PARENTAL ADVISORY: EXPLICIT LYRICS.
The practical exercise in this reflection i’d offer to all my clients as an aid to developing Quiet Mind; the narrative… that’s just for you dear reader.
Tracks in the Snow
I’ve a confession to make. A lot of my ‘News of the World’ comes out of appreciating the ART of storytelling; I listen again & again (& again) to tellers, musicians, poets and emcees who I feel have a finger on a cultural pulse; and a heart & head aligned in a positive direction i.e. they speak for, too and for the benefit of regenerating culture.
So, that said, I’m not a black-man, I don’t live in the centre of a war zone or a housing scheme, but I know full well what the industrial complex is and how it affects me; so I relate to the narrative. I’m just an original small town, coaldust free, adopted grandson of anthracite & haulage, a grown out De-Cymru B-Boy from Pil; birthplace of the woodlouse. South Wales is the ORIGINAL Industrial Complex & … even though I live among trees, I KNOW it’s only a few hop, skips and jumps from the trilogy of Cordell to flagons of bow with the boys in a Cornelly bus-stop.
I wasn’t exposed to decent hip-hop as a nipper; instead my napper was drip-fed the commercialised radio and gangsta rap crap. Like all teenagers though; I knew congruence when I felt it; we smelled out ‘inauthentic’ and desperately searched for something real; We’d seek out and emulate what we saw the adults doing. In the absence of congruence, boy we got up to some fun mischief.
I had a schoolmate called Phil Horsell, he’d got hold of some Public Enemy from somewhere & used to emulate MC Flava Flav. One day he’d become incensed that the local deputy headmaster had gotten away with ‘nicking videos’ out of the back of a lorry on the A48 one winter; back in the pre-scrutiny days when party-in-power nepotism was a norm. Computers had just arrived, so he had us printing & posting messages all around school. It was my first experience of speaking truth to power. I took the wrap as well; I was almost expelled save for my mothers foresight who threatened to go to the press. Happy Days.
Twenty five years later, I’m still following Mr Chuck D from PE. Now I can’t speak for mista chucks commitment to his Deep Nature Connection shield, but his emphasis on respecting lineage, passing on a good message, promoting peacemaking, healing & unity exemplifies a commitment to inter-generational mentoring. The PE story is one of the most inspirational acts of cultural creativity I have witnessed. Crucially, as the Leaders conduct is consistent with his message.
Currently, Mista Chuck is doing what is essential for the continuation of the culture; role-modelling & providing opportunities for bringing the nippers through. No one’s cutting edge forever, nor should they be; it’s oral culture & regenerative community that hands the baton of bravery and sanctions our Bards.
Just feel the force & confidence in this man’s flow, you can feel the support of the generations behind him. You can’t do/sustain this alone, this is what regenerative culture lends to an individual; your conception of self becomes wider…thus ART becomes a mouthpiece for culture… what…goes… on:
Protect Your Dome
I reckon, through face to face with friends and my feeds, how culture, creeds, people & places are affected by the senseless market driven forces that assuage our better judgements. Affairs outwith the timelessness of Nature are moving very quickly.
There’s been lot of references to ‘protecting your dome’ in the hip-hop I’ve been listening too lately. Not surprisingly, given the assault of information we are subjected to via mainstream, social or alternative media. Why is protecting your Napper important? Well, I say this with all due respect, with cap off and hand on my chest to all the families still grieving; too many of ‘the boys’ in my hometown, across multiple generations, that I know and love; are learning to tie the wrong kind of knots.
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You’ll know it, sometimes you end up with thoughts, ideas, images, associations, feelings that are mixed up inside you; that somehow weren’t there before. Was it something you ate? Or was it something you read? Was it after you sat next to that guy with the funny vibe on the bus? Like dirt under our fingernails, or grime on our teeth; we ‘pick stuff up’ in daily life and occasionally it feels good to clean it off.
Particularly for me I sense ‘weirdness’ when something/someone is incongruent. Like a product claiming it’s creating mermaids & pristine rivers when you can’t even read the names of the chemicals on the label. Or a grassroots solution in your hometown gets it’s funding withdrawn for being too successful; & advised that your enterprise can only be allowed to exist if your board is replaced entirely by freemasons and you ‘do what your told’.
Sometimes a political party or person will claim one thing and do another; to gain leverage or status or some other agenda that isn’t made clear. Like just last week when, despite clear evidence from the Environmental Audit Committee that it amounts to Eco-cide, we were denied a Moratorium on fracking.
Sometimes ‘pillars of community’ are SHOUTING ‘local jobs!’, whilst THINKING ‘huge-shareholder profits’ whilst enabling ‘corporate-land grabs!’. This has an effect on, self, others and environment. People are getting angry out there.
Learn to Pay Attention
Whatever ‘IT’ is, sometimes the inner quality that knows it’s having the wool pulled over it’s eyes…. That intuitive magnetic gem we call Discernment…. can get masked or clouded by the rubbish that’s slung at (y)our senses.
Too much media, other peoples ideas, or agendas; even their dissonance can be picked up unconsciously as impressions and I’m writing to say you don’t have to passively just accept that shit in your heads; or the feelings it brings up in your hearts.
So here’s one technique which I’ve learned and used over the years, a routine, that helps protect my dome as part of a balanced diet… a little psychic toothbrushing; you just need a candle at eye level and a lighter in a dark room.
It’s not exactly meditation, almost; but not quite. It’s more like a concentration technique; it develops concentration with the added effect of helping clear and calm the space in your head (w)here your ideas are formed.
It’s called ‘Tratak’ and here’s the craic:
A Practical Exercise:
Sit in front of a candle.
The flame is at eye level or slightly higher and 12 to 18 inches from your eyes. Find the right distance for yourself. Your back should be straight and your body motionless as long as you sit in the pose. Feel your body as completely calm.
Experience the whole body’s form, the whole body, for a while, till you really feel it, until you are one with it. The whole body.
Then observe the breath – the natural breathing. Observe the breath in the nose. Feel how the air goes in and out of your nose. Do it for a while. The breathing in the nose.
When you feel calm, open your eyes and look into the flame.
See the glowing point at the top of the wick. Look at this point without blinking – look as long as you can – without straining – without blinking – until tears come, or just before tears come.
When you feel a need to close your eyes, do it, but don’t move. Sit completely calm and motionless, with closed eyes and look at what appears on your retina.
After a moment a light point is sure to appear. This is the print of the flame on your retina. You see a little star, or a glowing point. Look at it for as long as you can.
Does it move?
Let it move to the centre between your eyebrows.
Look at it there.
If it wanders elsewhere, don’t follow it.
Keep it at the eyebrow centre as long as you can.
Sometimes the point vanishes, then appears again and then disappears. And the point or background may change colours, the point may turn black and the background ‘light’.
Go on looking at it until it disappears altogether – it may take five minutes or longer.
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When you are finished, stretch your body, rest your legs if you need to. And then settle down and start from the beginning again. Do this three times; on the third go, blow out the candle before closing your eyes.
Do as You Will
That’s it. Have a go, if your really intuit and your curious about going deeper; i recommend here.
Techniques aside, I’m gonna take a guess, as I’m human too; that deep down in (t)here… your fundamentally fantastic… your original and perfect just as you are. You don’t need changing. You don’t need these techniques. Your essential, creative beyond measure. Your yourself. If Tratak helps you in discerning THAT from the dissonance in society or media telling you otherwise. Result.
I’m consolidating plans in community for 2015 which i hope to release as Spring News. Until then, Happy Imbolc. Keep the bonfires burning with you and yours.
Keep it viscer(e)al!
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“Since, in truth, bondage & freedom are relative, these words are only for those that are terrified of the universe. This universe is a reflection of minds. As you see many suns in water from one sun, so see bondage & liberation”.
[Special thanks for images in this article go to firekeeper NiN, formerly of EcoDysgu; you can read her extraordinary story and view her work here.]