Sacred Touch

Sacred Touch

Touch is how we meet the world. Sacred touch is how we meet Spirit.

To the extent that we experience ourselves as separate individuals, we come into contact with everything outside us through some form of touch. Touch can be physical, emotional, mental, energetic, or even spiritual. Reach out and touch someone. But how do we touch them? what is the quality of our touch? what subtexts are embodied in it?

Touch can be passive or combative, defensive or seductive. All the qualities and strategies of our ego come through our touch. Sometimes we are not present in our touch, perhaps afraid and holding back, or disinterested and not paying attention, and our touch is lifeless, like the proverbial dead fish. We neither give nor receive anything more than a small symbolic acknowledgement of another’s presence. We may have come to believe that engaging the world is always a contest or battle, something about winning and losing, controlling or being controlled. Then we are likely to bring fear and anger into our touch, mistakenly believing that this is power. Here also there is little giving and no receiving.

None of this is sacred touch. Sacred touch is touching with awareness that we are sacred and that what we touch is sacred. In Spirit we are part of the web of Life, the expressed consciousness of Source. Quantum mechanics teaches that we are part of the fields that comprise the Universe. Modern society does not teach us to live, or touch, from this understanding or awareness.

When we reach out to a person from our Spirit, we do so with curiosity, compassion, and love. Touching from our own Sacred core we automatically engage the Sacred aspects of the other. As Spirit in me touches Spirit in you touching becomes a Sacred act. Nothing really fancy about it. It could happen anywhere anytime: making love with your beloved, or simply smiling at someone in the grocery store.

Sacred touch is an act of being present with someone else. It is an offer to engage, to connect, to communicate, to bridge the sense of separateness and explore something outside of our selves. Sacred touch doesn’t expect anything. It is freely offered, but not insistent. It is open to receive, but does not take. With presence and awareness touch comes alive. Awareness is listening, mindful curiosity and appreciation about what I am touching. When I touch my beloved with attention to how her arm feels in this moment, it is a very different touch than a hasty pat. She feels that difference and responds accordingly. When you receive a massage, you know immediately if the person working on you is paying attention. Their awareness is in their hands and they are present with you.

In Sacred touch there is receiving as well as giving. With attention I become aware of my beloved’s energy, her tension or relaxation. I can even become aware of how she is experiencing my touch. Giving love I empathically feel her receiving love. Separateness fades and we are creating an experience of Love and Joy together. We are touching each other. Through my hand and her arm our Spirits meet.

Sacred touch is being present in yourself and offer your presence openly to your partner or the world. When you are open to receive what you touch touches you back. Experiencing life in this way there is learning, growth and the ongoing generation of Love. Sacred touch empowers the global Love field, which nourishes us all. Thank you for playing.

(© 03/2018)

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Mindful Questions

by Alan McAllister, CCHt PhD-phys

Intersecting Ripples

Lately I have very clearly noticed myself about to ask a question of my beloved which is not really in alignment with what I need to know. Somewhere I have picked up habits of being a little indirect or circuitous. When I was younger I probably thought I was being clever, but I now realize that it doesn’t serve me very well. Asking indirect questions can lead to misunderstandings, or other forms of confusion. If I am saying one thing, but thinking about a different question in my head, then my beloved’s answer will almost certainly mean something different to me than it does to her.

When I caught this happening I paused to ask myself, what is it that I really want to know? Why am I asking this question anyway? This simple act of mindfulness pulled me out of unconscious habit pattern interaction, into the present moment. Often it is something that seems small or unimportant. But small steps can start an important new habit.

“Are you hungry?” is a simple caring inquiry. But perhaps the question I really have is: ”Would you like me to start cooking” or “Are you ready to cook a meal together?” These questions are related, but not the same. My beloved may be hungry, but busy creating something and not ready to shift gears. Or she may not be hungry yet; but will be by the time a meal is ready. The more precise questions gain me answers that are closer to what I really need to know.

“Is that the last of the spinach?” is related to, but not the same as “Is it time to buy more spinach?”, which is what I really need to know so I can put it on the grocery list. Often there is an action that I am contemplating, or may need to take. The question’s true purpose is then to determine if the action is necessary, or the time is right. Rather than asking about the condition that would give rise to it, I can focus on the way to move forward.

I wonder how often I miss the mark on other things I say? How about asking for something I want? “Are you done with that?” is more ambiguous than “Can I use that for a while?” Even deeper I might ask “Are you tired?” hoping my beloved will say yes so we can go cuddle in bed. It seems harder to say “I’m feeling like I could use a little cuddle time; can you join me for a bit?” Perhaps because this reaches a level where there are old pictures about rejection, or about bothering someone. When the stakes are higher, shouldn’t my communication be clearer, rather than hoping she will read my mind?

It is easier to ask a question when I am not emotionally attached to the answer. Or I don’t expect the person I’m asking to have a charge on the topic themselves. Being afraid, I avoid the clear truth of a matter. I may think in terms of the other person, but I am really being untruthful with myself. I am not serving my own interests and giving my power away by being indirect.

Inviting mindfulness about questions, is part of being mindful about speech in general. Being mindful about speech leads to the ability to be aware of my choices around actions. Starting a small mindfulness practice anywhere in my life begins to build a new muscle. This muscle will grow organically. This is not some difficult practice. It is an intention; an invitation to my self to align with my true Self. Along the way it will highlight habits and fears that no longer serve me. It helps me to speak and act in the way I want to speak and act, in alignment with Self and Spirit.

I am grateful that I have been noticing my questions more; grateful to spirit, to my Self, and to my beloved, who sets me a wonderful example of paying attention to meaning in how we speak with each other. Mindfulness of questions is about becoming aware and honest with myself. Honoring myself and my beloved, I focus on the truth of a communication, question, or need. It is a small piece on the spiritual path of aligning thoughts, words, and actions with spiritual intention and flow. A seed that can grow into a mighty tree.

The Practice for this is simple: just be curious about how you say things the way you do? Set an intention to begin to notice when your words are not in alignment with your intention. Over time occasionally water the seed with your continuing intention and attention. The awareness will come.

(© 02/18)

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Mind Palaces

Mind Palace

A mind palace is a mental space used for storing a sequence of visual memory cues. It was know in ancient Greece 2500 years ago and well used by Roman orators. Imagine a series of spaces, like the rooms in a palace, and then place visual representations of the things you want to remember in them. When you visit the spaces and there the memories are.

While it might be fun to design and create fancy palaces, that turns out not to be very useful. It is much easier to use places that you ready know. The house you grew up in. The route to school. A favorite walk in the woods. The house you live in now. Any series of rooms, or locations, that is already well ingrained in your brain by frequent use.

The images that are placed in the palace, should also be simple, personally meaningful, and emotionally or energetically charged. These are qualities that naturally make something easy to remember. They are also qualities that make any ceremonial or meditational tool effective in general, the qualities that align attention with intention.

The intellectual human mind likes to create structures to play in. Spaces where words and ideas are elaborated and strung together, theories are forged, and information collected. Lives and societies are ordered based on those structures. The ego mind also likes to embellish and enhance, to create more complexity and detail. This makes it feel accomplished.

Spirit, however, is simple. Source is beyond form and all embellishment. It simply IS. Embellishment, although sometimes beautiful, makes something more uniquely individual and thus further removed from Pure Being.

Creating palaces, mental or physical, is a creative movement, a flow outward from Source. Returning to Source is served by going deeply into a single idea, e.g. Being, Love, Presence, Compassion, reaching for Essence. Ramana Maharsi’s teaching was simple. Keep asking “Who AM I”? There is a place for both exploring how Life flows out into the world and for breathing back inwards to Source. Different tools serve each flow.

The mind, like the body, is an aspect of the temple of my Soul, part of what allows my Self to be human and live in the world. The mind can be a baroque palace, or a zen tea house, or both. Which one helps you to remember the Spirit that inhabits it? Which helps you to create in the world? In a mind palace the key thing is the information or idea that each picture inside the palace represents. The palace is a container two steps removed. Similarly our own mind is a container for holding ideas and information. It is an expression of Essence, not Essence itself.

The mind is important, but Essence is what is most important. It is prior to, and foundational for, all its forms and expressions. Exploring the expressions can lead us back to Essence, or distract us from going deeper. Forms are helpful on the spiritual path when they are personally meaningful, energetically/emotionally powerful to you, and helpful in focusing your attention on the Essence which they embody.

Spiritually we are here to learn to Be, to remember the Essence behind all the pictures in the palaces of our mind, as well as the palace itself. Thinking is part of the creative outward flow. We are not here to search out the secret of the universe, or to build a better palace. We are here to remember what is inside and underneath it all: Source. You already Are. Source expresses through you, as through everything. You are That.

(© 01/2018)

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Gateway to Unity Consciousness

by Alan McAllister, CCHt PhD-phys

Unity Meditation

Unity and Duality

The manifest Universe we inhabit is inherently dual. All cosmologies start with Unity creating Duality (Heaven and Earth, Yin and Yang, Shiva and Shakti). The Big Bang released energy which became matter and anti-matter. Matter is positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons. Source does not abandon it’s creation. Everything that is created partakes of duality, includes polarities within itself, while also being part of the universal energy field.

Physical manifestation is an embodiment of Source, which is always and everywhere present as the foundation of Being. Duality is never separate from Unity, but exists within it. Polarity creates spaces, or gateways, for the physical to manifest out of the field of the possible (the Void, quantum vacuum) and into form. However, gateways work two ways. Polarity experienced in wholeness forms a gateway back to Source.

Polarity as Gateway to Unity

To return to Unity and Source is the goal of the spiritual traditions. When the Kundalini rises up the spine, it connects and unifies body with spirit. This process is often spoken of as a journey, moving from earthly consciousness to heavenly awareness. And we do experience this shift. But the Kundalini is also using the polarity between the 1st and 7th chakras to create a field that reorganizes the physical being so that it can embody Spirit. If the spiritual path was simply “up and out” it would not be called Yoga. Union is coming back to the body as Spirit and learning to experience them in wholeness, together. To live with Unity Consciousness.

When two (or more) are gathered in the name of the Divine, they create a space within which Spirit can be experienced. This happens in groups and even in simple conversations. A field is created between us and we deepen into the spiritual awareness of our own Being, and of Being in general. In a session focusing our intention on Spirit as we talk, we implicitly call Spirit up, and drop into Self. This is the first level of creating a gateway.

Holding Duality re-creates Unity

The use of holding paired points, or concepts is found throughout healing modalities (e.g. Shiatsu) and meditative practices (e.g. Zen). I once experienced a pair of Egyptian rods. You can see them in the statues, just sticking out of the hands of Pharaoh. When I first picked them up I felt like I had taken hold of the terminals of some cosmic battery. Similar charging can occur with bare hands. Holding duality in your hands creates a powerful Unitary Field. This is the second level of creating a gateway.

These days the neuropsychologists can watch the consciousness shift with brain imaging. Holding both hands in awareness at the same time, consciousness naturally shifts from everyday awareness into the deeper calmer awareness of meditation. Richard Miller has visualized the active regions of the brain reflecting this shift. This has helped me to understand what I do.

Abiding in Unity Consciousness

I’ve been holding space with my hands for a long time now. Over the years my sense of what I was doing has deepened. First I thought it was about creating a safe, clear space. And it is. Then I thought about returning to the quantum void, holding the Field of Possibilities. Moving towards Source an existing manifested form is released and another form can then be chosen from the field. The wave function collapses in a new way. Transformation happens. Now I see it as opening a gateway to the field of Unity Consciousness.

Come and play in the field with me. Being in the unitary field, drops us into unified awareness, deep trance, and Spirit. In Unity Consciousness many beneficial and healing experiences are supported and become possible. My role is that of an experienced guide, to help create the gateway to Unity Consciousness so it is easier for you to experience it within yourself. and to support your adjustments to a deeper state of Being. Resting in the field your Self knows what serves you and that will arise naturally.

Welcome home.

(© 12/2017)

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Body is Self

Alex Grey Yogi

Give yourself a slow breath, deep into your lungs. Follow it with awareness as your chest expands. Relax and release the breath. Notice how oxygen and chi radiates from your lungs. Follow another breath deeper into the abdomen. Relax and exhale. Let a third breath carry awareness into the pelvis. Releasing the exhale, follow inner expansion through the whole of your body.

Breathing consciously into your body you can return to Self and Spirit. Awareness flows inward, finding relaxation, expansion, spaciousness. The spaciousness of the tissues, of the cells and atoms, of all the inbetween places is where the other levels of your Being hang out. You will find them in all the spaces.

While the physical body is often spoken of as simply a vehicle or container, for Spirit, for Self. It is more than this. The body is the foundation for all levels of who you are; emotional, mental and spiritual. It is also the physical manifestation of Spirit and Self. Not separate from Spirit, it is an integral aspect of your Spirit. All aspects of your physicality are comprised of Spirit as matter.

The body is constantly communicating with us through internal sensation. We can learn to give it our attention. With practice you will become aware of all the sensations that your body produces as it goes about its business. This allows us to nurture our body. It is a way we can love our Self. Coming into wholeness.

Awareness of body leads also to awareness of emotional and energetic levels. Entering into our bodies we find sensation, but also emotional energies, energetic awareness, memory and wisdom.The body mediates external senses, but also internal senses. Learning to be aware physically is a way to also open up emotional and intuitive awareness.

Through living as a human, our body takes on many things. It becomes a storage place for all sorts of old stuff, injuries and traumas, along with pleasant memories. This is why we may hesitate to enter into this inner world. However it is important to do so. Clearing the body opens up the rest; the emotions and Spirit. Cleansing the Temple for your Soul to reside with you. It is hard to be aware of Self when we are ignoring its physical aspects.

When the body is burdened with old unfinished business, it doesn’t work as well as it can. Tension from avoiding trauma compounds tightness and contraction. Moreover the body is itself intelligent. It will constantly be trying to let you know something is off, trying to get your attention so that it can relax and open to healing. This produces all sorts of unwanted affects, which only increase over time.

We do well to work with our body, to respect it and learn from it, rather than trying to subdue it. It has the wisdom to know what is wrong and how to heal. Coming into conscious relationship with it allows healing to happen. As it does the body has many gifts of awareness and connection to the Spirit that is its Source as well as ours. It is not a cage or trap to be avoided or escaped. It is part of our Soul and thus a gateway to coming home. It is Temple, Spiritual laboratory, gateway to Self, and the Foundation of Relationship. If we are to create Heaven on Earth, we must start here.

Breath deep. Begin to cultivate a relationship with the physical part of your Self. Welcome Home.

(© 11/2017)

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