Half-Century and Beyond

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Well, the first day of my 50th year on this planet has been a good one, which bodes well for the next fifty. Transcendental Meditation has made my recovery quite a simple process and as I finished another round, sat on the beach, with the sun beating down, the tide rolling toward me, and such serenity surrounding me me, I knew I was exactly where I should be, with all my grandest dreams laid out before me. 12 years ago, the last thing I wanted was to be alive. How times change, as in that moment I saw all that had gone before as the platform I now stand on to launch into the next void. Why quit when the miracle is always about to happen, with that miracle being the next breath we take and the next beat of the heart. (Photo @jagsbean)

New Light

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Mount Meru

I’ve watched two climbing documentaries recently, Dawn Wall and Free Solo. Both set in Yosemite National Park on El Capitan in what may just be the most beautiful valley in the world. Meru is another I’ve seen over ten times, also filmed by Jimmy Chin who had a hand in Free Solo. I’m not a rock climber, but I’m drawn to these films by the strength of character of the people involved, and the raw exposure to the elements during days or weeks spent climbing the three thousand feet high granite wall. Alex Honnold, however, spent under four hours climbing El Capitan without a rope, or any safety equipment. The film still feels like a dream to me where I find myself thinking, ‘did I really just see that?’ Free Solo is about Alex’s quest to do something no other human has ever done. He achieved what’s been hailed as the greatest athletic feat of any kind. There’s no symmetry between what Alex did in Free Solo and what I’m trying to do with my writing, but films like that, Dawn Wall and Meru, only inspire or perhaps even reassure me that I’ve got to keep writing and exploring where the adventure my character is on, is heading. I understand the doubt in their minds about whether it’s really worth the time and effort to keep trying, but they kept on, and they triumphed.

These films also show Nature in all her majesty. Climbers are people who appreciate the outdoors, the views, they endure the risk, the elements and injuries for the opportunity to be one with Mother Nature, and I get that. They’re also about people looking for a place called the Edge where something can be achieved for the first time in history. When I heard that word, Edge, it brought back memories of the place I was at eleven or so years ago, teetering on the brink of self-inflicted extinction, but it also indicated where I’ve been recently.

With the Winter Solstice a few hours away, I’ve reflected on the last few months and how I’ve pushed myself, addict style, to the edge of exhaustion. I’m coming Out the other side of that, just in time for Christmas. Some of the trials of the last few weeks were intensified by an increase in my Transcendental Meditation and Siddhi programme. It just seemed like the right thing to do as the days got shorter, to go within, bear-like. Whenever time allows, if the inspiration to write has been missing, I’ll meditate, because creativity dwells there. It’s been interdimensional and enlightening as I’ve transcended to the edge of this dimension into others. Through my interactions with Nature’s energy field I’m frequently privy to fleeting supernatural drone footage of Canadian forest canopies and masses of English oak trees. I’ve flown down valleys, seen rain sprinkle the surface of a still pond and listened to a babbling brook. I’ve felt the power of a giant wave and the wind it generates, but it hasn’t always felt like I’ve been the viewer, it’s more that I am a part of whatever Nature I encounter. I’ve ended meditations with the distinct knowing that I’ve had conversations with people, strangers, yet unable to remember what we talked about. Twice I’ve seen a wall of mercury-like energy in front of me and a face peering through with a quizzical look on its face and unintentional psychic phenomena have been happening, more than usual.

Ring of Brodgar – Winter Solstice

These mystical experiences aren’t regular or predictable in any way and I feel they’re just embryonic, with much more to come. Expecting them to happen is just effort. TM should be effortless, I just wait for Nature to bring it forth. Deepening my TM programme feels the right thing to continue doing, something’s happening, something magical. While I’ve found these recent dark and tired days a challenge, they are now ending and the light is about to return. The Earth is due to start breathing out, rising up to meet the light, just as the full moon rises tomorrow evening. I’ll go with Nature’s flow as much as I can, after all, She knows best. Wishing you only light.

Earth Energy and Transcendence in France

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Trips spent searching for inspiration are times spent with the rawness of nature, always such a healing and empowering time for me. Mont St Michel is one such place, regardless of the man made architecture which, in my view, were built to celebrate the primal ley-line energy flowing though the site. The impetus for this trip initially came from a dear friend who suggested I might find Mont St Michel (MSM) inspiring. The full itinerary came from another friend who sent me details of a tour the author Kathleen McGowan was due to make of the Carnac region. So I decided to go solo and designed my own pilgrimage based on some of Kathleen’s destinations, and that is how this trip happened. Not for the first time, things fell into place easily and I felt supported from beginning to end, both by my family who afforded me the time away, and by the Universe. I’d never driven in France before, so the seven hundred mile road-trip I was about to embark on was slightly daunting as this was my first trip there for twelve years since last walking through the grotto in Lourdes, a time I wrote about in Awaken. Nonetheless, I felt there was an important piece waiting for me in France. My research confirmed synchronicity with ley-lines – Earth’s primal dragon energies, which are sparks and communicators where my writing is concerned.

The September roads were quiet on the way to MSM and the first sighting of it from miles away across the flat arable land was like a mirage, a spiritual oasis, with the abbey spire rocketing to the heavens. I arrived after a few hours’ sleep during a night-crossing spent in the reserved seating area, but with my ability to meditate in virtually any situation put to good use. Transcendental Meditation frequently lulled me back to a rest, deeper than sleep, turning four hours sleep into what felt like many more. I had no desire to join the huge queues for the shuttles across the bridge to MSM. These trips are personal pilgrimages, dare I say, spiritual quests, as they teach me more about being in my own company (something I have not always good at) and about rejuvenation. Somehow, the older I get the younger I feel. These days are like school for me, learning to live again, finding teachings in marriage, fatherhood, Nature, meditation, and following what I can only describe as a calling which would have never appeared had I not found the rock-bottom I was at twelve years ago when I ran my hand over the Lourdes grotto stone.

I spent the first day on MSM inside the abbey, meditating, looking out to sea from its highest ramparts and terraces. Listening for messages behind the noise of school children and tourists carrying selfie-sticks. Why was I here? What did the energy want to tell me? I couldn’t hear it. Civilization grated on me, but the powerful coastal wind contained me. No matter how strong the wind may be, it always contains me, giving me a point of focus, helping me to go beyond the people from the ordinary to Nature’s non-ordinary reality. I was impatient, seeking instant gratification from a choir of angels declaring my arrival. Then, as I slowed, the energy arrived and as the tour of the abbey progressed it grew in strength as I sat next to the rectangular grass nave where the monks used to meditate. I could have sat there all day and that was how it felt being on MSM, if I was to sum it all up in one word, it would be ‘effortless’ and as the tour guides came, gave their spiels and then went, I learnt to accept everyone’s presence and feel an energy which was subtle at first and then became undeniable. I found somewhere to watch the sunset at the base of the abbey, next to a yew tree and raw slanting rock race which supported the pyramid of Christianity towering above me. Bats woke with the moon rise, and as the tourists left, leaving the forty residents and those staying in the hotels on MSM – its magic appeared in the quietness.

That magic is still with me, and it is bold and powerful and oh so primal, yet tinged with the Divine. Archangel Michael was right to be so persistent with Bishop Aubert. MSM is a vortex now, swirling with forces I feel drawn to. I saw so much sitting there in the quiet of the night, my mind’s eye, alive and electrified, showing me things still so vivid and which I will now channel into the Earth Guardians books.

I woke early the next morning for dawn mass at the abbey. If you ever stay overnight on MSM, be sure to make the dawn mass. I was the only person around at six-thirty in the morning with the only activity being the first autumn leaves blowing over the ancient stone steps underneath an overcast sky. Only six guests arrived for a mass held by as many Benedictine nuns and priests in an abbey which was otherwise deserted. The sacred silence I’d searched for the day before was so tangible as our small group climbed the steps inside the abbey walls to the church and took our places to hear the hymns fill every alcove of the vast church as the sea crashed outside and the wind flew through the upper terrace door as though the wings of Archangel Michael himself had arrived to bask in the beautiful sounds. I have never, and doubt I will ever experience thirty minutes like it again in my life.

I left MSM feeling blessed, awestruck and changed. I didn’t care to know how. There was a sense of relief that the decision to stay on the Mont had been the right one, and one I would be glad to make again. I drove to Carnac on the first day flares of the Autumn Equinox. I’d chosen to make this trip at what I considered to be an auspicious astrological time which exactly one year earlier had seen me singing and laughing in the centre of the Ring of Brodgar on Orkney. This time the moon would be full in two more days, a time when I always feel more energetically charged.

Following a visit to Merlin’s Tomb in the Arthurian Forest of Broceliande and a powerful meditation way off the beaten path where thick moss covered the trees, I continued to the alignments and giant menhirs of the Morbihan region. Some kind of exchange happens when you meditate with these giant stones, and if you approach them with an open heart and humility, the energy will give you what you need to help you on your personal journey.

I spent the next four days meditating in areas thriving with the Earth energy stimulated by some of the eighty thousand megaliths placed along thirty-one fractures of France’s most active earthquake zone, causing them to be in a constant state of vibration. I can feel my energy adapting to the experience, to the new resonance of my soul, and I look forward to reaping what will grow from the seeds planted in deepest transcendence with Mother Earth.

They’re Alive!

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The effect of sacred sites behaving like concentrators of electromagnetic energy is enhanced by the choice of stone. Often moved across enormous distance, the stone used in megalithic sites contains substantial amounts of magnetite. The combination makes temples behave like weak, albeit huge, magnets.

This has a profound influence on the human body, particularly the dissolved iron that flows in blood vessels, not to mention the millions of particles of magnetite floating inside the skull, and the pineal gland, which itself is highly sensitive to geomagnetic fields, and whose stimulation begins the production of chemicals such as pinolene and seratonin, which in turn leads to the creation of the hallucinogen DMT. In an environment where geomagnetic field intensity is decreased, people are known to experience psychic and shamanic states

Being very high in quartz, the specially chosen rocks are piezoelectric, which is to say they generate electricity when compressed or subjected to vibrations. The megaliths of Carnac, positioned as they are upon thirty-one fractures of the most active earthquake zone in France, are in a constant state of vibration, making the stones electromagnetically active.

It demonstrates that the menhirs were not planted on this location by chance, particularly as they were transported from 60 miles away, because their presence and orientation is in direct relationship to terrestrial magnetism.

Ancient Mysteries traditions around the world share one peculiar aspect: they maintain how certain places on the face of the Earth possess a higher concentration of power than others. These sites, named “spots of the fawn” by the Hopi, eventually became the foundation for many sacred sites and temple structures we see today. What is interesting is that each culture maintains that these special places are connected with the heavens by a hollow tube or reed, and by this umbilical connection the soul is capable of engaging with the Otherworld during ritual. However, it also allows a conduit for the spirit world to enter this physical domain. (Excerpt from Freddie Silva’s website. Carnac is the next Earth Guardians research destination)

Solstice Rising

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I was awake at 3am for my journey to the hill fort to welcome the Summer Solstice with a magic ceremony I’ve been planning for several days. The closer I get to Mother Nature the more I fall in love with her. Gifted with clear skies and sole occupancy of the hill, I thought that was precious enough, but there was more to come. As soon as the core part of the ceremony started I heard a noise behind me. A small herd of New Forest ponies joined me, nibbling at my blanket, trying to make off with my drum case, galloping all over the hillside as I sang, drummed and set fire to my prayers. The sun’s first beams were electrifying and the song of an ascending skylark was the last in an amazing line of synchronicities that strengthened my faith in all things unseen… and I think to myself, what a wonderful world. 

Full Article – The Magic of Meditation

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Several months into recovery I went to see a psychic-medium and the word ‘meditation’ kept coming up. At the time, I didn’t meditate and certainly didn’t know anything about calming my mind. Drugs and alcohol were a thing of the past, remaining behind firmly locked gates while other, new avenues, opened for me, but my head was still a dangerous place to be alone. Too often I confronted myself in the dark alleys that my all-too-vivid imagination took me to. Respite from my self-sabotaging thoughts was rare and precious as the drugs and alcohol weren’t there to numb it anymore. I was soon to be introduced to a new, natural high, which would protect me from myself, connect me with my Self and in doing so introduce me to the spiritual and creative energy now driving my writing.

When I was nearly a year clean, the guidance from that medium began to make sense. The wonderful lady who taught me the first two levels of Reiki told me about a talk being given which she felt was important I came to. That was the first time I’d heard about Transcendental Meditation. A teacher from the Meditation Trust told us about a man we may’ve seen the Beatles hanging out with, in India, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He told us about how Maharishi left India with nothing but his sandals and robe for San Francisco, to embark on the first of what would be seven world tours with just one goal – world peace. “I will fill with world with love and create a heaven on earth”, he said. Now, Maharishi wouldn’t have been the first in history to try and spread such a message, and I was intrigued about how he aimed to do this. I sat on the edge of my seat and soaked up every word.

“We’re all individual waves on a sea of consciousness,” he said. “When we meditate with the mantra, we transcend from the surface down to the stillest, quietest realms of the mind where there is no thought, no feeling, no time or space. There, we become one with the Unified Field of energy underpinning all of the world’s religions. We become one with everything.” I was gripped, he was talking my space-cadet language. He was no space cadet, though. He had been to a place as dark as I had known and TM had brought him back from the edge. But what was it, what was TM?

The more I learnt about the simplest, yet most powerful meditation technique, the more I realised I’d found a huge piece of my spiritual jigsaw. Rehab helped me realise that Nature was my higher power, my G.O.D. or Great Out Doors. As the fog cleared, I saw Nature in new glorious technicolour. I felt the elements with new vigour, and connected with the Mother of all mountains, Table Mountain, in a way which is probably the closest I’ll ever come to defining what having a ‘religious experience’ means to me. Blessing’s came in many guises during rock-bottom and rehab. Being given the chance to heal in Cape Town was one of the biggest gifts, second only to meeting my soulmate and having the family I yearned for and now have. They only came to me because I’d found rock-bottom, though, because through the process of descent and return, I cleansed my life of the imposter claiming to be me. Funny how it works isn’t it. With this new-found love of the environment in my recovery toolkit, I was then given my TM mantra, a sound of Nature itself. A combination of two syllables, meaningless where the English language is concerned, but with a vibration which forms part of the primordial hum of the Universe. A sound of Mother Nature and the more I repeat it, the more powerful it becomes and the closer it brings me to Nature. Step eleven – ‘Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him/her,’ had just taken on new meaning. Nature’s natural instinct is to support and help grow, so I was tapped in to a force which would always look for the best for me.

The TM mantras are part of the oldest language in the world, Sanskrit, which I find especially interesting as research suggests that Dr Usui found the Reiki healing system within Sanskrit texts and the TM mantras have universal healing properties. I was given my mantra at a weekend course and within a few minutes of repetition I experienced a euphoria I’ve never felt before, or since that time. It may come again, or it may not. I have no way of knowing, but that burst of happiness, no, bliss! was what I was seeking, and to know it was there, even in such brevity, was all the proof I needed to continue with my practice. Some of our group wondered how they would fit the recommended twenty minutes, twice a day into their busy lives, but I had more than enough vacant spaces left empty by the absence of unhealthy past-times. Active addiction turned me into a freaked-out night owl who tried to hide from the day. Now, recovery was giving me opportunities to fill my life with spirit and people. TM wasn’t going to be a bed of roses, far from it actually. My mantra stirred up and released stress-infused sludge I never knew existed. My meditations had the propensity to be rollercoaster rides of anger, hate, love, happiness, frustration, confusion, sadness and also a peace beyond compare. By releasing stress during TM, bliss would take its place, a bliss infinite and eternal – I call it happiness.

The moments of stillness TM give me are some of the richest of my life. I’ve found a routine where my alarm now sounds at 5am, so I can start the day by sitting with myself in silence, repeating my mantra, calling Nature into my life. Healing, loving Nature. Within months I began to feel an inevitability that it would soon be time to stop smoking, a habit which had become more frequent since rehab and one I felt myself becoming increasingly sick of. My conscience got louder. My body whispered it at first, “please stop killing me,” it said to my mind. Then the pleading got louder. I couldn’t ignore Nature’s call to health. I saw the ridiculousness of what I was doing to myself by committing slow suicide after escaping the damage of harder drugs. The more I said my mantra the closer I came to quitting a twenty year habit. I bought a nicotine inhaler and a pack of the strongest cigarettes I could find, to make myself sicker of it quicker. I decided to be kinder to myself, another gift of TM, by not beating myself up if I couldn’t go a whole day without a cigarette, and I didn’t make it first time around, but on the third day I did. I managed to wake up and go to bed without sparking-up.

I kept going to the meditation retreats at a country house in Kent where forty of us meditated in a group, seven to eight times a day. There I listened to the teacher talk about the power of the group, coherence. Three days of group meditation during the retreat gave each of us the benefits of three months of solo meditation. The most noticeable change was how I interacted with Nature, and it with me. I had moments when I felt trees acknowledge me, and I felt their joy as they basked in summer sunshine and danced in winds. I found myself overcome by love at random moments. Tears ran down my face in crowded trains after twenty minutes of TM as gratitude and a feeling of profound love washed over me. Yes, those moments were just that, moments, but they were so powerful I knew something magical was taking place.

The key to TM, is to keep the process as effortless and innocent as possible. The mind objects to going into silence. It likes to think, be active, and throw stuff up, meaningless stuff about what we have to do today or what we did yesterday or what happened years ago. Whatever comes up during meditation, it’s meant to, we let it go and just go back to the mantra. I have no idea how far TM has taken me on the ‘old road home’, I just know that even after rehab there was so much sludge to stir up and release. Rehab just skimmed the surface, it gave me the courage to look deeper within, and in doing so I would find real treasures. The stress of humanity is the size of a trillion atom bombs, and we all feel it, sometimes part of that stress is released through me when I meditate. TM works like a snow-plough. Sometimes the path is clear and sometimes we have to clear it. When the mind throws up uncomfortable thoughts or feelings of anger, frustration and anxiety, it’s just turbulence and when it passes the path becomes clearer, smoother.  So there is a lot going on during meditation. There’s the cumulative power of the mantra – a sound which is but a snippet of the primordial hum of the Universe, yet it has a vibration powerful enough to heal on so many levels, because it enables us to realise the infinite nature of our personal expansion. That’s where creativity comes in.

Spirit had been nudging me persistently to start writing about my experiences of rock-bottom and recovery. My writing journey eventually began when I learnt the advanced TM Siddhi technique a few years ago. That’s when the energy on my brow and crown chakras accelerated, and so did the speed of transcendence during meditation causing an even deeper connection with Nature and the consciousness webbing it together. By following twenty minutes of TM with ten minutes of repeating eighteen sutras, or ‘threads’ as the word implies, and then five minutes spent repeating a nineteenth, flying sutra, I send a signal to Mother Earth to come and get me. You see, she’s always looking for something or someone to support. The magic combination of these phrases astounds me every time I feel the impulse. By offering the smallest amount of movement whilst sitting cross-legged on a piece of foam an impulse shoots through me and I can’t help but move with the thousand butterflies fluttering through me. Initially, the movement requires ninety percent physical effort, ten percent mental effort. With perseverance this switches, the cumulative effect is relevant again, with the movement being caused by ninety percent mental effort to support the flying technique. Now, I can’t profess to fly, but when I’m in the throes of Mother Nature’s power, it feels like flying.

Transcendental Meditation is responsible for so much goodness in my life, more than anything, though, it has put me on what I call The Path… of destiny. When I sit down at a keyboard my crown chakra lights up, electricity swirls around me head, someone or something joins with me and co-creation with an unseen force takes place. While you’ll one day find my Earth Guardians Series in the fiction section, to me everything I write about (especially book one – Awaken) has or is happening to me, either in this reality or energetically by way of the personal transformation I’ve been experiencing for the last ten years. The more I meditate the closer I get to Nature and so share Earth’s energies. Writing has introduced me to shamanism and the power of ceremony, such as the Native American Vision Quest when I spent four days and four nights without food on a Cornish moor. My ancestors are close by, and a strong influence where keeping to The Path is concerned. Respecting and communicating with the spirit which is in all things has seen The Path take me to the Highlands of Scotland to connect with extinct volcanoes and the spirits of the witches murdered in the witch hunts of the fourteen hundreds, and their loved ones. It has introduced me to the spirits of Merlin, St George, a malevolent entity dwelling in Edinburgh’s underground city, and led me to where Arthur has been resting for hundreds of years. The Path has gifted me a Summer Solstice sunrises whilst being swarmed by transformational snake energies and taught me about the role lightning strikes played in forging my relationship with the spirit of a crow I know as a brother. It has taken me down to Dover Castle’s medieval tunnels for an appointment with a king, and reunited me with my past-life as a Native American and the people from that time, who still live with me today.


The Path recently took me to Sweden where I was introduced to Sedjr, Norse shamanism, and I feel Oden’s gaze and hear his suggestions for my writing. Now, the runes and Norse mythology open new doors and inspire me further. As fortune or perhaps fate would have it, the runes also represent primordial sounds and images that magicians picked up from Nature’s own vibrations; wind, thunder, rain, hail, snow, waves, bellowing animals, humming insects, murmuring brooks, whispering trees, the sounds of growing. They are teaching me more about the spirit and sacredness of our landscapes and to how connect with the Norse story of creation and the nine realms which I feel hold the key to book three – Blue Wind. I have not walked this path alone, I have been guided to this moment in time, by spirit. It wants me to tell a story. There are still times when I feel I may have strayed and lost my way, unable to hear or see the signs, but after connecting with the magic of Transcendental Meditation, The Path becomes clear once more.

The Magic of Meditation – part one

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Several months into recovery I went to see a psychic-medium and the word ‘meditation’ kept coming up. At the time, I didn’t meditate and certainly didn’t know anything about calming my mind. Drugs and alcohol were a thing of the past, remaining behind firmly locked gates while other, new avenues, opened for me, but my head was still a dangerous place to be alone. Too often I confronted myself in the dark alleys that my all-too-vivid imagination took me to. Respite from my self-sabotaging thoughts was rare and precious as the drugs and alcohol weren’t there to numb anymore. I was soon to be introduced to a new, natural high, which would protect me from myself, connect me with my Self and in doing so introduce me to the spiritual and creative energy now driving my writing.

When I was nearly a year clean, the guidance from that medium began to make sense. The wonderful lady who taught me the first two levels of Reiki told me about a talk being given which she felt was important I came to. That was the first time I’d heard about Transcendental Meditation. A teacher from the Meditation Trust told us about a man we may’ve seen the Beatles hanging out with, in India, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He told us about how Maharishi left India with nothing but his sandals and robe for San Francisco, to embark on the first of what would be seven world tours with just one goal – world peace. “I will fill with world with love and create a heaven on earth”, he said. Now, Maharishi wouldn’t have been the first in history to try and spread such a message, and I was intrigued about how he aimed to do this. I was never academically gifted, but I managed to apply myself to four months of treatment and the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to get well and bring back the first spark of light my life had seen in many years. I sat on the edge of my seat and soaked up every word.

“We’re all individual waves on a sea of consciousness,” he said. “When we meditate with the mantra, we transcend from the surface down to the stillest, quietest realms of the mind where there is no thought, no feeling, no time or space. There, we become one with the Unified Field of energy underpinning all of the world’s religions. We become one with everything.” I was gripped, he was talking my space-cadet language. He was no space cadet, though. He had been to a place as dark as I had known and TM had brought him back from the edge. But what was it, what was TM?

The more I learnt about the simplest, yet most powerful meditation technique, the more I realised I’d found a huge piece of my spiritual jigsaw. Rehab helped me realise that Nature was my higher power, my G.O.D. or Great Out Doors. As the fog cleared, I saw Nature in new glorious technicolour. I felt the elements with new vigour, and connected with the Mother of all mountains, Table Mountain, in a way which is probably the closest I’ll ever come to defining what having a ‘religious experience’ means to me. Blessing’s came in many guises during rock-bottom and rehab. Being given the chance to heal in Cape Town was one of the biggest gifts, second only to meeting my soulmate and having the family I yearned for and now have. They only came to me because I’d found rock-bottom, though. Funny how it works isn’t it. With this new-found love of the environment in my recovery toolkit, I was then given my TM mantra, a sound of Nature itself. A combination of two syllables, meaningless where the English language is concerned, but with a vibration which forms part of the primordial hum of the Universe. A sound of Mother Nature and the more I repeat it, the more powerful it becomes and the closer it brings me to Nature. Step eleven – ‘Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him/her,’ had just taken on new meaning. Nature’s natural instinct is to support and help grow, so I was tapped into a force which would always look for the best outcomes, the highest good.

The TM mantras are part of the ancient language of Sanskrit, which I find especially interesting as Dr Usui found the Reiki healing system within Sanskrit texts and the TM mantras have universal healing properties. I was given my mantra at a weekend course and within a few minutes of repetition I experienced a euphoria I’ve never felt before, or since that time. It may come again, or it may not. I have no way of knowing, but that burst of happiness was what I was seeking and to know it was there, even in such brevity, was all the proof I needed to continue with my practice. Some of our group wondered how they would fit the recommended twenty minutes, twice a day into their busy lives, but I had more than enough vacant spaces, left empty by the absence of unhealthy past-times. Active addiction turned me into a freaked out night owl who tried to hide from the day. Now, recovery was giving me opportunities to fill my life with spirit and people. TM wasn’t going to be a bed of roses, far from it actually. My mantra stirred up and released stress-infused sludge I never knew existed. My meditations had the propensity to be roller-coaster rides of anger, hate, love, happiness, frustration, confusion, and also a peace beyond compare. By releasing stress during TM, bliss takes its place, a bliss infinite and eternal – I call it happiness.

Lakota Burial Ceremony

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Something about the Lakota calls to me. Last summer’s Vision Quest was from their tradition, and this summer another ceremony has been calling. The Burial Ceremony – spending the first two days in preparation, digging the grave, followed by a night of transformation inside the Earth from dusk ‘til dawn, covered by planks, tarp and soil with a breathing tube, while the shaman drums and prays through the night.

As uncomfortable as I find enclosed spaces, this would be taking the earthing I practice in the forest to a new level and certainly give me something to write about!

It’s an initiation ceremony into the ancient Earth mystery, an opportunity to discover, through your own experience, that Mother Earth is alive, and to understand why the ancient ones called her our Mother. To learn how to listen to the Earth Mother and to hear her voice, wisdom and learn about her immense healing power on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level.

In the grave you have the opportunity to let go of the burdens you carry and are ready to release. The Burial Ceremony can shift the things that otherwise seem very difficult or impossible to change. In the darkness of the Earth you will learn about coming to terms with your own mortality. The ceremony teaches you to embrace life fully, letting go of control, and begin to live from the heart and the spirit.

To Quest or Not to Quest – That is the Question.

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Starting the New Year after a Christmas tainted by tragedy has presented challenges I’ve never faced before. I’ve met grief in many guises, but never during a time meant for togetherness and good will to all. If there has been an ultimate test of faith in people and the powers that be, I am in the midst of it right now. I delved deep into my reserves, yet found little to sustain me. Eventually the help closest at hand from my beloved, and the now invisible soul who so nearly made it to our family, they are the ones providing the healing.

While I am now only rarely visited by the horror we went through, it still stabs me unexpectedly, but quick to follow is an indescribable love I have never felt before – it comes when he visits, no, envelopes me, pushing tears from my eyes in the stillest moments of my meditations when the veil between our worlds is now so thin. I savour the touch of those tears, just as I did when I learnt to cry again in rehab after years of denying them their freedom. Out of all sadness, happiness rises, and I’m finding it again, finding my humour, the motivation to write again, and belief in myself and the journey.

Thanks to a dear friend who gave me some precious advice yesterday, I can see clearly now, all the way to Mont Saint Michel, which waits for me, Grail-like, as do other quest destinations yet to show themselves.

Remaining focused on the task of submitting Stag Rider to agents has been difficult to say the least, and I’ve ever so fleetingly doubted the nature of my personal quest and that of Aaron’s. They are truly scary moments. I’m able to deflect the rejections, most of the time, but my writing has never felt so cathartic and from my first day of sobriety, recovery has and always will be a quest to me. By writing this I am outing the self-sabotaging bastard who has dared to come and see me. The quest must go on! Stag Rider, will find its place when the Universe deems the time to be right and the flood-gates finally open.

 

The Maharishi Effect

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https://www.mum.edu/tm-research-overview/maharishi-effect/

This is just a small piece of the literature available on the power of group meditation, otherwise known as coherence or ‘the group effect’. Not a day goes by I don’t feel privileged to have been imparted such sacred wisdom. Studies not only show reduction in crime, but also that the sun comes out more, unemployment falls, people come off their medication sooner than expected.

Then there’s the unprecedented ceasefires during the Croatian and Syrian conflicts, when a small group of siddhars got as close to the frontline as possible to meditate. We have such limitless power at the tip of our imaginations, and so much more than that which is under a trigger finger.