Windows to the Sky: Reaching a higher state of consciousness

Just the other day someone posted a warning note about not sharing information with “them”, to not give “them” information about you and your life. We have fallen so far into the realm of “Duality” that we’ve lost all sense of Our Oneness. For thousands of years, generations following generations deeper into the illusion of our separation and trapped in the fears of our unknowns we can no longer see ourselves in others. This higher state of consciousness is always here and even the chains and burdens of those fears are only temporary restraints. We have moved so far out into the illusion that we have built our castles upon the ever changing sands of time. Always in a state of evolution and destruction, history keeps repeating itself, even historians perpetuate this insane cycle. For generations we have been trying to invent our way out of and built upon the backs of science we are ever inching closer to our own demise. We are missing the “human” element and in all of this all the way from the “common” person to the greatest thinkers we are more focused on looking into the world we are creating and failing to recognize we have always built upon the foundation of our own fears of death and dying.

We have many examples of Windows to the Sky throughout history but still the “common” person is struggling with the day to day urge to survive both perpetuating planetary population and our own destructive nature at the same time. We have religions but we still struggle with Oneness. Science to many is the new religion and still we struggle with Consciousness. We are on the cusp of another paradigm shift and to know what is on the other side we are convinced there must be a struggle between the concepts of religions and the assumptions of science. The struggle between the two has been going on for centuries and emerging from the shadows is the new paradigm, oh religions will claim it is there’s and science will say this about that ever changing reality, but the new pioneers are those who are diving deeper into there own body/mind laboratory to discover what is true to them. There is no mistaking that there is more availability of information but we are barely scratching the surface of integrating all which has past into this new dimension. More and more, again like back in the Flower Children Age people are dropping more and more of the old, some finding there way into new religions and others diving deeper into the true Science Fiction. Those taking the time to calm the thoughts and find a deeper peace are beginning to integrate a greater reality beyond both science and religion but not altogether excluding either.

This Window, this Portal, this Mother Womb of All Wombs we have been crossing for generations and generations and each time there are always, “paradigm shifter’s” that are stepping across the barriers of what is and opening the doors of what can be. The day to day struggles are the manifestations of this larger shift in reality. Our efforts to either hold onto old belief structures or let go into how the unknown is going to unfold mystifies us. All of these possibilities and we are stuck in the minutiae of day to day jobs, families, wants and desires. In absentia we have left the exploration of consciousness, to preachers, doctors, scientists, mathematicians and while they explore the unknown we are grinding out pay check to pay check a life where we can give our children better than what we had. Our lives can certainly be better served by stepping into more of an ownership for the adventures of our soul. Rather than living by the guidelines placed before us, question those very principles and concepts until you actually own them. There is something fundamentally missing in our lives unless we do otherwise. If the military service and the trauma from that that I have been carrying for all of these years has taught me anything it is adversity has the greatest potential for showing you how deeply your faith goes. Belief systems are best served through the fires of challenges and the winds of time as they give you the understanding of “grit”. Integrity is something earned upon the anvil’s of time and hammered into a very fine instrument that can with stand all of the tests of time.

Through that next portal in your life see beyond the emotions and drama of the trauma and learn to embrace the strength you have gained. Oh it is there, tied up within the fears, the emotional angers, the self doubts and eternal questioning of your belief’s, it is there, that undying spirit which keeps us going. Though we have completed the sixteen sessions it mostly seems the adventure is just being renewed and inspired by the clarity of heart and mind. It does seem very appropriate to be taking this next week to go off, return to my home town taking with me all of this openness and re-connect to memories that I had left there when I got out of the military. I have made this trip many times over the last forty two years but this seems different and is different in many ways and the clarity of that will become more present only by taking this adventure now. As I am honored to have the space to delve into all of these things that most never have the time for; I am asked in return to share, to include all of you and yours in these days of meditation, contemplation, prayer and elevation. There is no movement in our lives without risk and no reward in our life without an attitude of gratitude, especially for those most difficult of challenges we have and we shall go through.

Integrating Trauma: Part Six Emotional Heart

 

Connecting soul and the physical heart.

We have so many emotions, and we carry many of them in our heart, how can there be room for one more thing. This thing called soul how limited has it become because of all of the trapped emotions? How did we come to believe the heart was the place for all of those unprocessed emotions? What happens when we begin the house cleaning and allow the true soul spirit into our physical heart? These are but a few of the questions that come up and then I realize many of my brain memories are but messages from the Heart of hearts. It is not for me to tell you what truly lies within your heart, you have to discover that on your own. Here I will let you know as clearly as I can the state of one heart so in love with soul spirit that he was willing to protect it at all costs. From the outside, relationships past and up until this day I have kept the light weight armor protection securely pulled around my upper body mostly so the anger would not reach such a sensitive heart. But, alas you protect your self from all of that outside from one degree to another but it is the process of protection itself which sets us up for the biggest heart break. Being true to your Self has become the biggest challenge and leaves you eternally vulnerable to the self inflicted wounds of fears that ever fester in a closed Heart.

This one, this part of opening up has me stumbling for words to express all of the unnecessary things I have kept in my closed heart and all of the good things I have kept locked out, most importantly how do you express the deepest level of gratitude for a life worth living. I have an emotional heart and when I started letting spirit back in,  religion would be the first place I sought shelter when “the valley and shadow of death” was all around me. That day when I fell down on my knees may have been the most honest I have been up to now about the pain I felt in my heart, in my life and in the emptiness surrounding me. I do know I have goodness and mercy within me, I grew up with that and along with a bit of mischievousness cared deeply about the people around me. When my very deep sense of loyalty was betrayed anger was released. That unknown shrouded in the fears of heaven and hell, guilt and shame, and drama left me in a state of continuous sensory over stimulation. Well the blinders were off and right in front of me was the reality of life and death, make it through this tour and their is R & R in Subic Bay the Philippines. There is a part of telling this story that has a bit of “governor” on it and that is if I tell you my dark side will I be able to live with the reactions from others. I have done alright carrying this all these years for the most part, I thought, but in retrospect I have hurt way to many people in my life because of trying to carry that by my self.

There are mechanisms of survival that do not allow you the time and place to process your feelings. Survival requires you to act spontaneously and when you have to react, because everything starts going “to shit”, you better have some really strong gut instincts. Going back through this part of my life touches upon feelings I thought were long lost. Some people say I don’t feel and others say I feel to much, what a paradox to be caught in between. In the middle trying to figure out how I am supposed to feel around others, there to busy, or I don’t want to bore them or I just want to avoid trying to figure out “the shit” I just stepped in. This can be repeated many times and each time we have to clean it off our own shoes if we don’t want to track it around. On the other hand I have been around people, clean shoes and all that have no idea what they are spewing or what they might be standing in, thank you for all them high top rubber wading boots. There is a feeling of relief when you begin to communicate from a softer place, but I was taught to overcome this weakness and today I am working at softening the hardness around the crown jewel of goodness the heart.

Memorial Day just passed and I was taught that this is the day when we honor those who have died in combat to protect our way of life. To me the best way to honor those men and women is to learn to speak out about lives not fully lived. There is a very poignant moment this week riding on the wake of this Day, we have no earthly connection to the death of others unless we are willing to confront our own along the way. The men around The Table, not round but certainly occupied by warriors of the realm, shared and stood witness to those who have gone before us and in the scene grown men were weeping for the departed but also for the pain of the living. I don’t know that I trust my words so much when the feelings become so overwhelming there is no holding back the tears, but it is also the words that can keep you connected long enough to know there is still more for the living to accomplish. Each opportunity even for a brief glimpse into the heart of the matter is a blessing that those honored will never have again. The last thing I want to do is smash any of the general belief systems that war is for our protection, there are far more sinister factors involving war that became self evident as the years stretched out. Miles off the coast of Viet Nam and being actively engaged in combat bombing mission in both South and North Viet Nam was a bit surreal. The planes were loaded with bombs and when they returned the bombs were no longer attached. Supporting the war machine in this way though dangerous at all times, left me very disconnected from the death and slaughter at the hands of our aircraft.

Now I welcome the grief for those who have gone before, they can grieve no more. My grief is also that for the living carrying the burden of another’s death still lives on in many of us. Beyond this grief I saw a glimpse of hope and am duty bound to carry that hope even in the darkest of times. I want to believe that your belief in Love rules the world we inhabit but there is another force that experience brings you when you are in combat, Hate. Maybe hate isn’t real but when you are taught to hate those that threaten your life or way of life hate becomes very real. Even though I used the word, I am not not so sure I carry hate in my heart. I would like to think I am a good man most of the time, that was asked to do unthinkable things to another. I find no joy in those actions and am not quite sure how to bring joy into my life for surviving what others have not. There are many of our sisters and brothers in arms that have survived but have stopped living and to me Memorial Day was also about them. I hope you will step into a safe group of veterans and begin to do more than live with your pain but learn to share your pain with others and accept the healing that can take place. Peace to All. Love to All. Light to All.

Shadow Dancer Light Giver

Feelings, those annoying truth tellers and mind interlopers have arrived once again, for me these are the messages of the first order, long before they ever step into the game of emotions. These are the messages one/me receives when the mind is the most quiet and after you have shut every thing out and long after the exaltation’s (an excessively intensified sense of well-being, power, or importance) have evaporated. Feelings, my feelings are most awakened by loving, caring, sharing, giving people and at that point when you realize they have a deeper sense of the feelings that make them such. Truth out, thanks. I have been looking for these feelings for a very long time, do good on good days and o.k. on not such good days, but then my good days often hurt those around me and end up causing people not to want to be around at all. All of this ends up in an extreme loneliness even when helping others and being around other people. The disguises I wear to fit in and be a part of things are merely layers of distractions to keep from holding these deepest of feelings closer and to keep from feeling the unknown beyond those feelings.

I have just started to explore veteran benefit options for disability and this has opened a category 4 tsunami of feelings that I never had the time or took the time to process. Sitting in quiet contemplation is no longer enough to hold back the storm, especially when others are involved. One of my stumbling blocks is the guilt and shame associated with hurting others, including my self. Question was do you know a specific event or time when you experienced this sense of loss of control. My non verbal response, oh you mean my entire military experience, there was never a moment when I felt safe, but it first hit me hardest upon deployment to Viet Nam, but then again I might have been experiencing that after enlistment but I was drinking a lot just to keep the panic intoxicated enough that I could function. Hey, coping mechanisms are copy mechanisms. Right. Plus I always had many willing participants in the avoidance of such feelings.

As we understand it Trauma affects the entire family and is not limited by generational separations. I really dis-like the medical term as it has stigma’s attached to it. Maybe only 20% of combat veteran’s even report or understand the symptoms and often when they do it seems as if it is to late to do anything about it. Yoga certainly has given me the foundation to finally address this at the deepest levels. I look forward to sharing and keeping everyone up to date.

Trauma injuries, emotional trauma, psychological trauma all leave scares and beneath the scars the wounds do still exist. My experience is each of the gashes are like fissures that one has to cross; reaching into the depths of the Soul Level to bring from the extended bodies a perfect imagery of health, vitality, and stability. All of this happens at the Soul Level where ego and ego patterns no longer serve us, where Light and Sound exist and all must be let go of. What we have created in this illusion of separation from the Soul is the pain of that separation.  You want to dive deeper into these things but the distractions are many and time is slipping away anyway. Stepping into this Unknown World of Soul Level insight is also more than an intellectual expression. And, at the same time all of these things are but road signs we leave along the way to use one day to find our way back into the pain free State. We get glimpses of all of this pain free State and along the way believe in this and believe in that, but there is still pain in our lives and the lives of those around us. They both seem to feed each other or feed off of each other always ending in the same pain or dis-ease laid before us.

For generations our lineages have prayed for this prayed for that and still we receive and pass on the dis-ease of Soul Level separation. This separation is level one trauma and few of us get the time to indulge ourselves in the pursuit of healing this deeper wound. We want to believe, we believe blindly that our religions will takes us there or at least cover us day to day. But, the work still remains to both separate ourselves from the generational pasts so we can stay in the moment to moment experience of our lives. Many of us are “earthbound spirits” we learn differently and appear to be a bit more dense then others and in that density hides our real pain our real suffering. So bound to the more dense vibrations of the earth the only way we perceive things are alive is through the pain and suffering we see in others. Our lives are seen through window like blinds and even when the blinds are up we are to often blinded by the light we see in others. This blinded disorientation causes all sorts of reality distortions, us and them, black and white, good and bad all a part of myriads of duality driven conflicts. Our brains constantly live in the chronic pain we believe is caused by everyone but ourselves. You wont figure us out because to do so would mean you would have to step into some of the most darkened rooms of your own insanity, so mostly you will react and we will react to you and the cycle continues generation to generation.

Just in case you are one of those people who believe there is hope for everyone, here is a bit of advice, you will have to go deeper into your own Compassion, your own Tolerance, your own Forgiveness so you can maintain your own healthy relationship with Soul. If you are one of those people who sees there are people beyond the reach of your hope, here is a bit of advice, you can still go deeper into your own Compassion, your own Tolerance, your own Forgiveness that is where your healing will come from. If you are one of those people who feels there is no hope within your self, here is a bit of advice, there is no hope unless you live by Compassion, there is no hope unless you live by Tolerance, and there is no hope unless you live by Forgiveness. To all of you, there are always people around you that see your Compassion, there are always people around you that see your Tolerance, and there are always people around you that see your Forgiveness. So, what are we waiting for when we can completely write a new chapter in our lives around these three parts of what we call the Greater Reality.

Integrating Trauma: Part Five Snowy Volcano

Shen works at bringing the sleeping heart alive, best leave sleeping hearts asleep less you wake up the volcano within. This sleeping heart is something I am faced with waking as I go through this part of healing the wounds of the past. Found some friends yesterday when sitting around the group  table, brothers who were formally in arms at the same time of my military service. Never met these men before but know them through the shared experiences of our individual trauma. Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy sitting at this table with one thing in common, coming out about the trauma endured over the past forty to fifty years “it is time to own our trauma”. Today we talked about percussive trauma, the kind of sounds that reverberate so deeply through the inner ear that the brain your entire orientation and equilibrium are thrown into jello. The kind of sound percussion that leaves you shaking long after the incident.  When working on the carrier flight deck, that is the flat top part of the carrier where the planes are launched and recovered, we wore ear protection, sound attenuators.  The sounds associated with jet planes measure between 120 and 140 decibels. Properly fitted earplugs or muffs reduce noise by 15 to 30 dB of sound. Combined use should be considered when the noise exceeds 105 dB. I never used the ear plugs or ever had access to them.

Jet engines whine there selves awake with help from a power wagon that has a powerful start up engine that ignites the sleeping jet. We are tucked in close to this power wagon along side one of the two jet engines about to come to life. The work crews readying the plane for its taxi to the launch catapults surround the plane now fully loaded with thousands of pounds of bombs ready to respond to any plane emergency. There are thirty or more planes readying for this launch and there have already been several launches and recovery’s that have taken place and several more to go. Today I was needed to go up inside the wheel well between the two engines that are roaring to life. The area of the plane I was responsible for was the internal navigation system, love saying those words, and the process of repair was going to take fifteen to twenty minutes and must be done so the flight could be sent to the catapult. Normally our planes would move before or be moved in a way where the other planes heat exhaust would only momentarily wash across you as they moved forward. This day was going to be one of those days, every step forward was followed by two steps back, but in flight operations like these you had to stay with it under all circumstances. Here was the back wash of the jet engines and as intense as it was it would soon, shortly be moving on, I can stay with it a little longer, longer and longer it took before the plane moved and just at that moment when you can do no more you know you are going to freak out the pilot of the plane increases the throttle to get it rolling again and that increased the hot blast of fire and fumes coming up under the nose of the plane. That was one of many days where living was but a gift to make it through to the next.

Our lives within the normal routines of daily living, work, relationships, and so on are a bit like, what is every one complaining about, why is everyone whining, and why does every thing back home seem so unreal. Our reality’s are most often far removed from such experiences but our day to day lives still gather much tension and stress that there is a constant state of low grade trauma taking place. Like the snowy volcano there is always the possibility of an eruption. Over the years kundalini yoga has greatly helped to manage the day to day, but the sleeping volcano of past trauma was never far from the surface. That part, the hot molten lava below the surface was looked at and danced with time after time doing yoga, meditations, and retreats. Alas, over the years there were many distractions and opportunities to avoid going deeper, plenty of things in the day to day life to keep looking the other way. When the volcano of emotions would erupt there were seldom anyone around that had any insight into how deeply I was avoiding taking personal ownership of those four years in the service and the following six years.

I spoke in response to one of the men talking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suggested to him there was no such thing as post anything when it comes to trauma. Trauma happens and stays with you until you work out physically and emotionally all of the side affects. This can go on for years unless we stop avoiding. Many of my closely watched behaviors that I have been wanting to see change have been locked in the chronic pain from head and back injuries suffered years ago and now I find out that this is very common among veterans suffering from a wide range of trauma. When all of this happened we were very young under twenty five and our brain functions were barely getting to a point of mature functioning. Trauma during those developmental years both retard growth process and also the ability to adapt to life beyond that moment. This cycle of events repeated over and over because of our continual engagement in combat puts an enormous pressure on those whom we return home to. Perhaps the only way to truly end this insane a cycle is to get off of the to often traveled highway into combat.

Integrating Trauma: Part Four Green Dragon

 

 

Yogi Bhajan, “the only disease in the body is anger”. The return of the Green Dragon to the heart center is about releasing any held anger in the body and integrating it back into a healthier relationship with the mind and spirit. Green Dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it in East Asian culture. Thank you Wikipedia. The Chinese dragon has very different connotations to European dragon – in European cultures, the dragon is a fire-breathing creature with aggressive connotations, whereas the Chinese dragon is a spiritual and cultural symbol that represents prosperity and good luck, as well as a rain deity that fosters harmony. In many other countries, folktales speak of the dragon having all the attributes of the other 11 creatures of the zodiac, this includes the whiskers of the Rat, the face and horns of the Ox, the claws and teeth of the Tiger, the belly of the Rabbit, the body of the Snake, the legs of the Horse, the goatee of the Goat, the wit (or brain) of the Monkey, the crest of the Rooster, the ears of the Dog and the snout of the Pig. I also read through Wikipedia and found out that the winged dragons are more of an European depiction and the Chinese dragon has no wings, needs none to move through the air or water as it is a mystical creature.

Transformation from the pains and the traumas of yesterday are much like this mystical creature in that we have to learn or in some cases re-learn the kind of movement that allows our spirits to be free while still in this human body. Met with the VA counselor yesterday and walked away feeling better knowing that many of my symptoms that I have been carrying for many years are very common among those suffering combat trauma. I found the sessions and interview to be very thorough, open, and honest about the work that lies ahead. Emotions around the yet defined fears came up while we were going through this process and the counselor was very present to make sure I felt safe with the process and with my self. One of the major reasons for not addressing these issues many years ago was the stigma I picked up between combat veterans and combat support veterans, if you weren’t a part of combat, such as on the ground locked in life and death fire fights you could not possibly be suffering from PTSD. All of this time I was just another angry guy. All of this time I was just a guy struggling with normalizing and staying in relationships. All of this time my drug and alcohol problems were because I was addicted. All of this time my chronic pain and depression were mere ailments of the physical and mental body. Now, there is a most plausible correlation to actual events that I went through and have never left.

Being able to normalize even in a small way the root cause of many of my symptoms in no way fixes the problems I have caused in the lives of others but it does add an enormous amount of clarity to the goodness attempted. We have many life experiences to draw from as you get older even when facing the challenges of the past, especially when facing those same challenges when they come to be right in front of you again. Something about repeating behaviors and patterns until we work them out. I am looking forward to sitting and talking with Veterans about our lives and also feel I can bring my life skills to the group and also learn more about my life and the lives of others. We even talked about that “over stimulation trigger” that keeps you hyper vigilant and to me this is like six cups of triple shot espresso coffee. There has never been any kind of stimulant outside that has ever matched that “ost” experience. It wasn’t until I started doing kundalini yoga that I began to understand we can produce these energies within ourselves and as we strengthen the nervous systems and balance the glandular systems and normalize those experiences we require far less external stimulation. In these heightened states I to often avoided the deeper pains and tears that had always seemed just out of reach, going for the euphoria without doing the deeper work.

Like the Green Dragon sitting in our heart no one should under estimate that our gentleness is a sign of weakness. Like many men I was taught by my father, siblings and peer males, back in the day that those feelings of vulnerability were in fact weaknesses and yet the character of male dominance one over another was seen as a strength. In the years leading up to being drafted there was constant talk among peers about the forth coming conflict. There were even times before induction when young men were already returning and already to many that were losing their lives. This never did anything to assuage the fears building up within and alcohol during those teen years was a way of coping and would prove to be the medicine of choice by me and many others for years to come. All of the short cuts have run out, one could hope, and now it is time to get to the Heart of the Matter. The “shen” treatments are both very subtle and can also release a lot of creative energy so having projects, such as writing, gardening, meditating, and just deep relaxation are awesome coping skills to develop. We are getting closer to finishing this series of treatments and along with group and individual counseling getting to and staying with the Source of All. Change your self and change the world.

Integrating Trauma: Part Three Rising Phoenix

 

Also during this period, the fenghuang was used as a symbol representing the direction south. This was portrayed through a male and female facing each other. Their feathers were of the five fundamental colors: black, white, red, green, and yellow. These colors are said to represent Confucius‘ five virtues:

  1. Ren: the virtue of benevolence, charity, and humanity;
  2. Yi: honesty and uprightness;  may be broken down into zhōng, doing one’s best, conscientiousness, loyalty and shù: the virtue of reciprocity, altruism, consideration for others
  3. Zhi: knowledge
  4. Xin: faithfulness and integrity;
  5. Li: correct behavior, propriety, good manners, politeness, ceremony, worship.[3]

The phoenix represented power sent from the heavens to the Empress. If a phoenix was used to decorate a house it symbolized that loyalty and honesty were in the people that lived there. Or alternatively, a phoenix only stays when the ruler is without darkness and corruption (政治清明).

Gu=dark and Ru=light, moving from the darkness to the light is how I apply this. These treatments are both bringing things up from my past and also giving me the opportunity to “lighten” the memories up. There is still much mystery for me around the events of my military experience, how on one hand some people call us heroes and on the other hand why I feel so immoral for ever supporting the murder and killing of another person. I was pretty far removed from the consequences of those actions but none the less I worked on the planes that carried and dropped death upon others. Those fellow servicemen that were on the ground sure supported those efforts we made to keep the planes going so they could drop ordinance in support of their ground operations. There were also countless missions where “our” planes wiped out bridges and ammunition facilities, always at the risk to the pilot’s and navigator’s and any unlucky person on the ground. I thought it was the cool thing to do to write on the bombs messages of death to people I had never met. Maintaining a sense of control was no more than trying to stay in step with those around me. Doing otherwise than what was expected would have had dire consequences.

This and many more memories are finally going to see the light of day as I begin counseling with the VA this Saturday. I hope to find out what is real and how to unveil, uncoil and how to elevate a period in my life where it was normal to live in fear. Fear and that active adrenaline is what kept you safe and alert around thousands of pounds of bombs and when we went to Korea nuclear bombs. I never took much to serious when I was a kid growing up and then all of a sudden to be right in the middle of your worst nightmare was in fact a nightmare in it self. I am one of the blessed ones having found my way out of the alcohol and drug abuse into a holistic life-style where yoga, meditation and nutritional awareness greatly decreased the active symptoms of depression, anxiety, paranoia, and a handful of other anti-social behaviors. I am kind of doing this backwards or my way, I am finally going to sit down with trained and experienced military veterans to help me sort any lingering issues out. If you know someone that is avoiding or trying to cope with trauma there are tons of resources out there and if one thing doesn’t work then they need to keep going to find that magic elixir that  will help bring peace of mind. It does exist, just depends on what you are made of.

So out of our past we can rise and we can move beyond the hardened memories into a more fluid life. There are no surprises here, we are all very unique and trauma impacts all of us differently. In that personal uniqueness you will find a way to bring your own past/present/future together in a healthier way. There is a part in all of us that understands darkness is something we all deal with every day of our lives. A good man practices his disciplines so that that darkness does not shut out the light. A bad man practices his disciplines so that he will find his way back into the light. The Rising of the Phoenix reminds us all that much of the greatness of who we are comes out of the the greatest challenges that seemingly want to devour our own spirit/soul.

Integrating Trauma: Part Two Blossoming Lotus

Here are some social references regarding the Lotus Flower and how it has become part of many cultures. So it seems less strange to me to imagine my “heart” blossoming like a Lotus Flower. Perhaps I can even understand a bit more now that we are all connected to this Earth and that we are all working out all manner of things and one day something or someone touches us in a way that opens us up once again to the infinite range of possibilities. The deeper we go into that Unknown the deeper that Unknown goes into our lives.

In India the lotus flower has made its way deep into religious beliefs and in national folklore. The lotus is one of the eight auspicious symbols and is considered to be a symbol for the progress of the soul through muddy materialism, all the way to bright and sunny enlightenment. In esoteric Buddhist teachings, the unopened flower is thought to be like the heart of man – blossoming only when touched by the virtues of Buddha. . In Christianity, the white lotus is thought to be a representation of the purity of the Virgin Mary. http://flowerinfo.org/lotus-flowers

Sikh Gurus have used the example of the lotus in Guru Granth Sahib Ji approximately 420 times where lotus flower is symbolic of the human soul. The Gurus explain it as the soul being born in this Kalyug (Dark Age) which is like the lotus seed in the murky depths of a swamp. The consciousness of the souls that contemplate on the glory of the creator will rise as the lotus flower grows and strives to reach the surface towards the beauty and light of the sun, where the lotus like the soul itself opens  up to a higher plane of existence above the murky water of Kalyug within which it is rooted. The lotus soul then basks in the full glory and grace of the Sun/Creators light. http://www.sikhforumwolverhampton.com/the-lotus/

The flower also blooms in the most unlikely of places such as the mud of murky river water in Australia or Southern Asia. Not only does it find sanctuary in the muck, but due to the waxy protection layer on its petals, its beauty is blithely unaffected when it re-blooms each morning. It continues to resurrect itself, coming back just as beautiful as it was last seen. With such refusal to accept defeat, it’s almost impossible not to associate this flower with unwavering faith. Although cultures have largely dubbed the lotus as a spiritual figurehead, it is most emblematic of the faith within ourselves. It is particularly what the Buddhist proverb, aims to edify; living life with unwavering faith, as the lotus does, ensures the most beautiful revivals.www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/a9550430/lotus-flower-meaning/

I take from this and my own example every day and within that day every hour, minute and second gives me the opportunity to be, like the opening lotus flower.  i would like though our lives to be a bit quicker in realizing all of these remarkable qualities of the  lotus flower.  Perhaps we could better understand our relationship with the Earth if each day we opened up like the lotus flower and every evening we retreated to our cocoon. Well we kind of are supposed to do that within our sleep cycles but we have lost the idea that our umbilical cord is in fact connected to the earth. Each night we die a little bit and then slip into our sleep and each dawn we have the opportunity to resurrect our selves into the new opportunities and potentials that that dawn brings.

Integrating Trauma: Part One

Trauma effects body, mind and spirit and it will take all three to bring any trapped or out of control energy back into the Integrated spectrum of health and well being. That being said it is not just enough to do the body work with out the emotional work nor is it enough to do the mental work without the breath work and all of these are linked to the work you do solving the Fear of the Unknown. Yogi Bhajan reminds us that the greatest Unknown is the Soul. The presence of Soul, Atma, Spirit has been debated continuously so it is possible to have a bit of intellectual knowledge, it is a good thing but this integration will also require a major dose of experiential knowledge, the kind that brings Body, Mind, and Soul back into a harmonious relationship. In Shen this is called The Awakening and brings the Mind into the Heart. This is a very good place to begin understanding integrating all of those trauma’s. In Kundalini Yoga integration is the process of breath, body movement and postures along with sound/mantra. In plant medicine’s it is the knowledge contained within certain plants that brings deeper in-sight. All of these though work with the same breath and rely upon the relative state of your nervous systems and glandular systems.

Why the Heart? Compassion, Tolerance, Forgiveness are considered to be sentiments of the Heart. These sentiments do not walk alone, they require your total participation, including the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and all of the associative feelings and emotions. Men have struggled with the inhumanity’s put upon them by the hands of others only then turn around and then use that to justify their own inhumanity. There is no justification deep enough to erase the trauma you have suffered there is only the calling need to dive deeper within to regain your own humanity. Once you have Awakened to that deeper calling there is no turning back there is only going deeper. Like an old lost friend you can slowly begin to return to your inner sense, that guardian of your Peace.  Without this relationship there is little peace you can find in anything else. An Awakened Warrior calls for Peace so no one else has to endure the sufferings of inhumanity. There is a collective awareness throughout time: to help, to serve and to protect those unable to help, serve or protect themselves, but this has continuously been interwoven with the strings of control, and greed, all for the sake of what we can now say is our collective insanity.

These may be the struggles of us all but we are still so far from our own Awakened state that we continuously over look the suffering of others. What ever the pain or trauma that sits on your front porch it is no longer necessary to let it be so. Your heart gives you another way of dealing with the seemingly continuous disconnection you feel or see in others. The heart is the return of hope in our lives where your one act of kindness can reverberate across all dimensions of time and space. You will find your hope, keep digging. You will re-connect to your heart, the heart that has been fed by other warriors who have found their piece of peace once again. This is much like a re-birth and going through the awakening can be learning to walk all over again and on a path of your choosing. There is a reason we are tied together through our lives and life experiences and when one awakens all in that line are moved a little further in that direction themselves. What it takes to make this shift from the seemingly endless cycles of abuse may just be waiting for you or me to make that next move deeper into our own humanity.

I am saying the roots of our collective fears and insecurities are buried in the soil of our own animosity towards our self.  This animosity is the anger that is projected into the lives of others, war is an extension of this relationship and we are all participants. The very same reasoning to wage war; control, greed, and our insanity spreads far beyond the physical reach or actions, one against another. With less and less control over the information you receive about the world around us there may be but only one direction left; return to your core and keep digging until you can truly stand for the humanity within. Within your breath are the three properties of body, mind and spirit and you still inhabit this physical form to serve. A call to service is a call to reach that deeper part of your core where Humanity, your humanity still exists and you understand the sacrifices you have made and the sacrifices you are making are what moves us all closer to the age of our Collective Humanity. There is nothing but gratitude for all of those who have served and continue to serve such  a role in my life and in appreciation I turn to you All and say “tag your it”.

Part Eight: Erasing the Trauma

Probably the most challenging of the many symptoms that can be associated with trauma for me was how my memories once hidden could be triggered to the surface through indirect association, music, the sound of aircraft, the sight of other Veterans, and news headlines to name a few. On January 23, 1968, the USS Pueblo, a Navy intelligence vessel, is engaged in a routine surveillance of the North Korean coast when it is intercepted by North Korean patrol boats. This last January was the fiftieth anniversary of this incident, perhaps you gave it a thought, perhaps you have no historical reference and perhaps you lived somewhere else during that time. We were just finishing our operations off of the coast of Viet Nam and expecting a “stand down” return to port for R & R in the Philippines when  our Carrier task force was called to respond to the  incident. Many sailors lived this event and when on this anniversary I met some of these Sailor’s it was more than emotional. That chance meeting in the middle of Santa fe Farmer’s Market also confirmed I was not as alone as I thought I was.

It has taken me several days to realize that there is in fact a Joy of Life I have always carried. Jiwan means Life. I would say most of the time that is how my life has gone, but for those few years in the service when Joy was continually rocked by images of death and dying. Now half way through the Shen treatments there is a constant vibration beyond negative or positive where thoughts are very much quieter in fact for several days the writing words have also become quieter, like thoughts they are always there they just get quieter and we have to slow ourselves and quiet ourselves to hear them. In that increased silence I sense there is a Joy of Life returning, has always been there and takes me back to very early years in my childhood. We have been talking about “erasing trauma”, but also remember there is no eraser big enough to do that. At the half way point it is beginning to feel more like all of this is becoming integrated and though I am not quite sure what a whole person feels like it does feel more comfortable than knowing I am holding back, being held back, got my back to the wall or wondering who has my back.  I know today, this is the moment I have trained for my whole life, to keep up with every breath.

Joy of Life is not not a thing that comes and goes it is always there, it has always been there and it will always be there and all of the trauma integrated is the Wisdom of that relationship. Integration is what brings us the experience and knowledge that we are all of this energy, the good and the bad, the high’s and the low’s, the passion and the compassion, the love and the hate and the pleasure and the pain “it is All the same”. Being able to take the time to indulge my self, I am privileged to be doing this at a time when most of the people my age are re-tired and those that are still working around I am honored to know you. The terrain is always changing, moving through the movement of light, sound and wind and sometimes the earth opens up and the deepest hottest most acidic parts come boiling to the surface whether we are ready for it or not. Trauma is like a boil that comes to the surface creating an incredible pressure upon the skin surface until we are forced to deal with “it”. And, yet, the boil is not not the trauma, it is the symptom of something else going on deeper under that surface and some feel this and some can deal with this without it ever having to be lanced and some of us have to go through the entire drama of the trauma to understand that it is “All Energy”. That is integration and that is how we get to “Integrating the Trauma”.

 

Part Seven: Erasing the Trauma

There is much on a microcosm level that is being left unsaid because of its relationship with the greater extension of the universe. Part seven is a bit deeper journey into the this label reading trauma. The physical body can be so traumatized so you are left only with a mind full of mental exploration, until the underlying emotions relating to and surrounding this physical body are addressed; exploring, understanding and articulating some of these adventures becomes even more challenging. There is a lot written about freeing the body and free the mind and we have been talking about freeing the breath so we gain a deeper understanding of our emotions. The unanswered questions are stored in the subconscious and now we are beginning to understand that much of these old memories are stored in the physical body tissues. As taught by Yogi Bhajan the subconscious a part of the positive mental body, there to remind us, affirm for us the things we are doing right in our lives. Further, what happens when the positive mind is over loaded with negative experiences the over load is then stored in the subconscious. This then dilutes the positive affirmations and they become the “yes but’s” we use to keep from moving forward.

Shen Master Dr. Harijot did the acupuncture needles on me today and the Chinese to English translation is Golden Tower. There are things a nearly blind octogenarian acupuncturist sees when he has been trained and speaks the language of ancient Chinese medicine that bare mentioning. He described a picture he sees of a Golden Tower that runs from the top of your head down to the navel point linking body, mind, and spirit. Now perhaps you can understand a little more how all trauma and how we deal with it is a part of every part of our lives. Just ask Merriam-Webster Dictionary, trauma is a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury. Really. Looks like, to me pretty much everyone of us is suffering or has suffered from some sort of trauma. If we are still here we are adapting, but at what cost before we look for another way of dealing with the same old problems. Right now at this moment who wouldn’t want a little less stress in their life? And then maybe we could start doing more than just adapting and calling it living.

When I left the military I knew nothing of the alternative health movement but began to understand a bit, those first six years after I didn’t feel very stable on the inside and staying in a single relationship for a and period of time, impossible. And I have reconnected with very few people from my past until just a few years ago when we had our high school fiftieth year class reunion. With a lot of encouragement from class members I made the drive from New Mexico to Central California though very physically tiring and emotionally elevating I left with a sense that I wanted connected more. There is something about home town life that takes on a different dimension when you go off to the service. Family and friends can be a great anchor and family and friends can be the hardest at times. There is no such thing as post trauma.  Once it has happened you live with it every day of your life no matter how well you keep your lives together. Family’s of deployed servicemen and women have to deal with separation issues and the possibility that family members wont return, that is a kind of stress all unto its own. And, when a family member returns and you know they are not all there is just another level all unto itself, hard. I have to wonder why we keep doing this to each other, people we know and people we don’t know but call our enemies. There is this terrible unspoken guilt around this institutional trauma and it pays a heavy mental, emotional and even spiritual toll upon all of us.

So, healing trauma may start with the individual but as we all share in this one will never be singularly healed completely until everyone is. To me this is where the paradigm shifted when I began to remember I was not alone, though many times it felt that way and still today just a little bit. I have family and friends that have carried the consequences of my actions and reactions. To them and all of you in the same boat my most deepening apology. It has taken years to get back to this part of my life and I have realized that those ten years still impact much of the choices and decisions I make on a daily basis. I was a deeply religious young man when I entered the service and ten years later all of the tenets I held on to as a part of my belief systems were shaken to the core. Today the core is stronger than ever and I get to remember many great things about this life, the experiences I have had and the great people that live there lives as best they can. I saw a Veteran the other day and though I had no idea what level of trauma he or his family has had to endure I stood witness to the courage in their lives that it has taken to get here.

 

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