My Beloved went to an event last Sunday with a crew of friends (I teach Sunday’s now at noon!). When he returned he was super excited about his experience and we promptly sat down so he could divulge all of his new findings to me.
One of the potent aspects of the lecture was the concept of Patterns of Information. My understanding of this idea is that on a basic, molecular structure we can only bind with specific patterns of information. Our receptors are set to the parameters of XYZ. We don’t perceive infinitely and in totality…we have a set structure of what we can receive and interpret. Anything that we can’t connect with, we are unaware of its existence. We don’t know about A-W.
For example, what if you could only look left and right? Take a moment…just look left…and right…and left…and right…and consider the spectrum of your vision. (A bit like Plato’s Cave, isn’t it?) Additionally, you are so absorbed in looking left and right you don’t even know about looking up and down…it isn’t even a concept in your vocabulary.
Now, what if you could change your whole idea of existence and, even if for a brief moment, look up and down? This is a shift in a physical, chemical way, changing with what you are capable of binding. This lecture my Beloved attended addressed the possibilities of Dimethyltryptamine, a substance which naturally occurs in many plants and animals and has been labeled the “spirit molecule“. Scientists are studying the long-term effects of meditation on the brain and how meditation can actually change the brain. Pranayama has been a powerful practice throughout the ages, and Holotropic Breathing has emerged and is opening doors to the subconscious. Imagine the possibilities (diagonal angles!! 360 rotation!!). A whole new world could be 30 seconds away.
The thought that dropped out of my memory bank after this conversation with my man was “Samskara”. In the Vedic Traditions, Samskara represents the impressions that are imprinted upon us that manifest as a tendency, habit, and/or pattern. “This includes perceptions (what one sees, hears, touches, tastes, smells), chitta cognition (what one feels and thinks), willful actions, and also intentions before and during the action.” (Stephen Philips)
Our habits, even those we don’t recognize as such, influence our daily decisions, emotions, thoughts, and actions! Consider your habits for a few moments:
The habits that get you up and dressed each morning.
The habits that dictate whether or not you complete your to-do list.
The habits that color your emotional reactions.
The habits that dial-in your logical thinking.
Your eating habits.
Your exercise habits.
Your breathing habits.
The habits that make YOUnique.
The impressions that birthed these habits could have been imprinted during past lives (part of the Karma Philosophy), in your own infancy state, during traumatic experiences, at times we haven’t even considered existed (Interstellar anyone?). Habits, Samskaras, are influential. Books like the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People exist because we understand this. We can, on a metaphysical level, adjust the patterns of information we perceive and use that shift in awareness to adjust our daily habits.
The Practice begins when you are aware of a habit and either honor it or shift it. And it’s not necessarily a quick practice, mind you. It took me 15 years to shift some of my eating habits/food perceptions and I still struggle with them. My habits around emptying the dishwasher were much easier to change. 😉 (Although the underlying impression that formed that habit still exists, just connects to less.)
If you are so inclined, consider your habits and the way they shape you. Perhaps pick out two habits you want to celebrate and consider why. Pick out one habit you want to change and why. Write them down, and put them somewhere you will regularly be reminded of this moment of intention. Every day commit to doing the two habits and changing the one. See what happens. It may not catapult your reality into an alien realm…but it may shift a facet of your perceptions.