Spooky Vibes

“Hannah wasn’t sure which had awakened her – the brittle crackling sounds or the bright yellow flames.

She sat straight up in bed and stared in wide-eyed horror at the fire that surrounded her.

Flames rippled across her dresser. The burning wallpaper curled and then melted. The door of her closet had burned away, and she could see the fire leaping from shelf to shelf.

Even the mirror was on fire. Hannah could see her reflection, dark behind the wall of flickering flames.

The fire moved quickly to fill the room.

Hannah began to choke on the thick, sour smoke.

It was too late to scream.

But she screamed anyway.”

-RL Stine

Whenever Halloween comes around, I get in the mood to watch scary movies. Problem is, I don’t like scary movies, you know, because they’re scary. Nevertheless, I still want to watch them.

This year I was wondering why it is that I have this urge. Could just be because it is Halloween and I feel like getting in the spirit, but I also remembered that when I was a kid, I used to love reading books by R.L. Stine. Maybe that’s why the need for spooky vibes is imprinted in my mental emotional make up?

I went to my closet and with a little help, found several RL Stine books from my childhood. I started reading the one book I had from his Goosebumps collection, “The Ghost Next Door.” These books are targeted for 9 to 12-year-olds I believe. It was a satisfyingly nostalgic read I must say, and even though I solved the mystery early on, I flew through the pages as each chapter left me with a cliffhanger that I couldn’t walk away from.

It’s about a girl who realizes that a new family with a boy her age has moved in next-door. Problem is she never saw them move-in. Impossible for her not to notice since she is currently undergoing the most boring summer ever. And how is it that her and the boy have been going to the same school, but she doesn’t know him? Not only that, but she doesn’t know any of his friends either. Very strange indeed, and after some very bizarre occurrences she decides that she must solve this mystery and put her questions and fears to rest.

It was a simple story, innocent but spooky, mysterious and fun, just perfect to satisfy my Halloween mood. I’m looking forward to reading some more Stine books. I will let you all know how it goes. 😮 🙂

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A taste of summer in the fall

I think my back garden is picking up on my vibrations and hanging onto summer. I have a sunflower blooming in October! The chipmunk saved it for me.

The fall flowers aren’t too bad either…

Aster and muhly grass
Aster

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Hi

No risk it, no biscuit. I am removing the veil. Revealing the wizard behind the curtain. Taking the plunge. I am sharing…. a vlog…… on my blog. Oh shnap! There was a huge gust of wind outside and my front door blew open! 🙂

(more writing below)

I have been blogging for a long time. It started on my own, then I moved over to MSN spaces and built up a small community of blogging friends. Eventually my gusto faded a bit, MSN spaces died, and all of my content was moved over to WordPress. From then on my writing was more for preserving a historical record than anything else.

After all this time it feels like a big step to reveal a face, a voice, a personality. I was thinking about whether it is possible for someone to truly know someone else just through writing, and I don’t think it is. No matter how talented the writer, there is always a wall of privacy that cannot be broken. There is some comfort and security in that.

So it honestly feels kind of scary to burst that bubble, but my path lately has been about discovering and embracing who I am in this life, and posting this vlog, on my blog, is part of that journey.

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Just Life

On the wave of momentum we ride,

The power is there, though it loves to hide,

In plain sight, it waits to be found,

An open secret, we can find it in the sound,

In the wind and rain and birds and trees,

In the hustle and bustle, and the people we see,

It’s in the air, in the sun,

The emotions we bear and the paths yet run,

If we could just be silent, observe and wait,

We would feel it, we would know it, it is our fate,

No more doubt, no more fear, no more trouble, no more tears,

Just us, just everything, just life so clear.

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The Chipmunk and the Tasty Treat

There was a chipmunk who lived behind a garden wall. It was a nice garden, with plenty of goodies to munch on. There were some humans who would make an appearance occasionally, but the chipmunk found they weren’t dangerous as long as she kept her distance. The favorite morsel of this chipmunk was fresh sunflower leaves just coming up from the soil. They had a sweet taste, and the texture of the leaves was just perfect. It was a balancing act to time the perfect moment to snag this delightful treat. Too early and the taste wasn’t quite right. Too late, and the taste turned sour, and the leaves tough and chewy. The chipmunk also had to compete with the neighborhood bunnies who also loved sunflower leaves the same way the chipmunk did.

This particular summer sunflower plants were popping up all over the garden. The chipmunk danced with the delight behind her garden wall, thinking of her future meal. When the time was right, she scampered across the garden, grabbed three leaves, and took a glorious bite. She could barely contain herself. It was just as lovely as she imagined. She ate and ate until she was completely stuffed. After a day of lounging and relaxing, she was back that evening ready for more. The bunnies had taken a few, but there were enough left for her, and she was grateful.

The next morning the chipmunk was making her rounds through the garden, digging and scavenging for her breakfast when she spotted a human. She dove into some thick leafy plants and watched. The human was looking at the sunflower stems sticking out of the soil. The human said some words which she could not understand, but being an animal as she was, she had a sort of intuition about things, and she could feel the disappointment in the mind of the human. He then pulled a small envelope out of his pocket, pulled some seeds out of the envelope, and carefully began to push them into the soil. “More sunflowers!” the chipmunk thought. “How wonderful!”

The human unraveled a hose and began to spray water across the soil. It was then that the chipmunk felt the human’s emotions turn from disappointment, to hope and eager anticipation. He was excited in a way that was similar to how she felt about sunflowers, only different. “How interesting,” thought the chipmunk. Soon the human went back inside his house and the chipmunk continued her breakfast hunt. She knew she could eat the sunflower seeds now if she wanted, but that wouldn’t taste nearly as wonderful.

In about two weeks, the time had arrived. Sunflower breakfast time! The chipmunk ran down the wall at full speed heading straight for the young sunflower plants. Diving on the first one she came to, she pulled off all the leaves, put them in her mouth and chewed slowly as the juicy flavors overwhelmed her senses. She swallowed and jumped on the next one, but this time she stopped. She remembered the human, and the emotions that she felt from him as he looked at the sunflower plants she had eaten. She then remembered the nice feeling emotions of the human as he watered the new seeds he had planted. “Perhaps I can leave this one,” she thought. “And maybe a few others as well.”

The following week or so was very difficult for the chipmunk. She did not want to eat the sunflower leaves, but once or twice she grabbed a leaf or two. There were many sunflowers remaining however, and they grew and grew. Throughout the rest of the summer she hid inside her many hiding spots and felt the happiness of the human as he looked at the sunflowers growing. Soon the sunflowers had large flower heads and the chipmunk could feel immense joy and appreciation coming from the human as he stared at the bright yellow blooms. It was a nice feeling for the chipmunk to share with this human. In many ways a much nicer feeling than enjoying her favorite meal. She wasn’t going to give up her favorite delicacy, no point in depriving herself of life’s pleasures, but perhaps there was more to a chipmunk life then keeping everything for herself she thought. Perhaps giving something to others, humans and chipmunks alike, something they too could enjoy, was also something worth doing.

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Thank you, more please

Thank you, more please. A simple statement that feels so good. I’ve been saying thank you as much as I can. I wake up… thank you bed, thank you sun, thank you house, thank you life, thank you body, thank you, thank you, thank you. I forget sometimes as the day goes on, but then something happens that sparks a feeling of appreciation. Maybe it’s a hummingbird floating nearby, a chipmunk racing across the back wall, or the feeling of warm sun on my skin. Maybe it’s a pleasurable feeling in my body, a feeling of energy flowing down into my toes. In these moments I am reminded to say thank you, and then “more please”.

The phrase comes from a movie, called “Happythankyoumoreplease”. The philosophy is described in a small clip that I will share. I saw the movie many years ago but the simplistic power of these four words was not fully revealed to me until recently. Perhaps it’s because I am more into the law of attraction these days, but I realized the ability of this phrase to both create a vibration of appreciation as well as encourage the momentum of further appreciation and things to be appreciated.

There is so much to be appreciated, so many moments in life that are far more enjoyable to pay attention to than the negative things that our minds love to imagine. It’s easy to gloss over the good things, or to notice something good and then immediately wonder how it’s all going to go wrong. It’s okay. We’re human. The mind is trying to protect us from something or other. Silly mind. Luckily, we can transcend, we can train the mind to think differently, to pay attention to the thoughts, emotions, and awareness that makes us feel good and enjoy the life we are blessed to live.

I don’t always feel like saying more please. Sometimes thank you alone feels the best, because whatever I’m thankful for at that moment is not necessarily something I want to create more of. But the “more please” part of the phrase isn’t always about creating more of some situation or thing, it’s about creating more good feelings, more happiness, more ease, more stillness, more awareness, more love. And as we offer up those good feelings and high vibrations, life returns them to us.

So thank you for reading this out there, and if it made you feel good, more please.

The clip starts at 5:19, ends at about 6:46.

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The Bunny

One summer evening I went out the back door of the house to spend some meditation time. After I rolled across the threshold, I realized with a start that I was not alone. A small bunny sat 5 feet away from me in the grass. He was in frozen mode. Not daring to twitch a muscle, he stared at me from the side of his head with one, small, beady black eye. I felt sorry for the little guy, I’m pretty sure it was a boy bunny, and I said to the bunny, “Why didn’t you just run away when I came outside?” He didn’t answer. He just kept staring.

I decided to put the bunny out of his misery. No I did not kill the bunny. I’m a vegetarian. I drove my chair forward expecting him to run off, but he didn’t move. He held his ground. It was then that I decided that I was going to comfort the bunny with some positive vibrations. I began to chant the gayatri mantra. From what I hear this is one of, if not the most powerful mantra in existence. As I began to chant, the bunny immediately relaxed. His ears began to twitch and he started hopping around, munching on the grass. These bunnies are all over my neighborhood, and I had never experienced one not being terrified in such a close proximity.

I wanted to take a video of this experience so I knocked on the back door, hoping my father could quietly hand me my cell phone. Instead he came out with great sound, jumping into a story he wanted to share. The bunny freaked out and ran off. Bummer. But it’s okay. I was grateful and appreciative. I had no idea I was a bunny whisperer. 🙂

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Surfing the Muse the blog

I decided to create a blog within this blog. Not sure how it’s all going to shake out. I want to keep writing, to keep sharing on this platform, but it’s time to change the vibes. I could explain the motivation, dive deep into spiritual analysis, but I think I’ve done enough of that for now. I’m just going to do what feels good. The Power of Tragedy is still here, but there is also Surfing the Muse.

To kick things off I’d like to share an Abraham Hicks video. She has been a very influential figure in my life the past couple of years and she never fails to motivate me to tap into a better feeling state of mind.

Much love everyone! You can also find me on my YouTube channel.

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Branching out and Letting go

Hello all. I was in hiding there for a little while, but I am back to introduce my latest creative project. I’m now creating video content under the title Surfing the Muse…

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCksKfnEwu8Uie4xBL-iUpyA

So far it has been a fun but challenging experiment as I jump into this new space of creativity. The vibes are a bit different compared to my writing.  This is all purposeful, accidental, and strange as I view myself from a totally different perspective and try to discover exactly who this Colin person is. What I’m realizing is that I have no single genuine expression and that my identity has many layers. The whole process was difficult at first. It has required me to face certain realities and overcome some insecurities, but I believe it is a good thing as I am building confidence in a way I never have.

Seeing as it has almost been four years since I last wrote in this blog, I have made several attempts at providing some sort of update on my current life and outlook, but I am struggling a bit. Going over the details of the past several years just isn’t coming together at the moment. And as far as my outlook goes, the simplest way I can explain it is that I’ve been in a process of letting go. Letting go of fear and the weight of expectations. Letting go of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are limiting and no longer serve me. I know I have progressed spiritually on my journey, but the harsh truth is that the realities of my life have not changed. I have learned and realized lately, that I am completely responsible for this. I am responsible for this because of the way that I think and feel and behave on a daily basis. Until I change these aspects, life cannot change, the manifestation will stay the same.

My mantra as of late has been let it flow and watch it go. I have had neurotic and obsessive tendencies my whole life. Immersing myself in them or getting mad at them, will not change these habitual patterns of thinking, but if I observe them, allow them to exist in a state of non-judgment and awareness, I find that they flow and dissipate. This is something that I have learned in the past, particularly after reading the work of Dr. David Hawkins. But lately, I am taking the words and putting it into real practice. I have also found that I am capable of completely silencing my mind if I truly focus. This place of silence is extremely powerful, and I know that I can extend the amount of time I spend there, but it will take conviction and commitment.

I’ve done the best that I can in the past. My spiritual practices have certainly not been in vain. But I have also allowed the chatter of the mind to persist as I continue self-sabotaging ways of being, of thinking, of feeling, which have not allowed me to move forward in my life.

It is scary to let go. It is scary to let go of the feeling of control that neurotic thoughts can bring. Strange to realize this, but the prison we create around ourselves with our identity, our expectations, our grievances and our judgments, does give us a feeling of safety. To let go of all of it and rest in awareness with thoughts, feelings, and the responsibility we carry for our lives is not easy. I have unconsciously avoided it for some time. But recently, I went through an experience where I began to feel everything very intensely.

I’m not sure if it was a spiritual shift or something else, but I became very sensitive to my internal thoughts and emotions, as well as my environment. Negative patterns of thinking that were once bearable, became overwhelming. Coping behavior that used to drown out these uncomfortable thoughts only made it worse. And normal sounds were extremely loud to me, and I felt like my mind was constantly buzzing. Several times all of this led to panic attacks that I could physically feel in my body. It was quite scary at times, and it honestly felt like a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder. Whatever it was, it forced me to truly go within and practice my spirituality in a way I never have before. In moments of tremendous anxiety, I had to truly let go and allow the emotions and the sensations to flow through my body. These intense feelings and sensitivities lasted for many months, and while I still feel it with me at times, the majority of it has faded away.

This experience I had, along with other spiritual influences and realizations, has led me to truly commit to altering the way I think and feel on a daily basis, to train my mind to react and approach life in a new way. I am learning to detach myself from negative thoughts and emotions, so that they do not fester or manifest in behavior that does not serve me and my highest good. I am learning to wake up each day to the practice of appreciation and thankfulness. And I am learning to choose better feeling thoughts. In the past, all these actions would be so that I could achieve my desires. That is of course still part of my motivation. I honor desire because I know that I am here to create. But I no longer want to be attached to results as I wait for life to begin. I want to fall in love with conscious awareness. I want to let go of the narrative and release the idea that I must control every detail of my story. I want to fall in love with the process of creation, not wait for the creation to fall in love. And I want to find refuge in the peaceful power of a silent mind.

To any law of attraction folks out there I realize that these statements could contain more power using the “I am” affirmation method. Stating them in this way does not line up with me at the moment, I find it difficult to do so in a public forum, but I know that it will line up as I move forward in my meditation and awareness.

Thank you to all who are reading this. May we all discover an existence of peace and love.

Colin

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I Am Not a Yogi

I have heard at various times throughout my spiritual journey that desire is the root of all suffering. Satya Sai Baba, the most revered Indian saint of our time said, “Desires that cling to the mind are the blemishes that tarnish the inner consciousness. Control your senses; do not yield to their insistent demands for satisfaction.”

Ammachi, my guru, says that “Creation and sustenance of desires will only push us again and again into sorrow.” She says that devotion alone is not enough to bring peace to the mind, love is also needed. A true devotee, she says, has no desire, just the desire to love God in any circumstance.

I have had brief moments where this type of love has bubbled to the surface of my heart and mind, but the truth is, I do not sit in front of Amma’s picture every day and chant my mantras, and dive into the depths of my subconscious mind because of my love for the Divine. I don’t sit there for the love that Amma gives either. I do it because I want to walk again. And why do I want to walk again? I want to walk, I want to recover all of my faculties, because I want to experience the alluring pleasures of the material world.

I want to experience the soft touch of a beautiful woman. I want to feel warm sand between my toes on an exotic beach, and swim in the bluest oceans. I want to drive down the road listening to my favorite tune, as my hand catches the wind outside the window. I want to travel the world and climb the highest mountains. I want physical freedom not spiritual. I want to be able walk out my front door and do as I please and not worry about where the nearest restroom is. I want to experience the world without physical limitations.

It’s not that I am not aware of the pitfalls of desire and the temporary pleasures of a material world. Before my injury I was completely attached to my physical body, thinking it represented who I was. The only thing that stood in my way of peace and happiness was one desire or another that was unfulfilled. There was really no purpose in my life other than getting the one thing that I couldn’t have. Even if I managed to get a hold of a glittering object of desire, I soon realized it wasn’t what I expected it to be, or I grew tired of it, immediately reaching out for the next missing piece of the puzzle. I know full well the pain which is caused by believing that the material world and the fulfillment of material desire can bring me happiness. But this knowledge has not made my attachment to material desire disappear. It is alive and well.

Perhaps I am not worthy of telling my story of redemption. The story I have created in my mind, the story I am trying to live up to… A young man with the world at his fingertips crumbles beneath his brittle bones. In his determination he discovers the power of spirit and God, and seeks out liberation. Spiritual truths descend upon him, divine light pervades his senses, and he is cured! The love he feels, humility, the gratitude inspires him to lift up his brothers and sisters. They too can achieve the impossible!

I inspire myself just thinking about it, but it’s not true. How can I achieve liberation when I still drown myself in desire? “How can you not?” says one Indian sage.

Several months ago I finally finished the book “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. Each day I read a little, inspired by Yogananda’s desire for spiritual truth. It encouraged me to move beyond my own material desires, and instead reach out for the ultimate goal of self-realization. Predictably, my material desires quickly overpowered the more enlightened ones. But, missing the inspiration of a real Yogi, I did a quick search on Amazon and downloaded a new book, “The Incredible Life of a Himalayan Yogi: The Times, Teachings, and Life of Living Shiva: Baba Lokenath Brahmachari”.

Once again I found myself pulled into the world of Indian mysticism. From infancy Baba Lokenath was destined for self-realization and the spreading of light and love. Groomed by his guru he set off into the jungles of India to find God. I had barely begun the book, but it didn’t take long before a particular passage struck me, a passage on desire. In Baba Lokenath’s own words…

“In man is the seed of desire hence, there is the possibility of divine transformation… The entire creation is created with a divine design. It has its own inner harmony growing toward ultimate perfection. Nothing that is created is without deep significance. From the limited world of the material plane to the highest realms of spiritual oneness everything is a part of the divine design of the Supreme One. It is only through the desire for the transient objects of material life that the higher desire for spiritual flowering will awaken in the heart of man.”

I was very surprised to hear a Yogi speak of desire in this way. He explains that you cannot deny that even at the root of the dedicated search for enlightenment, is the phenomenon of desiring. “If you cannot desire the part, how can you grow and desire the whole?” he asks.

Desire is in fact, an integral and unavoidable component of the spiritual path…

“Your material life and the natural tendency of desiring material happiness is divinely designed to take you to a state of higher evolution. Through this material desiring you reach a stage, where, through the Grace of the Divine, when the time is ripe, your mind turns towards God and His Glory.” – Baba Lokenath

He specifically mentions, that sexual desire in particular will one day transform into love for the Divine, where eventually one transcends desire in the world of Bliss. He states, “It is not possible to reach the state of divine love through the suppression of sex.”

Now to someone who is seeking whatever version of the story they like best, me perhaps, this might seem like permission to live a life of debauchery and material satisfaction. One could try to find happiness in this manner, but ultimately the reason material desire is necessary on our path to liberation, is because the dissatisfaction it creates will eventually birth the desire for something greater. So are we back to where we started? Feeling guilty for desiring? Not necessarily. Knowing that desire is an integral and divinely placed aspect of our being and existence, can help shed the guilt of experiencing its hold over us as we march forward along the spiritual path.

The yogi will dedicate his or her entire life to stripping away every hint of material desire, until all that is left is a burning desire for God union. But as much as I love learning from and about yogis, I am not a yogi. There is a large part of myself that is seeking out spiritual liberation for the sake of love and peace and spiritual freedom. But as of right now there is a much larger piece that is seeking out a healthy physical body that can experience the material world and its many illusory pleasures. This doesn’t make me a bad person. I’m just a spiritual being having a very human experience. And who knows? In the end, these desires that I will inevitably find unfulfilling, may result in true peace and freedom, and the manifestation of the greatest and highest goal of a human birth… self-realization and the unexplainable experience of infinite, everlasting love.

But still, the nagging question remains. Do my material desires keep my ego alive, keep me from accessing the divine healing that rests within my spirit? The past month or so I have actually felt a profound shift in the healing energy I am receiving from Francis and the physical progress it is invoking, yet I still wonder, is it necessary for me to further raise my level of spiritual consciousness in order to finally raise my body from its sleeping state? I don’t know. I am confident I have undergone tremendous spiritual growth because of my injury and the spiritual journey it created. I do believe that our power to manifest grows as our spiritual vibration increases. But I cannot force it to happen. I can’t force a spiritual awakening.

Perhaps it is not necessarily my desires getting in the way, but my attachment to them. Maybe it’s time to surrender those desires to God, give them to God and allow them to rest at the seat of higher consciousness. Invoking spiritual will, as my friend Dr. Hawkins describes it. Whereas the will of ego likes to take a desire and strangle it to death, choking it with all its expectations, the will of spirit relinquishes it, opens the floodgates, and watches the miracle unfold. Will my ego relinquish control? Can I subdue its need for power? I can, yes, but patience is required.

And so I will sit and absorb myself in spiritual practice, opening myself up to the process of spiritual evolution. I will do what I can to accept my current state of being with all its faults and limitations, while also knowing the real essence of who I am and my existence. I will sit, I will close my eyes, I will chant, I will show up… and do my best.

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