Thursday, September 25, 2014

שָׁנָה טוֹבָה - L’shanah Tovah!

Maybe I should emphasize “Ketivah VaChatimah Tovah!” (i.e., “May you be contracted under-written & guaranteed by G-d for a promising and abundantly good new year!  What a berakhah (blessing) to bestow!  It’s a promise proclaimed in the bible (more than once) So… What a nice way to remind your friends eh?

I am inspired this Jewish New year to break my long silence and publish this new article…  I have not published on this blog for so long!  Since 2012 I have been incubating… I have been writing and journaling, a lot, but not publishing anything.  I promise to publish these writing’s later.  Maybe soon…  I am building a new WordPress site to host this blog as well.  All coming soon… 

During my college years, when I lived in Boston, I fell in love with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach who I was introduced to by my musical mentor and friend Dr. Joseph Gabriel Maneri during a “love in musical happening” at a private residence in Brookline Massachusetts…  This meeting inspired me to become obsessed with the mystical teachings from the Tanakh, Kabbalah, and other sacred Jewish books.

Although I am not Jewish by heritage, (go figure) I studied Jewish mysticism passionately for a time with Dr. Seymour Simches at Tuft’s University and was the bass player in a Klezmer band for a local Messianic Jewish congregation in Needham Massachusetts.  Much of what I say here is based on insights I learned during that time which may or may not reflect common Jewish tradition or beliefs…  Think of this as an inspired impression from a converted choir member who has also studied many other mystical traditions from around the world.

Today, I am feeling a love happening of a different kind coming on strong! The powerful sounds of the Shofar fill my inner consciousness!  Its abundant life sustaining energy is helping us all build a new sustainable and prosperous community life here on Orcas Island!

Earlier this morning I was thinking about the meaning of Rosh Hashanah in the bible.  I see this day as a symbolic tribute to the creation of Adam & Eve.  Therefore Rosh Hashanah is a celebration of all humanity, (all of creation for that matter) as well as a certification directly from G-d that, no matter what… we will be abundantly provided for in every way possible!

I also see this day symbolizing a promise that our deepest mysteries and wonders will be revealed to us… slowly… a bit at a time… year after year.  We need that time for our conscious awareness to be ready (i.e., the ol’ cliché “when the student is ready, the rabbi will appear" trick).

We witness the fulfillment of that promise looking back…  Most common 21st century wisdom is something that would have been completely incomprehensible a millennium ago!  Humankind must advance in small baby steps which in turn gave us insights about how and where to take our next baby steps.  To go to fast is a formula for destruction as we have experienced during the latter years of our Industrial Revolution, and reflected by the Tower of Babel story.  Going slowly and carefully forward is the correct and responsible acquisition of the fruits from the tree of knowledge… (a gift from G-d that comes only after much time, growth, caution, readiness, and falling in love, so to speak).

Rosh Hashanah is the most important event on the Jewish calendar and It gets two days to boot as well!  It marks the beginning of the most holy of times rivaling only Passover, which reflects yet another supporting covenant made with G-d to protect his people (who love him) from harm and lead them to abundance!

After saying that, I must profess my preference is to attribute G-d, the supreme creative force of the universe, with the feminine principle… Therefore I would paraphrase as “her people” rather than ’his people’, and “people”. My preference is also not limited to Jewish tradition alone.  Many different traditions around the world have the same story (promise-covenant) told in many unique and beautiful ways like the many varied mountain wildflowers that bloom at different times during the summer.  Now is the time for that collective rainbow to shine brightly within emerging sustainable communities of awakened consciousness everywhere.

These ideas are reflected in Vedic wisdom as translated by my Paramesthi Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar in his book “The Holy Science”.  Swami Sri Yukteswar describes an epic cyclical journey of consciousness experienced by humankind as well as all other physical manifestations of consciousness.  This epic journey has been going on since the beginning of the creation of this universe, estimated by many physicists to be something around 14 billion years!  Our solar system alone is about 6 billion years old!

My belief around this subject is that many civilizations (maybe hundreds or even thousands) have risen and fallen on this planet in ascending and descending cycles of consciousness for an extremely long  time, much longer than we currently know.  These civilizations were also possibly not of the same physical manifestation we now understand human life to be, or may experience in the future, but that connected consciousness continues unbroken throughout.  Only our knowledge of it has been hidden during the dark periods… Our knowledge and awareness returns during the light periods when we reach an ascended state of consciousness ready to receive it again.

The sounding of the shofar symbolizes the breath of G-d (e.g., Ruach - Prana - Chi - Holy Spirit) sounding, proclaiming, the powerful birth of our universe into existence!  This idea is reflected and supported by the rule that the shofar is not to be played during Shabbat.  (The day of rest is not the time to be making new universes, LOL.)

Now on that note, (no pun indented) I am going to talk about Tantric Yoga…  Years ago when I joined the Navy out of high school, I was initiated into the Kriya Yogic path originally taught in the USA by Swami Paramhansa Yogananda.  I resonated most with pranic breathing and sound as my main style of meditation (i.e., Pranayama) The practice of Pranayama was first taught to westerners in India by Paramhansa Yogananda’s guru dev, Swami Sri Yukteswar before the turn of the century. 

This tradition emphasizes the feminine power of creation…  A power that flows through us abundantly at all times.  The flow is infinite and unrestricted in potential.  This life giving creative power is naturally restricted during our normal daily lives through a balance of nature mechanism required for a normal healthy life and the procreation of offspring.

We can, over time, through wisdom, and daily practice of meditation, learn how to go beyond our natural limitations and open the cosmic valve to receive an increase in the flow of prana through our bodies without harm.  When this happens we experience a powerful increase in physical vitality, the development and refinement of physic powers, and the ultimate ability to create, feed, and preserve life from conscious intention alone.

The power of love keeps us on track, but ignorance, judgment, and fear, can take us to the dark side where pranic life forces invert and become a destructive recycling agent returning our essence and mis-represented powers back into the void.  This burning, destructive, recycling attribute is symbolized through stories about the goddess Kali in Hindu traditions.  It’s all necessary for maintaining an overall healthy balance of nature (creation) throughout the universe.  You could metaphorically call it our universe’s immune system.

The myth that you could have your life force taken or drained by bad people, vampires, or evil spirits is not true because the source of all life is not stored up within us…  It constantly flows through us like sacred water through an invisible circulation system (called chakras). Prana, ruach, chi, or ‘life force' permeates and interfaces with our physical bodies through this network of chakras.

This multidimensional matrix of chakras is the framework behind all manifested life everywhere. It is infinitely omnipresent!  In fact, this cosmic network permeates and interfaces with all matter, so to be drained of life force is not possible because its like an ubiquitous wild river, not a singular stagnant pond.  It is possible to be fooled or scared into cutting yourself off from this flow life force though. That is where spiritual warfare comes into play.  We are our own worst enemy!  Ignorance and fear being dissolved by Love is the true path.  Otherwise ignorance and fear eventually dissolves life… “The wages of sin is death”

Over the years I have studied and been initiated into other esoteric, spiritual, and occult practices…  These other traditions all reinforce the same universal principals I learned through the practice of Kriya Yoga.  "Truth is one... Humanity gives it different names"  In particular the popular emergence of Tantric Yoga, comes from the same Shakti tradition as Pranayama comes from.  The practices are the same thing in essence coming from different schools…

Many westerners are attracted to Tantra because they think it will improve their sex lives.  It will in fact do that, but to remain focused on sex is a tragic road block to so much more potential!  Sex is connected with our natural human survival DNA coding to procreate our species but it goes no further to do anything beyond that initial first step.  Many of our religions do nothing to help that situation either...

The bible teaches we have an unlimited potential to move mountains, and more…  But the majority of humankind is not ready for anything more powerful than the ability to make babies.  At least that was the case before the ten year evolutionary shift we experienced leading up to 2012.  Now many are experiencing spontaneous initiations and experiences that took years of rigorous formal practice to attain in former ages.  This trend is accelerating even more now in 2014

There are many circuit breakers installed within us to stop at sex and go no further.  This is for our own self protection because the act of sex turns the life force gasoline valve way up for a short period of time, sufficient enough to spawn a new independent life during conception.  This is a natural ability and limitation built into us all from birth… If there were no limitations we would soon burn to a crisp as a species in the resulting chaos due to our inability to consciously handle and control the sudden increase of infinite power at any given time we may be in the mood for sex.

Through regular practice of meditation, focused on absolute love, we will evolve and learn to develop responsibility, credibility, and a deep love and respect for everything.  When that happens we begin to experience gift states of ecstasy far beyond a simple sexual orgasm, accompanied by powerful insights of knowledge and abilities to open the valve even more and focus more and more pranic energy without fear, for the purpose of healing, age reversal, sustenance without the need for physical food, and many other wonderful gifts of the spirit.

A growing internal cosmic love provides a safe platform for this powerful transformation and growth.  Continue to nurture and stay focused on that love, (Bhakti Yoga) and all will be fine!  It is an easy path… You will learn to handle everything when the time comes and you are ready.  Don’t push… let it flow, while gently holding back at the same time, not out of fear, but rather through knowledge, wisdom, awareness, love, and powerful intention…  That’s the secret!  Accompany that with lots of singing, blowing the shofar, dancing, and making love with everything in the universe.  Ketivah VaChatimah Tovah!!

(copyright © Sept 25, 2014 by D. Ben Sheppard, some rights reserved)