Bloom: A Manifesto for Wild Unfolding

Bloom Manifesto - Steven Budden
 
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Or Read the Web-Based Version Below

By Steven Budden.

Sparrowdown Press

In cooperation with Budden Enterprises and Flow Healing Arts. 

Steven Budden © 2017

“I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every moment holy.
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough
just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.
I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action;
and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your heavy and swaying picture.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
and I want my grasp of things to be
true before you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the wildest storm of all.”

- Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

Introduction

A few summers ago, I was walking through a forest in Ben Lomond, an old Quaker Settlement near Santa Cruz, on a transformative retreat. As I wandered, wondering how to alleviate some of the suffering I saw, I looked across the field and saw the dandelions, like beacons of hope, spreading wildly. How can we honor and harness that, I wondered? The scent of redwood and dandelion filled the air; ferns tickled my legs. Just on the other side of a hedge, I heard a huge snap, and a doe went bounding up the hillside, crushing through the brambles. 

Just then, the clearest vision descended. I envisioned a ring of 12 overlapping circles, symbolizing dandelion spores, and each circle representing a fundamental area of life. Somehow, these seeds could be rooted into any individual or organizational system to affect sweeping change. 

Over the years, other pieces fell into place. The design found (and continues to find) resolution. The exact name and content of the individual seeds were polished and refined. The metaphors were falling into place. I’d read about the sacred nature of the number 12, and I’d done a meditation about bringing the 12 potential selves into this moment; the 12 circles merging into one. What a beautiful metaphor for the seeds. The seed arising out of the center symbolizes the seed of current focus, but also the individual, rising above the world around... the awakening one. 

The Origin of the Dandelion

Dandelions spread across the open fields. The yellow flower blooms, transforms into a head of seed pods, which the wind gently ushers across the landscape. They find their place. Each seed represents pure potentiality; it flies and replicates by living in alignment with its over arching design. I think this applies as well to the human system and little-known natural law.  It reminds me of a poem called ‘Milkweed’, but notice the similarities…

“Anonymous as cherubs
Under the crib of God,
White seeds are floating
Out of my burst pod.
What power had I
Before I learned to yield?
Shatter me, great wind:
I shall possess the field.”

Richard Wilbur

Each of these 12 seeds relate to a fundamental area of life. The dandelion is a tenacious weed, and it also happens to be one of the most nutritious, healing herbs on the planet.  It is either trampled upon or gathered up; it is just a matter of perspective. Either way, it spreads without resistance, making it almost unstoppable. This energy symbolizes the most effective approach to personal evolution; softly let these seeds find their ground in your life. 

You’re holding a conceptual overview of the seeds and an entryway into a revolutionary healing process. Through our time together, we’ll be digging deeper and deeper, transmuting these concepts into direct experiences, and dramatically transforming our lives. Until then, begin wherever you feel inspired. Some of the ‘ways to root the seed’ are complex, and may take hours or even years of study to master. One sentence does not do them justice. And yet, if you begin implementing whatever you are inspired to implement, your life will transform in untold ways. As the seeds take root, your life becomes a clearing, where anything is possible, on the journey from fractured to whole. 

These seeds occur in a non-sequential, intuitive order. They may find ground in our lives at different times. Rooting one may take care of others. The love seed can enhance the vitality seed, for instance, and vice versa. Increased presence enhances the entire life experience, impacting every seed by degrees. It is impossible to work on only one, without touching the others. The constellation is delicate that way. 

Life is non-linear, and healing and transformation happen outside of time. This ‘system’ is merely a heuristic tool, designed to give structure to the work. 

There are no accidents. What you’ve done, and where you’ve been have brought you to the here and now. 

‘The wound is the place where the light enters you.’ - Rumi. 

Read this often. Share it with the ones you love. May it spread like the dandelion, leaving a trail of unfolding in its wake. This is a manifesto for you and I. Please use it and enjoy the journey. 

Love and flow, 

 

Steven Budden

PS. I recommend you assess your life in the context of these 12 seeds at the outset of this exploration. If that inspires you, I’ve created a simple form for that. It is here...

 

The 12 Seeds of Change


 

Play is a redemptive act. Humans are designed to interact with the natural world for the sheer joy of it. We tend to forget that, as over time (years and decades), we are conditioned to ‘work.’ Play opens up the energy systems, because it transcends resistance by including it. The obstacle becomes a part of the game. In one grand act of play, one can surface and resolve unconscious patterns, or seed the inspiration that blossoms into a creation that shifts a culture. 

Play is forgetting work; work is forgetting play. The two cycle in and out of season, in a dynamic dance that differs for each person. As we discover our rhythms, our seasons, and extraordinary power becomes available to us. 

We often try to drive our tasks to completion by sheer will, grinding through all resistance. If anything does get done, it is by sheer luck, or at the expense of more life force than we needed to spend.  By contrast, play can become a context, through which any essential tasks ‘find resolution’. 

We often forget that the young parts of ourselves still love to play. Somewhere along the line these younger selves lose their voice and their expression. Once forgotten, the young selves can wreak havoc on systems. Think of what a child does when they don’t feel heard or seen... they find ways to get your attention. 

Most of us transition out of play as we transition into adulthood. Once upon a time, we did things for the sheer joy of doing them. Those memories are still available to us as a potential way of being. Nature is continually beckoning to us. For some children, heeding this call is almost irresistible. There are dragons to be slayed, and felines to be rescued. A child is never at a loss for a solution in the realms of the imagination. A pinecone doubles as a crystal ball; a tree is a castle to be stormed. When children play, they often forget to eat. The play nourishes them. 

Over time, the imagination wanes from malnourishment. We trade it for pale reflections, and allow the imagination of others’ to usurp our own. We leave our freedom behind. Play is burdened by a need to market this thing that we’ve created. In other words, play gets eclipsed by work.

Play is a natural state of being that arises out of awakening or the healed state. I’ve always found it fascinating how ‘enlightened’ masters are often so quick to play, laugh, and joke. The ones I’ve met delivered everything half in jest, whether it be a sermon on demons or a dharma talk. What was serious was playful, and what was playful was serious. In such a space, it is difficult to cling to illusions. 

If play is not consciously rooted, its elements may find unconscious expression in other areas of life, some of which may be disempowering.  A kind of trickster archetype, that teases drama out of any situation, may rear its head in our life. Or we may descend into the digital realms, or indulge in silly or dangerous fantasies.  

No matter what is going on around us, even if our world is reduced to rubble, we can carve out time to play, and guard it as though it were our child (in some ways it is). 

This little story about the famous anarchist and revolutionary, Emma Goldman, speaks volumes. 

When she danced at gatherings, her associates, famous anarchists in their own right, were appalled. ‘How she could be so frivolous with so much going wrong in the world?’ they wondered. ‘By enjoying herself so much she’s undermining our whole movement!’

“If I can’t dance,” she replied. “It’s not my revolution.”

She had the courage to dance, and the wisdom to know that the dance is the revolution. Play is not frivolous; its vibration heals the world. 

Quotes:

“Genius is the return to childhood at will.”  - Henri Matisse

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”  Khalil Gibran

“Time is a game played beautifully by children.” Heraclitus

Questions:  

Are there things I do for the sheer joy of doing them? Do I take the time to play with animals, children, and people? Do I heed the call to adventure when you hear it? Does my livelihood involve some level of creative play? 

Fundamental Distinctions: 

Play : Work. 
Innocence : Wounds
Being : Doing
Essence : Personality

Ways to root this seed: 

Play more. Do something sheerly for the sake of creation. Sometimes, the skills we area already good at are so fraught with emotional pressure, that they are difficult to play in, so it can be helpful to take up another medium. Go to the beach and build something out of sticks or rocks. Try to catch the leaves as they fall. Blow on the dandelions in summer, and watch them fly. 

Create a totem or a doll that represents some archetypal aspect of you, and use it to find clarity about your deepest needs through play. For instance, where do you set it? What does it look like? What does it seem to be doing? 

Enter a room as an imaginary character. Let the role take over. Let the archetype play through you. 


Vitality Seed : Bloom Manifesto - Steven Budden

Vitality is our birthright. I define ‘vitality’ as the full flow of life intelligence coursing through the human system, which we can harness to architect our selves and build our legacies. It is a higher standard than ‘health’, because it is not only the absence of disease, but the absence of disease consciousness. Vitality is a dance with life, in a world dancing with death. 

Vitality is a waning art in most cultures, because the simple pathways to it have been obscured (intentionally and unintentionally) by the exaltation of the intellect. They are too simple, these traditions, and we’ve been indoctrinated into complexity.

Physical pain is not an option in this lifetime; suffering is a choice. Suffering cripples relationships, and taints every endeavor with its bitter taste. Our ability to experience the beauty of moving forward is eclipsed by our adherence to the past. 

Moment to moment, the ways we are using our bodies are either creating, protecting, or eroding our vitality. We are standing, lying, and sitting in ways that impede the life flow. This, coupled with the fact that most of us are subsisting mostly on non-ideal foods and non-foods (in alignment with mass programming), means that vitality is the rare exception. Disease is not a mystery in this context; it is inevitable. Healing is the mystery. 

However, in the presence of real vitality, the concept of ‘disease’ cannot even exist. We contain no fertile soil for it to take root. Disease is an illusion, born out of ignorance and misinformation. Trying to cure a disease is impossible, because no matter how hard you work, another symptom crops up in its place to deliver the message. We can’t starve out disease; we can only nourish the life force. 

Vitality is contingent upon embodiment, because vitality can only be accessed and enjoyed through the body, so the more in tune you are with the life intelligence flowing through your systems, the more access you will have to vitality, and hence to joy.  

Every day, we can become more and more flexible in body and mind. If we are not, we are stiffening and atrophying, in accord with the gravity of the surroundings.  At this point, we can reconsider our life choices and strategies. 

Quotes: 

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

Questions:

How much time do I spend living fully as an embodied human being, without being seduced by pain, addiction, inflexibility, or scars? Am I able to transcend my demons? Do I have a surplus of energy to pour into my life’s work, or does my energy often wane? Am I free to meet the moment fully, with my whole body? 

Fundamental Distinctions:

Food : Non-food
Vitality : Suffering
Life Affirming (libido): Death Affirming (thanatos) 
Nourishment : Addiction
Holistic : Allopathic
Cure : Treatment
Nutrients : Waste

Ways to root this seed:

Move wisely. Humans were designed to be still, and to move. Build gentle, conscious movement into your life. Fierce activity can build up excess acids in the system and exacerbate the issue. Conscious movement, such as an awareness of how your spine twists, can release fundamental patterns. 

Alkalize. Eat mostly fruits and some vegetables until the body systems are entirely rebalanced, and pain gives way to flow. 

Soak in the life-giving Sun. Acclimate your skin and eyes to taking in sun. Wean yourself off of sunscreens and sunglasses over time. 

Hydrate with living Water. With water that comes in living containers (the water in water-rich fruits and vegetables). Most water dehydrates the body. Drying foods are not water rich, they require water to process. They are non-ideal foods. 

Become a plant whisperer. Learn basic use of herbs and herbal treatments, and transition away from the medical model and pharmaceuticals (which strip the body of vitality for short-term gains). 

Trust in the divine intelligence that you are composed of. Deny the concept of ‘malfunctioning machinery’. 

Question the stories you’ve adopted about the human system (lifespan, ideal diet, physiology, etc). Most of them are inaccurate or even opposite of what is closer to truth. 

Learn to relax your entire body, using meditation, awareness, or breath. Resistance impedes the life force. 

Remind yourself that vitality is the exception, so the pathway to it is likely the opposite of what everyone around is doing (in cultures not rooted in vitality). 

Breathe into all of the spaces of you; especially the spaces you haven’t breathed into for a long time (forever?)

Release your traumas physiologically, by vibrating them out of your tissues, or using somatic, touch-based therapies. 

Heal whatever is unresolved for you in the past. Create custom rituals that facilitate a release, emotionally, mentally, spiritually (wherever you are bound up). 

Research and avoid chemical pollutants. Don’t put anything on your skin (or in your mouth) that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. Avoid bathing in tap water, using most soaps, etc. Make your own formulas. 

Reduce or eliminate complete proteins and most fats during times of healing. Many of the most effective healing systems concur on this point. (Other systems may be appropriate for maintenance). 


Expression Seed - Steven Budden - Bloom Manifesto

Rediscover your voice (or find it for the first time), and use it.  Losing the voice at some point in life is a profound childhood wound for most. I don’t only mean physically, but also the metaphorically lost voice. 

Consider your life in the light of the dandelion... its signature, a radiant bloom, dotting the spring and summer landscape with a pure, innocent yellow. And then something shifts, and the withering happens, and the eventual shattering. Every trauma contains the seed of a new beginning. 

Look around at your life. These people, places, things, and thoughts... these are currently the myriad expressions of who you were once. Who you are now has yet to be expressed. 

Finding full expression is profoundly healing, because congested energy inevitably manifests as a disease or a chronic pattern. Often a communication blockage occurs in the neck, head, or throat, though it can occur anywhere. Eyes that hold back tears will go blind, dry out, ache, or swell. We may experience sinus troubles, as we swallow oceans of tears. Hold back anger, and our breath may stink, as we rot inside, or the odor may ooze out of the pores, as the lymphatic system struggles to rid the body of the wastes. The body intelligence perceives no difference between emotional and physical toxins. Is there a link between cancer being such a prevalent disease, and a culture designed around minimizing expression? Probably. 

This stagnant energy will find expression. As soon as it sees a pinhole, it will rage to break through. You may find yourself flying off the handle for a seemingly minor offense, or frozen in terror before a seemingly random visual clue. Obviously, this can erode relationships and other enterprises over time. 

Only unbridled expression moves that festering energy out of the system. Expression includes creativity as well as verbal communication; dance and song. It includes life work, ways of being, and potentially anything we do, as long as it is authentically done, and representative of our essence. 

Expression is something like a panacea for life challenges. This is why vulnerability is such a popular buzzword in self-help communities. We don’t have to wait for the exact pattern to surface with crystal clarity before expressing our deepest truths. Expression casts light on flaws in expression, which opens the pathway to refinement and to deeper healing. In other words, we can’t wait for the perfect melody or the perfect lyrics before we break into song... let perfection enter your hundredth creation, or your thousandth, or your millionth. Let the concept of perfection die as you heal. 

In sessions, clients often hesitate to tell their story, because some program is running that sounds like: ‘no one will believe me anyway,’ or ‘he won’t understand’ or ‘what’s the point, I’ve said it a thousand times.’ Any variant of a story that shuts down the voice is evidence that a wound is active.
Or the story is told in a mechanical way, as the teller glosses over all emotion, or goes into the expected emotion on cue, without retrieving any new understanding. 

By discovering the ways to fully express our highest self, we set ourselves free. By clearing stagnant energy from our system, we prevent wounds, and allow the body intelligence to heal the wounds we carry. 

Is it any wonder that an older Carl Jung, one of the few who pierced the secrets of the unconscious, spent hours each morning drawing and coloring? 

As we unfold toward fuller and fuller expression, we begin living out our passion. Life cannot continually pass alongside us... we plunge in. We heal our life and the world around. Your expression elevates the frequency of the planet, and is a song sung out for those who live in oppression. What would the world be like if flowers were ashamed of blooming, or the sun shyly dimmed its light? 

Quotes:

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Thoreau (misattributed) 

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” Jalaluddin Rumi 

Questions:

Am I fully expressed in this relationship, this situation, this moment? Where have I given up my voice? How will I reclaim it?

Fundamental Distinctions

Expression :  Repression
Movement : Stillness
Breath : No Breath
Being : Performance
Essence : Personality

Ways to Root this Seed

Say the Unsaid. You can practice this without actually sharing with the other. You can practice it into a mirror, or by writing a letter. Clear the backlog of energy before any actual encounter. 

Make a sound. Exhale with a sighing or moaning sound and release what no longer serves. This is a powerful way to reclaim the voice, and rewire the body for expression via the voice. Practice different volumes and sounds. Notice resistance. 

Make a louder sound. I sometimes advise clients to go to the beach and scream, and those who are able to carry out the task, without reservation, often experience profound peace in the aftermath. You can do this in your car as needed, or somewhere safe. 

Let your creative juices flow. Every day, work in time for uninhibited creativity. Whether it is designing your life, scribbling a verse, or designing the family’s evening meal... creativity heals deep wounds. 

Listen from your Heart. Expression depends upon knowing the context, outside of our own stories. This happens through deep listening, to yourself and others. Most can access a deeper layer of listening than they’ve ever accessed by dropping the listener into the heart. Life unfolds.

Let the Essence Dance. You can do it in private or in public, but the point is to let your body move in the ways it wants to move, without a consideration of ‘aesthetics’.

Find your True Voice. Continue to tune into your emotional feedback, to discover what mediums of expression are most aligned for you, and align with those. 

Enter your wounds via art. Whatever trauma or scar you’re carrying, write about it, talk about it, sing about it, draw about it. See it from the perspective of every character. Render yourself the victim, and then render yourself the hero. Tell the story as you’ve told it a thousand times, and tell it in 10 new ways. These are sacred, healing creations. Burn the finished products, or hang them on the wall... it doesn’t matter. 

Courage Seed - Bloom Manifesto - Steven Budden

 

Without courage, there is no transformation, no enlightenment, no healing. Courage is the ability to move through the inevitable fear in order to translate our intention into reality. Without courage, nothing is ventured, nothing gained.

It takes courage to look into the deepest recesses of ourselves, and face down our demons. It takes courage to identify and ask for what we need. It takes courage to shift to more empowering paradigms.  It takes courage to see and transcend the mass hypnosis of the world around. It takes courage to balance the machinery of war with the rapture of love. It takes courage to discover beauty everywhere, and to bow in reverence to it. Deep love is always courageous act. A full bellied laugh is courageous in a world so pregnant with violence. 

The Earth and your body and your spirit are seared with scars. Most of us are living and relating out of wounds, rather than out of our core; that untarnished, inviolable essence. 

Sometimes we get caught in fear, and make choices that whither us. Forget how courageous you have been in the past. Your future will be a manifestation of your courage now. 

The body armors itself psychologically, in response to battles long past. I touch a client’s chest, where he wears a big brass plate, and the tears begin to flow as he realizes that the armor is no longer needed. Perhaps it never was. All it is now is a barrier to love. 

The ways we carry ourselves reveal where the armor is carried. Anywhere we’ve been pierced, physically or metaphorically, is a likely candidate. The highest courage involves softening into compassion, even in the face of a cannon. It involves bringing that wounded heart forward, after years of leaning out. 

Soften and let love pierce you where you need to be pierced. In the surrender, we discover the greatest strength of all. 

Quotes:

“Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.” Kahlil Gibran

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” William Shakespeare

Question:

Do I carve out time to spend outside of your comfort zones?  Have I made this decision out of love or fear?  Am I intimate with my deepest fears or do fears control me from behind the scenes? 

Fundamental Distinctions

Affirmation : Negation
Evolution : Comfort
Love : Fear

Ways to Root this Seed

Spend time outside of your comfort zones. We fear the unknown, and it severely limits our potential. Train yourself to venture into the unknown wherever possible. Sit in the aftermath of ‘disastrous encounters’ and reflect. 

Meditate on the most terrifying potential outcomes. Usually, they are not nearly as crippling as the paralyzing generalized fear. Sit with the fear until it loses its power. Write down every link of the tendrils that bind you. 

Train yourself to redirect your focus to the solution, rather than the obstacle. The human system can solve any riddle; it just requires focus. What we focus on blooms. 

Surround yourself with people who fortify your courage. Limit exposure to limiting ideas and concepts. Remind yourself that true courage is rare, and that you, daring to be the exception, are an ambitious soul. 

Hang up a picture of your young self, from around the time of a core wound (the time you ‘lost’ your courage), and tell him / her what they (you) NEED to hear. Transfer this to a mirror and translate the message into your eyes. That younger self is still present there. 

Make decisions that move you in the direction of your dreams. Practice decisive decision making. Never make decisions out of fear; a decision out of fear shrinks your life force. 

Redesign your life story, so that you are the hero; jettison programmed goals and ambitions, and reclaim your own. (most of us are still living to please a parent, living or deceased). 

Reflect on your life and discover for yourself the difference between decisions borne out of love or fear. Fear withers under examination. 


Courage Seed - Steven Budden - Bloom Manifesto

Compassion heals the spirit, and thereby, the body.

We live in a world where we’ve been relentlessly programmed to see ourselves as separate entities. In an infinite universe, most relent and choose to subsist in little boxes. We fiercely defend our little box. When so much energy goes toward clutching, without consideration for the welfare of others, compassion begins to seem like a luxury. In reality, it is one of the most essential components of aliveness, 

The human system withers under this specious paradigm. Even people who seem to have mastered the game at some level, usually die of some painful disease, when they’re not living in alignment with the human architecture. We cannot merely heal our own suffering, without considering the suffering of others. They are entwined.
Our suffering is an expression of a world in suffering. 

Most pain and suffering is the direct effect of something we’ve created. We’re hurt, so we hurt others, so we hurt. It is a vicious cycle. Pain proliferates by its seductiveness. Eckhart Tolle refers to this as the ‘pain body’, which is easily activated in most of us. There are individual and collective (cultural, familial, genetic) pain patterns. 

Much of our pain we can trace back directly to our own actions. For instance, if one is subsisting on food that arose out of suffering, that suffering will show up again somewhere down the food chain. Its a simple equation we rationalize ourselves out of. Factory farmed meat and dairy arise out of suffering;  coffee grown in slave conditions arises out of suffering. We’ve been programmed to think that this sort of viewpoint is unrealistic, or perhaps ‘unscientific.’ It is a viewpoint that existed for millennia before modern science. We merely need to look around and ask ourselves if it is a function of our reality. 

The less pain we cause, the less collective pain we experience, and the more we are freed up to directly relate to life as an individual experience. So that is one of the benefits of compassion. motivation toward compassion. Of course, the highest compassion is, of course, compassion for the sake of the love of the life force that animates all things. A slight against life is a slight against yourself. It’s like taking an axe and hacking away at your own vitality. ‘Anger is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person dies.’ Buddha. 

How desperately we want to bypass this, and keep what is inconvenient in the dark, in the hopes that we can thrive anyway. It’s not going to happen. If a slave is forced to grow a super food, that super food will do no healing, and if it does, it is negated by the consequence. The energetics have been corrupted. 

Living with compassion is to live in such a way that we are considering the needs of others, from the heart space, as equal to our own. The opposite is hardening based on ancient wounds. I’ve found, again and again, that compassion is the natural state of the human consciousness. Any other viewpoint is a programmed distortion. 

Note:
Considering the ingestion of suffering, fruit is designed to be eaten. It is a gift of the life force. As it is eaten, you can plant some of the seeds that you do not eat, and feed into the great circle of life. Fruits don’t involve death directly (though the trees may depend upon decomposing flesh in the soil). Even eating roots kills the plant, as does harvesting many vegetables. As you tune in more and more, you may feel the pain of plants. First, feel the pain of massive mammals and human beings. 

Quote: 

“When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.” The Buddha

Questions:

Am I taking more than I’m giving, or vice versa? Where am I doing harm? Is there something I refuse to see, because seeing it would be inconvenient for my world view?  

Fundamental Distinctions:

Need : Greed
Compassion : Indifference
Truth : Ignorance
Objectivity : Denial

Ways to Root this Seed:

Consider that every living thing is an expression of the life force, just like you are.

Practice not killing, or killing intentionally. Whether it be a mammal or an insect. 

Donate time or resources to those in need, regardless of your current financial state is.

Give an unexpected gift that lets someone know that you see their graces

Tibetan Buddhist Meditation: Imagine breathing in the suffering of the world, into your heart, and breathing out a stream of your love, with the intention of ‘I shelter you from your suffering.’ I don’t advocate taking on the suffering of others, but most healing is paradoxical, and this will soften your being and lessen your suffering, because it is living within the highest human design. 

Take time to acknowledge someone, perhaps someone you’ve passed many times who’s life would be enriched by your attention.

Diligently trace the origins of your foods, and minimize the suffering you’re ingesting, human and otherwise.

Flip the paradigm. Look at where you are caught in blame, and see the story from the perspective of the other. Tell yourself a story that fosters compassion, rather than a story that feeds anger. If you’re going to assume anyway, assume the best. 


Presence Seed - Steven Budden - Bloom Manifesto

Now is all there is.


If you are not present to this moment, you are missing life. I often use the analogy of watching the river flow by, versus diving in and experiencing the rush directly. It is a weak analogy, because the shore is just as alive as the current. But perhaps you get the point. 

I also make the distinction of presence as an embodied process. Life happens where our body meets the present moment. Many advertised paths to presence are merely mental; ie, watching the mind. While that can be valuable, I’ve found embodied processes to be more effective. 

Stand before a friend, a stranger, or the one you love, and notice how much of them is actually showing up to meet you. How much of you is showing up to meet them? When someone touches your skin, where have you fled to? 

When I meet a client, There is a period of empty conversation, where they are half present. Usually, it is with the first appearance of emotion that they enter the room. Where were they before? The answer is... somewhere else, probably in the past. We can leave our shoulder in the past, or our knee, or half of our mind.

Focus on what Gurdjieff called ‘self remembering’, so that you can instantly realize when you are absent. These are beautiful moments, because the part that witnesses the absence is the part you were trying to remember. The essence surfaces. Regather yourself in the present moment with every breath.  

Presence is under attack by technologies that reward our tendency to wander. Without presence, our power diminishes, because we cannot do what we came to do without focus. Love suffers, because we meet it with fragments of ourselves. 

Deepening presence solves every riddle. Where it doesn’t, it provides the information needed to move forward. The fundamental questions of life are answered through presence, as life is not about knowing but about experiencing, and ‘presence’ is merely heightening our awareness of what we are experiencing. We can experience the world around through our senses, and also the essence of our being. Embodied presence is heightened with practice. 

Eventually, we may be able to tune into individual organs, and eventually individual cells, and molecules (a skill attributed to some masters of meditation). It is also possible to begin to access the archetypal memories we carry in our systems, and tap into the collective unconscious. Intuition is heightened. With the introduction of a simple meditation practice, many notice the enhancement of extrasensory gifts. Moments of intense clarity often unfold the entire road ahead, and life becomes a simple matter of moving forward while remaining still. 

Quote:

“There are moments when you become aware not only of what you are doing but also of yourself doing it. You see both ‘I’ and the ‘here’ of ‘I am here’- both the anger and the ‘I’ that is angry. Call this self-remembering if you like.” Gurdjieff

“Be like a tree. Let the dead leaves drop.” Rumi

Questions:

How present am I in my body right now? Are there empty spaces? Can I feel the flow out through my fingers and toes? How tuned in am I to the moment; to thoughts, emotions, sensations? Am I able to tune into my body systems? How quickly am I able to regather myself after a triggering episode? Is my mind often cast into the future or past?

Ways to Root this Seed:

Meditate. This is the most direct path to greater presence and enhanced well being. No tradition needed.  Just sit or stand there for durations of time and watch yourself.  

Clear out your system physically, through a clean diet and cleansing. Congested areas represent a lack of presence, because these toxins are rooted at certain points in time. Fruit, fasting, enemas, etc. 

Fast. Dry or water fasting for a day or longer enhances presencein the short term like little else, because you give up the distraction of food. Slow down by fasting. 

Use your senses. Listen to what is going on now. Touch the leaves. Close your eyes and feel the wind. Open senses that are often tertiary. 

Track the constellation of thoughts, emotions, and sensations, using a tracking device, or journal. 

Breathe into your beautiful belly. By taking long, slow inhalations, as the belly expands. All the time. When you catch yourself in your mind, repeat. This activates the diaphragm and the vagus nerve. 

Find your flow. Stand / sit / lie in ways that facilitate the movement of life intelligence. Find pathways through your pain, to the serenity on the other side. 

Heal past traumas and regather yourself in the present moment. You can do this by going back into the memories, or the bodily sensations. If the memories are too intense, watch from the peripheries at first. 

Garden or cultivate plants. Nothing enhances presence like enacting an ancient rite and living in alignment with the human design. 

Reflect upon your varied past. Become present to your tendencies and patterns. 


Integrity Seed - Steven Budden - Bloom Manifesto

Living in alignment with your own values is essential to a rich, fulfilling life. Without a baseline of integrity, vitality is impossible, and wellbeing is unsustainable. So if our life equation involves a disproportionate amount of suffering, we can broaden our inquiry. It may be debt, or withheld anger, or repressed sadness, or a poor diet, or a negative mental state.

A lack of alignment in life can manifest as a misaligned physiology. Carrying ‘twisted’ thoughts can manifest in a twisted spine, for instance, and living under the weight of debt or other burdens can create a slumped, heavy posture. 

Most pain acts as a signal that somewhere in life, we have fallen out of alignment. The body consciousness gives us thousands of reminders. It laps against the shores of our being gently, for years, until it reaches a breaking point, and the waves continue to build until we can no longer ignore them. At some point, the crushing reminders becomes life-threatening. A life-threatening signal is simply the sign that a fundamental life lesson has not yet been learned. Though time is finite, there is always space for further realization, because breakthroughs occur outside of time, in what is perceived as an instant. 

There is no way around the integrity piece; no short cuts to true awakening, evolution, or healing. As we bring the various components of our life into alignment, our systems will repair themselves one by one, without exception. We can work on the other components of life to bring our baseline level of wellbeing up, but we will still eventually hit the ceiling imposed by living out of alignment. 

Each component is beautifully linked to the whole in ways we do not fully understand. We don’t need to understand... we need only surrender to the experience and to fundamental laws of thriving. If we come into alignment in the whole of life, any symptom will clear anyway. If we focus on the individual symptoms, the quest becomes quixotic and endless.

Walk into the light, until eventually it devours the whole shadow. Stand before the moment and the creator unabashed. Stand before the mirror naked and unfold yourself to the creative source, which perceives everything through our eyes. Nothing is hidden; there is nothing to reveal. All will be revealed in due course. 

Every decision you make is a step toward alignment, or a step toward suffering. Which are you choosing in this moment? 

Quotes:

Jesus said, “Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.” Gospel of Thomas

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Laozi

Questions:

What are my core values? Am I living in integrity / alignment with them? Or am I living according to someone else’s paradigm? Is my livelihood in alignment with my values? My lifestyle? My possessions? My diet? My family? My partner? My path? My spiritual practice? Am I in debt, financial or energetic, and am I in alignment with the situation? 

Fundamental Distinctions:

Your Core Values : Cultural Values
Chosen Stories : Adopted Stories
Truth : Ignorance
Honesty : Delusion

Ways to root this seed:

Become clear on your values and find ways to express and embody those. It can be helpful to create a list of a few people you admire, and write down what you perceive as their core values (T. Robbins). These may overlap yours. 

Create a map back into integrity. List the things you need to do, and set dates for their accomplishment. 

Say the Unsaid. Find emotional completion with those you still feel unresolved around. 

Feel the Unfelt. Congested energy becomes an unconscious tendency to withhold, and this leads us to fall further and further out of alignment. In other words, clear the blockages that have been preventing you from living in alignment. 

Stop finding justifications for living outside of alignment. Look at your life objectively and be radically honest with yourself. Do what YOU need to do. 

Find ways to do what is ‘impossible.’ Once you direct energy toward coming back into alignment (which is a step toward your highest expression), the tasks find resolution, no matter how impossible it seems from here. 


Knowledge Seed - Steven Budden - Bloom Manifesto

Knowledge is sacred.


We can use knowledge to recreate our life from the ground up. Many of us abnegate our responsibility by putting our most important decisions into the hands of ‘experts’, at great cost. A doctor, a surgeon, a financial planner, a therapist will never know more than you about the whole constellation of stories that you are. It is our responsibility to accumulate knowledge about our reality, so that we can apply it to our lives, and make decisions that move us forward on our path of evolution. This continual learning sharpens discernment, so that when the systems of control attempt to hypnotize us with misinformation, we are better equipped to resist. 

Knowledge is power; gathering knowledge is the accumulation of power. We live in an unprecedented time, alongside technologies that allow us to reach billions in an instant or destroy a continent with the push of a button. Knowledge becomes leverage that can be used for shifting realities, perhaps at a rate never before known. Relentlessly asking one question will drive you to poverty and disease; relentlessly asking another can make you a billionaire. 

I’m not touting this epoch as the ideal time to be alive. It comes with a price. We are constantly inundated with misinformation, from every source imaginable. Every thing that is desirable is commodified and sold to us. We willingly plug ourselves into advertisements and programs, and carry those with us wherever we go. We build up our dependence on contraptions that erode our connection to ourselves, the world, and our ability to remain presence. Fundamental human gifts have crumbled as the intellect has become more and more exalted. 

As we break free of programs, the programmers become more desperate. Discernment is profoundly important in this unprecedented age of information. And the only way to discern, is to continue to learn and unlearn, in perennial cycles, and notice how different strands of information resonate in our bodies. 

Think of the metaphor of the alchemist, pouring over her books until she finally discovers how to transmute lead (the mundane) into gold (the sacred). That’s us. 

Quotes:

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” ~ Dalai Lama

“The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.” Rumi

Fundamental Distinctions:

Growing : Entertainment
Knowledge : Wisdom
Soul Learning: Standardized ‘Education’
Active Learning:  Passive Learning
Power : Force 

Questions:

How much time do I spend in the pursuit of knowledge? Is knowledge one of my core values? Do I spend more time acquiring knowledge or entertaining myself? 

Ways to root this seed:

Create a curriculum for yourself. Write down the things you need to know to express your best self, and begin diligently learning them. School is not required, and in fact, is sometimes detrimental. 

Become an alchemist. Continually dream up ways to make your quest for knowledge engaging and exciting.  

Research the opposite viewpoint. Thinking you know what you think you know is only half of the equation. We need to be equally clear on which stances we’ve rejected. Otherwise, we oversimplify and underestimate those who disagree with us. There is beauty and truth on every path. 

Use time wisely. Carve out time to learn through reading, audio, and video, as each resonates. 

Balance out learning styles. Some people only learn through video, in this digital age, and others only learn through books. Use all avenues. An estimated 99.9% of what has been written is not online yet, and the brain processes information differently through each approach. It is easier to be seduced and hypnotized by video into misinformation, so break free and learn in other ways as well.

Broaden your interests. Ask questions you’ve never asked before. Research a topic you’ve never researched before. Learn a task you’ve never considered before. Each one can raise IQ, create new neural pathways, and increase overall neuroplasticity. Consciousness expands. 


Wisdom Seed - Steven Budden - Bloom Manifesto

Wisdom is undefinable, and its essence is ineffable, but we know when we encounter it.


The direct experience of ‘wisdom’ inevitably arises out of this process of clearing blockages and impediments from our life systems. We carry wisdom with us as we walk side by side with our ancestors. We can draw on the wisdom of our bodies, and the collective wisdom of humanity. If we are indeed ancient souls incarnated in human form, this is a source of wisdom as well. So the question, to paraphrase Socrates, is about forgetting what we think we know, so that we can access what truly resides within us. 

Many of our most profound life lessons show up as intimate partners. Our lovers are called into our lives as teachers and sages. They dredge up our deepest fears and unleash our darkest shadows. They set us free by first binding us to our limitations. 

Experiencing life as a process orchestrated for our continual growth is a paradigm shift that can be very empowering. By keeping our eyes peeled for lessons we become avid pupils of life; students of the soul. Suddenly, that which was meaningless begins to make sense. Suddenly, a purpose unfolds, and we notice that it was there all along. 

Remain open like the sky. Physically expand the heart center and let it fill with life-giving breath.

The system, as it has evolved, is dependent upon a certain percentage of us being out of touch with our innate wisdom, because it cannot live under the strain of intense inquiry, or a litany of questions, or even a handful of penetrating ones. 

Wisdom does not assume; it seeks truth. It is not content with the flower; it seeks the root. 

If you are tuned in and watching for it, you may notice that this person you are facing now is a deep reservoir of wisdom. They go in and out of it, of course, as do we all. Once you are tuned into it, it reveals itself. I often think of Jesus returning to his family, and them not taking him seriously. Can the wisest version of you return to the family, and how do you carry yourself there? Are you driving down the freeway in touch with wisdom, or under the mass hypnosis of ‘this is mine’?

Wisdom is an opening that allows us to touch into the river of life, of truth, and to free ourselves from ourselves. Wisdom honors itself. When we follow and revere those who for us embody wisdom, it nourishes the wisdom in us. By contrast, when we follow and worship other values, wisdom retreats to the shadows, waiting for a brighter day. 

Wisdom is what naturally arises when we are living (acting, speaking, thinking) out of our essence rather than our personality.  As old wounds clear, more and more of it becomes available. 

While wisdom is difficult to orchestrate, it automatically takes up more and more space in our lives as we engage this dialectic of personal evolution. Being aware of that gives us a broader view of the arc of our lives.  We can become caught in the smallest stories we contain, or transcend the minutia and watch the whole unfold. In these moments we embody wisdom.

Quotes:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” The Serenity Prayer

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” Confucius 

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Socrates

Question:

How much do I live life out of my highest self? 

Fundamental Distinctions:

Essence : Personality
Knowledge : Wisdom
Being : Doing
Reflection : Presence

Ways to Root this Seed:

Turn toward wisdom, and honor it. Follow those you perceive as wise. Check in with your higher self, through your intuition, before every decision. 

Meditate. Learn to sit and be with the deep recesses of yourself, because you’ll often touch your deepest wisdom in moments of deep stillness. 

Let wisdom guide you. Grow. Continue to grow as a human being by expanding your life experience. Travel. Learn new skills. 

Embody your theoretical beliefs, by practicing what you preach. Each time you do this, your system rewires itself to contain more consciousness; more life intelligence. 

Draw upon the wisdom of others. What if everyone you meet is a teacher? There are questions you can ask, and states of being you can access, that draws from their wisdom, as though you were drawing water from a well. Can you access the wisdom of the child, the homeless man, the librarian, your grandfather? 


Leadership seed - Bloom Manifesto

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Those on the path of awakening can choose to pass on the spark and plant the seed of awakening in humanity. We cycle our awareness and our advances back into the earth. 

As we create the future through our vision, leadership is the ability to raise a bridge to that vision. I’m referring here to ‘leadership’ as a way of being, rather than a list of strategies or values or qualities. As we stand centered in our truth, others are influenced. As our light radiates, others are called. Leadership is what occurs when we stop dimming our light, and begin letting our reality influence that of others. 

There are ways of standing that facilitate experiencing our leadership potential. Opening up the solar plexus; letting the spine breathe for us. The head floats over the heart, as if held up by a taut string, tethered to the furthest star. This is how to lead others as we are lead, by divine influences, without any intermediaries. They are not needed now. Every intermediary is a flawed human being, just like you and I are. 

As we find our path, our vision, our values, we can guide others toward it. 

Most leadership campaigns fail because they are pale reflections of the strategies of other perceived leadership models (usually perceived incompletely). Leadership from the core requires going into the core, and emerging with the next step; our wisdom becomes our compass. The quiet man in the back of the room may be leading by holding the space energetically, while the speaker at the front of the room plays a different role. The key is to honor and call upon the elements that make up our unique constellation. 

As you may have noticed, people are desperate for leaders and quick to give their power away. They are as easily seduced by leaders as leaders are seduced by the promise of a great following. As soon as the illusion of power usurps the original vision, we are lost. It is a delicate line to walk, as we carry our vision into the future and invite others to contribute. 

It takes a tremendous amount of discernment to see through to the depths to what is real. Our leadership is affected by the ways we follow. 

Follow no one and nothing. Let the divine spark within you guide you. Let your energetic radiance light the way for others. 

As we live on the cutting edge of our vision, continually striving to embody our values and our truths, we lead by example all who follow us on their path. 

Leadership in certain contexts is obvious; business or military, for instance. The leader wears different clothing, and seems to be positioned in front of the others. There are untold expressions of leadership within any room. For the board room, there may be the quiet employee, that keeps the others in line; as essential as the leader at the front of the room. 

In our fullest expression, we are leaders. 

Quotes: 

“A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, They fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say, “We did this ourselves.”” Laozi 

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus

Questions:

Do I embody leadership? Do I lead by example? How gracefully do I lead? 

Ways to Root this Seed: 

Notice that every moment is an opportunity for leadership. A date, a family outing, a meal, a hike. You are the architect of your reality. 

Practice decisiveness as you make important and seemingly unimportant decisions. Where to go to lunch, to ‘what is your next career choice.’ Make the decision firmly, and follow through. 

Study great leaders. Not to mimic them, per se, but as a source of inspiration on radically authentic leadership. 

Take ownership of the things you know. From where you are, with what you know, there are millions that would benefit from your unique experience. 

Know when to be the pupil, and when to be the teacher. We all shift roles as the context shifts. 

Refine your core values carefully. Adhere to your core values, at the expense of everything else. Nothing else matters as much. 

Let others take credit. Leadership is not about feeding the ego; it is about co-creating the future for all of us. 

Write your mission statement (for your various roles) and keep it close at heart. Read it regularly. Refine it over the years. Use it to map your future and recalibrate when you go off course. 


Love Seed - Steven Budden - Bloom Manifesto

How many great men and women have been rendered powerless by the simple, ethereal gaze of their beloved?

How many fortunes have been thrown away and vast empires toppled? We rush into love and wonder what we’ve done. We finally get out and loneliness descends. It can be a frustrating escapade. And yet, coldly and calculatingly attempting to avoid love’s perils never works, either. Love is the quintessential human experience. 

When we make the mistake of thinking that all of our love must emanate from and toward one being, suffering is inevitable. Love is all around us. Intimacy is all around us. What I am speaking about here, is the expanded definition of love that includes all forms of intimacy (intellectual, emotional, spiritual, experiential, physical). 

When we are instruments of love, the machinery runs smoothly and without requiring our attention. Our systems are fluid and flexible. When we are instruments of love, the deepest parts of ourselves surface, and aliveness flourishes. Sexual, soul-bonded love may play a huge role in your paradigm, or very little. You only have your own fulfillment, and your own values to consider. 

The purpose of intimate relationships is not comfort or joy, but transformation and growth. Kindred spirits bring us to new, higher levels of being. And they are all around, aching to connect with us. We can shut them down and build a wall of stories around us about how we are different, or why they are not a match. These walls are more difficult to traverse than anything we could construct of stone or concrete. 

Love is an unfolding. Expectation hinders the flow of love. As we evolve so that we are more and more open to what love brings, the suffering and the rapture included, more is delivered. 

There are ways we can carry ourselves physiologically that close us down to love, and ways that support us in embodying the opening; the unfolding.

Soften the knees to be with the unknown. Locked knees and rigid ways of being are symptomatic of inflexible thinking and assumptions. Let those fall away like dead leaves in autumn. Expand and open the solar plexus and the heart. This doesn’t mean bringing the shoulders back... the movement happens in the spine. Align the pelvis and the heart, so that encounters with others find their balance between the sexual (instinctual) center and the emotional center. Most people turn their feet out slightly and roll their knees in. The arches are often collapsed. This is not genetic; it is a choice. Align the feet with one another, and center the knees, which lifts the arches. This opens the entire midline. 

The ideal is to meet the other party in a neutral position. Later, you can decide if you want to close down or open up. If you decide beforehand, you are bringing the past into the encounter. 

Sexual intimacy can be one of the climaxes of the human condition. It can also be a degrading, addictive energy leech. It can be used to create masterpieces, or erode vitality. Asking how we use or have used it can be a potent question. ‘Soul contracts’ are often a way to rationalize our incomprehensible adherence to suffering. Sacrifice your suffering on the alter of love. 

What a thrill it is to create and co-create life alongside kindred spirits!

Most relationships are simply two personalities intersecting, while the essences rarely surface. We are often recapitulating aspects of our parents’ relationships to us or to one another. The depth lives at the peripheries, and the center remains shallow. Evolving a relationship means moving from ‘two personalities intersecting on the ground of doing,’ to ‘two essences intersecting on the ground of being.’

Everybody is different, and yet we are all the same. Learning the anatomy of human systems in general (emotional, spiritual, physical), and of the ‘others’ specifically, allows us to meet one another in sacred ways. 

As paradoxical as it may sound, self love is the key to fulfilling relationships. And if it has anything to do with love, it is paradoxical by nature. Those who harbor and hoard critical thoughts, will always look to another to fulfill them. There are voids in the system, and voids seek to be filled, so we reach desperately toward the other. From this place, it is difficult for love to flourish. Think of a dandelion bloom growing out of the sidewalk, getting trampled every time it unfolds. 

Quotes:

““Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” Khalil Gibran

“That which you seek is seeking you.” J. Rumi

Fundamental Distinctions:

Freedom : Obligation
Need : Desire
Altruism : Selfishness
Intimacy :  Amoring
Opening : Closing
Love as concept : Love as state of being
Love : Fear

Questions: 

How fulfilled am I in love? Am I open to giving and receiving love? Are my stories about love limiting my aliveness? Who / what do I really love? Who / what really loves me? 

Ways to root this seed:

Practice ‘love and be loved.’ Walk into a strange place, carrying the thought ‘I am loved.’ Notice how it shifts your thought patterns and your physiology. 

Love yourself. Speak into your eyes in the mirror words of love. Say it again and again throughout the day. 

Find love everywhere, instead of waiting for it to find you. Practice giving and receiving. 

Expand on definitions of love. Romantic partnership. Family Love. These are narrow definitions. The earth loves you. God loves you. Etc. Rumi and Gibran may support with this. 

Acknowledge and shift judgmental thoughts. Explore every thought you ‘have.’ They are all judgements about yourself. They appear larger when they appear on someone else. 

Meditate. Sit still and let yourself be love. 

Use your body in ways that facilitate unfolding. Arches lifted; your heart, head, and pelvis aligned in vertical line. Knees soft. 


Legacy Seed - Steven Budden - Bloom Manifesto

Circa 2005, I was walking along a beach (I tell the story more comprehensively in my book Flow: An Illuminated Training Manual). As I walked with my father, a woman ran by us. Walking with one’s father (or children) seems to be fertile ground for the contemplation of one’s legacy. As she ran on into the distance, I noticed her footprints in the sand, and the thought of ‘things we leave behind’ flashed in my mind. A Pacific wave swept in, and when it rolled back, the sand was glass smooth. She had left nothing behind. She was simply gone. Through this visceral metaphor, I experienced an ‘awakening,’ and the concept of legacy was born in me. I many ways, that event launched me onto my current path as one who orchestrates ‘awakenings.’ I went into that moment an artist, and walked out an alchemist... of broken hearts and bones. 

Legacies are born out of moments like these... out ofepiphanies that shake us to our core, throb in our hearts, rattle our bones. What was born was the consideration of a legacy. This has little to do with the masculine tendency to leave something as a desperate attempt to stave off death. ‘When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.’ Shunryu Suzuki. Legacy organically arises out of the ashes. 

Shifting the focus to legacy lifts us up out of the mundane, into the sacred. It a leap from the burden of ‘work’ to the poetry of creation. Time is an artificial construct, and over the ‘years’ we entrain our entire physiologyto revolve around days, weeks, and years, and finally to wind down to die as if on cue (often on a Monday, the start of the ‘work’ week). Legacy is a way to overflow the bounds of time and dance with eternity. 

By rerouting our energy into creations intended for posterity, we can transcend suffering, pain, and trauma. Poverty consciousness cannot exist alongside considerations of legacy, because legacy is a above ‘survival’ in the hierarchy of needs. The shift to considerations of legacy constitutes an evolutionary leap for those of us caught in perpetual cycles of suffering. I don’t advise waiting for wealth, or vitality, or love; the waiting is symptomatic of a self-imposed limitation and a loud inner critic. Just like I don’t advise waiting for peace and stability to play, or for a financial foundation to love. We can architect our legacy from wherever we are. 

Presence and legacy are intertwined,  because legacy creations are borne out of an ever deepening awareness. In order to create in this context, we must be in tune with the rhythms of life, so that our creations are rooted firmly in the present moment. Perhaps, the roots reach down deep enough so that the legacy survives continual shifts in the weather. If much of our inspiration comes through historical figures, we know them only through their legacy, which is a testament to their deep roots. They were a product of their time; they were ahead of their time; they are timeless. The harmonic chord sounds when we are able to strike the delicate balance between living in the moment and leaving a legacy. Perhaps our chosen legacy is simply to do no harm and leave no trace; or to leave the world greener, more alive, more compassionate than we found it. 

Of course, legacy does not necessarily correlate with wealth. A handful of powerful legacies have been left without any wealth whatsoever (Saint Theresa, or Gandhi, for instance). A legacy is left as a gift to all of humanity to come, when we find a way to convey our core values across time. 

Quotes:

“You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, 
and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.”  Khalil Gibran

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” Martin Luther King Jr. 

Fundamental Distinctions:

Work : Legacy Building
Survival : Thriving
Poverty : Wealth
Death : Immortality 

Questions: 

How in touch am I with what I am leaving for posterity? Do I wish to be remembered? What for? Am I the architect of my life, and if so, what am I building? What type of footprint am I leaving? 

Ways to Root this Seed: 

Legacy mapping. Create a tangible plan for your legacy. 

Legacy creations. Carve out time to create from this place, and notice the difference in the energy. 

Legacy reflection. Step back often from your work and reflect on the whole. It can be difficult to see from so close. 

Heal. Deeply root the seed of vitality. Healing clears blockages so more energy can flow. It takes a surplus of energy to create for the future, so that energy needs to be preserved and nurtured. 

Visualize. Visualizations are one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal for translating our intentions into reality. Legacy is so far off in the future, it may take some creative focus in order to become intimate with it, and to shape and refine the possibilities. We can visualize the future, an hour from now, 12 days from now, 12 years from now, etc. It is a valuable skill. 

Conclusion

While I acknowledge that it may be somewhat ambitious (or even naive) to attempt to put together a system like this, from scratch, as it were, I continually need to remind myself that this system was not put together from scratch. I diligently pieced it together after years of intensive somatic sessions, wherein I co-orchestrated and shared in countless breakthroughs, past life regressions, life-course adjustments, healings, etc. I graciously draw upon the inspiration and wisdom of those who came before, those who taught me, and those advanced young souls working now that will usher in the coming generations. 

The seeds were deliberately chosen to catalyze and nurture a forward momentum... more specifically, to ‘demonstrate the beauty of moving forward.’ This is, in itself, paradoxical, because what really becomes available in experiencing the beauty of moving forward is experiencing the beauty of where you are. This moment is vast enough to contain so much; jubilation and joy; heartbreak and pain. ‘Unfolding’ to it all, opening, is a revolutionary leap toward aliveness. 

I believe that a human being is designed, primarily, to experience the flow of life. Being bound to the past, or tethered to false assumptions, limits the life experience. We live not in pure ‘action’, but in ‘reaction’ to unresolved life events; not in the present, but in the past; not in ‘being’, but in ‘ruminating.’ Belief systems narrow the field of perception, which limit the life experience. Aliveness flourishes in the toppling of belief systems. If you catch yourself believing in a system, you may be giving up one cross and taking up another. 

‘Disease’ is a seductive force; it becomes like a magnet for the attention of our whole being. The force enrolls the entire constellation of characters in our experience, most of whom have a limited understanding of ‘disease’ and ‘healing.’  ‘Disease’ is a figment of someone else’s imagination. We can elect to imagine our own reality. Any spell becomes transformative as soon as we break the spell. We come out as deeper beings. Any redemption story needs a fall. 

As in any system, this system includes implications. Notice that the seeds do not include livelihood, spirituality, healing, or embodiment (though these are some of my core themes). As this system focuses on forward momentum, these values are implied in other seeds. I include healing under ‘vitality.’ Focusing on healing, often perpetuates the obstacle. It is like ‘pushing against the thing we no longer desire.’ Focusing on vitality allows us to find a point of focus beyond the obstacle, and transcend our limitations. Similarly, instead of work or livelihood, I focus on legacy, a consideration which can become the continual reminder of why we do what we do. Often, from that perspective, livelihood is dramatically improved. Spirituality could be included under ‘integrity,’ if spirituality is one of our core values. Every seed is spiritual, and life is spiritual. Embodiment can be divided between ‘vitality’ and ‘presence.’ Embodiment is, in and of itself, not a compelling goal (not to mention nebulous and seemingly unattainable); it is what ‘embodiment’ makes possible that drives and inspires us. 

In order for me to most effectively transmit this work, through this writing and through my work with individual clients, I realize that I need to apply these principles to my own life, and continually refine radical strategies that facilitate healing and awakening. I am grateful for you, and for this life path having been delivered so forcefully into my life. I was not always open to it all. I was pried open... broken open. I notice that I am using the passive voice a lot. And that is accurate. However, I actively chose to stay in the dance, and I am sublimely grateful for that. 

I only see a handful of clients at a time, and I realize that for many, this form of relationship may not be a possibility, for whatever reason. It is also not always possible for me, as this work requires a tremendous amount of energy and focus. As energy shifts occur in you, I often experience it too. There is much integration happening. 

I created this system in the hopes of reaching anyone committed to healing and transformation. May it cut through the darkness.  

I hold out my hand, and gift these 12 seeds to you. Please share them with the ones you love. 

Love and flow, 

Steven Budden 

Sebastopol, California, 2017. 

Other Books by the Author

Flow: An Illuminated Training Manual

Flow into Joy Journeybook

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