Thursday, March 01, 2007

Shift Your Consciousness Internally

The subtle shifts in thinking, the heightened awareness that leads to the alternate states of consciousness and ultimately to the expanded consciousness of enlightenment require practice. Some find the practice difficult, (read hard work), but more find it difficult to make their spiritual practices a priority in their lives.

There are a lot of people I refer to as Ph.D. Shamans, (see Alberto Villoldo; Michael Harner) who have studied and practiced in both the western and shamanic traditions of thought and healing. They are important "opinion leaders" at this epoch of "New Age" cultural development, but we westerners tend to put so much emphasis on credentialism and pedigree that we lose sight of the need for our own practice. I remember a story about Jesus who, being a supremely enlightened individual, encouraged his followers to heal others and to use their faith to create miracles. The followers in turn, (apart from a few Apostles) fell to their knees in reverent worship, almost completely missing the invitation to elevate the spirit of all people and therefore raise the consciousness of the human race. But do we give away our power to cultural heroes and thought leaders in the same way?

I'm afraid we are a society of "tryers." We claim that we "try to get good grades" in school and that we "try to be nice to others," but that word "try" is almost meaningless. I saw a demonstration of this a few years ago and was reminded again recently.
"Try" this yourself - right now. "'Try' to pick-up your pen!"

Did you pick it up?

Either you did or didn't, but what happened in between wasn't trying - not exactly. Presuming you have the physical capacity, what you did, whether you are aware of it or not, is you shifted your consciousness to a space where you intended to do it, (or not), and then effortlessly manifested that intention.

I think that schooling, (in the North American sense), teaches us among other things to forgive ourselves in advance for potential failure. We learn that it's OK to "try" and fail, because the answers are in the back of the book. But when we graduate to real-life questions, where there are no right or wrong answers, that attitude is no longer useful. That attitude leads to the life of "quiet desperation" that H. D. Thoreau talked about... the feeling that we lack the power to change our lives.

A moment ago you shifted your consciousness and effortlessly manifested your intention.

Compare that with your first experience of
dressing yourself or singing or riding a bicycle... Do you get it? We either do something or not. We might not do it well the first few times, (but that might be due to our flagging intention rather than our suitability to the activity).

Now think about meditation. The first time you attempted meditation, did you "intend" to touch that great pool of consciousness... or did you just "try" to meditate? How could your experience change if you began
each meditation session with the belief and intention that you would have a mystical experience?