Geometry, Chi, & Magick

About 5 minutes ago I was in meditation. Asking for my next step I get the nudge to write about mathematics, or more specifically, geometry in meditation. So here I am.

For decades the tesseract as drawn on paper has fascinated me. Here’s a video I found which has some mind boggling animation to ponder.

This is the key. Mind boggling. Anything to shutdown my local, physical brain for a while opens doors in my mind. Those doors lead to some very curious places in the mind-scape.

Another visualization I have been playing with has been folding space. What would it look like if you grabbed a piece of the fabric of the Universe in each hand and brought them together?

All I’ve gotten so far is what looks like a star field popping into my mind’s eye. Should be fun to explore.

The point of this exercise is the shutdown of my local brain experience. Getting the explainer to go play somewhere while I go deeper into other experiences.

Or just observe and learn.

One idea I will experiment with next is using geometry or the folding space process combined with chi. I am curious what will happen when I channel energy into the experience. Both with and without intention.

Be interesting to see what and possibly who might show up and join me for tea and a chat.

11:11 and Synchronicities

Train went by at 11:11 AM yesterday as I arrived at the park. Stenciled on the front and back was

“DO NOT HUMP”

A few minutes later I took the above picture.

Beth is big on the 11:11 thing. So when I saw 11:11 on my phone I admit I did pause to contemplate what the intersection of myself and the train at 11:11 AM was meant to tell me.

I don’t really have an answer. The entire Universe though can be thought of as a symbol machine talking with us continuously. Figuring out the meaning of those symbols usually is the domain of our subconscious.

I am still waiting to see what pops into my consciousness related to this train thing.

How Not to be Hypnotized by Software Consulting Clients

This morning I had a fascinating conversation with my friend Bob. He’s been a consultant since forever. Programming since the 70s. We get together weekly to connect and share about life, technology and spiritual matters.

Since I’ve been struggling with how to talk with potential clients and get to their pain points Bob offered to role play this morning. He was playing the prospective client.

Here’s what happened.

Years of practice and training around being in a heart centered space of awareness went out the window. Sure, I was reaching a surface level of engagement. There was no connection building though. Which meant I wasn’t developing trust and rapport. Which meant I was not getting to the HEART of the problem my “client” was facing.

Why was this happening?

Simple.

I was in my head. Literally. In. My. Head.

My vision had narrowed. I was aware of ego processes kicking in. Even my awareness of my body below my neck was pretty limited!

As a result we weren’t connecting, the client wasn’t able to share what was really going on in his business, and we never got past surface conversation. This has been happening with me forever! In certain contexts shifting out of my heart awareness is an unconscious habit. I become hypnotized!

Dropping into my heart after debriefing shifted the rest of the conversation dramatically. My friend could feel the difference, too. All of the sudden my ability to ask questions leading to deeper understanding. Ego processes floated off. He could feel the openness and safe space for sharing created by my shift to heart awareness.

Making the shift was pretty simple. I put my attention on my physical heart. My field of vision relaxed. Every inhalation comes in through my heart, every exhalation goes out through my heart.

Two things are happening. First, you are paying attention to your breathing. A practice that goes way back for controlling our thought processes. Second, we are shifting our attention to our hearts.

There’s something about how you direct your physical attention that shifts your mind. I suspect it must light up a bunch of heart neurons that shift how our brains work when we place our attention on our heart. Remembering to stay in our heart awareness when talking with prospective consulting clients is the big trick!

Death, Meditation, and Recursion

Today is a day of hypnotherapy, software development, and remembering a new friend in my life. He was called and inspired to serve and relieve the suffering of others. My new friend died recently while out hiking. While I am writing this my wife is with his widow. We don’t know and don’t control when our path in this life transitions to whatever comes next.

Michael Singer’s books “The Untethered Soul” and “The Surrender Experiment” are helping me remember aspects of my growing self-realization. Looking back I feel like in some ways, I took a 25 year detour. Forgetting practices and habits I new were important. I stagnated in fear for a long time. Though what I learned in those years was apparently what I needed to learn. Which can be a little embarrassing to my ego. All part of my path. Including letting go of the embarrassment. Deaths of a kind.

Lately, I’ve been getting a much more regular schedule of meditation without intention. Which is so simple and SO profoundly helpful. In completely unrelated news, or is it, Chapter 4 of The Little Schemer wrapped up today. Studying recursion (functions that call themselves) in computer programming has been stretching my brain a little.

Living an inspired life is remarkably challenging. So many shoulds are coming at each of us from so many directions. What gets in the way is not what we don’t have. Dropping what we’ve been given by others is the challenge. Should I be focusing on hypnotherapy, software, or ???? Yes!

As I keep dropping beliefs systems I get lighter. Instead of replacing those belief systems I am relaxing into the Self I am before the baggage found me. The toughest part in the growing self-realization is in this bit. I’ve held belief systems for much of my life knowing I would have to eventually drop them. Recently, I reach a threshold of some kind. I think it came from feeling like I lost everything over the last 5 years. Yeah, a bit dramatic. The feeling is there though. The result is being willing to give up everything ego attached in order to be free. Curious process going on here.

Sometimes balancing my diverse interests can be difficult. Egoic- mind wants to attach to one. Instead of letting the flow of Life inspire my next action my mind wants to tell the Universe how everything needs to happen. Why study the Scheme programming language? I don’t know! Yet, I feel drawn. Inspired. I’m also drawn to work with drones. Can’t say why. And when I get a little extra cash I’ll be getting some hardware for experimenting. My step-son asked this morning if he could help with a drone project.

Then there’s hypnotherapy. Programming for the Mind. Another thread in my life getting some focused attention from me. Helping people work with the systems of their mind is very rewarding. Instead of communicating in text with silicone we are working with imagery and feelings. Energy bundles making up belief systems “programmed” by life at some point in our history.

Venturing further gets into some out there stuff. Energy healing, Chi, remote viewing, remote influence …. For some reason, I’m drawn to all this. I still don’t know how all this things fit together. Somehow they are part of whatever Life is inspiring me to do in this Universe.

So, I keep doing my daily practice as best I am able. Thank you James Altucher for your book, Choosing Yourself. James’ book convinced me to attend to my Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual health every day each day. I wasn’t doing a very good job. Neglecting different aspects of my being was very limiting.

Turns out happiness is the foundation not the result of a life well lived. Moving my body, getting enough sleep(!!!), exercising my brain (Ten Ideas a Day!), reading and learning, meditation, love and being loved all keep me happy and tuned into the whispers from Life.

New 30 Day Challenge! Ping Pong Balls and Rubber Mallets!

It’s here!  My new 30 day challenge!  I found this one via Michael Senhoff at HardToFindSeminars.com.  He sent out a newsletter talking about how people are getting lots of cool benefits from exercising their brains.  Working on hand-eye coordination, memory, and simply calculations in a rapid manner is supposed to do fun things to your brain and body.

So, what I’m doing is starting a new routine.  Starting out, I’m bouncing a ping pong ball on a rubber mallet.  So far, I’m up to 28 times right handed, 21 times left handed.  Saying the alphabet forwards and backwards.  Eventually, this will get more complex and I’ll use a heavier mallet with a smaller head.

Results so far?

The girls’ cat, Luna, is intrigued by the ping pong ball.  This might be a coincidental but I had a lucid dream the first night after starting.  And the lucid dream turned into an astral projection episode.  (Felt a pop as I moved through a “solid” structure.)  Been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of some out-of-body traveling!

There’s a warning label on the handle to always where safety glasses when using the mallet.

Dealing with Depression

A friend asked a while back how I handle depression. I thought now would be a good time to share. This time of year can be difficult for many of us. Even when we paint on a smile, sometimes the pain can be intense.

What follows is a personal look at my experiences with depression. Note: I am not trained in any manner to provide health care services of any kind. Please see your professional health care provider.

Depression is something I deal with in a holistic manner. Even now, feeling like I have a handle on it, I don’t trust it to be gone. I do feel like I’ve figured out what I need to keep from having a downward spiral. And if I find myself heading down how to stop it.

What’s worked best for me has been a focus on “putting my O2 mask on first.” I’ve learned to value my life. Even if just a teeny bit at first.

Triggers. I am always on the look out for the first sign of a spiral down. Fear of not having a place to sleep, loss of my children, and other situations are on my watch list.

As a child and young adult, I experienced chronic exposure to emotional abuse and some sexual violations. Research shows this type of experience can have heavy impacts on the physical structure of our brains.

I had to give myself permission to take time. Time to heal. Patience.

Okay, so I may not be the perfect father and it does get me down at times. I do what I can and I am learning to cut myself some slack. Judging myself harshly does not help and can be a trigger. Meditation can help me with perspective.

My core bargain with Spirit was they could take absolutely everything from me in this life but if they took my girls I would quit my journey and we would have to start all over. I had found something to live for.

Holidays are tough as they prefer being with their mother. She does provide a nice home. Certainly more comfortable than this little apartment. Again, gotta cut myself some slack. Continuing to be present so we can home school full time all while starting over after being a stay at home dad isn’t easy. I’m doing what I can and I am grateful they are well taken care of.

Lack of sleep. Too much missed sleep for too many days in a row
is a set up for a spiral down.

Vitamin D is a help. Though good nutrition is essential, too.

Dehydration can lead to a spiral.

Emotional support from friends. Being close to people who love me and who I love.

Gratitude. Very important. Anything will do no matter how tiny seeming. Anything.

    When depression finds me:

  • I sleep.
  • I eat.
  • I exercise. Yoga!
  • I dance. Tango!
  • I make sure I am around positive people.
  • I talk with a friend.
  • I meditate and let go of everything, even if only for a few minutes.
  • I accept how I feel in the moment. Watch and observe myself with compassion.
  • I walk in nature.
  • I talk with my heart, my guides, and my higher self.
  • I find things to be grateful for in life.

I don’t just do one of those things. I do all of them. I remember that I have survived dangerous periods of depression since the age of twelve. I remember I am a survivor.

When I am able to do all those things on a regular basis something else happens. I remember that beyond what’s happening in my brain happiness is waiting in my heart to be shared with the rest of the world.

Never give up. Ever. Many people love you.

Social Brain Hacks: Improve Your Social Life by Sharing Your Passion!

Social Brain Hack: Borrowing States of Mind

After getting divorced and many, many years of spiritual research and exploration I found myself in a strange place. I had lost my innate gregariousness. How the heck do I meet people and have a social life? While you can kind of get away with being a hermit after 20 years of marriage, I wasn’t much fun as a bachelor.

You may have read in my last experiment regarding talking to strangers every day for thirty days. While I did find that it wasn’t very difficult to say hi, I was definitely not creating a meaningful connection. How to deeply engage with strangers at will in any setting was still eluding me.

What I find funny about this is the kind of situations I don’t find intimidating. Airplanes are no problem, I grew up boating on rough water, know what a bullet sounds like when it’s only feet away from my head, and I never feel lost in the woods when I wander off-trail.

Something else that no longer intimidates me (this used to be a fantastically huge problem) is asking women to dance. Well, tango anyways. The more attraction I felt for a woman the worse it would be.

This week though everything changed and I finally pulled it together.

Last weekend, I started wondering what would happen if I could get into the tango mindset in other parts of my life? How would it work to feel the confidence I have in asking a lady to dance a tanda only be talking with a stranger at the dentist office? I actually did this yesterday at the dentist office. Had a nice almost hour long chat with the receptionist while the kids were getting their teeth cleaned. She didn’t get much work done but I did learn people in Bellingham have a distinct accent. She was from Houston and still sounded Texan.

What I finally came to was that what I was looking for went beyond confidence. What was the secret ingredient? Passion! Passion for the dance was the real key. What I feel for and through tango can be used to fuel passion and aliveness in my life in general. That aliveness draws people to you, making connecting with them easy and natural. While the experiment is just starting I’m definitely seeing changes in my social skills.

Of course, life has been quietly showing me the answer for a while now. My last girlfriend told me she had found that passion for tango attractive when we first met at a party. In fact, she later reached out to me to see if there might be a connection between us. It wasn’t about the tango, though, it was about the energy and passion.

For some reason I didn’t catch on at the time. People are looking for that feeling of aliveness. Choose to find it in your own life. Let the energy permeate your being and live through you. People will find you.

30 Day Talk to Strangers Challenge Wrap Up

Wow!  What an experience! A couple of months ago I decided I needed to make a change in my life.  My tool of choice was the 30 day challenge.

A 30 day challenge is where you decide to try something new in your life.  It could be anything from giving up a habit, to changing your diet to shifting your mindset.  Anything.

Check out Matt Cutts blog http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/pick-30-day-challenge/ for some examples.  Tim Ferris http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/01/07/the-power-of-less-leo-babauta-zen-habits/ has some good ideas, too.

What inspired me to commit to talking to at least one stranger every day for 30 days?  As is typical, when my higher self needs my attention or has a lesson for me a lovely lady is often involved.  The lesson must be pretty important because this woman is quite something.  Physical beauty is nice and all but can only get you so far.  She’s also smart, funny, sensitive, emotionally aware, etc….  After an encounter which involved a layer of permafrost forming in my brain I got the message.  It was time to do something.

What was that something?  Small steps are pretty important if I want to make changes in my life.  Action of any size rules the day.   In this case, I decided it was time to say hi to a stranger everyday for 30 days.  Any further conversation was a bonus.  The action was small and non-threatening for me.  At the same time that small action could could open the door to bigger experiences.

How did it turn out?  Well, first off, out of the 30 days there were two days I didn’t find a stranger.  Unless, you count clerks and sales people at stores.  Which I didn’t since they are paid to say hi.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Not talking with strangers had become a habit.  There was a time when I didn’t have any problem with conversation.  Stress and not taking care of myself emotionally and physically had  messed with my head causing me to pull back.  Throw in an attractive woman and my talker would go into a coma.  With repetition this became a default behavior.
  • Missing a couple of days was a challenge to the perfectionist part of me!  Flaws and imperfections are part of the beauty of this life.  They aren’t always fun or comfortable but in the end they are part of the picture we are painting.
  • After the first week, I realized I would have to venture forth.  People are habitual creatures, like zebras they go to the same places at the same times to do the same things.  Finding new people to meet often means breaking those patterns.  Finding new social groups to tap into or new coffee shops to visit, for example.
  • Everyone is waiting for everyone else to make the first gesture.  Fear and  insecurity are everywhere.  Saying hi to a complete stranger in a public place opens a door.  From what I’ve seen, the vast majority of people are thrilled if someone will open the door to a conversation.  The exchange may be just a few words but it clearly makes people happy.
  • In order to be consciously engaged and interested in someone else I needed to be accept myself.  It’s enough to be as I am, right now.  I thought I was there before starting the 30 days.  Nope.  Loving and accepting myself allows me to love accept others.  The more fully I can do the former the deeper I can do the latter.
  • Setting the intention to make a small change for a limited period of time allowed me to expand make a long lasting change in my life.  And that change is leading to other shifts!
  • Happiness has nothing to do with externals.  Wealth, beauty, etc. we all know the list.  Authentic happiness comes from inside.  If we take care of ourselves by eating well, sleeping enough, exercising, challenging ourselves intellectually, being around people who love us and whom we love, and engaging with some spiritual aspect of life happiness shows up!  And that happiness opens the door to sharing lovely conversations with strangers.

There you have it.  Thirty days of saying hi to people I’ve never talked with before in my life.  My next challenge?  I’m not sure.  I’m leaning towards developing a photographic memory.  We’ll see!  I’ll let you know here when I figure it out.

Happiness and Being Enough

Facebook is asking me “What’s on my mind?”

This spring I realized I was pushing people in my life away or creating a distance.

Why?

Because I was judging myself with standards and criteria given to me and not meeting those expectations. From finances to being a father and all the other things that have to do with the present circumstances of my life. Ironically, I wouldn’t judge my friends by those standards. Just myself.

Then one day not that long ago I was pulling up to a stop sign. And I was thinking about one day needing to replace the car. From that thought a domino of thoughts toppled into my consciousness. All things that kind of sucked in life at the moment.

The last domino toppled as I came to a stop at the intersection. In that moment I could feel inside myself this core of happiness. None of the worries really mattered. No matter what my life was or wasn’t I was at my core happy.

Someday I’ll be in a wonderful relationship, my kids will get past their teen years, my body will heal, my business and financial life will be fine, and I’ll even be able to retire my car. And even if nothing changes, who I am in the moment is still enough.

30 Day Challenge Update Day 10

Ten days into this challenge and what have I learned?  First, I wasn’t having a problem talking with strangers in general, per say.  This is actually one of the possible outcomes of doing a 30 day experiment in your life.  You discover whatever it is you’re wanting to learn or change isn’t really what you thought it was when you started.

First off, as soon as I decided to start talking with strangers I did.  Without any problem.  Setting my intention to do it was enough.  Sometimes just a “Hi.” Hi was enough though.

Okay so no problem greeting people in general.  By watching myself through the day, who I was having trouble talking with became obvious.  Women I found attractive (as in, potentially someone I might want to ask on a date) AND were not in a familiar social context, like a milonga.  Even then I could say hi without a problem.  Where I really choked was on having a conversation beyond hi.  Yeah, brain freeze.

What was behind the brain freeze?  A couple of really important ideas which I may have covered in the last post.  (I’m not going to look it up.  And yes I am feeling that lazy at the moment.)

  • Being too concerned with making a good impression.  What I relearned for the umpteenth time  was it’s much better to make an authentic impression.
  • People remember how you make them feel, not so much the specific words you said.
  • Authentically, having no expectation.  No hoped for result.  Just in the moment conversation about things we have in common.

What this all came down to was letting go of the ego-driven fears.  It’s taken being willing to practice a little each day.  Small success and a limited time commitment make the exercise much less threatening.