Both- And

My wise friend said, the fundamental paradox is,
God Is, and God is not.

I am pupating,
and these are the last twitches of an insect, its wings pulled off.

I am ruminating, and wallowing in my misery
and I am mourning, working through my hurts.

I realise I have chosen here,
the final refuge of the failed control freak,
control of my living room

And I am celebrating my gifts, my courage and my choices.

I am cursing my stupidity, and celebrating my learning.

I am stripping away my illusions to see more clearly
and foregoing the need to Understand what I see.
Everything is beautiful.

Everything is alright. And
I am afraid.

I have always needed to be a Good person.
In foregoing that demand
I become one.


As I said, the left brain has a clear rational focus on the matter in hand, the right brain has an intuitive grasp of context. I was thinking while meditating the other day (I never said I meditated properly) that this could be the experience I have in meditation which I find so delightful: the left brain, having nothing to do, stops, and I am in the right brain, just Aware of everything. It feels mindblowing. Perhaps some unlawful drugs do the same thing.

In a walking meditation at the Field of Love, we were told to put one hand on the shoulder of the person in front, and place our foot in the place their foot had just vacated. This is a ridiculous task, and not possible for a large group of people for any length of time, but I am a biddable soul and I tried to follow the Rules, though I would rather walk through the woods actually looking around me. And then, in the open field, I was in that blessed In-the-Moment place, just aware, all my senses feeling enriched. And I could pay all my attention (left brain, says McGilchrist) to a wild flower. That clear, focused attention on every detail of it, then back to Right brain, wide awareness.

Sometimes it seems to me that I can get in the moment by paying attention to the tiniest detail: a speck on the wall, a blade of grass: in looking at the thing which does not affect my immediate interest, and paying it attention, I can switch into Right brain mode. Useful, I would think, for walking through the forest, spear in hand, looking out for deer to eat and wolves to flee. Beautiful, certainly, in the city, in the crowds, in the commute; a pure joy when looking at a painting or hearing a string quartet- but how, useful? How, now, in this complex world we have made, could this Right-brain awareness be useful?

Awareness and brain function

That sense of Unity with all creation, of being in the space, aware of all that is around, may be a Right brain phenomenon. I first felt it in my first sharing-circle, with the Scott Peck-inspired Community Building in Britain. I could have heard a pin drop. Calm, quiet concentration, awareness of surroundings, all senses seeming more alert and powerful, and then focusing on the individual talking at the time. So. It is not just the right brain awareness, it is also the ability to shift into left brain focused concentration where necessary. What is lessened is the Monkey-mind, that thinking on things past and things future.

In playing the piano, I understand some very basic brain function, shared with invertebrates, controls the complex movements my fingers make leaving my limbic system peace to work on the expression of emotion.

Theory. The Monkey mind is the feelings I have not fully felt, my fears and desires, shouting so loudly just as a toddler does when she does not feel heard. One answer, then, would be to pay her full attention, to gentle her like a terrified dog, to become aware of her hurts and cravings. Then, I would hope, her insistence might be less.

The Golden Light Project

I am intensely grateful for having taken part in Golden Light Project no. 8, around the September equinox. I saw guided meditations inviting the light of Spirit into the Earth through me, and I thought I can do that, it seems worthwhile to pray with others, just knowing that others are praying too. I was not expecting the bounty I received.

The meditations invite the Light through the thirteen chakras, cleansing and purifying each one. Preparing myself by the ritual of the medicine wheel I brought myself into the space of worship and meditation, where I found senses of purpose and joy. Then on successive days I brought the Light into my connection with my highest self, into those people and situations which have most affected me in the past, into my memories of all that has happened to me, into my vision, intention and intuition, into my truth and creativity, into my place of unconditional love; into my inner child; into the Purpose of my life; into my strong, capable Power; into my creation of myself; into my base chakra, my relationships; and finally into the Earth into my Earth Star, which anchors me in the Earth and is my footprint there. I have seen some more of my potential and moved old patterns, resentments and fears so I am more free.

I loved the strong and gentle voice of Renata Ash leading me through this, and the singing of her partner Steven. The meditations are also available in German. I intend to be with them in December, at the Solstice, purifying and healing further.

Metta meditation for beginners

May I be safe and protected
May I be peaceful and happy
May I be healthy and strong
May I have ease of wellbeing

Metta meditation is beautiful, and there is so much wisdom on the internet: just Google for it. I think I got this text from Yale, but am not sure. You start by praying for yourself, then for someone you have benefitted and who has always been on your side, then a loved one, then a close friend, then a neutral person, then a difficult person,

and then Everyone. Possibly by categories, people in your city, your country, your planet. I tried making this my spiritual practice, and setting aside fifteen minutes each day to do it, and I gave up.

So this time, rather than fixing a time for my Spiritual Practice, I just decided to do it when I felt like it, or when I picked up my transcription of that text. Very quickly, up pops the Inner Critic, and reminds me that I am supposed to be praying for Other People. Yes, Johanna, but that may be easier if I can do it for myself. And- first I do it for myself, and enjoy that, so I may enjoy doing it for other people. Just enjoy it.

The Yale text adds to the last line “(and accept all the conditions of the World)”. Well, yes, that ease comes from accepting the World as it is, and my ability to change it only by concentrated, clear-sighted effort. I may add that line, or I may not. I also want to meditate on what I mean by “safe” or “healthy” or “happy”, words so simple and so rich.

Golden Light Project

David Tenn’s comments led me to the Golden Light Project. I love the idea of this meditation: knowing that others around the World are meditating alongside me with the same purpose increases the power of it for me, doing it at the Equinoxes and Solstices with people in the Southern Hemisphere as well, people at the complementary part of the cycle of planting and harvesting, increases the sweetness. So, yes. I am up for that.

The site says,

we can feel a beauty beginning to unfold, the promise of a world governed by peace, compassion and respect for all life. We are all part of this unfolding.

Yes. I am part of that too.

My minor quibble is the comment about entering in 2012 the Mayan Age of the Fifth Sun. I thought, that is a mere coincidence of the Mayan numbering/dating system. I partied in 1999, but that was a coincidence of the numbering system, and possibly Jesus was born in 7BC. The New Age is not Mayan. Nor is it “The Age of Aquarius”- the procession of the Equinoxes, the natural wobble of the Earth’s axis and the names the Ancients gave to certain stars does not influence it, says my inner Rationalist, or perhaps my Quakerism, always suspicious of doctrine or dogma. But whether the New Age is simply Human, or from the interaction of Spirit and Humanity, it is Real.

Do have a look, see what you think, perhaps join in.