I guess I’m ‘net naive!

April 25th, 2011

Reading info about spammers, etc., I realize that most of the comments I receive are so that the commentator can approve the rank of their own website online. For this reason I’m closing down comments as an option. If anyone wants to email me _specific_ questions about the various topics here, feel free to do so.

Thanks,

 

75th birthday booklet of ‘my favorite things’

April 16th, 2011

I seem to be getting a lot of comments! Perhaps people are more interested in the resonant breath (purring/snoring) than I realized. Maybe it’s time to : link to my 75th Birthday handout
Downloadable .pdf copy here: right click here and “save as”

And for a three-minute video of “How to Purr,” go to the  Youtube “Purring to Nirvana” here.

For those interested in tracking my earlier thoughts, go to my earlier blog (“Old Blog” on the menu bar) here.

What I’m Up To Currently

April 13th, 2011

I’m so impressed with the number of comments I’m receiving! Perhaps I’m just naive and am caught up in some sort of spammer heaven? Nevertheless, the comments make me want to post more than I would otherwise.
What’s up with me? I’m trying to launch a fundraiser to purchase the historic hippie ranch, Morningstar Ranch, in Sonoma County, California. We need $1.5 million and then we’ll donate it to a land trust so that it is protected in perpetuity.

More info here.

And here.
Ideally, we need one person friendly to ‘the cause’ who needs a 16-year tax write-off. There are various interesting aspects about the 33-acre property. Before Limeliter Lou Gottlieb bought it, it belonged to the grandson of Harriet Beecher Stowe (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” author) who was a member of the lay order of St. Dominic who used the place for weekend retreats and also dedicated the land to the Holy Virgin. That’s how it got its name from the Litany of the Holy Virgin: Morningstar
The truly strange part of the story is that during the 1960s, when the ranch became a hippie retreat, a number of residents had visions of the Holy Mother without knowing the previous history of the ranch. These experiences became so persistent that we got in contact with Mother Mira at the Sri Aurobindo Center in India.
ANYWAY! There must be someone out there who would like to preserve what many of us believe is a holy sanctuary and allow the property to be harmonized back into its natural state. By the way, the donor then gets 16 years of a tax write-off.
If you know anyone, please spread the word.
Blessings,

Resonant Trachea and April Foolishness

April 7th, 2011

I seem to be getting all sorts of positive comments — are they REAL? Perhaps more people than I thought are into the Resonant Breath! Makes me want to re-link here to my online 75th Birthday handout:

http://www.raysender.com/birthday75.html

The Occidental Fools Parade was better than ever!!! Rain had been predicted, but instead we had a PERFECT day for a parade — sunshine with occasional clouds, and not too hot. “It NEVER rains on clowns,” I explained to someone. A few photos from my American sister Erin…

King Zero I & II and Consort in the parade.

Fools parade through parking lot.

 

Hubbub Band

Hubbub Marching Band from the neighboring village of Graton ...

Brother Stephen announces contest for new King or Queen while Zero I & II abdicates.

 

Preparing for the Clown Day Event in Occidental, Cl

March 28th, 2011

Gearing up for the Occidental, California, Fools Parade on April 2nd.

Always a terrific event!

See: http://www.occidentalfoolsparade.com/

And the weather has finally cleared after weeks of rainstorms, so hopefully

there will be a sunny day! It never rains on clowns.

I’m thinking of replacing ‘Clown White’ paint with an Vit A & E cream.

Here is the current posting by my alter ego, King Zero I & II:

From His Royal Heini-ness King Zer0 The First and Second, anticipating

our annual Parade and Reunion, noon April 2, Occidental, CA:

Here is the current Facebook posting from my alter ego, King Zero I & II:

To His L0yal Subjects during his 0ng0ing and Lengthy Exile

“Once again we gather in the Capit0l t0 ceberate – er, celeblate – er, to encourage Mama S0l t0 smile d0wn up0n us f00ls that kn0w that it never rains on Cl0wns!

Speaking 0f rains, my lengthy rein must finally end, s0 we will be r0yally cr0wning a l0yal cl0wn t0 lead us f0rward int0 the happy times ahead. You might just want t0 j0t down a C0r0nati0n speech just in case y0u are ch0sen, if n0t this time, maybe the next. Being a m0narchy and n0t a dem0cracy, our new ruler will be ch0sen by Y0urs Truly after c0nsulting the 0racle and measuring the p0tential new ruler’s hat and sh0e sizes.”

With a Benign Wave and N0d, and remember: Zero=∞

 

King Zero I & II

Purring/snoring/resonant breath inquiry letter to Mind/Body Institute, Herbert Benson Relaxation Reponse:

March 24th, 2011

Dear Friends:
I have been using a type of resonant breathing as a relaxation device for some years, and have found it to be very restful. It’s similar to a breath
technique described in yoga practice as Ujjayi Pranayama: partially closing the epiglottis while exhaling and making a subtle hissing sound deep in the throat. http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2327 (highly recommended yoga website). To this I would only add “and also while inhaling,” to make the resonance full-circle as in the feline purr.
I’m writing your Institute about this because it seems to point towards your area of expertise and because sometimes it feels a little lonesome out here on the edge, doing something that I think could be useful to others. So please excuse the length of this message!
These days it only takes three or four ‘full circle’ purrs/sighs/groans before I feel a tingling in my fingers and toes, which I interpret to mean that the resonance has traveled to all my extremities via the blood stream.
More info about this below embedded in a description of the “resting in clarity for short moments” as taught by www.greatfreedom.org as an alternative to the less-easy and more disciplined approach, the half-hour meditation:
A recent discussion online about happiness led me to respond as follows:
Instead of ‘happiness’, let’s use Candice O’Denver’s term ‘resting.’
According to her view, everything arises in our awareness/clarity —
all positive-negative-neutral points of view, all emotions, dukkah, whatnot. If we don’t attach to them, they dissolve on their own because they have no independent reality outside pure awareness. (Actually the ‘I’ has no independent reality outside pure awareness, so there is no one to be ‘happy,’ ‘enlightened,’ ‘suffering,’ etc.)
The only thing I would add to Candice’s excellent teaching is that “Resting in clarity” (awareness) can be accessed through ‘the self-arising, resonant breath.’ To explain further:
What physical condition accompanies resting? Watch a dog. When it lies down to rest, it first sighs deeply (perhaps to blow away any loose dust or dirt from in front of its nostrils). Then as it relaxes even more deeply, it begins a resonant, relaxed breath. This resonant breath is something we all do when asleep — in fact it’s the last sound we hear before losing consciousness, as the breath resonates against the dropped soft palate. Also the trachea may vibrate, that stiff, hollow tube that brings air into the lungs. At its most relaxed, the resonant breath produces the snore and, in most cats, the purr. This also vibrates the upper aorta that snuggles up close to the trachea where it enters the heart, and through this contact, transmits the vibration to the bloodstream. That is why, after three or four good purrs (or snores), my fingers and feet begin to tingle pleasantly as the ‘snore’ vibration reaches my extremities.
I identify this tingling sensation as positive feedback telling me that
all lateral tensions in my body have been dissolved by these vibrations.
I described it further to a www.greatfreedom.org trainer as follows:

“It’s all about soothing energy, isn’t it? I access soothing energy on various levels of being — spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, but the main thing for me is not to forget to include the body — that good old body, it just trundles along doing its best for me despite the way I ignore it. When I relax into awareness I check the body, and often I find there’s a tense muscle in one hip, or else some other armoring — lateral tension — that needs soothing. Of all the ways I’ve found to deal with soothing these lateral tensions, the resonant breath works the best because it duplicates the total relaxation of the sleep state — but while I’m still awake to ‘enjoy’ it.
“Sometimes I also add open focus – which I physically interpret as a widening of the eyes, even raising the eyebrows so that I’m not concentrating one-pointedly on something, but releasing the eye-muscle tensions that a tight focus creates.”

Okay, these approaches may seem limiting or overly simplistic, but body states so often impact mental/ emotional states. If I deal with tensions on the physical, the rest of the being takes care of itself.
So I then ask myself, how much relaxation can I learn to tolerate without drifting off into wondering ‘what’s for supper,’ etc. What level should I recognize as “deep enough” to just enjoy and not attempt any deeper relaxations? As a benchmark, I’ve selected the post-orgasmic ‘afterglow’ that usually lasts only a half-hour or so if left unattended. However purring — breathing resonantly into that afterglow — allows it to continue indefinitely, the only limitation being the ‘what’s for supper’s’ that come along and distract me back to my usual ‘set point’ – my operational level of soothing energy to which I’ve become habituated over lo all these many years. So in a sense, to ‘rest more thoroughly than I am habituated to’ requires at least tuning into — and encouraging — the self-arising resonant breath. It’s not so much about making a conscious effort as it is allowing the body to trigger its own releases by encouraging what it does on its own when it rests.
Over these past years I’ve found that I can dissolve armorings easily with the purring breath that resonates the blood stream all the way out to the capillaries in the fingers and toes, dissolving all tensions that block ‘flow.’ What a delight! And for me, it doesn’t complicate the ‘short moments of awareness’ approach, but instead harmonizes well with everything I’ve learned from www.greatfreedom.org. I just don’t want to leave any part of the being behind — neither the body, the mind, the emotions, the spirit.
Let me end with a quote from Candice:

“The Power Is In Awareness
“Awareness has the ultimate sense of humor. And so you know, it’s important to relax and be gentle with yourself. Awareness is in all points of view. You can’t really say that it’s only this or it’s only that. That’s impossible. Awareness can only be talked about in a way that includes everything. In other words, when there is a complete openness of communication between all points of view. So this makes it easy.
“First of all, you don’t have to change. What could be easier than that?…”

Ramon: I’m certainly ‘not about to change’ my interest in accessing soothing energy through self-arising body relaxations. The latter just work too well. (smile) It’s my way of “including everything!”
Here is a “Purring To Nirvana” 3-minute demo video I put up on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvyW3-2QSeQ

And quoting from the Tibetan book “Buddhahood Without Meditation:”

Wishing your illusory self-refreshing pristine awareness embodiment-emanation a festive absorption into the light!

Annual Report on the OBEATA Project

March 19th, 2011

I’ve intended to post an annual report on the OBEATA Project
(www.raysender.com/obeata/html)
for some time, so here it is:

The Donkey Gruntler: sales have slacked off due to the growing popularity of the in-out purr (snoring while awake), which
also can be done sub-vocally in order not to get odd stares in public. Also, according to one user in Sausalito, the Gruntler
turns out to be useful in attracting seagulls.

The Thwisher rattle had a good work-out on May Day two years ago – a rainy May Day – when a group of us  gathered under
small tarp. I passed out perhaps ten and we rattled together for a while. I think it clears the eustachean tubes because my hearing  always improves after a session. Also the “Thwish and make a Wish” was tried at last year’s May Day and several people reported that their wishes came true.

The Thwizzler for stimulating the non-afferent nerves on the face —
Quote from my article here:
http://www.raysender.com/thwizzler.html
“Over time I have started to differentiate various response levels: the toe-wiggle, the heart-waves, eyes tearing from intense pleasure, an ongoing back-and-forth ‘shiver’ that I think is how Shakers and Quakers earned their nicknames. I think it’s also related to Wilhelm Reich’s ‘vegetative discharge’ and what is called, in belly-dancing circles, the ‘bump.’ Beyond the ‘shake and quake’ you arrive at the ‘chattering teeth’ as an add-on, along with panting breaths.”

I now get the same results from just allowing strands of hair to fall over my face, mostly in bed but also fun when driving and allowing the wind to stroke strands on my left side (with the window open). Also I can use the edge of a piece of paper and lightly stroke the hairs on the back of my fingers and arm — fun to do when I’m caught in a boring meeting or some such.

You might check the list of Quickie Exercises here, which includes the Dalai Lama’s blink for swatting thoughts for which I also have received positive feedback from a voluntary blink researcher in England: http://www.raysender.com/quickies.html

More recently, I have become an aficionado of www.greatfreedom.org that suggests, instead of a grim 30-minute sit-down to meditate, just practicing “short moments of pure awareness repeated many times,” which ultimately become continuous. Inasmuch as I tend to forget to rest in short moments, I downloaded a free timer for my Mac (apimac timer) and set it to send me a sound every ten minutes. I’ve also ordered a cheap pocket timer that will vibrate when I’m away from my computer.

Is that cheating, I wonder?

Even more recently I read on the www.sciencedaily.com newsletter feed the following possible medical use for the Thwizzler:

“Frostig and his colleagues stimulated the whiskers of rats that had undergone a procedure that mimics an ischemic stroke — one caused by an interruption in the blood supply to the brain. This kind of stimulation imitates the exploratory whisker motion made by healthy rats. The researchers found that 90 minutes of intermittent whisker stimulation led to a full return of cortical function. Furthermore, the whisker stimulation redirected blood flow within the circulatory system of the cortex — effectively compensating for the blockage that had caused the stroke. Timing was crucial, however: whisker stimulation offered protection only when it was given within two hours of the onset of the stroke.
“Our results suggest that mild sensory stimulation is capable of saving the cortex and restoring pre-ischemic levels of function if given right after the stroke begins,” Frostig said. “This line of research may eventually add to the arsenal of existing stroke treatments and thus help to ease the high emotional, physical, and economic cost of stroke,” he said.

End Quote

Ain’t life amazing?!!  But resonating the trachea with the purr/snore is still my absolute favorite, and my explanation as to why it is NOT “reaching” but instead “relaxing into awareness” is because from all my observations of relaxed states, both in humans and animals, there is most definitely a tendency towards a resonant breathing pattern as the soft palate drops and the breathing becomes centered in the trachea and heart area.

Caught in a Yeatsian jury room gyre

March 15th, 2011

My civic duty caught up with me — I’m now serving as an alternate juror in a San Francisco courtroom. Once it’s over, I’m free to tell more — and there are some pretty aspects, although other than some strange synchronicities, I’m not sure there’s much worth telling. I think a lot about King Solomon, and we’re also in an ongoing rainy weather pattern, which seems appropriate.

Today I forgot to bring along Candice O’Denver’s “One Simple Change Makes Life Easy”  – http://www.greatfreedom.org/writings.html – to read in the hallway during breaks, so I decided to do 100  low-volume ‘purrs’ instead, undetectable from even a few feet away. I got a nice steady resonant breath going both in and out, and afterwards the whole day went very smoothly with almost no thoughts of how bored I was, which had had me writhing in my seat during previous days. I’ll have to start each morning the same way!

By the way, a friend commented on my previous posting about what she termed ‘your dog breath approach.’ She wrote:

… it’s a good way for people to learn: so many have dogs, and would benefit by keen and daily observation
of what dogs (& other creatures) do naturally, and what we have forgotten how to do!

 

Still Purring Away!

March 6th, 2011

A recent discussion online about happiness  led me to respond as follows:
Instead of ‘happiness’, let’s use Candice O’Denver’s term ‘resting.’
According to her view, everything arises in our awareness/clarity —
all positive-negative-neutral points of view, all emotions, dukkah, whatnot. If we don’t attach to them, they dissolve on their own because they have no independent reality outside pure awareness. (Actually the ‘I’ has no independent reality outside pure awareness, so there is no one to be ‘happy,’ ‘enlightened,’ ‘suffering,’ etc.)

The only thing I would add to Candice’s excellent teaching is that “Resting in clarity” (awareness) can be accessed through ‘the self-arising, resonant breath.’ To explain further (and for those tracking my thoughts, excuse me for belaboring this point yet again):

What physical condition accompanies resting? Watch a dog. When it lies down to rest, it first sighs deeply (perhaps to blow away any loose dust or dirt from in front of its nostrils). Then as it relaxes even more deeply, it begins a resonant, relaxed breath. This resonant breath is something we all do when asleep — in fact it’s the last sound we hear before losing consciousness, as the breath resonates against the dropped soft palate. Also the trachea may vibrate, that stiff, hollow tube that brings air into the lungs. At its most relaxed, the resonant breath produces the snore and, in most cats, the purr. This also vibrates the upper aorta that snuggles up close to the trachea where it enters the heart, and through this contact, also transmits the vibration to the bloodstream. That is why, after three or four good purrs (or snores), my fingers and feet begin to tingle pleasantly as the ‘snore’ vibration reaches my extremities.
I identify this tingling sensation as positive feedback telling me that
all lateral tensions in my body have been dissolved by these vibrations.
I described it further to a www.greatfreedom.org trainer (who thinks I’m over-complicating things) as follows:

It’s all about soothing energy, isn’t it? I access soothing energy on various levels of being — spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, but the main thing for me is not to forget to include the body — that good old body, it just trundles along doing its best for me despite the way I ignore it. When I relax into awareness I check the body, and often I find there’s a tense muscle in one hip, or else some other armoring — lateral tension — that needs soothing. Of all the ways I’ve found to deal with soothing these lateral tensions, the resonant breath works the best because it duplicates the total relaxation of the sleep state — but while I’m still awake to ‘enjoy’ it.
Sometimes I also add open focus – which I literally interpret as a widening of the eyes, even raising the eyebrows so that I’m not concentrating one-pointedly on something but releasing the eye-muscle tensions that tight focus creates.
Okay, these approaches may seem limiting or overly simplistic, but body states so often impact mental/ emotional states. If I deal with tensions on the physical, the rest of the being takes care of itself.
So I then ask myself, how much relaxation can I learn to tolerate without drifting off into wondering ‘what’s for supper,’ etc. What level should I recognize as “deep enough” to just enjoy and not attempt any deeper relaxations? As a benchmark, I’ve selected the post-orgasmic ‘afterglow’ that usually lasts only a half-hour or so if left unattended. However purring — breathing resonantly into that afterglow — allows it to continue indefinitely, the only limitation being the ‘what’s for supper’s’ that come along and distract me back to my usual ‘set point’ – my operational level of soothing energy to which I’ve become habituated over lo all these many years. So in a sense, to ‘rest more thoroughly than I am habituated to’ requires at least tuning into — and encouraging — the self-arising resonant breath. It’s not so much about making a conscious effort as it is allowing the body to trigger its own releases by encouraging what it does on its own when it rests.
Over these past years I’ve found that I can dissolve armorings easily with the purring breath that resonates the blood stream all the way out to the capillaries in the fingers and toes, dissolving all tensions that block the ‘flow.’ What a delight! And for me, it doesn’t complicate Candice’s ‘short moments of awareness’ approach, but instead harmonizes well with everything I’ve learned from www.greatfreedom.org. I just don’t want to leave any part of the being behind — neither the body, the mind, the emotions, the spirit.!

Let me end with a quote from Candice:
“The Power Is In Awareness
“Awareness has the ultimate sense of humor. And so you know, it’s important to relax and be gentle with yourself. Awareness is in all points of view. You can’t really say that it’s only this or it’s only that. That’s impossible. Awareness can only be talked about in a way that includes everything. In other words, when there is a complete openness of communication between all points of view. So this makes it easy.
“First of all, you don’t have to change. What could be easier than that?…”

Ramon: I’m certainly ‘not about to change’ my interest in accessing soothing energy through self-arising body relaxations. They just work too well. (smile) It’s my way of “including everything!”

My “Purring To Nirvana” 3-minute demo video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvyW3-2QSeQ

Beams and Blessings,

Hello world!

February 3rd, 2011

Instead of moving over the old Blog, which at some point quit allowing me to post anything new, I’m just going to start a new one.

Today is my baby sister Sister Benedicta’s 75th birthday. Also my father’s, who would have been 110. Both are remarkable numbers, so it seemed a propitious time to get this blog up and running.
Also a propitious time to get two more teeth yanked, so I’m sitting here with a mouthful of gauze waiting for the pain pill to kick in. This time around I’m determined to stay AHEAD of the discomfort instead of waiting for the novocaine to wear off.
Sort of a glum note to begin on, despite the specialness of the day. So I think I’ll also include an enthusiastic word for the Great Freedom teaching that I discovered over a year ago (http://www.greatfreedom.org). The founder, Candice O’Denver, offers a very simple teaching: “Short moments of awareness/clarity, repeated many times, become continuous.”
If you go to the website, you will find many videos, audio (MP3’s) and downloadable books in .jpg format. Do try them out! And meanwhile, here’s a taste:
“When this continuous soothing energy is tapped into, it will never go away. It will be increasingly obvious from then on. This soothing is something we all desire, something that we all seek in all kinds of antidotes. When we instinctively recognize that soothing energy and power within ourselves, then we know that there is nowhere else to go. There is nothing to do. It’s already present. It’s up to us. Just relax, acknowledge its presence. Nothing could be more natural.”