Forgetting the combination for the 7th Gate Set’s lock; Meditation for Maturity and Wisdom isn’t working, who’ll change my diapers?

Full and busy day today. Couldn’t quite make the Quaker history presentation before meeting in Pasadena this morning after blogging too late last night. I had to show up to follow up on business and ride planning for the yearly meeting in Marin County next month. Got there for most of meeting and potluck, but had to skip business meeting to meet Brad and Kevin at Elderberries, where we played all afternoon. I thought playing went pretty well, except for some weird buzzing noise my bass or amp was making, and territorial tension betwixt Kev & Brad. I hope that resolves itself. Disappointed Frank didn’t join us on percussion. I thought I saw Lea Michele walk by on the sidewalk while we were playing, but probably just another Hollywood delusional mirage. I also found myself thinking we should offer cross-promotions to BeSpun across the street. The cafe wasn’t as full as it was last week, unfortunately. I think the gay pride parade nearby may have impacted the customer turn-out, and it was a beautiful day out, so people may have been up in the hills or at the beach.

My elderly neighbor Maria asked for some help and didn’t answer when I stopped by the other day as scheduled; she’s a bit overcome with self-loathing over it, which I haven’t had a chance to iron out because we’ve been rehearsing and playing. Yes, Mercury IS retrograde!

2014-06-09-00.02.54-7th-Gate-SetBefore Vedanta Meditation Meeting, I did the 7th Gate Set that Gurushabd taught us during teacher training. I transcribed this from a cassette recording of him teaching it, and now wish I had the ($108!) teacher’s training manual that was published the year after we graduated, as this set is apparently in it. There are a couple of exercises I’m not 100% sure I’m doing correctly. Gurushabd mentioned that many of these exercises work on the glands and need to be done for 4-5 mins or more to activate them, but that makes the set nearly 70 mins. long, and I only had 35 mins. to spare, so I shortened everything to 2 minutes each, and did the set under a nice tree next to Vedanta’s temple. I blessed the ants that kept exploring my hands and they eventually left me alone. Tee hee.

Then during the silent meditation period, I tried to do the “Meditation for Maturity and Wisdom” p. 214 Master’s Touch – silently. Ever try to pump your navel silently? The bench I was sitting on kept creaking, and I did my best to keep my breath quiet, but couldn’t really “cut loose.” Ah well.

2014-06-09-00.03.12-Maturity-and-WisdomTo do this meditation, you sit cross-legged with your palms up, pointed ahead of you by your shoulders, and pump your navel. Now, I don’t know about you, but I find pumping the navel at all to be challenging; in the instructions there are a bunch of different adjectives to describe how you’re supposed to pump it; vigorously, powerfully, very hard, very fast. For 31 minutes; the meeting’s meditation period was for 20 minutes, so that seemed to be enough for tonight. A lot of the remaining meditations in Master’s Touch seem to be group ones, or also have many parts to them. I think it’s going to be harder to do one a day.

Now the interesting thing about the 7th gate set is that I almost find a lot of fun syncronicities and personal connections happen afterwards. I was feeling a bit guarded or closed-down at the meeting though, and ran into my friend Christian walking home down the street, he asked for and I gave him a ride. We’ve been friends for ages, so it was nice to connect. I wanted to see my friend Steve play at the Baked Potato afterwards (and avoid the James Taylor Bowl traffic near home) but decided I needed to take care of business and administrative stuff at home instead, undoubtedly due to pumping my navel so much. It had been a really full day already too. Maybe coming home was the mature and wise thing to do?

Still have to do the 11 min. “Har” today; one minute left before my carriage turns into a pumpkin…. but today DID feel quite prosperous, even amidst the retrogradian challenges and nincompoops who kept tail-gating me everywhere I drove.

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