Tag Archives: Consciousness

Screenwriter’s Recommendation for Trailing Sky Six Feathers

Trailing Sky Six Feathers by Ian Prattis is the tremendous story of Ian’s modern day spiritual awakening and discovery of his past life as Native American Eagle Speaker during the 18th century. Only through the intervention of his spirit wife Trailing Sky is Ian able to defeat his past vices and personal struggles to become the man he is today.

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It’s important to recognize the film adaptation will be “based on true events” and not a documentary or biopic. The novel’s incredible scope of events – from the 18th century Indian struggles to contemporary political movements – is fertile territory for great drama and will be adjusted and adapted to best serve the themes of the novel while creating a gripping film.

With all novel adaptations, it’s important to focus on creating a compelling beginning, middle and end that can be captured in two hours of screen time. The film treatment will condense the novel’s amazing depth of detail, life stories and lessons about politics, anima, Gaia, Buddhism, and much more to create a linear filmic narrative.

In the novel, the first chapters set in the 18th century will now be interspersed throughout the rest of the narrative, mirroring challenges Ian faces, culminating in his death in the 18th century and his discovery of his true self and relationship with Trailing Sky in the modern day.

Additionally, like other real life film adaptations, characters and events will be condensed, combined or expanded to serve the narrative of the story. The Native American sequences will be expanded considerably while Ian’s contemporary life will be streamlined to highlight certain important events.

Trailing Sky Six Feathers by Ian Prattis can be an excellent and exciting film with a unique Native American spiritual angle rarely seen on screen.

Order Book: http://www.ianprattis.com/TrailingSky.html

Jung, Consciousness & Default Position for the Mind

Extract from Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey with His Muse

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

I am familiar with Carl Jung’s exploration of consciousness – revealed in The Red Book an account of his personal explorations of consciousness from 1912 to 1930. He was quite amazing in his steadfastness to this process; some would say quite mad and foolish in the ‘midst of his brilliance. I employ a different tactic, as I have the benefit of exposure to the Buddhist teachings on consciousness that Jung did not have access to – though he navigated similar waters. The Red Book records Carl Jung’s exploratory practice of encountering whatever was delivered from his deep unconscious – the good, the bad and the ugly, as Clint Eastwood may well point out! Whatever arose, Jung would engage indiscriminately before writing about the experience and transposing it into art and poetry. The lack of discernment in this practice is where I part company from Jung, though I consider him to be one of the greatest minds in early psychology. I concur that something very significant could emerge from the depths of consciousness to speak directly to the contemporary crises of our times – a very Buddhist notion. Yet Jung’s strategy did not grasp the detailed teachings on consciousness that Thich Nhat Hanh had passed on to me through his talks, retreats and books.

Thay Bowing (2)

These teachings have been verified by Buddhist masters for over two thousand years, as they observed the changes taking place in their consciousness. They observed the same process in the training of their disciples, which further confirmed the validity of their own experience. This would not be a verification process that Western science would necessarily agree with, as examining the mind from a vantage point of an awakened mind is not something that Western science is equipped to do. The strategy I chose was to focus primarily on one aspect of my deep unconscious – the internal feminine face of earth wisdom, brought to my experience through training in the Native American tradition. I certainly shared Jung’s experience of encountering a self-correcting autonomous source of internal energy. A source of guidance that I should say frequently defied my logic and intellect. I also warmed to Jung’s courage when his findings found their way into Joseph Campbell’s creation of The Hero’s Journey. But I disagreed with Carl Jung’s approach and also on his views about the anima and the animus. Jung theorized that men had a female archetype – anima in their unconscious, while women had a male archetype – animus in theirs. In Jung’s view, it was essential to engage with the gender opposite buried in the unconscious. I would like to temper this view with the contention that both archetypes are present in men and women.  The transformation to wholeness for men and women requires engagement and balancing both of these two internal energies. It all depends on what we choose to feed and nurture and just how discerning we are about this.

I chose to concentrate on a particular autonomous source – the feminine face of the Earth Mother – and chose not to focus on the vast range of demonic and unwholesome competitors that lurk in my deep unconscious. The male archetype had been reinforced and ignited throughout the early part of my life – with often disastrous and unbalanced consequences. It was now time to provide a corrective navigation which was much more than the anima archetype proposed by Carl Jung and his followers. I also felt that this primary concentration diluted the energy of other autonomous forces that could be harmful, both to myself and to others.  This preference – I call it a strategy based on discernment – drew on my understanding of Buddhist teachings on consciousness. Here is a simplified view of these teachings.

Consciousness, in these teachings, has many levels. The deepest level is known as store consciousness – and it does exactly what the name implies. It stores everything – all our experiences, the information taken in by our senses, the memories of our ancestors and species. It contains absolutely everything; all possible mental formations, the darkest elements of ignorance, hate and greed as well as the enlightened mind of the Buddha, the Love of Jesus. The seeds of suffering passed on by our parents, inherited from our ancestors – are also stored without discrimination, as seeds of potential. These seeds become reality when we activate them with our thoughts and intentions or allow the triggers from life circumstances to do so. This all lies latent within us, buried, veiled and hidden. It is like the hard drive of a computer, hidden behind the screen, storing all the programs that are downloaded. This primary level of consciousness shapes our lives because we feed off it. In the teachings, store consciousness is considered to be the ground of definition for how our body, mind and environment manifest.

Then there is mind consciousness – our everyday rationality engaging with what it thinks reality is.  The mind consciousness is the apparatus that makes sense of, and orders, the information pouring through the senses. So mind interprets the information coming through the senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, perceptions. However, to complicate matters there is another level of consciousness that is absolutely key for our understanding. In store consciousness, the storage of seeds of potential that have characteristics of suffering, hate, anger, fear, ignorance and shame – the unwholesome seeds – glom together as an energy to form another level of consciousness called Manas. This is a distorting, delusional level of consciousness based on suffering and ignorance.  It corresponds to ego. It seeks to grasp and possess things, power, fame and celebrity, regarding itself as separate whereas the reality is its integration with all other levels of consciousness.

To maintain this sense of separateness, manas props up its importance with the acquisition of more and more “stuff.” This is hidden under false perceptions of reality. Does this sound all too familiar? If not, just turn on the daily news. But here is the kicker – manas regulates mind consciousness. This means that how we interpret the world through our senses takes its cue from a distorting, delusional level of consciousness that runs the mind. Our view of reality is always skewed and off line while manas holds sway over the mind. The energy of manas is fostered by our dysfunctional habits that create suffering. It comes from our cravings, attachments and delusions, which find their form in how we speak, act and think. It is the energy of fear, addiction, hatred and desire and it never shuts up.

This state of suffering and delusional affairs remains in place until mind consciousness decides to do something about it. Mind can choose to switch on the light of mindfulness practice – healing and transforming practices based on meditation. So the mind brings in concentration and insight, making meditation processes a daily and valid option in everyday life.  This is in radical contrast to being run on automatic pilot by manas as the generator. The mind is now choosing which seeds of potential from store consciousness to nurture and bring into awareness. Mind consciousness, instead of being enslaved by manas, now becomes like a fresh memory stick creating new programs and concentrations. It delivers them as downloads to the hard drive of store consciousness.  In other words – re-written programs replace the old worn tracks that only cultivate manas. We dance to a different music. All levels of consciousness are malleable so they can be reshaped by human concentration. Mindfulness is a necessary food for the reshaping. Its application can bring about an end run round manas by changing and defusing the programs and seeds that enabled manas to come into being in the first place. Thanks to this freshness and discerning concentration and insight, we can retrain the mind with every act of meditation. We start to come into alignment with universal energy of a higher order.

Order Book: http://www.ianprattis.com/TrailingSky.html

Callum Mor’s Awakening

 

Excerpt from Redemption                Order Book: http://www.ianprattis.com/Redemption.html

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Callum Mor walked directly to the edge of the fell. He did not look for the child but for the direction animals would take for shelter. He was very still. His keen sense of nature’s rhythms directed him. He searched for signs of sheep, tracing their paths to shelter, knowing Catriona would have followed them once she saw her danger. He plunged into snow drifts and struggled painfully out of them. He strained every sense so that he could hear and feel. He found several sheep huddled together in numerous places but no Catriona. He stood and wondered and thought deeply for a sign of the child. His eyes were drawn to a lie of the land beneath the snow that he instantly saw Catriona would take. He walked steadily to it, feeling drawn by his senses and then he found her track, in concert with the steps of a sheep. He found them together, the child and the ewe, in a shallow cave overhung with rock and turf.

She was blue with cold and the exposure to nature’s indifference. He knelt beside her and felt fear at her lack of recognition of him. He blocked out the snow with his strong body and willed life to the child. He offered up a prayer of gratitude for the finding of her and crooned softly to her in his own language, singing Gaelic lullabies to her. He must not lose her. The ewe stared balefully at Callum and stamped her foot. He spoke softly to the creature, knowing that he would need her if they were to live. His voice came softly through the layers of fear and cold that entrapped Catriona. “I told you I would be waiting for you little one.” She heard his gentle voice and stirred a little. He sat beside her, noting her dullness of response, slowly warming her hands in his, gently rubbing her thin knees that were cold, so cold. Then he dressed her in the additional clothes of hers that he carried in his pack. The snow was whipped into a whirling blizzard by a wind with no mercy. He knew they could not leave their shelter that night and they must live. His jacket and coat were wrapped round the huddled pitiful form of the child and he held her to him for warmth. The ewe was impatient to leave for fear of them but feared the blizzard more. Callum Mor talked to Catriona about what they would do. They must live. The ewe would give itself to them so that they could live. She must understand this. Catriona nodded while he explained to her that he was going to kill the sheep and then gut it so that she may be placed inside for warmth so he may have his jacket and coat and not freeze. She nodded with the wisdom of a seven year old, concerned only that the sheep would not suffer. “No, my Catriona, the ewe will not suffer.”

He spoke softly to the animal and touched it gently at the ears. The ewe ceased its trembling and relaxed and while he talked to her he took his fisherman’s knife and swiftly cut its jugular. While it died, his own numbed hands were restored to life by its warm blood. He gave thanks to the ewe for her life. After gutting the animal, he slit it open from the breast bone to the tail. He placed the child inside the dead carcass and she was insulated from the freezing tendrils of the blizzard. Mercifully she slept. A sleep of one who knows they are to be delivered. He sat with his jacket and coat loosely about him, creating a pocket of warm air that would resist the freezing will of the storm. He breathed slowly and deeply, using the least energy as he sat there.

His life went before his eyes and he smiled gently as he saw his childhood and island nurturing. He recalled his family at picnics and peats, the joy of dancing competitively with Moira and rabbiting with Donald. And his teacher, Rachel MacDougall, was there in his mind’s eye. He smiled in gratitude for the freedom she opened in his mind. He had received so much. His expression did not change as he thought of his father, Andrew, driven to madness by events he could not overcome. His heart welled with love for his father. He knew it was love that had driven his father to such lengths. He recalled the patient love of his mother Annie and the winter expeditions to the mail boat as their major weekly outing. He understood the warring factions in Brett MacVicker and felt grateful that this man, who killed his brother, should have shielded his darkness from him. His thoughts drifted and rested with his mother as she aged. He gave thanks for this child – fast asleep and warm within the insulation from the dead ewe. He offered respectful thanks to the ewe for enabling his little Catriona to live. He grieved at the wreckage he had turned himself into with drink, not for what he did to himself but for the pain he had inflicted by rebuke and indifference on people who only loved him. He dozed in the cold for only a moment. His mind kept him awake as he thought of the child Catriona and her mother and father. In the knowing of them they were as gifts to return him to himself. As morning light shafted through the darkness, he lost his self-contempt and saw compassion as the saving grace of both himself and his fellow man.

In that long night of freezing cold and driving blizzard his mind led him to these and many other paths and levels of his life. His suffering dissolved as his compassion grew. By morning he arrived at full self-knowledge – a state of enlightenment that he remained in for the rest of his days.

Two Lives

Don Butler, senior writer at The Ottawa Citizen interviewed me about my recent book, Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey with His Muse. Here are some excerpts that appeared in Don’s article, September 22, 2014 – ‘How the two lives of Ian Prattis could help us all survive.’

“Prattis, a 71 year-old retired professor of anthropology and religion, writes about two of his lives in a new book, Trailing Sky Six Feathers, described on the jacket blurb as ‘Indiana Jones meets the Buddha with a dash of Celestine Prophecy.’ In this life, Prattis, who calls himself a Spiritual Warrior for Planetary Care, Peace and Social Justice, taught at Carleton University for 37 years, was ordained in India as a guru, leads weekly Buddhist meditation classes in the basement of his west-end bungalow, and founded Friends for Peace Canada at the outbreak of the Iraq war. Oh, yes – he also lived in a hermitage in Gatineau Park with his pet wolf for four years. In the other life, he was the chief of an Indian band in 18th-century Arizona, fending off Apache attacks, married to Trailing Sky Six Feathers, a powerful medicine woman in whose arms he died in 1777. As his life ebbed away, she vowed: “I will find you my husband, I will find you.”

http://youtu.be/FLd7_gxIlYw

”In his book, a mix of memoir, mysticism and manifesto, the British-born Prattis describes both lives and pivotal training he received from four North American sages that ultimately allowed him to reunite spiritually with his ‘muse,’ Trailing Sky.  He issues a call for ‘spiritual awakening,’ necessary to ensure the survival of a world pushed to the edge of a dangerous precipice by climate change, ecosystem and financial collapse, corruption, terrorism and anarchy. It’s hard to predict how people will receive his book, Prattis acknowledges. For the longest time, his own logical, intellectually trained mind resisted accepting the fantastical tale.

“His journey started about 35 years ago, when he began decades of spiritual training with White Eagle Woman, an Ojibwa shaman from a reserve near Sault Ste. Marie. When they first met, White Eagle Woman “looked me straight in the eye and said ‘I don’t like you at all’ Prattis recalls. “But she said, ‘I’ve been instructed by my ancestors to train you.’” It was during that training that Prattis started remembering things about his past life. “It was a very slow process of remembering. I had to let the logic go and let the intuition speak more loudly.” In the early 1990s, Prattis retreated to a hermitage, a small cottage near parking Lot 7 in Kingsmere. His constant companion was a timber wolf he had encountered in the wilds of British Columbia who “made it clear that he was to come back with me to Quebec,” Prattis says. He dubbed the animal Wolfie, a name he dryly describes as “Highly original.”

Wolfie in Kingsmere

“Trailing Sky, Prattis says, “represents the feminine aspect of Earth wisdom, the feminine face of the Buddha to which he has surrendered. …Given the existential threats facing us, spiritual awakening is essential, Prattis says. Without it, “all you can rely on is politics and economics. We need something more formidable than that.

“We seem to be waiting for a Gandhi, a Mandela or a Martin Luther King to step up and lead. They’re gone. It’s ordinary people that have to step up and make a difference. Spiritual awakening takes hard work and discipline, Prattis says. Living simply is important. So is mindfulness and developing community. One key strategy, says Prattis, is to respond, rather than react, when others say or do things that upset you.

Despite the threat of approaching disaster, Prattis says his book is fundamentally optimistic. “It really does have a message of empowerment. No matter how dire the situation is or how perilous, we can always come through.”

To order this and other books go to www.ianprattis.com

On The Road Again… 2 Books and a CD

Book Reading & Signing in Orlando, Florida, USA 

Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 3 – 4:30 pm:

    • 9222 Charles E Limpus Rd, Orlando, Fl 32836
    • Contact Pam Allen: 407 353 2000 PAllen1236@aol.com
    • Ian will introduce his two recently released books that throw light on issues facing future generations – Trailing Sky Six Feathers and Redemption.  He will present a talk titled “Awakening in Our Times: A Tale of Two Books”, to be followed by a book reading and signing.

TRAILING SKY SIX FEATHERS: One Man’s Journey with His Muse

Our industrial growth civilization is a system devouring itself; dislocating the organic structures of Mother Earth to the point that all species – not just our own – are at risk. It has taken us to the edge of a dangerous precipice. From there we stare into the abyss of climate change, ecosystem and financial collapse, nuclear energy breakdown, resource wars, cyberbullying, terrorism and anarchy. These issues are making civilization vulnerable to extinction. I believe that our culture needs to awaken spiritually in order to ensure survival.  My new book “Trailing Sky Six Feathers” illuminates issues that will impact the human race for generations. The book follows my spiritual journey as I travel across the globe throughout the course of two lifetimes.

Book video: http://youtu.be/9ohImbVX57g

KEY POINTS IN THE STORY

  • HERO’S JOURNEY OVER FOUR CENTURIES
  • PLANETARY CARE – 18TH CENTURY RENEWAL, 21ST CENTURY ACTIVISM
  • EARTH WISDOM OF THE ELDERS/ SHAMANIC HEALING
  • FUTURE GENERATIONS
  • GURU TRAINING IN INDIA/ NDE/TRANSFORMATION
  • REMEMBERING; PAST LIFE COLLIDING WITH PRESENT LIFE/ RESISTANCE
  • TRANSFORMATION OF KARMA/CONSCIOUSNESS
  • VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF LOVE STORY THRO’ CENTURIES

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

The darkness before us does offer an opportunity, a chance to remake ourselves by transforming our minds. Instead of being eaten up by the abyss we can choose to Awaken Spiritually, for that transforms the one thing we can control – our minds. It often seems that we are waiting for someone to step up for us – a Mandela, Ghandi or Martin Luther King. But they are dead and gone. So it is up to you, up to me, to step up and awaken spiritually. That’s what my book – Trailing Sky Six Feathers is about.

There are two main characters that open the book in 18th century Arizona – Trailing Sky Six Feathers and Eagle Speaker. When the reader encounters Trailing Sky Six Feathers, my muse from the past, they encounter a powerful, relentless woman who transforms my life in reality in the 21st century.  She has been described as one of the most powerful women in modern Canadian Literature. Eagle Speaker is her husband and also my transformation vehicle. He dies cradled in her arms in a medicine wheel in the year 1777. As he takes his last breath, Trailing Sky whispers to him: “I will find you my husband, I will find you.” Past life memories collide  n with the present. Karma is reversed, the internal battles are over, and I begin to live life as a Meditation for Gaia. The relentless shadowing by this engaging Muse brings understanding not only to me, but to anyone engaged in overcoming the darkness of their past. This book caps my long-term fascination with consciousness.

From the Blue Ink Review: “Though this fantastic tale leaves room for skepticism, most who read Prattis’ latest work will be swept up in this saga of self-examination, revelation, and indeed, exhilarating global adventure. Prattis writes with erudition, charm and humor, ridiculing his own blunders as much as he praises his teachers. Prattis presents a unique viewpoint hewn from hard-won exploration of traditional wisdom, offering all of us the overarching advice to “awaken spiritually,” so that we may “create a stable economy and way of life” and save Mother Earth.”

REDEMPTION – The Lost Manuscript

And so I come to the second book of 2014, Redemption, a novel I first wrote in 1975.  It was forgotten, as back then I did not know how to get published. The manuscript was rediscovered by accident in 2011. I found it in an old filing cabinet where it was gathering dust. I could scarcely believe it was such a good read and requested my wife and a couple of friends with critical eyes to read it through, just in case I was dreaming. One friend cried all the way through, the other mused about the film to be made. Modern technology enabled the yellowing typed manuscript to be transformed into a computer-ready document. It required attention ranging from spelling and typos with small additions from my writer’s eye some forty years later, yet stands pristine as when first written. The story is an allegory for the life difficulties I experienced at that time, forty years ago. The surprise for me was how could I have written such a book while in a desperate state of mind? I was a total mess with a failing marriage in the Hebrides, Scotland, and trying to maintain a career at Carleton University in Canada. I was not doing a good job with either.

http://youtu.be/FLd7_gxIlYw – book video

This novel is set in The Hebrides, islands off the northwest coast of Scotland, with startling cycles of maturing and downfall of the main character Callum Mor, a gifted child, master mariner, derelict drunk, who eventually gains wisdom from a hard life’s journey. He enters the dark zone of alcoholism and withdraws from society. With only his animals keeping him this side of sanity, he survives in a bleak solitude. Until a family with a small girl seeking refuge from a storm come to his house. Slowly, he edges away from his self-destruction. He saves the girl’s life in a blizzard. At this point, a glimmer of awakening dawns in him, and this sets the stage for the final drama that illuminates the resilience of the human spirit. Laced with grim humor, the story has nature’s harsh and beautiful rhapsody as the background for tragic human failings. It applies universally to human suffering in a chaotic world. The triumph of human decency provides redemption rather than giving up. Looking at this book forty years later, I notice the contemporary theme of Global citizens staring into the abyss, Yet instead of being eaten up by it all, I say:  “Awaken spiritually” for that transforms everything.

Redemption front cover

Lucille Hildesheim, International Harp Artiste has this to say about the book:

“What marks a great work of art is that it touches the heart and soul. Redemption touched mine very deeply. It is so vividly descriptive of both scenery and people, drawing you into the life of Callum Mor, making you cry for him, cheer for him, and wishing you could continue on his journey with him. It is a book to be read over and over again, from which to take away life lessons and inspiration for our own personal journey. This is a book to share with those who touch your life.”

Silver Medal in Nature Conservation from 2014 Living Now Awards

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Many of the ideas expressed in Failsafe were presented to students – both at the university and in the meditation hall. Their feedback and helpful suggestions prompted me to refine the basic ideas.  I first talked about a Failsafe in Consciousness in my 2002 book The Essential Spiral: Ecology and Consciousness After 9/11, drawing on the post Enron crash where financial analysts actually talked about responsibility and ethics.  I also drew on the writings of E.O. Wilson – that despite all that was happening around us there was still an unmistakable link with nature’s systems in the human psyche.

 

So I endeavoured to improve on the ideas floated in 2002 and tried it out on my ecology class at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Failsafe became more than a set of ideas.  It had substance and a design based on three interconnected components. These were Innate Earth Wisdom; Counter Culture; Tipping Points in Consciousness – all of which intertwined with consciousness transformation. Can we fix the planet? This is the wrong question. Our present values and patterns of consumption are the architects of the present global ecological emergency. The right question is can we transform ourselves? My point in addressing Climate Change was that it was not the problem.  The real problem was the mind-set that created the ecological conditions for Climate Change to explode dramatically into the lives of every human being on earth.  I suppose it is an act of faith on my part, but I feel that once consciousness changes then different questions will be asked and different solutions found.  Out of the transformation will emerge the structures and institutions that can regulate global affairs without endangering all species – including our own.

 

Failsafe provides understanding of global eco-crises and issues a call to change the existing world order by arriving at a deep spiritual understanding of what needs to be done. Step by step methods to transform our existing mindset are laid out to usher in a new era of planetary care. Failsafe is about hope and faith and the clear knowledge that we have the capacity to get things done. There is hope for future generations to occupy a healthy planet and faith in the human consciousness to change. There is faith that we beings can awaken to the miracle and beauty of all of life. Failsafe provides examples and guidance for transformation and change. In the context of Climate Change and dire predictions for a habitable econiche for homo sapiens I present a Failsafe in Consciousness. I describe how consciousness expansion will be held in abeyance by wilful human ignorance until the global ecological situation deteriorates to a breaking point.  This breaking point will then act as a catalyst, penetrating such ignorance and activating consciousness so it is propelled into expansion, deliberation and change. 

 

I drew on the new discipline of Neuroscience, the Wisdom of Aboriginal Elders and the teachings of the Buddha about changing the human mind. Taming the human mind was a major issue, because to change external circumstances with technological fixes still leaves a damaging mind-set intact.  If our minds are not clear and at peace, we simply pass on our disturbance and selfishness to everything we create.

 

I started to give talks to the most unlikely audiences and found to my surprise that most of the folks listening got the drift of where I was going.  Their questions and requests for clarification enabled me to sculpt the Failsafe in Consciousness concept into a more understandable form.  I want to reach every man and woman in the street, as the sheer necessity of a bottom up revolution in patterns of consumption and behaviour is necessary for the Failsafe notion to kick in. Failsafe is taken from engineering, where the term is used to describe a stop lever or valve that comes into action whenever the machinery is in danger of exploding or breaking down.  As such, it is a useful metaphor for what is happening globally with Climate Change. I add to the Failsafe notion – particularly the idea of tipping points in consciousness.  This is akin to the Hundredth Monkey syndrome, where once a critical mass is reached then behaviour changes across the board.  In other words once a tipping point is reached there is a quantum leap of energy across the population.  For humanity I set this threshold at 2% of the human population. If 2% can truly commit to changing their minds and altering their patterns in the direction of voluntary simplicity, planetary care and compassion – then this is the tip of the spear that lances through the problem of Climate Change. 

 

Failsafe is by no means finished. There will be bright minds who will take it further, find loopholes in it and re-fashion it.  All this I gladly welcome. I look forward to the dialogue as it helps us move on. My hope is that you enjoy the book and share it with friends.  I will keep you up to date with my continuing journey as it evolves.

 

AWAKENING IN OUR TIMES: THE TALE OF MY BOOK

Our industrial growth civilization is a system devouring itself; dislocating the organic structures of Mother Earth to the point that all species – not just our own – are at risk. It has taken us to the edge of a dangerous precipice. From there we stare into the abyss of climate change, ecosystem and financial collapse, nuclear energy breakdown, resource wars, cyberbullying, terrorism and anarchy.
These issues are making civilization vulnerable to extinction. I believe that our culture needs to awaken spiritually in order to ensure survival. Our world has become an unpredictable beast that we fail to work with intelligently. We have to take back control of ourselves and this is a spiritual matter.” My new book “Trailing Sky Six Feathers” illuminates issues that will impact the human race for generations. The book follows my spiritual journey as I travel across the globe throughout the course of two lifetimes.

The darkness before us does offer an opportunity, a chance to remake ourselves by transforming our minds. Instead of being eaten up by the abyss we can choose to Awaken Spiritually, for that transforms the one thing we can control – our minds. It often seems that we are waiting for someone to step up for us – a Mandela, Ghandi or Martin Luther King. But they are dead and gone. So it is up to you, up to me to step up and awaken spiritually. That’s what my book – Trailing Sky Six Feathers is about – though I was indeed very slow over four centuries to accept what I have just intimated.

There are two main characters that open the book in 18th century Arizona– Trailing Sky Six Feathers and Eagle Speaker. When the reader encounters Trailing Sky Six Feathers, my muse from the past, they encounter a powerful, relentless woman who transforms my life in reality in the 21st century, not in historical fiction. She has been described as one of the most powerful women in modern Canadian Literature. Eagle Speaker is her husband and also my transformation vehicle. He dies cradled in her arms in a medicine wheel in the year 1777. As he takes his last breath Trailing Sky whispers to him:
“I will find you my husband, I will find you.”

Light Beam at the centre of the Medicine Wheel

KEY POINTS IN THE STORY
– HERO’S JOURNEY OVER FOUR CENTURIES
– PLANETARY CARE – 18TH CENTURY RENEWAL, 21ST CENTURY ACTIVISM
– EARTH WISDOM OF THE ELDERS/ SHAMANIC HEALING
– FUTURE GENERATIONS
– GURU TRAINING IN INDIA/ NDE/TRANSFORMATION
– REMEMBERING; PAST LIFE COLLIDING WITH PRESENT LIFE/ RESISTANCE
– TRANSFORMATION OF KARMA/CONSCIOUSNESS
– VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF LOVE STORY THRO CENTURIES – not a Harlequin Romance!

Ian in India

This exciting Hero’s Journey is like Indiana Jones meets the Buddha with a dash of Celestine Prophecy. The story told shines light on the darkest elements of the human condition, including my own. This challenging journey has me stumbling through the first part of life, then standing strong in my own sovereignty in the latter part. In this book I navigate past and present life experiences from brutal raids on Indian settlements in 18th century Arizona, insane sea voyages off the Scottish Hebrides in the 20th century to surrender to The Muse in the 21st century. These

We follow my journey to accept The Muse capable of transforming karma from violence and abuse to clarity and purpose. Readers will travel the pages as I learn to embrace The Muse, Trailing Sky Six Feathers, a South Western Native American wife and medicine woman in whose arms I died in 1777. She vows to find me to complete my purpose despite resistance from my highly intellectual mind in this lifetime.
My severe and challenging journey includes shamanic healings of childhood sexual abuse, guru training as well as a near death experience in an ashram in India. Trailing Sky Six Feathers initiates a dream vision in 2008 that caps my slow process of remembering a clear mosaic of experience stretching back in time two hundred and thirty one years. Over a period of thirty years, four extraordinary medicine people enhance my process of remembering, while Trailing Sky waits patiently from the distant past. I learn how to reconfigure my understanding of time, place, consciousness and Carl Jung’s psychology. I chose to listen to the feminine voice of Earth Wisdom rather than to the multitude of competing voices in my deep unconscious. Past life memories collide head on with the present, all thanks to the persistence of Trailing Sky Six Feathers, the Muse who refused to give up. Karma is reversed, the internal battles are over as I begin to live life as a Meditation for Gaia. The relentless shadowing by this engaging Muse brings understanding not only to me, but to anyone engaged in overcoming the darkness of their past. This book caps my long-term fascination with consciousness.

In the next blog I will draw on a recent sterling Review of this work.

TRAILING SKY SIX FEATHERS: NOW AVAILABLE

My 2008 book Failsafe: Saving the Earth from Ourselves was dedicated to Trailing Sky Six Feathers, a South West Native American medicine woman from the 18th century. My new book is her story and how her life and mine interconnect in the 21st century through a journey that spans four centuries. The collision of past with present lives creates a radical new compass to guide me through the difficult times we live in.

I am grateful to the many hearts and minds that helped me complete this lifework. Trailing Sky Six Feathers illuminates issues that will affect our world for generations to come. This hero’s journey is like Indiana Jones meets the Buddha with a dash of Celestine Prophecy; shining light on the darkest elements of the human condition, including my own.
For Autographed Version GO TO: http://www.ianprattis.com/TrailingSky.html Click on ORDER BOOK. Check out Overview, The Author, Chapter Summaries, Chapter Three, Testimonials and Blog. You can also Order Book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Xlibris for Hardcover, Softcover and E-Book.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

Option B: From the Publisher
XLIBRIS: For Hardcover, Softcover and E-Book
http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000915195/TRAILING-SKY-SIX-FEATHERS.aspx
Option C: From Amazon and Barnes & Noble
AMAZON: Hardcover and Softcover
http://www.amazon.com/Trailing-Sky-Six-Feathers-Journey/dp/1493196790/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400002916&sr=1-2&keywords=TRAILING+SKY+SIX+FEATHERS
KINDLE E Book: http://www.amazon.com/TRAILING-SKY-SIX-FEATHERS-Journey-ebook/dp/B00JV06FFY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400087917&sr=1-1&keywords=TRAILING+SKY+SIX+FEATHERS
BARNES AND NOBLE: Hardcover and Softcover
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trailing-sky-six-feathers-ian-prattis/1119281452?ean=9781493196791
NOOK E Book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trailing-sky-six-feathers-ian-prattis/1119281452?ean=9781493196777

Here is the publisher’s Overview:
The author is a Zen teacher, Poet, Professor Emeritus, Founder of Friends for Peace, Spiritual Warrior for Planetary Care and Social Justice. In this book he navigates past and present life experiences from brutal raids on Indian settlements in 18th century Arizona, insane sea voyages off the Scottish Hebrides in the 20th century to surrender to The Muse in the 21st century. These screenplay epics weave together to create inspiration for a wide range of spiritual seekers, environmentalists, educators, Generation X and Y, feminists, students and academics alike.

We are staring into the abyss: climate change, ecosystem and financial collapse, nuclear breakdown, terrorism and anarchy. Instead of being eaten up by the abyss “Awaken Spiritually” for that transforms everything. Our world has become an unpredictable beast. We fail to work with it intelligently. We must take back control of ourselves and this is a spiritual matter.

An exciting Hero’s Journey, as we follow his journey to accept The Muse capable of transforming his karma. The story has the author stumbling through the first part of life, then standing strong in his own sovereignty in the latter part. In India, Arizona, France and Canada’s wilderness, he goes to extraordinary lengths to transform four centuries of karma.
Readers will travel the pages with Ian as he learns to embrace The Muse – Trailing Sky Six Feathers – his South Western Native American wife and medicine woman in whose arms he died in 1777. Trailing Sky Six Feathers vows to find Ian (then known as Eagle Speaker) in a future time, to help him complete his purpose despite resistance from Ian’s intellectual and logical mind to remember that pledge in this lifetime.

Over a period of thirty years, four extraordinary medicine people enhance his process of remembering, while Trailing Sky waits patiently from the distant past. Ian learns how to reconfigure his understanding of time, place, consciousness and even Carl Jung’s psychology, where he chose to listen to the feminine voice of Earth Wisdom rather than to the multitude of competing voices in his deep unconscious.
Readers will be inspired as they watch Ian’s intention and strength of purpose transcend the patterns he had carried since childhood. Past life memories finally collide head on with the present, all thanks to the persistence of Trailing Sky Six Feathers, who refused to give up. Karma is reversed and the internal battles are over, as Ian begins to live his life as a Meditation for Gaia. The relentless shadowing of this engaging Muse brings understanding not only to Ian, but to anyone engaged in overcoming the darkness of their past.

Trailing Sky Six Feathers caps the author’s long-term fascination with consciousness. As a Professor of Anthropology and Religion he has taught courses on Ecology, Symbols, Engaged Buddhism and Meditation Systems. He is a healer, mentor and educator, able to encourage people through example to find their true nature so that humanity and the world may be renewed. Ian’s story is offered as a gift to our planet, as his purpose in life is to share his wealth of experience on how to live in harmony not just with ourselves but with the place we call home… earth.

In 2010, after an intense internal dialogue with his Muse, Trailing Sky Six Feathers, Ian asked her if he should write her story. There was a long silence that stretched into infinity until he finally heard her affirmation. Ian stood up and reached for his backpack and took out a writing pad. There was a gold plated fountain pen in the pack, though he used it rarely. This story had to be hand written. He inserted an ink cartridge into the pen and sat in a chair overlooking the sea and mountains on the west coast of British Columbia. Putting his pen to paper he started to write the first line of this book:
“Put down your weapons, my husband,” she said quietly with steely insistence.

Overview: Trailing Sky Six Feathers

We are all staring into the abyss: climate change, ecosystem and financial collapse, nuclear breakdown, corruption, terrorism and anarchy. Instead of being eaten up by it all I say, “Awaken Spiritually,” as that transforms everything. We have made our world an unpredictable beast because we fail to work with it intelligently. We have to take back control of ourselves and this is a spiritual matter. Turning on the switch of awakening is a good idea right now.

Trailing Sky Six Feathers sheds light on issues that will affect our world for generations to come. This exciting Hero’s Journey is like Indiana Jones meets the Buddha with a dash of Celestine Prophecy. The story told shines light on the darkest elements of the human condition, including my own. This challenging journey has me stumbling through the first part of life, then standing strong in my own sovereignty in the latter part. In India, Arizona, France and Canada’s wilderness, I go to extraordinary lengths to transform four centuries of karma.

SKU-000915196_COVER_V2.indd

I am an Editor, Poet, Professor Emeritus, Founder of Friends for Peace, Spiritual Warrior for Planetary Care, Peace and Social Justice. In this book I navigate past and present life experiences from brutal raids on Indian settlements in 18th century Arizona, insane sea voyages off the Scottish Hebrides in the 20th century to surrender to The Muse in the 21st century. These screenplay epics weave together to create inspiration for a wide range of spiritual seekers, environmentalists, Generation X, feminists, younger generation and academics alike.

We follow my journey to accept The Muse capable of transforming karma from violence and abuse to clarity and purpose. Readers will travel the pages as I learn to embrace The Muse, Trailing Sky Six Feathers, a South Western Native American wife and medicine woman in whose arms I died in 1777. She vows to find me to complete my purpose despite resistance from my highly intellectual mind in this lifetime.

My severe and challenging journey includes shamanic healings of childhood sexual abuse, guru training as well as a near death experience in an ashram in India. Trailing Sky Six Feathers initiates a dream vision in 2008 that caps my slow process of remembering a clear mosaic of experience stretching back in time two hundred and thirty one years. Over a period of thirty years, four extraordinary medicine people enhance my process of remembering, while Trailing Sky waits patiently from the distant past. I learn how to reconfigure my understanding of time, place, consciousness and Carl Jung’s psychology. I choose to listen to the feminine voice of Earth Wisdom rather than to the multitude of competing voices in my deep unconscious.

Readers will be inspired as they watch my intention and strength of purpose to transcend harmful patterns carried since childhood. Past life memories collide head on with the present, all thanks to the persistence of Trailing Sky Six Feathers, the Muse who refused to give up on me. Karma is reversed, the internal battles are over as I begin to live life as a Meditation for Gaia. The relentless shadowing by this engaging Muse brings understanding not only to me, but to anyone engaged in overcoming the darkness of their past.

This book caps my long-term fascination with consciousness. As a Professor of Anthropology and Religion I taught courses on Ecology, Symbols, Engaged Buddhism and Meditation Systems. I am a healer, mentor and educator, able to encourage people through example to find their true nature so that humanity and the world may be renewed. This story is offered as a gift to our planet. My purpose in life is to share my wealth of experience on how to live in harmony not just with ourselves but with the place we call home… earth.

Tipi

In 2010, after an intense internal dialogue with my Muse, Trailing Sky Six Feathers, I asked if I should write her story. There was a long silence that stretched into infinity until I finally heard her affirmation. I stood up and reached for my backpack and took out a writing pad. There was a gold plated fountain pen in the pack, rarely used. I inserted an ink cartridge into the pen and sat in a chair overlooking the sea and mountains on the west coast of British Columbia. Putting pen to paper I started to write the first line of this book:
“Put down your weapons, my husband,” she said quietly with steely insistence.

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is a wonderful legacy left to us by the Buddha. It is a meditative form that can be used for many purposes – for calming and slowing down, for insight and looking deeply and also for healing. We know from our experience of hikes in nature, or neighborhood walks after dinner, that sudden flashes of insight often arise in concert with our footsteps. We then see clearly how to handle a predicament or solve a problem. Imagine what can happen when we add conscious awareness to our footsteps. When we concentrate on our breath and focus on slow walking, we actually have a brilliant piece of engineering to quiet the mind and body. When we add a third concentration–aware of how our feet touch the earth–we have a meditative practice designed for our times. We focus our mind on the mechanism of each foot touching the earth–Heel, then Ball of Foot, then Toe. We slow down even further and with our body, not our intellect or ego, we make a contract with Mother Earth to walk more lightly on her surface and leave a smaller footprint. We examine our consumption patterns and energy use and commit to decreasing the size of our ecological footprint.

With this concentrated focus of walking meditation there is very little opportunity for the mind to worry about past events or future anticipations. The meditation keeps us present, here in the moment of being fully alive. We slow down internally with the focus on breath, steps and contact with the earth. This is aided by another component we can add to walking meditation–a gentle half smile kept on your lips to nurture the peace and silence within. With the deepening of this internal silence, insight naturally occurs.

Walking meditation is a powerful methodology for healing ourselves and the earth. We start by breathing in and out with full attention to the in-breath and to the out-breath. Co-ordinating our breath with our steps we breathe in, saying silently to ourselves, “Breathing in” as we take two or three slow steps. Then as we breathe out, we say, “Breathing out” as we take two or three slow steps, fully aware of breathing in and out, and of walking slowly step by step. Sometimes you will take two steps, sometimes three or four steps, sometimes there will be more steps on the out-breath than on the in-breath. Allow the breath and lungs to find a natural rhythm with your steps. It is the concentration and awareness that matters, not whether you take two or three steps.

The meditation keeps us present, here in the moment of being fully alive. It slows us down step by step so that our mind enters silence. This is the important first stage of meditative practice, Samatha, learning to stop our busyness and mental agitations. When we come to a stop internally, then the opportunity is there to see deeply into ourselves and know the true nature of our reality.

First of all we must close the external doors of our preoccupations with judgements, ego-attachments and illusions; for then the inner doors to the heart begin to open. That is where Vipassana happens, deep looking and insight into the heart of ourselves and of all matter. Both arise in walking meditation, as we slow down internally with the focus on breath, steps and gatha. With the deepening of this internal silence, insight naturally occurs because in the present moment we touch our true nature and enter heart consciousness. From this consciousness we experience our interconnectedness with all, touching the Divinity in ourselves and others. In this consciousness all our relationships are shaped by the experience of oneness, for our relationships are with Buddha consciousness, with Christ consciousness, with whatever term comes naturally to you to describe the Divinity within all.

Walking meditation is also a powerful methodology for healing, as we automatically discard our distress and anxiety while we are doing it. If we closely observe animals when they are injured or hurt, we would notice that they retreat to a safe place and slow their breathing and metabolism down, so that their internal energies of healing are activated. They do not eat, remaining still and quiet they come to a deep rest and heal as they stop. This is all done instinctively; no one has taught them about Samatha–it is simply the first step animals take in healing themselves. If our modern medical doctors would learn this lesson from animals and the Buddha they could guide their patients to stop and meditate, enter inner silence and enhance the recovery process by allowing the internal energies of healing to arise. All of the components of walking meditation – Samatha, Vipassana and healing – become a single focus as we maintain our awareness of being in the present moment. We just need to practice it.

ian at brook

At the university where I used to teach, I would walk from the bus stop and take a detour around the greenhouses of the Botany Department and come to the Rideau River that runs along one side of the campus. From there I had a kilometer of riverbank to practice walking meditation before arriving at my office building. It is quite secluded in parts and the river has sets of rapids that greatly enrich my walk. One section of the path takes my steps through a cedar grove, and I always feel a sacred blessing from these beautiful trees. I slow my walking right down to a three–three rhythm when I enter the cedar grove. The path is never the same, as the seasons change its character. Autumn leaves give way to snowfall as winter leaves her embrace. My clothes and footwear change, yet my steps, breathing and feet touching the earth remain constant. The rustle of autumn leaves is replaced by the crunch of snow and ice, which gives way to the mud and rain of spring before the heat of summer allows me to walk in sandals or barefoot. The birds and foliage change with the seasons, as does the river–iced over in winter, turbulent in the spring and calm in summer and fall. Students with their books and friends congregate by the river when the weather is sunny.

Autumn Sunset

I notice the changes in the seasonal round of nature, yet remain with my breathing, footsteps and the earth, so that I am not drawn into unnecessary thought. It takes me approximately twenty minutes to arrive at my office. I am in a clear, calm state and better able to be of assistance to students and colleagues and bring my own sense of calm and clarity to the university. On leaving the university I retrace my steps of walking meditation along the river before going home, or to appointments in the city. The experience engenders the same calm and clarity. This walk is Paradise, a constant reminder to me for those occasions when I am not in touch with the Earth Mother. We do not need to walk on water, or over hot coals. We simply need to walk on the earth and touch her deeply with our full awareness. That is all that walking meditation is.

Buddha's Geet