Empty Mind

Today, Becca wrote a haiku mentioning “empty mind” among other things here. Her haiku got me to thinking about “empty mind.” So many spiritual traditions teach you to empty your mind so that you might “receive.” I can remember years ago, most likely in my late twenties or early thirties being told to “let go and let God.” It is interesting to look back and see things through the vernacular of the day. Years ago I studied and practiced shamanism with Michael Harner. More accurately; I studied with him and practiced on my own. He published the Shaman’s Drum magazine. As a shaman one “goes into the void” to seek knowledge, wisdom, truth and healing. At that time I was very interested in healing. The “void” is another manner of emptying one’s mind. I remember my void perfectly. I would travel by car to Lake Carlisle, dive deeply into the ground via this body of water and enter the void. My void was the dark blue night sky filled with stars. It was a very rich and dark, almost velvet sky. I used to travel across it with lightening speed acquiring what it was that I needed, healing, wisdom, spirituality. Have you ever had long periods of time when you felt spiritually void? I am just now coming out of one. I used to criticize myself when I had these periods as if I was sub human. Today I realize that these periods are restful and rejuvenating.

I had an experience with The Christ long ago, an experience of deep and all encompassing love. Among other things this opened me up to the understanding that all religions were simply languages, given by God to the different cultures so that God and the culture could communicate. Thus, bringing more goodness into ones life. So why is it that we constantly war over religion. Perhaps we are too interested in the study of our religion and not in emptying the mind. Empting the mind is fairly egoless. This experience also introduced me to many Christians, first in person and then on line. Forgive me if I offend any of you but for the most part they were not particularly nice people. Not everyone mind you, but many. So, what is it about this “empty mind thing” anyway? I know that it does bring me a calmness.

I have a spectacular view from my bedroom window. It is entirely man made, no greenery and nothing particularly natural. Seven floors up, I look out upon the whole north side of St Louis. Within my vision are several steeples and church spires. But most glorious of all is my view of the Stan Musial Veteran’s Memorial Bridge. I just love it! It is my bridge. I took possession of it the day we moved in here. There is also space where I can watch the traffic. I like to say that I can see the movement of the city. This calms and pleases me. It makes me wish for a wonderful and interesting view for all who are homebound. My mind empties with ease when watching, looking and seeing all that is behind our building. Following is a photo of my bridge taken this morning. At first I had decided to take a photo of it daily for the new year. However, I have decided that I shall only take photos of it randomly when it exhibits extraordinary beauty to me.

I have to tell you that I just looked at a comment from my friend Becca. It is odd how we humans interpret the words of others. She never said empty mind. No, she spoke of empty bedlam, something entirely different. None the less she did inspire me regarding empty mind.

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SLOMO

Yesterday was so cool! It was cool because it gave me an answer 10 years in the making – one that I never really knew that I would get. I have spoken here off and on about a second spiritual experience that I had in 2005. More to the point I have spoken of the results. The results all were all very positive, very! I acquired a eye into the savage brutality of war, I experienced a degree of its pain, I worked with veterans. All in all good results wouldn’t
you say? Yes. I have mentioned this experience as being shamanic in nature. I have described to people, but to be honest it does lose something in the translation. Ah, then there are those who lived through the experience with me. And this is the cool part. I have always known several things about this experience:

1) Friends and family were very worried about the state of my mental health.
2) I hung on for dear life, knowing that I was really alright and that I was doing precisely what I was meant to do.
3) During this 6 week period there was ecstasy and there was agony. I don’t use these terms loosely. It was real.
4) People wished me to get help in the terms of an MD. I knew better and I am glad that I listened to myself. I sought assistance but from those who could help keep me grounded. I sought the assistance of a massage therapist and of an exercise therapist … to help keep me grounded.
5) Yesterday I watched a video in the NYT that I hope to embed below. It is called SLOMO. It is about a doctor who gave it all up for rollerblading. He describes his life of rollerblading. He then goes on to break down his joy in neurological terms. When he did that I knew that he was on to something. But more importantly, I knew that I was on to something. I now know that during that 6 week period in 2005 when I was so joyous, I was in reality high as a kite within my own brain. At that time I was going to the park and hard walking 6 times a day. The result was the same high that this doctor got from rollerblading. It is really, really good to know what happened and to know I was not crazy … as substantiated by the medical field. Click upon the link below and be mesmerized!

SLOMO