While walking the other day in a part of my neighborhood that I hadn’t explored before, I happened upon a home for sale next door to a raw construction site. The house sat up a steep driveway from the street. Next to it rested an exposed new concrete foundation that stepped curiously up the slope as if it was to become a giant staircase.
I’d been wandering on one of my brief efforts to get out of my office, and I’d never seen this particular street, being that it was one of the few traversible cross-streets leading up the north bank of the extinct volcano, Mount Tabor, from the rush and choke of East Burnside. I breathed in deeply in relief as I turned off the smoggy thoroughfare, after walking without an outlet for a few uncomfortable blocks. I’d felt like a race car driver needing maintenance while the rest of the cars on the track blocked my exit.
Something about the foundation made me walk up the driveway. As I entered the property, I noticed that the “blue room,” as we called them when I was a kid, was locked and the site was entirely clean of debris. As I pushed up the slope my calves burned and I imagined how I would build the house that would someday cover the low grey wall outlining its floor plan. If I had an architect’s skills, I thought, I would start with a living room that stepped up the hill into the dining room, kitchen, and bath, and further up the slope into the bedroom, with windows on the tall conifer trees standing at odd angles against a backdrop of someone’s meticulously terraced yard.
I traced its outline with my eyes again as I descended again to the street, slightly puzzled at why I’d never seen this kind of foundation before, nor a construction site so clean-swept. I cast a glance at the empty house next door and looked back once more at the new house site before continuing up the street. Quickly I realized that I was on a cul-de-sac, invisible from lower down where I had viewed the two residential lots a minute ago. Satisfied I’d gone as far as this walk was going to take me, I turned and began to walk back the way I’d come.
Suddenly, in a rush of energy, I sensed something I remembered from a day at summer camp, the feeling of being exposed, and the threat of attack. I heard the scrape of claws on hard concrete and the whoosh of a body in rapid motion. I could almost see the swooping line of the dog’s approach from behind a row of Arbor vitae, and I took the remaining seconds before our inevitable meeting to note that it was descending from the last house on the street, the one next to the two empty sites I’d just visited.
I braced myself and squared my frame to face the situation directly. If I had learned anything all those years ago on a perhaps similar lonely road, it was that a dog without restraint can be blocked by an energetic wall if no weapons are handy for defense. True to the sensory indications I’d received preceding the dog’s arrival, he looked me right in the eyes with a ferocious and aggressive glare and charged me in a sprint, only stopping five feet away when I met it with a wall of sound, yelling at him to “back off,” and “get back.” The dog understood me and wavered slightly but continued to make attempts every few seconds to move in with the intent to bite. I raised alternate legs with my foot threatening to kick him when my voice wasn’t enough to maintain that perimeter. About this time, I started wondering how the interaction would come to a close. How would it happen that I would get out of this conflagration between me and this strange dog obviously upset by my presence on ‘his’ street? I started thinking of possibilities while maintaining my defense perimeter, such as backing down the street slowly while continuing to yell. I thought I’d seen a hefty branch about fifty feet behind me on my way in, but I could sense that looking away from the dog would be a mistake I would regret painfully.
At last I sensed a stir at the top of the dog’s driveway, beyond the scraggly line of Arbor vitae trees that bordered it from the empty foundation next door. A man’s voice and footsteps told me that the owner of the dog had heard the barking and shouts and was on his way to intervene. I looked away from the dog for a second at the man. In that moment, I saw that his skin had a sallow cast and he seemed to need a restorative sigh, his chest sunk inwards, like he wasn’t eating enough, and his voice was muffled, as if emanating from inside a ball of bread dough. The dog ignored him entirely, continuing to bare its teeth at me and bark ferociously while circling like a boxer looking for a take down punch. The owner hadn’t become part of the equation, as he seemed to have mildly hoped. As he approached from my side, he said that the dog was friendly and that if I simply walked away it wouldn’t bite me. Yeah, right. It is a bit ridiculous in my opinion for dog owners to say this kind of thing to someone whom their family pet is ferociously about to dig into. I’ve heard the same feeble attempt at preventing lawsuit before. I told the man without breaking my gaze on the dog, “I’m not looking away from a dog that is barking and cornering me with the intent to bite.” He seemed to understand that he was going to have to step in and control his dog, and I wondered, why don’t people who own dogs with obvious people problems put them in a fenced yard or on a humane tether? The owner of the dog extended his hands protectively and stepped in between us. The dog continued to bark loudly and press towards me, trying this time to get around the man, who began yelling at the dog, too, telling it to go home and pointing in the direction of their house. The dog was not altering its behavior, and I knew it was time to use the man’s distraction and defensive block to start moving down the street. I slowly walked away, keeping my eyes on the dog until I felt the vortex dissipate as the owner’s presence replaced mine in the dog’s field of stimulus.
I wasn’t as shaken as the summer a dog chained to a spike in the ground had pulled it up and cornered me along a bend of country road devoid of anything that could be used as a weapon. I’d gotten out of that particular jam of energy by calling for help and being ultimately joined by my campmates, whose number persuaded the dog to back off.
After I escaped from the dog in my neighborhood, I walked home and went about the business of being too busy with projects and other commitments. I’ve been working on multiple projects at once, and while usually I can handle multitasking lately I have more on my plate requiring equal amounts of attention than usual. Yesterday I had the good fortune to share my overwhelm with a good listener and decided to make some changes to my pattern of effort. In the evening I relaxed with a movie after arriving home, instead of tackling a large project to get as far as I could before collapsing into bed. I programmed 5 minutes of daily meditation into my Blackberry. I went to bed at nine. You’d think these things would be obvious, but I had slipped out of balance.
Like anyone in this pre-apocalyptic society we live in today, I had become ensnared in the tangled spider’s web of progress. I’m obviously a sensitive person, and so for me to have allowed myself to over-commit like I had was a bit precarious. Something was bound to break. The neat thing was waking up this morning with a clear understanding of what had happened to get me back on track.
When a landscape is disturbed, i.e. its plant community and soil structure removed, and especially when this violent destruction of microcosm is neglected, energetic patterns swirl out of balance. The folks at Findhorn in Northern Scotland describe this in their nonverbal communication with the plant world. They learned through this fey interaction that plant beings perform tasks within the biosphere of this planet which human beings haven’t even developed the broad ability to recognize. Tall trees, for example, anchor our planet’s orbital path via their singular ability to channel raw cosmic energy currents into the atmosphere and soil. This energy is so powerful and harsh, that without our forests, we would be rocked by violent patterns from space. If I hadn’t experienced this directly (see my forthcoming book), I perhaps would not have this deep understanding of what Findhorn is trying to say. I revel in the knowledge that a growing global community is waking up to this sort of grok of our world.
In the meantime, however, most of American culture is dominated by corporate advertising that corales us into unnatural patterns of our own energy, while deconstructing the complex and multifunctional webs Nature has woven over long periods. Certainly, the earth has the strength, wisdom, and precision to recover from disturbance. Much of what is considered native now was a result of the movements of people and non-human beings. Buffalo, for instance, have hooves which till the soil they walk over to allow seeds hitchhiking on their hides a place to get started. This kind of movement of energy is everywhere. The lesson in the dog attack I experienced last week is that in an imbalanced system there will always come recovery, even if it feels like things are out of control. Often, we are instruments of vibrational correction.
I know something in my bones about that interaction, now that I have unplugged from the matrix, so to speak, and remembered to balance my own frequency. I happened upon a pocket of disturbed energy with no outlet. The particular combination of two sites not benefiting from the care of human presence and an animal feeling it at the blunt end of a linear path of energy flow, i.e. his home at the very end of the cul-de-sac, was too much for the dog at the addition of my imbalanced energy body.
In Feng Shui, elements and relationships are organized in patterns that support harmonious energetic flow. This can be applied to interior or exterior spaces. In the case of the dog, it was like a little volcano erupting to release the tension of the pattern. I acted unknowingly as a catalyst to the mini-release. Ultimately, the unoccupied home will be inhabited, and the home next to it will be completed and grounded by new owners. The noise of construction will be replaced again by the peace of the mountain, and the dog will only have the repetitive energy of the cul-de-sac to deal with, a much more calm situation for a sensitive animal.
In a broader view, this cooperation among multiple elements served as a source of inspiration and understanding that relates to our species’ dilemma. I could extrapolate my experience to the larger pattern of disturbance on the planet and liken my own inadvertent interaction with a vortex of unsettled energy currents to that of our responsibility as human stewards in a web mis-tended by those we have felt powerless to rein in. My position after having considered the implications outlined in the film Thrive as well as worked to integrate a range of extra-sensory experiences, is that a disturbance in the Force is something we are called to and capable of adjusting.
Governments and others have hired operators of Wilhelm Reich’s orgone accumulator to bring natural moisture regimes back into balance through adjustments to the energetic patterns over disturbed sites, such as deserts. Lakes and streams have returned where dry lands struggled to recover from deep disturbance from human practices that are out of balance with natural law. The native peoples of this continent were not ignorant of the powers of vibration and the inherent abilities with which we are equipped as a species. They used dancing as a form of vibration creation and sent up a resonant wave that naturally drew rainfall. Another ability of trees is to draw water to themselves for their own use. The presence of trees has been shown to indicate rain, not the other way around as we might expect. Frogs are another example of energy adjustment. Their croaking literally emits patterned sound waves that are on the same wavelength as rain.
What I would like to impart from this personal story is a stronger sense of our impact on the world and the encouragement to use the effect we have to affect positive change in areas we perceive as disturbed. Many people I speak to seem to have an attitude of disempowerment and resulting resignation. That, ironically, is exactly what corporate media intends. We as warriors of what is right and good in this world have a responsibility to step out of the entrainment set up for us to be consumers fueling the operations that cause system imbalance in the first place. We can do this by recognizing that we have powers not only to write to our elected officials but also to directly affect the stability of the landscapes in which we live.
One of the main ways that I took charge of my own sinking ship when I realized that I would have to save myself from the productivity mindset of American corporate culture was to incorporate meditation into my daily schedule. We all know the benefits, so I won’t go into them in too much detail. But what meditation accomplishes is to give us the break we need from the entrainment patterns emanating from corporate culture. Simply getting us to step back from the barrage of information available to us, the endless list of things we think we should be doing, and the hyper-availability of opportunities that promise to make our lives “perfect” is all it needs to do.
This is a time when we need to step up as individuals and communities and embody our powers in this vibrational, living system Universe. Our planet is a vibrational entity, part of a finely-tuned network of symbiotic wave-forms in local space. A friend recently observed that Facebook would one day soon be implanted in us as microchips so that we could access the social media functions it provides without external devices. While I respect healthy debate, I had to suppress my gag reflex to be able to say that I thought one day soon we will all recognize our innate, biological ability to network socially via the meridian-circuitry system of our own bodies. It might start with noticing what we perceive on nontraditional levels, stopping to check in with ourselves when something catches our attention, and simply asking within what has touched our perceptive field and what it means to us in that moment. In those instances of conscious interaction with the unseen energy vortex all around us, we develop our organic apparatus for sensing and affecting the world itself.
*Note: I will be teaching a special workshop on specifically how to this. Please join my mailing list if you would like to be alerted when it becomes available.