Friday, January 29, 2010

Lord Love the Duck: Reposing in Infinity

Creatures have volumes to teach us, if only we allow it. Inspiration seems to speak through them -- but not in words.

A dear colleague, Dr. Lucinda Sykes in Toronto, responded to my story about the roadrunner roosting serenely on my patio through last week's storms. Besides being an excellent physician, Dr. Sykes is also a long-time meditator and yoga practitioner. She's truly found her calling: she teaches patients to maintain calm awareness through Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Doctors refer patients with all kinds of anxiety, pain, and suffering to her classes -- and they get good results.

She's also attended some Ho'oponopono trainings with me, and loves God's critters as much as I do. My roadrunner friend reminded her of something.

So she sent me this poem, which she'd received at a meditation retreat:

by Donald C. Babcock

Now we are ready to look at something pretty special.
It is a duck riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf.
No, it isn’t a gull.
A gull always has a raucous touch about him.
This is some sort of duck, and he cuddles in the swells.
He isn’t cold, and he is thinking things over.
There is a great heaving in the Atlantic,
And he is a part of it.
He looks a little like a mandarin,
Or the Lord Buddha meditating under the Bo tree
But he has hardly enough above the eyes to be a philosopher.
He has poise, however, which is what philosophers must have.
He can rest while the Atlantic heaves, because he rests in the Atlantic.
Probably he doesn’t know how large the ocean is.
And neither do you.
But he realizes it.
And what does he do, I ask you. He sits down in it.
He reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity – which it is.
That is religion, and the duck has it.
He has made himself a part of the boundless,
by easing himself into it just where it touches him.
I like the little duck.
He doesn’t know much.
But he has religion.

I love both the little duck, and Dr. Sykes for sharing this poem about him.

Ho'oponopono allows us to "sit down" in the boundless, easing into it -- no matter how much it seems to swell and heave. We can "repose in the immediate as if it were infinity -- which it is." We don't have to know too much. Our little sloped heads are plenty for cleaning, and simply being one with what is.

Thank you, Dr. Sykes, and your little feathered Buddha too.

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lessons from My Ho'oponopono Cleaning Bird

We've had some vicious storms here in Arizona the last few days -- high winds, damaged homes, flooding, road closures, large event tents sailing away and landing on freeways, and some drownings. Not to mention all the snow in Flagstaff and Sedona. It's nowhere near the suffering in Haiti, but enough to get people's attention.

In the midst of it all, a little bird taught me some Ho'oponopono.

During the swirling rain and winds the other night, I went outside to wrestle with my dancing patio furniture. It needed a safer place, closer to the house. While out there, I happened to look up at the patio light . . . . where perched in all its fine fluffery and gawky-long tail was my friend, the Roadrunner.

S/he (I don't know which) visits often, but usually flies away when I come out. This time s/he looked as if sitting on a nest -- which are usually made of sticks and such in a tree or shrub. Sometimes they even include worn-out rattlesnake skins. If s/he had made one, I surely hadn't seen it.

But my patio light is in a protected, peaceful, less-windy spot, near the top of the covered porch. Out of the rain, too.

Very slowly, I moved closer to see if what I thought I saw, was "really" there. It didn't seem possible, and yet it was. His/her legs and feet nestled inside the light fixture, with long tail jutting upright against the house. His/her eyes were open and shiny, gazing down at me from above. No sound, only that serene gaze.

Every few seconds, the wind would intensify -- raising feathers or blowing back its head crest. It was definitely a headwind, only my friend wasn't flying.

It had to be uncomfortable. Yet even while his/her feathers blew every which way, this Roadrunner's presence appeared completely unruffled.

I've been Ho'oponopono cleaning with Haiti and her needs, and cleaning with these storms I'm describing here too. Still, this Roadrunner seemed to know a lot more about doing this during inclement times than I do. When painful things happen, I'm more likely to be mentally running back and forth like s/he usually does.

This time, there was none of that. I simply told her "I love you. You're welcome as long as you want to stay." The night was loud and frightening . . . and yet she stayed put.

Early the next morning, the rain slowed down and the wind quieted. Out I crept to check on my friend . . . who was still there, asleep. Not long after, s/he roused and fluttered off.

I climbed up on a ladder and peeped inside the light fixture -- could there be eggs?

No eggs, and definitely no nest. What my friend had sat in all night long was the equivalent of you or me perched precipitously on top of a toilet with our arms and legs inside, rather than out. If we had long tails, they'd have been crammed upright against the raised lid while wind and sideways rain blasts pelted us.

Could YOU do that? More importantly, could you do it without grumbling? I don't know if I could. My Roadrunner friend taught me volumes that night, just by being a silent sentinel. S/he showed me how to practice, yet again.

Mabel Katz is offering another of her teleseminar calls in a few days . . . you can listen, ask questions, and learn about Ho'oponopono from wherever you are. Join us, please -- especially if you're perched in a precarious place in life! In addition, Mabel is creating a Ho'oponopono MasterMind Coaching Series which still has some openings. Interested? You can learn more about that, here.

Peace begins with me,

Sunday, January 10, 2010

From Suffering to Amazement: Ho'oponopono and Homeopathy

"Humans suffer," reads a Ho'oponopono newsletter posting from Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len a few months ago. He continues:

"They experience problems in the course of their everyday existence. These problems and suffering are experienced and are caused by memories replaying the past AGAIN in the computer of mind, the subconscious!"

Is this suffering so many of us go through, really necessary? Can it be interrupted, even relieved?

Pain and suffering, after all, are not the same. All of us experience pain at times -- think toothache, appendicitis, loved ones leaving or dying, etc. But suffering complicates this, and can last a lot longer. We suffer when we want what shows up in our lives to be different from what's actually present. Sometimes we even demand this -- which is a common path towards illness in some form.

As a psychiatrist and classical homeopath, I work with people to discover their personal requirements for a feeling of "okayness".

Some, for instance, can only feel okay when involved in a particular kind of relationship, or when receiving high praise for their work. Otherwise they feel anxious and depressed. The more rigid and restricted these internal (often unconscious) criteria are, the more we suffer -- and the less we can experience life in the present. Our struggles with "what is" can impact our life force enough to express as illness.

It's interesting to me also that "problems" are only defined by the person experiencing them. "A problem," says Dr. Hew Len, "is only a problem if YOU say it is." What one might view as horrendous, might be a mere inconvenience to another. Unconscious memories determine much of this as well . . . which means that memories, not us, are making these decisions!

In homeopathy, we don't examine as much "who did what to whom" as we seek to perceive the pattern of suffering that remains. Then we prescribe a remedy that is as similar as possible to this suffering, to stimulate the person's innate healing capacities accordingly.

Ho'oponopono and homeopathy seem to work very well together. Both see our "problems" and suffering as ultimately coming from similar sources: unconscious memories too complex to be completely fathomed. But we can certainly see their result, and go from there! Also, neither asks "why" things are the way they are, but works with what is.

Ho'oponopono also helps keep the doctor peaceful and aware enough to hear what the patient needs to tell.

With a helpful homeopathic remedy, one can experience both relief from presenting symptoms, and important changes in consciousness too. Peace and serenity become more the person's norm than anguish and suffering. In my own healing, I've experienced revived energy for dealing with things that really need attending to . . . rather than staying mired in overwhelm. I've noticed a major change in my outlook from Ho'oponopono too -- what I used to see as insurmountable "problems," are now more often just opportunities to clean.

Not that I never get upset! But the Ho'oponopono cleaning tools do seem to vaporize much angst before it becomes a major storm. This has amazed me many, many times.

Perhaps one day I'll be good enough with Ho'oponopono cleaning not to need a homeopathic remedy -- but for now, I'm very glad for both. :-)

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ho'oponopono and the HeartMind: Synchronization Supreme

Welcome to a brand new year, with more opportunities for Ho'oponopono cleaning! They're here in every moment.

Today I listened to a conference call with Paul Bauer, Susan Castle, and Keahi Kawehi Hanakahi, a kahuna on the Big Island of Hawaii. I've known Paul and Susan since 2001, when I first journeyed with them to Kealakekua Bay. Our friendship has grown since that time. In the past year they met Keahi, an amazing and heartful man who speaks from inspiration.

Much of the call focused on a planetary shift from mind to heart consciousness, where centering in one's heart opens the door to all possibilities. In Ho'oponopono, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len speaks of being "pure in heart", and acknowledging that our conscious minds know nothing. In Ho'oponopono, the function of our conscious mind is not to think, but to choose whether to clean or remain stuck in memory.

"I never trust my mind fully," said Keahi, "because it was never meant to be trusted. With your mind, you can never let go of the leash -- the dog [mind] will always jump on someone and then there is trouble. I know what dogs do . . . once I let them go, they jump and bite people. And I think, 'I'm in the middle of something now.'"

Intellectual people (like me) might find these notions disconcerting. After all, we've been raised to value our thinking capacities, command of data, and ability to solve problems. But consider how many opinions, judgments, and assumptions our minds bring with them. Most of these are unconscious, making automatic decisions for us before we even have a chance to "think" consciously about what's present.

Dr. Hew Len has often mentioned the same thing, citing Tor Norretander's book, The User Illusion as he does. If any of us thinks we're really "in charge", reading that book sets us straight!

Unless we carefully observe and train our minds, unconsciously held information runs us and makes our decisions. Our minds are simply carrying out their jobs of protecting us from harm. But in doing that, they flag anything new or unfamiliar as possibly dangerous, and to be defended against. In this way, our very perceptions are limited or distorted -- and we don't even realize it.

How many troubled relationships have you observed, for instance, where the people involved see their conflicts in completely opposite ways? Also, how many times have you noticed they're unwilling to budge from their own points of view?

As a psychiatrist, I see this plenty . . . often in my own family. :-)

According to Ho'oponopono, all this trouble results from data or memories accumulated not only in this life, but through generations of our ancestors -- all the way back to single-celled origins and beyond. Morrnah Simeona once asked a particularly rigid seminar participant, "Did you know that you were once a seaweed?"

I don't know how he reacted, but it brings the concept home!

Ho'oponopono aims to help us release these unconscious memories that cloud reality . . . by asking Divinity's help. If we do this, Divine Inspiration can reach us. If not, it's blocked. Dr. Hew Len tells us that there are only 2 kinds of information in the world: accumulated memories, and Divine Inspiration. Which would we prefer be in charge?

"Judgment keeps us stuck," commented Susan. "When we're in judgment, we're living a memory. Inspiration can't come through, and there can be no pure, new creation."

None of this is to devalue the mind, Paul reminded us. Instead, it's to point out that the mind can be a strong and helpful servant, but a very prejudicial master. Our culture has perhaps over-valued it at the expense of the heart.

Paul also spoke briefly about the Chinese Medicine concept of "Xin", or "Heart-Mind". There, the two are not separate entities as they seem to be in western culture. Instead, they're a jointly functioning unit that, when well-aligned, allows us to live our lives in health and joy.

Echoing this, Ho'oponopono posits the need for solid alignment of all parts of the self, but especially between the Conscious Mind ("Uhane", or Mother) and the Subconscious Mind ("Unihipili", or Inner Child). Without this, chaos and suffering reign.

Heart consciousness -- awareness of what we're experiencing at the heart, body, mind, and even spirit level -- is indeed a whole other realm of possibility. It's also central to Hawaiian healing and manifesting.

For scientific information about heart consciousness, the Institute of HeartMath is a good place to start. Many people think the seat of conscious awareness is in the brain alone. But recent research suggests that consciousness actually arises from the brain and body acting together, with the heart carrying a particularly significant role.

The heart's nervous system (the "heart brain") enables it to learn, remember, and make functional decisions independent of the brain's cerebral cortex. But this extensive neural network isn't the only communication pathway linking the heart with the brain and rest of the body. The heart also communicates through electromagnetic field interactions -- and through all of these ways, it influences the function of higher brain centers involved in perception, cognition, and emotional processing.

Interestingly, the electrical component of the heart's field is ~60 times greater than the brain's. Also, the heart's magnetic field is ~5000 times stronger than the brain's -- and can be detected several feet away from the body by sensitive magnetometers.

Institute of HeartMath researchers propose that the heart's field "acts as a carrier wave for information that provides a global synchronizing signal for the entire body."

In other words, this is VERY powerful. What happens if it's immersed in disturbing memories and trauma, rather than synchronous waves of peace? hmmmmm . . . .

And if I were a Hawaiian kahuna wanting to synchronize myself in my life and work, what would I want to tune into? The Mind Channel alone, or the more powerful Heart one? hmmmmmm . . . .

When practicing Ho'oponopono, I've often noticed a sensation of warmth and relaxation centering in my heart area, and spreading throughout the rest of me. There is peace in my mind as well. In fact, my usual mind-chatter slows down greatly . . . sometimes to complete silence. What a blessed relief! I have never (yet) checked my HeartMath data while doing Ho'oponopono, but I bet there would be a lot of coherence showing up.

Interested in learning more about this crossover between heart consciousness and Hawaiian healing? Susan, Paul, and Keahi will be hosting a retreat on the Big Island in a few weeks, titled "The Ancient Secrets of Hawaiian Manafesting Retreat Seminar." They'll help participants learn to access their hearts' wisdom, trust its guidance, and release long-held unconscious blockages. Hawaiian sacred chanting, "talk story", and learning about "mana" and how to "manafest" are also planned.

Even the dolphins and whales will be there. :-)

If you have questions beyond the seminar information they've published so far, you can contact Paul and Susan at 847-520-1983. I'm sure they'll be glad to talk with you.

Peace begins with me,