Written for Operation Werewolf by Craig Williams.
“A rush of air and a swirling of dust near the tent indicated the arrival of malicious spirits that eat corpses. Gyawo heard his own name being called by the spirits, as if a hundred owls were whispering in his ears.
‘Gyawo, Gyawo, you will be next.’
Gyawo’s heart pounded. A ghostly corpse-eater dressed in rags carrying a hatchet entered the tent. Fearing for his life, Gwayo sped off on his horse without even a saddle.
Terton Sogyal’s equipoise was as stable as a mountain during a storm. He knew that all fear and anxiety come from an untamed mind. Neither the threats of the corpse-eating spirits nor the risk of a witch’s curse could shake his stability. The task at hand required him to wrathfully subjugate and destroy fear and its many guises.”
When one analyzes the attributes of a legendary valiant warrior, the most common characteristics listed are usually strength, confidence, endurance, and perhaps fighting ability. We can envision the champion fighter in the ring, trudging through round after round of brutal exchanges of punches, blows viewed through bloodied exhausted eyes. Or perhaps the soldier as he hears the encroaching ghostly whispers of gun fire and shell blasts. Is itstrength or confidence which fuels the ability to persevere in these extreme experiences? The words of Ernst Junger evoke these feral states of experience:
“These moments of nocturnal prowling leave an indelible impression. Eyes and ears are tensed to the maximum, the rustling approach of strange feet in the tall grass is an unutterably menacing thing. Your breath comes in shallow bursts; you have to force yourself to stifle any panting or wheezing. There is a little mechanical click as the safety-catch of your pistol is taken off; the sound cuts straight through your nerves. Your teeth are grinding on the fuse-pin of the hand-grenade. The encounter will be short and murderous. You tremble with two contradictory impulses: the heightened awareness of the huntsmen, and the terror of the quarry. You are a world to yourself, saturated with the appalling aura of the savage landscape.”
In the wasteland of modernity and its commodification of souls, it becomes an actual matter of personal existence for the mind to be calm, centered and focused. I often hear of the rights of the individual yet this is something or someone I rarely encounter: the individual. As I gaze out over the barren environment of the modern world, the majority of what I see are groups of hungry ghosts huddling together in desperate hope for the preservation of an illusory status quo. An endless array of minds who are unable to grow or expand or focus on any topic for more than five minutes at a time; an endless chant of “ADD”, “ADHD”, and “Chronic fatigue”. The mind of the Kyshatriya stands in radical opposition to this mob of lost souls. In a fight between two warriors of fairly equal strength and talent, the individual with the clear, ruthlessly focused mind will arise victorious amidst the demons of pain and fear which hover over the battlefield in search of weakness.
It is of paramount importance for warriors to place extreme focus on the subject of meditation. Without a calm and focused mind, the body will eventually falter. The practice of meditation is just as important as time spent in the gym or dojo, and for the majority is the practice which is typically ignored or feared. One of the most common voices of weakness which I often hear concerning meditation is “why should I force the practice of meditation? Isn’t the spiritual practice supposed to be something which occurs naturally?” Nothing could be further from the truth. The inner practices of spiritual work must be ruthlessly and methodically confronted and implemented. Any change must be stimulated by the flames of force and desire, and the practice of meditation is no different. Stop finding excuses to not strengthen and focus the environment of your mind, stop using fear as a reason to avoid the dark spaces within which must be explored if true self-actualization is to be achieved.
I have spent over 35 years studying and implementing the meditation practices of Eastern and Western Gnostic systems. I have heard all the excuses and seen all the weak displays of avoidance masquerading as strength. Now is the time to call up the demons from the dark spaces of your mind. Befriend them, exorcise them, and overcome them. If you decide to step onto the battlefield of modernity with weak and fearful mind, victory is a dangerous and insidious mirage. The following are the most elemental steps towards success in meditation. These steps should be implemented and mastered, practiced over and over until it becomes second nature. These are the weapons of the Kyshatriya.
Disconnect the Digital
The fruit of meditation, the clear, calm and focused mind, is poison to modernity and the status quo. To have any hope of tasting this poisonous elixir, one must eliminate the constant barrage of digital propaganda which feed into the background noise of the mind on a daily basis. To achieve any success in the practice of meditation, the background noise of the mind must be cleared of all dross and ephemera. This alone is the most foundational reason why most individuals fail at the practice of meditation; they cannot shut off the noise of the mind. The background chatter of the mind is created daily by everything you see and hear, everything you consume with your senses. Eliminate the garbage. Stop spending hours in front of the computer screen and cell phone groveling at the feet of the Techno-God. Take an inventory of your time spent in the digital world. If the total outweighs the time spent in nature, with inspiring sacred literature, or in private contemplative time, this will destroy the hope for success in meditation.
Learn to concentrate
Do not be an Adderall infused zombie. If you have trouble sitting alone and taking the time to clear the mind in preparation for the practice of meditation, don’t blame the practice. Ruthlessly examine any and all aspects of life where the inability to focus and concentrate are manifesting a presence. Perhaps it’s your diet? Evaluate and execute a simple plan to fix this. Perhaps it’s the time spent groveling to the Techno-God? Disconnect and disengage. Stop reading off computer screens and cell phones. Open a book, feel the pages, make notes on paper rather than a keyboard. If you cannot concentrate, you cannot meditate. Therefore take the time to find your areas of weakness in relation of concentration. One of the most helpful ways to stoke the flame of meditation is the practice of slow, methodical reading. Pick an inspiring text, ideally a text from a sacred tradition which is infused with power and history. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour for the entire process. Read portions of the texts slowly out loud, then repeat the excerpts silently. After this, take time to slowly write out any ideas which the text inspires within you. Read back over the notes and ponder the ideas and insights which manifested out of the dark pathways of your mind. This process should be done in silence and isolation and away from all digital stimulation. Make this practice a daily or weekly focus. Do not make excuses to avoid it or delay it as the cultivation of concentration and focus is the crucial doorway into the inner experiences of meditation.
Focus on the Breath
Take time daily to sit in calm silence and focus all attention on the breath. This should be done for 10-20 minutes in the morning and the evening. Pick a time which is conducive to this practice that will easily fit into your morning and evening schedule. If you cannot find the time to sit and slowly breathe with full attention for 10-20 minutes in the morning and evening, how can you expect to manifest greater things in life? The time spent focusing on the breath should be simple and uncomplicated. If needed, set a timer for 10-20 minutes and sit down in a quiet space. Slowly inhale while filling the belly with air, and slowly exhale while emptying the belly of all inhaled air. Focus all attention on the breath ignoring all other ideas or images which may appear within the mind. If a distraction arises, focus on the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. While this may be a simple process, no success in meditation can be achieved until one is able to simply sit and breathe. It may not seem elaborate or mystical, but it is a powerful seed which must be nurtured if you wish to find success in the deeper practices of meditation. Just as a strong well-timed punch can end a fight, so can a strong mind focused on the breath eliminate the demons of fear and weakness in the Kyshatriya.
The majority of time spent living in the modern world exists within a constant bombardment of cacophony and noise pollution. This constant attack to the senses builds up over time, damaging the nervous system and creating dissonance in the background noise of the mind. Take the time to evaluate how much time is spent immersed in artificial noise. Stop running or working out with blaring music. Listen to your breath while you train, hear the movement of the ligaments and tendons, the sound of your feet hitting the pavement. Make it a point to spend the time upon waking and the time before sleeping immersed in the silence of natural sound. The monkey mind is not used to sitting in silent meditation and will react with chaotic chatter if strong efforts are not made to disconnect from constant artificial sensory stimulation. Sit in nature, listen to the crackle of a fire, listen to the breath as it reflects the systole and diastole of your warrior heart. To achieve success in meditation, you must first become comfortable with silence. Much like a fighter must become comfortable being hit for any success in a fight to become a reality, we must embrace meditation as a practice incubating within the womb of silence which the modern world seeks to abort. Cherish this practice as a pathway to cultivate the inner flame of the Kyshatriya heart.
To achieve success in meditation, you must organize your life in such a manner as to make the success achievable. Stop making excuses and formulate a plan to conquer your inner weakness and fears and begin to sharpen the most important weapon of the Kyshatriya: the focused mind. The blade of concentration must cut away all baggage which is weighing heavy on the battlefield of the modern world. Keep this blade close at hand, sharpen it daily and wield it as needed. Your life may depend on it.