Saturday, June 28, 2014

Meditative Groove

Greetings all,

I hope you are enjoying the heat this week.  We've had  a good mix of rain and sun and my garden is beginning to perk up.  I seem to have fallen behind in my posts of late.  I still get one out each week, but it is more of a press to get it all done.  I stay busy, between artwork, clients, teaching, working on my book, and working a part time job there is no day of rest.

I used to be very regimental about having a meditative practice.  The past few years I have been more sporadic about setting aside time.  (See above for reasons why).  I would always say, "When I get all my tasks done I can meditate."  The only problem with this approach is that there is no end to tasks, and even when I do get it all done I am generally all wound up and can't sit still.  So more often than not there wasn't time devoted to silence.  I also tend to be a night owl so getting it done early in the day was a challenge since I got up later.

Lately I have been feeling the need for more calm.  As I have taken on more responsibilities I am needing to center more, otherwise I get pulled into everyone else's story.  I have gone back to doing longer seated meditations in the morning.  Now I am not waking up at 5 AM or anything, nor am I meditating first thing.  I have breakfast first, because nothing interrupts meditation quite like having your stomach growling at you.  After breakfast I practice a little tai chi, and then get cleaned up.  Meditation comes next before any other tasks.

This has been challenging to keep up.  There are always messages to check.  Facebook beckons with its promise of social connectivity (and possible art sales too).  Text messages come in day and night at all hours that chime luring my attention away from the moment.  There are voicemails, emails, and youtube comments to reply to.  For this reason screen time is severely limited until after meditation.

I like to use brainwave entrainment to help me meditate.  It's a quick way to get your state of mind to change.  I flit between different frequencies changing it up each day so I don't get too bored.  So some days I am chilling in hyper gamma, other days I will be in deep theta, or even epsilon.  Each of these tracks are a half hour and of course part of my brain is screaming at me how much stuff I have to get done.  The trick is you have to let it scream and tell it that you have time.  I have plenty of time with my weird flexible schedule; the problem has been since I have that time I don't seem to use it well.  Part of working for yourself is taking yourself seriously and that means scheduling things and then following that schedule.

So after about two weeks of doing meditation first here is what I notice.  I get what I need done and I get it done faster.  I had a lot of back logged emotion that was being suppressed.  (Hence the crying every time I got deep into meditation).  I enjoy turning my phone off at night and I sleep better.  I am not missing out on anything by taking this half hour for myself.

So what about you?  Is there some self care that you put off till everything is done for the day?  Do you makes lists of tasks for yourself all day long?  Do you let your electronic screens dictate your attention rather than the other way around?  If so maybe you should take a few minutes to get centered each day.  Now I know many of you have more rigid schedules than I do, but cheer up recent studies show that as little as seven to ten minutes of meditation a day is enough to rewire neural networks.  Maybe your meditation time won't be in the morning,.  Maybe it will be on your lunch break, on your commute (if you aren't driving), or in the evening before bed..  Just try carving out a little space for your mental well being.  Trust me you have time.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Drumming Down the Sky Singing Up the Earth

Greetings all,

I hope you all had a blessed summer solstice.  Mine was packed full of good people and the sound of drums.  The weather was perfect for an early evening ceremony, and that is just what we had.  I've said in the past that on the equinoxes I drum alone and on the solstices I drum in community.  This year I had a hard time pulling together a space and a group, it was smaller but a very powerful experience.

The focus this solstice was transmuting our burdens into blessings.  I and many of the people I interact with have had a challenging year.  For some there has been an equal number of rewards, but there has been a lot of effort expended to deal with difficult circumstances.  At times it feels like we are carrying a lot of dead weight.  So I thought why not use the energy of the solstice to help us transmute that into something useful.

There were only three of us this time that were physically present, but three is a powerful number.  The trinity appears in many cultures as a potent numerical figure.  There were also drummers that were separated by vast distances that came together at the same time (well we were just a few minutes late but basically the same time).  Right before we opened sacred space, I felt a sensation, a hum in the center of my chest.  I said out loud, "They've started."  I knew it without a doubt.  I could feel it in my body that our distant drum friends had begun.  I've drummed with others around the globe before, but this was the first time I actually could feel them.

The second amazing thing that happened once we got started is that I started to hear a hum.  It sounded like a very repetitive voice singing along with the drums.  Chording sometimes happens with drums but this was different.  It felt like it was coming from the ground beneath our feet.  I felt the earth singing up to merge with the song of our drums.  I joined my voice to the sound and soon it was if I had merged with the song the earth was singing.

I had journeyed the day prior to the upper world and was taught a prayer by one of the Ancestors.  This is something I sang during the ceremony.  I find it makes a good set of affirmations or mantra.  It goes like this,  "We come to receive the blessings of the earth.  We come to give the blessings of the earth.  We come to be the blessings."  I love the progression of receiving to giving and finally becoming.  We are one with the blessings themselves.  We are not separate.

We drummed for probably a half hour.  It felt like we would never stop, but all of the sudden it came to a halt.  We all three felt it, and I could feel that our distant drum friends had ceased as well.  It was as inexplicable a feeling as when I had sensed they had begun.  I just knew.  So we closed the space and visited for a bit.  When I had first started I had been tired from an early morning and a day out at the fair.  I was unsure I could muster the power to drum, but afterwards I felt invigorated and recharged.  It is often that way with drumming, it revitalizes us connecting us to the strength of the earth herself.

Some would say it was all in my head.  Feeling other people at a distance, hearing the earth sing, and receiving prayers from a spirit are all regarded as fantasy in our western culture.  Maybe it was in my head, but I did feel better after ceremony, I did feel more connected, and I did feel more grateful for all the people who made the ceremony possible.  So whatever happened it is simply more useful for me to believe in this unseen connection.  Now past the longest day of the year I always feel a bit sad as the darkness will be growing again, but that is the way of it.  Nothing is static it is always growing or decreasing.  There is no stopping only flowing or resisting.  The ceremonies I do help me to connect with the currents of life.  They help me make sacred my world.

How about you?  Do you celebrate or mark the turning points in the seasons?  Do you regularly honor the forces of life within and around you?  Do you allow yourself to feel the inexplicable?  Are the mysteries welcome in your life?  Personal ritual no matter how simple can be a powerful tool to bring order and meaning to our lives try some ceremony on for size and see where it takes you.  Have a beautiful summer!

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Friday, June 13, 2014


Greetings all,

I have had a busy but very productive and joyful week.  My laughter has returned.   I missed being silly.  I am only serious when I absolutely have to be.  That said I do try and conduct myself professionally.

One of my favorite words is visceral.  According to the dictionary it means: of or relating to the viscera;   relating to deep inward feelings rather than the intellect.  When something is visceral you feel it in your body, an emotion can visceral too.  I clearly remember after having to defend my work for my graduation thesis feeling like I had been sucker punched in the gut.  (I do believe I gave as much as I got in that instance though if not more so).  The body with all its systems is a miraculous accomplishment.  Integrating motion, senses, and thought in a seamless whole it is our vehicle, our home, and in great part our identity in this life.

We tend to isolate thinking into the space right above our neck.  Having taught people tai chi for years I can clearly attest that people seem to try and move from there.  They are like head balloons with strings tying them back to their necks.  In tai chi we practice moving from tan tien which is about an inch or two below your naval in the sacral region.  Here is the center of gravity for our body, where it moves so do we.  However a lot of times I've noticed that people are completely unaware of their body.  They feed it when it gets hungry, take it to the bathroom, and sleep (well they try) but they do it from a detached giant head space.  They only become aware of their body when it hurts.

The body has its own intelligence apart from cognitive thinking.  You see this mostly with athletes.  Their muscle memory is superb.  They put a lot of effort into training their movements off the courts and fields so that they don't' have to "think" about their movements when they play they just do it.  This is also how martial artists train, spending hours practicing and refining a move so that when danger strikes their moves bypass conscious thought and become reflexes.

 I have a little story to tell you about muscle memory.  When I was in my senior year of high school I had come back from winter break and forgotten the combination to my locker.  The more I stressed about trying to remember the combination the farther it got from my conscious mind.  I tried something in desperation to avoid being late to first period.  I let my hand just spin the dial around pretending to open it.  Miraculously it worked  the locker opened I got my books, put up my coat, and headed to class.  There was just one problem I still didn't remember the combination.  Whenever I tried to think about it my hand would lock up and I couldn't get my locker open.  After a few days I gave up trying to remember and just let my hand do its thing.  As long as my hand remembered it wasn't a problem.  They say you never forget how to swim or ride a bike and apparently your hand can remember a combination better than you can.

Locker combinations aside there is a reason I am telling you about body memory.  Emotions and trauma can get stored in the body's memory, right down to the cellular level.  Genetic memory or rather  epi-genetics has become a focus of study recently showing that if our grandparents had very stressful lives it turned on some genes while switching off others.  About a year and a half ago I offered a group shifting download.  The aim was to remove religious programming from our deep minds.  Within a half hour of doing the download I felt nauseous and very ill.  That continued for about three days, someone turned me onto activated charcoal and I improved rapidly.  I'd had emotional reactions from energetic downloads before but never anything so physical.  My cells had been holding onto old programs that were literally toxic, the download released the pattern,  and my system was flooded with all the toxins.  (This was the download that prompted me to put warning labels on all my downloads).  As I work on the next download I am trying to find a way to gentle the process so the release is smoother.

So how about you? What are you holding onto in your body?  Are you working with your body keeping it moving so it can work through old patterns?  Are you using your body as a storehouse for stuff you don't want to deal with?  Are you ignoring your body's intelligence?  Maybe it is time to dust off your dancing shoes, get out that yoga mat, or dive in to the waters.  Try being in your body rather than your head for an evening see how it feels.  Let me know what your visceral reaction is.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Friday, June 6, 2014

Do You Dream?

Greetings all,

As I have moved through my emotions and mires of thought the past few weeks I have noticed a trend. I am not alone in this.  Many people have reported that they are feeling what I am feeling  (or am I feeling what they are feeling, empathy is tricky like that).

There seems to be a disturbance in the force.  Something that we feel has us caught.  The routines of life for some are feeling like chains.   There is a feeling of not getting anywhere but expending great energy in the effort.  In my personal reflections it has felt as though nothing is changing despite several big changes I have made in the past few months.  It is the "feeling" of stuck.   The state of the world seems fixed.  One look at the media will confirm this.  That is what they are there for though, and their words and pictures are only a story.

I have spoken before of the collective dream of humanity.  The dreams we have become the story.  The story becomes the path we walk.  The path we walk becomes our lives.  It is my belief that most of the problems of humanity are not inevitable (well death is…probably), but that they come from poor dreaming.  Starvation is one example.  There is enough food for people to eat, what we lack is the dream to get it to the people who don't have it.  Don't believe me about food?  Consider this, in the US  about 40% of the food goes to waste.  Almost half of our food goes in the garbage.  We also have an obesity epidemic.  Our dream of plenty has become a nightmare for both sides of the bell curve.

You see the term inequality being bandied since the Occupy movement swept through the cities.  This is a change in the story, but not a change in the dream.  The underlying dream is that some people are worthy of the necessities of life and others are not; it has always been and will always be.  That is the dream.  So tell me in your dream who is worthy to eat today?  (I mean the ability to eat not that we should eat some people).  When some people are seen as more worthy than others the dream dictates that our story has winners and losers.

I am lucky I was born into a stable home.  I never went hungry.  There was no civil war raging through my neighborhood.  This safety net allowed me to become educated, devote time to developing my gifts, and be reasonably assured that no one was going to knock down my door in the night and shoot me.  I am in that winner category.  What is sad is that there is another category for billions of others not lucky to be born where I was.

So we need to dream better.  We need to infuse the belief of a better world into our collective dream.  Dreams inspire us and they shape our every action whether we are aware or not.  Think they don't well check out a little campaign called solar roadways.  They are on the crowd funding site  and they are one of the biggest crowd funding campaigns they've ever had.  Their dream is to turn our roads into solar power generators, bringing cheap environmentally friendly power to everyone and helping the economy while they are at it.  Don't think this is a real possibility, dream with me a bit.

So how about you?  What woe of the world either in your own life or larger society has got you down?  What is the underlying dream that is dictating the story and the path of events?  What would happen if you changed your dream?  What if every time you encountered the outcomes of the old dream you started picturing a new, better and more inclusive dream?  What if when you saw someone acting to live that dream you helped them just a little?  Dream on it and tell me how the view the world shows you changes.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, June 1, 2014

As We Are

Greetings all,

Short week due to the holiday.  For me it was like two weeks worth of activity and feelings crammed into one.  This could explain my tardiness in posting.  Whereas last week I muddled through being down this week its all been fire and fury.  Yes the Mooneagle has not been his typical calm self.  Not that most of you would have known otherwise.  If nothing else I can appear calm on the surface (a useful talent).

As I reached out to others in my social circle it seemed that many of us were being challenged by bigger swings in the emotional pendulum.  Is it something in the stars, the geomagnetic field acting up, or are people just being assholes?  It wasn't really until today that I zeroed in on the internal pattern that was at the heart of it all.  (Not that any or all of those external factors weren't influencing but as within so without).

The Law of Attraction puts us all on notice to tend to our inner state and vibration.  Look inwards for happiness, love, prosperity, and all good things.  The events of our lives are a projection of what our inner landscapes look like.  We are told to work on the feelings of what we wish to attract.  This is important to the recent upheavals in the emotional landscape.  I've had lots of little wins lately.  Good news here, progress there, but for some reason I just haven't been feeling it.  I haven't celebrated or appreciated it to the level that it really deserves.

The reason has been just like the mistake of thinking we'll be happy when we achieve a certain goal or condition I have been holding self approval and love on hold until certain benchmarks have been met.  Yes I should know better.  It can be very difficult to let go of our ideas of worth when we are surrounded by culture and media trying to sell us something so that we can be "good" enough.  The "not good enough" meme is one of the most pervasive and persistent viruses in our collective consciousness.  It is a gold mine to advertisers and brands.  It is anathema to our joy.  The goal post to achieve worthiness always moves.  There is always room for improvement (I've got lifetimes worth of improvement left), but if we make that improvement a condition to love ourselves we never will, and we'll also slow down our progress.

Once I realized what I was withholding my mood improved significantly.  So now I am tasked with loving myself as I am.  This is nothing new.  While earlier I felt I was whining about not being appreciated now I understand that no one could get in, I had shuttered up the internal appreciation office.  (It had worse hours than the bank).  The love clerk has been on  sick leave due to supreme deprivation.  It is back to work this week as far as I am concerned even with every shortcoming and as yet unmet goal I must give into loving myself.

So how about you?  What insane conditions do you impose before you allow yourself to feel good about yourself?  Do you have to lose five pounds until you can love your body?  Do you need to be more successful financially to feel good?  Do you need to lean less on others so you feel worthy of respect and love?  Is someone in your life reinforcing these silly goal posts?  Is someone withholding their love until you meet a standard.  If so you have my permission to tell them to fuck off.  Now you don't have to use those words, but I find them cathartic.  If it is just you that is withholding love and approval perhaps a gentler approach is in order.  Maybe you can say to yourself, "Oh sweetie what a quaint and stupid concept but I love you anyways."  Try it out.  Let me know how it goes.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle