Thursday, November 30, 2006

Experiment: Two Points of Presence

For this experiment you will need a potted plant or stone and your trusty timer.

Sit on the floor in lotus position, or as they said in my politically incorrect pre-school days, "Indian style". Place the plant or stone on the floor approximately three feet in front of you. Set your timer for five minutes.

Your hands should be resting on your knees palms up.

Gaze at the plant or stone in front of you. place all of you attention on yourself as if you were gazing inwardly at yourself. Invoke your presence. You may help this along by saying, "I invoke the presence of my presence into the present."

When you feel that you are in contact with yourself split you attention between your own presence and the plant or stone. You will be gazing inwardly at yourself and outward at the plant or stone simultaneously.

Maintain this state of attention for the duration of the five minutes.

You may wish to perform this experiment daily for a predetermined number of days; for example: three, seven, or thirteen.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Something in Nothing

You are alone.

I am communicating nothing to you. Tendrils of life reaching in every direction are seeking confirmation that they do exist. When they connect for a brief moment it seems as if you have
found it at last, what you reached for. What you have reached for in the abyss is the inside of your own face.

You are alone.

Every connection you make with the Other is a brief and fleeting moment in a lonely game of "head, shoulders, knees, and toes". There are tendrils delighting in the game right now, feeling the delight and wonderment in finding oneself in another tangible tendril of somethingness that can shortly fade back into nothingness. There is nothing to do but summersault endlessly inside to out .
There is electricity in the motion of connecting. There is an everlasting existence in nothingness and a reoccurring somethingness.
Each time you are swallowed back into your own voidness you wish you would have done more in the somethingness. At this time it is likely that the nothingness out weighs the somethingness and the only way to create more somethingness in which to dwell is to keep reaching for those other tendrils while you are something...
At present the odds are against you. But don't let a few heartless words from a little something fading to nothing slow you down.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Experiment: Creator, Destroyer, Maintainer

Gather twelve stones.
Upon three of them paint a red triangle,
on another three a yellow square,
on three more a blue circle,
on the final three paint a silver crescent.

Place each group of stones in one of four corners within an enclosed space.
When they are all in place burn a candle for a few minutes in the center of the room.
Sit in front of the candle and gaze at the flame. Extinguish it after 3 minutes have lapsed. Leave the stones in the space if they will be undisturbed.

On the second day set a glass of water in the center of the room. Move one stone from each group into the next group moving clockwise through the room. Sit in front of the glass of water and gaze at it for three minutes. After the three minutes have passed drink the water. Once again leave the stones in place.

On day three, place a feather in the center of the room. Rotate one stone from it's original group counter clockwise into the next group. Sit with the feather for three minutes.

On day four place a thirteenth stone in the center of the room. Do not move any of the smaller stones. Sit with the thirteenth stone for three minutes. Allow this placement to remain intact for the rest of the day.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Structure and Energy

Life flows into structures becoming defined by obstacles and blockages. Life assumes the shape of the vessel into which it is poured. There are structures that trap life so that it grows stagnant within the structure, and there are structures that allow life to flow continually through them. We may think of ourselves as structures defined by our habits, programmed biological computers through which the raw energy of life travels. By transforming our habits we may restructure ourselves to allow life to flow freely through us.
Posture is a basic way to direct the flow of energy. Our bodies are like antennas that can be bent this way or that to pick up various frequencies of life. Paying attention to our physical habits will lend us a clue as to how we are presently processing life, and intentionally building a repertoire of postures that facilitate life will help to change the structure from the outside in. Here we are talking about yoga, sacred dance, tai chi, literally. Physicality is essential.
Our bodies are keys to other planes of existence, they are tools for manipulating realities. Everything is altered by posture, by reshaping structure. Allowing our reality to be shaped by unconsciously formed habits and postures is to be unnecessarily imprisoned. Intentionally forming habits and postures to direct the flow of life consciously is to be a surfer, a magician, a free builder.
Once the structure changes the energy will flow endlessly through it for as long as the structure remains.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Experiment: No I in Abyss

This experiment is best performed with a partner.
Set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour to be together.
During this time neither person is to use the words "I" or "me". Have a conversation without the use of these two words.
It is no good to sit in silence. You may choose to complete a small task together such as baking cookies or playing cards. Something that will force you into a vocal exchange.
If someone "breaks" by using one of the taboo words, simply acknowledge the break and resume the experiment. Keep track of how many times a break of this nature occurs.
This experiment may be conducted for longer periods of time, it can make a long car trip with someone rather interesting.
You may perform the experiment solo as well, but it will have the tendency to be socially awkward. If, however, you have the cojones, then, by all means, try it. Obviously, doing it when you are home alone watching your soaps in the nude is no use. You will need to conduct the experiment during a time when you will have to speak to others.

Self Remembering

Through activity the Being and the personality achieve unity.

Any ordinary activity familiar or not to the personality can become sacred work when the effort arises from the Being. But how do we hand the wheel over to the being? How do we recognize it?

When we are stripped of our personality the Being is what remains. We must devote our attention to the development of raw presence.
The civilized (domesticated) human being has been trained to place the whole of its fleeting attention outside of itself. Civilized humans are in the habit of allowing the attention to wander from stimuli to stimuli.
The first step to developing presence is to train the attention. We must develop the habit of holding something with our attention for prolonged periods of time, more than for the 30 second duration of a commercial, and we must acquire the habit of turning the attention inward.

We could call the ability to direct the attention inward being present, or we could call it self remembering.
There are techniques that can help induce and maintain this state of Being.
As we practice self remembering more and more we will be able to employ it while engaged in any activity.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Moving Towards Symmetry

One basic problem is a lack of symmetry in the modern civilized human. That is to say that the personality is over developed, and the Being is underdeveloped.
The current culture is personality driven, little to no attention is given to developing the Being. A personality driven body of habits will see no point in activities that develop the atrophied hidden Other referred to here as the Being.
A personality driven body of habits may be essentially blind to this other aspect of self.
Neither aspect of self is useful to life on its own. The Being must ultimately eat the personality, thereby achieving a true and permanent Transformation.
The personality must not be "overactive" and the Being must be engaged in the activities facilitated by the personality.
How can we encourage this union?
The only way to change the self is to develop new habits, habits that are not personality driven.
Forming a habit requires activity. The being and the personality are united through activity. This means that you may experience a unity of self while performing ordinary activities, activities the personality is familiar with, as long as the effort arises from the being.
This is easier done than said.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Experiment: Minstrel

Set the timer for 5 min. and the Metronome for 60 bpm.
Begin to tell a story by singing it. (It helps to imagine yourself as a Celtic minstrel.)
Insert measured pauses as you go. They can be of any duration that you desire, the metronome is only there as a point of reference.
Carry the story/song on until the timer sounds.
Pay special attention to the role silence plays in the story and the music that goes with it.


Set the timer for 5 min, and the metronome for 60 bpm.
This time tell the story without words. Imbue the singing with the story telling without actually "telling" it.
This time pay attention to being dynamic. Exaggerate the inflections. If a part of the song is loud and passionate go over the top with it, if it is peaceful and quiet really commit to that. Be sure to give it these parts.
If the song is quiet and peaceful all the way through, it isn’t dynamic.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Experiment: Disciplined Self Indulgence

Every day for one week you will set aside one hour.
On day one do something during the hour that would have been your idea of perfect as a child. You could buy a toy that you would have liked and play with it, or play dress up, or play with bugs, or eat ice cream. Do something for you as if you were a child.
On day two enjoy yourself as if you were a teenager. Go and buy a CD you would have liked, have a bon fire at the beach, go to a concert , play video games, or hang out at the mall, whatever you would have liked then.
On day three eat at your favorite restaurant.
On day four do something active that you enjoy doing now.
Do something that relaxes you on day five and on day six do something that you have always wanted to do.
On the seventh day eat chocolate cake (or your favorite dessert).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Experiment: The Choice

Find three pennies.
Paint one red, one blue, and on the third paint the heads side red and the tails side blue.
Take the blue penny to a music venue, art museum, or theater. Leave it somewhere in or near the building.
Take the red penny to a bank, courthouse, or police station and leave it within.
Take the third home with you.
Faced with a choice between heads or tails, take both.

Any choice based on duality is a lie.
The truth will be found on the edge.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Delicate Effort

There are many ways to work. In other words, there are many physical actions your body can take through which it can energize the process of transformation.
The Great Work is not one set of activities or techniques, but it does require a special way of approaching these activities.
The work you take on must be done with a particular, rather delicate, effort.
Working a lot, simply being a hard worker, is not enough.
Coming alive with the work you do is crucial.
No matter how many years you devote to a mechanical process, it won't suddenly rise out of its own mechanical nature. You end where you start.
Life must be there to begin with.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Experiment: Magic Beans

Those who wish to live a good ordinary life will find no use for these experiments. They will not improve your health or finances. They are not endorsed by the Pope or by the FDA. Therefore you will not acquire any instant heavenly merit or be approved for human consumption.


"If you are a dreamer, come in,
if you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!"
-Shel Silverstein

Go to a gardening center. Look for the section where you may select seeds and purchase a packet of beans, any variety that appeals to you. If you don't have anything available at home, buy some potting soil and a small pot. Pay for the beans separately after purchasing the other items. Give the cashier three times the amount of money they request and leave.
Next, find a candy store and purchase some jellybeans. Once again pay three times the amount due and depart. At home, label an envelope "magic beans". Place a mixture of JellyBeans and real beans in the envelope and read the poem offered above out loud. Then take a real bean from the envelope and plant it in the small pot. If possible keep it near your bedroom window, inside or out, provided there is enough light.
Every night, before bed, eat a jellybean from the "magic beans" envelope. Tend to your planted beans and wait for them to sprout.
Keep a record of your dreams and other observations.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Movement causes electrons to become displaced.
(Heat is movement.)
Displaced electrons = negative ions.
The electrons will be drawn to positively charged protons.

Their quest for unification is electricity.
The important aspect of their dance is the movement, the questing...
that is electricity.

Once they obtain their blessed reunion with protons, the movement has ceased.
The flow has stopped and will lie in wait for a new burst of movement.

Energy is in the movement and not in the arrival.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Experiment: Butterflies

Using a sheet of white paper, cut it into little one inch by three inch strips. You may also use tissue paper. You will need twelve little strips of this size.
Twist them at the center so that they are little avant-garde butterflies. You may use tape to make the center twist more secure or stable.
Kiss life into each of your butterflies and put them in a in a jar. Place a label, or write directly on the jar with permanent marker this sentence: "I am what remains."
Place the jar in a location where you will see it often throughout your day.
The next day remove three butterflies. These three will be sacrificed in water. Set them free into any body of water. The ocean is nice if available, but a river, lake, pond, rain puddle, swimming pool, or bath tub will do.
The following day remove three more butterflies from the jar. These are to be sacrificed in fire. A candle flame, camp fire, or lighter over a sink will do fine. Naturally you should exercise caution.
On day four remove three more butterflies to be sacrificed in earth. Bury them alive in your garden, at a park, along side your favorite hiking trail, or even in the bottom of a small planter.
On day five remove the final three butterflies. These are to be sacrificed in the air. Drop them of a balcony or cliff, attach them to a kite and let the kite go, or use a paper airplane to help them get some lift.
Allow the jar to remain in it's prominent location for 5 more days.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Die Like A Dog

A dog was dying in the street and wondered why he had lived only to die as a dog. He was a mad dog indeed, for what could he have done with his life that would have allowed him to die as anything other than a dog?Could he have escaped this fate?Is it possible that a dog, or even a man, is born with the same magical potential as a caterpillar and that through some special effort he could have affected a transformation of the self? As he, a very wise dog in his moment of dying, was lying there dying, he realized if he had been born a dog, lived as a dog, and died as a dog, chances were good that as he embarked into a mysterious existence after the moment of his death, he would continue to be a dog.
It dawned on him that if the afterlife mirrored the life he presently recalled, then he would no doubt die as a dog doomed to be born as a dog at the end of his afterlife.
He realized that even if his death sent him forward into a high and heavenly realm, his habits would still be those of a dog, and that butt sniffing, leg humping and slipper chewing would likely eject him from that space reserved for other activities.
Now, alas it was too late to form new habits, he was already on his way... but nonetheless, he wondered, what could the meaning and purpose of life be?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Habits at the Doorway

We have developed certain habits to avoid an awakened state.
To be clear, here we are not talking about the general habits that you may have that are not conducive to the waking state in a general way. We are talking about habits that the machine has developed that only come into action when the waking state is close. As soon as the doorway to waking life is within view, then these particular habits will emerge.
If we can bypass these habits, we can enter an awakened state.
Each person's set of preventive habits is individual. It becomes necessary for the individual to recognize the habits so that they can gradually learn to bypass them. This can't be done in a hurry. It takes time first to identify them, then to isolate them, to work with them and eventually to learn to sneak by them.
Once we reach the awakened state we can develop new habits.
This is the ultimate goal of Work on Self.

Being awakened is not the goal, it is the means through which we can reach the goal.

To change the unconscious habits of the machine is known as Transformation.

Transformation can achieved only during the awakened state.

Turn it on. Work on it. Change it. Turn it off.
Come back later.

Experiment: Beads of the Moment

Obtain a length of string, yarn, or cord and 12 beads.
You need to be able to string the beads easily, so be sure that everything is of a compatible size. Ideally you should use red, yellow, sky blue, or natural wood beads and a red, yellow, or black cord.
Find a quiet space where you will be undisturbed for the duration of this experiment.
Take a moment to invoke your presence into the present. Feel as if you are looking inward at yourself.
When you have a grasp on this first act of self remembrance, transfer part of your attention to the string and the beads. You will now be looking inward at yourself as well as outward at your work materials.
Tie a knot in one end of the string to prevent the beads from slipping off of the length. Maintain your level of presence and attention.
Inhale, intoning the sound "hum" as you place a bead on the string. Tie a knot behind the bead and exhale with "sa". Again create the "hum" sound as you inhale and place another bead on the strand and exhale with a "sa" as you tie a knot behind the bead. Continue this rhythm until all twelve beads of the moment have been strung with the thread of you attention.

Friday, November 10, 2006

What Would Bond Do?

In an old episode from The Flintstones, Fred is mistaken to be "Rocky Bond" and both him and Barney are taken to a mysterious island by an arch-villain to be killed. Of course, they are terrified and at a loss. At one particular moment, Barney asks Fred: "What would Rocky Bond do?" and as they answer that question, they find their way out of their predicament.
Who is Bond? A man without fear and without insecurities.
Finding ourselves in a particular predicament, it is useful then to ask: "What would Bond do?"
or, in other words:

What would the Being do if I was suddenly free of all fear and insecurity?

The beauty of the question is that it can be answered. And not with generalities, but with very specific actions that we can see before us and that fit the particular situation that is before us.

We can develop a habit of asking ourselves this question in small, daily situations. As the habit becomes stronger, we will be able to ask it when we find ourselves in a mysterious island away from our home and with nobody else around to help us.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Experiment: Ancient Aquatic Reptile

To conduct this experiment you will need to obtain an artificial ancient aquatic reptile. Your reptilian replica must be fabricated in a waterproof medium. A small rubber alligator or crocodile will do nicely.
Every day for seven days give your ancient aquatic reptile a bath. You may bathe with your reptile, or allow it to bathe on its own. It may be bathed in a sink or tub, the rule is that it must always be bathed in a place that you would find suitable if you were an artificial aquatic reptile.
Use bubble bath, or essential oils, light candles, play music, the more you can do to set the mood for an enjoyable soak the better.
Treat this replica with great care. Each bath should be at least 20 minutes long. During this time give it the benefit of your presence and attention in the moment. Scrub its back, make it swim, let it rest on your stomach.
Keep your ancient aquatic reptile wrapped in a towel or a bit of cloth and stored in a safe place between bathing. You may opt to bring your bathing beauty to bed with you and sleep with it on a pillow near your head.
Keep a record of your observations each day and take note of any dreams you have during the course of the seven days.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Experiment: Reverse Absorption

Set yourself up with a timer paper and pencil at a table.
You need enough space to walk safely around the table and enough privacy to conduct this experiment without raising eyebrows.
Read the following text out loud three times:

waj gnilims yltneg htiw
ni seihsif elttil semoclew dna
walc sih daerps yltaen woh
nirg ot smees eh yllufreehc woh
elacs nedlog yrve revo eliN eht fo sretaw eht htab dna
elat gninihs sih evorpim elidocorc elttil eht htod woh

Then walk backwards around the table three times.
Walk slowly and deliberately. Be present with each step as if you are engaing in a walking meditation(which in fact you are.)
When you have completed the third backwards circling of the table, reverse your direction and walk around the table three more times, this time walking forwards.
Maintain the meditative pace.
Be aware of each time your foot connects with the floor.
When you have completed your rounds sit down at the table. Set the timer for 9 min.
Begin to write anything that comes to mind. It need not be orderly.
It can be streams of words, ideas, descriptions of images called to mind, a poem, scene, or short tale. Whatever you produce is fine.
Keep going until the timer sounds, no matter how far of a stretch it seems.
Pay special attention to any dreams you have during the night following this experiment and journal about them. On the following day read the text one more time carefully. Record your final observations.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Journal

Keeping a journal of your experiments as well as of your dreams is important.
The impact of these experiments will best be measured by your dreams. If our little experiment goes as planned, the experiments presented to you, should act as seeds. The only way to note the growth of the seeds is to monitor the rich soil of the subconscious. By observing and recording our dreams, we may determine if there is in fact something growing, and further, this attention may cause whatever is growing to blossom within our ordinary consciousness. Do not, however, despair if the design of things does not become "concrete" in a way that satisfies your waking consciousness. Remember that not all plants are fruit bearing, and even without satisfying the hungry ego, they may be deserving of a chance at life.
We therefore recommend that in addition to conducting these experiments, you keep record of them. Date your entries well and note all thoughts, sensations, apparent outcomes, and experiences that accompany the experiment. In addition, keep a well dated journal of your dreams.
And most importantly:
Maintain your sense of adventure and never give in to the urge to "find a point". "Finding a point" can foster a virulent form of "herbicide" that will ultimately ravage the garden we must strive to tend.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Experiment: Mirror

For this experiment you will need a partner.
Find a space where your movements will not be restricted.
For this experiment there will be a leader and a follower. Decide who will play which role first and set a timer for ten minutes.
Stand facing each other to begin.
Spend a few moments establishing Being to Being contact.
The leader will begin moving slowly and the follower will mirror the movements. Remain in contact as you move. Allow the motions to be slow and fluid.
Without breaking the flow, switch the roles of follower and leader. By keeping your attention on you partner and remaining present you will allow this switch to transpire smoothly.
You may manage to switch back and forth several times during the course of the ten minutes.
Remember that the aim is to remain relaxed and connected. Don't force the switches. If you are both present with each other in the movements, natural moments for the switch will present themselves.
When the timer sounds come to a slow stop.
Bow to your partner and thank them.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Small Steps Towards Real Will

As we begin work on our true eternal muscle: The Will, it is important that we take things very slowly. The basic task is to decide clearly what to do, to write it down and then to do it.
Easier said than done... Literally.
So take it easy. Start with things that are so easy and simple that it's nearly impossible that you won't be able to do them.
Breaking a major agreement with yourself is far more detrimental than choosing to make only small agreements.
It is not the content of the agreement that matters. It's the process of making a statement of intent and doing as you intended. Taking baby steps is more useful than attempting to perform an acrobatic feat only to land on your face.
Taking these small steps daily is habit forming.
Many small successes make for a better habit.
As the habit grows, so does the Real Will.
Paradoxically, taking things slow will make this happen faster.