Getting Older

Getting older is a fine occupation……I see why it can be called the Golden Years. So many old, limiting beliefs and thoughts about how it should be or will be or must be begin falling by the wayside. They are just too heavy to carry. We grow tired of living in a box of limits….with the requisite anxiety, depression, controlling behaviors, etc. We think we are in control of life but thankfully, we are not. There can be a greater freedom when we choose to live in that zone of mystery…….living in our hearts, on the edge of creative potential, open and accepting of whatever our own energy brings to us. We don’t have to like it but when we open our hearts and accept the experience…..whatever it is…….when we say…yes…..then we are open to what learning the experience can bring to our growth.

This process requires a level of trust in that energy of grace….that love is the presence of all that is, that our highest good is always served by the experiences of our life. It does no good to compare our life experiences to another’s life. Each life is perfectly attuned to the energy of the individual by the energy of love. A plethora of blocking behaviors in our psyche can disrupt that growing trust. They all stem from fear. Our life experiences can be seen to reinforce the energy of love that always surrounds us and that we are. Our life experiences may seem challenging at times but they are specially designed to help us transform our fears into a deeper level of love. If we are open to this process, we are able to develop a deeper trust of life in our hearts…….for that is where our truth resides.

Becoming older is a blessing in many ways…..not the least of which is a sense of liberation, a decrease of anxiety, a welcome resting in the arms of the energy of LOVE. It is always our choice to fuel our fears or our love…. no matter what our situation.

© 2014 Andrea Avari Stevens

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Osho on Seven Bodies and their Tensions

Osho on Seven Bodies and their Tensions

Question – Please Tell us some thing about the Tensions and Relaxation of the Seven Bodies
Osho – The original source of all tension is becoming. One is always trying to be something; no one is at ease with himself as he is. The being is not accepted, the being is denied, and something else is taken as an ideal to become. So the basic tension is always between that which you are and that which you long to become.

You desire to become something. Tension means that you are not pleased with what you are, and you long to be what you are not. Tension is created between these two. What you desire to become is irrelevant. If you want to become wealthy, famous, powerful, or even if you want to be free, liberated, to be divine, immortal, even if you long for salvation, moksha, then too the tension will be there.

Anything that is desired as something to be fulfilled in the future, against you as you are, creates tension. The more impossible the ideal is, the more tension there is bound to be. So a person who is a materialist is ordinarily not so tense as one who is religious, because the religious person is longing for the impossible, for the far-off. The distance is so great that only a great tension can fill the gap.


Tension means a gap between what you are and what you want to be. If the gap is great, the tension will be great. If the gap is small, the tension will be small. And if there is no gap at all, it means you are satisfied with what you are. In other words, you do not long to be anything other than what you are. Then your mind exists in the moment. There is nothing to be tense about; you are at ease with yourself. You are in the Tao.

To me, if there is no gap you are religious; you are in the dharma. The gap can have many layers. If the longing is physical, the tension will be physical. When you seek a particular body, a particular shape – if you long for something other than what you are on a physical level – then there is tension in your physical body. One wants to be more beautiful.

Now your body becomes tense. This tension begins at your first body, the physiological, but if it is insistent, constant, it may go deeper and spread to the other layers of your being. If you are longing for psychic powers, then the tension begins at the psychic level and spreads. The spreading is just like when you throw a stone in the lake. It drops at a particular point, but the vibrations created by it will go on spreading into the infinite.

So tension may start from any one of your seven bodies, but the original source is always the same: the gap between a state that is and a state that is longed for. If you have a particular type of mind and you want to change it, transform it – if you want to be more clever, more intelligent – then tension is created. Only if we accept ourselves totally is there no tension. This total acceptance is the miracle, the only miracle. To find a person who has accepted himself totally is the only surprising thing.

Existence itself is non-tense. Tension is always because of hypothetical, non-existential possibilities. In the present there is no tension; tension is always future-oriented. It comes from the imagination. You can imagine yourself as something other than you are. This potential that has been imagined will create tension. So the more imaginative a person is, the more tension is a possibility. Then the imagination has become destructive.

Imagination can also become constructive, creative. If your whole capacity to imagine is focused in the present, in the moment, not in the future, then you can begin to see your existence as poetry. Your imagination is not creating a longing; it is being used in living. This living in the present is beyond tension.

Animals are not tense, trees are not tense, because they do not have the capacity to imagine. They are below tension, not beyond it. Their tension is just a potentiality; it has not become actual. They are evolving. A moment will come when tension will explode in their beings and they will begin to long for the future. It is bound to happen. The imagination becomes active.

The first thing the imagination becomes active about is the future. You create images and because there are no corresponding realities, you go on creating more and more images. But as far as the present is concerned, you cannot ordinarily conceive of the imagination in relation to it. How can you be imaginative in the present? There seems to be no need. This point must be understood. If you can be consciously present in the present, you will not be living in your imagination. Then the imagination will be free to create within the present itself.

Only the right focus is needed. If the imagination is focused on the real, it begins to create. The creation may take any form. If you are a poet, it becomes an explosion of poetry. The poetry will not be a longing for the future, but an expression of the present. Or if you are a painter, the explosion will be of painting. The painting will not be of something as you have imagined it, but as you have known it and lived it. When you are not living in the imagination, the present moment is given to you. You can express it, or you can go into silence.

But the silence, now, is not a dead silence that is practiced. This silence too is an expression of the present moment. The moment is so deep that now it can be expressed only through silence. Not even poetry is adequate; painting is not adequate. No expression is possible. Silence is the only expression. This silence is not something negative but, rather, a positive flowering. Something has flowered within you, the flower of silence, and through this silence all that you are living is expressed.

A second point is also to be understood. This expression of the present through the imagination is neither an imagination of the future nor a reaction against the past. It is not an expression of any experience that has been known. It is the experience of experiencing – as you are living it, as it is happening in you. Not a lived experience, but a living process of experiencing. Then your experience and experiencing are not two things. They are one and the same. Then there is no painter. The experiencing itself has become the painting; the experiencing itself has expressed itself.

You are not a creator. You are creativity, a living energy. You are not a poet; you are poetry. The experience is neither for the future nor for the past; it is neither from the future nor from the past. The moment itself has become eternity, and everything comes from it. It is a flowering. This flowering will have seven layers, just like tension has seven layers. It will exist in every body. For example, if it happens on the physiological level, you will become beautiful in quite a new sense. This beauty is not of form but of the formless, not of the visible but of the invisible. And if you can feel this non-tense moment in your body, you will know a well-being that you have not known before, a positive well-being.

We have known states of well-being that are negative: negative in the sense that when we are not ill we say we are healthy. This health is simply a negation of disease. It has nothing positive about it; it is just that disease is not there. The medical definition of health is that if you are not ill then you are healthy. But health has a positive dimension also. It is not just the absence of illness; it is the presence of health.

Your body can be non-tense only when you are living a moment-to-moment existence. If you are eating and the moment has become eternity, then there is no past and no future. The very process of eating is all that is. You are not doing something; you have become the doing. There will be no tension; your body will feel fulfilled. Or if you are in sexual communion and the sex is not just a relief from sexual tension but, rather, a positive expression of love – if the moment has become total, whole, and you are in it completely – then you will know a positive well-being in your body.

If you are running, and the running has become the totality of your existence; if you are the sensations that are coming to you, not something apart from them but one with them; if there is no future, no goal to this running, running itself is the goal – then you know a positive well-being. Then your body is non-tense. On the physiological level, you have known a moment of non-tense living. And the same is true with each of the seven bodies. To understand a non-tense moment in the first body is easy because we already know two things that are possible in the body: disease, a positive illness; negatively defined well-being, an absence of illness. This much we have already known, so we can conceive of a third possibility, that of positive well-being, health. But to understand what non-tension is in the second body, the etheric, is a bit more difficult, because you have not known anything about it. Still, certain things can be understood.

Dreams are basically concerned with the second body, the etheric. So ordinarily when we talk about dreams what we are talking about are dreams of the etheric body. But if your physical body has been living in tension, then many dreams will be created by it. For example, if you have been hungry or on a fast, then a particular type of dream is created. This is physiological dreaming. It is not concerned with the etheric body.

The etheric body has its own tension. We know the etheric body only in dreams, so if the etheric body is tense, the dream becomes a nightmare. Even in your dream you will be tense now; the tension will follow you. The first tension in the etheric body is concerned with the fulfillment of your desires. We  all have dreams about love. Sex is physiological; love is not. Love has nothing to do with the physical body, it is concerned with the etheric body; but if it is not fulfilled, then even your physical body may suffer because of it. Not only does your physical body have needs that have to be fulfilled, but your etheric
body also has needs. It has its own hungers; it also needs food. Love is that food.

We all go on dreaming about love, but we are never in love. Everybody dreams about love – how it should be, with whom it should be – and everyone is frustrated in it. Either we are dreaming about the future or, in frustration, about the past; but we are never loving. There are other tensions in the etheric body as well, but love is the one that can be most easily understood. If you can love in the moment, then a non-tense situation is created in the etheric body. But you cannot love in the moment if you have demands, expectations, conditions for your love, because demands, expectations and conditions are concerned with the future.

The present is beyond our specifications. It is as it is. But you can have expectations about the future: how it should be. Love too has become a ”should”; it is always about what ”should be.” You can be loving in the present only if your love is not an expectation, a demand, only if it is unconditional. Also, if you are loving only to one person and not to someone else, then you can never love in the present. If your love is a relationship and not a state of mind, you cannot love in the present because, very subtly, that too is a condition. If I say I can be loving only to you, then when you are not there I will not be loving. For twenty-three hours I will be in a state of not-loving and only for one hour, when I am with you, will I be loving. This is impossible! You cannot be in a state of love one moment and not be in love another moment.

If I am healthy, I am healthy for twenty-four hours. It is impossible to be healthy for one hour and unhealthy for the other twenty-three hours. Health is not a relationship; it is a state of being. Love is not a relationship between two persons. It is a state of mind within yourself. If you are loving, you are loving to everybody – not only to persons, but to things as well. Love moves from you to objects also. Even when you are alone, when no  one is there, you are loving. It is just like breathing.

If I take an oath that I will breathe only when I am with you, only death can follow. Breathing is not relationship; it is not tied to any relationship. And for the etheric body, love is just like breathing. It is its breath. So either you are loving, or you are not loving. The type of love that humanity has created is very dangerous. Even disease has not created as much nonsense as this so-called love has created. The whole humanity is diseased because of this wrong notion of love.

If you can love and be loving, irrespective of whom, then your second body can have a sense of well-being, a positive at-easeness. Then there are no nightmares. Dreams become a poetry. Then something happens in your second body, and the perfume of it not only pervades you but others also. Wherever you are, the perfume of your love spreads. And of course it has its own response, its own echoing.

Real love is not a function of the ego. The ego is always asking for power, so even when you love – because your love is not real, because it is just a part of the ego – it is bound to be violent. Whenever we love it is a violence, a type of war. Father and son, mother and daughter, husband and wife – they are not lovers; we have converted them into enemies. They are constantly fighting, and only when they are not fighting do we say it is love. The definition is negative. Between two battles there is a gap, a period of peace.

But really, between two wars there is no possibility of peace. The so-called peace is only a preparation for the coming war. There is no peace between husband and wife, no love. The gap that we call love is only a preparation for the coming fight. We think that there is health when we are between two illnesses, and we think that there is love when we are between two fights. It is not love. It is only a gap between fights. You cannot go on fighting for twenty-four hours, so at some point you begin to love your enemy.

Love is never possible as a relationship but only as a state of mind. If love comes to you as a state of mind, then your second body – the etheric body – becomes at ease, non-tense. It is relaxed. There are other reasons for tension in the second body, but I am talking about the one that can be most easily understood. Because we think we know love, it can be talked about.

 

Tending Our Light at Home

How often are we having an out-of-body experience?  We are busy fussing over whether someone likes us, is annoying us, is doing what we want them to do, fearful of what they might or might not do, what has happened in the past, OMG, what could happen in the future.  Just generally off in space in our minds, projecting our hopes and fears onto someone else’s evolutionary process.

We need to tend our light at Home.  We could be busy for the rest of our lives observing our feelings, behaviors, healing and clearing what is blocking us from the pure Joy of living  the ever-changing, ever-creating life that is our mysterious gift of Being.  Do you know where your mind is?  Bring it back Home.

Our Life is Our Meditation

Carl Jung believed that working on our childhood issues is a necessary first step towards spiritual consciousness. Carl Jung wrote, the “personal unconscious must always be dealt with first…otherwise the gateway to the cosmic unconscious cannot be opened.”   He understood that in order to realize our divinity we first work on clearing  the blocking parts of our childhood experiences.   Some people only want to focus on positive thoughts in order to become clear but that approach doesn’t touch the beliefs stored in the wounded hearts of our younger years.

The events and relationships of our lives direct us to those beliefs every day.  They are not difficult to find.  You don’t have to dig deeply and suffer longly.  For example, perhaps someone has a creative block in an art project and finds themselves procrastinating starting, working, or completing the work.  There is always something else we can find to do to alleviate the anxiety of facing our creativity…….taking the chance that it might not turn out how we hoped and realizing it is but a step in the direction of our learning and evolution.   Instead of running away, how about just noting without judgment what we are doing.  Just observe the behavior.   How often does this behavior surface in other ways in our lives?

When did we first start this behavior of trying to escape from something we want to do but we seem to be afraid of entering into a relationship with it and actually engage in the process of creation?  Were we judged as children in our display of unique creative expression?  How did we continue this behavior in other years of our lives as we were growing up?  In what ways have we blocked ourselves from the joy of creating?  What is the mantra that we have told ourselves quietly in our minds:  I can’t be creative; My work is not good enough; I am not good enough; Everyone else is better…….or whatever the words might be.

Sit with that thought quietly.  Surround that little part of you that first perceived that he/she wasn’t able to create for inner joy, with a cloud of compassion, soft and gentle and loving.  See it permeate all around that child, every cell filling with acceptance and compassion.   What if that part of you had grown up with the belief that she/he could freely create and express the self with artwork, writing, dancing……whatever.   See he/she expanding in innovation in every direction.  See the smile on the face as the body moves with grace creating from the heart.  The belief is now:  I create freely, my self-expression is uniquely my own.  Hold this part in your heart with tenderness and understanding as you pick up your brush, dust off your dancing shoes, get the guitar out from behind the couch, get ready to cook in the kitchen, or dip your pen in the inkwell.

If we pay attention with mindfulness, we can see and hear every day the blocking beliefs that keep us contracted into our limited selves.  Healing these blocking beliefs by acknowledging them, holding them without judgment in our awareness,and bringing compassion to each one of them will turn on our light more brightly as we free ourselves.  It is this work that we need to do before we try to enter the higher realms of higher consciousness.  This work brings us there.  After a while of living our life meditation and clearing our limiting beliefs, we look around and realize that we are different……we see more clearly, we accept more readily (even if we don’t like it), we say ‘yes’ to what is as we begin to move into that space of co-creation with Spirit.  We can’t jump over our daily work by only thinking positive thoughts.  The limiting beliefs need healing and acceptance.  Positive thoughts only serve to cover up the contractions for a while……..only to rise up and tug at our hearts again and again.

Our daily life is our greatest teacher.

2010andreaavaristevens

The Wholeness of Light and Dark

By Andrea Avari Stevens, Ph.D. 

After reading an inspiring article about Peter Kater in Science of Mind magazine by Claudia Abbott, I wanted to share some of his thoughts on creativity. Peter has been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards, written musical scores for a number of documentaries, and his Healing Series of music used in the healing and therapeutic arts.   More

How do you manifest your creative vision?

Are you having one of those days when you feel like you are spinning your wheels? Maybe you have a lot of ideas floating through your head but somehow they don’t manifest into actual substance. Here is an interesting exercise in strengthening your intention to create your purpose that is summarized from an article by Robert Gass in Utne magazine, Jan-Feb 2006.

1. Write a short statement that is presented in the positive nature of what describes your personal vision, what is important to you, what you truly want for yourself. Practice makes it better when working with refining the statement. The words need to drop from your head into your heart so that you can feel the resonance. Of the few choices Gass suggested, I chose “In everthing I do, I am guided by love.” That is the vision I want to live. More

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