Thursday, May 15, 2008

Daredevil and the Green Lama

"Only when the mind is settled can it become quiet.Only when the mind is quiet can it become still.Only when the mind is still can it see.And only when the mind can see,Can it reach the mystery of mysteries."
~Yen Ch'eng

"Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee

"The most profound discoveries are not necessarily beyond that next star. They're within us, woven into the threads that bind us." ~ Captain Jonathan Archer, STAR TREK ENTERPRISE

I'm about to be a published writer! Wildcat Books has accepted my short story "A Voice for Ivy" for their anthology LEGENDS OF THE GOLDEN AGE VOL 1 due out later this month. It's a collection of stories about superheroes from the 1940s who are now in the public domain as far as copyright. Mine is about Daredevil; not the current Marvel Comics hero of the Ben Affleck movie, but a character by the same name from a defunct publisher, Lev Gleason. Daredevil, at least in his early stories, was mute. I tried to write fight scenes that read like a 40s comic book but then added some characterization and moral issues.

I promised to talk about Eastern spirituality and its relationship to quantum physics and stories. I'm going to start with something light, techniques for meditation. The seeds of much deeper concepts are planted here.


Before you begin a mental effort, such as taking a test, it is good to clear your mind. Just as you can recall where you put something as soon as you stop looking for it, blanking your conscious mind frees the knowledge you need to well to the surface of your mind.

Blanking your mind is as simple as taking a few seconds to think of nothing at all. On a test I do this by focusing on a blank spot on the paper, or on the wall.

Zen Buddhists use sayings called koans. A koan is a question that has no answer. They believe that by concentrating on a koan the chain of logical thought is broken and the mind reaches a clearer level. The two most well known koans are:

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Freeing your mind to let the answers appear naturally is far more effective than any amount of last minute cramming or worrying.


There are several. Some people use a candle to lose themselves in the wavering flame.

Some experts say that you should use the word “Om” or "Aum." “Om” means many things in different aspects of Eastern thought; “Hail!” in Tibetan, from the chant “Om! Mani Padme Hum!” – “Hail the jewel in the lotus flower.” In keeping with the comic book geek theme of my blog, it should also be noted that the 1940s hero Jethro Dumont used the phrase as magic words to transform himself into the Green Lama. “Om” is also supposed to be significant because the word starts with the mouth open and ends with the mouth closed, so that it includes all sounds. The actual meaning of Om is way deeper, so I'll go into that next blog.

There is the koan. A riddle that makes no sense and has no answer. It is used to derail the train of conscious thought.

Use what works best for you. Remember the end you want is serenity, not effort. I tend to use none of the aids. That’s because I end up concentrating on the aid instead of the serenity.


Sit comfortably. You don’t need to assume any complicated lotus position with your legs tied in a knot. Just what is comfortable, but not comfortable enough to fall asleep.

Steady your breathing. Focus your concentration on your breath. Don’t try to control it. Just observe it. Follow your breaths from your nostrils to your lungs and back from your lungs to your nostrils. You may imagine a cloud of air just beyond your nose. Your breath will fall into a natural rythym. Just observe and let it do so.

Treat any distractions the same way. If you have an itch, observe the itch. If you have an urge to scratch the itch, observe the urge. If you have stray distracting thoughts, observe them and let them pass by. A friend of my cousin used to "entertain" distractions by imagining placing them in a room with snacks, magazines and a tv and leaving them alone there.

Observe as your whole body relaxes but see your body, breath, itches, urges and distractions as one.

The next step is the hard one. Observing your body, breath, itches, urges and distractions, now step back and observe the You that is observing you!
By Sri Chinmoy:
Nothing impresses me any more,save and except
My own deep meditations.

Meditation stops
The sound-loving mind.

To my greatest relief,I have silenced
My questioning mind.

When I pray,
I feel I am tiny,very tiny.

When I meditate,
I feel I am vast,very vast.

When I contemplate,
I feel I am neither tiny nor vast -I am just a playerWho plays hide and seek with God.

When I pray,I clearly see that God is coming down
From Above.

When I meditate,I clearly see that God is already seated
Inside my heart.

My Lord,When I most intensely pray and meditate,The world badly misunderstands me.My Lord, what shall I do?
"My child, you have only one world,And that world is all love.It needs neither understanding
Nor misunderstanding."

When we pray and meditate
Sincerely and soulfully,
We receive an open-hearted invitationFrom Heaven.

1 comment:

Dawn Allenbach said...

A gentle reminder that I need to get back to meditating.