New Site, New Posts, New Offerings.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2009 by velocityvortx

Gang all good things should be built upon and improved.  So…. the last couple months we have been working a full overhaul of the the velocity site

This new site is now the location of ALL velocityculture information, including this blog.

While this site and all it’s content will remain.  This is the last new post you will find here.


Do we Awaken Possibility?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2009 by velocityvortx

I am intrigued by the fact that Jesus, with consistency and regularity, called forth possibility in people.  In fisherman, tax collectors, prostitutes, blind people and that is just for starters, Jesus called people on to a different way of being and a different sort of life. 

Inherent within Jesus’ possibility posture was his sense that people are made in the image of God.  Contrary to so much wrongheaded emphasis on original sin, Jesus seems clear that the image of God in us is more original it is the starting point.  It was in Genesis and it was with Jesus.  That there is a place from which we can operate where ego can be laid down and our bipolar, binary, splitting, fracturing way of seeing each other and much of life can be released.  This is part of metanoia, the waking up to a wider reality Jesus is inviting.  I have been a fan of Benjamin Zander for some time.  I read his book 7 years ago and it was engergizing and powerful.  This talk is the same.  And while the goal of his talk has nothing to do with Jesus perse I think it does have something to do with Jesus. Enjoy!  And if you don’t have 20 minutes right now wait till you do you need to see the whole thing.

Insight Mediation….Witness Awareness

Posted in Uncategorized on October 16, 2009 by velocityvortx

One of the great tools in ATTENTION/AWARENESS development (and this is very vertical) is what is called insight meditation or witness awareness.  This is essentially being able to watch yourself and your thoughts arising with nonjudgmental viewing.  Non judgmental because judgment causes us to push stuff we need to be aware of into our shadow egoic selves.  We hide this from our view because we don’t like what we see and when that happens our ability to attend to it ceases. We have not done much in the Christian world to address this issue of shadow.

To use more Pauline biblical language, we have to learn to observe the patterns of the flesh, to step outside of ourselves with enough consistency we can observe the ways we are responding to the world around us.  Formation of this sort starts in our heads…to be transformed by our minds being renewed (Romans 12.1-2).  This IS NOT an injunction by Paul to go read a bunch of bible verses contrary to how this is often preached.  This could not be what Paul had in mind.  The individual believers in Rome didn’t have a pocket or nightstand copy of the bible for individual usage. He had to mean something more like becoming aware of what is going on inside your head space.  

A lack of intention and attention to the stories we are telling ourselves is exactly and precisely how we end up molded by the world (Rom 12.1 again); meaning  we will be pulled toward the greatest sensation of the moment.  THIS IS THE VERY ESSENCE of reaction. 

My action is in response to the greatest stimulus in my environment at the moment.  Again to use Pauline language, to keep pace with the Spirit and to marshal and direct our energies wisely (The Message translation of egkrateia usually translated self control) requires astute and keen awareness.  That is the point of insight meditation….more on how to do that in a couple days.

Attention the Other Co-Conspirator

Posted in culture, personal development, theology on October 4, 2009 by velocityvortx

Intention is critical to practice (see two posts ago) 

But there is a second…. ATTENTION.

We have talked about a key shift in transformative practice is a shift in perspective.

A shift in what you pay attention to.  An ability to realize you have a head talk going on. Call it ego, the old man, the flesh.   An ability to realize your self conversation defines your reality far more than you circumstances is critical to transformation.  What does Jesus say…

Matt. 6.22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

What we see is what creates head space egoic talk.  That is what in turn defines how we view the world.  We live into these stories whether we realize it or not.  Think about it…we start telling ourselves stories about tomorrow’s meeting, concern, conflict situation.  We then head into that the situation with the scenario rehearsed.  Our brain then helps us recreate that scenario and then we have a self fulfilling prophecy and don’t know why.

What we see and what we see with our minds eye is key to our formation.  This is why Paul prayed for our enlightenment (that the eyes of your hear might be enlightened Eph.1) and that we not be conformed by what we see in the world but be transformed by telling ourself a different head space story (Romans 12)

Attention is all about what you pay attention to… if you pay attention at all.

I think this is the big learning for me.  I have never until recently really placed my attention or intended my attention to do anything.  It was all 100% autopilot.

moving  from blindness to seeing,

from autopilot to intentional

from sleeping to awake

from hypnotized to aware.

I have quoted to you from Charles Tart the psychologist before but allow me to do it again

· The path that interests me most, personally and professionally is what you might call the path of awareness.  It’s based on the assumption that in ordinary consciousness a great deal of what happens is automatized.  Ordinary consciousness is only sort or semi-consciousness, and there is a mechanical nature to it.  Whereas if you being to apply to it various kinds of mindfulness practices that give you insights into the way the mind functions as well as certain concentrative abilities—this can speed insights and enable you to focus your attention in a particular direction.

In this regard when we are talking about attention we are really talking about awareness.

Intention and attention … intention purpose and focus with awareness and sensitivity these are the first two keys to us moving into the arena of transformation.

Intention and Attention are really about living more fully more deeply.

If you really bring your intention and attention to larger blocks of your day you can’t help but have a richer, fuller, more somatically aware, emotionally nuanced, day. 


I am reminded…

Posted in culture, personal development, theology on September 15, 2009 by velocityvortx

I am more convinced than ever that the deepest changes in how Christianity does it’s work will center around a new type of spirituality.  We haven’t done a good job at helping people see how change and formation happen.  And my personal hunch is we have defined the problem wrong.  We seem to be sin-centric instead of imago dei-centric.  Problem solving and holiness fixing, rather than freedom granting and life giving. 

I spoke at a spirituality congress in South Africa where quite honestly I was a spiritual peon amongst giants.  Willem Nichol, Trevor Hudson, Johan Geyser, Gys Du Plessis and Stephan Joubert all my elders and all more deeply experienced, were the docket of speakers at this conversation on the what and how of spirituality.

More than ever I am convinced apophatic spirituality, Cloud of Unknowing type of stuff is part of the missing pattern in our formation.  We are clueless how to do Psalm 46.10 spirituality and instead of learning to be still (an interior condition) I think we have confused it with sitting still (an exterior posture). 

The most dramatic thing I am reminded of on a nearly daily basis is just how modern, textual and  information our spirituality is.  Interestingly this is not where Bonaventure sat (think Soul’s Journey to God), or St Teresa of Avila (Interior Castle) or San Juan de La Cruz (St. John of the Cross)  or earlier still John Cassian’s Conferences.  I was reminded by these great mentors I shared the platform with just how rare the work is on interior silence is where we can watch the constructed egoic self in action.  Where we take insight from what arises in our awareness and how to move toward the letting go of a centering practice (the main point of my talk Silence is the First Language of God {a quote from St John of the Cross})

We must must must move beyond the textual addiction of modernity and move toward the place of quiet. Only there can we see the judger gene, the real issue raised in the Genesis 1-3 narrative, and learn the letting go work that needs to be done for us to be deeply formed. 

Intention part Deux

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2009 by velocityvortx

Definition – TRANSFORMATIVE PRACTICE – is any set of activities (internal or external) you engage in  with the intention of fostering long lasting shifts in the way you experience and relate to yourself, others and the rest of the world.

Essential #1 for Effective Practice – INTENTION


Many spiritual directors point out that practice is primarily something you do for it’s own sake.  But aren’t you practicing in order to get some where?  Like happier or healthier?  That of course is how many of us start into a practice, a prayer pattern, a devotional reading pattern.

This is one of the great paradox that many of world’s greatest practitioners site.

•    While you may begin a transformative practice with a goal in a seemingly contradictory way most spiritual directors will tell us that we have to stop striving to get some where or accomplish something for the practice to actually do something

Listen to what one spiritual director says…

•    We practice to practice.   A good deal of our practice is seeing that this is it. This is my life, just like this.  Once we actually realize that, then we begin to take care of this life more carefully.  We being to appreciate this life as it is and not look outside for something else, but actually give some attention to this life as it is.

So this is what we mean when we say we need to bring a strong pure intention to practice.  To mediation, centering prayer.  To letting go practice to focus practice.

We have to have the intention that practice is for practice and the benefits are right there in that phrase.

Do you see how this is very different than how we have often conceived of prayer in the many of our Christian traditions? 

•    Prayer isn’t a posture toward all of life…. Pray without ceasing give thanks in all things… That is not the crazy mantra it is a posture of the heart.  It is an outlook.


Australian Psychiatrist W. Beran Wolfe who lived only to the age of 35 wrote a book that went on to become a national bestseller in 1932…

•    if you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writin a symphony, education his son, growing double dahlias in his garden.  He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a gold button that has tolled under the cupboard.  He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living 24 crowded hours of the day. (P.32)

So intention the first key to practice…

Intention is One of the Great Co-Conspirators

Posted in Uncategorized on August 24, 2009 by velocityvortx

So as I am defining it here practice is for the purpose of vertical development.  Not HORIZONTAL BANDWIDTH ACQUISITION.

Let me review a metaphor we used in the human development series

the move from conventional to postconventional understanding

•    knower and known create the knowing event.
•    understanding of the world IS my world not THE world
•    my understanding of the world is ONE view of the world and by definition is therefore perspectival, incomplete and maybe even inaccurate.
•    Hence the need for multiple perspectives, that are genuinely valuable (I don’t simply act like they are valuable.)

Watching an accident on 4 different street corners// FOUR GOSPELS

Essential #1 for Effective Practice – INTENTION

Have to be intentional, want to change, growth, shift and have to have the motivation to act in a certain way. 

Do you hold the intention to be open to transformation in and through any circumstances at any time?

Opportunities to experience transformation present themselves daily, do we use them or shun them?  Remember deep pain is the first portal to transformation because it jars us out of autopilot.

Studies indicate real transformation, as we are talking about it here is something that last forever, it is integrated into your new, ever expanding matrix and mindset. 

This is vertical development

Holding the intention to be open to transformative moments at any time is part of the imago dei in us calling out for the next step in our evolution into the image of Jesus.

You have to be open to what is calling you on

Another way of saying it is…