing you have to do to deal with the situation. Remember, your spouse is already enlightened, even if they don't know it. Your relationship with your spouse stays the same. You'll see that.

Step 6
 What about politics? What if you were a liberal at the time you became enlightened? You will still be a liberal, unless you decide to change. What if you were a conservative before you became enlightened? You will still be a conservative after enlightenment, and that won't change, unless you want it to. What if you were a moderate and dead in the center of the political spectrum when you achieved enlightenment? Guess what -- nothing has changed.

Step 7
 What if you continue to meditate after you achieve Zen enlightnement, and while you are meditating, a golden ball of energy floats into your meditation room, and the golden ball of energy declares that is it "a god" with important information for you? What should you do? Just listen to what "the god" tells you and weigh that information in the same way that you would weigh any other information. It's not a big deal.

Step 8
 After enlightenment, some people become worried that they will become megalomaniacs and think they are "God" but, in fact, this has nothing in particular to do with being enlightened, or not being enlightened. If you come to believe that you may be "God" after enightenment, you may choose to seek pychiatric care, or not. It depends on how much trouble it causes you. But even if it causes you trouble to believe you are "God" then you just deal with it in the way you choose to.

Step 9
 Some people also worry that after awakening to Zen enightenment, they'll fall back asleep and lose their enlightenment. However, this hardly matters because everyone is enlightended all the time whether they know it or not. After you achieve enlightenment, you realize how incredibly and radically easy it was to do so. Thus, even if you slip back into your old way of looking at your existence, it will be fantastically easy to awaken again. In fact, you may decide to fall back out of enlightenment anyway, just for the fun of it. It's okay, because you can come back any time.

Step 10
 What if you feel cheated and bitter after realizing that Zen enlightenment is nothing much at all? Well, that's natural. A lot of us feel stupid sometimes about lame things we used to think or did. If you feel cheated, that's not good or bad, it's just feeling cheated. You may also feel just great about being enlightened. That's fine, too.

Written By Write-at-home
Published on ehow.com
Caligraphy on documents and designs.com

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

From The Book of Shambala

I offer this for your consideration. One of the fruits of the Shambala path is Authentic Presence which is attained through training. It can however occur spontaniously as part of a spiritual emergence, should such a person find them selves standing before a psychiatrist they are in danger of being administered powerful and inappropriate medication.

"For the dignified Shambhala person,

an unwaning authentic presence dawns"

Authentic Presence:
(Tibetan "wangthang"); a "field of power." "The basic idea of authentic presence is that, because you achieve some merit or virtue, therefore that virtue begins to be reflected in your being, your presence. Authentic presence is based on cause and effect. The cause of authentic presence is the merit you accumulate, and the effect is the authentic presence itself." Starting with the right attitude to life? experiencing delight and leading your life elegantly. Pain and depression, as well as pleasure, may be source materials for study. A sense of wholesomeness makes life worth living; a sense of genuineness brings confidence.

Outer Authentic Presence:
"Because you achieve some merit or virtue, therefore that virtue begins to be reflected in your being, your presence." "If a person is modest and decent and exertive, then he will begin to manifest some sense of good and wholesome being to those around him."

Inner Authentic Presence:
"...the inner meaning of authentic presence... is connected...to the path of Shambhala warriorship. Inner authentic presence...is connected to the realization of primordial space, or egolessness."

Letting Go” The cause or the virtue that brings inner authentic presence is emptying out and letting go. Inner authentic presence comes from exchanging yourself with others, from being able to regard other people as yourself, generously and without fixation. An experience of non-fixed mind; mind without fixation. So the inner merit that brings inner authentic presence is the experience of non-fixed mind, mind without fixation. ..."

Genuiness. "…a person who has inner authentic presence...has an overwhelming genuineness, which might be ...frightening because it is so true and honest and real. You experience a sense of command radiating from the person of inner authentic presence." "On one hand authentic presence is the result of a gradual, developmental process of letting go of ego fixation. On the other hand, it is also the result of an instantaneous, magical, process of letting go of fixed mind. The two are always working together. ... The abrupt and spontaneous process that brings authentic presence is raising windhorse."
"In order to sustain {the} glimpse and manifest that presence fully, there is a need for discipline. ... This process is called the warrior's path of the four dignities.

 Tibetan: "LUNGTA" Lung: "wind" Ta: "horse". ... raising a wind of delight and power and riding on, or conquering, that energy. ... The personal experience of this wind comes as a feeling of being completely and powerfully in the present. The horse aspect is that, in spite of the power of this great wind, you also feel stability. you are never swayed by the confusion of life...excitement or depression. You can ride on the energy of your life. So windhorse includes...practicality and discrimination, a natural sense of skill. This quality is like the four legs of a horse, which make it stable and balanced... you are not riding an ordinary horse, you are riding windhorse."

For more information would recommend reading the Book Of Shambala

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

'My heart is burning with love'

My heart is burning with love
All can see this flame
My heart is pulsing with passion
like waves on an ocean

my friends have become strangers
and I’m surrounded by enemies
But I’m free as the wind
no longer hurt by those who reproach me

I’m at home wherever I am
And in the room of lovers
I can see with closed eyes
the beauty that dances

Behind the veils
intoxicated with love
I too dance the rhythm
of this moving world

I have lost my senses
in my world of lovers


Reproduced here are the words of Rumi, a Thirteenth Century Sufi mystic. If you were to describe such an intoxicated state to a psychitrist you would be at risk of detention under our Govenment endorsed Mental Health Act. You may be deemed a danger to society or yourself. If any of the great historical figures from the spiritual story of mankind were to raise their heads from the sea of souls and declare thier presence, they would be detained, viewed with suspicion and derision. It is strange is it not that a person who recognises the divinity within them and feels ready to become a beecon of Love is likely to find them selves in psychiatric care while the insanity of our civilised society which polutes and destroys all it touches, is seen as sane, rational and reasonable.

Which of these do you feel is true Madness?

Friday, 11 December 2009

Long ago, a certain Chuang Tzu dreamt he was a butterfly— a butterfly fluttering here and there on a whim, happy and carefree, knowing nothing of Chuang Tzu. Then all of a sudden he woke to find that he was, beyond all doubt, Chuang Tzu. Who knows if it was Chuang Tzu dreaming a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming Chuang Tzu?
Clearly there's a difference.