Hestia, Goddess of Eternal Light

Hail Hestia!
Goddess of Eternal Light
By your presence I am restored

Blessed is I,
who knows myself
and Blessed is the love
I bestow upon me

Holy Vesta!
Goddess of the hearth
Warm my heart,
allowing me to simply be.

Let me introduce you to Hestia. We are good friends.

Historically she is a Greek/Roman goddess that tended the fires of Olympia. Sister to Zeus, she refused all suitors and vowed to remain forever unmarried. In earlier history, devotees of Hestia practiced sacred sex as part of the healing aspect of the divine feminine. They were “virgins” in so much as they were not married, but they were certainly not celibate. In later times, under the Roman Empire, the high female priestesses of Hestia/Vesta were called Vestal Virgins and were indeed celibate during their 30 year service period. They had rights and liberties not usually associated with women at that time. The service they provided to the community afforded them with more prestige than royalty.

Hestia is an interesting lady, being associated with the home and hearth and yet, not being a mother or caretaker. She invokes the energy of self-love. She is all about knowing oneself intimately and caring for oneself with kindness and self-nurturing. She stands apart from social customs and comes forth as a great individualist.

When we invoke Hestia, we are calling forth that eternal spark of our being. We are connected to our primordial nature and our source. This is how Hestia restores us by her presence. She reminds us of the blessed nature of all of life. She reminds us that all beings and things have that sacred spark of eternal light.

Drawing on my studies of Buddhist world view, I penetrate even deeper into the idea of inner light and wisdom. Hestia can assist us in realizing the deceptive nature of ourselves and conventional reality. When I say she helps us know ourselves, I not only that mean that we know our personal preferences, desires, passions and aptitudes, but that we know, ultimately, that we don’t exist independently. We truly do not exist in the way we appear to exist.

We can call on Hestia to help us remove the constructs that obscure the truth of our being. She can help us penetrate the false ideas that have been perpetuated upon us. Her refusal to partake in the convention of marriage, is an open invitation for us to question conventional ideas and make different choices from the norm.

How does Hestia, “Warm our hearts”? The warmth of love and of self-caring is spread through our bodies and beings once we let go of judgments. Following Hestia’s lead ,we learn who we truly are and we honor that. We learn that all judgments are arbitrary and simply choices. Peace and deep contentment and connection can only come with the demolition of all judgments. A careful investigation reveals that this is truth.

Following the path of inner nurturing, we can begin to let go of the judgments that keep our bodies locked up and our minds closed to receiving. Starting with ourselves we choose to appreciate everything we are. We let go of self-hate, criticism and harmful self talk. Then we begin to expand the circle. We let go of the judgments of our friends and family. Allowing them to be exactly who they are. We are practicing sacred respect. And finally, can we let the world be exactly as it is? Perhaps we can become empowered to stand for ourselves while not standing against any other.

Sometimes called “enlightened self-interest”, our new attitude provides us with freedom from trying to control and change everything and everyone – which is probably outside the realm of possible anyway. The ultimate health treatment is letting people be as they are without judgment: tension falls off our bodies and we experience greater peace and joy.

In this new place, we are able to act or not-act, but are not compelled to react or live under the influence of the emotions of hate, frustration, anger, sadness, and resistance. Are hearts are warmed by the the ever present hearth within us.

Low Back Pain

A person approached me before chi gung class seeking help with lower back pain persisting for the last couple of weeks. A couple of weeks before, while trying to move my bedridden mom, I strained my back. To my surprise, the injury cleared instantly during body process energy work I was doing as part of my health routine. He was wondering if the body process might help him.

The process that was run on me is one of a hundred different specific energies. Being unable to find someone familiar with my preferred body process system, I’ve hired a Reiki practitioner to run the energy I specify. I don’t even remember which one we ran that day. I just remember, realizing that the discomfort in my back disappeared mid session.


Body Process Session

Would a body process help him?  Certainly.  Would a body process be the best medicine to fix his back?  I don’t know.

What would I recommend for a person that is showing health deterioration that often occurs in older people?

Strengthen and engage the core. This means exercises like sit-ups. In the case of my injury above, I was forgetting to pull my abdominal muscles in when I bent over my mom’s bed to change a diaper or tried to move her. Simply remembering to do this has “saved” my back.

Keep the tissue warmed up – After years of “throwing out my back” at least once a year and being bedridden for a two to three days I learned that using a jade stone heating pad for 20 minutes daily prevents my back from getting too tweaked out. You could also keep the back warmed up with hot tubs, stretches, saunas, chi gung.

Sometimes lower back pain is caused by digestive upset. For instance, my mom complained of intense back pain when she had an intestinal infection.

Figure out what muscles are causing your discomfort and do specific exercises for them. My old annual back pain was caused by a muscle that was in the butt, underneath the gluteals. A tennis ball to the butt kept it more relaxed. Other muscles that have contributed to back pain are the psoas and quadratus lumborum. Search for exercises specific to them. I can personally recommend Somatics by Thomas Hana

Physical problems are always preceded by blocks in life force energy. Chi Gung, acupressure, and yogic practices that move energy along the meridians will remove the blockages and allow the body to heal itself. Other modalities that work on the energy level are sound healing, Reiki and energetic body processes.

The lower back is ruled by the water element and the kidneys in Chinese medicine. The kidneys are responsible for our deepest stores of energy. Depending on lifestyle, these stores can become depleted. One old friend had debilitating lower back pain in his twenties. Using pulse diagnosis a Chinese Doctor prescribed beef. His vegetarian diet was not providing him with enough yang energy. His back issues disappeared with the addition of meat and he is now in his 60’s still working as a carpenter.

If the lower back pain is a result of low kidney energy, beef is a good addition to the diet. In addition, I would recommend power mushrooms such as Reishi or Lion’s Mane and Eleutherococcus senticosus or American Ginseng. All these will bring up the kidney chi.

Energy testing for beliefs

Of course, everything begins with the mind. The energy and physical bodies simple follow the beliefs held by the mind. Unfortunately, the conscious mind is only 5-10% of our mental activity and the seeds for disease are imbedded in the subconscious mind. Luckily we have ways to change the subconscious erroneous beliefs.

In the case of the lower back, I would first look at beliefs in being unsupported or wanting more support. Remove those first using you preferred belief changing modality or prayer method. Then ask if there is any other misbelief holding the low back pain in place. Follow that line of questioning to uncover anything else. Once the beliefs are gone and energy healing should clear up the issue.

In my case, with my back strain moving my mom, I realized a little feeling of needing more support and was able to resolve that first, perhaps letting the energy session clear me for complete healing.

Spiritual Bypassing

In 2009 I was living at a meditation center below Tucson, Arizona. Many times I drove from my old home in Northern California to where I was developing myself as a meditator. When I first made the trip, I used maps and my best guess on the quickest route to go, since GPS wasn’t a thing yet. However, while the major highway went through Phoenix, I quickly learned to take Route 85 as the “Phoenix bypass” since traffic through Phoenix, especially at rush hour, could literally be a real drag.

A bypass is a way to avoid or circumvent an obstacle or a problem. A road that goes around a busy city is called a bypass. It avoids the problem of getting stuck in slow moving traffic. Certain practices that circumvent mental and emotional obstacles could be considered a bypass as well. The highway could be called a physical bypass and the mental practices could be called a spiritual bypass. A bypass is always a good thing in my estimation.

I am beginning to focus my attention on doing more spiritual bypassing. The process of coming to know ultimate reality can be considered a clearing away of obscurations or weeds in the mindstream. However, I think there may be a bypass. Instead of focusing on pulling out each weed, perhaps, one can plant so many flowers that the weeds are choked out.

I have some rather large weed trees growing in my mind. I’ve tried to cut them back, sometimes almost to the ground and they just seem to sprout back in a new season. Other trees are so large and entangled with desirable trees that I can only seem to cut branches out. Its so thick that I don’t even recognize them as weed trees. Instead I think they are just a bad branch on a good tree. In the past, I’ve mostly focused on identifying and getting the weeds (false beliefs) out of my mind’s garden.

I know this is not the most efficient way to go. I’ve heard that a single moment of direct perception of ultimate reality will cut the root of every false weed tree. And the way to encounter that illuminating moment is to meditate and investigate how the self is created. That is what the Buddha did. However, so many weeds have taken over my mind I find it hard to have a stable meditation. I have been discouraged.

Now I am choosing to stop focusing on getting rid of the “bad”; to stop focusing on getting rid of the effects of ritual abuse trauma; to let the crazy arising and passing of emotions just be; to stop looking for the uncomfortable in me and the misbeliefs creating my world. Instead, I am embracing the “good”. I am expanding into all that is. I am focusing on simply whatever opens my heart and my mind.

To facilitate this, I’ve adopted the practice of Spiritual Mind Treatment. It is a form of affirmative prayer. The first step is recognition of ultimate truth and who I am in the big picture. Then there is a place for affirming the truth about the world – there is abundance: limitless energy, limitless love, limitless good; while denying falsehoods – there is nothing to fear, crave, or resist. Finally the prayer ends with rejoicing and a sense of surety.

The prayer can be long or short. It is followed with the practice of keeping the mind continuously directed to truth. This spiritual bypass focuses on truth and the multitude of possibilities as a way to elevate the mind, emotions, and spirit to starve out habitual limiting thoughts and false beliefs. Here is my Spiritual Mind Treatment for knowing greater peace and freedom:

I know there is one ultimate reality that encompasses everything. This truth of life flows through, within, around, and beyond everything. The world I experience is a deceptive reality that obscures the simple truth that I am that one life, that one power, that one reality. And since I am all that is (given duality is just an illusion) I know that it is impossible for me to lack anything. I am limitless peace, energy, love. It is impossible for me to really be separate from anyone and anything. It is impossible for me to be traumatized, just as it is impossible to traumatize the one life. Right here, right now, I choose to release all habitual tendencies to reify myself and the harm I experienced. I let go of the notion that I have to work to clear away obscurations. I simply affirm the truth that I am pure spirit and everything that is not true falls away. I rejoice in my new freedom and the great peace I feel. And so it is.