watching sparkle ponies
flit & flutter; you notice
— neon spencer
satori, center camp, Burning Man 2017
model: Milo (she/her) is a Golden Doodle with "Phantom" coloring.
She is a gentle princess, who loves to get up on her hind legs, wrap her arms around you, and give you a great big poodle hug when she sees you!
Her favorite saying: "Some angels choose fur instead of wings."
matthew dekay - spellbound
amonita - breathe
mass digital - rainy morning
marsh - there for me (amonita extended mix)
tabor dragon - take me away
m.i.g - car park in the sky (lee burridge & lost desert mix)
travertia - vei
gemma hayes - wicked games (stranger tourists unofficial remix)
Cover Art: Imagery, Symbol, Meaning, and Philosophy
I am in love with the Canva design website. It's so fun to think of graphics they may have, do a search, and watch the domino's fall as creativity comes to life.
One idea, leads me to think of something else to add, and another, until it becomes a technicolor work of art, bordering on too much (I hope it's too much, these ideas are hard to contain).
I wanted to take a moment to shed some light on the imagery, symbols, meaning, and philosophies going on with the cover image.
Milo - enlightened spirit animal
In the Zen tradition, they have these intellectual puzzles called "Koans," which are a teaching method to free the practitioner from so much thought.
One of the most famous, is the koan "Mu!" In it, a monk asks another monk, "Does a dog have Buddha nature?" And, the other's reply was, "Mu!"
"Mu" is translated as "no," "nothing," nothingness," "does not have." The answer doesn't make sense intellectually, because all things - mineral, plant, animal, human being - have Buddha nature. "What do you mean no?"
The answer is only apparent to someone who owns a dog, and understands what is meant by the term, "nothing." It is not nothing, but something clear, invisible — yet radiant and unmistakable when it appears.
When you own a dog, you are privy to something people who do not own dogs are not:
"Your dogs palpable expression of unconditional love." — Neil Spencer
Our dogs are the best enlightened teachers.
About a year ago, I saw a woman wearing a t-shirt with this saying on it, and it really struck me as a wonderful ideal to strive for:
"Become the person your dog thinks you are."
Lightning - Qi, Prana, Life Force Energy
Lightning, is a life force of creation, energy in its extreme form. There is a new study, which posits that, "lightning helps make an essential element available to organisms in habitable environments." It is looking into how phosphorous became available to early organisms billions of years ago, because:
"Phosphorus is essential for making DNA, RNA, ATP (the energy source of all known life), and other biological components like cell membranes."
Lightning strikes create through the mechanism of chaos. The earth is such a fascinating place. When you watch lightning, it may seem like it strikes randomly, but I think it moves to a place purposefully, zaps it, then continues on.
Water, in the form of rain, usually accompanies lightning. I believe storms move over land areas, depositing rain, and zapping the ground - energizing it with the right ingredients for creation.
The image of the creation of Frankenstein's monster, mixed with the attributes of bees and pollinating flowers - comes to mind.
Tai Chi Chuan & Yin-Yang Philosophy
Tai chi chuan and qigong have been practiced in China for thousands of years. The arts are designed to train the user to regulate the body, breath, mind, qi, and spirit — so the life force energy, known to them as Qi, can circulate throughout the body freely.
With practice, the qi can be lead towards the development of health goals, spiritual goals, and martial applications of fighting techniques.
1. Regulate the Body
2. Regulate the Breath
3. Regulate the Mind
4. Regulate the Qi
5. Regulate the Spirit
Incense Is Just Cheap Marijuana
In the Eastern arts of yoga, meditation, and the martial arts — incense is traditionally used to clear the energy of a space, to reign in the senses, and prepare one for practice.
In the martial arts, a stick of incense can also denote the length of practice time. When the stick of incense is done burning all the way, then practice should be on it’s way to being finished as well.
Incense is also known to help during spiritual cultivation practices. It clears the sense of smell, and puts a slight haze into the air - to help with reigning in the senses.
A lesser known fact, is that using incense to improve your spiritual practices isn’t the most potent practice. That’s why, “incense is just cheap marijuana.”
"A startling, but welcomed, surprise."
Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures. Their appearance is startling whether they visit you in the backyard, on a walk, or at the park with friends. Their wings announce their arrival with their distinct whirring.
Hummingbirds are a wonder of nature. They have become known to symbolize:
Lightness of being, and enjoyment of life
Being more present
Lifting up negativity
Bringing playfulness and joy in your life
Swiftness, and the ability to respond quickly
Resiliency, and being able to travel great distances tirelessly
Mechanics of Hummingbird Flight
My most favorite thing, however, is the mechanics of hummingbird flight.
"Hummingbirds, however, stroke their wings forward and backward, pivoting up to 180 degrees at the shoulder to rotate the wing. This pattern, with the wingtip tracing a horizontal figure eight in the air with each wing beat, generates lift on both forward and backward strokes, keeping the bird aloft and allowing it to hover."
The most fascinating thing about the mechanics of hummingbird flight, is the figure-8 pattern being traced by the wings. Because, it resembles a Yin-Yang symbol, which is vertical.
An infinity symbol, is just a horizontal Yin-Yang symbol. It’s just missing the line which creates the figure-8 — but it is always there.
The way humans walk, balance, practice yoga, and the martial arts - follow this same figure-8, infinity, Yin-Yang pattern.
In yoga, you can become aware of it during the beginning of asana practice, when you are warming up before Sun A. Many sequences have the practitioner do a forward fold, grab opposite elbows, and sway side-to-side to loosen and stretch the lower back.
If you pay close attention to the transfer of weight during this time, you maybe begin to spot the movement and transfer of weight and energy.
Let’s say we start on the left foot:
The energy and weight transfer start at the bottom of the left foot. Moves up along the outside of the left foot, along the tops of the toes, to the inside of the left foot.
Here, the transfer of weight and energy goes through the center of the body, diagonally, to the bottom of the right foot.
Here, the same process happens on the right as the left. The energy and weight transfer start at the bottom of the right foot. Moves up along the outside of the right foot, along the tops of the toes, to the inside of the right foot.
Practicing Yoga, the martial arts, or simply going for a walk — puts us directly in touch with the infinity of creation in everyday life.
"The secret to immortality? Is not to live forever. But, to live in harmony and balance with what is." — Neil Spencer
The sweets are a nod to my own experience with practicing yoga, meditation, and the martial arts; and, what I’ve read about one of my favorite Yoga teachers, Sri T Krishnamacharya.
One of our main sources of fuel, besides air, are simple sugars and carbohydrates. These are turned into glucose when eating and digesting. Insulin, is the special ingredient which helps push the glucose into the blood stream.
When we're practicing yoga, the martial arts, and especially meditating — we begin to access subtler states of energy. Spiritual energy is finer in nature. Heavier, greasy foods cause the body to work harder, and spend more time digesting food for energy.
When you get into higher stages of practice, you circumvent this cycle.
You begin to crave simpler foods, usually loaded with sugar and carbohydrates - because your brain is using more energy. Food items like bread, pastries, and candies are a quicker way to access these building blocks of glucose. And, you spend less time and energy digesting food to get energy.
You begin to crave simpler foods, usually loaded with sugar and carbohydrates - because your brain is using more energy. But, it's not gross food energy. You are taking in a form of energy the yogis refer to as prana — which is subtler in nature.
A simple explanation, is your breathing is operating at a higher efficiency, taking in more energy with each breath, than someone who doesn't practice Yoga, meditation, or the martial arts.
About the Creator
Yoga Wizard / Teacher: Founder of Saumya Yoga
My name is Neil Spencer, and I teach yogis about that radiant "something," which gives everything it's beauty.
Vibes: Yoga, meditation, martial arts, mindfulness, cannabis, electronic house music