“The individual no longer needs to exist in separation, and becomes instead the all. The First Breath is the thinnest line on the horizon between the all and the nothing.” ~ Daniel Stone, The Dreamer Who Dreams You
It’s rare that you come across a piece of writing or writer that is able to make you sing with higher frequencies. For me, Osho is one of them. Though much disputed as a charlatan and largely discounted due to his questionable hobbies and intentions I still find his books and talks incredibly… well, enlightening. Reading his words is a meditation in itself. Eckhart Tolle is another one, Deepak Chopra. Today I found another gem, typically in a charity shop for one pound (I live in the UK). Its cover was calling to me as was the obscure sub title ‘The Shaman, the Buddha, and the Conscious Dream.’
The book is a personal journey and collection of teachings that make one’s skin tingle. Going to the desert, the ritualistic death of the ego has always fascinated me as has this breed of hermit-nomadic-like existence… dropping all material possessions to solely focus on your spiritual path and supping from all the world’s shamanistic practices, becoming one with nature.
Being in nature during my childhood was a very powerful experience for me, and these meditations help to revisit those moments submerged in wild grasses or brambles when the veil between the worlds momentarily lifts and you get to see what real magic feels like. These meditations help with our conscious dreaming, and I’d like to share them with you.
Like all spiritual paths, the way of the Shaman starts with Breath. Seeing it as a time for yourself is the first step in opening up a path with your breath meditation, the path to conscious dreaming. Breathing is focused on because it is unconditional, much like the presence of nature and the fact that we are already free. ‘The breath is given without any expectation. It is unconditional. There are places we can reach through the breath where everything is given for nothing’.
All you have to do, is sit and breath. For those who are familiar with meditation already, they will know that such a simple instruction can lead to hell on earth. Simply breathing is incredibly difficult because we try to make it perfect and judge each meditation in dualistic terms; the old chestnut of good and bad.
Accepting the breath as being like nature, we can begin to accept the true nature of it and quieten the busy mind. ‘Sand in the desert is picked up by the wind, and when the wind passes, the sand gradually settles back into the earth. The vision opens by degrees, through war and peace, and the mysteries in the breath of the universe are revealed.’
Start with 15 minutes and slowly increase to an hour. Sit with a comfortably good posture and close your eyes. Stay with the natural breath, don’t try to change it. Don’t beat yourself up when your mind starts to wander, just patiently bring yourself back to the breath. “The beauty of the breath can be experienced at its fullest when there is acceptance.”
Try tying in the breath in a rhythm as you walk, or stand on the spot and move your body very gently from one side to the other. Inhale on one side and exhale on the other or mix it up. Or simply sit. You could try peaking your awareness in the gap of the inhale; that moment of gap between the inhale and the exhale.
Or the gap at the pit of the exhale. Actually that’s an Osho meditation. By meditating on the peak of the inhale or the peak of the exhale you can gain very different experiences. What do you want to do? Relax or gain energy? Experiment. Do this for a month at least before proceeding to the next step to enjoy the depth of this practice.
The Mask, Projection and Seeing Form
The second meditation the writer talks about has a lot to do with speaking out of the back of the head in the act of projecting. Holding an object with the gaze for a long time in order to begin to break down the walls of illusion.
Roald Dahl writes about this in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar when the greedy protagonist uses this practice with cards in order to see through the back of a card to the suit and number hidden behind it. In the end he spends years practicing mind over matter, so much time and effort that it changes him and (spoiler alert!) dissolves his greed and lifts him to the new spiritual heights of love and compassion.
The sequence of this meditation goes like this; ‘The dreamer intends to see, the dreamer focuses the eyes like a long lens camera, the dreamer sees, (and) the dreamer has to relax the attention.’ After about ten minutes of breath awareness, focus on a point on the horizon or an object (close enough to see clearly but far enough to gain the perception of distance) and keep your gaze fixed on it for at least fifteen minutes.
Once that time is up, close your eyes again. Now try to see the object you had focused on behind your eyelids by returning to the same spot and trying to hold it. It will be more difficult as the mind will want to race, but be patient, and practice practice practice.
The Triangle of Shiva (or Shakti?)
This is where the book steps up to visualization techniques where the meditations can get quite powerful. Personally I would advise to take it really slowly and deal with the stuff your breath awareness might’ve brought up first before taking the next step. We are all responsible for our own spiritual path, but of course when we gain knowledge from these sorts of meditations we also gain power, and therefore a greater responsibility.
Having practiced breath awareness and the intention to see, now you can move on to triangle meditation, a meditation that is mobile and can be practiced on the train. Having done 10 minutes breath awareness, focus on your object or point in the distance and imagine or draw a triangle around it (‘dream a triangle’).
When this is fully established, try to make it three-dimensional by drawing a line a making it into a pyramid. ‘It may also help to put your hand on the second chakra area’, the sacral chakra of balance. Apparently this is particularly helpful when your energy is out of sorts and needs grounding.
‘The breath and the triangle. These are two roots and our gateway to the dream of the universe. When we are sure of our breath and sure of the point of power, there is no chance of getting lost. We are ready to travel.’
I’ll stop there as that’s probably more than enough to be getting on with. I guess if you’re hungry for more you can buy the book but these alone will probably open all sorts of doors for you. The book goes on to explain meditations to find your own living medicine wheels and interact with the elements as living, conscious expressions that bring signs and open up loving dialogues with the land. I’ll leave the rest up to you. Good luck!