Attacked by Ghost Spiders

I spent Tuesday night waking up in a panic every half hour, thinking I was being attacked by bugs. Spiders on my pillow, on my blanket, on my floor, on my face, everywhere. I must have turned on the light and brushed off my sheets and checked my floor a dozen times.

The odd thing is, bugs don’t bother me. I actually wanted to be an entomologist at one point. The whole experience was probably a combination of stress plus knowledge of the spider I found in the bathroom that I decided to leave alone.

However, I can’t help wondering if there was a spiritual cause. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve woken up and felt like I was being attacked (ex. the time my sister’s spiritual guardian kept visiting me at night to make sure I wasn’t a threat). If it was spiritual, it probably wasn’t something very strong. Just a curious spirit passing through.

Was it stress and spider dreams or a wandering spirit? Probably a little of both.

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Devoted but not Loyal

I’m starting to get burnt out on church again.

I’ve been going to church every week for the past two months: compared to my previous record of once or twice a month. It was great for a while, but the last few weeks I’ve just felt stagnant. And I don’t know if it’s a stagnancy I need to wade through or one I need to change.

When it comes to Christianity, I’m devoted, but I’m not loyal. I believe that, if God/the Universe/the Life Stream is everything–is the beginning, middle, and end of all that exists–no religion, and definitely no church, owns him. Therefore, if a method of connecting to him isn’t working, there’s no shame in leaving and trying something else.

Before I returned to church, my Sundays were spent quietly with coffee and toast, listening to a sermon or other spiritual teaching while playing video games. On mornings when the weather was nice, or when God had something particularly pressing to speak with me about, I would go on a walk or go to the woods to meditate.

I miss those mornings. But at the same time, when I had those mornings, I missed meeting with other Christians and the spiritual stability that church brings.

I need to find a balance.

For now, I think I will continue going to the church I found in Tokyo because I do have good friends there. I’m only here for four more weeks and I want to make the most of the time I have left.

 

Chakras and How to Clear Them

Last night, I reopened my chakras.

Usually, I only do chakra meditation if I feel one or two in particular are clogged and need to be cleaned out. It was the first time that I had sat down and used a string of meditations to open each of them in turn. It felt good. Like, really good. I feel like I had a full-body scrub and a spiritual getaway all in one.

Chakras represent energy concentrations in your body and, like organs, they are commonly given main functions. For your convenience, here are the locations and simplified functions of each:

  • Root Chakra: Base of the spine. Deals with security, food, and the other basic animal instincts. Blocked by fear and being out of touch with your environment.
  • Sacral Chakra: In pelvic region, below navel. Deals with pleasure and sexuality. Blocked by shame.
  • Solar Plexus Chakra: In stomach. Deals with dignity, pride, and confidence. Blocked by poor self image.
  • Heart Chakra: In chest. Deals with love and emotions. Blocked by hate.
  • Throat Chakra: In throat. Deals with truth and self expression. Blocked by lies and inability to express yourself.
  • Third-Eye Chakra: In center of forehead. Deals with insight, clairvoyance, and decision-making. Blocked by confusion.
  • Crown Chakra: On top of the head. Deals with spirituality, enlightenment, and oneness with everything. Blocked by attachment and preoccupation with earthly things.

To open your chakras, all you need to do is clear out what is keeping them from flowing freely. Admittedly, that is easier said than done. For example, dealing with the hate you have for someone, or dealing with shame or insecurity. It’s difficult, and it’s an ongoing process.

A good way to do this is through meditation. Chakra meditation is simple in structure. Choose a chakra to focus on. Think of what it means and what blocks it. Examine yourself in this light and work at trying to open it. Start scooping away the gunk clogging it up. Eventually, you will get a clean, relaxed feeling, a feeling of new understanding and freedom. That’s the sign that that chakra has been opened.

There are all kinds of meditation positions, chants, and visualizations to aid chakra opening. Personally, I’ve found this one to be the most helpful as a meditation guide. For general chakra information, as well as signs of blocked chakras, I like to watch Chakraboosters on Youtube.

As a general tip, you should not open your crown chakra if your root chakra is blocked. That can make your imbalance between physical and spiritual even greater. Always start with the root and work your way up.

Happy chakra-ing!

 

Meditation Corner

Some of the best advice I’ve heard about getting better at prayer and meditation was from a speaker at a conference I went to in high school. He advised us to create a “sanctuary in our room.” In other words, create a nook you can go to that is only used for prayer or meditation. In that way, you will be better able to focus and hopefully spend less time playing “tie down the monkeys” with your stray thoughts.

There used to be this tree a short walk from my house that bordered a wheat field. It had long, drooping branches and in the summer, its thick leafy branches touched the top of the wheat, creating a secret little spot in the shade. I went there to meditate as often as I could manage.

When I couldn’t manage, I took all the pictures off of one of the walls in my room and set a chair there, facing the corner.

These days, I find sitting on the floor in the dark, or with a candle or incense, more effective than the chair in the corner. But I still prefer to meditate outside when possible, if I can find somewhere I won’t be disturbed.

The Agreement

I am in Japan on a Tourist Visa, which means I cannot work while here. And, because I cannot work, money has been tight. I have to think about the remaining months, I have to think about rent and other bills and food and transportation, and make sure that the money I saved earlier this year covers all of that.

Needless to say, it’s a point of stress for me. Especially when things keep arising that I hadn’t budgeted for.

But in this season, as in all seasons, I know God will take care of me. It was part of our agreement, after all, when I welcomed him into myself. I will use all my resources to follow him, and in return, he will take care of me in the way he decides is best.

He has been surprising me with little gifts lately, as is his way. Just little things to show his support. An entrance fee was refunded to me. My friends’ party ended up being smaller than expected, so the “chipping in” cost was removed. I even found almost 200 yen ($2) in the bottom of my purse.

They were all nice surprises, but the nicest thing about them is knowing who they were from, and why they were given to me. It’s as if God was saying. “See? I’ll take care of you. You don’t have to worry.”

So I won’t worry. I’ll try to trust instead.

Wind and Spirit

There’s something sacred about the wind, but I can never put my finger on it. Only that, when it blows against me, filled with all the smells of where it has been, caressing me and getting into my hair and clothes, I feel more connected somehow. As if it’s blowing away the layers of flesh that separates me from other manifestations of spirit.

And in that moment, I want to strip off the rest of what keeps me back and become one with it, scattered over the earth. Fully integrated into the realm where nothing matters because everything matters. Where all is spirit and all is one.

But then I must still go home and do my homework for tomorrow’s class. Not only encased in flesh, but encased within a minuscule niche inside a purely human context. Oh the juxtaposition. I know it’s good, and everything has its time. But some days I can hardly stand it.

Good Possession

I’ve come to realize that not all spiritual possession is bad or harmful. Like most things in life, it seems to come down to who is involved and what consent was given.

We have all heard the horror stories of harmful possessions by demons, etc. Possessions that cause the host to lose control of their body and hurt themselves or others. Possessions that require long, intense exorcisms. Those are forced possessions, where the spirit decided to possess with no input from the host.

What we often forget is that a lot of religion, especially Christianity, encourages a kind of possession as well. But it encourages possession that is consensual, loving, and built on trust.

In Christianity, it’s commonly called “asking Jesus into your heart” or being “born again.” You ask a manifestation of God called the Holy Spirit to enter and reside inside of you for the rest of your life, influencing how you think and act, guiding you to become more like him.

He doesn’t force his way in. He is gentle and attentive, and keeps a dialogue going the whole time to make sure you are 100% on board with what he is proposing. And if you aren’t, he takes a step back and you go back to discussing, to see why you aren’t okay with it and whether you truly want to continue.

Personally, I didn’t understand the “born again” concept until I started thinking about it in terms of possession. It sounds creepy put that way, doesn’t it?

Everyone is different and everyone finds different paths towards their own enlightenment. But for those who think they might want to give that kind of intertwined existence a try, I encourage them to.

But listen to me babbling on. I’m such a lovestruck flesh-thing that I think everyone should give it a go. Don’t listen to me. Go at your own pace (or don’t go. It’s your choice). But if you have any questions about it, please feel free to leave a comment or send me a message and I’ll answer the best I can.

Small Things to Ask Spirits

I stumbled upon an online list of small things to talk to spirits about. It included asking for advice and such, but it also included things like asking them for their story, or asking them about the area, or even asking them about their friends.

I’d never considered speaking to spirits about these kinds of things, not spirits I didn’t already have a strong relationship with.

Maybe I’ll try more of these kinds of casual and positive questions. Not every question needs to be about natural laws and eternity. Relationships need a bit of this kind of conversation, as well. Especially starting out. You don’t want to jump straight to the scary stuff.

Here is a link to the list, if you are interested. Link.

Elemental

Tonight I found my small box of Nag Champa incense and it made me think of my elemental (nature spirit) friend back home.

As I take in its sweet, heady scent, I remember how we didn’t used to be friends: how they used to hate me and how I used to be scared of them. But somehow, despite my egocentric, human-conqueror-minded stupidity, we eventually grew to enjoy each other’s company (once I stopped talking at them and started listening. But that’s a story for another time).

I’m reminded of that one time I wanted to burn incense as a gift to them to thank them for sharing their practical wisdom with me.

I often burn incense and candles to God (rose in particular), but I didn’t know whether forest elementals liked incense. I certainly didn’t want to give them a gift they wouldn’t enjoy.

So I thought back to our previous conversations, to think of something they would appreciate, and I remembered that when we were talking about plants, I had mentioned the plant I was tending in my room and how they said they’d like to see it sometime.

With my phone, I took a few pictures of my plant, showing how it had grown. Then I brought my phone to the forest where the elemental resides and we looked through them together.

That elemental is one of my best friends, and I miss them terribly. I can’t wait to sit and talk with them again.

Distractions

I went back to the park with the saturated spiritual feeling and sat on the bench for a while. However, there were too many people around for me to focus properly. Since it’s in a busy part of Tokyo, I don’t think there will be any time that there aren’t at least five other people there.

I need to regroup and think of some new strategies to achieve that kind of focus, even when there are plentiful distractions. Maybe noise-cancelling headphones and quiet meditative music would be useful. It’s not as effective as solitude and silence for me, but maybe it will allow my thoughts to be quiet and focused enough to listen.