Harmony Between the Sacred and the Profane

Warning – this article contains graphic and mature content.

This article is an experiment, to get the full effects, please follow the instructions. I’m going to offer you an experience to learn about yourself. The theme of this lesson is on the sacred and the profane, and how to find the sacred in all things… Please take a listen to the youtube song below and get an initial impression of the rapper (Immortal Technique). If your pressed for time, listen to the first minute or two or simply skip ahead.

So then… What did you notice?

I grew up listening to Immortal Technique. He spits hard lines and though much of his lyrics may rub people the wrong way, if you examine his content without judgement and personal bias, it’s hard to not admit that he speaks his truth more boldly than most people on the planet. How many people do you know who could openly share such triggering words?

Read over these lines:
So I’m a mercenary, I don’t care how I get richer
Like American companies that did business with Hitler
Get the picture, nigga? I’m the best of both worlds
Without the hidden camera, and the 12-year-old girl
Let’s face it, you’re basic, you aren’t half the man that I am
I’ll throw your gang sign up, and then I’ll spit on my hand
Give me a hundred grand!
Give me your watch! Give me your chain!
That’s your girl? Bitch, get over here! Give me some brain!
I’ll bust off on her face, and right after the segment
She’ll probably rub it in her pussy, tryna get herself pregnant
I said it, I meant it, that’s the way I deal with enemies
Like pro-lifers that support the death penalty
And don’t talk about war when niggas know that you puss
A fuckin’ hypocrite draft-dodger like George Bush

It takes a great gravitas to speak so boldly. And this isn’t praising his words and encouraging what he is saying.

I stopped listening to Immortal Technique and much of the rap music I use to listen to as I became ‘spiritual’.

I find my journey is common. When an individual becomes more conscious, they may choose to listen to music that is more soothing, filled with light, and love…all that spiritual stuff, right!? So then, what of rap music especially dirty rap music or rap music that deals with explicit content? Should a spiritual person not listen to this ‘low vibe’ music….after all, aren’t we always programming our mind what we consume and does that not encourage rappers to make more of the music?

Well, yes. Sure, that’s a valid perspective.

And yet, I recently got the urge to listen to immortal technique. I knew intuitively there was a valuable teaching there. Then I listened to this next song (see link below). This track brought me to tears.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qggxTtnKTMo

The Song is sung by Immortal Technique as he describes the true story of a gangster named William (Billy).

Billy grew up poor and tried to find his way through life by selling drugs.

Read the lyrics below and get a glimpse of his energy.

So Billy started robbing niggas, anything he could do
He’d get his respect back, in the eyes of his crew
Starting fights over little shit, up on the block
Stepped up to selling mothers and brothers the crack rock
Working overtime for making money for the crack spot
Hit the jackpot and wanted to move up to cocaine
Fulfilling the scarface fantasy stuck in his brain
Tired of the block niggas treating him the same
He wanted to be major like the cut throats and the thugs

To gain initiation with a gang Billy was tasked with going out with the crew and raping a woman. They threw a bag over a woman’s head and brought her to Billy, and he proceeds to rape her with his gang, one after another. His crew then offers the full initiation into their gang if he kills her…

Please read the following lyrics

Right before he pulled the trigger, and ended her life
He thought about the cocaine with the platinum and ice
And he felt strong standing along with his new brothers
Cocked the gat to her head, and pulled back the shirt cover
But what he saw made him start to cringe and stutter
‘Cause he was staring into the eyes of his own mother
She looked back at him and cried, ’cause he had forsaken her
She cried more painfully than when they were raping her
His whole world stopped, he couldn’t even contemplate
His corruption had succesfully changed his fate
And he remembered how his mom used to come home late
Working hard for nothing, ’cause now what was he worth
He turned away from the woman that had once given him birth
And crying out to the sky ’cause he was lonely and scared
But only the devil responded, ’cause God wasn’t there
And right then he knew what it was to be empty and cold
And so he jumped off the roof and died with no soul

This gut wrenching story takes two twists, one that Billy was actually raping and killed his mom. And two, that Immortal technique was also there, and raped Billy’s mom, and watched Billy commit suicide. He goes on to share his regret and speaks these cold words “now the devil follows me everywhere that I go”.

It’s heavy content.

What are your initial reactions?

When I first heard these two songs after many years they brought me to some powerful realizations. The first was to trust my intuition and guidance when it asks I listen to something even though I don’t understand why at first. Because Yes, what immortal technique did was horrible. But, the more I listened to him, I started to sense where he was coming from. In another song he talks about losing a child, and how the love of his life died due to an HIV infection after a blood transfusion. He shares about the abuse he went through as a child and the rough neighborhoods that made him who he is.

It’s easy to judge him and take moral high ground. No one’s arguing what he did was right. But, as I started to empathize with him, I saw the beauty of his songs. I saw the contribution he made to the world, though it was harsh, there is also something important that is easy to overlook.

In spirituality it can be easy to stick to high vibe music and avoid the darker parts of life. And it is important to have safe places where one can be supported. But, as a light worker and someone here to share love, I recognize my work as also being able to see the light in the dark. This song may have been his heart’s desire to be open up about what he did, allow the world to judge him so that he may feel the full weight of his actions. He could have kept this all a secret, and most people I suspect would, and yet, he chose to publicly share the darkest thing anyone could do. Though I don’t want to confuse anyone with encouraging the actions he has done, I found it commendable what he did to share his story.

Listening to Immortal Technique became a spiritual practice for me as I listened without judgement of right or wrong, and just listened to appreciate another aspect of the All, another aspect of the Great Self trying to find their way. As I mentioned earlier, he speaks his truth more boldly and honestly than most I know, admittedly more than I do. So then, he is my teacher. To see him as lower or lesser for what he has done is of no spiritual value. We are all one. Given an alternate universe where I was in his shoes, would I have done different? I don’t know.

I’m not the judge of his fate. But, I do know that he offered me a valuable lesson in getting to know the soul of another person, and not simply judging them by the words they speak. We are all carrying a collective burden of multi-generation trauma and abuse, and each life is carrying more than most can imagine. Judging him is easy, to find his humanity, that takes something more. to humble ourselves a no better than him, that takes something too.

So to answer my initial question, can you be spiritual and listen to dirty rap music or watch movies with violence? Yes. It does open the question to whether one is supporting that type of media, but, my opinion is that trying to ban and prohibit things never keeps them truly underground. Trying to run from violence and seek safe places with high vibrations doesn’t make the rough areas of our planet disappear. Unless we can know and understand life in it’s fullest, how are we to understand ourselves? How are we to understand those are trapped in cycles of violence. Listening to Immortal Technique offered me great wisdom into the mind and heart of someone whose lived a life far removed from mine.

I can listen to him and many other rap songs, and I don’t feel it mentally programming me, because I listen with an intention to understand their energy and perspective. There is a way to appreciate the flow, without signing up for the life they live. One can listen to a song sung about how great pineapples are, even if they don’t like pineapples. I can appreciate a gangster movie, or a world war 2 movie, but it does not mean I support the actions of those films.

If you are a non-dual thinker and believe the world is sacred, then the whole cosmos, even murder and rape is part of the divine. It takes great spiritual maturity to create harmony and love among these polarities, but without harmony between light and dark, one will always be opposing the opposite energy, and not aiming to create balance.

There’s a lot more to unpack and I’m still discovering why I felt called re-connect with an earlier part of my life and make peace.

And I’m sure you have a unique opinion, and maybe can see some things I don’t…Leave a comment below any reactions, triggers, or questions you have.

Until next time, stay curious and examine everything and see if you can see it from a new perspective. You never know where you may be able to shine some light, love, and understanding.

With love,
Aya.

How to Free Yourself from Thinking

The modern mind is consumed with thinking…or talking to oneself. Is this not true?
How many hours of the day is there a constant self-monitoring, self-judging, and looping series of mental fluctuations streaming in your awareness.

The majority of those thought patterns are cycles that keep one trapped in familiar boundaries.
When your in mind, your in time.
Time is a mental projection. Nothing is real but the moment. But, most are too busy analyzing their experience with words that they miss out on actually experiencing life as it is unfolding.

I know because I’ve been there. And I’ll inevitably return…until I don’t anymore. But, either way, that’s okay…it’s part of learning from the polarities.

The key is knowing how to get beyond mind and thought so one doesn’t get trapped there…trying to problem solve a world that can’t be understood.

The rate of change and the sheer amount of variables to calculate when trying to understand life is beyond the mind’s capacity to figure out. When I say mind here I am referring to the limited aspects of the personal mind, most directly I am speaking to the part of mind that organizes reality into concepts and language for understanding. Life is not a concept, and you have to be able to let go of trying to understand and problem solve to be able to actually interact with it directly.

This is the primary key to freeing yourself from thinking and moving beyond your limiting stories and beliefs. It is to interact with life directly without judgement or a need or attempt to understanding it in language.

So then, instead of thinking , one must feel. To become sensitive and receptive to the body and emotions. When we are too much in mind, all the energy goes to the head and it leaves the heart and body. It’s a pattern that is common in many people in the west.

Getting out of the head means coming into embodiment.

Most of the time the reason one left their embodiment is because they were faced with challenging sensations and emotions and decided to numb and distance awareness into the safety of the mind. So then, there is a subconscious psychic avoidance to feeling something that must be overcome to reunite your awareness into the wholeness.

The body and emotion have requirements. They require certain expressions and a dedicated space where you can feel and not think.

For many, it can be hard to get back into the body without a safe environment and guidance, and this is a beautiful part of being human, and needing our fellow brothers and sisters to be whole.

When your totally in the body. Time disappears. Like a flow state in sports, or a passionate sex session.

Life is not a problem that can be solved.
Life is not a problem.

It is an experience.
The moment you relinquish the need to figure it all out and simply open yourself to feeling life, all you problems will disappear.

Which is not to say you won’t experience challenge in your body and emotion, but the moment you drop your resistance to challenge, it becomes play.

Too much in mind?
Play.
Play with life.
Self-explore.
Your body has an infinite number of sensations to know, and there are countless people to connect with. Get out of the programmed patterns of thinking by dedicating yourself to feeling your way through life.

Connect your head and heart, and let love guide you.
Not fear.
Not trying to figure it all out.
Fall in love with life.

Enlist faith.

The answer always lies within.
Your body knows.
Move, dance, sing, love, fight, fail, eat, fast, pray, and don’t hesitate or get too caught up in thinking what to do next. Like a child, or when you first fell in love, before you were hurt and become cautious, let yourself feel and be fearless.

It’s the only way to know what’s real.

Aya

The Spiritual Significance of not giving a Fuck.

Fuck.

It is such  a  beautiful word.

There are over 26 different ways it can be used in a sentence.

And research has studied that when people say it that it lowers stress hormones…which makes sense why we intuitively yell it when we are frustrated.

To not give a fuck, is of great spiritual value.

I am using fuck in this context not in a belligerent way to degrade another soul or a part of life.

Not giving a fuck means ‘I have no preference’. 

This is Tao.

It represents an aloofness to the way of life.

One who does not give a fuck carries with them a resilience to go with the flow of life.

It is non-attachment in action.

Further, to not give a fuck about saying the words “I don’t give a fuck”, is a virtue. It implies that, I speak my truth, regardless of its reaction – I choose to speak freely. 

Many people may falsely assume that not speaking your truth and not giving a fuck is being insensitive to others, and there is a valid line of reasoning there perhaps. But, any real truth seeker is seeking to find what is true…duh.  And how does one know what is true unless they speak it and feel it in their body, and test their truth out in the world. Progress in the realm of truth and self-knowledge comes with the proclamation and confirmation of truth on all levels.

The most powerful speakers of truth, did not give a fuck.

Galileo did not give a fuck.

Jesus and Buddha did not give a fuck.

Part of learning truth and evolving is speaking freely and being wrong, and even possibly harming someone with your words or actions.  The key to living effortlessly in the Tao (in the world), is to act with good intention and move without hesitation. Yes, we will make mistakes, but one who fearlessly makes mistakes and is willing to change their ways will grow.  That is how we evolve, and have been evolving for generations.

Now then, there is a line of spiritual thinking that says, let us be mindful and cautious of each word we say, and do our best to not say anything controversial so we might not hurt another’s feeling.  And this position can be taken to the extreme, and it is playing out in various parts of the world. However, this creates a great deal of hesitation and inauthenticity in one’s words and action which can impede evolution and growth. It can create the kind of character that never develops a strong sense of their own truth and individuality, but rather sticks to the socially acceptable words and the ideas that have already been verified by our moral systems and religions.

The ” I don’t give a fuck” creates a whole other kind of character all together.  Yes, there will be those who unconsciously don’t give a fuck…but, there will also be those who are highly conscious and don’t give a fuck, a kind of rebel spiritualist. They represent different pathway, neither is greater nor lesser.

The rebel spiritualist is often tantric in nature, seeing the world as non-dual – meaning all is spirit or one. They take this position, and they carry a beautiful energy of authenticity that is not easily recognizable as spiritual. Joe Rogan is a great example, he does not present as spiritual, and he speaks freely without caring what others think, and he does it mindfully and with good intentions. He has found his Way, he is authentic, and in deep harmony with himself, and the world. He is a beautiful example of a healthy version of the “I don’t give a fuck” spiritualist. And we can even drop the word spiritualist, and just speak of evolution.

This is about evolution. And in terms of inner evolution and self-realization, you know who gives a fuck? The ego. The ego cares about the opinions of others. The ego cares about appearing spiritual and not offending others. You know what doesn’t give a fuck? ALL OF NATURE. It eats one another. Hyenas will rip an antelope to shreds from there ass up. Parasitic fungi will invade the brains of ants and make them go into a kind of psychosis. Hurricanes will thrash entire cities. The evolutionary force of nature does not give a fuck. And we are nature. To live in harmony with nature is the Tao, which is to become a part of nature. 

Does that mean we can kill one another as animals do when we stop giving a fuck? Once again, I understand how that conclusion can be drawn and how some individuals will go there. But, at a certain point in one’s evolution they realize that their authentic and intuitive guidance leads them not to kill or steal from one another, because they know they are only stealing and harming oneself.

It is the same with government. The idea that we need to be controlled by a hierarchical structure is not the way of nature. Yes, it worked for a certain stage in our evolution, but nature gets along just fine without governance, and we can too. 

By learning to not give a fuck, you will free yourself from self-judgement, the limitation that is holding you back from authenticity and find your way through the world. A healthy dose of not giving a fuck gives you the power of nature, to act and do without the worry of punishment and reward. This will allow you to make actions that align with truth over outcome.

So then, are you ready to not give a fuck?

If you’d like a meditation to get into a state of not giving a fuck, comment below and I’ll share the link.

Peace

  • Aya

Taoism as a modern medicine for the mind.

When I first read about Taoism in my early twenties it struck a chord within me that changed my pathway. Which is fitting because Taoism may be translated as ‘the Way’. And it was

English writer, speaker and rascal Alan Watts who first turned me onto the concepts of ‘the Way’ and Taoism. But, Taoism, in its essence -which is up for everyone’s individual interpretation- is about beyond all concept. It is easier to speak about Taoism in the negative, and say that it is not a doctrine, or religion, and there is no book you can read for which you can write down its precepts. One of the forefathers of what we call Taoism was Lao Tzu, and his famous quote from the Tao Te Ching expresses this perfectly, “The name that can be named is not the eternal name.”  What Taoism is, Is a finger pointing at the moon, to use a common Zen saying which carries the spirit of Taoism.

The essence of Taoism is that it is that which cannot be known. By never saying what the Tao is, it never becomes weighed down by any concept or limited in any way. To explore Taoism is not to understand some philosophy, but rather, it is to find one’s own way.  So then, when I first read about Taoism, it struck a cord not because it taught me something I did not already know, rather, it reminded me of the deepest truth of my own being.

The writings on Taoism is more closely related to poetry than prose. Prose says one things as a direct pointing. Poetry says one thing, but is open to interpretation and emotion.  Understanding the polarity here is important, and is also why Taoism is associated with the well-known symbol yin-yang. 

Yang deals with the known. It is associated with light, form, masculine energy, out-ward movement, and linearity.

Yin deals with the unknown.  It is associated with darkness, formlessness, feminine energy, in-ward movement, and spontaneity.

And our entire world is a dynamic dance of yin and yang forces combining in different ways. Individuals, societies and religions can either be towards the polarity or more towards a harmony in the middle. Life is energy is motion, and this dynamic dance between yin and yang is always playing out as time expands and contracts.

Why is this important for the modern mind?

I’m speaking most directly to Western Culture as I write this article.  Western Culture has developed in such a way over the last few hundred years so as to be dominant yang. The dominant religion has been Christianity, which is a yang dominant religion, it speaks of the positive, it deals with light, and the known, the head figure is masculine, it’s teachings and work is about action and spreading the word (out-ward moving more so than inward moving (meditation)).  There is much more I could explore on why Christianity is yang dominant, though I hope the reader can make this connection for themselves. It’s best to understand what a yang religion is by contrasting yin dominant religion. And it’s kind of confusing because yin religions, are not ‘true’ religions. Taoism or Zen is a yin dominant ‘religion’.  They represent the opposite polarity, they often don’t have a central ‘god or supreme ruler of the universe’, they typically deal more with the great mystery and not trying to understand it’s laws, are more connected with the earth rather than heaven (heaven is yang, earth is yin), and their practices are often inward – such as meditation or contemplation.  Also, there is much more humour, dancing, and sex in yin religions, whereas the more dominant the yang is in the religion, the more serious and sexless it becomes.

I mention they typically don’t have certain qualities because like the yin and yang symbol, most religions unless they are their most fundamental and in their polarity are a mix of yin and yang. Understanding dominance is important, just as we have a right and left brain which analyse and interpret data different, but yet functions we perform are a synthesis of both brain hemispheres depending on how balanced we are between our hemispheres.

Brain hemispheres are important so let’s explore that next. Your left brain hemisphere is more highly correlated with logic, reasoning, rule, prose language,  and linearity.  Whereas the right brain is more highly associated with art, metaphor, feeling and body sense, and non-linearity. Once again, we find this polarity between yin (right brain) and yang (left brain).

So then, I have thus established the roots of our religious background is yang dominant. But, it’s not just the underlying theological beliefs of the dominant majority is yang. Goal orientation and work over the care freedom to play is yang. Square buildings  and concrete in cities are yang over the natural and curvy spaces and integration of the natural world intermixed in a city which is yin. Yang is doing, yin is just being. Yang is hierarchical systems (governments and corporations), yin is ‘ruled’ as nature is ruled, as a ecosystem where all parts are playing a role in the whole. Once more I could develop this division of polarities further, but I feel that suffices.

The modern West is yang dominant and this is represented both in our society and culture, and in our brains + nervous system and how most people interphase with reality. Just to offer an example of a more yin dominant place on our planet, I think of Bali. Cars don’t travel in straight lines on the road, art and culture everywhere, with the integration of nature and wild animals in the streets are abudnant. Though Bali is a changing landscape as more expats come in, often with more yang ways…which is no surprise because historically and commonly yang people are the doers, and they are the go-getters who will find opportunities in other countries move in and accomplish goals.

Yin and yang is not about which is better or worse. In many ways it asks we rise above duality itself and see beyond right and wrong, better or worse. The way of Taoism offers an antidote to the modern mind by encouraging authenticity.  It is through allowing naturalness that Taoism is good medicine.  Because our global situation, namely, our poor relationship with mother earth and her resources, our over-packed cities, our corrupt governments and certain corporations, our constant anxiety and need to achieve and expand faster and move faster, and learn faster, Is all yang energy in action. So then, the natural balance is to develop a more yin way of being in the world. 

Now then, becoming more yin is actually easy, because it involves letting go and surrendering into what is. And…..yet, if your reading this and you’ve tried meditation or someone has ever told you to just ‘take a deep breath’ while your angry, you know that surrendering is not always easy. So there is a paradox here, and Taoism loves paradox because it is the way of the great mystery.

The mind of Tao, is the mind of nature. To learn the Tao, we learn not from nature, but we remember that we are nature. 

When I first heard about Taoism I was in my early twenties studying in university.  No joke, I was so inspired by the ideas of Taoism I went to my university dean and dropped out. I told him and my parents I was going to find my own way!  They weren’t so inspired.  And neither was the woman I was dating. She showed up at my place and my heart didn’t want to leave her.  So between her, my parents, and the dean and many teachers protesting, I stayed. Which I could view as a failed attempt at following my higher calling (because I would go on to struggle with my university debt and leaving the career I spent years studying for).  But, that would be a yang response, when life has no goal, there is no right or wrong way to go about it.  And yet, what was evolving was my capacity to learn to listen to my intuitive guidance (yin). I did not, at the time, have enough confidence to follow it then, but years later I would, which has led me to become the breathworker, shamanic qigong, and yoga teacher I am today.  But, honestly, it does not matter what I do, those who understand the way, can find the truth of existence in all things, be in the Bible, or Alice in Wonderland to paraphrase Alan Watts.

My way involved a period of remembering my true nature.  Let me explain true nature this way, it is the naturalness and spontaneity of a child. Now I know some children have early childhood trauma and loose this purity quite quickly. Yet, we all come into this world with a naturalness. This is our True Nature, and what develops is layers of acquired personality and conditioning.  The faulty masking and developing of conditioning runs deep in the neural circuitry on the bodymind.  Nature, dance, qigong, and yoga are excellent tools to releasing this karmic burdening.  Though I should mention, yoga and dance can be quite yang depending on how one practices. Yin styles of yoga are one’s that focus more on feeling and fluidity, rather than form and goals.  The yin is feminine, in its polarity the body has a capacity to soften and flow. And when there is a beautiful marriage within an individual, they can become soft and hard, like a martial artist who is both flexible and strong.

How to create the perfect marriage of yin and yang? Explore the polarities!  Which is to know life in its fullness. Neither excessively resisting  or choosing, being open to move with the wind and allow life to guide. This softening of the will and desire for achievement creates a inner state of harmony within the individual is medicine for the modern mind. It’s an internal revolution of in-action that leads to harmonious action. It is a civil uprising that happens within the individual without war or protest.  This way of Tao is not for everyone, but the spirit of yin has much medicine to offer our society, which if we persist on our current trajectory is headed for burn out. 

How to live with greater ease and grace? Learn to balance your breathing, which is the primary driver of your body’s yin and yang rhythms of harmony. And learn to balance your body with Qigong and Yoga, martial arts, and dance. Remember, the way of Tao is the way of nature, be outside and learn to listen. The Tao teaches intuitively and without words. It is the sound of one hand clapping, and there is no right or wrong way.  The Tao offers us a chance to live our life in the great mystery, instead of in control. And in giving up control, one realizes they never had it anyway, as with security! The Tao teaches surrender, and I’ll share a little secret…we all die. And death is the great mystery, so then, want to prepare for death? Live life in the face of the great mystery, and you will meet her well. 

 The way of the Tao cannot be known.  And yet, like love,  which also cannot be comprehended, it is available for us to explore and dissolve into. For you can only know the Tao and love if your willing to fully surrender. It is a jump…into the beyond, it is not for the hesitant, it is for the bold who wish to live totally. 

See you on the other side wild ones.

Understanding the Energy Body

At a subtle level, everything is vibration and light.

There is matter, energy, and in the Chinese and yogic systems a third more subtle energy which we can call spirit or the divine.

From subtle to gross, it goes spirit or divine energy, into energy *light and vibration, then into matter.

Your totality comprises all three of these…what you are aware of is based on the sensitivity of your conscious awareness.

In qigong they have 3 main energy centers.

1. Lower: it sits in the stomach and relates to the first 3 chakras in yoga. This is your earthly energy and relates to your physical body and it’s electromagnetic energy radiates just beyond your skin. In qigong the energy of this area is known as Jing.

2. Middle: the energy is found in the heart, it relates to the 4th chakra, and energy field here extends several feet and contains your emotional field. This field is where our feelings are projected outward and it is why when your close to someone in a positive or negative mood, you can feel it. The energy of this area is known as Chi.

3. Upper: found in the head, relates to upper 3 chakras, and relates to the mental thought field and can connect beyond into your subtle spirit body. The energy here is known as Shen.

From subtle to gross –  Divine energy (spirit, or the breath) comes in and is distorted by your thoughts and feelings which then creates your body. Each moment this is happening, which is why changing your thinking, can change your feeling, which produces shifts in the body chemistry.

The higher realms of the divine are fields of energy that are not simply beyond, but penetrate all the denser layers. Spirit/divine/breath penetrates all things and connects us all.

Qigong means energy skill.

It is the art and science of learning to work with energy (spirit/breath) with proffeciency for health, healing, and growth.

If you’d like to learn more check out my offerings and events.

Or simply leave this post and decide to think and feel in a way that is in alignment with what you want, you are empowered by the light you have, and you are enlightened by the light you see in others.

#qigong