If at first you don’t succeed….

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As I write this blog the UK news and in many countries around the world is focussing upon vaccination programmes -seen as the first line of defence to defeat the virus and put an end to the pandemic. In the UK the programme is geared to treat front line workers and the vulnerable first. The vulnerable are classified as having underlying health conditions.

So, what is meant by an underlying health condition?

It’s a medical definition that applies to any person, irrespective of age, who has an illness which weakens the immune system. The vast majority of people who contract an illness will go to their GP for diagnosis and treatment if it persists and over counter medications do not relieve it. In some cases where the nature of illness attacks the immune system, such as Immune system disorders, Rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, Multiple sclerosis, and Psoriasis, will be treated with immune suppressing drugs that include steroids in order to ward off the illness. Unfortunately such treatments are more apt to develop complications of COVID-19 compared to those who don’t use these drugs.

Generally speaking older people have weaker immune systems, but that doesn’t mean it applies to everyone over the age of 60.

A weakened immune system, which makes you vulnerable to COVID-19 can be caused by a number of factors besides certain medications treating illness as already mentioned. Lack of sleep, anxiety, low vitamin D, too few fruits and veggies, high-fat diets, too little time outdoors, lack of exercise, too much alcohol, grief, and of course, nicotine. You’ve only got to scan this list to realise current restrictions on movements, inability to work, loss of face-to-face contact, can develop discontent, destroy your sense of purpose, and cause overindulgence and inactivity.

Over time the human immune system will develop antibodies that will neutralise viral infection, as was the case in the 1918 flu epidemic. And one has to be reminded the superpowers of the 18th and 18th century globalising their influence wrought havoc amongst indigenous peoples whose immune systems had been environmentally protected before invasion. And people who have little or no interaction with allopathic medicine can have adverse effects from being introduced to it.

It is recognised the majority of people who get the virus are in the under sixties age groups.

The majority of these age groups are people who work for a living -many who now are furloughed or have lost their means to earn income. So, the difficulty we face is whilst restricting peoples movements reduces transmission of the virus -at the same time these restrictions are having unhealthy effects.

So, what can we do about it?

In my mail last week I pointed to ways in which we could strengthen our immune systems and actions we should take to minimise the risk of getting the virus. This week, I would like to add something about foods and lifestyle.

We need to shop more discerningly!

Some foods are loaded with nutrients called antioxidants -look for these; Elderberry, button mushrooms, Acai Berry, oysters, watermelon, wheat germ, low-fat yogurt, spinach, sweet potato, broccoli, garlic, chicken soup, pomegranate, ginger, and tea (choose your favourite)!

Every time a sheep baa’s he loses a bite!

The old saying also applies to us when we talk whilst eating -the damning difference is we unconsciously eat whilst we do that. Feel what you eat and drink -the emotional nature of our body system will then capitalise on the nutrient value of what we ingest. Eat and drink for its own sake -if you do so watching TV some part of the nutrient value will be wasted.

What else can you do?

And talking about TV, as most people are watching more, or playing games -tune in to programmes which benefit both mind and body. Laughter is a good medicine -helps stimulate, try for comedic films and shows. A bit of romance does you good as well! Try to avoid programmes that portray violence, health problems -and, dare I say it; news. Particularly news about the virus! Oh, and by the way whilst games stimulate grey matter they also shut you off from body awareness -not to mention being addictive.

So, the message is if you are still struggling -try, try, and try again!

The poem I’ve written for this post is:

The Reassuring Voice

Ah, winsome love what aches your heart
breaks the rhythm of mentor’s rhyme;
stuns you into silence?
Does the world debase, sully your native innocence,
trade on gentleness, draw on the giving Self?
Do you fear the well has gone dry,
your effort a hoist of cold rocks?
Brain tired of strictures, of duty
and of duty denying the Self?

Fear binds good with bad
Gives security cutting edge.

Let go, let go.

Give your mind a rest,
pulse your heart in Nature’s way.
Feel the moment,
Rebirth your innocence…

And know
this is a better way.

The Eye of the Storm

This is my first blog mail of 2021 and I wish you all a happy new year, though I guess you will not be champing at the bit, wanting to get moving and doing stuff you’ve promised yourself. The start of a new year usually means re-establishing or generating want or needful actions, but not this year. Instead we must carry on where we left off -restricted to only necessary actions out and about, and indoors doing our best to keep in contact with loved ones and friends.

As I write the UK powers that be are informing us we are in the eye of the storm with grim statistics to back up the statement. What they don’t want to say is it’ll get worse before it gets better. And given the plan to vaccinate the entire population over the age of 18 before the autumn are still promoting the expectation of social distancing measures next winter! We need to pause and think this through. 30 odd percent of the population is asymptomatic according to research -if you (and that includes children) are in that category it’s not unreasonable to suggest you wouldn’t want the vaccine. Data available, but not widely circulated, advises the vast majority of people who have sadly passed away, suffer from underlying health conditions, or whose immune systems have been weakened by their lifestyle.

And why is the virus now ‘out of control’? We have a new variant which infects us more easily -and that despite the fact lockdown measures have been heightened in the last month to include the entire UK. So -does that mean more people than hitherto are flouting the restrictions? Maybe not -and here’s the reasons why. We’ve just had Christmas, or sort of, a period of time when mostly drink and eat more than we normally do. How many, for example, fall asleep in front of the TV, not because they have been sleeping in bed less, but because the body is in overload and needs to shut down. Add to that generous helpings of wine and spirits, and the evitable chocolates and you get a mix which will cause the body to labour. The net result is a weakening of the immune system. This problem was further exacerbated by the expectation of family mixing -which at the last moment was banned. Result? People shopped for more than themselves -but you don’t throw it out do you? So -Christmas and New Year fare has lasted longer than it might otherwise have done -and the body system overloaded for longer.

And what happens when you are restricted from seeing and socialising with other people? We lose the emotional and mental interaction, feelings we share outwardly and experience a rise of inner emotional and mental frustration. And what do we do to counter negative thinking? We tend to eat more or/and more and at different times. The body’s cycle of input and output is impacted. It struggles to manage itself. Result? Weakening of the immune system. It is well known if you exercise the body overall (and I don’t mean hard) the action will develop lactic acid to the muscles and in turn reduce your feelings of appetite, not to mention giving the brain mind a rest from viewing itself. A walk before you eat is helpful to controlling your appetite.

We also know the majority of drugs used to treat underlying health conditions, including antibiotics and antidepressants weaken the immune system. If you must take them do everything you can to eat sensibly and exercise regularly. Another big help is to drink plenty of non-stimulative beverages, and that ideally includes plain water.

Now regarding this new variant of the virus we must be mindful of often used surfaces we touch when out in supermarkets and other food stores. The number of supermarket employees going down with the virus has increased dramatically in the last month, and be aware that reusable face masks do need to be sanitised regularly. As I’ve mentioned a number of times before use coconut oil on your hands and face and in the very least up the nostrils and on the lips. Studies carried out in the Philippines have shown the oil does break down the contact connection the virus makes to attach itself to you.

The poem I’ve written for this post is:

Great Isis Breathes

The shortest day has breathed its last
and now the leaf gowned evergreen
silhouettes the moon cream night;
and an eerie coldness starts to bite.

Snails have long since curled in shells
unforgiving winter reigns supreme;
now the ruffled Robin sleeps
and nocturnal foxes roam the streets.

Migrating birds have long since flown
the bare branched trees bend voiceless
to the ice gloved wind; their boles
and root claws shelter scavengers.

Warm-blooded folk close their doors
and shell like dream of foreign sun
church and chapel toll their bells
the great and good go volunteer.

And all the while great Isis breathes
incarnate; giving, taking, birthing
trees and birds, moles and men
power greater than our human ken.

A Shepherd’s Tale

I do hope my post this week finds you well If you are locked down like I am, markets falling, pandemic raging, loved ones distanced from you -I urge you to read this extra long mail before the new year looms on the horizon. Whether you are religious or not the message of love is universal.

You may or may not know there are two Bethlehem’s in Israel; one in the South near Jerusalem and the other in the North near Nazareth. Gospel accounts of the Jesus’s birthplace are only found in Matthew and Luke –not mentioned in Mark or John, or in the Gospel of Hebrews, otherwise known as the Aramaic Matthew. It is Bethlehem in Judea that is referred to in Matthew and Luke. The other Bethlehem is in Galilee, known as Bethlehem of Zebulun, approximately six miles outside of Nazareth, whereas the Judean Bethlehem is some 68 miles away. One has to question why Joseph, who lived in Nazareth, would have taken a pregnant woman on such a long journey to comply with a census demand in the South when the Roman administrative centre for the North was Sepphoris -less than five miles away?

For that matter why would he need to take Mary, since the registration of wife, siblings, and other dependants was made by men, or otherwise by women in powerful positions who owned land. The purpose of the Roman census was to establish who could be taxed. We are told by the gospels that Joseph was betrothed to Mary and they both lived in, or in the proximity of Nazareth. If that were true at the time of the birth, or nine months before -they would have been breaking Jewish law and living in sin. Joseph, we are told was a carpenter, yet his work would have included building or repairing dwellings, making agricultural tools, and have required skills to work metal, make drains and culverts. And we must not assume he worked on his own but had or was part of a business employing others. And according to Apocrypha writings Joseph had sons older than Jesus.

How come Jesus’s birth took place in or near Bethlehem?

It is well documented a riot took place in Sepphoris around 4 – 5 BC. The Jewish population rebelled against Roman & Herodian authority which resulted in the city being burned and 2000 Jews crucified. Tenable reasons for Joseph and Mary not being in Nazareth when Jesus’s birth took place are (1) they were on their way to Mary’s family who lived in Sepphoris and Jesus was born prematurely (Anne the mother of Mary and Joachim her father, according to New Testament Apocrypha Gospel of James, lived there), or (2) they were fleeing from Sepphoris to escape the conflagration and birth took place before they could reach home. There is no evidence of a census during that period of time.

Mount Carmel is but a few miles from Bethlehem and dotted with caves, as also are the Galilean Hills at the top of which is Bethlehem, and in those days Bethlehem was a large town, not a village. The Essenes had a community on Mount Carmel and some of their calling lived in villages and towns of Galilee –this branch of the Essenes, by far the largest, were known as Nazorean’s. there is reason to suppose Joseph was a Nazorean -his son James the Just became leader of the Essene community in Jerusalem in later years.

The Way of the Sea was a coastal plain that extended the length of Israel, from Judea, Samaria to Galilee and beyond. Shepherds at that time were regarded socially as the lowest of the low and were of two kinds; those who lived and tended flocks close to villages and towns and the more nomadic groups who moved up and down the Way of the Sea. The nomadic shepherds were mostly of mixed blood, hailing from the desert regions East of Israel, and those with roots in Galilee and Samaria. The Samaritans were at odds with the Judeans and had been so for some 400 years as they believed their Pentateuch bible was the authentic word of Moses and Abraham. They were also more liberal than the Judeans and allowed intermarriage with non-Jews.

I’ve provided this background so you may better understand the scenes described in my poem, ‘A Shepherd’s Tale’.

Consider, discuss, decide as you must. A boy
of nine I was, given to play? Yes-
but impatient to grow. A minder of sheep
and goat, not quite a shepherd, you understand.
Arab Jewish Samaritans, lowborn we were
under Roman rule in the land of Moses.

Tent dwellers; nomadic in the Way of the Sea
we moved our flocks from pasture to fold
over plain, hill slope, through mountain pass.
Self-sufficient, our mixed blood had no ties
in towns and we were shunned in cities.
At that time there was much disquiet,

camel borne travellers would hail us
seeking safe passage to Damascus
anxious for news, telling of homes destroyed
of livestock lost. Herod by the sea of salt
in hope of cure, still covetous of power.
Riots and Roman soldiers everywhere.

It was the hottest time of year -too hot.
My father the elder shepherd of our band
decreed we leave the plain of Armageddon
skirt the Galilean hills and drive
to Mount Carmel and fold there in cool caves
the pasture good, the Kishon river close.

Unusual for time of year it rained unexpectedly.
Wet and freshened I explored cave and gully
gaping at rock paintings, sling shooting
hawk foolish enough to target our flock.
When night fell there was talk about events
on the highway, riots in Sepphoris.

Mahmud was our Rabbi, a Samaritan
Who taught us boys by rote from a scroll.
He would disappear for days on end,
reappear warning of wolves, thieves in hiding,
bringing herbs, fruits, figs, salt preserved fish,
feet, hands, and body bruised and bleeding.

But not this time -from the tomb of Rachel
he had seen columns of soldiers, pillars of smoke,
people fleeing carnage, a forest of crosses.
He arrived much distressed. Nearby, he said,
there is a camel camp of Persian men,
star diviners, here for some special event.

So deep the dreamless sleep I slept, when roused
I complained of being woken. My father’s
command to dress was brusque and impatient.
Mother soothingly said be quick no time to rest.
Sheep and goat were want to break the folds
and strange lights had appeared in the heavens.

Girding mantle, grasping staff, sling, and pipe
I joined the men grouped around a fireside
where Mahmud, repeated yet again
to disbelieving ears, of a vision given
in prayer, how an angel of the lord appeared
announcing birth of a messiah to all men.

How he had run to the Kishon River
to impart this news to the Persian men,
and they, exclaiming in response said this
was the proof, the final proof they sought.
And without delay broke camp and headed east.
The river shining phosphorus in the night.

Did I hear a voice as we knelt in prayer?
For when Mahmud said follow me, I knew
the angel would want us shepherds go!
Find the birthplace, give tribute to the child.
More in fear I think, of unearthly things,
Claiming protection of the women folk,

some herders stayed with the folded flock.
For me this was adventure, side by side
my father leading with Mahmud we trod
the Magi’s tracks. An uphill beaten track
Nazorean’s often trod beyond Bethlehem
to Elijah’s tomb. In silent awe we came

to where the light was strongest; there halted
by a well-dressed Jew, then let pass. Mahmud
having yet again spoken of his vision.
We entered a cave, two donkeys tethered
looked at us curiously –and there
in a lamp lit area no bigger than a tent

a babe in swaddling clothes lay in the arms
of a woman and before them, three Magi.
Also, an Arab woman, an older sage-like
Jew and a fearsome looking man whose smile
belied his looks. The air perfumed –a scent
so strong my head whirled with feelings.

We knelt on the hard stone in a presence
of many persons unseen; God’s angels
I know them now to be. We presented
lamb and kid –the best of the litters
we had, and in turn were given sweet wine.
Yet I was not allowed, and she, seeing this

beckoned me to drink from a leather gourd
that hung from the cradle bed, a sweet
warming juice. I drank gazing as I did upon
the new-born baby’s face. Then not asked
but sure of rightness I began to play my
shepherd’s pipe. With eyes closed he smiled,

as if somehow, he had heard me play before.
The tune was new to me and full of majesty,
my fingers moving my brain asleep
I lost all sense of time, only just aware
of his mother’s happy face; the attention
of all that were in that holy place.

As dawn began to show we took our leave.
My father with pride made much of my tune.
There was curious talk about the older man,
was he her husband? Why birth in a cave?
They were not poor, and the Magi had
given gold! There had been talk of Herod,

more so the riots and of Rome’s steel hand.
Yet for all this talk as we returned, the paths
aglow, I sensed my nomadic life would never
be the same again. We had gained in status
been received as equals –us lowborn
shepherds; and feted at a godlike event!
Yet despite this, seeds of doubt took root.

The holy book lost its magic -I questioned
why Jews and Gentiles warred, sacrificial lambs,
the militancy of God. Instead, I dreamed of union
in remembrance of the child, believing
he would one day share our daily bread
forever hopeful that our souls might wed.

Consider, discuss, decide as you must
the burden of proof is a human need.
My shepherd’s tale, straightforwardly said
is to you a plea -that in the body’s Keep
your soul should no longer groan and weep
but celebrate the Love that is Heavens Bread.

Breath of Life

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In the current environment where restrictions on movements and socialising, repress our need to share interests and concerns with loved ones, we turn inward, the Self seemingly less knowable. In last week’s blog I said evolutionary consciousness is a state of awareness ‘outwardly’ born. I probably left you wondering how to achieve that -I also advised the practice of being PRESENT, as the child is, but it’s easier said than done. So, today I will advise how you can get started -practices easily carried out in any given waking state.

The root to all forms of consciousness is Breath

Dictionary definitions are not helpful, they only refer to air taken in and expelled from the lungs, or given the appellation of life force. Breath is not only a function of forces in lung bearing creatures -it’s a function of forces in all forms of life -yes I did say that, all forms of life. So, what is happening for example in a plant or a mineral? It’s the same process that happens in you. A movement of energy takes place when we breathe causing a reaction of energy movement in the bloodstream and lungs. What follows is a movement of energy that accounts for the energy reaction initially made -in humans we breathe out carbon dioxide. Ultimately we know breathing keeps us alive, directly and indirectly causing the continuation of life in every cell of our body. A plant and a mineral has the same function -the difference is they don’t breathe air as we do, they breathe in terms of energy, seen and unseen. Oh, and by the way, so do we, but we consciously don’t know it

We tend to view breath only as an intake of need, whereas the movement of energy is a causative process that operates from without to within and vice-versa. The efficiency of that process is determined by the body of energy we can call the Self. Plants and minerals do this very efficiently, but like everything else life is qualitative, in accordance to its design, a measure of what it takes to change and evolve. You can say the same about animals -but no you can’t say that about us humans! We are very poor processors. When we breathe wrongly the nervous system maintains a level of unnecessary stress. As a result we get ill from internal mismanagement and shorten our lives. If we breathe correctly our health, both physically and mentally, is much better.

This is how to breathe correctly

Breathe in and out of the gut -that’s what babies naturally do. Observe animals -they also do it naturally. Now -why is that so hard to do? I mean how do you keep it up -do it all the time? You may notice even as you are reading this your thought processes are reacting, whether supportive of this guidance or not, the result of thinking will move the centre of breath intake and expression upward toward the chest. Two things are happening here when you are in thinking mode. The brain in your head in particular the cerebrum, is biased to produce alpha rhythms, i.e. the inward management of thought processes. When this is happening the brain in your gut (oh yes -there is a brain in your gut!) is being suppressed. You probably know the brain in your head represents the largest part of your central nervous system, and the brain stem is regarded by science as the lowest most primitive part of the CNS -it controls basic survival functions such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, digestion, taste, hearing, and sight. The stimulus for these functions comes from the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system. The instinctual mind centre is in the gut from where our breath naturally cycles -if we allow it to operate as our body design intended we maintain good physical and mental health.

The way you breathe directly affects the function of the brain in the head!

Naturally, the breath cycle is a wave like motion -now you may fine tune it by time measures of inward, still, and outward breath, but that’s not essential to get the balance right between the brain in your head and the instinctual brain of the body. When you initially practice wave breathing from the gut you will complain it doesn’t allow you to think -so sitting or standing still is not the right way to get the function back -the right way to re-introduce it, is to walk. When you walk your senses must remain alert for obvious reasons -your thoughts will be focussed on getting from A to B. Just one other thing to do -you need to walk in a balanced way, i.e. with your weight centred between the ball and the heel. If you revert to thinking on other things, or you might say ‘unconsciously walking’, the body balance will shift to your heel, if you are in a hurry and your thoughts are biased to future expectations, their expressions become shortened and pithy in character, and the body balance will shift forward to the ball of the foot.

Give it a try!

Don’t expect perfection. It’s not possible in today’s information pressured world to get this right 24-7, but the more and longer you persist -the better the benefits. The brain in your head becomes more like a processor, which is what it was designed to be, and less like a storage if information and access alternatives. Your energy levels will improve because food requirements are less governed by appetite -are more instinctively managed, and dare I say it you may even look younger as your health improves!

Next week it’s Christmas and I plan to give you a bit of unwritten history of arguably the most influential man who ever lived! The poem I’ve written for today has echoes of breathing….

The Rook

In the stone-hard furrows
of a winter fallow field
head down
pecking the ground
the rook -knows a lean meal
when he sees one.

With a non-stop brain
in the belly unlike you
-‘I’ brain conscious,
his beak keeps pecking
burning calories
getting little and less.

Until slowly
little is no more
and weakness halts him.
Observer and naturalist
take note
the rook has no name.

This bare faced
creation of feather and bone
constant host
of protozoa
is an avatar
not found in your books.

His smallest parts
are self-known
unicellular kingdoms
unbounded by form and time.
He knew that before
his face was feathered.

The half-closed eyes
have no regrets
as he caws
the one last time.
What does
your looking tell you?

Do you suppose learning
comes from observing,
dissecting, magnifying?
Can you rise above sympathy?
If so, why can you not
reveal the mystery?

He caws not for bread
or his mate
long since dead
he caws for his life
that bounds
from his head.

See –now
the wings
no longer lift
the legs do not move.
The order to rest
is final.

Perfect.

Learn from that
if you can.
The rook who didn’t need name
whose belly forever guided his brain
shows you life’s three-fold harmony
how life transforms without pain.

Wheeling as you do
caged between
Earth and Heaven,
what release
does your harmony bring
self-appointed surrogate King?

The Knowable Self

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You could say that knowing yourself is taking notice of whom you are and for most that will mean ‘looking’ at the self through the thoughts and actions we have. Some people devote their lives to this analysis in the belief they improve themselves and perhaps others also by the record of effort. Have you noticed how time and all its attendant reflections of thought cease to matter when we are able to DO the right thing in the right place with the right people for the right purpose? In the aftermath of such experiences we are hard put to describe exactly what happened simply because we were living the moment in present consciousness.

If analysis and reflection is the answer to all our actions, why are we not getting consistently wiser? We don’t -we continue making the same errors as before. The history books tell us how Hitler made a fundamental error attacking Russia, because when less than 200 years earlier Napoleon had clearly demonstrated how it should not be done! How many times have you said to yourself ‘here we go again!’ or kick yourself for not seeing the obvious… meaning we’ve been here before?

This merry-go-round of error and reminder continues to wind us up because we are not consciously efficient. If you take a modest view of life’s knowing journey you realise soon enough that most of what constitutes knowing comes from the experiences we subjectively develop. In relationships for example, doing involves many different kinds of experience – self-knowing comes from the big picture, a ‘subjective overview’ which escapes analysis and reflection. So, what are we experiencing unconsciously which can from time to time be felt in present forms of consciousness? To answer this question we need to understand the instinctual nature; the process of being we inherit physically, emotionally and mentally.

After birth we take food instinctively, our thoughts are not reflective, language is not yet learnt. As our persona develops we culture the habit of eating -consciously think about what we eat because our sensorial reactions indicate delight, disgust or disinterest. The instinctive action of fuelling the body however, does not change – the effect is so deeply subconscious we are able to engage our consciousness to other matters almost entirely, confident the actions of our body mind are in our best interests. The body and its functions, quite apart from its impressive chemistry, is a remarkable example of inherited knowledge – it’s always in a doing mode… only when the alarm bells ring do we, ‘the masters’, take notice.

Many situations in our lives are ‘managed’ subconsciously. Housewives will tell you they have routines – some parts are automatic and never brought to present consciousness, other interests can be thought about, as they carry out their routines. The accounting clerk, familiar with doing arithmetic calculations in the work environment, can finger-tap out statistical solutions whilst the conscious mind is paying attention elsewhere. The machine minder after a period of consciously attentive training, knows the sequence of operations -actions becoming so familiar the conscious mind ceases to prepare for them -it consigns operations to the unconscious, and time awareness alone triggers instinctual conscious acts to stops and starts the regulative actions required of the job in the right order. Consciously the minder can think about something else- read a book perhaps. And subsequently acts to service the machine as an interruption to this other activity. No doubt you can think of activities that you perform that fall into this category of ‘secondary action’.

These examples serve to show how our consciousness develops and the more we want to do the more we rely upon this ‘reminder’ mentality. Education as taught in our world means to remember values that can be drawn upon to enrich life’s experience, but clearly it is not a faultless process -if it were mankind could show progression -gains from efforts and the mass of knowledge, harmonise his entire self.

If you were to become the pupil of an Hindu guru, he might in due time give you a mantra to aid development. The mantra, a word or phrase, needed to be intoned during your meditative practice. The key to mantra usage is REMAIN FULLY CONSCIOUS OF THE MEANINGS IT GIVES YOU. The guru knows when giving the mantra it is a key to PRESENT KNOWLEDGE -if the pupil consigns awareness to the “secondary action” of their mind – the purpose and power of the mantra will not be realised.

The examples of the minder, accounts clerk and housewife show our earth born mind’s work on more than one level -a dichotomy of differences; consciously doing, unconsciously proposing. The example of mantra usage advises the way of instrumental consciousness -living and learning in the flow of consciousness. If you stop and think about it, you will realise states of acute awareness when time, place and purpose are consciously experienced in totality. They create harmony in body and mind. We may have moments of acute perception, like in dreams and inspirational thought from time to time -but invariably we retrogressively value them.

Some people think that meditation means looking inward, sorting and ordering consciousness, and some think it means being changed by what they inwardly experience. Observe the child and how we are all drawn to acknowledge the power of its life – the child experiences present consciousness, momentary awareness taking place before our eyes. We can love animals for the very same reason. The path of self-knowing demands present consciousness; it requires developing the instrumental mentality you are born with. What is senile dementia but the collapse of ‘reminder’ consciousness and a reversion to child mentality? Present consciousness is forever doing, changing, non-judgemental and expressive of harmonising actions. Consider the esoteric meaning of the Narcissus myth – this beautiful young man is arrested by his reflection in a pool and thereafter remains a prisoner of his own image. The message is simple; if you look at and admire the reflection of conscious Self, the evolutionary actions of the entire Self are blocked.

So the points to remember are these:

1. Evolutionary consciousness is a state of awareness ‘outwardly’ born and varies with individuals according to their state of awakening.
2. Nothing (essentially) is new, there are no forgetting real values – we awake to what is present.
3. Consciousness evolves harmonically by outworking the change of awareness through our conscious being.

What we need to do is this:

a. Practise being PRESENT as the child is, truly aware of every moment.
b. BE what you DO as often as you can.
c. Give everything your complete attention, don’t let time-based conditions control you.
d. Meditate on this mantra Awareness is not perception. Awareness is – perception was.

Our consciousness as we truly KNOW it, is extremely limited, not only do we remember little; our present consciousness is but a small part of the entire Self. The DEPTH of what we consciously experience is largely unknown. All control is based on self-awareness. The first and last commandment of life is….. “KNOW YOURSELF”, said to have been inscribed above the gates of the Delphic Oracle.

In the coming weeks I’ll continue to advise ways and means by which the bottom line of all our needs can be met. The poem I’ve written for today’s blog is an expression of that maxim ‘know yourself. I hope it reaches into the depths of your mind.

Oracle

Time brokers these intentions of mine,
some become deeds and some
scatter like seed in the winds.
My instrumental hand is a forge of cause,
heating, hammering, casting Love.

Deeds are doings of my better born seeds
some grow like trees and some
gently perfume moments of privacy.
My instrumental voice is a flute love shapes,
healing, reassuring, divining Love’s song:

Time will forget the music of my rhyme
words like works will transform
and return to the wheel forming heavens.
Yet this Instrument Self will stay fused into One
Love’s emissary burning bright as the Sun.

Are you looking for a way forward?

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In last week’s blog ‘Old as the Hills’, I spoke about day-to-day life being on two levels, adhering to directions promoted by the factual world for our material needs, and on the other hand inwardly defining our present and future on a ‘what if’ basis. I posed this question; should our must have needs be driven by the ‘truths’ of the objective world, or should they manifest from our higher nature -that state of consciousness which is not governed by the time/form expression of knowledge? And in answer I said you needed to be conscious of the ‘driver’, which in essence is day-to-day awareness of your inner self. Unlike the ego we necessarily develop our higher nature is eternally present, it’s not judgemental, doesn’t demand, or compare you to others. What it does do when you allow it to be present -is give awareness of self-purpose.

          In the current environment self-purpose is taking some pretty hard knocks, even non-communicative, unsocial, people can’t avoid restrictions -they have to eat and a shop or supermarket visit will have them feel defensive, judgemental, not to mention the emotional feeling aftermath, which for some will bring on depression. On the bright side those of us who have pets know just how supportive they can be -and would you believe, know when we are down and need cheering up. Thank God for the animal world! They can teach us a thing or two.

          We all have a natural instinct to protect ourselves when our day-to-day self-awareness is threatened; a reaction born of our animal nature. We call it the self-preservation instinct.  If it’s not governed by our higher nature it only achieves to defensively underwrite the objectively important needs of life. However, when you respond with the awareness of your higher self, actions are promoted which not only protect present needs, they also strengthen your real character; building knowledge of your true Self. How so you might ask?

          Conceptually Man is no different from all other forms of life, he is an open system of consciousness at all levels. The time honoured phrase, ‘I am what I am’ denoting self-consciousness has encouraged Man to develop a hierarchical knowledge of life where in Earth terms he regards himself as the evolutionary head. We go so far as saying self-consciousness is soul and other conceptions, for example trees and plants, don’t have souls. Believing, as we do, in our autonomous nature creates barriers between ourselves and other forms of life, and worse still, because we have ‘our heads in the sand’ develop blockages within our Self.  

          If you look carefully at the people around you, it is noticeable the sensitive types get most problems – They may also get the “better rewards”, but nonetheless can, and do get burdened by mental and emotional down drafts which disrupt their natural harmonies. The satisfaction you have in life is a direct result of the control you manifest in character, both to the world outside and the universe inside.  We have natural methods of control which we are oblivious of – my aim to have you recognise these means in yourself. 

        Has it ever occurred to you what the first musical instruments were? They were the drum and the pipe -it tells us something we need to acknowledge. The drum can be anything which vibrates sound on impact. The first of our species recognised was sound is carried by vibrations, not only did the sound carry beyond his vision, it also enhanced awareness of himself. And the pipe which came in as a close second, developed awareness of himself.  We call this process of awareness -instrumental. Our ancient forebears had much simpler ego’s than we do today -they didn’t question the process -they accepted the benefits.

          We cause a great many actions in our lives without awareness of their effects – you may not think you do, and perhaps only afterwards think on what you did.  The wisdom of hindsight has very little value if our thinking practises do not evolve.  If control is developed only by the ego it will be repressive and restrictive of our naturally born instrumental Self. You can be efficient, capable of starts and stops, and protective of yourself without awareness of the higher self, but if you want the ability to recognise good and bad conditions, be progressive and evolutionary, be creatively stimulated -then you must engage the instrumental nature of your consciousness.

In the coming weeks I’ll advise the ways and means by which the bottom line of all our needs can be met. The poem I’ve written for today is an echo of freedom, an event that really did happen, and I hope it will instill you with thoughts of positive outcomes.

Somewhere in Time

We’ll go east, west, wherever’s best
down garlanded leaf shaded lanes.
Mortals without plan, purpose, or price
heading for the green untrammelled earth.
Who knows what gems we will find
when the email and phone are left behind?

Curious, in want of some old-fashioned tea
off the beaten track, we drove
past cows on road, Sheep on verges,
turning; where to now? there’s a cottage café
thatched and worse for wear; an open door.
Our taste buds anticipate, we stop to explore.

A low beam ceiling gives a closed in feeling,
the windows are small the chairs worn
and the counter displays farm eggs.
Beyond is a kitchen of sorts, and a kettle sings.
A tousled head with long sideburns pops up.
‘It’s coming on twelve –be you wanting a cup?’

‘You’ll have some tea, cakes maybe?
Sit yourself down the rooms’ all yours.’
We look at the bare boarded floor
the unpainted oak blackened door, and then
at this bent great hulk of man, and say
‘Tea for two please, apple pies and cream.’

Strangely, he makes no sound moving around.
His eyes purr ‘my pleasure, he says -come far?’
‘Portsmouth’ I say. ‘Is that so?’ he replies,
ambling off with a shake of the head. ‘Well, I be.’
All is silent –what can he be doing back there?
The silence is deafening, like a church at prayer.

The mustiness of wood makes us feel good,
the smells of coal ash and oiled table cloth,
the sight of a clock that silently ticks
all fits -when the room darkened by cloud
starts doing something and opens our minds,
slipping and sliding into past times.

Serge and coarse vests jostle and rest
starched collars and crinolines appear,
chained Albert’s and hatpins sparkle with light.
We hear pipes tapped, the snorting of snuff,
feel the smell of leather and tangy felt hat.
The growl of a dog facing a cat.

‘Now here’s a rose fresh cut –somebody knows!’
And he gives me a nod and a wink.
I swear I didn’t ask this tousled grey head!
Awake as from sleep, smilingly secret
we toast adventure, a day to remember
you, me, and the apple pie vendor.

Old as the Hills

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In this world where all truths must have objective criteria, in other words -seen to be believed, day to day life functions on two levels. On the one hand we must adhere to directions promoted by the factual world for our material needs, on the other -inwardly define our present and future on a ‘what if’ basis. Invariably our ‘what if’ mind is a subjective narrative which is stimulated by our desires -more of, or less of, reacting to the strictures of our must have needs.

        Now, the question is this -should our must have needs be driven by the ‘truths’ of the objective world, or should they manifest from our higher nature -that state of consciousness which is not governed by the time/form expression of knowledge?

        The question is as old as the hills. In good times when our relationships are secure, daily needs equitably met, and futures holding no fears, it rarely bugged the mind for answer -in fact the question isn’t formulated. In our present world where needs at all levels have become insecure by an unseen enemy and fear underwrites all enquiry, many are running around like headless chickens because their state of consciousness is not governed by their higher nature.

        If you type into Google the word Soul, Wikipedia has the top spot describing it as a computer-animated comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney pictures, if you refine the search to ask what is the soul of a person, you get this; ‘Soul or psyche (Ancient Greek: ψυχή psykh, of ψύχειν psýkhein, “to breathe”) comprises the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling, consciousness, qualia, memory, perception, thinking, etc. Depending on the philosophical system, a soul can either be mortal or immortal.’

The hanger is in the last sentence -either or! As I said to begin with, ‘all truths must have objective criteria’. To state the Soul can be mortal or immortal is frankly, nonsense! It gets worse! If you Google the word Spirit, top of the list you get a dictionary definition, to whit; ‘the non-physical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul.’

Clearly, the information world, the governor of our daily needs, not only doesn’t know the difference between Soul and Spirit, neither can it make up its mind if its mortal or immortal. This is why my question is as ‘old as the hills’ -and why I’ve had to formulate it today. We seem to have forgotten what the ‘driver’ is!

I guess the next qualifying question is; ‘How do I know if the ‘driver’ is present?’ You can’t even begin to know if your mind is constantly cluttered with day-to-day wants and fretting about relationships. The start point requires SPACE -yes, space -periods of time when you are consciously clear of your concerns, when the moment is not an avenue to receive or give out, but a moment that allows all thought and feeling to be acknowledged -accepted, and released, in other words when you don’t try to OWN anything. You don’t have to be sitting cross-legged on the floor invoking a deity, or mentally intoning positive thoughts. There’s nothing wrong about such actions but they don’t create space.

To achieve space -walk, preferably unencumbered by bags with your phone switched off. The movement at walking pace, around 2-3 mph, enables you to observe by a process of acknowledgement and acceptance of what you see, hear, or smell, and the act of movement causes release. Provided it’s not your own back garden, nothing you are sensorily aware of belongs to you, so you can accept without conditions. If you do that, truly observing, your own possessive thoughts, no matter how positive or negative they might be, will not intrude, and the result will be a calmer feel better state of overall health on completing the exercise than it was before you started.

When you do this the ‘driver’ will be present. No -it’s not evidenced by a discarnate voice or the sudden arousal of a positive sense of wellbeing. The evidence is in how you subsequently deal with day-to-day events, and the needs thereof. The higher nature we all have is eternally present, it is not judgemental, neither does it demand, or relate to your own or others assessment of your worth. What it does do is give you awareness of self-purpose

Practise, and I can assure you life will have better meaning. Headless chickens will not disturb you!

The poem I’ve written for today is a herald of summer but it has just as much meaning in November & December!

Seeking Winds of May

Down the winding lane I walk
hid by hedge and under bough
that skirl their leafy sounds anyhow
in the seeking winds of May.

Going nowhere with a purpose
talking secrets with my feet
marching to the cyclic beat
of natural worlds at play.

Pausing at the path smooth head
over which the white clouds scud
stopping, watching cows chew cud
hear the dark horse neigh.

Ambition-less, I am asexual
just conscious of my nose
down I go where the river flows
to greet the end of day.

Not wanting less than everything
I sit rod-less on its banks
eyeing the silver fishes’ shanks
oblivious of time.

Then someone overshadows me
Bow in hand, feminine and fey
and about me SHE draws a line

in the seeking winds of May.

Evidential Messages

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If you have belief in the After Life you will know what is meant by the title of my blog this week -in short such messages can give proof loved ones are alive and well beyond the grave. Individually we will have different demands of proof as they relate to our personal relationship histories -and more dependent upon the balance of our mental and emotional health at that time. Guilt or anger can block reception, and of course feelings of grief following a loss can numb the mind to any form of evidence.

        In the current environment the normal concerns we have for the health of our loved ones has intensified and we endeavour to follow whatever advice is promoted by politicians who are adamant they follow the science. At present vaccine trials providing positive results is having more air time than the daily negative statistics of positive covid tests and recorded deaths. Everyone involved to produce a viral-free environment is doing their best to make it happen.

        If you are looking for evidential messages -trying to gain comfort and reassurance in the welter of information streaming abroad through all and every media method of communication, and not yet satisfied, you are one of many. Ultimately the goodness of your health, physical and mental well being, is based upon what you personally do to promote it -actions that are evidential.

        During the earlier lockdown phase that began in March I published advice on how to care for yourself and your loved ones -in addition to the sensible public advice on washing hands, social distancing etc. One of the first things I mentioned was using coconut oil on hands and face (in particular nose and lips). A clinically conducted trial in the Philippines on taking it internally positively recorded preventative benefits, which is interesting because the population uses the oil more so than we do in Britain, and their death rate due to Covid is less than 2.0% -and that in a less socially controlled environment. If it interests you to read more about this study, click here https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2020/10/19/scientists-in-the-philippines-claim-coconut-oil-destroys-coronavirus/

Unless a mask is close fitting to the skin and has a ventilator it cannot be a 100% form of protection, though it will guard you against the coughs and splutters of covid positive people. On wearing any other type of mask or shield will generate a moist atmosphere from your breath and the air breathed will mix with that before ingested to the lungs -hence why I recommended coconut oil which breaks up the outer coating of the virus -which is its means of attaching itself to you.

        What can you do to maintain good health, or otherwise fight off cold and flu like symptoms?

        Take vitamin D -why D? Because naturally you would get that from sunlight, and we don’t get much of that this time of year. What does it do? Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. It also helps lift depression and mood changes. Take Zinc -why Zinc? It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells. And if you have a stuffy nose and mucous in the throat -have a warm water and salt gargle, works wonders.

        Given most of us have to get our food from supermarkets detoxification is an insurance against build up of toxins in the body caused by the ‘preservative’ elements in food. Drink herbal tea, or just green tea, ginger, or rooibos tea. Got a sweet tooth then add honey, don’t go down the sugar route! And what can you include to your menu to further help? Fresh garlic, cloves, ginger, and if you are spicing things up -turmeric. And if you are not spicing things up -take turmeric as a supplement, you don’t have to be suffering aches and pains to get benefit from turmeric.

        We are spending much more time indoors, not only because of the time of year, but because we are restricted on outdoor activities. Most of us have central heating -it dries up the atmosphere and that facilitates the spread of viruses. If you don’t have a humidifier -drape damp towels over the rads or place containers of water in the direct emanation of their heat. Have some essential oils? If so, any one of these have natural antibiotic antiviral properties -cinnamon, peppermint, eucalyptus, geranium, lemon, thyme, or oregano oil. Put a few drops in the water.

        Given all the right things you do ingesting food and drink, it won’t have much effect if your BodyMind ‘clock’ is too slow or too fast. What does that mean? If you eat after 7.00 p.m. the body takes longer to process it and not so efficiently and you tend to sleep later, or you sleep when the body is still dealing with your food. If you comfort eat that also will upset the ‘clock’. All this means you get up later and again alter the body ‘clock’. So, quite simply develop a routine of eating and sleeping -and stick with it. Ideally get up by 8.00 a.m. breakfast before 9.00 a.m. Lunch 12.30 -1.30, Evening meal between 6 and 7. A warm non-alcoholic, non-caffeine drink late evening is fine.

        Now lastly, what are the evidential messages that show you are maintaining good health?

  1. You sleep well
  2. You get up feeling refreshed
  3. Bowel movement should be at least once a day
  4. Mentally your mind should be clear
  5. Emotionally you are not moody
  6. Physically movements do not fatigue you (you can get tired from over exertion, but that’s not the same thing).
  7. And most of all -you feel good in yourself; not worrying or cooking concerns.

Poem I’ve written for this week is:

The reassuring Voice

Ah, winsome love, what aches your heart, breaks
the rhythm of your mentor’s rhyme, stuns you into silence?
Does the world debase and sully your native innocence
trade on your gentleness, draw on the giving Self?
Do you fear the well has gone dry and life’s effort
a hoist of cold rocks, the brain tired of strictures,
Of duty -duty denying the Self?

Let your fears flee to the winds
Let go memories that haunt you
Have them find oblivion in the shifting sands of time.
The healer’s hands cup your face
The power of love turns back the clock
Years vanish and youth smiles
The mystery deepens
wordless expressive
timeless love

©TonyAshenden

Childish Things

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Last week I wrote about our greatest enemy -fear. And fear is the No. 1 stress maker. The effect of stress upon relationships can cause breaks, in any event it will affect how we express and change the nature of the bond we share. It can turn the emotional mind inward -at best needless self-reflection, at worst causing anxiety. When a child sucks its thumb we are inclined to believe it is reverting to the emotional bond with its mother -comforted by the breast, in retreat from an insecure world. When we are adult we ‘put away childish things’ (to quote 1 Corinthians 13:11), instead we revert to our smartphones, computers, and TV’s.

I know, I hear what you say, smartphones are essential. In our present world of restricted social and work interaction the mobile phone has become a lifeline; a means of staying in touch with loved ones we cannot see, to shop, manage the business of making a living, monitor and make decisions on how we spend -but it’s more than that, isn’t it? It’s a comfort -if you leave the house without it, you are not dressed right, or if it’s mislaid, everything stops until you find it. We may not like to admit it but we are addicted to the damn things. And for many social media is a mental and emotional environment that begins before breakfast and doesn’t cease until they fall asleep -for them it has become a compulsion -without it, they don’t feel connected, feel unwanted, unappreciated, lacking purpose. That innocent looking wad of metal and plastic in your pocket or handbag can ruin real-life relationships, suppress the ability to be conscious of real time, change the nature of your BodyMind energies, fill the heads with useless information, and determine what is done next.

We don’t initiate -we react. A Brave New World scenario where the elite govern by suggestion, where freedom of choice is the mantra of power, refusal is not smart, and people without phones and computers don’t count.

IT gurus hire people they call attention engineers. Experts in usage statistics from which they develop advertising strategies and give birth to new applications designed in such a way people stay connected for longer. Whenever we upload a picture or update our status on social media, we wait to see how many people will like the picture. How much like has gone to us? How many social shares and comments our post has got. According to research, when you use a cell phone, a chemical continuously discharges from your brain, which is called “Dopamine”. This Hormone is called the “Feel Good Hormone”. According to studies, this hormone is released if you drink or smoke. It means we can be addicted to our cell phones or a soap on TV as we can be slave to drugs. There are restrictions over the usage of drugs and cost alone can limit how much you drink or smoke, but cell phones, computers and TV’s are made easy to buy and there are no restrictions on usage. Whenever we feel uneasy or lonely, more often than not, we think about using our cell phone, laptop, or switching on the TV.

And how often do some people represent themselves on social and business media not as they are -instead how they would like to be known? You know it happens a lot, so in turn you become cautious on how you represent yourself to them. They fake you and you fake them. Not good is it? It is a fact that the way some people represent themselves on social media is not the real way they show a fake lifestyle. As much as they seem to be happier on social media in real life they aren’t as happy.

Stress, anxiety and depression are the outcomes of reactive lifestyles. We are constantly being addressed by the media 24-7, even when we are asleep, so to speak ‘dead to the world’, the subconscious mind is mulling over concerns and needs, and though you might not realise it also open to ultra-high frequencies that propagate like to like communications. So, how do you deal with it?

To start with we must accept that the world of IT is here to stay -the need of phones, computers and TV’s won’t go away. What we must do is reduce the level of reactiveness in our lives and regain our true identities. The way to do that is to uniquely create -it can be as simple as doing something with your hands, making, repairing, gardening -even cleaning. Any activity requiring focus and attention which provides a pleasing result. It can be artistic if you are so minded, and if you’re not, crafting is a capability open to all -again simple does the trick as well as a more skilled person does. And if you can’t engage in a practical way -give a service to another person. Why creative -why do I call it a game-changer?

Before you had the ability to speak and interact consciously with the world you had a very clear idea of what made you happy. Consciously that was comfort from eating, sleeping, and knowing you were cared for -feelings that arose from the instinctual urge to live. That urge is a maker, a creator born of a higher Self. When we get older and ‘put away childish things’, see in a mirror darkly, know only in part, we forget who we are, take comforts to assuage anxieties. Giving rebirth to your creative nature is the road to regaining your true identity -love of oneself.

I hope you like the poem I’ve written today -it beats like the heart, remind us of our true self.

Love Chant

Who moves my hand tapping the keys,
whirls my head, weakens my knees,
fingers my heart, turns works into art?

Who is the voice stopping all fears,
providing true rest, drying all tears,
shaking my head, raising the dead?

Am I the puppet in a God like play
centre stage on a Summer’s day
pulled by strings any which way?

How am I able make gold from waste,
hold the tongue and check its haste,
cause this poem chant like a heart?

Feel the force that heals by hand,
Instantly causing the lame to stand,
Or know how I’m able to speak?

It can only be Love that truth of old
Creation’s cause made to one mould
Power to all to prevent Man’s fall.

©TonyAshenden

Avoiding the Plague!

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                Hey ho -here we go -again! I last wrote to you in July, ‘Actions to blend Body & Soul’ with the expectation, as us all, restrictions easing would mean a gradual return to normal life, but no, it’s been anything but normal and now we have our fingers crossed Christmas will be sort of normal. No doubt like myself you’ve been doing your best to avoid the plague -no I’m not talking about the virus; I’m talking about fear.

The news, when we feel we must listen, is continually advising statistics that are skewed to promote the ‘stay safe’ message, as if we need reminding. There will always be some whose idea of common-sense only applies to their own wants and needs, congregating in socialising groups at indoor venues. What makes such people act so selfishly?

It’s fear -fear of losing their sense of freedom, an instinctual fear of oppression which would erode their sense of identity. Am I suggesting it should be condoned in the current environment? No, I am not. Why? Because if the herd instinct were to prevail many more people would get seriously ill and some lose their lives. Conversely, those of us who adhere to the lockdown restrictions and strictly follow all stay safe rules can also instinctually fear a loss of security as this virus can be transmitted asymptomatically.

All governments are in a cleft stick -they must listen and be guided by the science and necessarily promote blanket controls. Ok, so they don’t get it always right, or advise timely enough, but hey, don’t shoot the pianist! Instead ask yourself how best are you able to maintain and develop your sense of identity and be of good health.

The product of fear is unnecessary stress, if you are stressed beyond the need to actively engage body and soul it builds into a foundation of ill health. The root protection each of us have is our immune system, if that gets weakened by the effects of stress we are susceptible to illness, a physically recognisable malady or disease, and/or a mental and emotional disorder, and suffer from anxiety. And needless stress can work tops down as well as bottoms up. If you get depressed or mentally lethargic, eat and drink wrongly, indulge in fast foods and E-rated goodies, the immune system suffers.

So, today I’m just going to remind you how to deal with stress.

What are the Causes of STRESS?

There is no universally recognized set of causes for STRESS -triggering situations that are not in themselves favourable or unfavourable for everyone in general. The truth is they are irremediably related to different spheres of life personally. Fundamentally therefore we individually manage stress differently -how we do that determines whether we succeed. However, it is valid to highlight the undeniable negative natured situations we each may face, such as -loss of a loved one, inadequate emotional expression (passive or aggressive), loss or diminution of social interaction, lack of interesting activity or change in life, adoption of harmful lifestyles.

How to Deal with STRESS?

Firstly- we must not put our heads in the sand -acknowledge tensions are part of life’s trajectory. Secondly, acknowledge we cannot eliminate them completely, and accept we must learn to master them. Personal growth will always help us bear burdens -so, how can you achieve a healthy activity and a balance in life?

It is not astute to allow negativity. Events, circumstances, and unmanageable situations will cause an imbalance in your mental, emotional, and physical state proportional to your adjustment or adaptation effort. Just thinking badly weakens you, makes you more vulnerable, leads to a forced accumulation of emotions, and harmful feelings. This makes you lose objectivity while affecting your stability and quality of life. Your sensory nature will govern the BodyMind if you positively tune it. Do not self-inject poison!

Although it sounds scary to deal with STRESS, you can do it! An advantageous position in this sense is to perceive it as a challenge -positively assert likeable feelings in yourself, don’t focus on ideas that minimize or make you feel incapable of coping. People, especially those close to you, will offload to your listening mind -acknowledge and accept they are doing it (don’t judge them) and release it from your mind immediately. This way you can be positively helpful to them in response. It will raise your self-esteem, self-belief, and authenticity.

Prolonged stress leads to distress -inability to cope, when this happens the production of certain hormones affect the immune systems functions, making you vulnerable to health problems mentally, emotionally, and physically. Symptoms can be palpitations, tremors, sweating, rapid breathing, digestion problems, sleep disorders, and other physiological changes. In the emotional order, it is associated with nervousness, irrational fear, sensitivity, lack of appetite, and demotivation. Behavioural changes can take place -reducing the capacity for attention, and decision making. To prevent damaging stress here are a few pointers.

  1. Establish your priorities. What are they? They are needs which make you feel good!
  2. Don’t push yourself to hard. Pushing too hard is you trying to bolster self-belief.
  3. Delegate and share. Allow others to take part and give back.
  4. Be creative. In essence it’s any expression of giving. Will always refresh the mind.
  5. Eat regularly and try not to after 7.00 p.m. Your BodyMind will ‘lose the plot’ if you refuel out of hours and keep changing eating times.
  6. Sleep when your brain mind is rested -if you have to bludgeon it to sleep, the curative restorative powers of BodyMind will not generate. Have pleasurable thoughts prior to sleep.
  7. Believe in yourself -you are unique! Never compare yourself with others.
  8. Breathe with your tummy -not with your chest. Both body and mind will benefit. Proper breathing increases the power of concentration and builds stamina.
  9. Match the exercise of mind with exercise of the body. Take a walk first thing in the morning. If your brain slows down in the afternoon -take a walk.
  10. Don’t give up activities that give you pleasure -make the most of what you can do.
  11. Home might be your ‘castle’ -don’t live in it all the time. The atmosphere needs to change to remain healthy. You are the major contributor to the character of home environment -get out for a while, makes all the difference

It is never too late to modify lifestyles; undue stress ages you!

Today’s positive vibe poem I’ve written for you is – ‘The Pulse of Love’

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

What mystery love is, what thief of time?
Robber of sense, enemy of law
and destroyer of judges it is?
Think not only of youth’s embrace
or the old crones’ lament,
feel the pulse in your voice.

Do not look for the clock to slow,
or dread each quarter chime,
love is not absent
or in your acceptance arbitrary.
It is as Will said, an ever fixéd mark
the DNA cannot be changed.

Love grows the shape you are known by
and change it must,
patterned unkindly by time.
Lest you forget,
remember mirrors are for walking through,
hesitate and be mystified.

Love is forever painting pictures,
stop to admire, enthuse,
but do not hold your breath.
Seek to possess
and loves’ mystery deepens the more.
Celebrate the changing tapestry of life!

Love has many faces -its heart
is the pulse in your voice.

November Knives

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Listen as you read!

November knives
are sharp from rarely cutting trees
with ice
keen to spread the Autumn still
disorderly
too dead leaf mounds and twisted pyres
of broken branches dying.
Angry with the suddenness of death
upon the long-life summer
still gestating seeds
incubating the morrow’s generation.

No respecter steel
of the horny scale stern stemmed anticipate
killer of sweeting herbs laid out of nurseries.
Their strike is totality
the savage straight and understood
unshackled slave
the Left of Azoth’s* court ordained
Murder’s license.
The cyanide of breathing green and making red
writ with freedom and the blessing.

Their respect the reaching hand
smite upon the pale cheek
down-flecked, small bird,
lion hearted solitaire
late and lonely from the crowded nest.
Nelson eye
mistaking promised land
left in folly for the cockfight.

Permission
now the pipe through which the blowing
water freezing
spear-like knives
aim immutably their changing numbers.
Now the form and clearly seen
disguise upon the ugly cripple-noise of air.
Now the Magi calling
spell upon the freezing sphere
for the maiden
less her fall-a-leafing cares
and the pretty snow comes charging
sleeked
venomous with wedding fever.

The negative of burning trees
is born in fire beneath the blackened Guy
scarce the single six
shrivels the dry exhausted
breast of summer
and defers the passing pagan night
to favour dawn a frosted coat.
And is quick
in taking close the negligee
and becoming Charon’s wife.

And yet the Phoenix rebirths
diversifies the one intent so purpose
as the Spaniard
blanket hand before his steel
tricks by sleight of hand
the promise death.
Turns the unresolved
by resolution hand upon itself
to suicide and school again.

And so, the zenith of the black
does not appear
will not give the flawless jewel
beginning’s chance
less the cause of all the living dies
for never having death.

©TonyAshenden

Azoth is the essential agent of transformation. It is the name given by ancient alchemists to Mercury, the animating spirit hidden in all matter that makes transmutation possible. As the Universal Life Force, Azoth is not only the animating energy (spiritus animatus) of all manifest forms of life, but also the inspiration and enthusiasm that moves incarnation intelligence. In the cosmos, and within each of us, Azoth is the mysterious evolutionary force responsible for the relentless drive towards physical and spiritual perfection. The line, ‘the Left of Azoth’s court ordained’ analogies the Universal Life Force as a Monarch, and the court of many forms which it manifests -all of which are appointed, and subject to the needs of the ‘Monarch’. Describing the court as having a Left (and a Right) purpose is giving it a negative (as opposed to positive) action. The Universal Life Force is a creator having the power to make and break, cause or complete, begin and end. The power of Life and Death. The perpetuating cycle of the Phoenix opposes the Left of Azoth’s court.

The Seeking Winds of May

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Down the winding lane I walk
hid by hedge and under bough
that skirl their leafy sounds anyhow
in the seeking winds of May.

Going nowhere with a purpose
talking secrets with my feet
marching to the cyclic beat
of natural worlds at play.

Pausing at the path smooth head
over which the white clouds scud
stopping, watching cows chew cud
hear the dark horse neigh.

Ambition-less, I am asexual
just conscious of my nose
down I go where the river flows
to greet the end of day.

Not wanting less than everything
I sit rod-less on its banks
eyeing the silver fishes’ shanks
oblivious of time.

Then someone overshadows me
Bow in hand, feminine and fey
and about me She draws a line
in the seeking winds of May.

©TonyAshenden

Love’s Weaver

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The weaver bending arms of twisted knotted yarns
serves the loom and the loom a pattern makes.
And bent upon the stool, his eyes direct upon the thread
between weft and weave, his vision skips.

The shuttle smooth moves through the shed
to the clack of treadles pressed;
feeling more than seeing, every bone reactive
To the rise and falling weaving shafts.

The sun arcs through the window overhead
dying unnoticed in the west and in the cool
unseen light of night, clouds arise to hide the stars.
Bobbins twirling empty are replaced.

He labours not for kudos or for rates.
As every yarn entwines it speaks;
heddle and treadle selecting straighten out
and the loom alive a drumming music makes.

Star and sun dance light within his bobbing head;
the weavers’ needs are met, and the soul unfurls.
Love that has a thousand-silent sounding ee’s
Spins on to weave for all eternity.

©TonyAshenden

Writ of Habeas – Corpus

[A writ to a jailer to produce a prisoner in person and to state the reasons of detention]

Soldier do your eyes have the lights that flash
out of tanks in the face of the snub
of a terrorist gun and in they shine
when his message of soft lead erupts
from the lips of a shimmering barrel?

Do they reanimate a frantic heart
sick of your Karma, loosen the bowel;
trigger the playback of loving regrets
before the balance of blood is lost,
spilling to the ground with slivers of lead?

Or soldier, did you die the night before
in Believer’s Heaven, locked in the crotch
of a dark haired Houri, filched so you thought
from underneath Mohammed’s slippered feet;
virgin and wanting your dissolution?

She perhaps, taking sap that trees the nerves
before the five – first? Aids to earth exchanged
for the bright sight of a plum on the breast!
No doubt your bloodshot eyes and rising smoke
wring a coupling promise from that climax.

You’re a crime soldier, you embarrassed
the breach – you caused it release
in black chamber the redness that wept
the no time that takes time, sputter of pain;
unrepentant, the lover at the head.

Soldier, the lipstick of blood is smudging
your collar, face twists like a child’s’ first clay.
Can you now see who judged and passed sentence
on your innocence? Your slide is the breast.
Soft lead, the mat of your down flowing river.

© TonyAshenden

The Rose that beggars Fantasy

Listen as you read!

My love what cheerless world asleep
in towered keeps and half-lit streets,
waking dream on sullen skies ridged grey;
Lay waste land and cause the grey weird sea
chill the heart of you and me?

What world awoken from dreams
of meadows, water mills, and painter’s scenes,
would tolerate the angered sky, the leaf shorn tree;
the frost that blights the first-born bud, above
the half-closed mist born eye of love?

Oath of God would life not be worth living
were love not rooted deep in giving?
Selfish worlds are drunk, dreaming fantasy;
such men are never found in sight
crossing borders of the Christos Light.

Soft rose whose petal fusing heart will give
attiring the sweetest heart to ever live,
deliverance in the dawning day will come
refusing the permanence of death, and arise
to prove the cause of all the living never dies.

©TonyAshenden

The Ribbon of a Madman’s’ Weave

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Listen as you read!

Granite Sliver
Arrowhead I see you spurned
by Pigmy Bowman
yet you suffice and scathe
the greening mortar…
Mind that delibly records
attempt
my show and outward personality.

This ribbon of a madman’s weave
is the tape of all my saying
small
border thin and compass hand
the clutch and stay
Fingers….
Placing granite slabs to face
their palms of tungsten flesh
toward the shortened eye.

Yet soon
the tongue of this my wise and scrawl
became as fever pitch
and heavy as the hammer held
halfway in arc
deliberating
as the mother would pressing
down urging fingers
in the lock of Isis eye
to the agony that is mother
And now is mine.

Is birth!

The warder
had me carry seven days in labour
waiting…
before the fertilising seed became
and his eye perceived
the ribbon of wise inflicted
with my word and writing.

He stared
examined even to the letter head
lost in mergence to the polished stone
turning, smiled….
Father dimly smiling through the stain of glass
in the
you can never tell
about face….

He left and straight informed the governor.

The hammer struck
the child full born umbilical cut
began to cry….
My eyes were full of faces
demanding
outstretching palms of tungsten flesh.
Their right they screamed
is feeding first
why was I no askance waiting?

They spread upon my word
the slime
and their cement that matched the slab
and then..
Fingers turned upon themselves
they commanded-
called my clutching hand to lease
my living Scribe
this chipping sliver of their granite.

They took.

…. that morning after
before the ashen face
nether time of wanting day whilst less the night
there stood eight mourners
neath the sky bowl blooding red
in their caps of prison grey
and the circle turning tribute
was the sower spreading quicklime.

And in my cell

There stood another
waiting for the shining mortar’s greening mould.

© TonyAshenden

The Creator’s Confession


There are some words in this poem you may not be familiar with. In order of mention they are as follows:
Hur: Is the name given to the inner core of planet Earth -the primary source of matter and mind root from which Earth developed.
Aster: Is the name of a large planet in the Milky Way which exploded and gave birth to our solar system.
Fohat: Is the animating principle electrifying every atom into life. During the process of manifestation, it is the cosmic energy which produces differentiation of primordial cosmic matter to form the different forms of consciousness, therefore Fohat is the link between Spirit and Matter, subject and object.
The twice & thrice born person addressed by the creator in the last stanza should not be regarded as a pattern of reincarnation, rather they describe a process of soul reformation. Twice-born is earthly reformation, Thrice-born is heavenly reformation. This kind of reformation can otherwise be defined as ‘the camel able to pass through the eye of a needle’.
 
And so to the poem….
You can listen to it here….

The story I am about to tell began
before the first ammonite hardened its shell,
before your blackheart mountains were rivers of red
and swims of clear water had not yet fallen as rain;
before even Hur was cast into Hell
and the soporific dust that held prison his might
had yet to be formed from the celestial storm
of Aster’s last embrace with the stars.

Where Love was lost….

Love is forever becoming; the moment of life
poised unto death, born in the heart
existing apart from all that you know.
Priceless, unreachable, mysterious Self.

The rarest of jewels….

The story I tell begins before tongue,
before the screech, the roar, and the hissing
of elements embattled to make of themselves
creational worlds and Fohat had yet to cause
It has no meaning to you twice-born
until I caused life to know death.
After the cooling Earth formed crust
and the sulphurous clouds ceased their circle,
there I took lung from the water and filled it with air.
After cooling, and the first trees had breathing leaves

souls were born….

Light encrusted with matter in hope of Salvation,
Fish, fowl, amphibia, and latterly beasts.
Yes, they were soul born; amoebic hopes
that by tempest, fire, and the heat of ice
evolved by birth and death in every season.
Taking as when taking must; leaving be,
not having when having was no need.
Yes, I was well pleased with progress
however, success has its own undoing,
Light separated from the Seeds of Soul.
I should have known, identifying Myself
with creation -the cause is of Me
and the cause is unrepentant.

The cause became two -two became three
Mind became Matter, Matter became mind….

And so, twice-born, soon to be thrice,
many times born of my wheel forming heaven
and sired by the captive imprisoned Hur,
there’s no end to your becoming until I cease.
Light and Matter will then achieve peace.

   
    
 

On a Picture of a Nude Reclining

Listen as you read!

The sheen of folded draperies
warm resplendent curves of your bronze
bright body. Your smile an ever
present remembrance, suggest
joyous eyes that never weep.

Through the meagre apertures
of half-hid windows, blue skies burst
and grow their light upon your breast,
the stilled image grasping at my loins
evoking half-lit fantasies

never dreamt of in your head.
Your strange unnatural silence
rather than offending, draws me
trance-like to your wood framed
world. My staring -your silence

causes the consciousness I feel
to achieve in this encounter
the bewilderment of knowing;
you in the painting, the self twice known
I in my shell. a pearl-like stone.

© TonyAshenden

The Water Mill

Listen as you read -for your enjoyment!

Many times have I sat by the water mill
in the damp grass and in the dry
feasting my body upon the wheel splash
slaking my senses;
worshipping buttercup crowns and primrose groves,
my mind free to landscape and sky dream
knowing that havens are hard to come by;
impermanent places.

Coming here when the seasons are fair
and the beech woods sing with bird talk;
caressing my ear with their melodies
giving soul reformation.
Observing the change of winter scarred trees,
knuckles of soft bark renewing torn limbs
the buds of new boughs appearing;
without proclamation.

It saddens me to see the mill is deserted
the paddles seized by chickweed and gorse,
the stream gentle and ebbing away
through watercress meadows.
The miller who might have been head of the stream,
Keeper and Dam Builder has
powdered his hand between the mill stones,
the last yield of flour having long since departed.

The curious have bought the tack of cob horses,
Coriander grows in the cart ruts.
The gate is unhinged
and the mill purse empty of men.
I see green lichen eat the smooth stone
oak lintels sag over moss covered frames,
and I am entranced by design,
composition and colour –and wonder

what plants have rooted and grown
in this silent omnivorous world,
that will seize on my house, empty my purse
and feed on my bone?

© TonyAshenden

The Soma Samaritan

Listen as you read -or just listen!

Last night my instant mind
wraith like uncoiled its luminous head
and like all good mysteries
left my body in bed, warm to the skin of my spouse.
Unsuspected left the house, passing
through walls and other substantial things
seeking no byway to celebrate freedom,
vision only for the ubiquitous presence
of a troubled friend.

Finding the dark and humourless shell
where colours are pale, and sounds deep
as if heard from a well.
In this house where the cry escaped
and reached my ears beside my mate
I see a soul in hibernation,
a maelstrom of movement
in which may be seen pain
of intruders eschewing the Spirit,
a legion of wants suppressing need
the ache of a body seeking to balance
in favour of peace, no matter the price
or the length of the lease.

I am radiation a golden cascade
a silver-winged creature, sensing
soothing the troubled dark shade.
Cleansing, creating, and fulfilling a vow
commanding the sepulchre revive its undead.
Holding the breathing unconscious sweet soul
until life brightness stems from the spine
and flows from the head.

United therein, harmony prevails
purpose and will rebirthed
she is no longer alone.
I dissolve from her presence
and seek my own bed.
Returning to self through sickness and doubt
lying awake, afraid and diminished
a frantic heart upon a humourless bed,
until music from the night shores
comforts my head
and I sleep the sleep of one who is dead.

© TonyAshenden