The Real Skills for Living

I still remember the first time I did AcuEnergetics Level 1. Not far into it we probably had done a little meditation and started to learn about the mind and body and how it works with the bio-electricity. The feeling I initially recall is that of a weird sense of relaxation. I remember sitting in the group wondering when was the last time I sat still for a moment and thought about how I was, how I felt and how I should make more time for my health and happiness.

It was a strange thing for me – to stop and feel how I was feeling, in my body and my mind. To put everyone and everything else on hold for a while and dedicate this small amount of time to myself – what a treat. It felt luxurious and cheeky and important, all at once. I might have made a promise to myself to do this kind of practice more often, I can’t remember. All I know is that it made a big impact.
When we started to learn about feeling the electricity, I admit I was unsure if I would be able to do it. I had confidence that others could do it – since I had received treatments myself that had been strong and effective – however I was not sure it was something I would be able to do. After all it involved feeling, not thinking and my whole life had been dedicated to the latter! This feeling thing was not something I had a whole lot of practice at.

Nevertheless I gave it a go and tried to ‘not try’ and practice the technique we were taught and just feel … it felt a bit foreign to me to be honest. The ideas made sense but they went against everything I had been encouraged to do throughout my life. Concentrating and trying needed to be replaced with awareness and letting go. The harder you try, the less chance you have at feeling. The more you let go and just go through the motions, the more you get a glimpse of the feeling. Who would’ve thought?
I did feel something that weekend, just not much. Looking back, if I had followed the guidance we were given – about relaxing and not trying – then it would have been easier for me. However it’s not easy to retrain your brain and your old patterns. My mind was persistently unhelpful to the process as whenever I thought that yes maybe I could actually feel something in my hand, it was very reliable in reminding me that I was probably just imagining it.

But even if my mind was my enemy that weekend, I enjoyed learning about the impact stress and traumas have not just in how we feel but also in the electricity and the physical body too – and how these can be helped by re-engaging the correct flow of electricity in the body. It was fascinating. I laughed thinking of how much work I had a head of me to restore correct flow in my body! But it also empowered me to feel like I had a way to understand and help myself too.
Other parts of the weekend included some ancient meditations to help focus our attention and open our hearts. The inner breath and the inner smile were the two we were taught and although meditation was not new to me, the way these were taught created such peace, stillness and joy in my heart that I was hooked. They were simple and yet very profound.

There were lots of other things we did over the course of the weekend – like the amazing Circulation of the Light Wellness Balance and learning how to ‘gather qi’ to increase our energy levels – all of which were awesome. However the thing I really took away was a wake up call to myself in how I was, how I had been and how I wanted to be. This quote by Buddha, “If you want to see why your body is the way it is now, look at how you’ve been thinking for the past 10 years. If you want to look at how your body will be in 10 years time, look at how you’re thinking now.” was like a lightning bolt. How much sense it made and yet how crazy we all are in our day to day lives. I made a vow to change and bring more awareness into my daily practice and to start to live some of the things I had learned.
As I said earlier, the getting out of the mind is hard, but obviously I did persist. The feelings and sensations I started to experience were strange and new and somehow tangible yet of another world. It was exciting and I started to get a small taste of the world of possibilities that were available to me, within that first weekend of Level 1 Skills for Living. From there, the experience just continued to get better and better.For me it was nothing short of life changing.

By Rochelle Taylor

Rochelle is a mum of two little ones and has always been interested in finding ways to live a happy and healthy life while helping others. She has been meditating for 19 years, since she was introduced to the practice in school and found a passion for healing and energy medicine not long after that. Rochelle enjoys the challenges of life, motherhood, family, work, friends and somehow fitting them all in together. Work-wise Rochelle is an AcuEnergetics® Practitioner, Teacher and is also the General Manager of AcuEnergetics®. She has been practicing AcuEnergetics® since 2005 and is fully qualified to teach AcuEnergetics® Level 1 and AcuEnergetics® Level 2. She is currently a co-teacher for AcuEnergetics® Level 3 and the AcuEnergetics®

Meditation: Inner and Outer Practices

Meditation is just the immediate awareness of our life, our mind, our phenomenological existence. As such, it’s not something we can do – it’s just the awakening of pure perception. Nonetheless there are many practices – things that we can do – that are called meditation and that are useful. These useful practices are outer meditation practices as opposed to the inner practice of pure perception. Outer practices include the inner smile, the inner breath, guru yoga, the light body practices of Kabbalah, vipassana, zazen, mantra… in fact everything that is not pure perception.

The outer practices have existed for millennia because they are very useful preparatory exercises for inner practice. The purpose of outer practices is to calm and still the mind to make it easier to notice our immediate existence. In effect, they prepare the way for inner practice.

 In the ancient Orphic mystery tradition of Greece, the first stage of initiation was the passage through the Serpent of Chronos (from where we get the word chronometer meaning watch) or to get rid of the sense of time. In effect to develop real patience as opposed to the concept of suffering silently, patientia which is the latin root of the English word. This real patience is the main function of outer practices. In The Gift, a compilation of poems of the Sufi mystic Hafiz’s thoughts interpreted by Daniel Ladinsky, there is a poem that goes; For the divine alchemy to workThe pitcher needs a still cupWhy ask me anything more aboutyour most important requirement. Although many people feel that they are spiritual enough or ready enough for inner meditation or mindfulness practice, mostly this is a misconception born of vanity. It’s a bit like the old joke about politicians that goes; anyone who puts up their hand to run for public office should be automatically excluded. When we think we are too spiritual for the simple outer practices – beware. It is wise to remember that the Buddha practiced breath practices until he died because he wasn’t stuck in such a false ideal of spirituality.

Our minds are very tricky and we can benefit greatly from doing these outer practices. They help to calm the conscious mind when we are disturbed by our thoughts and we feel like our mind is driving us crazy and they can also help us to deal with subconscious attitudes and holding patterns of our mind.When we practice simple outer practices for a while and have developed the real patience of sitting still – then mindfulness is an automatic phenomenon that happens to us. This is just because when we are really effortlessly still, we become aware enough to begin to notice how we are. This is the inner practice. This is not because we move on to what we consider is a deeper practice when we think we have reached a goal, but rather because we cannot avoid beginning to notice how we are in this immediate moment. The simplicity of outer practices is elegance itself. Sit, breathe, feel…and the rest will take care of itself. 

By Kevin Niv Farrow

Kevin is the Founder and Director of AcuEnergetics® as well as a Master AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher of AcuEnergetics®. Kevin has practised and studied meditation and the energetic system since 1974. He has taught since 2000 and his published writings, meditation CD’s and teachings have brought him worldwide recognition as a unique and practical meditation teacher and an expert in the field of energy medicine. He currently teaches in Australia, USA, India, Asia and Europe. For more information about Kevin, visit Kevin’s full biography.

Benefits of working with the body’s bio-electricity

Well we’re just sneaking in with the July blog before the end of July. It’s been a big month for us here at AcuEnergetics®. With all the media interest and our Founder Kevin Niv Farrow being in the news, it’s been a bit crazy (crazy good). Anyway, we thought it was an appropriate time to talk about the real benefits in working with the bio-electricity in the body (the way AcuEnergetics® does) and the advantages in understanding this amazing system and how it all works.

It works

The most obvious reason to me to work with the electricity in the body is that it works. No matter what you think, or what you believe, this is a physical and electrical phenomenon and it exists. Whether you can feel it or you can’t makes no impact on the result of your treatment. Some people do and some don’t and this is irrelevant. I have seen many people over the years that have been skeptical and ‘don’t believe in this kind of thing’ and yet come in for a treatment and then been surprised by the obvious sensations they can feel whilst being treated. I remember coming for my first treatment and being skeptical as to what would happen. However when my treatment commenced I felt a very strong and tangible movement in my body – it was not subtle or vague in any way. I knew something was happening – I just wasn’t sure at the time what it was or if it was going to be beneficial. Time would tell that it was.

It makes sense

When you start to understand the nature of the body and how the bio-electrical system fits in with everything else – your organs, your mind and emotions, the blood, muscles and functions of the body – it all makes perfect sense. You start to see that there are patterns in the body and cause and effect. If one area is compromised, it will impact another. If your kidneys are weak, you will be tired. If your gall bladder has tension, you will not be so flexible. If you worry incessantly, your stomach will be upset. So when you see a symptom appear in your body, it is a great sign to see what area needs to be addressed, not suppressed!

You can help yourself

People often feel helpless when things happen to them – like pain or illness – as it’s confusing and seemingly out of no-where. However it’s quite empowering to understand the whole system of how the body works, including how the electricity flows and impacts our health, as we can then start to do something about it. It feels great to be able to play an active role in your own health and wellbeing, instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

AcuEnergetics® can help with things that sometimes no-one else can

Often AcuEnergetics® can help with pain and illness that many other practitioners have been unable to help with. This is simply because we work with a system that they don’t – specific and accurate maps of the bio-electrical system in the body. This is not a secret system – we teach it in our school and we want more people to learn it so they can help people all around the world who have conditions that have been unable to be treated so far. That’s not to say we can treat everyone for everything. But we have a really great success rate.

Pattern RecognitionWhen you start to understand how things fit together, you start to see patterns within the body and that makes it easier to see what is happening in a person’s body. For example, when someone has one symptom – let’s say a pain in the back. It could be a number of things causing the pain. But if they also have a pain in the neck and shoulder and trouble twisting and pain in the abdomen and foot – then the more symptoms we have gives us more clues as to what is happening in the body. It’s called pattern recognition and it shows us obvious signs of where the body is struggling and a way to restore health.So that’s a few reasons to start looking at what is happening in your body, if you’re keen to understand the areas that need some attention. If you’re interested in learning more about your body, the electrical system and how it all works, join us for one of our weekend Level 1 workshops.

By Rochelle Taylor

Rochelle is a mum of two little ones and has always been interested in finding ways to live a happy and healthy life while helping others. She has been meditating for 19 years, since she was introduced to the practice in school and found a passion for healing and energy medicine not long after that. Rochelle enjoys the challenges of life, motherhood, family, work, friends and somehow fitting them all in together. Work-wise Rochelle is an AcuEnergetics® Practitioner, Teacher and is also the General Manager of AcuEnergetics®. She has been practicing AcuEnergetics® since 2005 and is fully qualified to teach AcuEnergetics® Level 1 and AcuEnergetics® Level 2. She is currently a co-teacher for AcuEnergetics® Level 3 and the AcuEnergetics® Practitioner Training.

The Science of Energy & Healing

“The most subtle body consists of fine channels called nadi along which a number of plexus points or chakras are disposed. A so-called “wind energy” circulates through this system, which is basically inseparable from consciousness, but in its most gross forms  manifests as passions like anger and lust. In the unregenerate individual, the nadi are knotted up, so the movement of the wind energy is vitiated.” John Snelling, The Buddhist Handbook.To really understand our physiology and anatomy, and thereby have a profound effect upon the health of the individual, we need to understand how our spirit interacts with our subtle body, and how this subtle body interacts with our physical body. In reality, these three bodies are of course one, an amazing combined weave of awareness and energies and matter that provides our consciousness with a vehicle for this life. The practical question that has been asked by healers through the ages, is how this actually works?

I have attempted to answer this question from principals that have been tested and proven to work in clinical practice on a large range of health problems ranging from knee, back and shoulder problems to hearing loss, thyroid and kidney malfunctions, chronic fatigue and depression. While the specific effects of attitudes and emotions on the energy centres and meridians and their consequent specific effects on the physical body, provide many of the keys in determining the cause and thereby the cure of illness, there are aspects of the energy system that are generally unknown and associated conditions which are considered untreatable. Successful cures are termed ‘miracles,’ however, as St Augustine said ‘Miracles are only unknown laws.’ Increasing our knowledge of these unknown laws is enormously useful to health practice, regardless of the modality.
The following example illustrates aspects of the energy system that are over looked by medicine in general and illustrate the advantages of this new knowledge in a clinical situation. Example: The client – let’s call him John – was a very engaging, sprightly man in his early 70’s who sought treatment initially for a hearing problem. However, his most interesting problem from my point of view was how he got up on the treatment table. He initially stepped up with one leg, and then had to step down and change his feet. He apologised and said that he had a problem with that foot. He had lost the ability to push off on the left foot after a back operation thirty years previously. He had the back operation after five years of walking around bent over, from pain in his back.

The surgeon had “cured” this by removing parts of two prolapsed discs at L4 and L5. Unfortunately, this also affected the movement of the foot. John was so overjoyed at being able to stand up straight, that he accepted this loss without a drama, although he tried the usual treatments such as chiropractic, physio etc without success.
At this point, he also mentioned that he had lost feeling in the pad of the foot. I thought this was very interesting, particularly as in Acupuncture, the Ba Feng points – which are between the toes – are specifically indicated for parathesia and restricted movement. By balancing the energy at these points I succeeded in reactivating feeling in his foot, but not the movement. I then proceeded to direct a stream of energy to an area, which corresponds to the heel knot in the Foot-Shaoyin muscle region in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and the Kurchashira marma point in Yoga. This also corresponds generally to the lower lumbar area in Reflexology and the heel point of AcuEnergetics®. The point went crazy and pulsed and rotated for several minutes before calming down. I then pushed against the foot and asked John to push back. He did and his full foot function was restored after thirty years, in a matter of ten minutes. Of course this was only the beginning. As he had not used his left calf muscle properly for thirty years, it had atrophied and it was only about a third of the size of the right hand side calf. After several months of walking on the beach and the golf course (where his game had improved dramatically due to better balance) I saw him again and noted that although he had movement in the ankle, he could not lift the toes independently and tap his foot. He also noted that walking for several miles in sand gave him a twinge in the area of his old back injury.

AcuEnergetics® balancing of this area to the edge of the heel, restored the ability to tap his toes and strengthened and balanced the whole leg. His walking was much improved as soon as he got off the treatment table. So why was his problem described as impossible to fix? Because the people who treated him did not understand the nature of the energy system that is the body, and instead, thought in terms of physical levers and pulleys.

They assumed that nerve damage had resulted as a consequence of the operation to the back but more fundamentally, they assumed that:
• nerves alone were responsible for communication between parts of the body, in this case the spine and the foot, and• that a severance of these nerves meant that the wires were cut and no communication could ensue• that movement itself is activated by “throwing” a switch in the brain which results in the transmission of a message along the solidstate pathways of the nervous system. This in itself is an interesting piece of thinking. We have wireless systems, we communicate sound and vision through the ether as part and parcel of our daily world. Why do we still think the body works like a primitive mechanical toy? In John’s case, the assumption was that the foot and leg always had the potential for movement, it was just that the signal to give movement couldn’t be delivered because the hardwired nerve communication link had been severed. The patient’s recovery of full use of his foot, albeit thirty years later, draws into considerable doubt, the assumptions on which his original treatment was based.

In his book, Energy Medicine in Therapeutics and Human Performance, (Butterworth Heinemann 2003) James Oschman tells the story of a dancer who trained a paraplegic with a severed spinal cord to crawl using trance dance techniques of breathing, sound and movement that she had learned in Haiti. The process took several years but it is a very good demonstration of a fundamental discrepancy between what we believe and what actually happens in the body.

The development of our understanding of how our bodies actually work is having, and will continue to have, an enormous influence on the future treatment of injury.

By Kevin Niv Farrow.

Kevin is the Founder and Director of AcuEnergetics® as well as a Master AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher of AcuEnergetics®. Kevin has practised and studied meditation and the energetic system since 1974. He has taught since 2000 and his published writings, meditation CD’s and teachings have brought him worldwide recognition as a unique and practical meditation teacher and an expert in the field of energy medicine. He currently teaches in Australia, USA, India, Asia and Europe. For more information about Kevin, visit Kevin’s full biography.

What is meditation?

Meditation is a method of allowing the conscious mind to come to a state of stillness and effortlessness. Many of us have tried to learn this and found that at first, it is impossible to stop our mind from wandering here and there. In the beginning, the mind moves around, the body complains, our nose itches and we scratch it, or our back hurts and distracts us. Maybe there is too much noise from the traffic or someone sneezes or someone’s giggling or we keep getting interrupted by our children or our friends, or we keep going to sleep or there isn’t enough time because we have so much to do. The possible distractions are endless.

All these problems aren’t because of how our life is, or because of how we think – these problems are how we think. Usually we don’t notice how we think because we’re so busy doing things, but the moment we stop doing things and sit still, we get to see how difficult and noisy we are all the time. Many of us are either annoyed or despairing at seeing this and blame it on meditation, or blame ourselves. Once again, we’re just displaying how we think. It goes on and on.
The opinions we have about the noise, the interruptions, the giggling and about our opinions, are all just the normal opinions or products of our story mind. It’s how the movie in our mind works. Something grabs our attention for a split second, then we judge it, verbalise it and file it, so that we can return to it later in our movie. ‘I can’t meditate with all that noise! ’ ‘She should dress her age. ’ ‘Who would buy that car? ’ ‘What a bastard – how could he treat her like that ?’ ‘What a beautiful baby .’ ‘She’s so spiritual. ’ ‘I hate red .’ ‘I’m no good at meditation .’ ‘Wow, that meditation was amazing – I must be nearly enlightened !’ We have millions of opinions. Imagine what would happen to us if we stopped having all these opinions? If we stop our opinions for just a few breaths…right now…

Just notice the feeling of the breath in the nose and listen for the sound of it when we can’t hear it…this dynamic silence is the stillness that Hafiz talks about in his poetry. This is meditation. ‘To pour the divine into you, God needs you to be still. You don’t need to ask Hafiz anything else about your most important lesson.’ HafizIn the seventh century CE, Sosan, the third Patriach of Chan Buddhism (Zen) in China, wrote in his famous Book of Nothing, ‘Don’t try to get enlightened – just stop having opinions.

The first part of learning to meditate, is to learn to still the mind. This is the most vital requirement. The trick to doing this is in not taking any of our opinions seriously. This sounds strange. We think we know this or that. We definitely know that this thing is beautiful or correct and that this other thing is ugly or wrong. I had a friend many years ago who couldn’t believe that people liked listening to accapella jazz music. She was sure that they only played it to annoy her. According to her, ‘Nobody could like that stuff!’ She grew up only listening to pop radio and believed that all people really only loved pop music. She hadn’t been acquainted with opera, jazz, blues or classical music and was convinced that people only pretended to like all of these. This was really the view from her geography and her social demographic.
When we think about it, most, if not all of our opinions have more to do with geography, than with any well thought out reasoning, or inner qualification to know the truth. This is such a basic idea that it’s now taught in North American high schools as behavioural studies. Basically, this is understanding that our particular group’s cultural beliefs, influence our opinions and behavior without our being fully aware of it, and that we, as groups of people, exhibit different responses to the same stimuli due to these influences. For example, a western girl wearing a miniskirt probably won’t understand how or why Muslim girls can wear the burka in the heat of summer. Similarly, a Muslim girl from Jakarta might think the tourist girls from Sydney in their skimpy outfits are outrageous. If a boy is born in Australia, chances are he’ll follow cricket. If he comes from the USA he’ll probably think the game is bizarre. These are cultural opinions.

Opinions – what to do about them? We can’t just stop opinions with our mind or get rid of them by saying that opinions are bad. That’s just another opinion, another part of the story. Meditation has nothing to do with this story mind. Many years ago, I heard the Indian mystic Osho, answering a question. The question had something to do with theology and the man who asked it was at odds with his girlfriend over some obscure point. Osho just answered, ‘In any argument, the one who is the most serious is wrong.’ This is a very valuable teaching. If we are alive and possessing an ego, a sense of I-ness, then we will have opinions. But we don’t need to be attached to these opinions. Our I-ness always makes us think we’re special in a certain way. For some of us, this means we think that we can achieve anything – for others of us, it means we think so poorly of ourselves that we think we are incapable of achieving anything. Both views are just exhibiting an attachment to I-ness – so really they’re no different.
The idea of the popular book, The Secret, is that you can achieve anything. This idea is just based on everybody’s attachment to thinking that they’re special. This isn’t a secret. I-ness is nothing special really. All people, all animals and birds and all insects exhibit it. Plants probably have it. What’s so special about this really? The Hindu sages used to call this I-ness, ahamkara. It means I-ness and also means, the veil. This is because our sense of I-ness keeps us unaware of the real nature of ourselves. Unfortunately, this is the real secret. Behind our sense of I-ness is a pure awareness, the attention mind, that we share with everything. This is our true nature and it’s not based on achieving anything. Our pure awareness, our beingness, our serenity, moment to moment is all that really matters.

Practicing meditation is just a tool to help us to have insight into the achieving mind. Essentially there is no need for this, as it only requires direct insight, not sitting still. The Zen Master Bankei refused to let his students meditate for thirty years because he thought it just distracted them from being aware at all times. Eventually he relented and let them sit for thirty minutes every morning and night. Even Bankei reluctantly agreed that sitting still was of some benefit.
The key to meditation is not to be serious about it. Just go through the motions every day. Stop trying to sit still and don’t give your opinions about trying any attention. Just be aware that you’re trying and then let this go too. This doesn’t mean actively trying to ignore opinions or having any attitude towards them, after all, this would just be another opinion. When we can sit still, there is only stillness, we don’t have any opinions to take seriously. The trick to letting meditation happen is to let opinions melt away and stop meddling with our minds. The Taoist sage Lao Tzu said, ‘Should we meddle, then we are not equal to the task of winning the empire.’ Translated into our 21st century language, this means that if we try to meditate, we can’t succeed ~ because meditation happens when we are not trying. This doesn’t mean that we just sit down and let our thoughts and feelings overwhelm us. In the ancient Chinese meditation text, Secret of the Golden Flower, there is a line about meditation that translates as, ‘You can get it by effort that is not willful.’ We have to do something, but that something does not involve trying to do it. So where does the effort come in? At first, in watching our breath.

Our state of mind equilibrium, is similar to keeping a sailboat moored in a strong current. Just as we need to have an anchor for the boat, we need an anchor for the mind. In the beginning, the simplest thing to tie the mind to is the breath. If you think this is too simple, remember that this thought of yours is just another opinion and the Buddha did this practice every day – how bad can it be?

By Kevin Niv Farrow.

Kevin is the Founder and Director of AcuEnergetics® as well as a Master AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher of AcuEnergetics®. Kevin has practised and studied meditation and the energetic system since 1974. He has taught since 2000 and his published writings, meditation CD’s and teachings have brought him worldwide recognition as a unique and practical meditation teacher and an expert in the field of energy medicine. He currently teaches in Australia, USA, India, Asia and Europe. For more information about Kevin, visit Kevin’s full biography.

The Real Ten Commandments

The ten commandments have for a long time felt like an outdated set of rules of which many seem obvious and therefore largely uninspiring. No matter what our background, most of us know we’re not supposed to steal or kill or commit adultery. However what if there were deeper meanings to these age old set of rules? Kevin Niv Farrow has deciphered what he believes are the real hidden meanings of the ten commandments, which have inspiring and useful applications to our daily lives. Kabbalah teaches that the energy centre of kether was represented by the first commandment in the first set of ten commandments or guidances, received by Moses. This set was carved by light in sapphire. Moses supposedly destroyed this set when he saw the Jews worshipping the statue of a Golden Calf. The first commandment (of the second set) is ‘I am the Lord your God’ or literally, ‘God of you, the Lord I am’. The esoteric meaning of this in Kabbalah was simply, ‘I am.’ This is a reference to the state of beingness or sacred oneness. In Judaism, this was experienced in the Judaic mystic contemplative practices such as kawannah. The practice of kawannah is described as ‘the practical application of the doctrine concerning the spheres and immortal spheres of reality’(Origins of the Tarot. Dai Leon p117). By the twelfth century, this practice had been deemed as heresy as it acknowledged that as God can be directly realised, then one can not be separate from God. Christianity and Islam also deemed this type of practice heretical.

The second commandment associated with the energy centre chochma is ‘Thou shalt have no graven images.’ The esoteric meaning of this is very similar to the famous Zen Buddhist anecdote of ‘If you meet the Buddha on the path – kill him.’ The deeper meaning of this means killing our idea of worshipping someone or something outside of ourselves, rather than being a prohibition against statues and paintings. It is also an instruction against having false imaginings of ourselves. Apart from the obvious point in worshipping false ideas, there is also the psychological problem that exists when we look up to someone. Invariably we balance this by looking down on someone else. This is linked with chochma, because as the highest centre of the (energetic) male pole, the energy of chochma is associated with going out, rather than going in. The famous Kabbalist Rebbe Nachman (1772 –1810), taught that each of us should search for the righteous person within himself. When we project our search for ourselves outward onto others, even supposedly saintly ones, then we leave the state of blessing, the state of oneness. In the Tao te Ching, this concept is stated simply as; ‘Not to honour men of worth will keep the people from contention.’
Kabbalah teaches that the energy centre binah was represented by the third commandment, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord in vain.’ The esoteric meaning of this is that with understanding, we hold a sacred space in the mouth. If we don’t speak with understanding in everything we do, we are breaking that sacred space. This doesn’t just relate to profanity or literally using the word God as a adjunct to an oath. In the Sufi mystic Hafiz’s poetry we read, ‘When you talk about shame, you have left our circle.’ When we really speak from love rather than from our emotions or our logic, then we hold the sacred space – if we speak from anger, shame, guilt or other negative emotions, then we are not in that sacred space and that is its own punishment. The fourth commandment associated with the energy centre chesed is ‘Thou shalt not break the sabbath.’ The real meaning of this is that we need to honour the principle of love and kindness through giving time to ourselves, for our own spirit, instead of spending our time purely on material gain and material matters. By taking one day off a week to restore the spirit, we honour ourselves. The fifth commandment associated with the energy centre gevurah is ‘Thou shalt not dishonour thy father and thy mother.’ The inner meaning of this is to release being resentful. Our mothers and fathers have literally given us life. What we do with it is up to us. If we are ungrateful for the gift of life, this will colour all of our experiences.

The commandment associated with the energy centre tipereth is the sixth, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ The esoteric meaning of this is to keep our hearts open. There is an old story about an English knight in the crusades, who met a Saracen knight in battle. The Saracen tipped him off his horse and was about to kill him when the English knight spat on him. At this gesture, the Saracen turned and walked away. The English knight, puzzled at the behaviour, got to his feet and ran after him. He asked why the Saracen had not killed him, particularly after he was spat upon. The Saracen, who was a Sufi, replied, ‘It is against my faith to kill when I am angry.’ The Englishman became the first English Sufi. A friend of mine who was a Buddhist Abbot, once explained the Chinese Buddhist understanding of killing. He said, ‘When you are going to kill cockroaches and other things, don’t do it with aversion and distaste. Keep your heart open and wish them a higher birth next time.’ The karma in this situation is what we do to ourselves and this is from how we do these things. Aversion contracts our hearts and minds. This is the real inner meaning of ‘Thou shalt not kill.’The seventh commandment associated with the energy centre of netzach is ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ The inner meaning of this, is that we should not spoil the purity of being, through our actions. That is, we should not adulterate the experience of oneness in ourselves. Jesus had some sort of understanding of this when he said, ‘You have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.’ (Matthew 5:27-28)

The eighth commandment associated with the energy centre hod is ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ In an exoteric sense, this is a prohibition about moving things from place to place. However, its inner meaning is about our deceit of ourselves. When we act from a lack of honour, we lose something essential.
The ninth commandment associated with the energy centre yesod is ‘Thou shalt not commit perjury.’ Really, thou shalt not lie. The inner meaning of this is that we should not be deluded or create illusions in how we see the world. As Sosan, the third Patriarch of Chan Buddhism (Zen) said, ‘Don’t try to get enlightened, just stop having opinions.’ Our opinions are the delusions of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, that we bring to the sephira of yesod. Because they are delusional, their energy is not passed on, to open up the Tree of Life.

The tenth commandment associated with malkhuth is ‘Thou shalt not covet.’ This commandment relates to the inner meaning of seeking anything outside of ourselves. In seeking objects, we just begin the spiral of desire that will lead to unhappiness. Lao Tzu says in the Tao te Ching, ‘Not to honour men of worth will keep the people from contention. Not to value goods which are hard to come by will keep them from theft, not to display what is desirable will keep them from being unsettled of mind.’
By Kevin Niv FarrowHow the 10 commandments relate to our mind, body & lifeBy Rochelle Taylor In short, our body is an amazing organism and our energy system is at its core, keeping us alive and well. The energy system is made up of energy centre’s, fields and channels of energy, which move around the body and make everything work properly. The energy gives strength and flexibility to our muscles, tendons and bones, as well as making our organs function, our heart pump and blood move. It also affects how we feel emotionally – the energy is everywhere.

The energy in our body is extremely sensitive. It responds instantaneously to our attitudes and thoughts. When we are angry, worried or sad, the energy moves in a ‘contracting’ cycle. This is where the energy literally starts to contract and in doing so, specific organs and parts of our body are affected. The energy cannot flow freely in these areas the way it should, so these parts of the body become compromised. Organs can’t perform their jobs properly, we don’t feel happy and well, wounds won’t heal and pain and symptoms can start to appear.
So how do we optimise energy flow and health in our body? We learn not to let our body, mind and energy go into a ‘contracting’ cycle by becoming more aware of ourselves. Interestingly enough, there are specific ways of thinking, attitudes and emotions that effect each energy centre and cause it to contract. The beautiful part about this is the connection to the ten commandments. If you understand the deeper meaning of the ten commandments as written here by Kevin Niv Farrow, you will see that these commandments are very helpful and practical tools for us to stay more open, conscious and happy.Living the 10 commandments every day (Try this!)1. Be still.2. Trust yourself3. Speak with love & understanding in your voice.4. Honour yourself every day by doing something you really love.5. Let go of resentment and appreciate your life.6. Keep your heart open.7. Be happy with what you have right now.8. Act honourably – don’t deceive yourself or others.9. Don’t take your opinions seriously.10. Remember that everything you need already lies within you.

Kevin is the Founder and Director of AcuEnergetics® as well as a Master AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher of AcuEnergetics®. Kevin has practised and studied meditation and the energetic system since 1974. He has taught since 2000 and his published writings, meditation CD’s and teachings have brought him worldwide recognition as a unique and practical meditation teacher and an expert in the field of energy medicine. He currently teaches in Australia, USA, India, Asia and Europe. For more information about Kevin, visit Kevin’s full biography.

Going with the flow – Saying yes in your heart.

“Yes is a world and in this world of yes live all worlds,” ee cummings.
Many of us like to talk about enlightenment or Christ consciousness or the Tao or living spiritually and often we get caught up in the linguistic complexities of what is really a very simple path. After all, these ‘ideas’ or philosophies are just representative of saying yes, ever more deeply. The real yes is enlightenment, the true Buddha nature.

Often we say yes but we don’t really mean it. Our partner or parent asks, ‘Can you go to the shop for milk? We say yes but it’s not an authentic yes. The action might be fulfilled – we get the milk – but the way we go about it is all no. We trudge up to the store – mentally and physically – and our no stops us being open to love and to the light. Not that we have to be enthusiastic or exited about getting the milk. Yes really doesn’t have anything to do with enthusiasm. In Chinese medicine five-element theory, there is a little understood point about the heart being damaged by joy. Really this is a poor translation. The heart is damaged by excitement, not joy. So excitement about getting the milk is an over-the-top reaction. Excitement doesn’t have a smile held within it. The authentic yes always has a smile within.

It’s important to understand that living in the world of yes doesn’t mean agreeing to everything. You can say no with your heart open rather than saying no by closing down. A student of mine once said that saying yes was dangerous because after a week of practicing the inner smile meditation, she went into a bar and about half a dozen men tried to pick her up. This is a misunderstanding of yes. You don’t need to disconnect your brain from your heart to live in the yes space.We need to understand that when we are in a no space, really we are in a state of self-harm. Of course this sounds ridiculous and looks much more superficial and less dangerous than cutting ourselves or starving ourselves – but it’s not really less superficial or less dangerous to us.

No, severs our connection with our hearts and with our spirit. There is nothing more dangerous than that. When we are caught up in anger, jealousy and blame we are engaging in self-harm. It doesn’t matter how we try and justify it – that’s the fact.There is no good reason for self harm. When we can say yes totally in everything we do, when we surrender ever more deeply to love – our lives are fulfilled and the life of everyone around us is benefited.

The poet, ee cummings, is right – yes really is a world that contains all.Kevin Niv Farrow

Kevin is the Founder and Director of AcuEnergetics® as well as a Master AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher of AcuEnergetics®. Kevin has practised and studied meditation and the energetic system since 1974. He has taught since 2000 and his published writings, meditation CD’s and teachings have brought him worldwide recognition as a unique and practical meditation teacher and an expert in the field of energy medicine. He currently teaches in Australia, USA, India, Asia and Europe. For more information about Kevin, visit Kevin’s full biography.

Why do we begin the inner journey?

Why do we begin the inner journey? Pretty much for the same reason that we journey outwardly. All journeys are due to either our curiosity or our belief that we’d be happier somewhere else. Most religious practice is based on the premise that the unenlightened mind suffers and if we go on the inner journey and enlighten the mind, the suffering of mind will end and we’ll feel better. Long weekend trips away are based on the same premise except that it’s the outer journey that we’re on.

The choice of the inner rather than the outer comes when we realize that we take our stress and opinions with us on the outer journey – so sometimes it’s not really that much of a holiday. It’s a bit like that old Crowded House song, ‘you always take the weather with you’. When you discover that anywhere is lousy when you’re feeling lousy and anywhere is great when you’re feeling great, you become more interested in how you are, rather than where you are.When we begin the journey inwards, we usually do it by searching. We’re either searching for answers or energy centres or searching for peace or searching for a state of no-mind that we read about somewhere. All that happens at this point (and we’d notice it easily if we were more observant) is the searching mind. It’s like walking nowhere – round and around a room. As the great Sufi poet and mystic Rumi said, “The mouse crawls around the cage looking for an escape – the lion bursts the cage asunder”. In this case, the mouse is our mind – it runs here or there searching for answers but getting nowhere. This is because life is not a question, it is an experience. There is no real search, just becoming one with the awareness in everything. The action of our mind in searching can be helpful in the beginning, but only if the question is sincerely about who is doing this? This question causes our mind to turn inward to experience the awareness of mind directly. Not through verbalization of the temporal mind (I am Kevin does not help me) but through the direct experience of the pure stillness and awareness that is inherent in everything.

Sounds great in theory but the practical aspects need a bit of taking care of – so how to start? Another great Sufi poet and mystic Hafiz wrote, “For the divine alchemy to work, the pitcher [jug] needs a still cup. Why ask anything more about your most vital requirement?”
Stillness is the prerequisite for this inner alchemy – this becoming one with the pure awareness of existence. And it’s a prerequisite all of us find difficult at first. The stuff of mind is like liquid mercury and it flows easily here and there, thinks this and that with little apparent effort (it’s dynamic, responding wonderfully to our searching function of mind) but it doesn’t sit still very easily.

Stillness is the prerequisite for this inner alchemy – this becoming one with the pure awareness of existence.

Just sitting comfortably and becoming absorbed in feeling the breath and becoming aware of the awareness of mind itself, rather than buying into the mind’s opinions, is the real inner journey. This simple practice stills and quiets the mind stuff, allowing us to become perfectly receptive rather than trying to drive the experience of meditation. We become both the experience and the experiencer without a second thought.

By Kevin Niv FarrowKevin is the Founder and Director of AcuEnergetics® as well as a Master AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher of AcuEnergetics®. Kevin has practised and studied meditation and the energetic system since 1974. He has taught since 2000 and his published writings, meditation CD’s and teachings have brought him worldwide recognition as a unique and practical meditation teacher and an expert in the field of energy medicine. He currently teaches in Australia, USA, India, Asia and Europe. For more information about Kevin, visit Kevin’s full biography.

What is Life?

It is common to consider that the deep questions of life are questions about who made us? Do we come from a random chaos in the universe or is there an intelligence behind this? Basically, is there a god? If there is a God, are we separate from it or are we one with it. If there is a god, is it a he or she? Is there a son of god? These common questions are just a few of what we generally consider as deep and meaningful topics.The asking of these questions is from our innate human curiosity and also from the view we have of ourselves as a sophisticated intelligent society. However, in reality, most of these questions and most of their answers are just philosophical nonsense. The first real questions that we can ask are the most obvious, but they are very rarely asked. These questions are, ‘what is life?’ and ‘what is this awareness that we have?’ These are the first questions because without life or awareness, there are no questions. We tend to avoid these questions because they’re difficult. This thing called life is quirky and ephemeral, here one moment and gone the next. One day we are in a bassinet and sooner than we think, we are in the grave. We call life, the bit in the middle, but what is it really? Is it different from the life we see in a tree or in a dolphin or in a monkey?

I once chatted with a young doctor who claimed that life medicine or energy medicine was absolute rubbish and that he didn’t believe in it at all. I asked him if chemistry could tell the difference between someone who was alive and someone who had been dead for a few seconds. He replied that this was probably not possible. I told him that this was what energy medicine studied – the life stuff – the difference between life and death. This may not have much meaning to some doctors, but to the patient…it has quite a lot.

Curiously and obviously – this thing called life is alive in itself, it is a living thing -actually it is the living thing. It’s also in a way, what makes us, us – because it is not separate from our awareness, our consciousness if you like.
What is awareness? Well simply, it is not what we are aware of – it is that we are aware. In the ancient books of the Jews (aka the Old Testament), there is the notion of god as omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, meaning all that there is. This is not a description of the Zeus like figure that has come to represent god in the thinking of western Christian society. It is a description of the universality of awareness itself. The understanding of god in early Judaism, early Christianity and early Islam is the same as the meaning of the Tao and Buddha nature in eastern religions – it is another word for pure awareness. It has no other meaning than this. Awareness is everywhere, in all things. This very life we have is awareness. Every little movement of every leaf in the wind, every nod of a head, every song of a bird, every water molecule in the lap of the ocean… everything is aware.

However, although awareness is the stuff of life, it is usually not apparent to us at all. This is because we are stuck in our individual consciousness. The ancient Hindu sages called this individual aspect, ahamkara. Ahamkara has a double meaning – it means both the I-sense, as in me and it’s mine – and also the veil, because the I-sense or ego, veils us from real perception of the pure awareness. This understanding is that our individuality only exists, as a filter to block our direct perception of pure awareness and thus give us the sense of being separate. While this I-sense gives us our sense of individuality, this is really an illusion. Every person, every dog and cat and horse and pig has this sense of individuality. Flocks of birds and insects have it as groups. Ego is nothing special.

Generally we think of ego in terms of the people who are the loudest and the first to dance. In fact, the most restrictive egos are those of the people who are too timid to dance. They are held in check by their fear. This is the true egotism, contraction by fear and opinions and a cherished belief in our individuality. There is a joke about an empowerment seminar where the main speaker was extolling everyone with the line, ‘You are all individuals!’ A small voice at the back piped up, ‘I’m not.’ No matter how individual we like to think we are, we are like drops of rain from the sky of awareness. Just as rain is all one downpour of water – we are all one awareness. Our individuality is an aspect of consciousness that keeps us in our particular pattern of frozen thoughts and dreams. It gives us something to hang our hat on, so that we can believe the dream that we call our individual life. 

It is the formation of habits that gives us both the inward idea and the outward sense of our own individuality. We all began with the same awareness, but different situations provoke responses which get ingrained so that we act out a certain way. This happens over lifetimes. Eventually, we become a pattern that reacts automatically. This is the pattern that is reflected in our astrology, our psychology – it is the pattern of our karma. You could have been him, she could have been that person – but for different situations evoking different habits. We all began as droplets from one awareness – some fall on earth, some fall in the sea and some fall on rocks. In the end there is no problem. Just as evaporation restores all to water in the sky, realization restores us all to awareness. Although we believe that we have a certain level of awareness, we still can’t prevent this habitual emotional and mental patterning occurring, because our I-sense keeps our consciousness, in a sense, unconscious.

However, this is not just a matter of a veil blocking pure consciousness. The 20th century Armenian mystic George Gurdjieff, taught that man isn’t born with a soul or higher consciousness – he has to develop it. What this means, is that aspects of consciousness can help transform unconscious awareness into conscious awareness. Gurdjieff also taught that there are two types of people – one interested in consciousness and the other merely existing for the purposes of nature’s involuntary and evolutionary constructs. Basically, just to fulfil their habitual karmic patterns of mind. In my opinion, this isn’t true. There is only one type of person – us. We all get opportunities for realisation and growth throughout our lives. What we do determines our path from that moment. When we act from our habitual patterns, which are our astrological psychology, our opinions if you like – then we act unconsciously. We have all had moments in our lives where our karmic patterns lead us to blame, anger and hatred. When we decide not to harm ourselves this way, to act from our hearts instead, when we forgive, when we act with compassion instead of false sympathy, when how we are in ourselves, is more important than our emotional patterns and when others needs become more important than our own wants – then we set off on the real path of life. 

However, the path to awareness can be fast or it can be slow. If we just work through the karmic blocks on our path, the path of right actions described above – then we are on the path to awareness, but it’s gradual. The lightning path is the path of meditation, the path of insight. Traditionally, the path of meditation has always involved an inner and outer practice. The outer practices involve the stilling of mind and the development and transformation of the heart and the attention field of the mind. This attention field is often described as light, as in the light in the body or the light of the mind. The inner meditation practice is the direct realisation experience of the pure awareness.

When our awareness is direct, we are the centre. In the Taoist text, The Secret of the Golden Flower it states, ‘The pervasive principle of the centre bears universal change.’ The simple meaning is that when we are open, things will change around us but our openness is not affected. We need to find the openness of energy, the openness of emotion and the openness of mind. For this to occur, we need to do a little practice in understanding that how we are, is the only true experience of our life. We need to be aware of how we are rather than living on the outside in external situations. We need to be vitally curious about ourselves, of how we experience life and consciousness. We need to understand that our opinions and the accompanying emotions are just stories from our karmic patterns – and from this understanding, let them go and let our pure awareness open.
Kevin Niv FarrowKevin is the Founder and Director of AcuEnergetics® as well as a Master AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher of AcuEnergetics®. Kevin has practised and studied meditation and the energetic system since 1974. He has taught since 2000 and his published writings, meditation CD’s and teachings have brought him worldwide recognition as a unique and practical meditation teacher and an expert in the field of energy medicine. He currently teaches in Australia, USA, India, Asia and Europe. For more information about Kevin, visit Kevin’s full biography.

How to Open Energy Centres

When we walk or drive around the streets of our town, we get where we’re going because we can see the direction in which we’re heading. Even if we’re somewhere that we don’t know well and we get lost, we begin to build a map in our head that enables us to work our way around our landscape. In fact, I’ve heard of a travel writer who recommends becoming lost on purpose, as one of the best ways to learn how to get around a new city. 
This experience of navigating the external landscape, comes in very useful when we want to learn to navigate the interior of our body, our inner landscape, and open our energy centres (chakras/sephira etc).
 Like a new city at night, navigating inside our body requires some poise to get around comfortably. If we race around, we will never see the street signs and get an idea of where we are. We’ll just zoom through, a bit like going to the countryside to smell the flowers at 200 kilometres an hour. You tend to miss a lot that way, whereas if you stand still…there’s a whole world of possibilities that open for you.

The art of discovering the inner world of your energy centres lies in stillness. Simple meditations like watching the breath gradually train us to stay still and stop the mind from racing. However, when we’re consciously holding stillness rather than just allowing and experiencing it, it isn’t real stillness. We’re doing way too much when we’re busy and concentrating being still.
Developing this faculty of ease in stillness is the A, B, C of inner work. When we can be still in our centre, we can use our attention to locate energy centres in the body. This moving of attention across the inner landscape is like moving attention across an open field.

Simple ways to start navigating our inner landscape:
• Lightly scratch a small area about the size of a 5 cent coin on your forearm and feel it. Now move the feeling through to the other side of your arm. As energy follows mind – the feeling will follow your attention.• When you can do the exercise above and move the feeling– try scratching the top of your head and placing your attention there. When you can feel this – slowly move your attention along the inside of the spine down to your heart. Remember to enjoy and have fun while you do this. You are better off treating it as a silly game (which it sort of is) than anything seriously spiritual. People who try hard to do these practices – furrowing their brows with concentration – will do so with extreme difficulty and frustration, not to mention with zero results. Try being light and easy with your attention and you will have a better chance at success. When we’re happy and smiling our hearts are open and our feeling sense is enhanced. It is the genuine still attention without effort that holds the energy potential of opening. It is the genuine still attention without effort that holds the energy potential of opening. This means that if you can lightly put your attention on an energy centre, it will open automatically. 

In the Chinese Taoist text, Secret of the Golden Flower, there is a description of meditation that goes, “You can achieve it by intent that is not willful.” This means, just use your open attention – don’t concentrate. This is the secret.

By Kevin Niv Farrow

Kevin is the Founder and Director of AcuEnergetics® as well as a Master AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher of AcuEnergetics®. Kevin has practised and studied meditation and the energetic system since 1974. He has taught since 2000 and his published writings, meditation CD’s and teachings have brought him worldwide recognition as a unique and practical meditation teacher and an expert in the field of energy medicine. He currently teaches in Australia, USA, India, Asia and Europe. For more information about Kevin, visit Kevin’s full biography.