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  • Writer's pictureashmeta

Guided meditations can hold you back. Hear yourself.

We meditate in silence, as the silence. So why listen to someone else tell you how to meditate? Healing yourself requires hearing yourself. Listen to your heart, not another’s words. Unguided meditations create space for miracles that illumine your soul in a way someone else never could. Spontaneous mystical experiences generated solo — through your soul’s lens, are always perfect for you. Miracles of healing cannot be formulated.

Someone else telling you where the light is coming from, what it is doing, or how you should breathe, think, sound, or speak to access it, pulls you into their sphere of divine communion and mutes your own very important direct line to spirit. Guided meditations point your awareness to where the teacher is speaking from, but they can limit it too. Open to the possibility that your consciousness is deeper than the person you are listening to.

There is a Niagra Falls of celestial light galloping towards the earth right now. You need to ensure that you are attuning to the proper streams, to pull and lift you into your life’s purpose. I know we sometimes want someone else to bring us home, but the inward journey is not one we can fully traverse with anyone. It’s a deep dive into our aloneness, from which we emerge into a togetherness and unity beyond comprehension.

So keep your meditations, with yourself. Hearing = Healing.

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  • Writer's pictureashmeta

In trying to re-inspire myself as I undertake another large creative endeavour, I have re-read my master’s thesis paper, which touches upon creativity as a spiritual practice. I need to remember my bigger why -- 'art as path', because the final destination of this new project is deeply uncertain. I've copied and pasted the parts of my 13 204 word paper that stuck out to me most on this round of reading below:

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To summarize; before Zen the mountains are mountains and waters are waters. After that first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and waters are no longer waters. After enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters.

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Ultimately, I’m interested in the connection between an engaged creative practice and inner-awakening. In making art as a legitimate path to self-realization, which is obviously an endeavour far beyond the reach of this film. Yet I strive to use creativity as a spiritual practice. Spirituality being defined as self-realization or enlightenment, rather than anything associated with religion which I consider an externally imposed belief system. In Michel Foucault’s 1984 essay What is Enlightenment, based on Immanuel Kant’s answer to the question two hundred years earlier, he defines “Enlightenment” as an attitude towards the present moment where one is released from “the status of immaturity.” This immaturity does not imply a lack of physical growth, but a “certain state of our will that makes us accept someone else’s authority to lead us in areas where the use of reason is called for.” Foucault sides with Baudelaire’s belief that the only sphere in which one can “face the task of producing himself,” is art. While we are obviously born human, these philosophers state that it takes a creative practice to become human. Foucault even explains how one can stay immature and unenlightened; when “a spiritual director takes the place of our conscience” — when we govern ourselves according to the map of religion instead of observing the territory of our lived experience. Essentially, I’m using my own challenging and ecstatic lived experiences as the entry point to self-inquiry and freedom.

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The notion of art as a path to enlightenment, and a keen awareness of the present moment being the gate-less gate to this ripened consciousness, extends far beyond Western philosophers. Author and spiritual teacher Adyashanti writes, “in order to discover our autonomy, we must be free from all external control or influence. If spirituality is to be meaningful, it must deliver us from all forms of dependence — including the dependence on spirituality — and help awaken within us that creative spark which all beings aspire to. For the culmination of spirituality lies not only in discovering our inherent unity and freedom, but also in opening the way for life to express itself through us in a unique and creative way.” Adyashanti’s perspective on spirituality resembles Foucault’s understanding of enlightenment. It’s not merely about discovering liberation, which is just the doorway of self-realization, but also “an act of courage to be accomplished personally.” Enlightenment is awakening to the integration of divinity and humanity.

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When artist, poet, and spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy was asked if a work of art can manifest a higher state of consciousness than the artist himself has actually attained, he responded:

An artist, just like an elevator, can go very high for a fleeting second and create something very high. Then, the next moment, he can drop. But even if he falls as a human being, the thing that he has achieved remains at its original height. Perhaps the artist will never reach that same height in this incarnation again, but his artistic creation remains. When Keats wrote, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” he was in a very high consciousness. But did he remain in that consciousness? When you read the whole of Endymion, you see that there are many lines that are not at all good. But the first line is so powerful. He reached that height for a fleeting second and wrote an immortal line, but then he fell down most comfortably and stayed there. But his achievement remains immortal.

While I do not claim to be creating at the level of Keats, I feel the same way about certain lines of my film script. Being creative has begun to resemble, in its positive effects, my spiritual practice and earlier work as a Yoga teacher and Reiki master. Creativity as a spiritual practice ensures a personally significant relationship to the universe — a kinship to the source light. After receiving the poems, their lines revisit me and the subsequent revelation is no less sublime, much like the spiritual mantras of my past. For example, when I am in a unitive state of consciousness, connected to everything within and without, I often hear the line of my first video poem, “that golden blanket that goes on forever.” Or when I can be with a powerful emotion until it is completely transmuted, I hear my epilogue, “I’d rather be a poet, than prove a point.”

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When Chinmoy was asked what the supreme goal of art was, he answered “Self-discovery, or God-realization, or Life-perfection.” Note here how Self, God, and Life are used synonymously. Chinmoy also noted markers for a soulful work of art that was created from the inside out. “Even if it just touches you, immediately you feel a sense of illumination in your entire being. It’s like a big, surging wave that spreads all around and inundates everything, washing away all impurity. Immediately your being becomes radiant, illumined and totally transformed.” Thomas Moore, American psychotherapist, former monk, and author of A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World, agrees with Chinmoy. He writes about the deep purpose of art being a house for spirit. That art, is not merely an expression of the artist but a form of power, that can be transferred to the viewer and offer healing. He goes further suggesting that art can literally absorb particular rays of astronomical bodies and should be revered as these literal presences. While I may never reach this level of transformative and healing artwork, these descriptions on what art can achieve, precisely align with my personal creative philosophy.

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I have chosen to group my work amongst artists who prioritize their inner life. This shift in consciousness and revival of spirituality is really the call of the times. A society of self- realized individuals don’t require babysitting. Thus, the ways of enlightenment should be reflected in documentary practices, rather than our current climate, highly concerned with honouring our differences (think, ‘identity politics’). And while there is a crucial place for noting distinctions, there must also be a place for art to support the ‘mature’ individual Kant proposed, one free of unquestioned constraint. May we all look within and create without, in a manner perhaps best summarized by renowned Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. “I believe that the justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline, but is rather the gradual lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”

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  • Writer's pictureashmeta

Your challenge is not physical, it’s spiritual, and this celestial light will trickle down into the material realms, transforming all flesh from within.

The conquests are as follows:

Can you hear your voice when these words are so new to you? And nobody’s listening but you? Can you hold your vision as false reflections fall? Attend your church of choice, with no place of gathering? Feel your body, without another’s touch? Resist the endless temptations to abandon your great task, again and again? Will you prioritize your own Self led journey more than ever before? Seizing this fertile precious pause. You’ve preyed for this time. Stabilize your harmonic. Connect with the source of all fulfillment — which the material world can only mirror.

When you trip, reestablish your own footing rather than mounting another’s horse. Re-lasso your soul.

The solution is not outside. No person, place, thing, or experience will satisfy. Though these worldly supports will orbit, once you are living authentically.

Stop following the myriad of half-way healers taking prophet stands on our collective vulnerability. You don’t need a specific pranayama to boost your immunity. It can be as simple as going for a run with your spine a blade of seagrass. Or becoming the ocean in a long bath, letting the golden breath seep and labrythnth and heart beat, finding its seamless shimmering current within you. When we are led by this one breath, miraculous solutions are nature’s order.

In your important search for spiritual connection, choose your guidance wisely. Be cautious of what people, groups, and lineages you connect to. Specified breathing patterns, mantras, prayers, detailed visualizations, all instruction really, can have ‘real’ impact. They may not steer your soul to its designated ocean, or even any ocean for that matter. Mismatched spiritual practice can tangle and disorient you.

You want a clean thread between you, your soul, and the place without a place, in which we are all exactly the same. If the luminous braid gets tangled, it hurts your body and mind. Let the smooth impulse of life generate and reach unencumbered from its very source to your own fingertips. Good outside knowledge should ignite the light inside of you, so that your own light becomes your guide.

This is how you stay healthy: from the inside out, from the depths to the superficial. Live from the golden blanket, looking out of your own eyes. Always staying anchored in your spark to nurture a sacred weaving between your divinity and humanity.

Your morning runs can be so much more than morning runs if you bring your whole Self to them. This can be extended to any activity really. Simple actions performed with supreme care ripple infinitely through all of creation.

Use this alone time to follow your deepest knowings. To purify your inner world. As fragments of self arise to be bathed in light, be careful not to form new stories and feelings about the letting go or holding on. Simply be with them, unconditionally. Abide as truth, letting your fragmented parts puzzle-piece themselves back into wholeness.

All this happens through grace’s hand, not yours. Lasting healing takes place through eternity’s gaze.

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