Daemon

A Path of the Light (Practices)

Recommended Posts

Please note that as I said in my "Welcome" thread, this Path could also be labelled as

 

A Path of the Heart

or

A Path of Peace

 

While there is no substitute for our group practice (as far as I'm aware), there are many other practices that may lead to our doors, which are freely available in various writings, so I feel it's best to discuss and to illustrate our Way in Group Studies unless there are any objections?

 

☮️

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

As I said,

 

On 07/05/2018 at 2:27 PM, Daemon said:

In the light of several of the contributions to this thread, I feel that it would be wise to open it with an examination of basic communication skills, namely active listening, which may be considered to be one of the keystones of all spiritual practices because it develops the foundational skill of hearing the Light of the heart.

 

 

An introduction to active listening (from 1974).

 

Spoiler

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

It's my view that, unfortunately, it's impossible to duplicate the experience of hearing and being heard by others in writing or in a video or even via videoconferencing.

Regarding our group practice, the same appears to hold true. However, it seems that group practice held via videoconferencing may sometimes act as an attenuated substitute, although, it appears that most would need to have attended at least one our meetings or that of one of various similar groups (for example, a gathered[1] unprogrammed[2] Quaker meeting) prior to being able to duplicate some of that experience via video linkage. Having said that, please note that, like the Quakers[3][4], we do not consider that any form of transmission of the Light takes place from person to person (as we also hold the view that the Light is always present within everyone). The effect of our group practice is probably that it provides the opportunity for a synergistic resonance to take occur between the participants. Please note also that, unlike the Quakers, we do not necessarily base our Paths upon the teachings of the Nazarene[5], neither do we speak during our practice, nor do we have a hierarchical (patriarchal) organisational structure. Please note also that this is not an official viewpoint as everyone is different, so we have many different viewpoints and or community is founded in our group practice, as I've said previously.

 

☮️

 

Footnotes

 

[1] For example, one individual's viewpoint (although not the way I'd describe it)  http://www.tractassociation.org/tracts/the-gathered-meeting/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quakers#Unprogrammed_worship

[3] Some of us also regularly attend Quaker meetings, although none of us are members.

[4] I was informed that our Path probably predates not only the Quakers but also the Nazarene.

[5] However, many of the Quakers I know are not Christians either.

 

Edited by Daemon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Having spent several weeks considering the evolution of this topic (if any in this particular environment), I feel that the most effective and efficient method of making our Path (of the Light) freely available to anyone and everyone who might have an interest would be by building upon the core of traditional (unprogrammed) Quakerism and by outlining some of our more readily accessible practices as adjuncts.

Although there are major differences between these two Paths, this approach may hopefully illustrate that at the same time there's no significant difference in our core group practice other than that we do not interrupt our shared Silence with what the Quakers call vocal ministry.

For some of us the sparse vocal ministry found even in unprogrammed traditional Quakerism detracts from our  individual and shared experiences of our group Silence. Others find value in both and it is probably also important to point out that even within traditional Quakerism the group Silence is often unbroken for the duration of the Meeting.

I will continue developing this topic by outlining how to learn what I consider to be probably the most accessible and effective of our individual core practices, an ancient heartcentric breathing practice, which is becoming more widely disseminated under the labels of coherent or resonant breathing.

 

☮️

 

Edited by Daemon
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There are only two effective and efficient ways to learn resonant breathing (of which I'm aware:

  1.  ChiKung (like @Miffymog) over a couple of years, although that's not guaranteed and if, like, him, you make the mistake of following an unqualified source, you're probably not only going to fail but you're possibly also going to harm yourself.
  2. Instrumented biofeedback over a couple of months.

Of these, the only guarantee of success would be the second.

You might also be able to pick it up in other ways (e.g. highly skilled individual tuition, the free HeartMath™ app[1] or attending meetings held in the Light of Silence). If you have a high degree of body awareness, your chances of success without the use of instrumented biofeedback are exponentially multiplied.

 

☮️

 

Footnotes

 

Although I have found that their relatively cheap biofeedback devices may be an adequate substitute (in the absence of access to  professional-grade medical physiology equipment and expertise) this is NOT an endorsement of the HeartMath™ cult. ☮️

 

Edited by Daemon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if this is in another thread of yours, but how do you define Light ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By inviting someone to one of our meetings so that they can explore that question from their own experience. As an alternative, I sometimes direct people towards unprogrammed Quaker meetings. In that case, I may accompany them and/or make available a few simple and potentially useful adjuncts, such as those that I'm in the process of making available via this topic.

 

☮️

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

However, sitting in a cafe (even reading a book) can provide you with exactly the same experience (if your attitude and the ambience of the place is conducive).

To summarise:

Show up with the right attitude in the right place with the right people and the answer to your question will become obvious to you.

 

☮️ 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

At this point, I feel that a fork into "ChiKung" and the practice of Heartcentric breathing will probably be the easiest way forward, so that this topic doesn't become bogged down in extraneous detail.

Before starting those topics, I'd like to highlight the fact that that both "ChiKung" and Heartcentric breathing are not meditation. Instead they are gateways into zanshin[1], aka the flow state or wuwei from which emanates right action[2].

 

☮️

 

Footnotes

 

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanshin

[2] I'm not referring to RightAction™ in any religious sense. By right action, I'm pointing towards harmonious action (including harmonious inaction).

 

 ☮️

 

Edited by Daemon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is all overly complex and wordy, footnotes are not very inviting.
Better to just give people a guided experience, and then some will stay and some will leave.
After the "explanations" can begin, but hopefully not too much, it can be quite painful.

Phrases like this are particularly un-useful :

 

- it can't
- you won't
- it's not possible

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Daemon said:

 

[2] I'm not referring to RightAction™ in any religious sense. By right action, I'm pointing towards harmonious action (including harmonious inaction).

 

 ☮️

 

 

So, perhaps I should trademark the phrase Harmonious(In)Action in order to avoid the possibility of conflict with any owners of RightAction™, Zanshin™ or WuWei™?

 

☮️

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To return briefly to the previous off-topic question, this article might shed more Light light upon the matter of why thefocus of this topic is upon practices.

 

Three Levels of Reality, Truth and Faith

In the seventeenth century, Isaac Penington and Isaac Newton were searching for something similar. As Pennington described it: ‘the end of words is to bring [us] to the knowledge of things beyond what words can utter’.* Drawing on Eastern and Western philosophy, Roy Bhaskar identified three levels of reality, and these men reached the third level. They could not time their search, which depended on seemingly chance movements of inspiration or imagination or, as Penington wrote, ‘if the Lord open thy spirit, and cause it [the new insight] to sink in’.
The three levels of reality are often mixed together in discussions about topics ranging from science to religion, whereas Bhaskar shows how it is vital to recognise their differences. Level one is our thinking-feeling experience: observing, analysing, reflecting, explaining, remembering, believing, hoping, fearing, interpreting and so on. If attempts to establish the reality of religion are confined to this level, then differences within and between faiths and sects can become obvious, leading many to scepticism if not cynicism from an early age. ‘Christians believe Jesus was born in Bethlehem’, a five-year-old who attended a Church of England school informed me, her airy relativism seeming to place Jesus on the credibility level enjoyed by Father Christmas. Problems arise if we assume that reality can be discovered in our minds alone, and that disagreements about reality can be resolved if only we can think and debate more cogently and calmly.
The second level involves actual existing objects, people, behaviours, events and structures. These might offer more hope of establishing proven bases for agreement, such as in archaeological records of Noah’s flood. However, the unfortunate emphasis in religious education on the level of actual reality, on religious leaders, books, rituals, meals, garments, buildings and taboos, again emphasises differences between faiths. And if traditions that matter so much in one place are irrelevant in another, might this not mean that they can all be ignored without any loss to human well-being? My colleagues working in religious education report this widespread scepticism in schools. In the era of post-truth and fake news, my colleagues in science education meet with further attacks on reality. ‘Yes, it looks as if when you mix those two chemicals you get that result,’ their students say, ‘but you can’t be certain that will always happen. New discoveries might disprove it. Scientific knowledge is always provisional and fallible.’
To reach the independent third level of reality, Isaac Newton had to share some of these doubts. He moved beyond the first level of empirical thinking, and the second level of actual evidence, to what Bhaskar termed the third level of ‘the real’, of unseen causes only known in their effects. For millennia Aristotle’s view held, that objects fall because of their weight or gravitas. Instead of tracing the falling objects and patterns between them to search for visible evidence of the cause of the falling, Newton imagined a stupendous unseen force, gravity, which holds everything in place, from the murmurations of starlings to the multitudes of stars.
Dr John Snow made a similar leap of imagination after he plotted the many cases of cholera in London in 1854, and traced the possible source to a water pump in Soho. Cholera infection was assumed to be airborne, and Snow not only had to wonder if cholera is waterborne, but also that seemingly clean water from the pump could contain invisible infection. This was already known by a few, but was generally dismissed, and ridiculed by most doctors until the 1860s. The third deepest level of causes, from microscopic bacteria to seemingly infinite gravity, is unseen to ordinary vision and partly unknowable and incomprehensible. It holds the promise of further discoveries, for example, Einstein’s rethinking of Newton’s theory.
The concept of the three distinct levels of reality can assist with understanding truth. At the thinking-talking experience level, people claim to speak the truth but they may be mistaken or misled, or they may lie and deceive. Harry Frankfurt considered they all know about and respect or deliberately abuse truth, whereas others do not care about truth when they ‘bullshit’. At the second actual level, truth is further challenged in countless ways, such as when promises are broken, politicians renege on manifestos, advertisements mislead, business betray their customers and staff, and scientists cannot replicate published findings.
My sociology and anthropology research students have been taught respectful relativism: ‘Each truth varies,’ they say. ‘It emerges out of local beliefs and behaviours, and can only be understood in its context.’ When I ask them if truth exists, they dutifully say, ‘No, there is no truth, only local truths, which people believe in different ways.’ The logical reply is that this statement cannot be believed, because either it removes all grounds for believing its truth ‘there is no truth’, or else it is a lie. The students are of course surprised that their truth should be queried, because like almost everyone they rely on the real third level of infinite, unseen, causal forces, which include truth.
Truth and trust are default positions between people and between us and the world. We walk downstairs assuming we’ll tread on weight-bearing wood, not sink our feet into stairs of treacle. Babies work out the truth about time and space, cause and effect, love and justice well before they can talk. These countless tacit assumptions about real truth make daily life and relationships possible. Confusion, fear and pain follow if truth is betrayed, although truth cannot be missing, because lies are defined in relation to truth. Satan has been named the father of lies.
Truth and religious faith, dimly expressed at the thinking-talking and actual activity levels, take their meaning from the deeper reality level of immense, largely unknowable, unseen forces. Quakers are especially aware of looking beyond empirical beliefs and actual behaviours towards these life-giving depths. Pennngton advises that to do so we have to
wait on the Lord, that thou mayst, from him, feel the right limit to the mind...[that is too] busy and active, willing to be running beyond its bounds...Distinguish between God's opening to thee words concerning the kingdom...and thy own apprehensions about them; that the one may be always cast by, and the other always embraced by thee. And always wait God's season...he alone is able to preserve the true sense and knowledge in thee [and] guide thee by his certain, infallible Spirit...[that] thou mayst see light, and enjoy life...it is one thing to understand words, testimonies, and descriptions; and it is another matter to understand, know, enjoy, possess, and live in that which the words relate to, describe, and bear witness of...the power, the fountain of living waters, the everlasting, pure well, is above the words concerning it.*
Religious and scientific education and debate would counter fake truths more by starting from the deeper, dense, real, third level, whether it is seen in sacred or secular terms[1], than by staying at the first and second thinner levels of reality.
* The Works of Isaac Pennington, Quaker Home Press, pp 485-6, http://www.qhpress.org/texts/penington/

Priscilla Alderson (a member of Bromley Quaker meeting and a professor at University College London)

The Friend, 26 April 2018

Edited by Daemon ☮️

Footnotes

[1] My bolding to emphasise that a secular approach does not occlude the revelation of the light Light. ☮️

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites