"Mindfulness and Meditation allow us to open our hearts, relax our bodies, and clear our minds enough to experience the vast, mysterious, sacred reality of life directly. With Practice we come to know for ourselves that eternity is available in each moment.

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call:
Musings on Life and Practice
by a Longtime Student of Meditation

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Good Vibrations

“Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand 
like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.”
― Albert Einstein

"Attention is energy.  What you pay attention to you get more of."
-- Stephen Gaskin

As a kid I was extremely curious.  
I think we all were open and curious at first.  Then most of us were quickly conditioned to drop it and "get with the program." It seems that many parents and schoolteachers couldn't deal with our incessant questioning. Sometimes a simple "why?" seemed to agitate them.

I remember stumbling across a broken camera in the alley when I was about 9 years old.  I took it home and immediately took it apart.  
I then wondered why the heck the world was upside down when I looked through the lens. Why? I then extracted the other lenses from the viewfinder, and after fooling around for a while, I figured out that if I lined two lenses up,  I could make it right side up -- and bigger! I had discovered  the telescope.  
For the next week or so, I peered at and plotted the movement of the brightest star -- which I learned from my teacher was really the planet Jupiter --  across the sky outside my bedroom window.  Then, being a kid, my attention turned to other projects.

Later that same year, I discovered that a battery-powered car I'd received as a Christmas gift made static on the radio's speakers whenever its path took it close to the radio!  What's that about? 
Again curious, I took the car apart and learned that its electric motor created the noise in the speakers.  I'd discovered "radio waves." Before all was said and done, I had extricated the motor from the car, cobbled together a homemade keying device, and learned Morse code so that I could send messages through space using these invisible waves of energy.   

This early interest in invisible waves of energy continued.  In junior high school I became a ham radio operator -- and  I learned to play the guitar.  Sound waves, radio waves, light waves.  They all fascinated me.  From my science teacher, I learned that invisible waves operated at different frequencies.  I could hear that in sound waves.  I learned how to tune my guitar. I could turn the dial to different frequencies on the radio.  I could see that as light waves became the colors of a rainbow they danced through a prism.  How cool is that?
Then, I learned about resonance.
I found that if I sang a G, that my guitar would sing back at me from across the room.  I learned how to tune up my homemade radio transmitter to deliver maximum power at a particular frequency.  When I did, the power it took to light a 75 watt light bulb could send radio waves from my homemade wire antenna, cut to a specific length to radiate them most efficiently.  Those invisible waves would then bounce off the ionosphere and back to earth allowing me to communicate with hams thousands of miles away.   
How cool was that!?
Learning the principles involved and applying them was magical to me.  
I'm picking up good vibrations
By the time the Hippies were happening in Haight Ashbury a handful of years later, even at a distance, I was quite inclined to believe in "the vibes."   I didn't find it odd at all to believe that there was a dimension of experience that involved the transmission and reception of invisible energies.  Experimenting with marijuana, I accessed new realms of experience.  I found that I could feel good vibes and bad vibes in situations.  Other folks said they could, too.  Many had noticed that their dogs bark at certain people and not at others.

Being the geek I am, I began pouring through the books about mystical experience and spirituality.  It seemed clear that there were ancient systems designed to get in better touch with the spiritual dimension of being -- and live a better life as a result.  I began to explore yoga and meditations.

In the course of the next few years, with the support of a number of friends/kindred spirits (we actually formed a short-lived "commune" in the early 70's), I saw clearly that one didn't even have to do drugs to be in touch with that subtle dimension of consciousness.  If I paid attention, at times "the vibes" were (and are) as perceptible as the wind on my skin.  Then, I came to see that, just like in music and radio, there were certain principles at work.  Some attitudes and behaviors created peace and harmony -- on every level.  Others didn't.
Principles Matter

The Perennial Philosophy traces its roots from the Neo-Platonism of the middle ages in Europe through the Transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau, etc.) of 19th century America into what many have called the New Age Spirituality of our times.  Its basic premise is that all the world's religions share a single, fundamental Truth, a Truth directly perceived through the "mystical" experience of its founders and subsequent prophets, seers, sages and saints.  

I think a whole lot of us who came of age in the psychedelic 60's and 70's tapped into that experience -- with or without drugs.  Put simply, that experience involved the deep recognition that we are, each of us, inseparable parts of an Essential Oneness.  We are not only "all in this together", we are all this -- together.  Literally.

So, this being the case, its not surprising that each of the world's major religions place a fundamental importance on kindness, love, and compassion.  Jesus, for one, claimed it all boils down to loving God (the All) and loving one another.  Buddha said that the only eternal law is that hate doesn't cease by hatred, it only ceases through love.  The other major religions seem to agree.  They all go on to propose some form of the Golden Rule and lay out pretty similar ethical frameworks for our behavior: don't kill, don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal,  etc.   

It only makes sense, right?  That part of us which experiences ourselves as individuated focal points of awareness, separate from the other beings "out there," should make the effort to be kind and caring.  After all, at the deepest level you and I are the One Being, totally interconnected, the warp and weft of the same tapestry.  

E = mc2

Albert Einstein, a man who never lost a childlike sense of wonder as he danced along the edge of science and mystery came up with his famous equation, E=mc² in 1905.  With this he theorized that matter and energy are not fundamentally separate.   This was mind blowing.  (Unfortunately, it also directly led scientists to create more powerful ways of blowing things up as well.)
Physicists and engineers have been fooling around working with matter and energy for a long time.  To me, Energy has always been particularly fascinating even though it often operates beyond the normal range of our five senses.  There are principles that describe its behavior.  In theory and in practice, it's all about vibrations: waves and fields of energy.   

     Energy can be focused.  Did you ever focus sunlight through a lens?
     Energy radiates.  Throw a rock in a still pond and watch the ripples expand outward.
     Energy resonates.  Sing a G note into a guitar and listen to it sing back. The "screech" 
     of amplified feedback operates on that principle, too.

E = mc² = Attention

Although science is still grappling with how to define consciousness, the hippie Spiritual Teacher Stephen Gaskin, among others, pointed out that awareness is also part of that mind blowing equation.  Attention = Energy x Light² = Matter.  That being so, where and how we focus our attention becomes profoundly important.  We energize what we focus on. What, and how, we pay attention to our world matters.  

A quality of awareness that is truly attentive, kind, and caring has a tangible effect not only on our own experience -- it radiates.  Love matters.  It touches others.  The opposite is true, too.  Our grasping greed, fear and enmity, and obliviousness to realm where we are all connected touches others.

Going further, the Spiritual Energy of Love not only palpably touches ourselves and others, it also resonates deeply with something deep within and beyond us, a field of energy that seems limitless, infinitely expansive.  (God? Allah? The Tao? Shunyata?  You name it.  A rose by any other name...)  As we grow in our ability to "vibrate at that frequency," there is a profound impact on our life and the lives of those around us--and even beyond that.  If you're paying attention, you can see that play out directly.

Although any attempt I've made to answer the question "exactly why is it this way" dissolves into the Great Mystery.  When I relax into that,   a sense of childhood wonder and deep curiosity, emerges. 
Yet, it's clear. I have witnessed a simple truth in my life: the kinder and calmer I can be, the better things get.

The impediments to being kind are, of course, many, varied and deep in our conditioning.  Staying in the moment, opening the Heart and clearing the Mind isn't easy.  It is an exacting discipline.  It takes commitment and effort.  It takes patience. It's something I have to work at every day.  
Yet, I find that Simply Sitting Still most every day for a chunk of time helps.  It seems that I'm able to stay in touch with my heart more often, feel the love, pay better attention to the moment I am in -- and create a bit more harmony in my life and in the world around me more often than not.  I'm cool with that.
It just takes Practice.

First published January 2014. Revised.




Anonymous said...

Wonderful, Brother ❣️

Anonymous said...

How Wonderful and Beautiful to be so Enlightened as such a Young Age.

Dharma Bum69b said...

It get's even weirder when you jump down the Quantum Rabbit Hole - Amit Goswami - in his book "GOD Is Not Dead" asserts that the only way the 'Paradoxes' in Quantum Physics are resolved is by GOd's intervention.

I use to take things apart but when i put them back together they worked, however there was always one piece left over....

Lance Smith said...

Thanks for your comments. (although knowing who each Anonymous is would be nice.)

I don't know about me being "so Enlightened at such a young age", though. I think that our natural state of being is to be Connected and Whole. As Yogi Jesus pointed out "Lest ye be like little children, you'll not see the Kingdom..." I believe that we all have had moments of Presence. I think many of us still do. Although I've had some Big Bang Awakenings over the years, I think Enlightenment is a moment to moment thing. Sometimes you're hot. Sometimes your not. LOL

With Bodhisattva Practice, I've already signed on for the understanding that there isn't any final and perfect Enlightenment until we're all there. If we are all One, and we are, that only makes sense, right?

So, trying to just be Present, moment to moment, with us much kindness and compassion and clarity and ease as I can muster is all I can "do."

And yes, Terry, I've often had that one piece left over. Some of the time it still worked okay. At other times, I had to take the whole thing apart and start over. On any one given day each of those things happens -- metaphorically, if not literally. LOL

And, yes! Amit Goswani Rocks! GOD is Not Dead is a wonderful read. His credentials as a Physicist are impeccable and I think he Connected the Dots really wonderfully between Western Science and the One Love. In that respect,recently several of Stephen Gaskin's one liners regarding Science and Mathematical affirmations of Spiritual Reality came to mind with greater clarity than the first time around back in the day. Of course, with my Old Fart's memory banks, I can't bring them to Mind at the moment. I'm grateful that this recognition only brings on a Grin and a sense of Appreciation. Our Big Mind is soooo much more than our thoughts, right? 🙏❤️

Anonymous said...

Thank U Lance!
I very much enjoyed the read.
I can truly understand and relate to the unfolding of your accumulated spiritual experiences ✨️
Blissings ❣️
Keep Shining!