Ok, so that’s the basics – nice and easy yes?
Just 3 small things:
- You need to remember how to be ‘Enthusiastic’ again.
- You need to get back in touch with your ‘Mind state’.
- You use those 2 concepts over time to develop ‘Power over yourself’
Ahh maybe read it again then.. if you are even remotely spiritual you need to ENGAGE with it now, and the first thing you do is CLEAN your mind up a bit, take control.. I know this is information dense stuff, and I make no apology for it – its a hell of a lot simpler than it might be, the rest, the effort of understanding and relating it back to yourself is up to you. As a seeker do try and remember that EVERYTHING is a test, and you need to pass these tests, quick as like.
Now then, the Ride is a set of 3 basic instructions to get you back in touch with your Enthusiasm and then build it so you can practise Power Over Yourself. That’s it, a nice catchy little reminder of what you need to do, in sequence, to in time develop Power over Yourself, that hopefully ‘resonantes’ inside you.
But…. before I jump in and explain what the little nursery rhythm of the ‘Ride’ actually means, what the detailed instructions actually are, I need to cover off 3 things, as statements, reminders, so it’s nice and clear and quick:
- The Ride is not something I have thought up, pieced together from other systems, the Ride is ancient, its my presentation of it that is new. If you really want to look for it in the writings of the old traditions then you will find the basis of it in the Daoist practices of ‘Sung’, the Zen practices of ‘Shikantaza’ to name but two, but I’m using an older ‘mystery school’ version of it, as its just way more effective. Hope that is ok with you however if you really need a Christian reference (..?!) then its what Psalm 46, verse 10 actually means, ‘Let be and be Still, and Know that I am God’, which I ref as it tends to hit spirituality gifted westerners a bit harder…
- The Ride is a complete process, see I’m a Zen man in my heart, we like complete systems and we hate partial systems, bits of processes, used out of sequence and out of context, the sort that so dominate the world of new age spirituality, the internet gurus selling something as ‘new’. This is a complete system, a whole process in itself and needs nothing further AS LONG as you do all of it. If you forget, try and be clever, try and cherry pick the bits you like, give you a buzz, you will get unintended results.
- The Ride is NOT spiritual practise, it is NOT the practise of real spirituality, its goal is to bring ‘you’ back to ‘yourself’, to remind you of your innate, congenital spiritual being, to get you back in touch with your life force itself, while standing on ‘your own’ 2 feet. There is NO zoning out in the Ride. See, what the Ride does is reveal whatever is ALREADY there, draws back the curtain, which then allows you to build on it, should you so wish. Yes, by itself it WILL make you happier, self possessed, smarter, quicker, cooler even, but these are just the side effects of getting back in touch with yourself, instead of spending your life wasting away. Sadly this initial process, this set of ‘training wheels’ has become ALL that modern religion and spiritual training is about publically. Trust me its not, indeed if and when you ever get into proper spiritual cultivation (yep, that’s what they call it) the Ride will look like a kids toy.
So to the Ride, to end where we began, What to do….
- Love yourself – your self sabotaging ego wants to generate resistance as TENSION all the time, put it back in its place by showing yourself some love, honor yourself, your bad ass is amazing, so feel some RELIEF.
- Don’t give a fuck – don’t be some precious little victim of every emotion, every fear, anxiety, desire, attraction that crosses your mind, its tedious crap and you’ve done it all before, what does it matter, you don’t need to care or have an opinion about anything, so let it fucking go.. don’t react, so BE STILL
- Look good – manage your body, your movements, your posture, your clothes, your sensations et al to feel good about looking good, right now, to feel beautiful, cool, in control, your da bomb bitch, fucking act like it.. so feel ATTRACTIVE.
Ahhh… but what does that actually mean then.. how do I ‘correctly’ feel these things, you say? Ok, right now ‘remember’ a simple, pleasurable sensation, whatever you like, as long as it’s clear, and consistent. Now put you attention on your actual mind state by feeling the actual sensation of your clothes on your skin. Get that? cool, cause this is what we are going to use.
Now, you need to ‘remember’ these feelings as a ‘sensation’, NOT moods/emotion, then generate the ‘similar’ feeling by using your attention on your body, then let the ‘real’ feel emerge out of them overtime OK? It goes 1 – sensation memory, 2 – sensation generation, then hold that feeling and wait…. for 3 – the real sensation, whenever it comes. After you have had the real sensation you remember that to use at the beginning, and start again.
This is important – what you want, what you need for the Ride to work is the ‘real’ feeling, the memory and the generation of a close proximity to the real feeling are a training aid, pure and simple,and should be ditched as soon as you get better at the real sensation. If you let it, the real feeling will do the work from the inside out, you are just aiming at it.
You do all of this without trying by simply teaching yourself to do this as a habit overtime, without any real conscious direct. Ever wondered why most East Asian spiritual traditions say you should NOT try, not make any effort? Its cause the more you TRY, the more you hold on to these close proximities of what you actually want ,the more you try and force through the wrong feeling time and time again, the more you will delay the process for literally YEARS, literally. If you take nothing else away from this post, ‘know’ that you ‘consciously don’t know’ shit, but something inside you does know, and if you let go of ‘trying’ then it will be more than happy to show your dumb ass.
You get this? See everyone names different feelings differently, hell most people have never even experienced Self Love, or at least put a name to it. Therefore given I don’t know you and I simply can’t trust you to get this right, we have to do it baby steps, I have to be a bit preachy and precise. Side bar, ever want to know if you have a good teacher of anything? Easy, they are precise, they are demanding, cause they know what they say is true.
You do this in time with one breath cycle, you do it without effort, without force, and you do it slowly. When you start it is ok to do this in a training mode, and self consciously cycle through the following:
- Love yourself, exhale slowly through your nose remembering the feeling of a deep sense of RELIEF in your body, and as you do so feel the actual release of tension as you drop your shoulders, upper back and neck muscles physically. The real sensation you are looking for may feel to you like Gratitude, but it is actually a form of SELF LOVE, let it come by itself.
- Don’t Give A Fuck, pause for a couple of seconds at the bottom of the exhale, remembering a feeling of deep CALM, of STILLNESS, and as you do so feel the actual weight of your relaxed body as you hold it as stock still as you can, without any strain. The real sensation you are looking for may feel to you like a mild amusement, but it’s actually to be FEARLESS, and it may help to smile slightly in the beginning.
- Look Good, inhale slowly through your nose remembering the feeling of a electric sense of ATTRACTION, a TINGLING on your skin, and as you do so feel the actual expansion of your chest as gently lift it physically. The real sensation you are looking for may feel to you like being beautiful, but it’s actually the feeling of your LIFE FORCE itself, and it may help to shiver slightly in the beginning.
At the end of the cycle, you should start to hold onto to the feeling of your actual life force, your spirit as doing so will help build it into the more permanent feeling of Enthusiasm. As you do, notice this feeling will ebb and flow on the surface on your skin with your breath, but you will be become conscious that it stays with you all the time, in the background of your mind state, with the whole process acting like a pump to add more and more weight to it, little by little until it is simply there all the time, a buzz, a power you never knew you had.
The Power Over Yourself process happens naturally when you have built your Enthusiasm to a high enough level, and I will let you discover what that means for yourself. See it as a kind of pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, for those who persevere.
When to ‘DO’ the Ride is simple, cause you need to do it ALL THE DAMN TIME. The Ride is not spiritual cultivation, you are simply resetting yourself, it’s the reorientation of yourself toward spirituality. The best approach to it I’ve ever found is to do it on every exhale of breath over 5 or 6 seconds, pause then inhale Enthusiasm. Yes, its that quick, cycle through the 3 forms of feeling while not worrying at all about how the ‘form’ was, and get used to doing it with less and less conscious effort.
Don’t matter if it was not perfect, don’t worry at all, repetition is your friend, just do it again on next exhale, then do it again….. You will know you are getting it right when the feelings start to intensify because the ACTUAL feeling has taken over from the memory of it, and then you are in business. Some of you will occasionally get a short rush, a jolt, a feeling of snapping back to something that is already there and that is what you are looking for, that buzz, so sit with it when it happens…
After this there is a whole range of things that could happen, but you need to discover this for yourself. For now lets just say that with any kind of gift at all, you will start to slow down your movements/thoughts/desires, start to become more graceful, start to move and think with a little more patience and a lot less fear, start to feel self possessed and NOT ego possessed, at least some of the time. Hopefully some of you will start to notice a clear improvement in your lives, a little less with the crap and a little more with the serendipity.
Now, you cannot do the Ride too much, it is not dangerous and with continued practise you will get A LOT better at it. With continued practise it will become an unconscious habit, it’s designed to become an unconscious habit by keeping it incredibly short, easy and making it feel good, so you are going to want to do it, more and more.
Be clear – You don’t think about the Ride, you don’t talk about the Ride, you don’t Google the Ride, you FEEL THE RIDE. And the more you do it, the better it gets, the better it gets the more you do it. Simple enough?
Ahh ok, you need a schedule, you need to be told how to learn.. that’s fine, try this: start doing the Ride first thing in am and last thing at night, 10 times each session, so do it over 10 exhales. Then do it when you are stressed, emotional, any kind of challenge really, use that challenge as your tension to release at the beginning. Then do it when you are bored, waiting, eating. Then do it while watching TV, yep do it while you are zoning out.. Then do it… ALL THE DAMN TIME, when you don’t have to focus on everything else that is urgent. See, you need it to be a reflex, you need it to start to work when you are not conscious of doing it, so you don’t have to remember anymore. You are reprogramming your EGO, so you need to stick at it, cause your EGO is a creature of habit.
In this way, with these 3 simple changes, 3 phases of feeling about yourself, you will start to develop power over yourself, the best drug in the world, and you will start to feel a lot better, a lot more in control, as time goes on. Through the development and production of Enthusiasm you will get back in touch with your spiritual side, actually touch it with your attention. Your personal experience of that will be defined by what you have started with, so I wish you good luck with that.
At this point you may have figured out for yourself one great Zen truism – this is all about your ATTENTION, specifically the skill of the control of your attention. The quality, strength and consistency of your attention is everything in Zen, its a wonderful, magical skill and something that the vast majority of even spiritual people neglect, cause its hard… So at this stage I’m not going to discuss it further, other than to say – to do everything above, to do the Ride well REQUIRES you to start to improve the quality and strength of your attention.
Now, there is a lot to say about Power Over Yourself, its a big topic. As the fundamental basis for all spiritual progress in the world of real spirituality, you would expect it to be. But to accept that later stuff, some of the darker elements of it you need to see some progress first don’t you.. so I have not included it here. It will be one of the first posts you will read if you do decide to progress however, and you will see why I have left it out for now.
To remind you, this is not real spiritual practise, not even spirituality 101, its simply orientation, so you know what all this is about in relation to yourself. Without this orientation all spirituality is so much mumbo jumbo, just jargon and feel good self help that you Can’t relate to. But now you can relate can’t you… Now you are actually ‘on the path’, yes.. even standing at the start of the path, looking down it between the tall trees is ‘on the path’.
However, quite apart from that what I have done with the Ride, indeed the main point of the Ride, as with the front end of all adventures into real spirituality, is about learning to DEFEND yourself… and that is the front end of ALL real spirituality for a VERY good reason.
To the end this series of posts, to end orientation, the next one ‘The end of the beginning’ is going to detail why you need to defend yourself, it’s going to deal with the much miss-understood, much maligned EGO.
Quote to end as always, this time from one of the greatest men who ever lived, one of the few who went against the tide and changed the course of history all by his goddamn self, and was not afraid to get his hands dirty to do the ‘right thing’. Mr Churchill.
‘Sure I am of this one thing.. that you have only to endure to conquer’ – Winston Churchill.