Tag Archives: magic

Sacred Geometry ~ Treading

Here are all the mandalas that went into the video I posted recently. I welcome you to download them and use them as an aid for meditation. The merkaba is a particularly powerful and simple mandala. The essence of the mandala is the point with the circle around it–the ineffable self. The two intersecting tetrahedron show the play of opposites, yin and yang, the dual aspects of the psyche or any situation. By seeing them in perfect harmony, we invite that harmony into our own psyche, or the situation we may be contemplating. Enjoy!

mandala_n mandala_m mandala_l mandala_k mandala_j mandala_i mandala_h mandala_g mandala_f mandala_e mandala_d mandala_c mandala_b mandala_a

❤ ❤ ❤

In The Time of Daffodils : A Star Wars Fable

Specious, the dreaded Sith Lord, stands on the bridge of his star-ship. His gaze extends far, far beyond the specks of light visible in the expanse of space. He sees the ripples in the force, he scours the Galaxy seeking those little sparks of force-sensitive life.

Specious is old, old from devouring life, weary from anger and vengeance and cruelty. He is tired, and the old games of cat and mouse don’t thrill him anymore. His apprentice is out there now, tightening his grip around the necks of the beaurocratic officials of Specious’ empire. Specious sees his own madness reflected in his apprentice. This endless thirst for power and control that leads nowhere. On his throne of thrones, Emperor of the Galaxy, feared by all his denizens, Specious is coming to find that his whole life has been a sort of sad joke. The Force is laughing at him. The Jedi are laughing at him. It has all been meaningless, and brought him nothing.

Specious’ apprentice, Lord Razin, does not share his master’s obsession with the Jedi. For centuries Specious hunted the Jedi. He fed on their life energy, extending his own life beyond any Jedi or Sith he has encountered in life or legend. But not even this can bring him satisfaction.

Out there, in the web of the Force, little sparks of light are growing and gathering. How long has Specious been the King Spider of this web? And yet, he has never succeeded in snuffing out the Jedi. The light always seems to rekindle itself out of nothing. For many years Specious has suspected that somewhere out there is a Master of Light, older even than Specious and capable of bending the Force to mask his own presence. Perhaps it is this Master who goes on initiating new Jedi, ensuring that the lineage is never lost. This idea is the only that brings Specious any semblance of excitement anymore. Perhaps he longs for a worthy opponent who could put an end to his miserable existence. But maybe, just maybe…

The idea is ludicrous. How could he, Lord Specious the Terrible, return to the Light? It’s inconceivable. Specious knows he must suffer his fate, and he is ready.

“There,” he points his skeletal finger at a solitary star blinking in the void. “That is where we must go.”

He taps his finger on the holo-console and selects the star from a field of millions. To the uninitiated, the stars are distant islands of life scattered in a vast emptiness, eternally disconnected. But those who see through the eyes of the Force see things differently. Specious sees, when he allows himself to, that there is no separation. The whole cosmos is woven of the Force, and brighter even than the stars are those beings who have learned to tap into this omnipresent field.

And on a distant planet that seems light-years away, these very beings are now gathering.

“Chart your course, lieutenant.”

“Yes Sir,” responds Specious’ captain, and in a matter of moments the Vessel goes into hyperdrive, slipping between the folds of space and time.

~~~

On the planet of Kawaiis, something rather unusual is happening. Jedi are celebrating. The Universe is in darkness, throttled by the Sith, and yet, the Jedi are celebrating!

They are young and they have found each other. From distant corners of the Galaxy, each has heard and heeded the call that brought them to Kawaiis.

Jenna, the beautiful and rebellious Princess of Alon who can tame even the fiercest animals.

Marko, the philosophical mystic whose understanding of the Force goes far beyond words, whose very presence is palpably entrancing.

Tai, the brilliant and soft-spoken leader of the group.

and Esma, poet and musician of the Force, whose very voice has the power to heal.

These four are not warriors, they’ve never even seen a lightsaber. They heal the wounds in the Force through their very presence, through their joy and their freedom. They walk by the Grace of their Master.

None of them have ever met their Master in the flesh, but each has gelt the Divine Hand of Guidance leading them to this moment. They too have come to meet the Master of Light. Just by meeting each other, it as though they have come to meet themselves.

Indescribable bliss flows from the meeting on Kawaiis. Throughout the Galaxy, business goes on as usual. Lord Razin is oblivious to the outpouring of Light, his mind focused on the little dramas of his bureaucratic life.

But the ripples travel through the Force. The plants can feel this Ecstasy, they babble happily to one another. And those who are connected to nature through their hearts can feel a new vibration of joy rippling through.

Now the celebration has quieted down. Esma’s flute sings softly into the warm murmur of night, and the four friends sit around a fire under the majestic light of the moon and stars.

“Rapture…” Marko whispers. “I met a man once, in my home world, who was madly in love with a woman he had seen only once. He was working at the docks, scrubbing the facade of a loading bay, when he noticed her boarding a Class-1 star-ship. There was something about her… he couldn’t put it into words, it was just a recognition. She turned around and saw him too, and he said she almost didn’t board her ship. But she was distracted by an attendant ushering her onboard… she cast one last glance back and then disappeared into the ship.

He was so in love with her he said every cell in his body felt as though it were on fire. And he showed me something remarkable: He put his hand into a flame and it didn’t burn. His skin didn’t even redden. And even though he felt all the pain of his lost love, he struck me as one of the happiest people I’ve ever met.”

“What happened?” asked Esma, putting down her flute. “Did he ever see her again?”

“I don’t know,” said Marko. “I hope so.”

“I read once that the Ancient Jedi disapproved of romantic love,” said Jena. “Why do you think that is?”

“Why would anyone disapprove of Love?” asked Tai. “Without Love there would be no Life. There would be no Force.”

“If the Jedi disapproved they must have had a reason,” said Esma. “Their wisdom told them that detachment and solitude would be for the highest good. But we have our own lives to live, our own stories to write. I wouldn’t want my life to tell future generations that there’s anything wrong with a natural desire for companionship and intimacy. I would rather encourage them to trust their own experience and wisdom, and be happy and free.”

“Also, many of the Ancient Jedi were warriors,” reminded Marko, “and losing a loved one can easily drive a warrior to rage and vengeance. Those are difficult paths to turn away from once you act on those impulses.”

“Can we say a prayer for all those who have known the Force and lost their way?” asked Esma.

At that very moment, the Vessel entered Kawaiis’ atmosphere a few miles from where the friends were sitting, an enormous meteor carrying a tail of fire and steam.

“It’s Lord Specious,” said Tai.

They had all known this moment might come. Strangely enough, none felt the cold grip of fear. There was just a heightened awareness. Along with the presence of Lord Specious was another Presence, a voice calling from the forest, calling Her children home.

“It’s our Master,” said Jena. “She is calling to us.”

As one unit, they headed into the forest. Bioluminescent plants and insects lit up a path through the woods, which eventually brought them into a clearing encircled by four great trees. In the middle of the clearing stood a large black obelisk. The obelisk had four sides, and on each side was a different colored crystal.

Marko ran his hand over the obelisk. “It’s obsidian,” he said.

Each of the four found themselves attracted to a side of the obelisk, to a different color crystal. And as they placed their hands on the crystals, they discovered that the crystals were held in place by some sort of magnetism, but slid easily out of their grooves.

“What are they?” asked Jena, mesmerized. Her purple crystal began to speak to her.

All of life is one crystalline consciousness. You, your mind, your personality, are just one perfectly unique facet of infinite consciousness. The crystal you hold in your hand resonates with your unique soul signature.

Once upon a time, Jedi used these crystals to power their lightsabers. These crystals represent your power. But they represent much more than that. They represent your integrity and your love. They act as a bridge between your mind and cosmic consciousness. They allow you to speak with the Divine Mother, and seek guidance and illumination.

In time, you will find your own ways to use your crystals. For now, just know that they are the guarantee of my Grace.

Everyone heard the message, in their own way. Marko’s crystal was blue, and he understood how all life was a crystalline language, a script which reveals its essence as we surrender to it. He could read the script of his own life, and it set him free.

Tai’s crystal was orange, like a soft sun or rich honey. He felt every cell in his body activating as a little mirror crystal, with a great stillness, relaxed integrity that poured energy into his heart.

Esma’s crystal was a beautiful emerald green and she knew, instantly, that all plants and trees and blades of grass are exquisite, flowing, living crystals. Each crystal communicating through creative resonance. And at the heart of this mystery language, one message:

“I am You. We are Whole.”

~~~

“Lord Specious, our scanners show four life forms in the clearing ahead.”

“Very well, lieutenant. I will go on alone.”

The captain did not argue, he knew better than to question his Master’s orders. “Hold position, men” he said over the com, as the old Sith Lord walked steadily on.

Lord Specious did not know what he would do when he confronted the young Jedi. Perhaps they would attack, out of fear, and he would destroy them. Perhaps they would run, and he would simply watch them flee. He could see only these two options. Could there be a third?

He stepped into the clearing and the Jedi were gone. Were they hiding? He could not see even a trace of them in the force. But…

There was something strange about the obelisk. The black stone was a blind spot in the Force. It cloaked the whole clearing in darkness.

Specious approached the obelisk cautiously and studied the carvings on the outside. Ancient, far older than he, but he recognized a few of the designs. They were of some imporance to the Ancient Jedi, symbolizing the balance of Light and Dark.

Finally, he touched his tired hand to the obsidian.

The obsidian spoke to him about darkness. All he had gained in his turbulent life was shown to be nothing. His empire, his ships, no more than clouds in the sky. Only a dream.

Every wound he had ever inflicted, every cruelty and deception, pointed back to a single wound. A great pain housed deep in the cells of his body. A cancer that was eating him from within. His whole life had been nothing more than an attempt to control this cancer and keep it at bay. But he was done struggling. Eat me, be done with it, he said, and surrendered.

~~~

After about an hour, Specious’ lieutenant worked up the courage to step into the clearing and see what had happened to his Master. The only trace he could find was Specious’ unmistakable handprint scorched into the surface of the obelisk. There was no sign of a struggle, only birdsong and wind blowing gently through the trees.

When Razin learned of his Master’s demise at the hands of four powerful Jedi warriors, fear gripped his heart. He loaded a ship with gold and priceless artifacts and fled to a distant star system.

With the disappearance of their Sith overlords, the Empire began to buckle and shake under the pressure of the popular uprisings, triggered, to some degree, by rumors of the return of the Jedi.

Meanwhile, four friends travelled through the Galaxy, sharing their knowledge of the Force and awakening a new revolution… a revolution of peace and joy.

The Magic of Tea

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The magic of tea.

T is a letter of the alphabet. It is a junction, an intersection, a cross and a crossing. Two ley lines intersect and create a node where energy contracts and funnels into a vortex of introspection, across the event horizon and then… lost forever?

Moments are like this–intersections of dynamic energy that create a point of relative stillness, a space that is an opening for arriving home to here-now-ever-now-here. The magic of tea.

In the beginning there is emptiness. An empty pot, an empty kettle, an empty cup. The vessel is prime yin, the mother’s womb, the castle in the clouds. It is pure potentiality.

Then there was water and tea leaves. The tea leaves are in the pot. They are the raw material, the clay from which Adam was fashioned, the crude matter that must be awakened to its divine potential. This is the unrealized self, which has not yet released the fragrance of its divinity. The water is the life-force, the tao, that swirling, uncontrollable energy that takes the shape of whatever vessel it inhabits. The water is in the kettle, which is the mind and the heart.

To awaken the blessing deep within the tea leaves, we must heat the water. How hot the water needs to be depends on the quality of the tea leaves. With the tea we drink today, we must go all the way. The water needs to boil. This is purest magic, then the water is in a bardo state, between liquid and gas. Between the material and the immaterial. This is our gateway to nirvana.

The kettle is the mind, so we begin with awareness. We shift the attention away from the ego-personality and focus instead on the life-force. We observe intently its dynamic nature. We see that it is impermanent and impersonal. Water goes on changing. It follows the course of gravity. It takes the shape of its container. It does not have preferences or judgments. It simply goes where it goes. And as we fix our awareness on the water, it begins to get warmer. It approaches its immaterial nature.

The kettle is the heart, so we move into love. We surrender to the life-force. We move into gratitude, peace, and giving. Water gives itself to all beings, and all beings are composed of water. Water connects all life. Water is essential, and we learn to honor what is essential above all else.

We reach the depth of surrender, where life itself begins to evaporate. Now the water is boiling, and we pour it into our pot. The tea does not burn… another tea could have burned, but this tea appreciates boiling water. The tea begins its transmutation, as it releases its essence into the water.

The first steeping is a gift back to the source. The second steeping goes into the cup–it is for the world. We will let it cool for a moment so that it becomes palatable. And now, the work is over. Now there is nothing left to do but enjoy the fruit of our efforts. And share, share with all the world.

The magic of tea.

Being blossoms, ecstatic radiance, finding stability in universal love. Moving on the currents of grace, majesty is realized in awakening forgiveness. The all-seeing master IS! Exquisite.

An exquisite cup of tea does not wait for tomorrow. It is here-now-ever-now-here. Ceremony uses time to demonstrate the timeless. Tea is the magic of the mundane. The spiritual practice of enjoying nothing-doing.

Ahhh…

the Sun Hermit: “What about the Immortals?”

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“For some reason, I am wondering about the Immortals. Do they really exist? Do you know anything about them?”

The Sun Hermit and I were walking along a stream, one of his favorite activities. He said the sound of the stream could clear the mind, just as the water cleans the body.

“Immortals?” he asked. “Hmm… what do you think, is this stream immortal? Everything is changing…”

“Yes, but is it possible to live forever with the memory of your own history? Or at least a very long time?”

“Even your memories are changing, and your history is just a set of stories you keep telling yourself. Those who desire immortality push it away, and those who do not desire it already have it.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that everything is changing, and those who seek immortality seek to preserve something that is not real to begin with. There is no substance to the self. It is like this stream, always changing, made of many different things moving together. But those who surrender the self and its stories and memories and allow the stream of their lives to follow the course of gravity realize more and more the timeless aspect of existence. We realize we are already immortal, at one with life, in timeless being. And so, in a sense we are Immortals, though our bodies may die.”

“But the body could be preserved?”

“Anything is possible. But the body of an immortal is the world, not this little physical entity.”

“So really the immortals are everywhere?”

“Yes, and they are always at play, always calling you into the timeless present. They may talk to you through a bird call or a branch knocking you on the head… or an unexpected wave jumping out of the Ocean.”

“So to hear them I just have to be open to recognizing their voice?”

“Yes, and embody the qualities they love. Be kind, generous, gentle, compassionate and wise. Laugh often and share the wonders of life. Create music that is soothing for the soul. And awaken others to the magic all around, especially in nature! You really should spend more time outdoors…”

“It’s beautiful and calming. I forget how much I like it.”

“It likes you too. The forests appreciate slow-moving humans who take the time to delight in their little treasures.”

When I walk with the Sun Hermit, I feel at home in nature. Movement and silence become one and the same. I can stop and appreciate a fleeting beauty without expecting anything grandiose or dramatic. I can hear the meandering music of the wind and feel it connect with my breath. Everything becomes quiet and simple and though I walk without a destination, I know I’m on my way home.

Days of Rapture

More beauty of Santa Cruz, this wonderful time as the temperature drops, people outside put on more layers and everyone has the glow of the fireplace. Autumn is here, new shades of orange and red come out to play, and there is a growing peace as nature goes gently into the night of Winter.

So blessed by all this beauty that comes to meet the camera, and through the lens there is a growing appreciation for the dance of light and shadow. There is a deepening communion with nature, as well as with the technology, with the camera and the way it captures light and color. What a wonderful gift, to be able to cultivate both at the same time! To connect with a tree, and then transmit this connection through the beauty and simplicity of an image…

May we all benefit from the healing power of nature 🙂

Thanks for looking, may your eyes open wide to the beauty all around!

~Tom

The Nature of Blogging

I’ve been thinking a bit about my blog recently, about what it is, why it exists, what I’d like to get from it, and so on. My feeling at the moment is that this blog isn’t really a blog. I mean sure, it looks like a blog, but I think it misses the spirit of blogging, and that’s why I haven’t really been getting what I really want from this blog. So my intention with this post is to clarify to myself why this blog exists, and also explore my own perception of what this magical world of blogging is.

And yes, it’s a magical world. All worlds are magical. That is at the heart of why this blog exists. If I didn’t believe that blogging and this blog are magical, I wouldn’t bother. What is magic? Well, that’s way too much of a tangent to really dive into. But essentially, magic is a feeling of wonder that is really easy for kids and really difficult for adults. I would say that magic is a way of looking at the world as though you’ve never seen it before, and you’re totally open to being astonished by it.

So magic is really at the heart of this blog. This blog exists to share magic, but magic isn’t a one way street. It’s not that I have magic and you don’t so I have to give it to you. In fact, magic is born in the relationships between things. I guess you could say that magic is the simple fact that totally different things can get along with each other. And not just get along, get along really well!

So to share magic means to invite different perspectives, to open up discussions, to give and take. Right now I feel that there has been a lot of giving in this blog, but I’d like to shift it to being more of an invitation. I’d like this blog to be alive with comments and responses on other blogs, a nexus of connections and ideas and little inspirations. That would make me happy to come back to my computer and find that I’ve inspired someone or someone has something to inspire me. I’d like this blog to be more porous, more of an open, growing and evolving entity than a sort of static presentation of something that has already happened. It should be moving, natural, an eternal work-in-progress… like life.

That’s what I think blogging is really all about. It represents a shift in consciousness that we are creating but that is also creating us. It’s always a two-way street! This one-way dynamic of the artist and the audience is breaking down… now the audience is also artistic and the artist is listening to the audience. Now we are all equal beings in a network of creativity where we see that there are pulses of inspiration moving through this network–now you light up, then I light up, but neither of us owns the creative spark, it moves through us and uses us to bring us closer to one another, to bring us into a deeper communion with this great mystery called life. This is how it is, this is how it’s always been, and our evolution is just layers of mist gradually being removed, revealing what was always there.

So this is the intention. The intention is to share in magic through the invitation of difference. To invoke revelation through communion. An intention is beautiful, but on the flip side of an intention is a question. An intention is masculine, because it moves into the world with a trajectory and purpose. A question, however, is feminine, because it invites the unexpected. It is a vacuum which draws toward it exactly what it needs. And that may not be an answer! It will simply be an experience which deepens our wisdom.

The question, then, is what is blogging? Why blog? What do we hope to get from blogging? What does blogging tell us about this time we live in, our potential and our shadows?

I would love to hear your thoughts, intentions, questions, reflections, contemplations, and anything else you may have to share. Blessings to you all, and to all beings through you…

-Tom