vendredi 12 avril 2013

What is Awake?

Awake. Enlightened. Aware.  These terms are casually thrown around in the spiritual and not so spiritual worlds. I have struggled to understand what others mean when they use these words and more importantly what do I mean when I use those words.  Right now the only word that seems important is Awake.  Enlightenment seems like a word that the ego needs.  Awareness seems somewhat self-evident. But what is awake? After long periods of thinking and not thinking about the meaning of awake it suddenly became clear.  

Being awake is simply understanding that there is absolutely no point in going against yourself and I mean absolutely no point.  Period.  Exclamation mark! Finito!

 It took a long time to come to understand this concept and a longer time to allow it to consume me. So let's break this down a bit.

First of all how do you know that you are going against yourself?  Initially you may have to look at exterior clues. When you are feeling uneasy, uncomfortable, not in your skin, maybe even angry or depressed or when you just know somethings not quite right, there is probably a little voice in your head that is telling you that somehow you are doing "it" wrong, or that you deserve to feel badly, that you aren't lovable or maybe you just don't belong (to where or to whom is a whole other blog.)

Secondly when you start feeling badly or just not happy, this is the perfect time to delve into your mind and figure out what is being said.  Clap your hands, sing hallelujah, you just received your first clue to waking up. Most people don't think of bad feelings as good thing but they are the red flags that tells you where to dig for your treasure.  However taking the next step requires the stealth of a Watergate journalist and the patience of Job.  At first I couldn't hear the voices, I spent so much of my time denying that they were there and trying to silence them that I in fact could not hear them. But slowly, slowly they began to reveal themselves sometimes forthrightly othertimes they had to be tricked.  Unfortunately there is no 1-2-3 step process to learn what is really being said in your head.  You will have to figure out that on your own.  (Hint: Trial and error is of great help.)

Thirdly once you understand what your mind is saying to you, you begin the process of unlistening to the voice.  And listening to that voice is a habit more addictive than heroin. Unlistening takes as much training as becoming a gold medal Olympian. You will set your intent to unlisten, you will fail and then succeed, then fail again.  This process can continue for a long time.

And while you are teaching yourself to unlisten, simultaneously you begin to listen to the voice of Truth or Life.  I'm not sure exactly what to call it, but it is a voice that just is.  It is the voice that resonates in your bones.  There is no discord. You can feel the rightness of that voice.

Fourthly, if you're lucky you make the transition to being in complete harmony with that voice.  It never leads you astray.  It is the voice, the energy that creates Life.  How could it be wrong?  Please don't allow your ego-mind to distort this.  It doesn't mean that you won't ever be upset, that you won't fail, that you will always be in control.  It simply means that you when you are in complete harmony with that voice you understand the absurdity of ever doubting it, of ever doubting yourself, of ever going against yourself. This is not something that can be willed or practised.  Almost getting it or getting most of the time is NOT the same thing.  It is absolute.

And with that you are DONE.  You are awake.

Life becomes an adventure that can be fully enjoyed in all of its variations.  There is no holding back because there is no fear of not doing it right.  There is nothing telling your life should be something else. 

You understand that you are.

Being the Best Human Being I Can Be

Today I ran into a friend of mine who had run for a political office but was not elected.  She had spent a hard year campaigning, a schedule so demanding that nearly every waking hour was scheduled.  But suddenly she didn't have a job, she didn't have a schedule and in its place was a big "what's next?"

To her credit she hasn't rushed in to fill the void but now a few months later, she is looking to capitalize on her efforts and her contacts.  As we were speaking she kept asking herself how she could make the biggest impact. And this made me think, how does one be the best human being?

Is being the best human a result of our effect on the outside world?  And if so who is doing the measuring?  For those of you who regularly read my irregular blog, you may well guess that my answer is emphatically NO.  Being the best human you can be has nothing to do with external results but has everything to do with waking up. Maybe you ask what about Martin Luther King, Jr or Mother Theresa or Joan of Arc?  While all incredible people, I have no idea as to what their internal state was and that is my sole measure being the best human you can be.

So how do you get to be the best human you can be?  A good question when there are no external parameters for measurement.  Let's take my friend above.  As the conversation continued, she asked me if I wanted to have an impact on our community.  Basically the answer is no.  She asked didn't  I see injustices that needed to be righted.  Again the answer is no.  But what about the lack of gun control, rights to abortion, election gerrymandering?  Surely there must be something that I saw as wrong and in need of a fix.  Again the answer is no.

In general I see things from two different perspectives at a time.  On the one hand there is the human me who has passions, opinions and desires.  On the other hand there is thing I call LIFE that created what I know of as the world, universe, me.  The world is so complicated and extraordinary that I can't help but subordinate myself to this great intelligence.  Anything that it created must be okay and it doesn't need my puny little input to right a preceived wrong.

That's not to say that I don't feel compelled to act or create, but the source of the action doesn't come from a desire to right some perceived wrong but rather to be the best human I can be.

lundi 31 décembre 2012

Become Your Best Friend

I just finished a rare perusal of Facebook.  On the eve of the next year, it is full of postings expressing gratitude to family and friends, extolling the virtues of being kind, witnessing the miracles in our lives.  Nice, right?  Well, let's take a look.

From what I can tell, most people want peace and happiness and they are very busy trying to get to the land of PaH.  There are countless books, paths, religions, mantras promising PaH to the gullible acolyte. And without going into detail about the scams, shams and spams, let's just cut to the chase and tell the truth...

ain't nobody but you gonna get you there.

This isn't such bad news.  It's not that hard and it's not complicated.  Become your best friend.  You are so busy looking outside ourselves, impressing others with your gratitude, seeking the approval of those same others, doing it the way someone else told you that you completely overlook the answer right in front of your nose.  Become your own best friend.

Now lest you think you automatically know what a best friend is, it is important to understand that your own best friend is not anything like a physical best friend.  There are no conditions, no underlying jealousies, no tit-for-tat.  Nothing except 100% support.  This doesn't mean that your best friend (you) can't think critically about a subject. It just means that your best friend NEVER puts you down.  No exceptions.  Oh did I mention your BF NEVER puts you down.

I can already hear the "yeah-buts".  There is a big difference between, thinking that you could do something better and thinking that you are a bad person. And if you are unhappy, feel like something is not quite right, uneasy or you're just plain pissed at life. ie not at peace, I can gaurantee you those nasty voices are going on in your head even if you don't hear them. They are telling you that somehow you didn't do it right, that you are wrong, that you are not worthy, blah, blah, blah.

When that voice transforms into your best friend, you will have arrived in the land of PaH.  Unfortunately only you can change the switch despite all of the promises outside yourself.  In fact and this is the main message of this missive,  


Don't be distracted by other people, don't be hooked by the notion that someone else can do it for you or that you just have to find the right teacher, technique, method,etc.  Most of the these people haven't landed in PaH and so they distract themselves by gathering other distractees. And most of all, don't be distracted by the notion that you or your life is supposed to look a certain way.  Life is a mindfield of distractions and you can spend your life defusing all the bombs you find, but then you never end up in the land of PaH.  It takes massive courage to understand that in fact you don't even have to go through the mindfield you call Life.  There is another path.  

Stop hurting yourself.   Look at yourself honestly.  (There is nothing inherently wrong with being a liar, a bitch, a sneak, a weakling, a bossy cow, whatever you may have labeled "bad".)  Accept yourself. Be the best whatever you are and suddenly without even trying you will find yourself exactly where you wanted to be.

It really is that easy.

mardi 5 juillet 2011

Life is so complicated--NOT

"Life is so complicated." "It is so hard to make the right decision." "It is all so confusing." How many times have you heard those phrases? Actually how many times have you used those phrases? Why is that life seems so complicated, confusing and difficult?

Life becomes complicated when we aren't present. We are thinking about the possible effects of our decisions on the people immediately effected by the decision, possibly how the people next to the people immediately effected and if we want, we can ripple out this process as far as needed to become paralyzed in making a decision and arrive at complicated. At a summer picnic a young mother was recounting to me how difficult life was with two small children (ages 6 and 9). She was trying to decide about summer camps for her children. There were the intellectual camps that would help put her children ahead, the sport camps that would increase their physical prowess, the art camps that would develop their creativity and finally the camps they wanted to go to. She was terrified that if she didn't choose the right camps she would be causing some sort of irreparable harm to her children. Apparently she sweated over these decisions for months and finally decided to enroll them in everything even though they didn't have the money for the camps. And even though the decision had been made she was now trying to decide which camps to cancel because her husband had acted "so unsupportive" when he found out the costs of the camps and told her to cancel them.

I certainly agree that life can be complicated when we try to figure out the possible effects of our decisions, but what is really happening when one tries to figure out the outcomes? In reality the need to know the answer, the need to figure out what is best, is the need to protect ourselves from that inner voice that tells us that somehow we did it wrong or bad. There is another voice, another intelligence if you will that operates within each of us. It is the voice of Life that guides, prompts or points the way for all actions. In my experience this voice is very quiet and not demanding and it takes practice to become accustom to hearing it much less following its guidance. Listening to this voice, what is feels right in this moment is the best way to keep life simple. Desire, action, pause, experience the reaction. Reset. Desire, action pause, reaction.

If this young mother followed this process it would have gone something like this. She had a desire to enroll her children in camp. She would have researched some camps, perhaps consulted the children as to the best camps for them (and maybe her husband regarding the finances) and made a decision. She needn't have worried about whether she was hurting their chances for a sports scholarship or entry into a prestigious college. She simply would have made the decision without undue hand-wringing.

I know I make it sound simple but even the most complicated situations boil down to what is right in this moment. Focusing on the next step and not the end of the journey simplifies everything. The most complicated processes can be broken down into a series of small doable steps. And trusting that inner Intelligence makes it all the easier.

jeudi 3 mars 2011

Want What Is

Lately i've been on a rant about the collective ego. In all my years of awareness it suddenly became extremely obvious to me how the collective egos ban together to keep humankind asleep. We've all heard the terms "social consciousness" or "collective awareness" or the like. And while i thought i knew what these terms meant i should have known that any "thinking" about a concept regarding collective egos is like asking the fox to guard the chicken coop. Not really reliable. The problem has been that i never critically examined these concepts. I inputted the data into the mind and waited to see what it spit out and never questioned the output. I now see that i made lots of assumptions and all these assumptions are what allows the ego mind to play the equivalent of hide the pebble (reality) under the shell.

Below is a benign article that i found purporting to give us 12 steps/actions to take to make us happy. Sounds innocent enough, yes? But no. If you take a look at the article and really examine it you can see that it is a wild piece of propaganda designed to keep us looking outward so that we never discover the false existence of the ego mind. Take a look, notice what the collective egos minds want us to assume and see if you agree.

What Makes Us Happy (reprinted without permission from Prevention magazine)

1. Know What To Want

Most of us can't predict what will make us happy in the future and that inability often leads us down the wrong path. (First assumption there is a "right" path.)

The average American moves more than 11 times, changes jobs more than 10 times and marries more than once suggesting that most of us are making more than a few poor choices (Notice the second assumption. Change is bad. If you don't do it right the first time obviously you have made a bad choice), notes Harvard University psychologist Daniel Gilbert, PhD, author of Stumbling on Happiness. (here authority is cited not once--Harvard U., not twice--PhD, but three times--author. I.e. don't question authority). One reason we so often guess wrong, he argues is that we often imagine the future incorrectly. (There is a "correct" way to imagine the future--hint duality is always a sign that ego is present.) We forget how easily we adapt, even to painful circumstances. So when we picture what it would be like to be single again or to live in Seattle or to leave one job for another, we don't factor in everything else---the new friends, the newly discovered interest in Cascade Mountains wildflowers--that might also effect our emotional well-being. (Wait is he advocating change after talking about how changes are evidence of our "poor" choices?---another sign of ego--doublespeak.) Unfortunately, Gilbert says, we can't simply train ourselves to peer into the future with greater clarity. (Knowing what to expect is "good." Ego=Unsupported suppositions.) Start with the assumptions that your reactions are a lot like other people's, Gilbert says. If you want to know whether to take a job at a new company, pay attention to the people around you when you are there for an interview (look outside yourself for answers--aha, the real message.) Do they seem engaged an interested? That should count for a lot.

In one paragraph so many distractions, so many messages to look outward. Who woulda thought? And at the end of it all, if the editors really wanted to send a message about happiness the article could have been retitled "Want What Is" instead of "Know What to Want" and then the rest of the nonsense wouldn't have needed to be written.

mercredi 2 mars 2011

I AM--the movie, not the truth

Last night i saw the film, "I AM," another in a recent spate of movies claiming a spiritual message. The movie starts out by asking two questions, "What is wrong with our world?" and "What can we do about it?" Right off the bat this movie has committed two grave errors. The first presumption is that there is indeed something wrong with our world. This is based on the idea that humans are somehow in charge and that we are doing something wrong. I don't deny that not providing health care, food or shelter for the needy in our communities certainly seems twisted in light of multimillion dollar bonuses for CEOs of banks, car companies, insurance companies and the like, but far to often something that seemed "wrong" or "bad" to my little ego mind turned out to be the catalyst for the next step. Observe how the years of oppression in the Middle East have coalesced into sweeping changes for countries like Egypt, Tunisia, potentially Libya and Bahrain.

The second mistake is again assuming that the answer is outside ourselves. "If you want to change the world, change yourself." J. Krishnamurti. It is easy to get distracted by the needs of others and the sense of "doing good." In fact the rest of the movie was dedicated to the two-fold message: we are all connected (yeah, duh, bravo) and doing something for others is good, it is what we are made to do ((insert several authorities and scientific experiments that "prove" this hypothesis) boo, hiss, ego.)

This is not to assert that helping others is bad. It is simply to say that until your own house is cleaned up you probably will just make a mess if you try to clean up someone else's. Once you have cleaned up your house, actions that are kind, considerate and respectful become normal. Hateful, intolerant, exclusive actions don't feel good to someone who is awake. The vibrations are just distasteful. As my teacher once said, "Why would i eat poo, when i can eat honey?"

lundi 7 février 2011

PVM-Part 2

A few things went unsaid in the last blog regarding purpose, value and meaning. The ego needs us to believe in these concepts to justify it's existence. Let's look at the concept of purpose. We might start out with the belief that "we all need a purpose," but again if you look carefully, what is need and are you sure you would die or at least be miserable without it? Where does purpose come from and who decides what is your purpose? Purpose actually gives you a great excuse not to look inward, not to examine the veracity of your thoughts. Purpose is outside yourself.

Another belief--Work or for that matter family, friends or lovers provide value to our lives. Again what does that mean? What is value? And what happens if you don't have it? I can assure you that ego tells you that you will have a miserable existence or you might even die without value as validated by these outside sources. (But then again how times are you miserable with a job, family or friends?)

I propose these questions because the only way i know to destroy the ego is through asking questions. The answers are not as important as simply asking questions. Asking questions creates a space where doubt can creep in--just maybe this thought isn't true, just maybe. What happens when you allow yourself the possibility that a thought, that the virtual reality might not be the reality? On the one hand there is nothing to do, but on the other hand, intent, desire or even an honest question can allow for the insertion of a virus that destroys the mental program. If you are happy enough, content enough or satisfied enough DON'T START MESSING WITH THE PROGRAM. Don't ask questions, instead keep looking outside for answers. This is will allow you to stay neatly within the program, neatly within your comfort zone.