Not everything can be taught.

Some things can be taught, some things cannot be taught.

Some things are just part of our natural make-up.

Some things are perfected, only by practice.

A child can be taught how to use a knife and fork in order to eat a meal, but a child cannot, in fact need not, be taught to digest that meal. Digestion is part of their natural bodily function.

You don’t need to teach a child to walk, it is something that will come naturally, and through experimentation and practice, and only when the child is ready. When a child is learning to walk, the adult is there to support, not to teach.

The same is true of spiritual activity. Even though there are lots of classes offering to teach meditation, as well as (often expensive) courses to train as a meditation teacher, I would suggest that it is actually impossible to teach true meditation. All that an experienced practitioner can do is to support those who are beginning their practice in the same way that a child is supported when it begins to walk.

The practice of meditation is simply that, a practice – something that we do. Meditation is about inner stillness, it is about service, it is about connection and union with that thing that is indescribable, un-nameable, the divine universe – however one conceives it. When we realise our “oneness” with the divine, meditation is a natural state, not just for sitting cross-legged for 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes, but constant, 24-7.

Neem Karoli Baba, when talking to devotees about meditation, had this to say,

It is true that concentration imparts an insight that can lead to self-realisation, but for those who remember God and serve living beings, meditation and other kinds of ritual worship are not necessary. Remembering God and cultivating the seva bhav(spirit of service) are easy methods to progress on the spiritual path.”

True meditation is allowing the divine, no matter what name we ascribe to it, to live through our actions, our words and our love. Nobody can teach you how to do this, I cannot teach you how to do this. I, and others, can only support as you learn through practice, openness, surrender and devotion.

Again, when Neem Karoli Baba was asked “how do I meditate”, he answered “Meditate like Christ. He lost himself in love, that’s how he meditated. He was one with all beings. He loved everyone, . . . He lost himself in love.”

Love,

Serve,

Remember.

Namaste

http://www.jimfox.info

 

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BLINDED BY THE LIGHTS

Have you ever stood on the beach, or in the country side, on a moonless night when there is no light-pollution from streetlights or buildings? Have you looked up into the sky and seen the milky way? Have you ever stood in awe and wonder as the light from millions of stars, some of them long dead but still their light is shining in the sky?

 

What a difference it is to view that same sky from a city street, with all the lights on the ground. All the stars are still there, but because of the light-pollution it is only a small proportion that can now be seen. When there is too much light, it is impossible to see the true, glorious light of the heavens.

 

The same applies in a spiritual sense. It is hard, if not impossible, to see the full glory of Divine light when there are so many other lights shining around us.

 

Last week, on just an ordinary day whilst walking through the city centre where I live, the streets were being lit up by various groups of people, all believing that the particular light that they were sharing was “the” light. The result was, what I call SLP, “Spiritual Light Pollution”.

One group of evangelical Christians were using a portable PA system to proclaim that Jesus was the only true light, whilst carrying large wooden crosses. Another group of evangelical Christians were on a street corner singing their songs, again through a PA system. Hare Krishna devotees were in another place, stopping passers by to offer their books, in exchange for a donation. A couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses were quietly standing outside a shop, with their display board of literature, hoping that people would stop and talk to them. On the other side of the road a group of Muslims had a table with their literature and were keen to share their light. Further on down the road, members of a local Sikh community were sharing their light in a practical way by offering free food to those who needed it. On yet another corner, those who believe that the light is political, rather than spiritual, were loudly preaching their brand of Socialism as they sold the Socialist Worker newspaper. So many lights, so much confusion, so much SLP.

Over the years I have been involved with a number of Mind, Body, Spirit (MBS) events, both as an exhibitor and as a visitor. Once again the SLP is blinding. The range of individuals, groups and organisations, who claim to have the answer to reaching enlightenment, is dazzling. We are told that the solution to clearing the darkness in our lives or in the world, is to have a particular belief, to meditate in a certain way, to eat, or not eat, certain foods, to look to ancient “lost” civilisations or to look to alien civilisations and beings from other planets, to listen to angels, to sit under pyramids, to work with various crystals, to talk to our deceased loved ones, to think positively, to visit special “holy” sites – the list of weird and wonderful answers goes on and on. We have all heard the expression, “can’t see the wood for the trees”, sometimes it is impossible to see the Light for the lights.

Although I am not a Buddhist, I am impressed and inspired by the story of how Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, came to experience his own enlightenment. In his search, he went from one yoga teacher to another to hear and study their wisdom, but he always moved on as they were never able to take him to that place that he sought. For five or six years he tried all manner of ways see the Light, living a life of rigorous asceticism, enduring suffering in the name of knowledge, fasting until near death, learning to hold his breath for extreme lengths of time but, no matter what he tried, nothing actually brought him any nearer to a state of enlightenment. Finally he realised that all these practices were getting him nowhere so, upsetting and causing great disappointment to his companions, he decided to eat some rice and drink some milk in order to regain some physical strength and sat down beneath a tree. There, he turned his eyes and thoughts away from all the external things, practices and teachings, and looked inside himself as he meditated. It was only then that he experienced enlightenment.

The Buddha realised that enlightenment does not come from outside, but from within, something taught by all genuine spiritual teachers and traditions. If we truly want to see the reality of enlightenment, if we want to experience the glory of genuine divine, spiritual light, we only need to get away from all the many sparks of light, the SLP, that hinder us from seeing clearly. Be Still, stop searching outside, stop being blinded by the many lights around us, turn our attention inwards towards the divine light that is within each one of us and learn to live in that light.

Namaste

 

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Immersed in the Divine

Next time you take a bath, you just have to try this.

Don’t ask me why, but as I was relaxing in my bath this evening, I wondered what it would be like to chant under water. I do a lot of thinking in the bath.

Stretching out and submerging my self until my ears were under water, leaving my mouth and nose above the service, I took a deep breath and chanted the sound of Om (Aum). The vibration was incredible, not just in my head but throughout my body. I chanted the sound three times, and each time I was able to keep it going longer, much longer than I normally could for some reason. I felt great afterwards, really energised and balanced.

Give it a go.

Namaste

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One Man Who Changed The World

One Man Who Changed The World

That’s a pretty big statement to make about somebody that I only met once, but last week I attended the funeral of someone who did just that.  Fran Biley’s influence on the world via everyone he came in contact with has left the world a better place than it was 54 years ago when he was born.

My connection with Fran came about as a result of him having been studying for a Master’s Degree in Medical Humanities at Swansea University on the same course as my wife, Kiera. The one and only time I met Fran was at Glastonbury Festival in 2011 when he had asked if he could bring his son back-stage at the John Peel Stage to see the band The Horrors. I didn’t get much chance to speak to him on that occasion as I was tied up with other things in my role as Area Organiser for the stage, but at his funeral on Friday I met with, and heard the stories of many people who had known him both socially and professionally over the years and I knew that this was a very special man.  Everyone was in agreement that their lives had been made better through their connection with him.

Fran was a nurse, a teacher, an artist, a husband and a father who really did make a difference.  His life seemed to be one that was motivated by love and an awareness of the oneness of all things. He knew something that I write about and speak about a lot – that we are not the body that we live in but we are the soul that inhabits that body and that we are all connected and part of, not only each other, but also the creative source-energy, whether we call that energy god, spirit, universe or whatever name we choose.

Fran changed the world around him, he changed the world of those he encountered in his world and, no doubt, they in turn are changing the world of those they make contact with. I feel truly inspired by the life of this man that I only briefly met and I take with me the knowledge that one man can have such a huge influence on the world. The things that we do and say spread out along the lines of connection between us and all creation, which is how Fran’s life has affected my life and my world. I truly hope that my life, my words and my actions can have a similar positive effect so that I may leave the world a better and happier place.

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Say “No” to negativity.

I woke up this morning, my heart was still beating, my lungs were still taking in air, in fact all my vital organs were working as normal. Life is wonderful and I am so grateful that I am able to enjoy another day and all that comes with it.

 
I am becoming more and more aware however, of how much negativity there is in the world – it seems to be a virus that is spreading and eating away at both the lives of individuals and of society in general. We are just coming up to the local government elections in the UK and the usual leaflets have been coming through the door from the various candidates. On reading these leaflets it is hard to find anything that is not negative. Each candidate seems to find plenty to say about the failings of the other parties, criticising the way things have been done and blaming others for the current state of play. Only last week I watched a broadcast from the British parliament where the MPs were “discussing” the financial bill. Again, it all seemed to be blame and criticism rather than positive talk. When will our politicians realise that what the voter wants to hear is positve speaking and working for the benefit of the country and its people rather than negative rants against the other parties? When I vote, I vote for the candidate who speaks positively about how they will represent the electorate, not the one who just picks on the perceived faults of everyone else and every other party. Oh for the day when our representatives do what it says on the tin, and actually represent, working together for good rather than against for power.

 
But it’s not just the politicians, negativity is rife in all walks of life. The media, social networking, on the street, in the home, people seem to thrive on negativity. Negativity which is holding us all back from enjoying a life of fulfilment and contentment. We need to think before we say or write something and check that we only communicate the positive. Positive words build up whereas negative words break down. Before you comment, say to yourself,  “I am someone who builds up, who encourages. I am someone who looks for, and sees the positive in others and in all situations”.

It is also important to note that negative words only serve to add energy to the object of that negativity. Tell a child not to do something and the first opportunity they have, they will attempt to do it. In the USA during the time of the prohibition laws organised crime flourished as the gangs took control of the speakeasy culture. The “war on drugs” means that the drug scene is again controlled by organised crime and terrorist groups who profit from the negative laws. When the censors try to ban a book, film or tv programme, it only serves to add publicity to the banned work with the result that more people want to get read it or see it.

Mother Theresa once famously declined the offer to join in an anti-war rally because of its negative energy, saying that she would be more than happy to take part in a pro-peace rally. She did not want to be involved in anything “anti”, prefering to take a positive stance for the things she believed to be right.

Whenever we protest, criticise, complain or stand against something, we only draw attention to what we see as wrong, adding fuel and energy to that thing.

Be positive. Speak positive words, words of encouragement. Be a builder not a demolition expert. And as you determine to speak positivity, so refuse to entertain negativity. Turn away from reading and listening to negativity. Walk away from those who consistently complain, criticise and put down.

I don’t want to be subjected to negativity in my life and so I refuse to listen to the moans, criticisms and negative statements of others. Strangely enough, I was recently thrown off a facebook group for requesting that people stopped making negative comments and false accusations about somebody. Their argument was “freedom of speech”. If freedom of speech means freedom to hurt and to be destructive then I want no part of it. I no longer want to log into my facebook account and read the negative comments and status update that so often fill the page. I would prefer to have 10 positive friends than 1000 negative ones. Please take note fb friends.

And remember, this does not only apply to speaking about others, it also applies to the way we view ourselves. If we have negative opinions of our self, our health, our home life, relationships, finances, then we will succeed in attracting more negativity into our lives. Appreciate yourself, value yourself, love yourself. Say to yourself,

“I am healthy”,

“I am patient”,

“I am loving”,

“I am loved”,

“I am blessed”,

“I am living in abundance”,

Attract positivity into your life by being positive.

There is so much to appreciate in life, so much goodness, so many blessings, so many wonderful people and so many good things in everybody and everything. So much to be grateful for.

If you live and speak positivity you will attract positivity.

Finally, to paraphrase a biblical phrase, let your thoughts dwell on the things that are true, the things that are noble,  right,  pure,  lovely, and admirable. If something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things and speak only of them. Don’t waste your time and energy on the negative.

Namaste

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Welcome

Welcome to the Jim Fox blog site.

On these pages I’m going to be sharing words that I hope will inspire, encourage and strengthen.

I have been writing in one form or another since my schooldays and my spiritual journey has taken me through many stages in my life in order to get me to the place where I now find myself.

At present I am writing a book which is due to be published late spring/early summer 2012. I have also written a number of published articles over the years on spirituality, complementary therapy, Sound Healing and positivity as well as sharing the editorial role at Labyrinth Holistic Magazine with my wife Kiera L Jones. I have also written, published and recorded many songs during a 25 year career as a professional musician.

Please feel free to visit www.jimfox.info to find out more about my life and work.

You can view Labyrinth Magazine online and download the current and past editions at www.labyrinthmagazine.co.uk

In between all this writing I also run The Centre, in Swansea, South Wales. The Centre is an Holistic and Complementary Therapy Centre and Meditation, Teaching and Workshop space. www.thecentre-swansea.co.uk

I would count it a privilege if you were to join me here as I share my thoughts and words with you.

Namaste

Jim

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