From the monthly archives: "September 2013"

Multi-colored auroraNext month I will embark on a spiritual trip that has been in the works for over a year—one of many, I presume, that will put me directly under the divine lights (and enormous energy) of the aurora borealis. Rightfully, the aurora borealis is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and I am certain that along with the majestic display of Mother Nature illuminating the skies above, the spiritual power of Mother Divine will also be in full effect.

The aurora is a spectacular cosmic light show performed yearly by the Sun and the Earth, each contributing physical properties and phenomena which light up Earth’s atmosphere to vibrant reds, greens and purples, particularly at the poles (aurora borealis in the north, aurora australis in the south). Solar winds produced by the Sun send charged particles into the Earth’s magnetosphere, causing geomagnetic disturbances, while some of these particles are whisked into the Earth’s magnetic field and ultimately into the atmosphere, where they then react with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere), releasing photons that present in different colors from green (most common), to pink, to red, to yellow, to blue (least common).

Magnificent_CME_Erupts_on_the_Sun_-_August_31 (Copy)

Auroras are most visible at the poles—in an area called the auroral zone—where the ionized (charged) particles are most heavily concentrated and accelerated toward the Earth by the force of its own magnetic field.  The auroral zone sits typically at 3-6o degrees in latitudinal extent and at all local times or longitude (and ~ 10° to 20° from the magnetic pole defined by the axis of the Earth’s magnetic dipole); in other words, like a fluorescent halo surrounding an earthly crown, auroras light up the poles in vivid colors in ways which we only imagine when meditating on our own polar chakras.

auroral zoneBecause the majority of the Earth’s magnetic field lines enters and exits at the Earth’s poles, these areas are of high magnetic energy, which not only draws in charged particles, but also affects the human energetic system. For this reason, visiting the poles, and carrying out certain mental practices while there, could enhance one’s spiritual energy.

In fact the auroras have been the subject of many spiritual beliefs and superstitions throughout the ages. From Seneca, to Ben Franklin, to Tycho Brahe, the auroras have captured the inquisitive and reflective minds of many who have asked what these magnificent multicolored manifestations might mean. Since they originate at the sun as ejaculated particles from coronal mass ejections, shooting into the depths of the Earth’s magnetosphere, where a select few find their way into the Fallopian tubes of her magnet field, one could say that the auroras are birthed as a cosmic creation emanating from a celestial love dance between Father Sun and Divine Mother Earth.

We can thus look upon the auroras symbolically: as the universal creative process carried out by nature, or we could look at it as the macro-version of what we ourselves do as living beings—as divine creative beings—all the time. We emanate light and create form through our own microcosmic processes in exactly the same manner as the heavenly bodies do above and beneath us. We could say that all things in the universe are merely mirrors of one another—paralleling each other in phenomenal fashion, and that the universal creative process is no exception to this rule.

Arctic CircleSome spiritual teachings, particularly those of the Hindu-based philosophies, speak of regions of the Earth which contain and emanate enormous energy. It is said that when one visits these regions one can feel the vibrations emanating from the Earth. I believe the auroral zones are one of these regions. Whether in Alaska, Canada, Norway or any other location lying within the Arctic Circle, the strength of the Earth’s magnetic fields at this latitude creates a tremendous power, of which the vibrations can be felt by those tuned-into deeper levels of awareness. More importantly, though, the vibrations and heavy magnetism can recalibrate our own subtle electromagnetic fields, particularly when aligned within one’s consciousness. While the degree of ‘conscious attunement’ (which is really just a way to say intense focus) determines the level of recalibration (a quantum process), anybody focusing on ‘tapping into’ the essence of these Earthly vibrations, no matter what their current level, will feel and respond to the massive electromagnetic energy of the planet. Additionally the sky, air (wind) and even water in these regions will have resonating effects  on the subtle body. Focusing on the creative process during meditation, then, both universally (with nature as our model) and individually (our creativity), while underneath the auroras, can have an enormous impact on our awareness  (illumination) and influence (emanation).

Aurora Borealis Tromso

So whether we choose to look at auroras as purely physical phenomena—a light show created by simple atmospheric chemistry—or as actually having deep spiritual meaning,  anyone who has had the great fortune of witnessing this miraculous display of nature can agree that the northern and southern lights are heavenly beauties just magnificent to behold. In my mind the lights are the physical embodiment of the elusively luminescent progeny of a paternal Sun and a divinely creative Mother.

I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures.

Back to GodheadI am convinced that all people have a life’s purpose. We are ‘born’ into this existence with certain qualities and drives that are direct reflection of this purpose. The Hindu teachings call it dharma, and the epic scripture, The Bhagavad Gita, spends much time explaining it. It’s easy for people of atheistic or materialistic philosophies to dismiss this idea as simply spiritual mumbo jumbo, but if these people could open their minds to the fact that certain human struggles are timeless, then they might be able to appreciate the true origination of these works or philosophies.

As I said, we are all born into this existence with a dharma. In its full definition, dharma is the universal order—it is pure reality.

Verily, that which is Dharma is truth.

Therefore they say of a man who speaks truth, “He speaks the Dharma,”
or of a man who speaks the Dharma, “He speaks the Truth.”

Verily, both these things are the same.

~ Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upanishad, 1.4.14

All aspects of the universe are determined by their dharma—it is the law that runs the entire operation (and beyond); the harmony in which all things resonate.

Zach Grether, A Canyon Lake Morning"  - 2013 International Earth & Sky Photo Contest, 2nd Place in Against the Lights Category
Zach Grether, A Canyon Lake Morning” – 2013 International Earth & Sky Photo Contest, 2nd Place in Against the Lights Category

Dharma

What are those qualities that determine our dharma? Essentially, they are our values, the inner drives that determine how we spend our time and what we work on (toward). Each one of us is unique in the totality and hierarchy of these values, and they are part and parcel with our dharma, not one the cause or result of the other.

My dharma is to teach and to heal—I know this within the depths of my soul. I have no uncertainty about it whatsoever. It runs a little deeper (much deeper), but I want you to understand the essence of dharma. All my decisions are based on this duty I have to the universe, to existence and all its inhabitants. I take this duty seriously. It’s why I am here.

Nothing takes precedence over my purpose, nothing. This does not mean that I do not attend to other aspects of my life—earning money, my children, my relationships, my health. On the contrary, I connect all parts of my life to my purpose, which has been monumental for my decision-making abilities. If it doesn’t fit into my dharma—and believe me, many things don’t—then I don’t do it, period.

It is so easy to get caught up in the externals of life, and in this case, I mean external to our purpose (not dismissing the reality of the interconnectedness of all things). But here is something I discovered: When we are following our purpose (dharma)—when we are doing what we love, what we are here to do—we do not need to focus on the outer details. When we focus on the outer details (the externals), they simply become distractors to our true work. When we focus on our purpose, without attachment to the outcome, trusting in the universal dharma, the outer details take care of themselves. As hard as this may be for some to believe, just consider your life an experiment on this principle, and act accordingly…and you shall soon see.

But dharma again has a deeper meaning than just purpose, and this is a point of focus in The Bhagavad Gita: our dharma, our life’s purpose, is simply a tool for us to understand ourselves on a deeper level, and in this regard, as a matter of indistinguishability, for us to understand God.

samadhi

And this is where I’ve likely lost the atheistic/materialistic among us. However, if you are still here, just appreciate that we all have a life’s purpose. It need not be grand or lofty, as being the loving caretaker of a beautiful garden and animal children is equally valuable as striving to end all suffering. In the end, our purpose—our dharma—is what drives us. You can help make your life easier (and more fulfilling) by basing all your decisions on your dharma, not focusing on results but on the work itself, and getting to know yourself, and God (sorry atheists) more deeply through complete dedication to your dharma.

*For anyone who would love to uncover his or her dharma, I am available for consultations: drnick@drnickcampos.com


frozen veggiesAre frozen vegetables as good as fresh? Are canned? How about frozen dinners—all the same, right? I definitely believe there is a hierarchy when it comes to food, and I follow this pattern when making food choices. I’ve been doing it for so long that really it’s second nature for me, but I think being conscious of this hierarchy is a good idea for everybody so here goes.

For produce (fruits and vegetables):

Fresh and organic (if it lacks a thick skin, like apples or berries) > fresh and conventional > dried > frozen > canned > nothing > sweetened

Juice

I think juiced is better than whole if the volume of produce (fruits and vegetables) one consumes is generally low, or as people get older and have a harder time digesting fiber (it happens in some of us)

For meat

Fresh (the fresher the better), non-hormone, grass-fed (if beef) > fresh conventional > frozen* > cured* > canned* > processed

*(freezing, curing or canning your own fresh caught/cut meats better than mass produced)

imagesIt’s not that I totally avoid anything lower on the chain—that’s crazy. But the majority of what I eat—and I strongly believe this is the best practice—is on the top of the chain. It’s one reason I deplore eating out as a regular practice; you just can’t guarantee top quality ingredients all the time. And I don’t care how ‘nice’ the restaurant is, because you just never really know the whole of it (and anyway, there are other reasons, I believe, that dining out regularly is a poor health practice). It makes travel tough for me, unless I have access to grocery stores, because as I’ve said, I naturally lean toward following these hierarchies.

I think that once one develops a taste for fresh, whole foods it’s pretty hard to veer from them too often…that’s my experience anyway.

DreamerOne way that desire can keep us from achieving what we want:

We often hold ourselves back by using limited perceptions to fantasize about how great our lives will be once we achieve what we desire, but in reality we simply do not yet understand how what we think we want is very different from the way we imagine it. Only through tenacity, struggle, and disillusionment do we fully realize our dreams. You see, reality is far richer than the limited illusions we create in our minds, because without the struggle, the overcoming of obstacles and the disenchantment we wouldn’t fully awaken to the true glory of our magnificent vision. Only in fullness do we experience worldly phenomena, not in the fantasy of the ‘all good, all positive, and all effortless’ like our minds weave from the start. You don’t become your full self by having partial experiences. Not until you experience the full reality of any phenomenon will you graduate to your next ambition. So don’t become blind by chasing the unattainable and running away from the unavoidable—you will get more out of life by not allowing your unrealistic fantasies to guide you.

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