Indra’s Web and You

archives_ngc6946Indra’s Web (or Net) is a metaphorical description of the structure of the Cosmos as an interconnected web of pearls extending in all directions and dimensions, where each of the pearls is both unique, and a microcosmic expression of the whole web. The pearls, or nodal points, receive and transmit energy and information throughout the whole net, adding and offering their own unique experience, and receiving that from others. Thus the whole process is alive, growing, learning and recreating itself moment to moment.

The ‘Fireworks Galaxy” (ngc 6946) above offers an entry point for the imagination to play with this fabulous vision. This galaxy, a nodal point in the web, is one of an estimated (as of January 2017) two trillion galaxies in the ‘known universe’. Our own ‘average size’ Milky Way Galaxy is estimated to have 200 to 250 billion stars, which gives us a rough approximation of  5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars.  Don’t try to wrap your mind around that number. Rather let your mind go, so it’s free to rest in infinity.

Now, imagine that each of these stars is also a nodal point in Indra’s web, a web within a web, radiant, vibrating, linked through the web to all the other stars, sending light energy throughout the cosmos. Our sun is one of those nodal points, providing the crucial life energy for Mother Earth, but as a node in the web, it is also transmitting information from all the other stars as well.

news588-i1.0Lets add the cells in your body, all 35,000,000,000 of them, another web within a web. By the way, 80% of these are red blood cells, by number; by weight, because they are quite small as cells go, only 4%. More nodes in the web, all vibrating, communicating with the environment and the web as a whole. If you add in the 35,000,000,000 bacterial cells inhibiting your body, you have 70 trillion vibrating nodes of cellular consciousness in your somasphere. The bacterial cells are quite small, maybe 200 grams worth, or .3% of your mass, but crucial to your happiness.

Now, imagine the atoms in your body also as nodal points in Indra’s Web. There are 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of them roughly, arranged in differingDNA_molecule_closeup patterns like the DNA molecule, each vibrating with its own unique note, creating chords with other atoms to make molecules. And also vibrating, through and throughout the web, with the fundamental pulse of the Cosmos.

So we have the web within, the web without and now we add ourselves. Each of us, as a soul being, is also a node in the great web, connected to the whole, and transmitting energy in all directions.  This is one of the great realizations of a yoga practice, as Patanjali states in the Samadhi Pada:

I-40 paramaanu-parama-mahattvaanto’sya vashikaarah
Mastery (of one who has refined the mind) extends from the smallest particle to the totality of creation

Patanjali the physicist describes how the mind of one who is fully stabilized extends from the sub-atomic realms of the quantum field all the way to the galaxies and beyond. The universe is the mahat, the great mind that is the mind of the yogi.

Feel this. Imagine this. Feel this. Let the primary frequency of your energy be love and compassion, as best you can as a human being. Find new connections, new relationships, new sources of learning and growth. Be a mentor, a mentee. From the depths of your soul ask what you need for healing and go for it. Ask where you creativity wants to take you and go for it. Be patient. Find a support system and take advantage of it. Cultivate your imagination more and more.

As nodal points in Indra’s Net, we have an amazing opportunity to learn and grow by using and refining our imagination and our external and internal sensitivity. External sensitivity involves opening to the relational fields of both human interaction and Mother PageImage-512192-5065180-khbhk30of59Nature. By stepping outside, or beyond the confines of our skin, we open to all the ways in which the universe is informing us of wholeness, love, coherence, cooperation, and the infinite challenges involved in working as a community of cosmic nodes. My internal sensitivity takes me inside my skin, into the world of Qi and blood, of breath, emotions and thought, of imagination, dreams and deep stillness, where 4 billion years of evolutionary learning have primed me to awaken to the depths of the present moment, through my cells, senses and imagination.

There is no pose that takes you there, but every pose has the possibility. There is no special place that helps awaken you, but every place is a node in the web, if we can just learn to see. This is not something that will come in the future, but is always available now, in this moment, the only moment. You are the web, you are embedded in the web, and the web is embedded in you.

Barcelona, 2013

“The Sacred Side of Barcelona” images

“Sacred Sounds”

Last Sunday found us wandering through the back roads of the hillside Park Güell, trying to find the famous mosaics, playful buildings and salamander attributed to Barcelona’s famous architect Antoni Gaudi and the great views of the city and harbor. Coming around a corner on one of the many winding paths, we were suddenly immersed in waves of beautiful sounds coming from one of the street musicians. The music sounded almost like a steel drum, only softer, more subtle, and it was coming from an instrument I had never seen before, a ‘PanArt Hang’. Pure heart sounds that stopped you in your tracks and dropped you into the infinite. Sacred sounds. Alex Permanyer was the musician and after soaking in the sounds a bit and asking him about the instrument he was playing I bought one of his cd’s . Later on, upon opening it, I found this quote ” Silence is not the absence of sound, but it is the absence of oneself.”  Cosmic attunement is such a delight. Here is Alex in Belguim.

“Sacred Space”

Earlier that same Sunday (although all days, all moments are sacred, stillness can seem to be more accessible on Sundays), we spent the morning in Gaudi’s masterpiece, the vast cathedral known as the Sagrada Familia. gaudi sagrada familia collumnsFrom the outside it is busy and somewhat chaotic with all of the cranes, scaffolding and construction equipment, get-attachment-3(The hope is to be complete by 2026), but the interior is like nothing else on earth. Gaudi was a great student of nature and incorporated natural forms, shapes and patterns in all of his work. A master of engineering, his use of supporting columns and hyperbolic arches is stunning. The effect is of standing in a magical redwood forest, with the columns as trees and the canopy bursting open with branches leaves and light. The photo to the right is a view looking up one of the columns to the ceiling.

Gaudi was also amazing with his use of sunlight and stained glass.gaudi light edited This is a momentary glimpse of how the morning light illumines the interior spaces.  And it changes moment to moment. And it is much more stunning in person, in the vastness of the nave. The Sagrada Familia was Gaudi’s true passion and the sacred space he envisioned and created is transcendent.

“Sacred Embodiment”

Timing is everything. Our stay in Barcelona overlapped with the biennial World Swimming Diving and Water Polo Championships and we were lucky enough to see parts of the first ever High Diving competition. Until this summer, the Olympics and worlds have just included spring board and 10 meter platform diving. In Barcelona, the women went from 20 meters (65+ feet) and the men from 27 meters (90 feet). Here is  Gold medal winnerget-attachment-4 Orlando Duque from Colombia on his way down during a practice day,  somatic meditation in action. Although new to this championship, Orlando has been high diving for 15 years and can be seen on the Red Bull Diving circuit, (coming to Boston and the ICA later this month.)  get-attachmentAnna Bader of Germany won the bronze, but this was a moment that had everyone gasping. Just a simple handstand on the edge of a 65 foot drop. She walked to the edge, planted her hands, and lengthened into a deep uttanasana. She then went up effortlessly, locked it in for a good 10 or more seconds, wind blowing, cameras flashing, and then pushed off and flew. Amazingly exciting to watch that level of integration.

There are blessings, nourishment and cosmic delight everywhere, but our week in Barcelona provided an extraordinary abundance. These were just a few. Hope you get to visit some day.

Thanks to Sean Kilmurray for the photography.