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This is the creative home of Natalija Brunovs.
Designer, photographer, film maker, artist, teacher, deep thinker, drawer, spiritual seeker and one crafty lady.

I blog therefore I am!

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  • Why People Photograph
    Why People Photograph
    by Robert Adams
  • Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence
    Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence
    by David Deida
  • The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-Natural, At-Home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body
    The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-Natural, At-Home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body
    by Andreas Moritz
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Library)
    Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Library)
    by Chogyam Trungpa
  • Wild Food: Foraging for Food in the Wild
    Wild Food: Foraging for Food in the Wild
    by Jane Eastoe
  • The Existence of God is Self Evident
    The Existence of God is Self Evident
    by Master Choa Kok Sui

Entries in spiritual (4)

Saturday
Jan122013

A List for A Lover

Can you imagine if you created a list
of 100 things you wanted in a lover
So detailed that when you shared it with a friend
They'd say you're an absolute dreamer!

"You really gotta let go
Your expectations are too high
You're being far too picky
You could fall in love with any guy"

But no no no
i want to dream
and ask for all the things
that he could be

why not get specific
and ask the universe
i want this guy to
break my curse

So I made a list
it was long long long
And I put it a book
but had not forgotten

I'd pull it out and read
and sometimes do an edit
I guess I thought perhaps
this is how I shoulda said it

Then I saw a healer type
She said you write THEN let it go
and trust the universe will deliver
this really perfect bloke 

So be clear
and be decisive
you may as well know
it all precisely 

So I left the list a
long long long time
I forgot its details
I forgot the lines

It was many years later
that I met a man
as soon as I set eyes upon him
I thought, YOU, you I understand

I think I know you
I'm not quite sure how
There's something about you 
Have we met before now?

And then just 11 days later
I opened up the book
with a deep breath
I took a long long look

And as I went down the list
I began to tick
when I got to the end
there was only one thing I didn't pick

He's not exactly 6 foot tall...

Wednesday
Sep192012

A Method of Giving

Giving. We've heard it's better for you than receiving. It's mentioned in many spiritual practices as being advantageous for growth. Heard of Dana? The giving (service) action creates an inner peace and purity.

Let me tell you - I've just experienced the liberation!

I think we all have some degree of guilt within us about how little we really give. Particularly when (in our day and age) it can be interpreted as weak or even needy (of response). Don't we all get a bit caught up in giving to ourselves and honouring our own lives?

Here is what happened:

I got a call from Greenpeace the other week.

My first response to the voice "ugh okay.." (I'm in the middle of editing photographs but I'll listen.)

"Thanks for your past support, it was really fantastic. Now we really need you again."

I notice how poorly the girl is reading her script and I feel detached. She goes on,

"Do you know about the reef and all that's going on there?"

Yeah yeah, I know....

... and soon enough I get off the phone with my non-committal "Let me look at the site, read up on it and I'll make a donation or something"

She asks if she can call me next week. "Ok".


So over the next two weeks I see that number come up about six times and I don't answer. Why don't I answer?

Because I have an instant feeling of harassment... like someone who turns up at my door wanting a donation or comes up to my car to wash my windows... even if my windows are dirty or I believe in the cause I just instantly get my back up and am starting from a 'no' point of view or at least "NOT NOW". 
Do you relate? 

Why? 

I have to think about it. I really do hate being sold to. It's irritating. I also don't like to be manipulated or sucked in... but what's with this issue of being sucked in to something I actually do care about? It's a shame my little reaction applies to things I would actually do by choice given a non direct approach...

I've even got some money to burn that I can definitely afford to give so what stops me from acting now?

Let's be realistic though. When do we really make that choice and give our credit card over to things we believe in? We may have intentions but we don't often just do it.

And then that little subtle guilty feeling sits and grows inside us. It's so subtle you might not know it's there... but then after you remove it - hey there is a lovely space there instead.

Here's my method of how we do it.

Decide how much, right now, you want to donate per month to anything. 

What can you afford? What will really go fairly unnoticed in your life?
$20, $50, $100 / month?

(Consider that a coffee is $4 x 30 days = $120/month) 

What causes do you want to prioritise?

Environmental, Human Rights, Animals, Getup, Political Parties, Forest Regeneration, Local, Global, Water, Children... yep, there is so much to choose from but just pick 1-3.

Divide up your monthly money as you like.
Go to each site and set up your monthly donation from your credit card.

Sit back, close your eyes and see how you feel. Has something changed inside?

Woohoo! You really DID something, are continuing to do something and now you can feel OK when organisations pester you (and if you decline them). Who knows maybe they won't seem so pestery. You may even make a choice to donate at another time.

So I've just set up my donation to Greenpeace. ahhhh...
I like that I can now lie on the beach and I'm still giving.

 

Note: This is also a fantastic way to deal with overseas trips to developing countries with lots of beggars and needy people. Come up with a figure per day, give it out how you like and remove the guilt.

[current mood] Avocado & Game of Thrones

Thursday
Aug302012

The Anatomy of Anger

Last night I went to a lecture. It's not often I do things like that. But when I returned to Perth and was feeling like being all "grab life by balls and do stuff" this was one of the things I signed up for.

Of course weeks later I turn up and I'm sitting there thinking how I'm uncomfortable, would rather be at home, do I really need to hear this.... I seem to _always_ schedule things for myself that by the time they arrive I no longer feel the passion for. So what did I get out of this lecture in the end?

It was at The School of Philosophy and it was on 'The Anatomy of Anger' by Dr Clive Lamond.

I didn't take notes because I didn't think I'd read back on them but I have a shocking memory so I am likely to forget it all anyway. So instead after the lecture I just drew some things that stood out for me.

I like little symbols for ideas, they work as reminders for the meaning.

The first thing I remembered was Clive describing the concept of dark can't defeat dark.
Anger never solves Anger.
And yeah it made perfect sense, you can't make a dark situation lighter by applying more darkness.
You have to shine a light on it to change it!

The Inner Hexagon.
Have you heard of it?

I hadn't known of this analogy before. Story goes, a peaceful Indian dude (Shankaracharya Swami Brahmananda Saraswati) was asked how he felt about the end of WWII and said that there would be no real end to war or peace unless individuals dealt with the inner 'war' which he described as the inner hexagon. 6 elements we fight within ourselves.

He said these inner enemies are:
ambition, anger, greed, false attachment, vanity and jealousy

The actual quote I just found is:
"Real victory is that, after which there can never be a reverse.  Nobody can call himself a victor forever merely by crushing an external foe, because such foes can spring up again. A real victory is achieved by bringing under control the internal foes. A check over the internal enemies is therefore the only way of conquering the external enemies forever, because we should bear in mind that it is our own internal enemies which create the external enemies."

So much more eloquent this dude...

Then we did the anatomy part and I liked seeing a diagram of the brain showing how huge our reasoning section is, our frontal lobes compared with that tiny pea-sized part responsibe for our more basic instincts and body-on-auto stuff. This includes (can you work it out from my pic?) anger, emotion, sexual desire, breathing, heart beat and pressure, fright/flight. 
The point made was that we can actually control these instincts with will power (once they arise!).

I don't often like to think how I'm better than a lizard, but perhaps it's worth noting the difference. I may have these auto things pop up but I am able to reason and CHOOSE a response. 
And most of all I love this plasto-lastic-tastic idea that we can change and grow our brains! So I can train it. Suddenly there is no 'I can't' but we all could!

And lastly, this little point he made in question time was the major thing I got out of the talk !

He said "We can't dig a well if we just keep digging new holes"

"So find one practice and follow it through!"

And a light went off in me.... that's what I've been doing! I try everything and don't really stick with one thing. And the more styles of meditation, yoga, exercise and self-help I come across the more bloody holes I have and I seem to get further away from some of my deeper goals.

Can you see what things _could_ be like?

 

[current mood] Hommus w/ Carrots & Bombay Bicycle Club

 

Sunday
Jan102010

Vipassana Meditation

I went to a ten day vipassana meditation course on boxing day.

Ten days of silence, introspection, all focus on meditation and learning the technique of vipassana.

We meditated from 4.30am til 9pm with few breaks. We lived like nuns. We didn't look each other in the eye. We were there because we are seeking enlightenment. We knew why we were doing this and it was this willpower that helped us through.

Vipassana meditation is non-religious, does not focus on any external being, object or vision. Instead the technique is about the observation of sensation on the body, with a balanced mind - without craving or aversion. The theory is that we react subconsciously to sensations and that is what causes emotion and ultimate misery. If we can observe these reactions on the body then we do not emotionally engage with them and eventually they disappear. This is the real-living-experience of impermanence.

This would be the hardest thing I've ever done and I have been meaning to go for 9 years. I worked up to this point, I meditated, I grew my wisdom, I practiced, I worked, and still, being at vipassana was the hardest thing I've ever done. And the greatest.

We aren't meant to visualise, but it seems an automatic process for my mind to feel sensations in pictures. I thought I'd share the progress of my experience.

A mind full of jaggered thoughts, leap-frogging, chaotic and unreliable.

 

Slowly the mind quietens to single thoughts you can see and dismiss.
Other unpleasant sensations on the body begin to show up, heartburn, sore shoulders, gallbladder pain.
But I can focus my awareness on the breath coming out of my nostrils and on to my upperlip.

 

I travel across my body and the pains become more severe, the pleasurable vibrations become more prominent. I am starting to be able to feel every inch of my skin.
The strangest sensations come out, then fade away. Each one a reaction I have 'let go of'.

 

I feel like a galaxy, shooting star sensations, electrons all over, subtle pains.
Observe Observe, do not react... I can feel my crown tingle the most.

 

At the end the sensations expand, they lift off the skin and I can send them out to others around me.

This only lasted a couple of days, then I was all used up again.
I'd almost consider being a full time meditator to stay in this zone. Life just zaps the hell out of me. And for those that say 'you gotta live in the real world'... well, this real world isn't the real world at all.

I'm off to the bush again by myself to find my bliss.

Will write next from there......

x

[current mood] Mushroom Risotto & The Family Guy