Posted by: Jay | May 5, 2015

cave

cave

 

Yesterday a friend from down the coast shared with me a cave from their ‘backyard.’

The limestone cave was multi-chambered, and one could crawl through small passages into dark spaces.

Stalactites and bats hung from various parts of the roof.

In the furthest recesses of the cave, oxygen was sparse. cave1

Sitting quietly and allowing the cave to permeate, past initiations and ‘shamanic’ use drifted into being.

Darkness, reduced oxygen, sitting in the bowels of the mountain for long periods in a fasted state, the cave indeed was a sacred being, sharing visions and connections.

cave2She surrendered up some of her mysteries as we sat for some time.

We paid our respects, also to the bats and the people who have come before us, and made our way back out towards daylight.

Posted by: Jay | January 12, 2015

rock massage

rockmassageOne of the work hats I wear is as masseur, massaging holidaymakers at a local guest house. During the Christmas/New Year break it is busy and the body takes a beating. Especially so, when you consider that there seems to be an increasing number of heavyset people, perhaps a sign of the times. Using the legs rather than bending the back is important, but even with sound technique, deep tissue massage is demanding.

So what does a masseur do to work out the kinks and strains in their own back?

A rock massage!

I find beach pebbles and larger rocks ideal. I strip down to the waist and to increase blood circulating into the area, gently roll from side to side, then top to bottom by sliding up and down. I continue to do this in sections, first the lower back, then middle and finally upper section. The beauty of rocks is they have angular edges and some stand up higher than others, and so one can utilise these to get deep into the knotty areas of the back. By simply adjusting ones position one can accurately work into a particular muscle by increasing pressure and moving more vigorously as needed. It works exceptionally well.

I work with beach rocks in other ways too.

Rolling on cold or cold, wet beach rocks has an invigorating effect on the body, similar to cold water immersion, whereas sun heated rocks are great for focussing increased heat into an area for muscular relaxation. Paradoxically both hot or cold can achieve similar results depending on how they are used, thanks to the body’s homeostatic mechanisms.

On other occasions I will also go free-form, rolling along the beach pebbles so the front of body also receives the pressure and friction of the rocks. This is good for various glands in the body as well as beneficial for metabolic processes, the nervous system and overall circulation.

Posted by: Jay | January 7, 2015

a pain in the head

022This morning I awoke with a headache.
I ambled off for the Headland, and in particular Lighthouse Cove, where most mornings I can be found moving – or sitting – amongst rock, cave or ocean.
The movements I make – or not – depend mostly on circumstance: tide, wind, temperature, energy levels, or as was the case today, pain.
Over the years I have developed a way to make many pains go away.

Heres what I do:
I prefer to be barefoot, to feel the rock, or sand, or water directly, to maximise the connection to the surrounds.
I ensure my breathing is deep and thus circular though no more attention is given to this other than as a starter.
Then, I shift awareness to the area of the pain, not necessarily focussing precisely in on it exactly, but the general vicinity.
That’s pretty much the end of the directed aspect, from then on thinking falls into the background.
I begin to move. The particular area of the pain directs the movement.
It can be very trance-like, so the movements I make can be difficult to recall exactly afterwards, but in this case I believe head rolling, face distorting, twitching, blinking and snorting occurred.
Sometimes parts of the landform are incorporated.
There is no set time duration, the process lasts as long as it lasts.
The results are excellent.

I guess the general idea behind the method is that the pain is moved along by energy ‘tied up’ in the area of the body.
I believe that qigong practitioners do something similar although, I understand they tend to focus on particular acu-points in the body and have a more ordered manner in comparison to my loose free-form approach.

This morning I had just finished when a fisherman appeared close by. He must have observed at least some of my haphazard gyrations and twitchings as he approached.
He passed-by very quickly, not looking up, head set down looking at his feet.
With a smile I walked out from the cove the way he had come in.
The headache was gone.

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Posted by: Jay | January 4, 2015

where cliff marries with sea

cove1

Heart-felt gratitude. Pausing on descent to Lighthouse Cove.

cove2

Cliff, sky, vegetation, rocks, shadows, waves, winds, sun – all, and more, vibrate through body.

cove3

Sometimes in movement….

cove3

…and sometimes in repose.

Posted by: Jay | December 15, 2014

a week up the headland

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Posted by: Jay | December 12, 2014

rock

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Posted by: Jay | November 16, 2014

monolith valley

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Posted by: Jay | October 31, 2014

The Tao of Lighthouse Cove

oct

 

 

Lowtide rockpool.

Like a reed in the wind – in accord with the Tao – an Octopus morphs with incoming waves.

watch

 

 

 

 

 

A Sea Eagle watches from the cliff above.

The waters cloud with every flow, become transparent on the ebb.

The Octopus shapeshifts into a crack.

And vanishes.

Posted by: Jay | October 23, 2014

biological enlightenment

steps

The following post was inspired by a conversation with The Necromancer

For many years my deepest desire was enlightenment.
To this aim, I would spend large chunks of time meditating or in solitude, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month.
Then, one night completely out-of-the-blue something happened.
But what occurred, bore no resemblance to what I originally hoped might happen.
Previously, I had thought that enlightenment would be achieving a quiet mind, a harmonious mind, attaining some state of bliss or happiness, or being able at will to control or manipulate mind to this end.
However, what took place, and I use the word enlightenment very reluctantly (with the rider it means 100 things to 100 people) as one has no way of knowing anything about ‘it’ at all because ‘you’ is not, and thus ‘that state’ is actually no state of mind at all.
(Perhaps naturalness is a better description, but then that word has its varied connotations too.)
After this event I observed that this naturalness had become the default setting. Thought had receded completely into the background until the demand was there, that is, when thought was needed to perform some activity, etc, it would come to the fore for the duration of the function it was needed, and then burn up of its own volition.
So ‘it’ was/is not a thoughtless state; thought comes and goes as necessary but the desire to do anything about the movement of thought, had ceased.  It (thought) happened as it happened. All the previous efforts to find enlightenment, bliss, Truth, whatever came to a permanent end.
One could say there were thoughts when needed, but they were not ‘my thoughts’ or ‘your thoughts’, nor my mind or your mind.
For what its worth, if I was to speculate I could theorise that ‘mind’ is the totality of all that has been known, felt and experienced by mankind, and ones thoughts reflect ones ‘connection’ to but part of this totality of ‘mind’, as dictated by individual background – ie – schooling, culture, nationality, wealth, career, society, religion, spirituality, etc, etc.
Furthermore, I feel enlightenment is physiological not psychological. One could even say that there is no such thing as enlightenment as the organism is already enlightened, its just that the separateness thought establishes is the barrier, unless there is some powerful change.
In my opinion what happened was a change in brain wiring, an alteration in the neurology of the organism at a biological level.
In hindsight, I believe that naturalness occurred in spite of the meditation, or even if it did play some role (and one could not definitively say) it was not in taming mind, or controlling thought, or accessing higher dimensions of mind. If anything, the long and continued periods of meditation caused a stress or tension on the organism, and it was this that facilitated a change to the neurological wiring in the brain. The change was a biological surrender, not something that I thought I would do, but rather the organism as a whole dictated thus.

Posted by: Jay | October 15, 2014

stress & the continuity of thought

pathIn my opinion the human organism is designed to handle stress.
Man has probably always been subjected to stress, whether it is evading the clutches of a wild beast, or getting out the way of an out of control motor vehicle.
Or, feeling stressed during a heated tribal disagreement, or a fast approaching work deadline.
In my opinion, the problem is not the experience at the time – the body can handle these things – it is the stress does not cease when the actual experience finishes. That is, thought continues the experience long after the event.

Parable
An old Eastern parable that goes something like this (excuse my inaccuracy of the actual story, but the thrust remains the same):
Two monks were at a river ready to cross and found a pretty woman on the bank who was afraid the running water may sweep her to her death if she attempted to make the crossing. One of the monks offered to carry her across, much to the consternation of the other monk who believed doing so contravened their moral code.
However, they all managed to cross safely, the woman went her way, and the monks continued walking in silence.
Much later, the monk who was against helping the woman said to his companion, ‘you know you shouldn’t have done that.’
The other monk replied ‘I put her down on the riverbank more than an hour ago, but you are still carrying her now’
A nice story I think.

Events
Myself, various sages and seers (or sundry ‘crazies’ as perceived by many) over the years have said that life is a series of independent events, that it is thought, that we believe to be ‘I’,  that links them together.
Furthermore, the sages say that ‘freedom’ or ‘enlightenment’ or ‘acceptance’ is not some state of perpetual bliss, because bliss is but another experience of thought.
No, it is that whatever event that occurs in life, that experience has a life of its own for the duration of the event.
That life includes whatever thoughts and emotions that may incur, from unhappiness to happiness, anger to joy, etc, etc, and all the associated neuro and hormonal activity during that event IS harmonious functioning of the body. Then the experience is finished.
But, when whatever the experience may be, is carried on beyond the actual event, then the organism undergoes prolonged stress to a greater degree than otherwise would occur. And health and wellbeing can become compromised.

Clouds

So to use an analogy: some experiences are like rain clouds, dark and heavy. Other experiences are light and airy. But all clouds are part of the sky. They come, they go. It’s just that we try to hang on to some experiences and be rid of others.

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