Total Freedom is Already So…..

October 8, 2012 - Leave a Response

Who is dreaming,

and who is awake?

The One who’s awake is ever awake.

The one who dreams is itself the dream.

This earth is a miraculous blue speck, a little grain of sand on a cosmic beach. And still, there is a universe hidden from our minds, one of devastating beauty without end, waiting to be unveiled from within an even tinier speck: a human being.

And you know where this is hidden? The only place we’ve never really bothered to look. Behind our very eyes, there is a majesty to be explored that knows nothing of size or duration. Yet, here we are, preoccupied with iPhones, weed and politics. Pick a distraction, any distraction. Perhaps the most tantalizing resides in the unseen: the magnetic allure of spiritual adventure. We sit at a circular conveyor belt of flavors, a continuous, multi-realm, all-you-can-eat buffet.

If we knew what we were overlooking, we would drop everything and run for it, immediately.

Our life has been whizzing by, and our heads have been in a cloud.

Past, future, past, future.

If we genuinely stop, we notice that there is a fire in us. One of confusion, despair and doubt, a fire which no strategies, spiritual, intellectual, or sensual, can keep at bay forever. Our strategies soothe us in the same way a pacifier soothes a distraught baby. We’re a bit too intimidated, even traumatized, to come out of the crib, with all our jingly toys and mobiles. Silence is uncomfortable, unbearable, even, because we become acutely aware of this uneasiness, this neediness, this fearfulness, and we don’t know what to do with it. So, understandably, we insulate ourselves with more noise, in the hope that it will drown, or at least tame, the fire. And in a way, it does.

But thankfully, there’s another choice.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re probably more afraid of the potential bliss than the pain, because we’re not sure we deserve it. Through no fault of our own, really, we’ve been caught up in cycles of judgement and anger for so long, that we unconsciously fear retribution. What we can’t know until we stop avoiding it, and really jump in, is that this fire only burns what will not be missed: all the noise that’s been driving us nuts in the first place! And what’s discovered, if we’re willing to courageously meet the fire, in any moment? Enormous simplicity, gratitude, relief, joy, wisdom, forgiveness, and much more….

Just a little shift of focus, and everything suddenly becomes very funny. It is seen that the True has been here, fully revealed, the entire time. And we have been snoring too loud to hear the voice inside screaming, “Wake up!!!!!” When we first catch a glimpse, we’re a little like this monkey. And then we’re hooked, and we’ll never settle for anything less than the full Truth. (Or, we assume that’s it, and become a preacher…)

In any case, our jaw actually never closes again. But it was only the beginning. Just a wee little taste. So we gotta keep going.

The doorway to immediate, unending peace is always open.

Welcome Home.

Sometimes, this is all we need to hear: “Yes. It really is possible.”

So we can stop this insane race leading nowhere. Even if it’s just for a moment, we can stop running towards, or away from This, whatever This is. And boy oh boy, when we do, it’s not at all what we think it’s gonna be. In this Now, there is no past, no future, no present, even. All one could ever want, or imagine, and so much more, is here, but we have just been otherwise engaged. Distracted. Hypnotized. Under the spell of conditioning. But we are so much more than our conditioning.

By and by, as our Self-contemplation deepens, our attraction to the unreal is shaken off… The unfolding of insight into the truth of who we are continues infinitely. There’s no “there” to get to. No need to chase a carrot on a stick. It’s here, complete, already. The secret is to stay hereTo remain the witness.

If we realize this now, the unfolding will be seen to occur, not to us, but in us. That way, life can be enjoyed as the adventure that it is, and not taken to be some kind of personal life and death journey. “Personal” is only an idea, anyway, one which we happen to have become infatuated with. The play of “gain and loss” will no longer be seen in a this light, since there is no losing or gaining for what we are.

Only serenity, an unshakable sense that we already are all we’ll ever need.

**********

There is no effort here,

nor are there differences to speak of.

All is quiet. All is well.

Nothing to do.

Nothing to say.

Nowhere to be.

Just.

This.

**********

No need to prove anything, or explain.

Show your love.

Words only cover up what’s real.

What would you say if this were your last day here?

Use each moment, precious as it really is.

Water plays as ice, liquid, and mist,

but it’s always still water.

*******

No two expressions of essence are alike. But in discovering the ground of all Being, we realize that in Reality, there is no “one and the other,” there is only this one Being. All individualities are only apparently real. Not essentially so. Nothing functions outside of the Self. Our Self is all there is, simply playing as diversity, and re-discovering itself through that play. It is FREE, always and forever. Without beginning or end. Even free to dream that it is other than what it is.

Utter nakedness, even for a split second, takes a childlike trust, a real willingness to open. As Papaji shows us, Truth is only revealed when we undress ourselves of our mind, discarding all the layers of clothing we have been wearing and calling “me.”

We are already what we are, so mind remains an “obstacle” only so long as we believe that it stands in between “us” and some imaginary That. When we see how silly this game is, and that there can be no “path” or “way” from here to here, we simply drop the thought, like a dog dropping a bone, and voila! (You know how some dogs take forever to let go of the damn thing? Well… We’re like that too! So it can take a little time.) In that moment of dropping our idea of who we are, nothing has really changed, but it seems that everything has changed. We finally laugh! This is the cosmic joke! The mind is no longer intimidating, with its relentless gibberish. It has been stripped of its false authority. If we persevere in this inquiry, we are drawn progressively into our innate peace.

We cannot find peace by making everything somehow “known.” The mind is a cosmic playground generator. An entire galaxy springs out of a single thought. Each thought yields infinite dimensions of possibilities, each of which then yields infinite possibilities, and so on. Every attempt at “knowing” actually just creates more to know. Absolute futility!

The way into freedom is right into mystery, the door of Consciousness itself, not through a perfect arrangement of the content arising in that Consciousness. We are the Ocean, not the fish. The Field, not the players. Not even the player we’ve come to identify with. In other words, we must turn towards the invisible field that gives rise to the dimensions we mistakenly call “reality.” What do we want, to be overwhelmed by the Infinite, as a helpless fish flailing in an impossibly large ocean, or to joyfully flow through this great existence, forever at one with who we really are?

What we give up in exchange for freedom is the capacity to lie to ourselves. When we begin discovering the fulfillment of uncompromising self-honesty, and drop out of the theatre company called “me and my stories,” we tune in to the Totality that is already here. In so doing, our life spontaneously begins to serve That with every breath. To play along, in a sense, instead of trying, with so little long term success, to do our “own thing.” That’s what the ego is doing, really. It’s a kid’s game, one which gets old at some point. In shifting our orientation, we are re-directing our soul back home into the Source, into the embrace of our own Self.

What, in you, is always here, but making no effort?

Just as the blood circulates, the hair grows, the body sweats,

so too are thoughts arising, choices made and actions taken.

All of this happens of its own…

In WHOSE presence are these things seen?

Can this one be found?

Does it have a shape? A size? An age?

A belief? An opinion? A desire?

Look inside! Find out!

A Call to Action: The Power of Peace

July 31, 2012 - One Response

“You’re runnin’ and you’re runnin’ and you’re runnin’ away, 

but you can’t run away from yourself…”

— Bob Marley

Peace is not at the end of some mystical journey. There is nothing to learn. Nothing to hold, nothing to remember, nothing to try to be. All we need is a willingness to be uncertain. At some point we recognize that “I know absolutely nothing at all.” In fact, if we did “know” anything whatsoever, it would still be irrelevant. This recognition is actually a big relief. It clears up a lot of inner space, space for us to open to what we cannot know, which is actually the only thing that can ever make us eternally, permanently happy. Realizing who we are. Does that kind of joy even exist? Absolutely.

When we discover the choice to be inwardly still and watchful, as opposed to identified and involved, an entirely new reality begins to reveal itself…. But it’s about self-honesty, above all else. The doorway into this immutable peace is unconditional acceptance, of all that is on either side of the eyes, in the world of thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations, and in the world of physical circumstances. As long as we wage subtle or not-so-subtle wars with what’s right here, right now, we will miss the peace that is synonymous with our very being. It is the underlying, universal truth that remains untouched by all that activity. We have become so used to keeping busy with our minds that, at first, it takes considerable effort to stop following those highly rehearsed impulses.

Like all the most exquisite transformations, something must end for something new to begin.

As we begin to recognize the flimsy nature of our idea about who we are, and start taking our stories less literally, we come to a point where we start to go through a sort of spiritual detoxification, as our consciousness combs out all the crud that’s accumulated over the eons. This build-up is individual and collective, partly a consequence of the animal brain’s evolution, so it doesn’t need to be taken personally. Storms are weathered. Fears are met, head on. Tears are shed. But they carry away our burdens and wash our smarting wounds. Forgiveness is available. Will we accept?

“He who seeks God, finds himself.

He who seeks himself, finds God.”

-Unknown

This is not the path to subtler dimensions and more colorful experience, though we do become aware of these things. But they are not our goal. Peace is here now, unnoticed, like the tip of an iceberg barely poking out of the water, as the simple intuition: “I exist.” Somehow confusion has come in, and the attention resides elsewhere. We have made thoughts our abode, when the only home we ever feel truly at home in is this one. This pure beingness itself is our home. It is a choice to return, but what we think about what this means has nothing to do with what it really is.

You don’t have to know anything to be who you already are.

The following is one of the most beautiful invitations anyone has ever offered to me…….. It seemed pretty intense, pretty drastic at first. Little did I realize what a gift it really was….

“Give up your knowledge, and be free. Knowledge is information, only, and information is not intelligence. Give up your ideas about what you think is good for you. Give up your shoulds and should-nots. Clear seeing is not possible with eyes of the one we think we are. Wisdom lives only in the absence of knowledge.”

I could get all scientific and quantumy about interconnectedness, about the impossibility of a separate self, any self other than the Universal Self. I could say it’s nothing but a very sophisticated, divine hallucination. But peace doesn’t come from the world of concepts, no matter how pretty they may be. Even if the ideas are exquisite, something remains to be desired….

Since consciousness itself is nonlinear, power influences indirectly, and it is therefore not what we do or say, but what we’ve become, that counts in the long run. To really serve humanity, to really help, all that’s necessary is to know who we are. If our action is not a spontaneous outpouring of Self-awareness (as opposed to self-awareness), it can be a lot like bailing out the sea. A deluded attempt at fixing something that ain’t broke. I’m not speaking of avoidance, only of necessary detachment from what’s isn’t ultimately true. We must know who we are, first. This way, our actions are organic and intuitive, not a product of the mind. Patience is paramount.

Linear action is good, and sometimes quite necessary, but it is limited. Nonlinear action is what I’m speaking of. That’s unlimited, and infinitely more powerful. All this talk of what is or isn’t true or real is like teaching swimming classes in the desert. Why don’t we just go to the sea?! All I can say is, we have the capacity to open to this mystery. Look into the eyes of these beings… What’s pouring out of their eyes? Actually, even just looking at these pictures has a profoundly positive effect on us, energetically. We just need to be open. To what? The okayness and LOVE they radiate without words. Among others, these guides and bearers of wisdom give us hope, courage and support in turning towards our eternal truth.

Self-knowledge is immediate. What is language, other than metaphorical communication? What’s really being communicated by each of us is entirely nonverbal and beyond the reach of the mind. Our ignorance is our knowledge, as odd as that might sound. “Knowing,” as in accumulating and controlling, which guards us from the intimidating idea of an unknowable infinity, keeps us stuck in our heads.

“When Logic comes of age it strangles itself in its nets and then becomes transmuted into Faith, which is the deeper knowledge.”

-Mikhail Naimy, the Book of Mirdad

Humility saves us from ignorance. Best believe, there are beings out here for whom transcending the ego is like kindergarten. Puts things in perspective, no? That means we’re in preschool, and we’ve been held back for like umpteen years. We can relax, have a laugh, and move on with it. Seems like it might be time to grow up, and stop stealing each others’ blocks, pushing each other down, whining for more cookies and throwing tantrums when we don’t get our way.

There is a way out and a way up. The way in. The higher ground is no joke.

None of this can be rushed. Besides, it unfolds infinitely! But we can take action. The process is just not in any individual’s control.  We could say, only half-jokingly, that this is the pre-school to kindergarten transition. We graduate when we’re ready to. Faith is not blind, or else it is full of fear, and then it is something else entirely. Awareness provides faith, which grows alongside an expanding consciousness. This kind of trust is based on wisdom. And the bedrock of wisdom is humility. Are we willing to, in deeper and deeper ways, give up what we think we know?

*************

As with anything, we gotta take it one step at a time.

Taking Responsibility for Your Life: You Have the Power

June 17, 2012 - Leave a Response

In each and every being resides the gestating seed of divinity….

“Hatch, or become an omelette!” -Mooji

Openings are a mysterious thing. We never plan for them, and usually the losses, the catastrophes, the shake-ups, the catalysts, are met with extreme resistance. And why wouldn’t they be? It goes against all of human conditioning, the core survival mechanism of the animal brain, not to avoid pain. How to cope with such impossible hardship? Get tough or die, says the brain. The hurt is locked away, the key is swallowed, and the door slams shut. “The air is too cold, I’m staying in here. It’s dark, but at least I don’t feel so much. Numb is better than ouch. Pass the morphine.” End of story.

Or is it? For some, that split instant of extreme helplessness is seized, inexplicably, and out into the cold air they go. The daunting vulnerability we feel in fully opening to our wounds, if we are brave and push on, inevitably gives way to the miraculous. An experience of the Love that has no “other,” no object, and for which time does not exist. It often occurs in near-death experiences. However brief or extended it may be, the unmistakable, wordless recognition of one’s unconditional existence leaves a permanent imprint. Life is never quite the same. These tastes, these unforgettable glimpses of a higher consciousness, spur us onwards in our evolutionary journey. Any experience that comes and goes cannot be it— the absolute, unchanging truth of Always– but layers of energetic armor are unfolding, revealing inner worlds we had not yet known. Through these dips in the pure water, we begin to lose our taste for the muddy, poison-ridden liquid we’ve become so accustomed to.

As fear is met with unflinching honesty, and dissolves into trust, faithful devotion emerges from the ashes of belief. This is the wayless way to the essential at-home-ness we all deeply crave.

**************************************

Basking in silent awe,

echoing the wonder

of having touched the Source.

Let kindness be the guiding light,

with humility, gratitude and patience

forever at my side.

Intuitively, we seem to know something we haven’t been taught: the heart can break open. As each layer of the shell cracks, we feel the agony of birth, the pain of separation from the only reality we have known. We grieve for what is being lost. Again and again. Disillusionment is confusing and difficult. And yet, illusions are being dissolved and released, not truths.

We are subject to suffering only to the extent that we hold on to it as an indication of realityIn this way, we are expanding into our fullness, a fullness that is empty of all the noise and drama of personhood. We simply let go of what keeps us in darkness, and the light stands revealed. It was here all along, inside. Separating from separateness hurts, because we hold dear what we have come to regard for so long as ours. Histories of both joy and suffering. Who are we without these stories?

 ******************************

Let the puzzle pieces drop.

To live in the mystery requires trust,

and an unlimited supply of courage.

There is no map leading here.

 Don’t be the one sitting while the music plays!

The dance is timelessly now.

Move freely and you’ll see:

you are the stillness in the motion.

At its root, spirituality is the progressive letting go of resistance. Resistance to what is, to things as they already are. At first, it’s quite strong, seemingly impossible to conquer, but with perseverance, it loses its bite. We begin to experience the rewards, the profound insights that come through the process. But this only comes with persistence, an unwavering commitment to truth, a willingness to say “no matter what.” (Ninety-nine percent of people walk out here…)

You can’t be on the fence. Unconditional trust in the process is the only way. Taking action in this sense is a very powerful choice. Choosing direct insight over projections of the mind. In dedicating ourselves to the upliftment of all beings by breaking our shell of delusion, we must devote ourselves exclusively to realizing and honoring what is true, instead of bothering with what isn’t.

*********

Be still, my dear.

Unless we stop stirring,

water never settles clear.

********

Freedom is always discovered in letting go, which takes trust. Although they tend to be conflated, belief is the opposite of faith: it is clinging, holding on to something. An idea. A hope. An image. A fantasy. Our beliefs aren’t only religious, they are scientific and mundane too… “I believe this is all stupid and my life has no meaning.” I’m sorry to hear that! It’s not true at all, as far as the big picture is concerned. But if you believe it, it’ll be true for you. As I see it, we all have a roll to play here. We’re here because we belong.

The evolutionary leap in human consciousness is from mind to heart-based living. It is in realizing the true creative power of the mind, and going beyond its matrix of illusions. There is no such thing as “out there.” We are truly co-creators of this life, not victims of some “external” reality. The shift is from intellectual knowledge to pure intuition, or silent knowledge, uncontaminated by the egoic mind. Trust is of the heart. Belief systems are of the mind, and can all be traced back to the fundamental fear of human experience: the fear of the loss of love. It is the root of all destructiveness and ignorance, which is only healed when we recognize that which we already are, and are therefore inseparable from: life itself.

“Our minds are biological machines that resemble computers… Each human computer has a name, but a name is only an agreement we have made. I am not really a human being named Miguel Ruiz. You are not a human being either. We just agree that we are humans. Everything we put into our computers is an agreement. It is not necessarily good or bad, right or wrong. It is just information. According to that information, we perceive the world and call it reality. This information is the source of our limitations. We create images about ourselves and everything else. We then want to believe in those images.”

-Don Miguel Ruiz

Most of human life is lived in cramped little shoe-boxes, whereby the content of the mind is felt as “reality.” Until we allow the shoe-box to dissolve, we cannot know what the stars look like, or who we really are. The mind (linear perception), which is always trying to “get it,” is not capable of discerning what’s true– what’s ALWAYS true– from what is false– what has only apparent reality.

Consciousness itself, including the body-mind it expresses through, is the instrument, not the conductor. There is only one Conductor: the Totality, the grand pattern of existence itself, at one with the information-less, infinite potentiality out of which it springs. And the show must always go on, whether we get our act together or not. If we think it’s a matter of belief, we’re missing an immense opportunity to really see. To be the music, in perfect sync with the One conducting it, we must first choose to be instruments of Cosmic Harmony. We must tune our instruments.

Harmony is synonymous with Life. Tune in and tune up, and all else will be understood. THAT is the way into this marvelous Unity of BeingIn Its eyes, all seeming disharmony is recognized as a function of the whole, not as a glitch in the matrix. As spoken by the wonderful artist Alex Grey, this matrix is “a womb for the gestation of the awakening human spirit.” No matter how brilliant we may be, this cannot, under any circumstances, be realized from an intellectual standpoint!

********

*****

***

“Spiritual progress is based on acceptance as a matter of free will and choice, and thus everyone experiences only the world of his or her own choosing. The universe is totally free of victims, and all eventualities are the unfolding of inner choices and decisions.”

-Dr. David R. Hawkins

Every one of us is an amazing, immortal being. A multi-dimensional expression of life, embedded in a holographic universe. A miracle. The fact that we are, at all, is weird and magical. Our experiences span eons, and include more forms than can be spoken. We are, at this time, the culmination of all we have ever been. Appearances are deceiving. We are, right this moment, everything we have ever been, and everything we will be. In the reality of the “I” that continuously lives –a reality which is outside of time, and therefore not subject to death– past, present and all future potentialities exist simultaneously. These time-bodies give us the impression that this is not the case, so most of us do not currently enjoy a direct experience of this truth, and live in secret or not-so-secret fear of oblivion.

The consciousness that we are is eternally growing and evolving, and when we become fully aware of this, life gets a whole lot more fun. It fills up with relief, wonder and gratitude. At the very core, we are more than the sum of our experience. We are not our mind, our body or even our soul. The essence of what we are is deeper than all that. And yet, it includes all.

 An individual life, like the universal life, is not static– it is very much alive, a process that doesn’t have a start or a finish. It’s a pattern of mindboggling, immeasurable proportions, of which the individual’s experience of existence is only an aspect. Not a “part,” as in parts that combine to make up a whole. A part in the sense of a foot that is a living aspect of a body, with its own particular embodied intelligence, which is simultaneously connected to and inseparable from the intelligence of the whole body.

One thing to be very clear about is that, since everything is connected to everything else, there is no “thing” called individual existence. What there is, is a subjective experience of an individual existence. The “objective” cannot exist without the “subjective,” yet most of us buy into someone else’s version of reality, hook, line and sinker.

******

****

***

**

RECEPTIVITY

We only broadcast the signals we receive…

Being receptive is to let go of “knowing,” to release the unconscious need to be right (which defends our “safety zone”), and to surrender the presumption that reason is the ultimate yardstick of truth. We cannot express beauty in our lives unless we are open to beauty! And guess what? It ain’t rational! Or logical. It’s irrational and illogical. Anything can be rationalized, all the way from hate to lovingness.

But life, and life’s love of life, is not explainable, it just IS. It’s too BIG for reason and its finicky compartments. We need to empty out all this noise; beauty needs more SPACE than the mind’s activities allow for. Somehow, the vast majority of us are energetically wired for fear and hatred. To authentically rewire for love not only takes time, but also an unwavering intention. It’s a more significant shift than what’s commonly understood. Essentially, it’s about what happens THROUGH you, not what happens TO you.

“Q: Where is the reality of eternal truth to be found?

A: Begin by accepting the very important statement that all truth is subjective. Do not waste lifetimes looking for an objective truth because no such thing exists. Even if it did, it could not be found except by the purely subjective experience of it. All knowledge and wisdom are subjective. Nothing can be said to exist unless it is subjectively experienced.”

-Dr. David R. Hawkins

What seems like a black hole to the mind is actually a living Being, a Being eternally aware of itself as all that exists, in all that exists. All potential experiences are birthed out of this so-called nothing, this nowhere. Words fail to articulate the beauty of this truth. It can never make sense to the mind, which seeks “proof,” something to hold. It’s not a “thing” (no thing), and it’s not located “somewhere,” as opposed to somewhere else. It’s here, but not a “here” which is opposed to a “there.” Non-dualistic Awareness is independent of form, yet synonymous with Being. The presence of this Light of Consciousness, the very Light that illuminates the life of the mind, becomes unmistakable when we turn our attention towards it. It is blinding, but only for the one who is already blind.

In truth, it gives sight.

These words are useless nonsense, unless there is confirmation by direct experience of what they point to. There’s nothing to learn. The collective consciousness of humanity is primarily focused on content. To be free, and to discover endless joy and peace, get acquainted with context. The space, not the stuff. The full picture, including the background, not the details. Spiritual vision is more like peripheral vision: it’s panoramic.

In taking full responsibility for one’s own experience– meaning, not the content of it, but the manner, the WAY in which life is being experienced, in all its variations and permutations, victories and losses, joys and sorrows– for the first time, the option to join the flow of the cosmic movement is discovered. Not as a novelty, or a trendy strategy to get by, or a passcode to paradise, but as a lived recognition of our deepest truth.

Paradoxically, taking back our personal power is identical to giving up our personal identity.

In that discovery, the gateway to wisdom and serenity is unveiled. As resistance to whatever IS is released, one’s identity is no longer experienced like a rock being tossed to and fro in an unfriendly and mysterious sea, but instead is felt as the movements and interactions of the environment as a whole. In this case, the question of vulnerability is not applicable, since one human existence is not a “part” being pushed around, but an action of the whole. Thus, this seeming individuality is the location of this discovery, not a tangible truth unto itself.

This kind of opening cannot be pushed on anyone, nor does it need to be. Missionary types miss the point entirely. Those who are ripe for this inquiry will naturally gravitate towards it. All happens as it must, and we each play our role the best we know how. A life of honor and integrity is impossible without being humble. Too often, “Thy will be done” is only a deferral, and self-judgement passes for humility. Genuine humility empowers. It gives us strength. It is acknowledging what is beyond the human’s capacity to know, and then gratefully recognizing, celebrating and sharing one’s good fortune in discovering the miracle uncovered by this kind of receptivity. THAT is taking responsibility.

“That which happens is not to punish… It’s to show a better way.”


Adventures in Consciousness: Finding Our Way Through the Circus

May 18, 2012 - Leave a Response

Plunked smack in the midst of seeming chaos, on a messy and breathtaking planet we call Earth, most of us don’t quite know what to make of it. Sometimes all we need is a dash of sweet perspective in our slightly bitter soup… If we’re lucky and something ignites, that spark of inspiration can change our lives forever…

You are not just on this planet. This planet is alive in you. The world you know is made from nothing other than your own consciousness. There is nothing apart from you. However… The limits of your own experience are entirely up to you.

This earthly life is like an exquisitely crafted, no-holds-barred amusement park.

Beings at all stages of their evolution line up to take the rides. And we all choose our own rides. It’s “pick your own adventure.” But we, as individuals, don’t control the rides, themselves. This can be tough when you’re hanging upside-down on the loopdeeloop. “Arrrgh, why did it look so fun? This sucks!!” The attractions span from joyous frolicking in lollipop land, to terrified shrieking in the little house of horrors. Some like the predictability of the merry-go-round, some like the adrenaline of roller coasters. Some can’t get enough. Some get sick after, and still go back for more. These ones eat astronaut ice cream and stuffed-crust pizza, gambling for stuffed plush teddy bears the size of Shaquille O’Neal, and those ones sit quietly under a tree, admiring clouds that look like ducks.

One’s dream is another’s nightmare. One’s poison is another’s nectar. Those who keep going into the haunted house scoff at the wimps who always choose the ferris wheel, and those on the ferris wheel are aghast that there is such a place as “The Royal Palace of Blood and Guts,” and that it always seems to be such a popular venue.

Whatever your taste may be, monsieur le Chef is in the house. No matter how obscure and absurd, all is available for the small price of….

Yep, you guessed it: all memories of your last trip to the fair.

That being said, there is no sense in judging others– or ourselves– for our choice of rides, especially since those choices are mostly made in the absence of conscious awareness. As if while sleepwalking. No matter how crazy some of the rides seem. “I mean, who would choose that one?! Goodness gracious…” Well, chances are, you did once, too. This isn’t your first time here. So don’t take your opinions so seriously. What we can do is to become more conscious of the choices we are making in our own day at the fair. Then the adventure starts to change. Big time.

What’s that, you say? You’re tired? You wanna go home? For now, maybe, but you’ll be back to play some more… Unless you lose interest in this mode of entertainment, which you will, eventually… When? Who knows, maybe that’s why you’re on this website?

If you’re here on this planet, you’ve agreed to join the circus.

You just don’t remember. It’s okay. It’s not a bad thing.

Next time you wonder why things happen as they do, remember: this is a custom-made adventure. You’re here, are you not? That means you signed up! Now stop blaming the world for your perceptions, and the experiences they produce. None of it is random, and none of it is permanent, either. YOU, on the other hand, ARE permanent.

“You are free!

But you must determine

as what are you free.

You want to be

free as the ego.

But you have to be

free of the ego.”

-Mooji

Take back your power by owning up to your experience. Life doesn’t “happen to you.” You’ve asked for all of it, in every detail. Every moment, in all its aspects, is a perfectly arranged opportunity for your growth. What you do with it is up to you. All this, the whole of existence, is nothing other than your enlightenment school. If it didn’t seem so real to you, it wouldn’t be such a great school then, would it? This is a precious, precious opportunity. It’s exciting! Forget what you THINK you know.

Wake up!!!!!

THEN, life really begins, in earnest. Why? Because you finally see it for what it is.

We could say that every being is on their respective path, but it’s not just any old path. It’s a journey into the Heart of the Universe. This journey is both initiated and orchestrated by the Universe itself. There is nothing “out there” to save or help those who find themselves living this mysterious life, yet all beings are supplied with exactly what they need at all times, without exception. The help and the salvation are built-in aspects of the same all-encompassing evolutionary process. Why? No idea… Wrong question.

At a certain stage of this journey, a choice becomes available that didn’t seem to be present until then. This choice is to merge with the flow of life’s movement, until essential at-one-ment is gradually revealed as one’s subjective reality. The experience therefore shifts, from one seemingly at odds with the universal flow, to one of contributing positive and supportive energy to the movement as a whole, no matter how many potholes appear on the road. Those tend to be the biggest blessings, the greatest opportunities for soul growth. So, if things get hard, seek to understand rather than to escape or fix. You may be quite surprised by what comes of it…

The question is this: to support, and therefore experience being supported, or to deny, and therefore experience being denied? Affirm, or reject? Two directions, ONLY. Peace and freedom is the nature of the former experience, while resistance and suffering are the nature of the latter. What is false is not the opposite of what is true, it is only the denial of what is true. Darkness is not the opposite of light, but only its absence. It has no intrinsic existence. You can’t shine “darkness” into a room, can you? Therefore, suffering comes from believing in what has no reality, and peace comes from letting go of resistance to welcoming self-evident truth.

The road crosses in and out of time, but itself cannot be measured in time, which is only a pragmatic invention to serve a particular way of perceiving and getting on in a limited world. The “you” that doesn’t seem to remember who it is, isn’t bound by time, but you feel that way because time is believed wholeheartedly to be real. Otherwise, there would be no fear about it. The whole Universe is your oyster, your womb, your sandbox, your paradise, your inferno, or anything else you want for it to be. That is, until you realize that the game only goes for as long as you want for it to go.

*******

“But what a path it has been! I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. But it was right that it should be so; my eyes and heart acclaim it. […] Whither will my path yet lead me? This path is stupid, it goes in spirals, perhaps in circles, but whichever way it goes, I will follow it.”

– from Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse

*******

The world can’t be what it is without the experiencing of it, so, to understand the world, take a closer look at the “experiencer.” Be curious! What is this bundle of learned behaviors and tendencies for thought? Who’s this “me” supposedly doing and thinking all this stuff? If “I” am aware of that, then who am I? What is “I”? If one is persistent in this way of questioning, one starts to notice an uncanny correlation between the content of mind (thoughts and emotions) and experience. One feels less like a thing and more like an environment.

“The world is not what you think it is.

The world is exactly what you think it is.”

-Mooji

Like a life-size rorschach blot, everything we perceive is in us, not in “the world.” It’s like a giant house of mirrors, and the only way out is to transcend the ego, with its inherently limited and distorted perceptual reality. To transcend the relative means to transcend the personal, but paradoxically, the absolute can only be known subjectively! This is because it is pure, non-dualistic subjectivity, and therefore not demonstrable to an “other.” And no, the ego is not a disease to be eradicated (that would be an egoic impression), it’s a stage in the evolution of consciousness to be outgrown. The world isn’t itself “an illusion.” The world, as it’s being perceived, is an illusion. Big difference, but very subtle point to grasp. Most will not understand this, but those who do will be quite thrilled to see that this is so.

It can get a bit surreal, when we realize, for ourselves, beyond any doubt, that we are in fact experiencing only the content of our own minds, and not anything we could call “objective reality.” Obvious synchronicity begins to replace what one had ordinarily assumed to be coincidence. As the context becomes more interesting than the content, the game changes drastically.

Our ordinary experience of life, made claustrophobic by virtue of being imprisoned in our own minds, due to a simple lack of awareness, begins to expand. Something relaxes and opens. A magical quality starts to seep into the ordinariness of life… In this expansion, the feeling of identity, with all its correlated projections, memories, opinions and fears, starts to be absorbed in a deeper seeing.

Ahhhh… Welcome to Reality. And the discovery continues….

“You may say the world is unreal, but until the very unreality of the one saying this is confirmed within your heart, this utterance will remain a shallow display.”

-Mooji

When the Human Meets the Being

April 21, 2012 - Leave a Response

 Human/Being

The human yells out, “Love me!”

The Being says, “I am.”

The human cries “Prove it!”

The Being smiles. “I am.”

The human wails, “I’m still not happy…”

The Being replies, “I am.”

The human feels trapped between birth and death. What can he hold onto? Is it possible to stop existing? Why don’t his beliefs give him peace? The boat is sinking! The questions are endless in the mind that is ever reaching outward, avoiding the pains and perpetual changefulness of life. Desperate for air, he sucks in smoke. Hungry for life, he consumes death. The more he knows, the less happy he is able to be, yet he doesn’t see another choice, since to not know would seem to be the very ignorance he wishes to dispel. Beneath it all, he pleads “Love me!”, not realizing that he screams of thirst in an ocean of the purest water.

I AM.

If he would stop clinging to his rotting piece of wood for long enough to take a drink, he would see his foolishness for himself, without the need to hope for some future salvation. Freedom was here, all along, as the immutable core of all changefulness, the very ground of Being. It’s not that it’s all gonna be okay someday. In his very Heart, which is none other than the Heart of the universe, okayness already is.

The Love we crave is our very I, for there is only the one I, but all we need to do is stop actively knowing who we are. To undress this I of all its costumes is to discover that there is nothing but I, that I is identical with Love, and that all existence loves itself. The one who knows is the one who suffers, while the one who embraces unknowing discovers the One who IS, the very source of all knowing and being.

One Who Can Quit Seeing Himself

I look for one simple and open enough

to see the Friend, not an intelligence

weighing several perspectives. I want

an empty shell to hold this pearl, not

a stone who pretends to have a secret

center, when the surface is all through.

I want one who can quit seeing himself,

fill with God and, instead of being

irritated by interruption and daily

resentments, feel those as kindness.

– Rumi

When the human discovers the Being, it is a most sacred and holy meeting. 

Few are willing to be honest about how little they really know, including all thoughts about what is or isn’t possible. All we know is that we are. But we don’t even know who is. We’re just aware that we’re here, in all its infuriating mysteriousness. And then all the thoughts, memories and sensations piled on top of that simple sensation, the feeling “I am,” have created the incredibly peculiar experience of forgetting our unconditional existence.

Not really forgetting, but unintentionally ignoring that we exist (ignorance). Beingness is somehow distracted from its simple truth, the eternal constant in all that is changing. This is because we are continuously telling the story of who we are, and believing it to be true. It’s not. It’s just a story, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not true. The story is nothing more than a comfy, or not so comfy, cocoon.

When the “me” is seen to merely be a ghost, telling its ghost stories and believing them, space is created for true wisdom to present itself. What we are is Beingness itself, the formless, infinite intelligence, the substratum and essence of all names, forms and experiences that appear and disappear within it. There is no “you” outside of It to be in or out of harmony with It. There is only It, and Harmony is another one of Its names. It is beyond creation and destruction, and all that is seemingly created and destroyed is actually the endless expression, the unfathomable outpouring of essence.

In this big theatre of life, It is playing all the parts. Existence is playful. There is no you, as separate from It, but mysteriously, it pretends that this is the case. Why? Perhaps so that It can have the ecstatic and triumphant pleasure of rediscovering Itself, like a child outrageously delighted by being found in a game of hide and seek. What a mystery!

By continuously examining the unreality of our self-image and definitions, attraction to what is untrue gradually fades away, in light of what is found to be eternally and unchangingly present. Until the misunderstanding is swept away, and we recognize clearly what we are not, we cannot see that we are, in fact, ALL THAT IS.

Simple, right?


A Lion’s Courage: Where Integrity Begins

April 15, 2012 - Leave a Response

What is Truth? Self-understanding. Unknowable, unteachable, unspeakable, and immeasurably beautiful! Wading into the these waters, you cannot bring anything with you, not even your idea of who you are…

It all begins with courage.

The only requirement is a willingness to stop squirming, and to meet whatever is present here and now, no matter what. Utterly uncomplicated, deceptively simple. But it’s not a one-time deal, it’s more of a continuous thing, a realignment of your life’s compass. An opening. When the decision to really find the Truth is made, with unflinching resolve, an endless unfolding is welcomed into awareness, a way of living that invites perpetual, ever-deepening insights into the mystery of life. That process of unfolding is not in our control, but our choices in each moment are.

This, I must clearly express, is not child’s play. Yet, through it, the child in us is set free… Genuine inquiry is ruthless and unsparing, for no dishonesty whatsoever can survive a direct confrontation; falsehood evaporates like drops of water in the sun. Turn towards the light of Consciousness, and even the most cherished beliefs and fears crawl into its infinite embrace…

Remember, there’s nothing to get, because if you are something, there’s nothing to get about it. There would have to be a “you” and an “it,” and folks, that just ain’t true. We’re quite ingrained in the habit of getting, of wanting and grasping. Additionally, there’s nowhere to go, and nothing to achieve. You are the Truth, now. The very reaching out is your blindness. The very clinging is your bondage.

The ideals we reach for will always evade our grasp. And that which we manage to hold, holds us. You cannot hold what is true, only your thoughts about what is true. As far as the Real is concerned, all self-definitions (from “victim” to “seeker of Truth”) are like prisons, even when they are decorated with flowers and incense. We hold onto our stories of suffering and struggle, and take hidden pride in being “right” about what we consider to be “wrong.” These are survival mechanisms for a coveted self-image, an intricate way of hiding which continues to operate subconsciously. All that disturbs us in the world is very much alive in us as well, but we avoid this fact like the plague, even when we act like we understand that this is so. [Whew! Don’t worry, it’s only heavy at first– but it’s worth the shock. The Truth is very very good news, from all angles, I promise!]

Courage begins where pride ends.

With maturity, there comes a willingness to recognize the futility and arrogance of chasing perfection, inner or outer. Spiritual or material. Maturity is deeper than the lifetime of one body– it’s a soul ripeness, and it can’t be forced. That willingness allows for an openness to emerge, which ushers in humility: “Holy smokes, I guess I don’t know.” As this openness grows, so does one’s receptivity. But in order to be receptive to the joy and wisdom that progressively reveals itself, we must be just as receptive to what makes us extremely uncomfortable.

We build walls around ourselves, then complain about feeling trapped. To step out of the self-built fortress is to open up to what’s actually here. To remain courageously with what’s here is to allow that ancient structure, with all its unconscious layers, to be disassembled by the power of Consciousness itself– not by the “me.” That vulnerability is also our freedom, but it takes courage to set aside all the bits of “me-ness” that we are protecting, even just for long enough to investigate what they’re covering. Only then can we discover what is invulnerable, and what has no inside and outside. Courage isn’t recklessness, it isn’t a display of bravado– it is stepping outside our comfort zone, to stop actively playing the game called “me.” Including the “spiritual me” that seeks Truth (easy trap!). Same game, different costume. Radical honesty is both scary and fun– the alternative is boring, exhausting, and only seems to be safe. It’s not, because our illusions are so fragile and require so much energy to maintain.

Freedom is unknowing, in which nothing is held to be true or not true.

To really want Truth, you have to be a little insane. By this, I mean that in order to discover true sanity, we must embrace our insanity in a way we never, ever thought possible. As long as we are trying to be a better person, or make our pain go away, or master some kind of spiritual technique, absolute peace will not be possible. These things may be enjoyable, but as far as our essential Reality is concerned, it’s systematic avoidance. Only in directly meeting this moment, in all its ugliness and beauty, can the Truth be revealed.

Yet, in order to authentically meet what is here, we have to be willing to let go of the story we are telling ourselves about who we are, where we’re going, what this all means, and what is true. And if we let it go, what’s left?! If you muster up just a brief moment of utterly insane courage, with no expectation whatsoever about what will come of it, then you will be opening yourself, for the first time, to a real taste of freedom.

My suggestion? Go for it.

You can’t know what Love really is, the Love that has no opposite, until you’ve allowed yourself to fully experience fear and hate. You can’t understand selflessness until you completely experience all angles of selfishness. You can’t know what joy really is until you’ve descended to the depths of despair and self-loathing. NOT the story of self-hatred, the experience. The story is unconsciously being told, already, in avoidance of the feelings. The lid we are always trying to keep slamming down on the steaming, boiling water has to come off, completely.

Yes. It takes a lot of courage to stop suppressing the flood. This is the true meaning of Noah’s ark. The ark is the light of Consciousness. The flood is here, washing away all lies. We can be “spiritual,” talking in nice little soft voices about how “we are all one,” going around saying “namaste,” smiling “lovingly” at everyone we see, going on yoga retreats to “open the heart,” and doing our best to walk around in a self-hypnotized state of “egolessness.” We can pray, volunteer, refrain from eating meat and cursing, and try to be the most righteous people we can be. And that’s all fine and dandy, it really is. Unless, of course, you genuinely wish to discover the Truth of who you are, beyond all ideas of what that Truth looks and feels like. Most will continue to avoid it.

Human perception is simply not capable of recognizing Essence: knowledge is ignorance.

In order for this to be possible, the life force needs to flow unimpeded. What does this mean? If we are to be free as Love, we must also be free to be complete and total shitheads. This doesn’t mean “act wild and crazy,” it means, stop trying to be “a certain way.” Relax, you’re not gonna get a medal. No personality can ever be perfect, even a saintly one. We must stop tip-toeing, for fear of betraying an ideal. The Truth of who you are is beyond both heaven and hell: it’s not personal, and it’s not a thing. As the Self-aware totality of All, it was never created and it can never be destroyed. Even scientists know this now; quantum physics is well aware that there is no such thing as a separate self, or a separate anything for that matter. There is only the central Self, the infinite potentiality that expresses itself as the timeless unfolding of everything that is, including the space-time dimension in which this experience of personhood is taking place. Only, an intellectual understanding of this isn’t enough, or all quantum physicists would be Buddhas and Jesuses.

Love as something that’s “good” or that we “should do” has nothing to do with the Love that flows spontaneously. That contrived expression of “love” is really a four letter word, much like “duty.” It’s all ego, still. Mock holiness and mock humility coming from the spiritualized ego, with all its spiritual virtues and accomplishments. We do this only because we fear rejection and judgement, whether from others, from God, or worst of all, from our own superego, the little voice in our heads, the metaphysical policeman that so many mistakenly worship as God. This is subconscious ego-worship, not surrender. What a maze of baloney! At some point, we gotta wake up from the nightmare of illusions…

We live in denial, as individuals and as a society, but there is another way.

If we do not open to our own ugliness, our own unworthiness, our own unlovable, irredeemable wretchedness, we will never discover the compassion that lives as the core of our Being. Our inability to embrace this ugliness as it is, without judging it or trying to fix it, detached from our story about it, and just allowing it to flow, translates to an inability to accept the same energy in others and in the world as a whole. We continue to strategize for personal salvation, and project all of our delusions onto the world, calling it “evil,” yet what we see is only a mirror for our own denial. Harsh words, maybe, but necessary. Enough anesthetic! If it doesn’t hurt at some point, then it’s probably not leading you to the Truth. Growing pains, that’s all… Evolve! It’s time.

Genuine Love is always fresh, and always a surprise, because it’s more powerful, and yet more subtle, than anything that can be imagined. It’s not personal, it’s unconditional. It cannot be hidden, only hidden from. And where do we hide? In thought, and the belief we have invested in thought. So ask yourself, “What am I hiding from, what am I avoiding?” And don’t stop asking until you find out.

And when this gnarled, mean and pitiful toad springs up to say “Hi,” give him a big, welcoming kiss (I know, the frog above is more on the cute side, but you get the picture). All of us have this slimy toad alive in us, and unless we open completely to him, we will continue to harbor hatred and anger throughout our lives. We hide this toad away, for fear of discovering that we really are that awful, but until he’s brought into the light, and spared the judgement we are so accustomed to dishing out, our freedom is missed! As long as we are divided within ourselves, between the “me” that we like and the “me” that we despise or merely tolerate, the war will continue, and we will never know true peace. The war is inside, and outside. It is the same war. But YOU must be courageous, and take that step. Nobody will do it for you.

A moment of insane courage. That is all.

The Magic of Simplicity

February 26, 2012 - Leave a Response

“When mind is left– Peace is left.” — Mooji

 

Life is only complex and overwhelming when lived and understood in terms of the mind. We literally hide out in the mind, since we aren’t aware of any alternative. In truth, the mind cannot know anything at all— it only knows about. Reality is out of its reach; it cannot be anticipated, or even be imagined. You can’t cling to the mind and see Truth– the one looking off the edge is not the same as the One who can see.

Consciousness, experiencing itself as “me,” is strangled by thoughts into a painfully limited sense of being. Yet, this “me” is only a powerful dream, a product of imagination and conditioning. Ego only exists as the need to be loved. It is, by definition, neediness, selfishness and ignorance.

This continues indefinitely until we stop looking outside for love, happiness and fulfillment. There’s no such thing as a perfect personality, so don’t stress out trying to fix it. Be kind to yourself! You have all the tools you need, as you are. But you must be open in order to see this. To be truly open is to be relaxed, unconcerned with defending any sort of position, or living up to any kind of ideal.

“You are not here to fix the world. Your opportunity is to discover who you are, and to know this beyond conviction. There is a mystery bursting to reveal itself, but it will only do so inside a pure and worthy mind; a mind free of the bigotry of identity.”

— Mooji

As long as we believe our thoughts are actually indications of reality, rather than potential choices within an infinite realm of possibilities for experiencing, a buffet for the mind, if you will, we find ourselves in quite a bind. We miss the simple beauty and joy of BEING.

Thought becomes a spider’s web, an endless network of patterns and sequences that entangles us in a unique and continuously managed virtual reality. We become victims of this, calling it “fate,” or “the way things are,” and resign from any genuine responsibility, because we refuse to acknowledge our true role in the orchestration of the reality we experience.

Liberation from this virtual reality comes at a price– that price is who you think you are. Most are not yet ready to give this up, and continue life as a process of protecting the fragile boundaries of a self-imposed illusion. Of course, this imagined “me,” the one who thinks it knows all the stuff which has caused it to lose its joyful innocence, is itself the root of all misery and delusion. To stop defining yourself and the world is to start opening to a direct understanding of what is, prior to any thought. What freedom!

To really understand, you must go beyond thought. Turn towards awareness. See first-hand that awareness itself is unaffected by whatever it is aware of. This field of awareness (which is you, the SUBJECT– you are not an object) includes as much as you’re willing to open yourself to– the spectrum goes from “little old me” to All That Is.

First, recognize the intuitive sense of presence (the feeling “I AM”), which is deeper than thinking or even the senses, and which is more encompassing than personal identity. Attend to that, and leave the mind to itself. If you are sincere and determined, resistance will gradually diminish, and insight will unfold as the attention is trained to stop going out and away from this presence, in which life is directly understood rather than known.

Animals can be of enormous help. They live simply. It also helps very much to be in nature, to drink in its simplicity and be healed by it. It is not concerned by all your troubles, it accepts you unconditionally, as you are. In fact, it IS you, but there seems to have been a forgetting of this truth. Make yourself available to the wisdom of nature, and it will make its wisdom available to you…

Forgotten Language

by Shel Silverstein

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,

Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,

Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,

And shared a conversation with the housefly

in my bed.

Once I heard and answered all the questions

of the crickets,

And joined the crying of each falling dying

flake of snow,

Once I spoke the language of the flowers…

How did it go?

How did it go?

There is a knowing deeper than knowledge. The moment you say– “I got it!”– you don’t. The Truth is here, already– you only need to notice. Yes, it really is that simple…


Meditation: The Original State

January 25, 2012 - Leave a Response

Don’t believe everything you think.

Even if you’re already a meditator, it’s simpler than you might be making it! We easily fall back into old patterns without realizing it…. So don’t get too good at talking about your experiences. The elaborate layers of stories we tell ourselves are the only obstacle to a simple, direct experience of our original state of being, the fruits of which are beyond all possible descriptions.

“If you keep copulating with thoughts, you will produce scores of illegitimate children. You will be compelled to look after each and every one of them. A full-time job relieved only by deep sleep.”

– Mooji

Meditation need not be so mysterious. The idea tends to be shrouded with foggy images of a levitating yogi, or a wrinkly old monk sitting in lotus posture going “Ommmm.” We also fundamentally misunderstand being “without mind.” To have a quiet mind (to be without thought) is quite the opposite of thoughtlessness. Intelligence, empathy, creativity and responsibility (read: response-ability) actually skyrocket. When the attention is withdrawn from thinkingness, enormous clarity and space emerges, while wisdom and joy begin to replace self-absorption.


Free of the noise that clutters our vision, life is met with greater perspective and ease. We are increasingly present in each moment, free of the neurotic, zombified state most of us walk around in. We discover resources and talents that had no room to flourish with so much investment in thought, and we begin to uproot and release the emotional obstructions tied to those investments. Meditation helps us to wash away all the suppressed emotion we’ve kept buried and out of awareness, subtle poison that holds back our hearts and our lives.

To meditate on the intuitive sense I Am is to meditate on consciousness itself. This allows some space, some breathing room that allows us to step back from the cherished self-image with which we have come to identify. Turning our attention to our own simple sense of being assists us in a transition from person to impersonal Presence, and eventually deepens into a full recognition of pure, non-dualistic awareness: the very essence of who we are. Our sense of individuality (“me-ness”) becomes more of a background phenomenon, diminished by an emerging recognition of the deeper truth. “Little old me” turns out just to have been a story in the mind, a hallucination taken at face value because of its vivid qualities.

In questioning our assumed identity with continuous and unsparing honesty, the notion of the highly protected “personal self” seems more and more absurd. We begin to see that wherever life is taken personally, that is, wherever there is personhood, there is suffering: fear, pride, regret, disappointment, anger, bitterness, hopelessness, self-pity, depression and loneliness. Thankfully, there is a way out. And the way out is the way in.

“The I is the ocean; you the clouds. And is a cloud a cloud save for the ocean it contains? Yet foolish, indeed, is the cloud that would waste away its life striving to pin itself in space so as to keep its shape and its identity forever. What would it reap of its so foolish striving but disappointed hopes and bitter vanity? Except it lose itself, it cannot find itself. Except it die and vanish as a cloud, it cannot find the ocean in itself which is its only self.”

– Mikhail Naimy, from The Book of Mirdad


“You live in illusions and the appearance of things. There is a Reality. You are that Reality. When you recognize this you will realize that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.”

– Kalu Rinpoche

All spiritual traditions have mysticism at their core: from Sufism, Zen, Taoism, Christian Mysticism and Kabbalah, to African and South American shamanistic traditions and Aboriginal spirituality. The great religions arose around the teachings of mystics, like Buddha, Jesus and Krishna, which all pointed to the universal and timeless Truth, prior to all concepts that may have been used in the pointing. Before the institutionalization of these religions, which began polluting the integrity of the original teachings, the message these beings shared was utterly simple.

I Am is your immediate source of guidance and wisdom: it is the door to your own Self

No hoops to jump through, no elaborate tests of worthiness. And there’s no need to drive yourself mad reading books and books… The answer won’t be found in your head. So don’t try to figure it out, no matter how much you think you know, no matter where you consider yourself to be in your own spiritual evolution. All you need to know is that you ARE. Start there. I mean HERE. Lol. There is no there HERE!!!!

The resistance we have to letting ourselves be still has to do with an inability to face, and understand, the anxiety and discomfort that becomes so apparent in those rare moments of total stopping. We squirm and wiggle, dreading a confrontation with our own dishonesty. When it comes to the subtle but powerful untruths that permeate our lives, most of us fight tooth and nail to avoid seeing them. And who wouldn’t? It’s a survival mechanism: it’s all we know. The good news is, there is another choice.

There is much ignorance about the nature and process of mind, so we become trapped in conceptual gymnastics without realizing their limitations. Given the average level of consciousness, we are hard pressed to find much support for a meditative inclination. It’s natural to judge what we don’t understand, so don’t worry about what others are doing or saying. Let it be. If you wish to move deeper into an understanding of life, or need some encouragement in that direction, go no further…

As far as finding out who you really are, there’s no need for fancy techniques and practices. Different approaches and methods may be useful at different points along the way, but your journey’s only as long as you want it to be. At some point, you will want to wade into the pool of your own Beingness directly, no matter what swamp creatures you fear are awaiting you. You have ability to choose, and that choice is with you always.

“In the kaleidoscope of change seek only the unchanging.”

– Mikhail Naimy

Here is a beautifully guided meditation by the always clear and gentle Mooji.

Love.

“This great world appearing in front of you, and to which you feel you belong, all of it including your sense of self, is as illusory as the blueness of the sky. Like a lengthy dream, none of it is permanent. Know yourself to be that colourless sky.”

– Mooji

Rise and Shine, it’s Time to Wake Up!

January 21, 2012 - Leave a Response

We humans are a sleepy bunch.

Cute, sometimes, but sleepy.

We get so used to looking out, and believing what we see, that we don’t even know looking in is an option, or what that could mean for us. Human life is generally lived as if from the inside of a shoebox, where our only knowledge of the sky comes from two tiny holes poked in the side of the box.

Or we could say it’s like being trapped in a dark room with a flashlight. Everything that thin beam of light touches and allows us to see, we call “reality,” and most of us settle for those tiny glimpses of life as “the way things are.” Occasionally, a person decides that they’re fed up with seeing so little of the room, and relying on such a measly source of light. This one goes around, feeling the walls, looking for a light switch… This search can take quite a while. When they find it, in what seems like the most unlikely of places, they can put down the flashlight, since it isn’t needed any longer.

“At some point, the illusion breaks down and the opening for the start of the spiritual quest commences. The quest turns from without to within, and the search for answers begins.”

– David R. Hawkins

**

****

********

************

DISCLAIMER:

Meditation is not an escape from reality, to become “blissed out” and float off in dreamland. As a health practice, it certainly has its purpose (maybe that’s all you’re looking for at the moment). But that’s just skimming the surface.

Meditation, in essence, is for one reason alone: TO WAKE UP.

It is a willingness to stop hiding behind our concepts, and the beliefs that shield us from our doubts, and to meet Reality head-on. The direct meeting of this very moment gives us the opportunity to watch all the lies we tell ourselves (and so, each other) disintegrate in the light of awareness…

The Truth will reveal itself if you turn towards it, but your heart will need to be a lion’s heart, not a cub’s. There is much disillusionment involved. But do not fear the fear. It derives its strength from avoidance and belief, like the monsters under your bed… When you really take a look, there are no monsters after all.

Relaxation and peacefulness are side-effects, the aroma arising out of meditation, not the goal. Nor is the goal an altered “state” where there is no more pain or feeling. It’s not just another strategy to manage stress (like massages or saunas), although for the most part, that is how it is understood.

So, be sure of what it is that you really want. Freedom is not a casual decision.

That being said…

Nothing is as it seems. Why? Because YOU are not as you seem. But the whys and hows are always the wrong questions. They will lead in circles. The only questions that will lead to real answers are the most difficult ones to ask: Who? and What?

Everything we see is a projection coming from who we think we are. What seems to be reality is only a result of our own unique lens, and the level of consciousness operating through that lens. Our entire life story is our own particular dream, since it’s precisely what we think about who we are that is determining our experience.

We are not victims, by any stretch of the imagination, in any circumstance. That’s a hard pill to swallow for most, because we are stuck on how “unfair” everything seems to be. Seems to be. It’s safe to say that we don’t understand why things are as they are. Well then…

It might be time to take a closer look.

Within a greater cosmic context, there are no accidents, mistakes, coincidences. None. The question is, are you willing to move beyond what seems to be, into what IS?

On that note, let’s be dramatic for a second… Lol… I like this clip from the Matrix, it’s actually quite profound:

Don’t worry, there really isn’t any grand conspiracy or looming end times. All kinds of people are blabbering about these things, but they’re just sharing their own dreams with us, some more charismatically than others. Most of them are nightmares. So, whether it’s George Orwell, Edgar Cayce, or your friendly neighbourhood prophesizer, don’t take them too seriously. Don’t take yourself too seriously either. We really are dreaming.

However, do not be mistaken: if you think it’s real, it will feel real. As vivid as vivid can be. In living color, not just in your head. Why? The immaterial and material are not separate from each other. As far as limited truths are concerned, there’s nothing that can’t be real for someone. This dreaming, which we all find ourselves in the midst of, is continuous, as long as our thoughts are believed as reality. That is, until you pop the bubble of your relative reality.

In Truth, you are beyond the dreaming, and even the one you believe to be the dreamer. It sounds odd because most of us never examine our basic assumptions about life, other than through convoluted philosophical ramblings or religious dogma…

A house of smoke and mirrors is quite a place to be living in. To get out, find the one behind the mirror. Whose reality is being mirrored to you every minute of every day? Whose dream are you living? Is there really a wizard of oz behind the curtain? Don’t ask someone else, look for yourself. It’s an open-ended question. The only one that will ever set you free of this mess. Then you won’t find it to be such a mess, after all.

Magic is fun, unless of course the woman being chopped in half on stage is actually believed to be chopped in half. Then it becomes horrifying and traumatic. This demonstrates the transformation of illusion, which is not at all problematic in and of itself, into delusion, the illusion believed. That state of delusion is the dominant state of consciousness for all humanity, full of superstition and fear. This is the egoic state.

So, we must ask ourselves, do we want to be right, or do we want to understand? Because you can’t have both, and only one will make you happy. Through and through, there is no person, as such, who has ever been truly happy and fulfilled. Happiness comes from realizing that one isn’t actually bound to personhood, and that our existence, along with the source of that happiness, doesn’t rely on anything external or transient, like the always changing idea we have about who we are.

To be or not to be is NOT the question. To be AWARE, or not to be aware. THAT is the question. Ignorance isn’t bliss. It totally stinks. But we fear change, so we cling to our suffering, and avoid facing our inevitable demise by any means available. What we don’t know is that the only thing that can die is your idea of who you are: you are neither body, nor mind, and you don’t have to wait until the moment of death to realize this, beyond any doubt.

For the majority, the only relief we get from the weight of being who we think we are is in deep sleep. And how blissfully happy we are to be unconscious! How refreshing! Our stories are so tiring. Thankfully, there is another option, and it doesn’t come from adopting more refined beliefs, or entertaining romantic ideas about how everything’s gonna be better later, and that in some other time and place, our immortal soul with be much better off.

If we think along those lines, now would be a time to deprive ourselves of all joy, of all sensuality, and to hope that we amass enough karmic brownie points to get a sweet reward in heaven. Or maybe this story has a more spiritually evolved twist. No matter. All this is the definition of ignorance [read: ignore-ance]. Ignoring what is already right here, right now.

[Click to enlarge.]

A certain lightness of being doesn’t become possible for anyone until they examine their own personhood. It’s not until we give up the idea that we are a separate entity, victimized by the world, that we relax enough to start seeing things as they are. Up to that point, the whole “me” thing is just in the way of clear seeing. Paradoxically, your individuality, including your intellectual capacity, only starts to really flourish the moment you stop attributing so much importance to it. You start to enjoy life a lot more, since the world is no longer sticking to you. You wear the world like a loose garment. You can have fun with the illusions. You have the capacity to master them.

The first step in de-hypnotizing yourself is realizing you’ve been hypnotized in the first place.

The individual ego is merely a ritualized and celebrated social fiction, believed into reality. Since we were toddlers, we’ve been put under some very powerful hypnosis by others who are unaware that they themselves are under hypnosis as well. Hypnosis becomes self-hypnosis. It’s a world of sleeping buddhas.

Many of us, often the most “religious” among us (athiests included!) unknowingly worship an aspect of our own ego (the superego, the “conscience”– the enforcer) as our God, and only feel good about ourselves when we’re in “his” good books. Although, most of us are continuously in the dog-house, and therefore we think we’re wretched! This divided self, between the Hero and the Villain, the Cop and the Thief, God and the Devil, is the very definition of MIND– duality– not Truth. Truth is not divided by thought. You are beyond it. This is the hypnosis! Snap out of it!



Here’s a brilliant and funny little story told by Alan Watts:

Once there was a fish who lived in the great ocean, and because the water was transparent, and always conveniently got out of the way of his nose when he moved along, he didn’t know he was in the ocean. Well, one day the fish did a very dangerous thing, he began to think: “Surely I am a most remarkable being, since I can move around like this in the middle of empty space.” Then the fish became confused because of thinking about moving and swimming, and he suddenly had an anxiety paroxysm and thought he had forgotten how.

At that moment he looked down and saw the yawning chasm of the ocean depths, and he was terrified that he would drop. Then he thought: “If I could catch hold of my tail in my mouth, I could hold myself up.” And so he curled himself up and snapped at his tail. Unfortunately, his spine wasn’t quite supple enough, so he missed. As he went on trying to catch hold of his tail, the yawning black abyss below became ever more terrible, and he was brought back to the edge of total nervous breakdown.

The fish was about to give up, when the ocean, which had been watching with mixed feelings of pity and amusement, said, “What are you doing?” “Oh,” said the fish, “I’m terrified of falling into the deep dark abyss, and I’m trying to catch hold of my tail in my mouth to hold myself up.” So the ocean said, “Well, you’ve been trying that for a long time now, and still you haven’t fallen down. How come?” “Oh, of course, I haven’t fallen down yet,” said the fish, “because, beacuse– I’m swimming!”

“Well,” came the reply, “I am the Great Ocean, in which you live and move and are able to be a fish, and I have given all of myself to you in which to swim. But here you, instead of exploring the length, depth, and height of my expanse, are wasting time pursuing your own end.” From then on, the fish put his own end behind him (where it belonged) and set out to explore the ocean.

Seeking and “Spiritual Work”

January 16, 2012 - Leave a Response

“To become more conscious is the greatest gift anyone can give to the world; moreover, in a ripple effect, the gift comes back to its source.” – David R. Hawkins

CUP AND OCEAN

These forms we seem to be are cups floating in an ocean

of living consciousness.

They fill and sink without leaving an arc of bubbles or

any good-bye spray. What we

are is that ocean, too near to see, though we swim in it

and drink it in. Don’t

be a cup with a dry rim, or someone who rides all night

and never knows the horse

beneath his thighs, the surging that carries him along.

– Rumi

We are all seeking something. Companionship, pleasure, peace of mind, financial stability, happiness, certainty, justice, success, recognition, health, “heaven,” or maybe just more stuff. [George Carlin knows what I’m talkin about…] It’s only the rare one who seeks true freedom: to be completely free from desiring all this stuff, the desire for a kushy afterlife included. Of course, the golden question is, “for whom will this stuff be of value?”

By the way, “stuff” isn’t just material: all our attachments (to ideas, people, places, experiences, things, and stories about those ideas, people, places, experiences and things) are also STUFF. We’re all carrying a ton of baggage. Are you really surprised almost nobody’s actually happy?! It’s friggin heavy! Put the baggage down!!!!

Lest we forget, many people in this world are seeking physical safety, a reliable place to sleep, and enough food to make it through another day. For those of us who, at this precious moment, are enjoying the enormous privilege of not having to worry about these things, and aren’t immediately in survival mode, we have an opportunity to honor those blessings by turning inwards, in service of Love and Freedom.

Why does turning inwards serve Love and Freedom? Because consciousness is a nonlinear Unity: the individual who decides to take the so-called “spiritual path” is actually helping all, elevating the consciousness of humanity as a whole, and making it easier for others to make the same choice. What gift do you think all the great sages, prophets and saints have given us? If only we knew how to listen!

But for that we would need to be quiet, for once. [We could all take notes from John Francis’ TED talk– see the Videos section…]

How not to discover the Truth:

It is our self-definitions, only, that prevent us from seeing the essential truth of who we are. It’s all mind games, but we are not aware of how powerful the mind really is as far as determining how we experience life. Worthy, not worthy? Right, wrong? Healthy, sick? Young, old? Victim, bully? No definition will be of use, I promise. The Truth is before them all. Just leave them alone, stop trying to change or fix them. You’ll never find an arrangement of self-definitions that makes you truly happy.

We must move beyond life on the level of the mind. To discover what is untouched by all this noise, we must allow ourselves to become rooted in our basic sense of beingness itself, which is the miraculous source of all joy and understanding (we just never look there, and think everything we want is outside somewhere). It’s much much simpler than that. Our basic feeling of existence is the sense “I AM,” before the pollution of conditioning, before all add-ons like gender, age, race, religion, culture or any other label, the “me” and the “you” included. PURE. Unknowable to the mind.

We like the idea of exploring the unknown, but our inner child is naive, and can get us in over our heads. When we first discover the magical rabbit hole, and it strikes us that existence is more vast and exciting than we originally thought, we can be a bit like kids in a candy store. Big eyes, and no sense whatsoever. This stage is usually prolonged, because we’re still avoiding being still! We just have more fascinating things to be entertained by. Levitation, spoon bending, ancient mysteries, psychic powers, out-of-body travel, and other astral shenanigans. It is these partial truths that have given birth to all the apocalyptic gobbledygook about 2012, the mass appeal of pseudo-spirituality, light workers, big shifts and so on… [For David Hawkins’ take on the occult, etc, go to the Videos section.]

[Click to enlarge.]

Please do yourself a favor, and pay no mind to all that. It’s a massive distraction, just more baggage to weigh you down– more add-ons for the ego. The Truth is realized as one’s own subjective reality: it’s not an experience, some big mystery to be let in on, an event or some sort of “thing” apart from you that you can see.

In fact, you, as the context, can only ever know that which you are not, the content which is arising in you… You are like the movie screen. Even if all hell breaks loose in the movie, does the screen itself change? The drama may be pretty convincing, but that doesn’t mean it’s real. The fire doesn’t burn the screen.

What am I getting at? These objects and experiences are not separate from you, but your existence doesn’t depend on them. To understand that existence, stop getting so wrapped up and lost in the movie. Just WATCH. The more we see what we are not, the more the layers of untruth fall away, our immense load gets lighter, bit by bit, and we shed our burdens in the light of our own Self-discovery. And what a relief it is!

You want lasting peace of mind, freedom from suffering? Then stop searching for more stuff!!!!!!!!

There’s nothing wrong with taking the long road, but at some point, we gotta stop beating around the bush. My heartfelt advice is, steer clear of the nonsense. Don’t read or watch just any old thing. The universe is big, bigger than we even realize. Does “infinite dimensions” mean anything to you?! To avoid being overwhelmed with such a wealth of potential things to be engaged in, recognize that if something comes and goes (any experiences or phenomena), it isn’t the Truth you’re really looking for.

The Truth is where you’re looking from, not what you’re looking at. As boring as it sounds to the mind (“where are the fireworks?!”), it’s not boring, I can assure you. If peace is really what you want, don’t waste time. There is only one moment, and that is Here and Now. Even tomorrow, even next year, it will be the same Now.

NOT HERE

There’s courage involved if you want

to become truth. There is a broken-

open place in a lover. Where are

those qualities of bravery and sharp

compassion in this group? What’s the

use of old and frozen thought? I want

a howling hurt. This is not a treasury

where gold is stored; this is for copper.

We alchemists look for talent that

can heat up and change. Lukewarm

won’t do. Halfhearted holding back,

well-enough getting by? Not here.

– Rumi

“Spiritual Work”

The main thing to recognize is that it’s only possible to know ABOUT the Truth.

As frustrating as this is for mind to accept, we will never know the Truth, as in: “I” know “that.” However, the transition from knowing about to being that takes time. That process of unfolding can be understood as “spiritual work.” The risk in hearing very advanced spiritual truth early on is that one mistakenly starts to believe that it is fully understood, and becomes yet another artifact in a pile of dead concepts, a mere trophy for the mind. Then we walk around thinking we know something. It’s best to say, “I have heard such and such” until it is confirmed by subjective experience. At that point, even the idea of proving, convincing or arguing with anyone will seem absolutely irrelevant and silly to you.

The next thing to recognize is that the Truth IS, already.

That which IS, is not in need of healing, enlightenment, or any other type of modification. Even though it may not be your current experience, you are That, even now. Your True Nature, the Higher Self, the Divine, the Supreme, the Absolute (whatever term one may use for All That Is) doesn’t even know what a problem is. That concept simply isn’t relevant, or even applicable. NO CONCEPT IS.

By virtue of the nature of the mind, our concepts of the Divine (“My God vs. Your God,” fear of God, etc.) always get in the way of directly understanding and merging with What Is. When we identify constantly with all the content, it’s not possible to discover the freedom of the context, which is really what we are. When the shift from one approach to the other is made (mind–>pure being: I AM), the difference is utterly unmistakable, as one begins to feel lighter, more spacious, more relaxed: a quality of energy that simply wasn’t felt before. The more you surrender to that energy, the more one’s commitment to that Truth deepens. It’s a very powerful stream. Much more powerful than we think or can even imagine it’s going to be. So, if you dare, for even a moment, to let go of what you think the Truth is (or isn’t), come on in, the water’s fine!

[Click to enlarge.]

We are all spiritual. 

Any and all paths ultimately lead to the same Love; yes, even atheism is a form of spirituality. It is an evolutionary expression as much as any kind of explicitly religious devotional practice. Appearances are quite deceiving, especially when one is not absolutely clear about whose eyes from which one is seeing the world. There is always a filter, a particular tint of our shades that shapes the reality we perceive. Remember, to perceive is to select. Much of the picture is necessarily blocked out by virtue of the perceptual mechanism itself. Don’t worry about it, but strive to understand it better. Do not be fooled by your own misperceptions– to be alive is to be spiritual.

Spiritual work consists of removing all obstacles to a full expression of What Is. This process expresses itself through your particular form, that is, the human being you are experiencing yourself to be. (That’s right, who you are is not a person, exclusively.) With that being said, one doesn’t cultivate Love, one cultivates an environment in which that Truth can present itself. Be clear about this! You plant the seed, you prepare the fields, and in due time the season will be ripe for the springing up of that pure seeing. You’re not waiting, you’re actively inquiring into what is true, but the process is not in your control. So, this realization doesn’t occur in time (it’s not an “event,” even though there are certainly glimpses, “aha” moments), but the sowing of the fields does take time: the conditions need to be right. It’s about alignment and commitment. Living in sincere commitment (ie. not for show– this is mostly what we see in the world) to humility and unconditional (no exceptions) acceptance, love, forgiveness and understanding, in and of itself, will take you all the way home. Home is here, already,  but to be fully established in the fullness of that truth, it may take some time.

There is no better and worse. Just more or less evolved expressions of consciousness. Why do you think humanity is so full of turbulence? The answer is, all different levels of consciousness are here on earth, expressing side-by-side. It appears as a bit of a mess, sure. But, is a butterfly better than a caterpillar? Certainly not. The thought that it is, because of its beauty, maybe, would only be an opinion, and is therefore of no value whatsoever.

The Dalai Lama is not better than George W. Bush, either! At some point, all opinions, all grudges, all positions about world affairs, all identifications with political or religious ideologies– everything– has to go. As hard as they may be to let go of, it’s precisely what prevents you from knowing who you are, really, from finding true peace, and from seeing things as they truly are. All that fear and passion will only block the light. When we keep our back to the sun, all we see is our shadow.

The sense of an individual self or ego is not the source of one’s existence, so death is not even what we think it is. It’s nothing to be afraid of. To live in fear is to live in ignorance (ignore-ance). But, waking up and conquering fear is always your choice, even if you aren’t aware of that. Love, death and meditation are all really the same thing. To know one is to know the others; in all three, the vivid and powerful illusion of separation dissolves.

So, there is only one disease, one so-called “problem” at any level of experience, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. OBSTRUCTION. Period. Blockages at any of these levels “cause” all conceivable issues. Remove all the obstacles to Love (the core of which is the deeply worshipped idea of the separate “you”), and Love will shine forth of its own. Worship Love itself, not your definitions of Love, which take innumerable forms, including the form you believe yourself to be.

Walk the walk. Listen. Don’t take things personally, everyone’s living in their own dream. Be kinder, be more aware of yourself in the world. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes. It’s okay. It doesn’t matter what we think about how things should be. Take it one moment at a time.

It’s only through accepting that it’s all about you, that you can come to the realization that it’s not all about you, after all.

Quite a paradox, right? Get used to it! Life is full of em… If the Truth is really what you want, you need to walk the walk even when nobody else seems to be. Not only that, but don’t expect anyone’s approval or applause, let alone that of your family, friends and community. It’s not a popular choice. Appreciate and respect that most human beings are operating on a very superficial level. To go into the depths is not the easy way, but it is the only way to freedom from all the lies and confusion.

To expose the judge in you is to expose the victim: they are one and the same. This means, when you allow your victimhood to be washed away, your inclination to blame will dissolve along with it. Then, and only then, will it become possible to see.


Longing is the core of mystery.

Longing itself brings the cure.

The only rule is, Suffer the pain.

Your desire must be disciplined,

and what you want to happen

in time, sacrificed.

– Rumi