Please feel free to read this blog and join in. I hope you will write something inspirational, inspiring, spiritual, controversial, amusing, engaging or just plain run of the mill. But please don't be brusque, churlish or licentious.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Space and Reality

Your mind is at peace in the space of pure awareness and perceives reality as the true nature it is. No longer do destructive thoughts and emotions disrupt these clear perceptions of what is. The new perception, the new self, is not of the senses but of the feeling - the sensitivity to energy flowing outside of your body and through your body. You feel it, it is alive, and it is you.

You must be very quiet to feel the energy. The energy is so subtle even the breath may disrupt sensitivity to it. As your breathing becomes calm and quiet you notice the hum inside like a toy train's electric transformer. You are calm, quiet and at peace in the space. You know this is what you really are. It is not an illusion, it's real. The thoughts of dissatisfaction and insufficiency that once clung like bad dreams were the real illusions. Now you are totally free within the space, unencumbered and boundless.

Next - The power of concentration.

Monday, August 29, 2011

In the new space of realization you are not the body, the mind or the ego. You may have the feeling of tension letting go. If you don't fight it and not try to control it, a new freedom will take place. Let it go and you will find there is no longer any restriction. You are free. The old self is gone a new self has taken its place.

The new self still sees thoughts come and go but the thoughts are not important, there is no attachment to them. What is important is the space. One thought comes and another takes its place within consciousness but you are beyond their coming and going. You recognize that the old self is simply an illusion and has always been an illusion. As your thoughts rise and fall, you enter another realm. You no longer have to pretend to be something you are not.

You now understand no work is required. The new self exists because there is no tension and no trying to make things happen. When the ego tries to prove itself and affirm its existence, tension is felt. In that very moment power moves in and the tension disappears. You exist in the power; floating without resistance or tension. The power of unity flows everywhere.

In the space of no thoughts there is sensitivity to freely moving energy inside and out. The energy is constantly moving and never stops. The sensation of the energy grows stronger and stronger the longer you stay in the space. By allowing yourself to sink deeper into the void, sensitivity to the power grows stronger. You become the power - energy - divine force. Thoughts come and go but they are of no cosequence.

You remain in the space even with thoughts, actions and movements of your body. You can go about your daily activities, interact with other people, work and play and still be the power. The ego tries to pull you back into the old, dissatisfied self but by staying calm and in the moment you remain the power. You remain constantly the energy. When you feel the slightest tension of dissatisfaction you immediately recognize it for what it is - ego.

If you withdraw from calmness and internal silence the ego is reinforced bringing about more division. Maintain your calmness and internal silence by costantly being with the energy that permeates through you and throughout the universe.

It is very difficult for the old self to relinquish its knowing, believing and proving how important and superior it is. It is not in its best interest to give up ideas, desires, opinions and judgments. Without the feeling of superiority, dominance and control the ego is useless and will do everything in its power to bring you back to the old self. You, however, remain calm and at peace in the power.

The space between thoughts is the "void" - void of ego. In this space there is an energy that goes above and beyond tension, frustration and the illusion of the old self and its sidekick the ego. By staying in the space of total awareness with the reality of your new self and its profound calmness you are in unity with everything.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Going Beyond Thoughts

To go beyond the confines of the thinking mind takes uncompromising honesty, allowing yourself to listen carefully to your mind so you can transcend the illusion of ego to the true you - a higher consciousness. As long as you remain attached to your thoughts your journey will remain encumbered. There is something beyond the perception of your senses that you are unaware of while the ego has its hold on you. That something is the extraordinary being beyond thought.

Once you are able to let space form between thoughts a new realization will awaken in you like a newborn child. It will need to be nourished and handled with great care and affection. The child is Presence. Presence has always existed in you but you have been unaware of its existence because of the thinking mind. The subtleness of Presence is easily masked by thoughts of dissatisfaction, judgment, beliefs, desires and other ominous thoughts. Presence must be met with an open mind; a mind that is not hampered by thinking.

To form a space between thoughts you must be quiet and very still. Your body must be comfortable, motionless and at ease. Your back must be straight while sitting either in a chair or cross-legged. Breathe in and out of your nose paying very close attention to your breath at the tip of your nose. After five minutes or so, imagine your breath traveling down to the base of your spine, swirling around that area for awhile, and then up and out as you exhale. This practice is for calming your mind. In the beginning your thoughts will be random and meaningless but they will soon become more quiet and recognizable as thoughts.

When your mind is relatively calm begin intentional thinking. If you are a wood worker, for example, you could think about building a bird house. If you are a chef you might think about making a cake. If you are an artist you could think about painting a picture. Intentionally think for about 30 seconds and then suddently stop thinking. For just a brief moment there will be no thoughts - a space or gap, and then an unintentional thought will come up. The unintentional thought is automatic and can be anything. It might be a fleeting thought of something in the past or the future. It might be a thought of something happening in the present moment like an itch or a sound.

For a few seconds simply sit in the zone of unintentional thinking and witness the thoughts as an observer. And then once again begin intentional thinking. Stop thinking and notice the space. Don't try too hard when doing this practice. The trick is to be as relaxed as possible and enjoy the process. Do this thinking not thinking for five or ten minutes and as often as possible; every day or at least every other day.

Soon you will experience longer and longer spaces between your thoughts. At some point the space should be long enough so that you get the feeling you are existing in the presence of something greater than the mind. The feeling is sometimes referred to as the true being or a new self. This is the beginning of the true meaning of life. It is not an illusion as before when there were thoughts of resentment, anger and frustration. The new life is brand new, an opening of the mind you have never experienced before.

To be continued.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CAUTION - You are about to enter the self-discovery zone.

If you have dissatisfaction and a sense on insufficiency that you don't understand, you may be experiencing the consequences of your ego. It is as though the ego is in automatic mode, coming and going on its own, appearing when you least expect it. Most of the time you believe it is the real you; judging, demanding, unsatisfied and often thinking there must be more to life.

For the most part it is difficult to understnd the nature of the dissatisfaction or the nature of the judging. These reactions to life reflect the needs of the ego. As long as you are dissatisfied and judgmental the ego is alive and well. As long as you do not see the disparity between your true self and the ego everything will seem normal. All you will see is the result - resentment, anger, frustration; making up the illusion of what you call your life. Since this is your life you are fervently attached to it. When you are caught up in the business of yourself how can you ever know that there is freedom from the frustration of dissatisfaction and the illusion which you consider your real life?

In order to break the bonds of the ego you must understand how your mind works. In order to know your true nature you have to go beyond thoughts. You have to see how your thoughts condition you with every passing moment and not be fooled by them. It takes honesty with yourself. It takes uncompromising honesty, allowing yourself to listen carefully to your mind so you can transcend from the illusion of ego to your true nature which is a higher consciousness.

To be continued.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

External and Internal Ego

Is there really such thing as an ego; something that can be seen, felt and heard or does it exist solely in the mind as a thought, an idea? Is an ego merely a concept in the mind? You decide.

CAUTION - The following may offend you:

Externally the ego can be objectively observed in another person's speech and actions. If a person constantly praises himself and lavishes himself with opulence and gifts you might say he is egotistic. But the question is - is he hurting anyone by his actions? You may not like his personality and speech but if he is not hurting anyone, what is the problem? The problem is usually in you as the observer. You may think he is rude, ill-mannered and callow but when you get right down to it, the problem is not him but you. You are letting the outside bother the inside. By observing the "egoistic" person, you have a thought, "What a rude and callow individual," and then an emotion arises such as a feeling of annoyance, anger, outrage or even hatred. Once an emotion occurs usually some type of automatic reaction follows. The reaction may be one of avoidance or you may react by speaking out and saying something offensive, something you may regret later. Or, you might lash out and physically hurt the person.

The reaction you exhibit is the ego - the internal ego. You see yourself as the center of everything. You may think; "That person really annoys me." In this case things only exist in relation to you. Some things you like, others you don't. The feeling of being separate and distinct from others is actually the thing called the "ego." You see yourself as an isolated individual, distinct from other people and other things. Whatever you do is for the good of you. You feel the need to preserve and protect yourself or else everything will not be right.

To be continued.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Energy of Presence

The energy of Presence comes into the body and fills it. The energy that fills the body is the life force itself. It is more important than the body. The body is simply an organic mass which is nothing without the life force. This is energy that has its own power, its own movement and is necessary for the body to function. Without this energy the body is nothing, it is lifeless.

The energy that fills the body comes not from thinking, imagination, emotions or desire but from the cosmos; from light and from the air. It is constantly moving and can be felt when consciously aware of the body and the breath. The sense is one of deep quality flowing freely through the body. It is independent of the body but yet is necessary for life to exist in the body. Without this free flowing, vibrational force there would be no essence of being. There would be no ability to feel it. It is life force sensing itself.

The essence of the energy and the material of the body are one unit connected to all units of life. It becomes clear that the energy is not in the body but rather the body is in the energy. All bodies are undoubtedly in the energy like fish in an ocean.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What is Presence?

Presence is the realization that you are neither the self nor the ego but a much higher being. You are a being which is the awareness. You are aware of the body both inside and out - its energy, its vibrancy, the prana, the life-force but you are not the body; you are not the mind. You are the witness of both the body and the thoughts.

Feeling presence is not imagination or an illusion, it is as real as sunlight. It is formless yet fills every cell of your body. Feeling presence is the portal that allows you to break through the ego barrier. By feeling presence you become the witness of your body, thoughts and the energy within. You, the presence of being, are the connection between awareness and the awareness of a higher consciousness.

Although presence seems inanimate and tenuous, there is no denying that it is inherent in all that exists. The vibrating force prevades throughout space and every galaxy as well as your mind and every cell of the body. Feel the energy that is within you. Focus on nothing but the feeling. Relax into the feeling and allow it to be non-conceptual. Don't judge. See if you can become one with everything that is within you and everyting that is outside of you.

If you can do this, you have stepped into being the witness - the essence of being. When you feel the power of presence you know that you are much more than just a body and a mind. It is the truth contained within being.

Monday, August 15, 2011

There is no way the thinking mind can perceive reality. It's difficult to go beyond the thinking mind because of the ego. The ego and the self are intertwined and when the mind expands into the cosmos with a flow of energy, the ego drags it back to the self like a bungee chord.

To go beyond thoughts one must go into the void between thoughts. The void is the space of reality because there are no thoughts. Within the space there is silence - a silence free of thinking. It is necessary to go into this silence if you are to experience reality in its truest sense.

The thinking mind always has a question and always wants an answer. In order to go beyond the conditioned mind you must develop another way of perceiving - a higher sense. The new perception comes from the complete understanding that you know nothing. The mind must be empty of all preconceived ideas, prejudices and desires. The new mind is formed in the void and opens to new perceptions and responses. Brand new pathways are formed in the brain leaving behind material imbeded in the old memory. Being free from the past, the mind is allowed to see beyond the confines of the improsoned self that cannot go beyond the ego.

By existing in the void and free from thinking, a new reality appears. Simply exist in the new reality and realx into it for as long as you can. The space between thoughts may exist for only a fraction of a second in the beginning. As practice progresses the space may become wider, lasting several seconds or even minutes. With further practice there should come a time when the space of no thoughts lasts ten minutes or longer. The widening of the gap is the cultivation of a new pathway in the brain. The new pathway is cosmic consciousness going beyond the old, entrenched way of thinking.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

To transform oneself into pure awareness requires intention. The mind must be focused on a higher energy and force extending up and out of the body to infinity. Concentration on this action of energy must be with great intensity. It is very easy to lose either concentration or intensity or even both at the same time.

The quality of the energy is clean and clear, pure, like a mountain stream. It flows through the body, upward and out the top of the head. The body opens up and becomes one with the Divine. If either concentration or intensity is lost, connection to the Divine is lost. To maintian the connection requires intention on the grandest scale.

With practice the connection between the "I" and the Divine can be maintained without effort. In pure awareness thre are no expectations, no desires, no beliefs, no judgments or fear. It is a state of just being. It is total consciousness of Presence, the surroundings and the Divine. All three of these entities are actually one and the same, there is no separation, only unity.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Single "I" to Unified "I"

As long as you are asleep life will be a continuous cycle of mechanical actions, going here and there and doing this and that with no understanding of why. Just doing for the sake of doing. To become awake requires an awakening to the consciousness in oneself. It requires a broadening of the mind and the ability to discern mechanical functioning from consiousness.

It is easy to say that all you have to do is just be aware. It is easy to say awareness is our natural state of being and there is really no need to do anything. You are already aware, so why try to do anything? If this were true, then we would all be aware and no one would be in the automatic machine. We would all be kinder to one another and there would be no robberies, no rapes, no killings, no wars. But this doesn't seem to be the case. We are not aware; we are asleep, running on automatic for the most part.

There are different levels of consciousness and you must have the ability to recognize these different levels if you are ever going to become fully conscious and aware. The ability takes understanding and understanding requires effort. You must be able to experience the levels in yourself. It is a personal experience of letting go of the mind/body machine, aware of the very moment, and become conscious of the machine in action. It cannot occur overnight. It must occur bit by bit, one step at a time. To become awake and purely aware you must learn how to let go of the mind/body machine allowing consciousness to shine through.

As practice in pure awareness continues, a transformation will take place. The mechanical "I" will slowly dissolve and a unified "I," totally conscious and purely aware appears, immune to outside influences. In this state of consciousness a new experience of unity embraces everything.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Staying in Pure Awareaness

It is possible to be in pure awareness most of the time. Once pure awareness is experienced it is like a phenomenon in that cosmic consciousness will open like a veil being lifted off your head. It's as though everything is being realized for the first time in your life. Things that you haven't seen before will become visible and things you haven't been able to do before will become possible.

The ultimate test for pure awreness is the ability to remain calm under adverse conditions. When someone or something "presses your buttons" that would normally make you angry, anxious, afraid, frustrated or worried and it doesn't bother you - you have passed the test. It is because you realize that you are not the body or the mind - you are one with everything - one with the Divine.

When you are in pure awareness you have transcended the ego and the ego is not in control. This is how life is when you are in pure awareness; the ego no longer has a grip on you. You become free from things like self-conscousness, negative emotions and all the other afflictions the illusory ego can heap upon you to keep you from what you truly are - a Being of ultimate freedom.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Staying in Pure Awareness cont'd

In order to find out where you are in your mind at any given time during the day, you have to be reminded periodically to wake up and check where you were right before the wake-up call. That's where the wake-up call comes in. For example, you are doing something like making the bed in the morning and a bell rings to remind you to check where your mind was. You immediately realize that you were thinking about what your spouse said to you earlier that morning - you were not in pure awareness; you were in waking sleep. This is not only testing but it is also practice - practice of being more and more in pure awareness.

The more you practice being in pure awareness the easier it is to stay there. However, if your practice begins to be an annoyance it may be because you are beginning to get "gun shy" and are anticipating the wake-up call rather than just letting it be. You do not want the anticipation of the wake-up call to turn into anxiety. In other words, don't let your good intentions, become too intense. If this happens, take a few weeks or even months off and come back to the wake-up call when you feel more comfortable with it. When you come back to the practice of using a wake-up call you may find that you have gained ground because of the time off. The main thing is, have fun with the process of becoming more and more aware. If you let it become a burden you may not gain ground.

In our group we tried various things as wake-up calls. After trying all kinds of things we finally ended up using a clock called the Zen Timepiece. We set the clock to go off every 20 minutes while we discussed varous topics such as meditation and being in the Now. We discovered that no one had any idea when the 20 minutes was up or when the clock was going to chime. While we were in discussion, sense of time was lost and the wake-up call was a total surprise.

Later on we came across medical wrist watches that work great as wake-up calls. They are relative inexpensive and can be set them to "beeb," flash or vibrate at any interval during the day. We wore the watches during the day and recorded our results on a graph. As time went on we found that our efforts were paying off. We all were staying in pure awareness longer and longer. 50% is considered very good.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Staying in Pure Awareness

Once you know what it's like to be in pure awareaness, you may feel it's the place you want to stay forever. To stay in pure awareness longer takes practice. The good thing is, the more you experience pure awareness the easier it becomes to maintain the state of oneness.

In order to experience pure awareness for longer periods of time it is helpful to check what state of consciousness your mind is in throughout the day. By using some type of stimulus to remind you to reflect back to your mind's experience you can begin to see a positibve pattern emerge.

The stimulus can be practically anything that will being you back into the moment such as a sound, a smell, a vibration, a touch, etc. The stimulus brings you back to the moment so you can reflect on what experience (waking sleep, absorption, attention, awareness, pure awareness) you were having immediately before the stimulus occured.

When you are in pure awareness, you will know it. In contrast, when you are out of pure awareness you won't know it. This might sound strange but look at it this way: when you are actively involved in doing something like threading a needle you are usually so absorbed in the process of getting the thread through the eye that everything else is secondary.

What if a bell were to chime as a wake-up call so you could check what state of consciousness you were in right before it chimed? Notice, were, as in past tense, not are. The moment the bell chimes you are immediately brought back into pure awareness; but the question is, were you in pure awareness before the bell chimed? Think about it. If you think back to your experience right before the bell chimed you will know if you were in pure awareaness or one of the other four experiences.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lost Consciousness cont'd

Manuel wrote, "All this talk about self and suffering, why do you people bother? If you think you can cure suffereing through enlightenment, identifying yourself with a Higher Self, becoming the universe and what not, come over here and I'll bang your head against the wall 10 times! After bleeding for a few minutes, let's see if you still think you're not the body."

I like his message, it's evocative and to-the-point. What is the purpose of saying I am not the body or the mind when I actually am. All I have to do is feel pain and bleed to find out that, yes this is me. This body and mind are truly me. My body is hurting and bleeding, I feel pain. I can't escape the fact that this is who I am.

Is it a fact that I am this body and this thinking mind? It's difficult not to think so. All I have to do is experience pain, look in the mirror, see my body getting older, remember all of the things I have done in my life. All I have to do is think about what I want for the future; where I want to go, how much money I'll need, what I'll do when I'm too old to take care of myself and what the future holds for my family and friends. Is this definite proof that I am this thing - this body and these thoughts?

But maybe it's a fact I am not this body and this mind. Maybe the body and mind I call me is not me but mine, like my house and my car. I live in my house and drive my car just like I live in my body and listen to my mind. I take care of my house and car but I don't think they are who or what I am, so why do I think I am my body and my mind? If I 'think' I am my body/mind I probably am. If I know I am not, I am not.

If I consider myself my name, my body, my mind, my past, my desires, my values, feelings and emotions I become identified with self. I have this and I have that. I have "my" house, "my" car, "my" mind, "my" spouse. If something goes "wrong" and I can't keep things as I want them, I suffer.

But If I consider myself beyond the body/mind mechanism I am not indentified with the self. The self is an illusion with all its desires and possessions. My consciousness is the Higher Self. I still feel pain, have desires and thoughts but I am not identified with them. When consciousness is the Higher Self it realizes that all things are the same, all things are energy within a universe of energy like water droplets in an ocean.

For those who are stuck in the small self, it is impossible to understand the Higher Self. They must experience it to understand it. They can read about it, but until they experience the higher consciousness, they will continue to deny that it even exists. Such is the way of the closed mind. There is nothing anyone can do for them. They have to discover it for themselves.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lost Consciousness cont'd

To not go into waking sleep is hard to do. It takes staying in the moment and not letting the mind wander. Staying in the moment requires me to stay focused on the task at hand whatever it may be. If I'm driving, I have to concentrate on what I am doing and what other things are doing around me.

I feel my hands on the wheel, foot on the pedal, cars ahead, cars in the rearview mirror, the speedometer, clouds, my thoughts. Yes, my thoughts. If my thoughts begin going into the future, I notice them and bring my focus back to the moment. If my thoughts go into the past, I bring them back to the present. Who is noticing the thoughts?

By practicing mindful meditation I have learned to observe thoughts coming and going. As I focus on my breathing, thoughts appear and 'I' notice them. The 'I' is not thinking. The 'I' is simply observing and watching for the next thought to appear. The 'I' is not the body or the mind. It is not the breath. I cannot explain nor describe what the 'I' is. It is impossible for me to say who it is or what it is. It is just an entity that exists when I am in the moment and aware. It may be another part of the brain; I really don't know. But I know it is there.