There are few times I have felt more focused, energised, calm and peaceful as I have when feeling the steady and deep beat in a dark and sweaty basement. Feeling the pulse and movement of the room as one, like a wave of energy passing through us. No longer are we individual fragments of consciousness, but we melt back, together; into the primordial soup from where we came.
The state of meditation has many definitions, some vague and esoteric and some more clear and scientific. In Yoga meditation is defined as a state of consciousness that surpasses ordinary concentration. It is a state of flow where our actions, thoughts and energies are free to move in a harmonic and effortless way. Athletes call this the flow state. Artists transcend to it when absorbed by their passion. And Buddhist monks seek it by the quiet.
Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting down in silence. It does not require any mantra or string of beads. It doesn’t demand a life of renunciation, ritual or sacrifice of your essential human nature; even though some may need or simply enjoy such things.
Meditation is felt as a freedom inside that is not dependant on external circumstances. It is available at any time, everywhere, for anyone.
We find it when we are fully present with what is happening, inside and outside. When we drop judging the events of our life, even our thoughts and emotions as good” and bad, right and wrong. It happens when we are caring wholeheartedly, being fully invested in taking the right action, speaking the right words, yet at the same time letting go of any expectation of outcome.
For how can our little mind know the entirety of existence and its workings?
On Doing the right thing
Humans are obsessed with right and wrong. From the day we are born we start judging our world of good and bad, right and wrong, dark and light. This is our blessing and our curse. It gives us tremendous power over our life and our surroundings. But we become maniacally invested in creating a life of only “right” and no “wrong”. We judge ourselves and others when things does not go in the way we deem as good, and in that way create suffering.
In one of the most beautiful texts to come out of India, The Bhagavad Gita, Krishna defines Yoga as “Skill in action”. This echoes The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism where The Buddha lays out a system of spiritual practices that include Right Speech, Right Action, Right Thoughts and so fort.
Here, right doesn’t mean right in the way of good and bad, saintly and sinful in a religious or societal way. It means appropriate and in accord with your highest wisdom. What was right to do today might be wrong tomorrow. Imbibing a plant concoction will be medicine to one and poison to another. Being honest at the right time will yield great transformation, at the wrong time it can yield even greater resistance.
Deep meditation becomes a vehicle for the greatest peace, compassion, love and wisdom. It is quietening the every-day-mind to a point where we can hear the whisper of our Soul.
I hear that Soul in the basement.
Raving as Shamanic Ritual
Raving can be deeply healing, transformative and one of the purest forms of enjoyment of this life and of this body. It is syncing your own heartbeat, your mind and your energies to that of the group, feeling the undercurrents that drive us towards deeper and deeper connection.
We long for the warmth, dancing ecstatically around the fire with our tribe.
Standing there in the midst of sweaty human beings, feeling the pulse of the music, a deep paradox is illuminated within. How can I feel so alone and immersed yet surrounded and connected at the same time?
In the inner most chamber of our heart we know we all spring from the same source. But we loose ourselves to life so we can enjoy the process of re-discovery. Through the experience of the rave we can feel experience of that merging back. Love is knowing that truth of connection, and allowing our Soul to come home.
Ritual. Everything is a ritual. There is ceremony to every action of our life.
Often we think of ritual and ceremony as being something done in a religious and traditional setting, but truth is that it is something that is present in every action, in every movement of the energy that is your body, and that of nature.
Life is one big interaction between what we call our Self and that of the existence we think of as outside of ourselves, The Other. A constant negotiation of the terms of our shared existence. How we drink our coffee in the morning, say good morning to our family or co-workers. How we clean our bodies. What music we listen to on the bus. Everything.
Doing these things with love and wisdom is true ritual, true ceremony.
Sparrow sings when spring comes,
and she cuts her hair. — am̛ir
The base pulsates in your spine and you glow from inside. It takes you deeper into your body and into living beings surrounding you. The illusion of separateness drops away like a bad forgotten dream. And we remember.
The divine Soul is allowed to stream through and for these moments we drop back into Love.