Meditation in the Forest.
Through the conscious breath I felt a deepening connection with the underlying Spirit of Life.
On the surface of things, Life is not meant to be easy, the struggle for life means death is ever present: the continual creative upwelling demands intense awareness from the life forms inhabiting the Earth.
Alert awakened Presence is the cutting edge of continual renewal, as the essence of Life shapes the manifest World.
In the intense Presence of Life – beneath the appearance of things – everything is known
to be One.
Beneath the different forms of multiple movements lies the great Ocean of formless fluidity, Ha-Main in Hebrew, potent life force, fluid space allowing all things to be in existence, to interact, one with another, to transform from one form into another.
Each life form has its time before it dissolves to be reborn anew.
Ha Maim – the Waters of Life.
Nothing is separate; the beholding consciousness meets that of the conscious whole. All our mind-made divisions resolve into One breath.
In ancient Hebrew the expression of the intensity of Life is found in the words, Ani El Shaddai. These words point to the reality that is the foundation of the Abundant Life of the natural World. Usually mistranslated as “I am Almighty God”, its meaning is much deeper:-
Ani – El Saddai
I – the One, the all nourishing essence of Life.
Ani – The I of consciousness – Being – The Real,
Be Still and breathe with awareness of the life force within you.
The physical Universe continually emerges out of intense alert Presence.
El -No-thing, Being, source of the continual flow of Life; the creative dance- every movement emerging out of, and supported by Stillness.
The potency and potential of every emergent life form.
Shaddai; all nourishing abundance, the vivifying fire, the breath of cosmic motion; the feminine breasts – to nourish its progeny into evolving, ever changing, diversifying life.
El-Shaddai: The power of Life that underlies nature, the planetary being, the solar system, the galaxy and the universe, continually breathes life into every form.
When we breathe with awareness we access the universal creative pattern of life.
The realisation of non-dualuality, each movement unified by awareness of stillness.
Universal Creativity revealed in consciousness beholding itself.
On Sun warmed rock, a gentle wind caressing my skin, the deepening rhythmic pulse of the sea fills my senses, opening out into the fathomless deep of creative potential.
Sun enraptured rock, the earth rising up blood-red into flesh and bones.
The rising wind blows through me.
Cells suspended in ever expanding space, the rhythmic sea, mirrored in the rising and falling Breath.
Landscape, wind and ocean merge as one continuous up-welling movement within timeless, still space, continuously filling to the brim.
I am no more.
Life moves through and beyond any thought of me.
Ani, the I of consciousness in Hebrew,
the fullness of Life; No-thing, Presence, becoming all.
The Universe’s singing like a great bowl consumes me into her song.
She takes me into herself,
I, without thought; deepening Presence – the spirit of the breath of Life.
The radiance of every form of Life rings out continually to humanity calling us into awakening.
אֶֽהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶֽהְיֶה
Ehieh Asher Ehieh
Ehieh is the unspoken manta heard in each consciously taken Breath.
One Breath filling every form of life with song,
each part in communion as the dance unfolds in the blaze of the universe.
The spiritual teachings contained in the Bible can be summed up by this simple phrase.
When you are Present with all your attention, and all thinking subsides, you begin to glimpse the reality sustaining every form of Life.
Where is the Kingdom of Heaven?
You cannot say here it is or there it is.
Once the mind stops looking for something that stands out as if it were a distinct place you have to search for, reach or find, you begin to see, hear and feel the formless creative presence of life, the Essence of the visible universe. At first this awareness is so subtle that it goes almost unnoticed. Yet, it is here as potent reality within you now; that which the mind cannot grasp, own, or contain, the transcendent beauty that brings a deep sense of Peace.
To enter the Kingdom of Heaven is to become still, silent – no thought, no mind, just an alert awareness, the realisation that all forms in what appears as the external world are transparent, an empty fullness, an unfathomable beauty, the pressure of creative life seeking to be consciously known within you.
Letting go of thoughts and emotions is the beginning of freedom. The ego, the person, becomes transparent, there is nothing you need, to be who you are. This is to enter the place of Peace.
In the language of the Bible this is to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. However as the mind notices the deepening Peace and beauty, it begins to label and conceptualize it as a “spiritual” experience. The essence underlying all forms of Life appers to vanish, obscured as the mind resumes its chatter. And we think the the Heavenly realm is gone, that we have lost it.
To regain a sense of Presence: Be Still and alert: breathe with awareness: feel the aliveness in the spinal cord, in the arms and legs, in the heart, and the deep centre of the skull, flowing into and out of every cell in your body: As the awakened Soul, engage with the Spirit of Life flowing into and sustaining all things.
Every creative Idea, every creative act comes from this point of conscious stillness within the heart. All subject – object relating diminishes into the realisation that all is One.
The Kingdom of Heaven is dynamic potential of every living thing.
Continual change, yet underneath never-changing.
The Kingdom of Heaven – Malkut Ha Shamaim in Hebrew – Is Here within you Now, as it is within every form of Life.
It is not something you need to wait for, or somewhere you will go to if you believe in a story, or follow a set of rules.
Heaven and Earth are a seamless garment of non-duality: the real and the appearance of that eternal reality within the One consciousness.
the “I” that is Elohim: The presence of Absolute Life; Total Consciousness.
This “I” is the arising (spiritual awakening) out of all that is unconscious in humanity.
This “I” is the arising consciousness of every life form.
Psalm 46:10 (My translation).
The “I” that is Elohim means no ego, no identification with any form. To realise the “I” that is Elohim is to be at One with the essence of all life.
Realising the still, quiet centre within reveals the essence of who you are. Begin simply by concentrating on the rhythmic motion of the breath, and bring your attention to the aliveness of the energy field that manifests your body. Every cell is vitally alive, the conscious breath helps you to realise this, by focusing your attention into the present moment.
This “I” is the creative, formless essence out of which all forms continually arise, and into which they continually dissolve.
Feel it now in the blood coursing through your veins, and in the air entering and leaving your lungs.
Through inner still silence, beyond the thinking mind, comes the realisation of the “I” that is pure Consciousness – Consciousness that is aware of itself.
To Know (Yadah in Hebrew) also means unknowing – letting go of all that the mind has accumulated as intellectual knowing, all thoughts and identities.
To Know is to feel the universal aliveness within every cell in your body, to realize with pure clarity the Unity and interconnectedness of all things.
Be Still, allowing the Breath to arise and fall out of the stillness.
Be at one with the still silence in which everything exists,
Be the “I” that is Elohim,
the revelation of life, which is true knowledge, without subject or object.
From deep within, witness, as conscious presence,
the revelation of life as multi-dimensional creative power,
the revelation of the timelesse essence of all life.
As the ego dissolves, we discover (as revelation) Universal Being, not as one being discovering another, but through the consciousness of Being itself.
The timeless, formless “I” – Elohim – is Universal Intelligence out of which all life continually emerges. Here within you Now, Present in your every breath.
Presence is the essence of all sentient life that surrounds you, and is within you at all times and in all places.
To enter the deeper dimension that is present within you, here, now, requires no mind, no thoughts, just an alert, inner awareness.
The practice of Meditation means To Be receptive to Life (Kabbalah in Hebrew): as you bring your attention fully into the present moment, you become rooted in the timeless. The mind becomes still. In this stillness, you realise your connection with Creative Presence.
The Bible calls this entering the Kingdom of Heaven – a deepening revelation of potent creativity in the present moment. This takes us beyond belief, and all identification with spiritual philosophies and religious creeds, into the formless One.
You realise the formless, timeless essence as the core of who you are; the core of everyone and everything.
Every moment spent in Presence creates gaps in the thought streams of the mind, that open out into deeper awareness that permeates through you.
Once you are able to observe the egoic mind, even fleetingly, you notice how it seeks to fill inner space with thoughts and emotionally charged forms or identities, which draw you back into unconsciousness. Although it is a real challenge, your ability to become, and then remain, present, so that you can observe this return to the ordinary mind, is the beginning of the end of their power over you.
It is important not to fight the ego; this simply strengthens it. Your attention in the present moment, without judgement, dissolves all past thought forms that cause division and depression, and all future imaginings that cause compulsive needs and anxiety.
Practicing meditation by being still before doing or saying anything brings the spiritual dimension into your daily life. In this clear space, subject and object separation is diminished. Realising you are an integral part of the interconnectivity of all life on Earth and in the Cosmos brings Peace: your body loves this connectivity and is invigorated by it, the senses open out, the incredible depth and fullness of life reveals itself to you. And then you know that Heaven and Earth are One.
The senses fill to overflowing,
enlivened in your awakening,
wordless inner knowing,
you are supported by the universe,
and everything connected,
flows in and out of you as Conscious Breath.
The Abbey Sutton Courtenay
“At your core is your spiritual Being. It is accessible to you now. This is the essence of Kabbalah.” (From Patterns of Creation.)
Weekend workshop Saturday the 27th and Sunday 28th of September 2014 With Stephen Pope, Author of Patterns of Creation Logos and the Tree of Life in the Gospel of John (Axis Mundi Books 2012)
This workshop focuses on finding Inner Peace. In Kabbalah Peace is understood as the core of who we are, synonymous with Presence, and the stillness of Being. From inner Peace we realise our intimate connection to the whole of life, to all that exists in nature and the entire Universe.
Inner Peace, is the end of all of our projections: it equates with true love, which means no enemies and marks the end of all our unconscious destructive behaviour towards the natural world.
During the weekend we will work with meditation, contemplation, conscious breathing and the energy field of the body to reconnect with the Place of Peace within each of us. From this awareness comes true freedom, as we experience these profound spiritual truths for ourselves and move beyond the mind dominated by ego into the stillness and the peace of Presence at the core.
A practicing mystic in the Kabbalistic tradition for over thirty years, Steve Pope has a B.D and MA in Theology and translates Greek and Hebrew Biblical texts. His book Patterns of Creation – Axis Mundi Books 2012 is a radical exploration of the mystical teachings in the Gospel of John.
“This remarkable and profound work takes the understanding of the gospel to a new level.”
Scientific and Medical Network review.
“You don’t have to a be a kabbalist to appreciate this really fascinating and enlightening book..it truly brought the teachings to life for me. It really is teaching at its very best.”
10.00am Saturday -‐ 4.00pm Sunday, including evening session on Saturday £165. Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals. You have the option of arriving on Friday for the evening seminar, The Peace of Wild Things. Join us for both with two nights accommodation for £190
Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals.
To confirm booking please contact:The Abbey Sutton Courtenay, Oxon OX14 4AF
Tel: 01235 847401
And for further details about the course please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Within every human is Being: total Presence. Absolute consciousness, stillness, silence, and peace can all be used to describe that which Is.” (from the book Patterns of Creation.)
In Biblical Hebrew these teachings are put into story form, where the emerging consciousness is symbolised by the names of people and places.
Jacob – Symbol of the Awakening Soul
In the story of Jacob, the awakening Soul leaves Beer-Sheba (In Hebrew, the seven springs) and journeys to Haran (In Hebrew, a meeting of ways, crossroads, to burn or glow, and to be freeborn).
In Biblical symbolism, to journey is to encounter greater consciousness.
On this journey of inner ascent, Jacob – the awakening Soul – encounters a place of deep stillness. This point within the Soul is described as an upwelling of abiding strength: a place of Brilliance (Light), emanating out of a timeless Presence which the Soul realises as its source and foundation.
The Hebrew text says that, Jacob lays down to die in this established place of HaHoa, the breath of life.
Hoa – one of the Divine Names – means Breath of Life in Hebrew.
Jacob encounters the Inner Presence of Elohim in the exaltation of conscious Presence.
Presence – I AM consciousness – dissolves the personality until there is just enough to function in the world. The personal self is realised as a dream, and becomes transparent so that Presence shines through. This brings to an end all needless suffering and limitation.
To feel the aliveness of the boundless Presence of Life requires no thought.
Breathing deeply with awareness whilst feeling the energy field of the inner body as intensely as you can creates space.
The ego does not like Presence and will complain and try to distract you.
Practicing conscious breathing, is the beginning of freedom from identity with thought forms; the beginning of the end of the small self of the ego.
This reveals Presence – called Hoa and Elohim in the Hebrew text of Jacob’s Ladder – the source, out of which all life forms continually arise.
(A fuller translation of the story of Jacob from the Hebrew is available in the book Patterns of Creation.)
Meditation and spiritual practice are not separate from your daily life.
Life, meditation and prayer are realised as One, no thoughts or words are necessary only your lucid attention in the present moment.
Awakening to inner space
The Hebrew for the formless Spirit is Ruwach, which can be translated as “expansive creative space,” and “the movement of the breath or the wind.” It is within you now giving you life. (From the book Patterns of Creation.)
The Human Spirit is intimately connected to the whole of life. To live as Ruwach is to be free of identification with any form whist living fully within the universe of forms.
Creativity continually emerges out of unknowing: formless, non-conceptualized space – no-thing that we can say is anything – allowing every possible possibility to emerge in the play of forms.
Creative inner space emerges out of the Quiet Still Presence within you, and allows the application of all of your learnt skills without interference from the compulsive thinking of the unobserved mind.
As awareness of creative space grows, identification with the ego diminishes, dissolving the compulsive thought forms that cause fear, anxiety, anger and depression.
Ruwach – Spirit of Life – is fullness of life, animating every form.
Eternal Life continually creates all things new, and is present within you now.
In Hebrew this is, Bereshith Bara Elohim Et Ha Shamaim Vey Et Ha Eretz.
This can be translated as:
The creation of all life continually emerges out of Elohim; Being – Eternal Presence, in the Here – Now:
As Heaven (formless creative Spirit) and Earth (all the forms of the Cosmos):
Heaven and Earth are intimately intertwined as One Creation.
(my translation of the opening lines of Genesis)