Body Needs To Be Energized Through Hiking In Order To Ground Mental Stimulation - The Kuliouou Ridge Trail Barely Adequate To Support My Path - I'm A Slacker Compared To Many Other Elementary School Teachers Who Work Till 5 PM Every Day - The Fiasco Of God's Design Of The Knee - Feeling Privileged And Humbled - My Duty Is To Tell The World About Who I Am And What Has Occurred Here
A microcassette transcription that includes my current mantram: "I love my life, I love this hike, I love the air, I love the trees, I love my body, I love my knees."
Kundalini Awakening - Spiritual Signs And Symptoms - December 19, 1995
1995.12.19. Tape #50 continued. Tuesday.
I am on my way to work. I have a bit of a headache. The quality of my thinking has deteriorated. Last night my hike was only about two hours--a full two hours less than what I needed. I never got the aerobic pump, the aerobic sweat, that I get from the steeper portions of the hike--I didn't get that yesterday. So, when my body is not energized appropriately, or sufficiently, my mind suffers, because my mind operates at such a high level. I need the whole body--my toes, everything I have--to absorb and to ground all the distractions and distress that my mind perceives. Last night I went to bed kind of haggard, and this morning I awoke stressed out and reactive. For instance, I had a few credit card bills to look into, but this morning I didn't have the mental energy to make the necessary phone calls to see if the bills were correct and to send in whatever payments were necessary. In sum, without the appropriate exercise, my thinking becomes dysfunctional and impotent.
(Later.) I thank God that I am on this hike right now. Both knees are quite sore. I am taking--I wouldn't say extreme caution--but a fair amount of caution in my stride length and foot placement. It is all about the angle of my knee when I press off the ground. If it is too wide an angle, and my knee is close to being straight when I push off, it is much more painful to my cartilage and ligament tissues. So I walk with a short, somewhat bent stride. It is essential that I am careful, so that I can be up here. It is of great importance that I make it to the top. This hike is not as powerful, or as regenerative, as my long Manoa hikes. So given that this spiritual process is already at a disadvantage on such a comparatively devitalized route, I cannot afford not to be there at the top, every time.
(end of tape #50, beginning of tape #51)
So I am taking the best care of my knees that I can while maintaining a reasonable pace. Again, it's of the utmost importance that I am here, on this trail. There is nothing that can replace this kind of meditation for me: amazing natural surroundings; a steady, satisfying level of aerobic flow; and a stable, ascending path that goes up 2000 feet, allowing me to hike for over an hour prior to reaching the summit. My disposition emotionally, intellectually, all revolves around the health of this body; and the health of this body has a lot to do with how much hiking I'm able to do. I wish this hike powered me as much as my Manoa ones. Making it to the top of Kulio'o Ridge, and coming back down--that three-hour trek--is sufficient, though, to allow me to continue on this path. I think that there's a chance, if my knees hold up, if I'm able to do this every day, that a spontaneous descension of energy into me that blows me away will be possible. I definitely think that is true. This hike grounds me enough that that might happen.
I'm pleased with how I've handled this year's Christmas festivities at school. I was pretty active; I did a couple of parties; I was involved in a lot of things. But I was not too overwhelmed by it all. I did not eat much of the bad food. I gave away a lot of the sugar-ridden gifts to me--homemade cookies, the like. So here I am today, not feeling too strung out, which is great. I'm getting stronger. I shine there, which is really terrific. I'm about the smartest person there; I'm articulate and confident. I get away with hell there. I handle most of my bureaucratic duties--my classroom paperwork, taking care of grade level chair business--all during class time. It's wonderful. Lois and I work together to put the kids into their various physical therapy positions, then get Grandma Maria to color with a couple of them, and then I am free to sit down next to a child and work on all of this damn paperwork. What balances it all is that the emotional tone of the room is very positive. I am not doing paperwork because I hate the kids, but because I hate the paperwork. Anyways, every few minutes I will pause and smile and talk to a child, and when thirty minutes or so are up, Lois and I are back at it again, moving and hefting these little non-ambulatory human beings. Thank God I don't stay till 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. like so many other teacher-slaves! God knows I would be in for some spiritual constipation if I did. So I don't work as hard as many of the other teachers. But they like me, so I get away with it. So it's terrific. The whole thing is fairly livable.
So what's today--the 19th?--then I have until January 2 to pursue this path without interruption. But I wish that my knees had held up a little longer. Of course I would still have this dentistry issue, and all of the damage that Lidocaine has caused me. But as far as this hiking goes, my plan was never to hike with this kind of intensity and fanaticism all my life. It was always a temporary thing, a necessary activity to promote this interior development at a particular phase in that development. Right now I just wish that my knees would hold together--just six more months--one more year, max. I don't think the demands upon my knees are excessive.
With this thought I return to my frequent, earlier criticisms of our maker. If he had had his shit together, my knees would be stronger and more resilient than they are, and I wouldn't be having this trouble that I'm having. My right knee is pathetic--it's giving me more trouble than my left knee. This whole fiasco about my knees could have been avoided if God had done his homework with respect to what goes into a well-made joint intended for ambulation. I'd even be open to redesigning it from scratch.
The buzzing throughout my head and body, and the feeling of energy descending into me this afternoon, was not as great as it was just a couple days ago. It's because I have not been able to do as much hiking as I should. The hiking really does fire me up. I come out of here really high, and that's what I'm in here for: to feel a grounded sense of bliss. I come out of here and my mind is really absorbed into my body. I've been repeating a mantram for the last fifteen minutes, or so. It goes something like this: "I love my life, I love this hike, I love the air, I love the trees, I love my body, I love my knees." I repeat this little love incantation, in earnest, over and over.
This whole trip is so deep and profound. You got to picture this. Here I am going slowly, so slowly up this mountain. I'm crawling up this thing like an ant, trying to balance the need for recovery and healing in my knees, with my need to get to the top. The aerobic benefit is not as intense as I would like, but I'm making it to the top today. I'm just trying to go with the body, to allow the body to dictate my speed, to just feel graced, to just feel totally privileged to be in this body and going up this mountain, regardless of the speed. This act is complete, in and of itself. Where I am right now, is a function of grace. It is totally my pleasure to be here, even if I am not sweating and breathing as hard as I usually am. I've also been thinking about how a tremendous amount of my life is luck. If I ever appear to be arrogant, then it's just because I am asserting the righteousness of being who we should be. I represent the way humans beings ought to be. So I'm just trying to hold myself up as an example; not to hunch my shoulders and cower about it, but to stand tall.
But I owe a vast amount of my life to the grace of God, which goes without saying, and to luck. I haven't died in a famine. I'm not the victim of incest or domestic abuse. I haven't been burnt at the stake, or incarcerated, or decapitated, for holding heretical views--whether socially, religiously, or politically. You know, there have been a great number of things that I've benefited from, that have helped to get me where I am, and most of them have been just pure good luck. This whole thing has been facilitated by a great many things that have been beyond my control. There have been many, many people before me who have tried equally hard, but they have been foiled---foiled. Their aims, their dreams, have all been dashed, and it's been through no fault of their own. They cannot be blamed for lack of personal effort or native ability. Overall, yes, there has been a great amount of personal effort, and individual integrity and strength, that has contributed to landing me where I am. But that, in itself, is not distinguishing. We must assume that great personal effort is always a common denominator, and that in general, all people strive to be their best. But time and again, the external circumstances--social, environmental, familial, economic, political--in which they find themselves, severely limit and thwart their efforts. I won't say that people are completely determined by their circumstances, but it is a great weight, often much too great to shrug off, in terms of the negative, dead weight that no one should be burdened with. So people are often saddled with negative perceptions about themselves and the world they live in, and this of course hinders their efforts towards self-liberation.
What is most distinguishing about my achievement, then, is that a profoundly benevolent and opportune set of circumstances has formed to set the context for my being able to take great personal effort, and great personal aspiration, farther, perhaps, than it has ever gone before. And, as I have said, the success of my effort, in the broadest sense, has been due to no unique deed or thought of my own. I am merely a product of human potential being given a more level playing field in which to test itself. So, I am privileged and humbled, to the extent that I can be. But it is my duty to tell the world about who I am, about what's occurred here. But in so doing, it has to be, as much as possible, a message that is universal, and that is uplifting to others, rather than merely providing a platform for me to look down at the masses, so to speak, giving them the feeling that they cannot reproduce for themselves the experience that I have achieved in myself. My message must be grounded in the knowledge that every life form is always striving to be its best, that every life form has, as its evolutionary goal, the transcendental consciousness of which I am a living example. And I'm just lucky. I got through. I'm one of the few examples where the potential of our species has revealed itself, where God has shined through. Given what I've been through, what I'm going to show, what I'm going to know, pales in comparison to what is really possible. There perhaps have been, and certainly will be, human beings who will demonstrate much more of what is possible to accomplish. Of course there are probably limitations to what a human being can know and do, given the limitations of our physiological structure; and there are likely other beings in this universe more capable of transmitting grace than are we. But even in these limited, imperfect circumstances, with an imperfect species, with imperfect knees, most all of our perceptions of limitation can be blown away. There is so much more that we can know, and will know, than we presently do know. How have I been damaged? My body has been wounded. My emotions and intellect have been stunted as the price of my survival. I probably have more than a few false ideas. I will not be able to harbor or transmit as much spiritual passion as I otherwise could have. Though my upbringing, and general life experience have been largely excellent, comparatively, they could have been much better in terms of preparing me for this process. Hopefully, I will have at least made that threshold that you can cross, after which your consciousness is permanently spiritually transformed. Hopefully I will have what it takes to cross that, and be able to talk about what it is like on the other side, on the other side of self-consciousness. Hopefully I will be able to talk about what it is like to be God-conscious, what it is like to have a consciousness that involves the whole body.
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