Friday, 28 December 2012

On the Impeccable Teacher by Elizabeth StJohn

On the Impeccable  Teacher
So you have found your Divine One -your Impeccable Guru!

Here is a check- list for you . Memorize it now.

Sooner or later, after you have dedicated body and soul (and possibly your income) to your wonderful Teacher, you may begin to notice some little human frailties

Such as:

Does your Divine He/She lap up praise like a cat laps up cream?

Does your Divine She/He give you stupid or impossible orders
to TEST your devotion?
Like that special food that takes 24 hours to prepare or send you to find  and bring back this favorite tiger that hangs out in the nearby jungle.

Does the Divine One love sparkly jewels and (very) expensive cars and (very) occasionally  give you or your loved ones  a (very) little ride in one of His/Her  second - best cars?

Does your Beloved Teacher give little prezzies to beautiful small boys or vulnerable young women, always , of course, during Satsang or Darshan where everyone can see its delightful innocence?

Does the Divine One shyly proclaim Omnipresence? That He/She now resides in that special little Chakra at the tip of your heart observing all?

Does that mean She/He  is with you in the loo?
Or is PRESENT when you are indulging in luxuriant or pathetic sex?
Or knows when you have been particularly good in doing your Mantra or helping out in the kitchen?

When you have added your own favourite frailties to the list you can either leave the Beloved Presence for ever feeling totally betrayed and let down by false Teachings

Or start searching for the True Guru who must be out there SOMEWHERE

Or consider the Teachings you have received: were there any benefits?

Perhaps you have learned discrimination.

Perhaps you have learned about choice and the freedom to  CHOOSE

   Obey or not.   Stay or leave

Perhaps you have learned something about the nature of human frailty  --  You.  Me      The Holy Sage......

We are none of us Impeccable and all the better for that
How else can we learn to become Our Selves?


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

C. Maxwell Cade

Maxwell Cade Foundation  Biofeedback and Higher States

Publisher ' s note
The workshops for training in biofeedback devised and led by C. Maxwell Cade consisted of talks  with exercisee. The Foundation is publishing selected talks, with associated exercises, for those interested in Max’s work and as material for those devising their own training courses.

In this publication, the introductory notes provide the context for understanding the subsequent talk. The contents of the introduction outline Max’s approach but are not taken verbatim from a specific talk. Most of the biofeedback technology described is relatively new, and the correlates of bodily measurements to states of consciousness were mostly established in the
latter part of the 20th Century. The traditions from which the references to transcendence, Samadhi and illumined consciousness are taken have been recorded in the East, if not in the West, for millenia.

Introductory note: What is biofeedback ?
Biofeedback  learning about ourselves
Biofeedback provides a new way of learning about ourselves, or a way of re­learning what the body already knows  how to be attentive, how to respond, even how to " heal  if we listen to it and techniques allow one to develop the art of listening to one’s internal cues and acting on them. Before one can have choice, one must first have awareness. Biofeedback provides the means to become aware - acutely aware  of oneself and thereby to gain the possibility of se1f­control and with it, choice of action.

The Biofeedback Principle states: "If one is able to perceive a bodily process that one is not normally aware of, then one can learn to control it". 
The biofeedback instruments monitor changes in the body and reflect them back, like mirrors. They are an aid to the process of self­-discovery and self-mastery. By practising changing one’s attention or behaviour and using the feedback signals from the instruments to discriminate and discover which changes are helpful, one soon learns (or re­1earns) the ability to direct and
choose the pattern of changes. Because the mind and body are but two aspects of the same living being, a change in the mind  a thought, an emotion produces a corresponding change in the body. The biofeedback instruments monitor changes in the body and with training, one learns to associate the bodily changes with the changes in the mind which accompany or precede them.

The applications of biofeedback
The scope of biofeedback is restricted only by the scope of the bodily changes which can be monitored by the biofeedback instruments and by the creativity and perception of those who use them. The applications range from the simplest, like using the bathroom scales to help maintain a certain weight, to learning deep relaxation and relief from stress, improving circulation, attaining
meditative states, improving creativity and developing the intuition.

The formula for good biofeedback
Whichever instruments are being employed, the formula for effective biofeedback~ is always the same, and has three elements:

1. Identify the internal process one wants to develop more choice or flexibility over, and recogńise how this increased ability will be shown by the measurements of the biofeedback instrument(s)
2. Practise a method or technique to develop this ability in oneself and monitor the bodily changes using the biofeedback instrument(s)
3. Check whether the practice of this method or technique is effective using the feedback signââlës from the instrument(s). Then continue with it, adìust it or even discard it and find another technique according to whether the changes in oneself are moving towards those desired, moving away from them, or there are no real changes at all.

The Biofeedback Principle makes no implicit claims as to which methods or techniques are effective for encouraging a particular change, and indeed, different people setting out to achieve the same changes, apparently using the same method, may meet with quite different degrees of success2 Biofeedback allows each individual to discover for himself the effectiveness of the approach he uses, regardless of its success when used by anyone else.

Out growíng the instruments
The aim ultimately is for the individual to develop an increased awareness of the inner signals which are present, but often unnoticed when the biofeedback
instruments are signalling change, and to establish the connections which allow conscious choice of the "subconscious" processes. When these messages are
recognised and understood, and the individual has learned what the instruments are showing, he has outgrown the need for the instruments.

Published by The Maxwell Cade Foundation
9 Chatsworth Road, London NW2  , England

Copyright Mrs I. D. Maxwell Cade 1990
Exercise two - Concentration on the hands of a watch

This exercise needs a watch with a second hand, not digital display. 
Alternatively, a clock with a second hand can be used provided it can be placed fairly near.

"Holding the watch before you, allow your attention to focus on the face of the watch and the movement of the second hand...... maintain an awareness of your body, breathing easily, from the abdomen, relaxed. Without words, keep  your concentrating on the face of the watch for 1 minute........"
(once the attention can be maintained, without internal dialogue or distraction, the time for the exercise can gradually be lengthened.

Exercise 3 - Zazen

(Participants seated in chairs)

"Draw yourself up as if a piece of string were attached to the back of your head and pulled upwards towards teh ceiling. Now, gentrly allow the tension to release, keeping the spine quite straight and relaxed - the shoulders in line with the ears, the nose in line with the navel. This prevents unnessary tension on the neck............

"Breathe out - through the mouth - just this first time, getting the lungs completely empty of air....Let the air bounce back, thus setting the level of air in the lungs.....Now breath out slowly and steadily, counting 'one' to yourself as you do so.  Breath in again and out, this time counting 'two' on the out breath and continue until you get to ten. Then you start again at 'one'.

Breath always through the nose, inhaling just as much as you feel you need, pushing forward the lowest part of the abdomen - at the level of the naval - to draw the air in on the in breath and pulling the lowest part of the abdomen in to expel the air on the out breath. The rib cage should remain still while breathing in this manner. If necessary, loosen tight clothing to allow this movement freely. This breathing is called 'diaphragmatic breathing' or 'abdominal breathing'.

See your breath as forming a circle, like the rotating wheel of a bicycle. Imagine a point on the rim of the wheel. As this point moves upwards, you breath in, until at the top of the inhalation is complete......and the out breath begins. This continues as the air is expelled until, when the point reaches the bottom of the cycle.... the next inhalation begins. This way, the in breath and out breath are of the same length and there is no sustained holding of breath between.

"To check the manner in which you are breathing, place on hand lightly on the top of the rib cage, just below the throat and the other on the abdomen, at the level of the naval, and become aware of the movement while you breath. For Zazen, the top of the chest should remain quite still. The abdomen moves out on the in breath and moves in on the out breath, like a pair of bellows causing the air to be drawn into the space vacated by the movement of the diaphragm and expelled by its return movement.

"Continue counting on each out breath, from 'one' to 'ten' and then starting again at 'one'. There is no need for thinking.....just be aware of the gentle easy breathing.............the eyes can be open or closed, but to start with, the meditation is normally easier with eyes closed.......

"Gradually, you will become able to concentrate with more and more success on the numbers of your breaths. Your mind may wander, and you may find yourself carried away on trains of thought, but it will gradually become easier and easier to bring your mind back to the counting of your breath.

(continue for 5 or 10 minutes Max often played a tape of 'Zen' Japanese music, with no words or overt rhythm. With those new to this way of breathing , it is well worth checking the pattern of breathing and correcting if necessary).


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Exercises - Max Cade

These papers were often used as a talk within a workshop, which would be followed by practical exercises. There are many exercises which are appropriate for this topic: for the first part, emphasizing concentration as a pre­requisite to meditation and for the second part, emphasizing the internal state, or "attitude" conducive to effective meditation, both in the quiet and "in the battlefield of life".

All these exercises, if practiced correctly, will bring about a level of relaxation in the body.. In the biofeedback workshops, participants monitor this change
using the Electrical Skin Resistance meter. (The model used in Max’s workshops was normally the "Omega 1", manufactured by Audio Ltd.). In order to avoid drowsiness, participants are seated in an upright posture. Breathing should be from the abdomen  a relaxing breath, filling the lungs no more than three-quarters full, so the rib cage will remain still.

The presentation of these types of exercise to a group obviously requires a level of experience in maintaining rapport, appraising the state of the group,
timing and so on. Some instructions have been included in square brackets throughout the exercises.

Exercise 1: Stillness of Mind and Body

"Before one can learn to meditate, it is desirable one might almost say  essential, to learn to concentrate. In orthodox yogic training it is not left to
the whim of the pupil to decide whether or not he will learn concentration before proceeding to meditation; he is obliged to learn concentration  Dharana  first.. In many parts of India, the learning of Dharana is by means of the Kasina exercises, which are still largely unknown in the West. Without possessing a certain degree of Dharana, a person would hardly be able to live at all, and certainly could not work properly. Hence, without even being aware of the fact, everyone is continually practicing Kasina exercises, by which their energy is directed towards a single goal..

"First of all it is necessary for you to realize that if you are relaxing properly, your mind is WIDE AWAKE and AWARE, even though your body is deeply relaxed and almost beyond movement.... Take a few moments to become centered and relaxed.... breathing easily from the abdomen..relaxed lips, tongue and throat, but keeping eyes open..... [1 minute]

"Now hold one of the Kasina objects in your hand. [an object is given to each member of the group. Max had a basket of coloured alabaster eggs for this purpose, and each participant chose an egg as the basket was offered. Other objects could be used instead.

"I want you to study your chosen Kasina object carefully, with both your hand and your eyes. Feel it and note its smoothness, or occasional flaws, its
temperature, its texture. .. . Study it with your eyes and note the colour, the shadíngs, the patterns.concentrate upon it completely, losing all awareness of
your body in the process, yet remaining fully awake and aware.  [5 minutes]

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Anatomy of Meditation (part 2) Maxwell Cade Foundation


It is enormously important that we should be quite, quite clear in our minds concerning the distinction between the absolutely essential mental development exercises which precede true meditation and meditation itself.

 Krishnamurti says:
"If you deliberately take an attitude, a posture, in order to meditate, then it may become a plaything, a toy of the mind. If you determine to escape from the confusion and the misery of life, then it becomes an experience of the imagination  and this is not meditation. The conscious mind and the personal unconscious mind must have no part in it: they must not even be aware of the extent and beauty of meditation. If they are, then you might just as well go and buy a romantic novel.


At the moment of illumination, thought withers away, and the conscious effort to experience and the remembrance of it, is the word that has been."

"Meditation", says Claudio Naranjo, "is concerned with the development of a PRESENCE, a modality of being, which may be expressed or developed in whatever situation
the individual may be involved. This presence or mode of being transforms whatever it touches. If its medium is movement, it will turn to dance; if stillness, into live sculpture; if thinking, into the higher reaches of intuition; if sensing, into a merging with the miracle of being; if feeling, into love: if singing, into sacred utterance; if speaking, into prayer or poetry; if doing the things of ordinary life, into a ritual in the name of God or a celebration of existence." [Notes 1 & 2]

Just as the spirit of our times is technique oriented in its dealings with the external world, it is technique oriented in its approach to psychological or spiritual reality. Yet, while numerous schools propound this or that method as a solution to human problems, we
know that it is not merely the method, but THE WAY IN WHICH IT IS EMPLOYED that determines its effectiveness, whether in psychotherapy, art or education. The application of techniques or tools in an interpersonal situation depends upon an almost intangible “human factor" in the teacher, guide or psychotherapist. When within the self, as is the case with methods of meditation, the human factor beyond the method becomes even more elusive. . .

The question of the RIGHT ATTITUDE on the part of the meditator is the hardest for meditation teachers to transmit, and though it is the object of most supervision, it may be apprehended only through practice. It might be said that the attitude, or "inner posture" is
both the path and the goal of the meditator. For the subtle, invisible HOW is not merely a HOW T0 MEDITATE but a HOW TO BE, which in meditation is exercised in a simplified situation. And precisely because of its elusive quality.... the attitude that is the heart of
meditation is generally sought after in the most simple external or "technical" situations - in stillness, silence, monotony, "just sitting".

Just as we do not see the stars in daylight, but only in the absence of the sun, we may never taste the subtle essence of meditation in the daylight of ordinary activity in all its complexity. That essence may be revealed when we have suspended everything else but US, our presence, our attitude, beyond any activity or lack of it. Whatever the outer situation, the inner task is simplified, so that nothing remains but to gaze at a candle, listen to the hum in our own ears or "do nothing". We may then discover that there are innumerable ways of gazing, listening, doing nothing (and also,innumerable ways of NOT just gazing, NOT just listening, NOT just sitting). Against the background of simplicity
required by the exercise, we may become aware of ourselves and all that we bring to the situation, and we may begin to grasp experientiaíly the question of ATTITUDE.

While practice in most activities implies the development of habits and the establishment of conditioning, the practice of meditation can be better understood as quite the opposite: a persistent effort to detect apd become free from all conditioning, compulsive
functioning of mind and body, the habitual emotional responses that may contaminate the utterly simple situation required by the participant. This is why it may be said that the attitude of the meditator is both his path and his goal; the unconditioned state is the freedom of attainment and also the target of every single effort. what the meditator realizes in his practice is to a large extent HOW HE FAILS T0 MEDITATE PROPERLY, and by becoming aware of his failings he gains understanding and the ability to let go of his wrong way. The right way, the desired attitude, is what remains when we have stepped out of the way.

1. From "On the Psychology of Meditation" by Robert
Ornstein and Claudio Naranjo.

2. Max comments further: "Naranjo's commentary is enormously illuminating, if only because he highlights the paradox that, in learning to meditate, it is necessary to work in a manner that is Contrary to the ultimate aim. As Naranjo says, meditation is most readily
learned in a simplified situation, away from the hurly­ burly of life. Yet, as the Japanese Zenist, Lin Tsi says, ’To concentrate one’s mind, or to dislike noisy places and seek only for stillness is the characteristic of heterodox Dhyana. It is easy to keep self­=possession in a
place of tranquility, yet it is by no means easy to keep mind undisturbed amid the bivouac of actual life. It is true Dhyana that makes our mind sunny while the storms of strife rage around us. It is true Dhyana that secures the harmony of heart, while the surges of struggle toss us violently.'

"The same paradox arises in relation to training in the production of alpha rhythm states. Most students find that, at first, opening the eyes, forming mental images,thinking in a focused, logical manner, all cause the alpha rhythm to disappear. Usually it is necessary to
have a quiet environment and to keep the mind very still and restful in order to learn to produce ’continuous alpha’. Yet it is only by slowly and painstakingly training oneself to maintain alpha while the eyes are open, while the mind is forming images, while one
experiences emotions, while one solves problems, that one eventually gains 'fifth state' consciousness, in which one's everyday state of mind is infused with continuous bilateral alpha rhythms of a particularly persistent and self­-petuating kind.

This complete contradiction between the approach to learning quiescent mental states and the approach to their utilization is the cause of a great deal of confusion to students of meditation. They often ask, ’What are the ultimate benefits  , and the teacher must
truthfully reply that they fare largely in the form of better and more effective mental and physical interaction with the everyday world: I: Yet their early lessons are often in the form of both physical and mental retreat from the world !

"Also, we must remember the words of Krishnamurti:
’Do not think that meditation is a continuance and an expansion of ordinary experience. . ...'. It is not, and in its higher reaches, where it passes over into mystical experience, it is ineffable and therefore cannot be discussed at all except with someone who has had the same experience. Perhaps the worst effect of this is that it makes the student cling, still more, to outward forms and to believe that SOMEHOW, if he could only see how, meditation could be understood 'scientifically' through a study of the techniques."

Maxwell Cade Foundation  The Anatomy of Meditation

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Stylised drawing of the awakened mind by Anna Wise

Before I continue with Max's manuscripts, I would like to share with you some research that I came across from Dr Richard Soutar's website. Dr Soutar, also a pioneer of neurofeedback, is making comparisons with the Awakened Mind pattern (as seen by Max  Cade) and brainmaps (qEEG) of meditators.

Loreta image showing distribution of 9hz EEG.

Above is an image from the Soutar's website showing their EEG analysis - called LORETA - 
this image is from an experienced meditator of 10 years doing a concentrative meditation, similar to Theravaden, Zen and Ashtanga techniques. 

The LORETA image, shows the distribution of 9hz (alpha) as being dominant, the drawing in the title by Anna Wise (stylised pattern on what we see on the mindmirror eeg) shows 9hz at the middle peak.

The Soutars' have also shown in their qEEG analysis that symmetry (the balance of both hemispheres) are balanced in the meditator, this agrees with the awakened mind pattern.



Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The anatomy of meditation - C Maxwell Cade

Thank you to Isabel Cade for permission

Maxwell Cade Foundation  The Anatomy of Meditation
Published by the Maxwell Cade  Foundation 9 Chatsworth Road, London, NW2 4BJ, copyright Mrs I. D. Màxwell cade 1990


In its beginning, meditation is an exercise in control of the attention. Attention is not an
achievement. Attention has no border, no frontier to cross; attention is clarity, clear of all thought.
Thought, as Krishnamurti emphasizes, can never make for clarity, because it has its roots in the dead past; so thinking is an action in the dark. Awareness of this is to be attentive.
The Bhagavad Gita states: 
"The mind is the slayer of the real; therefore we must slay the slayer".
This is not the doctrine of despair or of mindlessness; it means that, as Kenneth Walker wrote in Diagnosis of Man:
"By means of sensuous perception and inference, we shall never stand face to face with

To know something, as distinct from knowing about it, or knowing some of its attributes, we need the higher mental power of the intuition. Krishnamurti puts it like this: "meditation is not an intellectual process  which is still within the area of thought. Meditation is the freedom from thought, and a movement in the ecstasy of truth".

We must be very clear that meditation is NOT concentration. Concentration comes before meditation: a long way before. Christmas Humphries writes: "Before a man can fence, he must learn to handle a rapier, so that the rapier, hand and eye can follow the will as one.
Before a girl can dance, she must train her muscles until the body as a whole will express the beauty in the mind. Before a man can use his mind to develop his inner faculties, to increase his understanding and to integrate the vast range of related parts which make up 'se1f’, he must develop and learn to control the instrument involved."

The best analogy is the searchlight. Here is an efficient and impersonal machine. It can be directed to a given object at will, moved rapidly from one object to another, focused as needed and equally well turned off at will. The light employed comes from a supply that has no ending and is drawn on by the skill of, but not from the person of the operator. So with the mind. The more perfect the instrument and its control, the more clearly
will the light of consciousness be focused, without wavering, on the chosen field ....It is not my light or yours. It is the light of consciousness.

When I decide to change the object of attention, I change it; when I am tired, or the time has come to do something else, or to rest, or the doorbell rings, I turn it Off. WITHOUT SUCH AN INSTRUMENT, THUS HANDLED AND CONTROLLED, ONE CANNOT MEDITATE, FOR THE MEANS IS LACKING FOR THE CHOSEN END.

"In brief", says Christmas Humphries, "no man can meditate until he has learned to concentrate; let him who denies it try." Hence our insistence that, although the
aim of meditation is eventually to transcend the intellect by development of higher mental powers, FIRST ONE MUST HAVE AN INTELLECT T0 TRANSCEND.