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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

What is Mindfulness?

What does it mean to be mindful?  What are you to be mindful of?  Does mindfulness mean to be mindful of the mind, of thoughts, of yourself, of others, or what?  And, how does one go about being mindful? 

To be mindful means to live in the moment.  That's it, nothing more.  Be in the moment and enjoy the experience of what is happening right now within and without.  It is being aware of thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and what's going on around you, right now this very moment.  Sounds easy?  Check it out and see for yourself. . . Not easy.  The mechanical mind won't let you.  Thoughts of judging, thoughts of the past, the future, random thoughts, troubling thoughts, and "What if?" thoughts.  All kind of thoughts invade the mind and won't leave you alone for very long.  So, how do you cultivate mindfulness?

Cultivating mindfulness begins with meditation.  Not just any old meditation but mindful meditation.  Sit quietly observing and feeling your breathing - the expansion and contraction of the rib cage and the flow of air in and out. Once you have that mastered you can go to the next step -watching your thoughts come and go as if they were words and pictures floating by.  Don't get caught up in the thoughts but just let them pass in and out of view without giving them a second thought.  These are the first steps in cultivating mindfulness.  This is inward mindfulness.  It is looking inward and noticing the breath, the thoughts, emotions, reactions in the body, discomforts and whatever else is happening in the body.

Next is outward mindfulness - going beyond the body and into more of an awakening to what is happening outside the body.  Being aware of sounds, people, things, smells, and all of your sensory receptions to the immediate environment will broaden your mindfulness.  Practice some loving kindness, turning more toward compassion and consideration for all beings.

Sitting in inward and outward mindfulness is a formal practice that you should practice daily until they become meshed as one experience.  Your informal practice will blossom when you can be mindful during your everyday living.  Being both inward and outward in mindfulness will bring a new meaning to living in this world.

Mindfulness is being aware and open to your experiences.  It is not necessarily about improvement or change but more about becoming more of what you already are.  Being mindful allows you to get away from the mechanical mind and see things as they truly are, seeing each event as if it is occurring for the very first time - living in the moment and realizing everyone is in the same boat.

In a situation that is unnerving, uncomfortable, upsetting or even chaotic see if you can observe the experience without reacting to it.  Reflect on your thoughts and emotions in the moment.  Stop, look, and listen to yourself and what is going on around you.  For example, let's say you are sitting on a park bench when all of a sudden some children start chasing one another around your bench.  They begin shouting and screaming at the top of their lungs.  You feel yourself becoming annoyed and agitated.  But you have remembered to be mindful.  You observe the children and you observe your emotions.  You reflect on your thoughts.  You become the witness of the experience and embrace the situation.  You are right here in the moment witnessing a brand new experience.  You are mindful, at peace and you enjoy the experience.

What would you do if you were confronted with a life or death situation?  In the next post I will discuss the role of mindfulness in dangerous and hostile circumstances.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Early this morning my two Westie pups were barking their heads off.  I got up from bed to see what was the matter.  And to my surprise there was a bunch of buzzards on top of my neighbor's house.  I ran back into the house and grabbed my camera and took these pictures.

I counted 18 buzzards.  I couldn't believe it so I counted again.  A sure enough total of 18 buzzards looking for a meal.  I called my good friend (the neighbor) who wasn't up yet so I left a message.  I said, "Jim, are you okay?  Are you feeling well?  There are 18 buzzards on top of your house."  About and hour later the phone rang and it was Jim.  He said, "Are you sure there were 18 buzzards on my roof?"  I said, "For certain.  I counted them twice.  Eighteen is what there were."  He then he asked, "How many points are there on the self Mandala?"  He was referring to chapter 6 in my book on pure awareness.  I said, "Oh my god - there are 18 points."  And he said, "And they all point back to the fear of death."   

The 18 points are: Unique, Special, Importance, Belonging, Acceptance, Intimacy, Achievement, Competence, Control, Aesthetics, Stimulation, Novelty, Relaxation, Security, Peace of Mind, Loneliness, Nothingness, and Helplessness.  From these 18 points you can pick which ones are meaningful for you to form you own personal mandala.  The mandala then becomes your description of your self - the person you refer to as "me" or "myself" or "I". As long as you cling to the self you will always have a fear of death.  The fear of death lingers in the background - the the back of the mind, so to speak.  The fear is always there as long as you identify with your small self.

These 18 buzzards were a coincidence to have landed on his house and for me to see them and report them to Jim.  I simply saw them as a coincidence but Jim saw them as a sign for remembering - to remember the self.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cosmic Consciousness

Cosmic consciousness is the realization that infinity is both within and without. This realization can link you with the cosmic awareness that goes beyond space, time and your mind.  It will allow you to experience something that the five senses can never do.  See if you can go about your daily activities while in cosmic consciousness.  Click on the link below to get an understanding of what I'm talking about:


Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Yourself from Thoughts and Time

For this practice you will need a yoga mat.  The practice is called the R.O.B.E. (Relax, OM, Back, Expansion).


To begin this practice it's very important to be able to relax your body and mind. All sensations must be focused on two things: the body and the breath. The body and the breath are interconnected in such a way so when you focus on them at the same time thoughts cease almost immediately.
 Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, take a deep breath, hold it for five seconds and breathe out slowly.  As you breathe out focus on your chest and rib cage as they contract. This action of  slowly exhaling while focusing on the body engages the parasympathetic nervous system which in turn decreases the production of stress hormones such as cortisone and norepinephrine. The result is deep relaxation. Do five or six deep, slow breaths feeling the expansion and contraction of your rib cage and chest cavity.   You should be able to feel tension in your body melt away


While still sitting, chant OM several times using a deep resonating voice.  Focus on the vibrations in the body.


Tuck your knees into your chest and gently roll onto your back.  Roll around on your back for a while feeling various pressure points on your spine and back muscles.


Lie on your back, spread your feet apart as wide as the mat, and extend your arms straight out from your shoulders.  Breathe allowing prana (life force) to move into your body, down your legs, out your arms and fingers, up and out your head.  As prana moves through your body you may feel as though your body is expanding.  It may seem like your legs, arms and neck are getting longer.  You may feel as if all the molecules and atoms in your body are expanding out into space. Simply allow any and all feelings to occur without judgment.

This practice allows the robe of awareness to cover your body.  When you get up from the practice try continue wearing the robe day and night. You have moved beyond thought and time.  You are as close to enlightenment as one can get.

See when you look.
Listen when you hear.
Taste what you eat.
Feel when you touch.
Sense what you smell.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Going deeper into no thoughts and further beyond time

Acknowledging the fact that you have difficulty letting go of thoughts and that you are obsessed with time is the first step for going beyond thoughts and time.  The second step is developing the witness so you can self-observe.  Going beyond thoughts and time is a no brainer - pardon the pun, but, it is true, once you can observe the self, it takes no effort and it takes no thought.

To go deeper into no thoughts and further beyond time is not a case of dissociation from them but a conscious choice to be aware of them.  Thoughts, especially negative ones, usually bring about automatic responses such as wanting to separate the self from the thoughts or get them out of the mind.  Refusal to acknowledge thoughts, such as anger and hate, doesn't work, it makes them worse and produces emotional complications.  The same goes for time.  Once you are locked in the time continuum it's difficult to get out. Thinking everything is associated with time makes you a slave to time. The ability to observe past, present, and future, frees you from its constraints and allows you to see time for what it is - an illusion. 

When you experience a traumatic event such as a heated argument, a car wreck, death of a loved one or loss of a job; feelings of anxiety, depression, anger and hate can immediately take over any thoughts of peace and love you may have once had.  Usually responses to traumatic experiences are automatic and immediately lead toward labeling, judging, physical violence, mental and emotional outbursts and even complete dissociation with the event and people associated with it.  People who have been physically and sexually abused as children have been known to completely lock any memory of the trauma out of their minds. 

Instead of reacting automatically, the better choice is self-observation.  Self-observation is a conscious choice, not an automatic reaction.  It is being aware of thoughts, feelings, and emotions.   Self-observation allows you to be free of judgments and free to experience what is within your mind and body without being attached to thoughts and time.

So, how does one go about learning how to self-observe? The answer lies in traditional yoga.  By doing asanas (twists & bends) along with meditation you can learn to free yourself from unwanted thoughts and the constraints of time.  Getting in touch with your body, sensing your breathing and watching your thoughts while doing yoga teaches you about self-awareness.  And the more you do it, the better you get.

In the next post I will give you a yoga routine for freeing you from thoughts and time.