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, May 5, 2014

Identity & Suffering

Buddhism sees suffering as the main source of all human problems and says that our suffering becomes our identity.  We suffer therefore we are, is the Buddhist catchphrase. There is a problem with this proposal because suffering really doesn't cause or produce one's identity.  It's the other way around.  Our identity becomes our suffering.

Even before a baby is born it is already beginning to develop its identity.  The fetus feels itself floating in amniotic fluid and bonds with its mother's voice.  When the baby emerges from the womb it already knows who its mother is and begins identifying with various sights, sounds, smells and feelings.  

At this point it has no ego an there is no duality. Soon the child will understand that it has a name and that its mother is another person. Duality is born and the baby begins to develop an ego with the understanding that there is also a father. As the child grows it learns that it lives in a house that looks different than the neighbor's house and so on.  With further learning and growth the child develops more identity and more of an ego. Along with the ego comes values. Duality becomes well established at this point and the ego (values) continues to grow. 

There is nothing wrong with having an ego but a problem may arise when the person believes that its values are better or worse than someone else's values and attempts to assert those values with force. That is how arguments, fights and wars are started.  Identity creates duality, duality becomes the ego, and the ego can cause suffering. 

Suffering can be abated through the practice of mindful meditation - observing thoughts.  Being able to see and understand egoic thoughts when they occur allows us to remain at peace with self and others.  Although the practice takes patience and persistence the rewards are well worth it.  This is elucidated in the ancient text Yoga Sutra by Patanjali. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Omega Experience - Part 2

We were asked to write about something we had never told anyone.  The writing had to relate to our wartime experience in one way or another.  On the second day we arranged ourselves in small groups and read what we wrote. It was not mandatory that we read - only if we chose to do so. The following is what I wrote and read:

Our ship was entering DaNang harbor.  It was midnight.  I walked up onto the open bridge and looked into the night sky.  It was quiet and very dark.  The lights in DaNang were off and everything was black.  Land was hardly visible, yet we were only about a mile away.  A flash of light exploded over the harbor and then another followed by loud "BOOMS."  More flashes followed by more booming here and there.  "What in the hell is going" I thought.  This was my introduction to the Vietnam war.  And what did I do?  I went below and got in my bunk.  I was afraid.  I thought to myself, "A shell fragment could fly over here and pierce my body or even kill me.  I must be a coward."

Confessing my secret in front of strangers gave me a  feeling of relief.  Although my experience was mild compared to others in the group, it lifted a weight off my mind.  And I question whether I could have ever held up like the brave warriors with whom I encountered in the workshop.  The suffering and pain they endured and then holding it in all those years laid  heavy on their bodies and minds.  

No one wanted to hear their stories until now.  They told their stories to each other and they listened.  They mindfully listened. They told their stories and there were tears of joy from the tellers as well as from the listeners.  The ten brave warriors who got up and read their stories in front of the entire group changed me and it changed everybody that night. 

On the first day of the workshop most of the veterans kept to themselves and were isolated individuals.  There were very few smiles and very little laughing.  On the last day everyone was hugging and there was laughter.  It was as though a heavy burden had been lifted from everyone's mind.  It was, indeed, a glorious experience.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Omega Experience

This past week I attended Claude AnShin Thomas' workshop at the Omega Institute near Rhinebeck, N.Y.  It was an educational and very moving experience.  Some one hundred veterans attended the workshop. A few, like me, came with their spouses while others came with fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers.

Veterans coming home from having experienced the trauma of war rarely have the opportunity to talk to someone about their experiences.  Often people don't want to hear about their experiences either because they don't want to know about the veteran's traumatic experience or they are afraid that talking about it will open wounds and are afraid to get involved. Many don't know what to say to the vet. In any case, the veteran comes home a changed person and has a very difficult time adapting back to his former life. What was a normal world before the war experience is a totally different world now.

The workshop revolved around three basic components: meditation, mindfulness and reflection.  We began each day at 7:00 am in sitting meditation followed by walking meditation. AnShin told us to do walking meditation slowly and deliberately.  It was to be done in rhythm with the breath. He said that he was asked one time "Does the breath really work?"  And his reply was, "I don't know, but I know it is always with you and you do it - so you might as well use it."

During breakfast, around 8:30 am, we practiced mindful eating in silence. We were told to chew each bite fifty times and contemplate its aroma, texture and taste.  After breakfast we would either do more sitting and walking or AnShin would talk about his adventures and philosophy. He never preached about Buddhism.  He emphasized the importance of keeping our own beliefs intact and focusing on the task at hand - being mindful.

We were told to use our spare time during the week to reflect and write about something we had never told anyone.  It had to be about something that related to our war experience.  How did the war affect us either directly as a veteran or indirectly as a relative?  

During lunch we would do more mindful eating and then have a small break.  At around 2:00 pm we would meet again for thirty minutes of sitting meditation and then we would gather in our small group for reflection. Each group would walk mindfully to their designated site.  We sat in a circle and would take turns reading our writings by gesturing with a bow and then picking up an object placed in the middle of the circle.  In our group the designated object was an eyeglass case.

The main object of the group session was to listen and read mindfully. What was read was to never leave the group.  However, I will reveal my writing in the next post. The person holding the object was the only one who could read while the others had to listen carefully and mindfully. Once the person was through reading, he/she placed the object back on the floor and would gesture with a bow.  Everyone else would acknowledge by also bowing.  It was not mandatory to read but everyone in my small group of eight did read. 

During dinner we would eat in silence and then walk mindfully back to the main hall and either do more sitting meditation or yoga. The last evening of the week was open to outside people - people who lived in the area. Those who wrote essays could read them in front of the entire group of 140 people if they  desired. I didn't read my essay but ten veterans did. It was a heartfelt moment.  There was laughing and crying. When the last person read they were given a five minute standing ovation. Where once there were sad faces there were now happy faces.

The next morning before parting for home we all walked mindfully down to the lake where AnShin and his assistants lit a fire and burned notes we all had placed in a basket. The notes were things we wanted to get rid of such as shame, anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc. We watched as the notes along with the troubling situations went up in smoke.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pure Awareness

Practicing yoga, meditation, and mindfulness is good stuff but nothing like being in pure awareness.  Being in pure awareness is not in the mind nor in the body; pure awareness is experiencing everything as one.  Usually when people speak of being aware they are referring to a lower realm of experience than what I am talking about here.  

Awareness and mindfulness to most people means paying attention to what's going on around them and within them.  Pure awareness is beyond this.  Pure awareness is wider and deeper than any other experience you can possible have.  Pure awareness is a sense of everything without mental content.  It is when object and subject merge into universal awareness excluding nothing, so that there is no separation between anything.  To put is succinctly pure awareness is a state of non-duality. 

In truth, there is no duality anywhere because everything is the truth just the way it is right now at this very moment.  The saying that "You can't see the forest for the trees" applies in this case.  The truth lies before you but you don't recognize it because objects keep getting in the way.  The objects are the truth just as the trees are the forest.  When you are able to realize, without thinking, that all things exist as one and not as separate things, you will experience total and unadulterated awareness.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Do it NOW!

Meditation by yourself or in a group is absolutely necessary if you are ever going to make any progress, whatsoever, in liberation from any kind of suffering. But meditation is not enough. You must also practice mindfulness with every waking hour, minute, and second of your life.

Sitting in meditation is insufficient in becoming enlightened.  Meditation must also be coupled with the act of staying in the moment no matter what happens - driving, walking, working, talking, listening, or whatever you are doing.  You must be awake and actively vigilant to the present moment.  It is some of the hardest work in the world to just be present in the moment and open minded. 

When the mind is in the future and the past you cannot be living a full life.  Something is missing when that happens. Life is the unknown, unrecognized and under appreciated teacher because it is the present-moment. It is really all there is.  So, begin your practice right now, this very moment.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sitting to Meditate

When you sit to meditate you are settling into a quiet place and time to "observe."  From the outside meditation looks simple and easy.  "There she sits with her eyes closed, not moving, and hardly breathing.  How hard can that be?"  But from the inside the mind is thinking all kinds of things, the body is trying to get comfortable, and the breath is trying to smooth out. "I don't know how long I can sit here.  My mind is too agitated and my knees hurt."

Meditation is very personal and there is no one particular way to do it. Meditation evolves with the person and the person evolves with the meditation. When I first started meditating the most I could do was 10 or 15 minutes.  That was about fifteen years ago. Today I sat for 2 hours with no problem.  I look forward  every day to sitting and meditating. It is the pause that refreshes.  It gives me new life and it restores my ability to stay in the moment during the day.  It calms my mind and I sleep better at night.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cosmic Consciousness

Try using your imagination to view the vast universe in which you live as being not only outside your body but inside as well. The smallest, most infinitesimal unit of energy, matter, mass, or whatever it is exists in you and expands out into infinity. And you are just a teeny, weeny part of that whole continuum.  Can you imagine that?  Okay, so far so good.

If you can imagine infinite smallness and infinite largeness simultaneously, you are experiencing what is known as cosmic consciousness. It is the knowing, the feeling, the realization that everything within you and outside of you is infinite. There is no limit either way. If you can do this, your mental imaging can link you with the cosmic mind beyond space and time and allow you to experience what the five senses can never do.  

Stay with that image of infinite smallness and infinite largeness with nothing in between for as long as you can. What do you experience? Can you describe it? 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Famous Quotes?

Not everyone sees the same thing the same way. Duh.

What I believe you should believe too. Or die.

There is no way you can lift that barge.
But maybe you can tote that bail.

Keep doing  it until you get it right.
Even if you keep getting the same results.

I will follow you 'til the end of time,
even if it kills me.

We should all come to our senses; sooner or later.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Just Be

When you walk in the garden you feel warm, kind, and at ease.
When you eat with your dog you know humility.
When you listen to a tree you understand life.
And when you jump for joy you see energy.

There is no need to ponder these things
for they are free and readily available.
Just open your heart and let them come in.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Warm vs Cold

This is off the subject of pure awareness but I feel like writing about a subject that has bugged me for some time now. Whenever someone pulls a muscle they almost always put ice on the injured area to alleviate pain and swelling, but it has been my practice over the years to do the opposite. Years ago I used ice but for the last 15 years I have used warmth.

It is my contention that pulls, strains, and sprains need to be flooded with a fresh new supply of blood, nutrients, water, and oxygen to the damaged tissues as soon as possible and for as long as possible, until complete healing has occurred. Putting ice on living tissue relieves pain but it also constricts blood vessels that supply necessary nutrients to the tissue. Ice also causes the tissue to become inflexible and subject to more damage. For example, if you take a rubber stick and place it in ice it becomes hard and brittle and will break easily. But if you place the stick in a warm bath it becomes limber and supple. The same is true for muscles, tendons, and ligaments. 

Damaged tissues release large amounts of sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphate ions as well as creatine kinase and uric acid from the breakdown of purines and DNA.  Inflammation is the result of all these toxins flooding into the damaged tissues. It is important to get these byproducts out of the cells as quickly as possible. Putting ice on the area will only prolong their stay. Not only that, white blood cells, especially neutrophiles, enter the damaged tissues to try and defend against foreign invaders. In doing so they release reactive oxygen which can further cause swelling and further compromise blood supply to the area.  

When I pull a muscle, tendon or ligament I quickly put something warm on the area, rest it for a couple of days and take an anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, during those two days. I wrap a warm heating pad around the damaged tissue for an hour before going to bed. I never sleep with a heating pad on the area because its impossible to regulate the temperature when asleep.  If it gets too hot it could damage the tissue even further. It is important to maintain a comfortable warmth on the damaged area. I also drink lots of water to help flush the kidneys. The kidneys are where the toxins from the damaged tissues end up. It is important to get the toxins out of the kidneys as quickly as possible.

After two days I continue keeping the damaged area warm but I begin to stretch and massage it as well. It is my belief that mild stretching and massaging help to increase the flow of water and nutrients (glucose, amino acids, and oxygen) into the tissues and pull out toxins (positive ions, uric acid, and creatine kinase).  I have done this first aid practice many times over the past 15 years, on myself, never anyone else, and I find that I heal much faster then when I used ice. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

I Wonder!

I sometimes ponder the question - Why is my consciousness in this body?  To me it is bewildering that among 7 billion people on earth there is a single consciousness within this body which I refer to as "me."  And it stays here and doesn't go anywhere, except when I am in dreamless sleep or meditating.

The possibility of any one particular sperm from my father fertilizing any one particular egg from my mother calculates out to be one in 800 million, and that's during just one sexual encounter. That one sperm and that one egg produced an embryo that metamorphosed into a baby and became me.  At some point along the way the being (me) became conscious - aware of self and the surroundings.  

I don't think that my consciousness is any different than anybody else's consciousness. Consciousness is simply being aware of the fact that you are alive, functioning, thinking, moving, responding, and so on while at the same time aware of what is going on around you.  Humans are not the only animal to possess consciousness. Many animals are aware of themselves and the environment.  If they weren't  they wouldn't be around very long. They would be fodder for something that is conscious. Which brings up another interesting question.

Why couldn't my consciousness have ended up in another body? Could my consciousness have gone into some other person or another life form rather than ending up in me?  If not, why not?  And why is it happening right now at this very moment rather than one thousand years ago or a thousand years from now?   

One thing for sure; nobody knows the answers to these questions.  Science offers answers to many things but one thing it can't answer is the perplexing enigma of consciousness. Is it important to know what consciousness is? Not any more than it is to know the distance from earth to the sun, the speed of light, or the human genome. 

That's what is fun about science. You see something intriguing, have a question about it, and try to find out what it is all about.  It is simply a game and by playing the game all kinds of things can be learned.  To be human is to be curious, inquisitive and keep asking questions.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Man in the Moon

He landed on the Moon and never came back
the merry man who was shot from a cannon.
If you look up in the sky when the moon is full
you can see his face still shining.

His name is Man, and he's still there 
every night, all night long
as long as there's
a full moon glowing. 

He's happy up there
looking down
at the wonders
of what's here.

For he is
the Man
in the

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What is this thing called Yoga?

There are different kinds of yoga. Some of the more common forms of yoga in the United States are Hatha, Kundalini, Ashtanga, Krapalu, Bikram, and Iyengar. Although they are different in many respects they all use asanas (poses) in their disciplines. The original intent of yoga, as written in the Yoga Sutras, is to reach a higher state of consciousness known as Samadhi. The use of asanas is one of seven steps for reaching this higher state.

The word yoga literally means "union" - union of the body with the breath, the mind, and the spirit as well as with all things. By doing yoga, not just asanas, we may begin to realize that we are not separate but rather one within ourselves as well as with all that is. So, yoga poses are not all that make up yoga but are one part of the practice.

There is no one particular style or form of yoga for everybody. Each person must find what works for him/her. Once a person finds his/her style of yoga the benefits are virtually limitless. Some benefits are: becoming more peaceful with one's self as well as with others, internal and external purity, contentment, austerity, better concentration, improved strength, flexibility, balance, lung volume, spirituality and well-being. Also, improved posture, mental attitude and immune system not to mention the final goal - Samadhi.

If one follows the original intended path of yoga, through all eight sutras (paths), purity of mind and body will occur automatically. Asanas alone cannot completely unite the body, mind, breath, and spirit. Union comes by following all eight paths with impunity. If a person does only asanas he is not doing yoga - he is only doing asanas. The eight limbs of yoga are: 1. Yamas - non-violence, truthfulness, moderation in all things, and non-covetousness; 2. Niyamas - keeping the body and mind free of impurities, being austere and studying the sacred texts; 3. Asanas - postures for internal discipline; 4. Pranayama - regulation and control of breathing; 5. Pratyahara - withdrawl of the senses in order to still the mind; 6. Dharana - concentration; 7. Dhyana - meditation; 8. Samadhi - unity of self with all that is.

Having said all that, asanas are very important and are an integral part of yoga especially when they are combined with the power of the the breath (prana) and a focused mind. Moving through a series of asanas (vinyasa) while directing prana with the mind can be highly therapeutic. Where prana goes so does energy (shakti). The movement of shakti through the astral tube of the body (the sushuma) by using prana is what pranayama is all about. Once a yogi has perfected pranayama the healing power of shakti can be very powerful. 

Last but not least it is important to say that yoga is not something one does for 90 minutes twice a week. Yoga is a lifestyle.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Favorite Way to Meditate

My favorite way to meditate is to sit cross legged in my butt swing, gloves on, blindfold on, and earplugs in. This way I am isolated from most outside stimuli. This is about as close as I can get, without being in an isolation chamber, to pratyahara.

I believe it is best to sit in an upright position and as comfortable as possible. If this requires cushions, pillows, bolsters, or what have you, that is fine. It is important to be as comfortable as possible. Do not sit in a position that is uncomfortable, bothersome, distracting or takes away from the meditative process. When you are comfortable the spine is less likely to be injured and when the spine is in a vertical position energy is allowed to flow through it more freely.

I begin with chakra breathing. My practice begins with the first chakra at the base of the spine. I visualize the chakra as a wheel with the axle of the wheel lying horizontally to my body, from left to right, and the chakra looking something like a water wheel. The breath flows in at the bottom of the chakra and out at the top. The breath turns the chakra. As breathing continues the chakra opens, becomes aligned and stable. The first chakra is very important because it lays the groundwork for the remaining chakras. It may take ten or twenty minutes of slow, rhythmic breathing at the first chakra before my breath moves up to the second chakra. For me, the process has become automatic once through the first chakra and very little effort is required to move up the chakra system. Once the seventh chakra is reached, energy expands out the top of the head into universal consciousness. 

I don't use a timer because I feel it would disturb the natural flow of energy. It may take 30 or 40 minutes to go through all seven chakras and the remaining time is spent in universal consciousness, for maybe an hour or more. So far I have automatically come back into my body and mind after that.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Flying Boy

You may have heard about the boy
who tried flying by jumping off a barn.
He sailed into the air with tremendous joy
soaring off like a kite on a big ball of yarn.

It was so windy the windmill was churning
around so fast it was humming
like a tornado snaking and turning.
The tower exploded and so did the plumbing.

The cows in the pasture had to lay down
as the boy flew by like a bat out of hell.
The wood from the barn spread all over town
and the chickens and pigs were lost in the dell.

Someone saw the boy high in the sky
yelling out loud for someone to help.
He had to come down or surely die
up in the sky they all knew how he felt.

As time went on he got higher and higher
and soon he was so high he was out of sight,
known far and wide as the high flying flier.
Too bad for the boy, it was a terrible plight.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into years
and still there was no sign of the guy in the sky.
For the people in the town there were tears
for the boy who went up so very, very high.

Then early one morning the boy appeared
on top of the water tower just down the road
where a crowd was yelling "you disappeared."
They wondered what happened all those years.

"I flew 'round the world" he shouted.
"I saw strange and wonderful places" he said,
as he spread his handsome wings and departed,
to never return to the town of the dead.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I love reading the Upanishads. They are some of the oldest texts known to man and contain, in my opinion, many wise sayings from which we all could learn much. 

Here is one of my favorite sayings from Isha Upanishad:

                              He who realizes all 
                              beings are of himself will
                              have no fear or suffering
                              and will understand that
                              we are all one. We are
                              all one with the same 

This was written centuries before Jesus came upon the scene.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Walk with Grace

Walking with grace is the practice of being the observer of all things that happen to come into your field of vision, field of hearing and even field of smelling while strolling along. It is a practice of walking in silence and simply noticing and observing, without judging or giving names and labels to things.

Walking outside is preferable to walking indoors because of he vast array of different objects, scents and sounds you can come across. While you are walking, be alert and open to everything possible: smells, sounds, and sights. If you smell newly mown grass, for example, don't say to yourself, "Mmm, the smell of new mown grass." You want to be able to let labeling disappear and just be in the moment of enjoying the smell of what is. If you hear a bird chirping, just let the name "bird" pass through you and learn to enjoy the sound. The makes of automobiles , the structures of houses, people (male, female, thin, fat, muscular), the names of plants (oak, elm, sapling), the names of animals (dog, cat, squirrel), are non-existent while walking with grace.

As you walk, walk as though you are seeing the world for the firs time in your life. Everything is bright and new with no names. Just observe and enjoy your walk. When someone walks toward you, let the person be a signal to continue walking with grace. Make an effort to notice when your consciousness wanes away from walking with grace. Be like a child again, awake, alert and full of curiosity. See the world in a new light, full of wonderment and appreciation for everything that it is.

Practice Walking with Grace as often as possible. Your mind will thank you and your body will thank you.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Descend into the darkness that envelopes your soul.
Fear not, for where it takes you is of no real concern.
Let yourself sink into the thoughts and the feelings
boiling up like molten lava from a cauldron of hot coal.  

Descend deeper not knowing where it's taking you.
Let it slide over your body - over your mind.
Descend and realize there is no need to fear
because you have a magnificent spirit within you.

And because you are a heavenly spirit and a godly saint
there is no need to worry and no need to dread.
The unknown is only an earthly notion
that makes mortal humans tremble and faint.

You are more, much more, than your untidy thoughts.
The ideas, notions, fears, and concerns that pervade
the essence of your being are nothing more than tiny
specks of dust - flecks of fracas that can tie you in knots.

The further you descend the more you will see
the truth behind the charade that appears to be real.
So go ahead and sink into the depths of the unknown.
The turmoil that surrounds you will soon flicker and flee.

Thoughts and loathsome concerns
are gone forever and will never return.
You are free now to forever live, love
and taste the delicious . . . sauternes.  



Thursday, January 9, 2014

Conditions and Pure Awareness

A good way to know that you are in pure awareness is when you are able 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 are in pure awareness. You can see the negative event and even feel it begin to seep into your body but it then simply passes through like water through a sieve.

When you are in pure awareness you have transcended the ego and the ego is no longer in control of your thoughts and emotions. This is how life is when you are in pure awareness; the ego no longer has a grip on you. You are free from things like self-consciousness, negative emotions, and all the other stuff the illusory ego can heap upon you keeping you from what you truly are - a being of ultimate freedom.

The ego is nothing more than thinking. People who are not familiar with pure awareness can get caught up in their thoughts and become swept away with all kinds of negative feelings, emotions, and actions.The ego is very powerful and can take control of your mind before you know it. However, the practice of being in pure awareness can keep you calm, cool, and collected. Pure awareness allows you to maintain the tilt toward the side of positive energy at all times and under all conditions.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pure Awareness is Freedom

To some people I have talked to, pure awareness is a portal to the Divine. They experience a sense of complete peace and freedom - free from suffering caused by negative feelings, fears, and worries.  They say that it is impossible to be with the Divine and be hateful, greedy or sad. It seems when they are with the Divine, positive energy is always flooding into their very being.

When you are in pure awareness you know it. In contrast, when you are out of pure awareness you don't know it. That might sound strange but look at it this way: when you are involved in an activity like threading a needle you are so absorbed in the process of getting the thread through the eye of the needle everything else is blocked out. You are not in pure awareness and you don't know it because you are in absorption. But when you are in pure awareness you are fully aware of the fact. 

As you continue your practice you will gradually get better and better at staying in pure awareness longer. You will begin to notice your attitude changing for the better. You will feel more free, happier, more relaxed and more alive then ever before. And you should begin to see a noticeable increase in your energy levels. Other people, as well, will notice your attitude changing for the better. 

It is not impossible to be in pure awareness most of the time, it simply takes practice and a little patience. Once pure awareness is experienced it is like a phenomenon; cosmic consciousness opens like a veil lifting off of your head. It is as though everything is bright and new for the first time in your life. 

To be continued on next post.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Are There Degrees of Pure Awareness?

There is only one pure awareness but the length of time one stays in it can vary.  One second, one hour, or one year. It all depends on how long and how dedicated you are at practicing pure awareness. 

The longer you stay in pure awareness the more you will see impartiality increasing. Pure Awareness and impartiality are directly correlated. Another way of saying this is, the longer you are able to maintain pure awareness, the more you will transcend the ego, the "I," and discrimination. This will become quite  apparent as practice continues because people will become friendlier, happier, more compassionate, and loving. This is not because they are that way but because you are. People will reflect what you become. 

If you are friendlier, happier, more compassionate and loving, other people will be the same way. Probably one of the most enlightened people in the world, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, had this to say about pure awareness:

To be a living being is not the ultimate state; there is something beyond, much more wonderful, which is neither being nor non-being, neither living nor not-living. It is a state of pure awareness, beyond the limitations of space and time.

Continued on next posting

Friday, January 3, 2014

More on Pure Awareness

Are you able to describe your experience of pure awareness?  Can you put a label on it?  These two questions are important because they convey to us the unmistakable problem we have with trying to describe and label something that is highly subjective as well as immutable, in our own personal way at least. 

Existing in the state of pure awareness is not in the mind nor in the body; pure awareness is experiencing everything as one. It is unchanging, constant and readily available to everyone and anyone at any time. You might say that pure awareness is always present. You just have to know how to access it.

Pure awareness is different than awareness. Usually when people speak of being aware they are referring to the act of paying attention to what's going on around them. Being acute to what is happening here and now. In awareness you know what your mind and body are doing while at the same time being cognizant of what is going on around you. 

Pure awareness is much wider and deeper than awareness.  Pure awareness is a knowing without thinking. It is more like a sense of everything without mental content. It is when object and subject merge into universal awareness; excluding nothing, so that there is no separation between anything. To put it succinctly it could be said that pure awareness is a state of non-duality. 

To be continued - - - - -

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pure Awareness continued

There are various experiences possible in this knowing that you are one with everything. One is that you are in the space of awareness that contains everything. Some people might say this is the intimate feeling of being in the presence of a higher power while others might believe themselves to be part of an impartial and indifferent space we call the universe or cosmos. In another experience, you may "melt" into and become this vast space of awareness. In any case, the experience is one with all that is.

We may have a variety of possible labels for pure awareness but our concepts and interpretations do not really matter. These are simply conceptualizations that do not belong in the direct experience. Of course we are limited by our senses and experiences but we can have a profound love and appreciation for what extends beyond whatever we want to call it - the Almighty, the Creator, the Divine, God, the Great Mystery, or whatever. 

How would you describe your experience of pure awareness?  Do you have a label for the experience? 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pure Awareness

Being in pure awareness brings you into a totally different realm of existence than what you might be use to. In pure awareness you automatically turn to the inner world and the outer world by taking less thought and more insight to the Source. You become attuned to the silence deep within the core of your very being - the transforming life force - the True Self. You realize that you are more than your body and your mind - you are one with everything that is and everything that isn't.  You are one with the All - the Absolute.

Pure awareness is difficult to describe or explain to someone who has never experienced it, but I will try. The inner world is the innermost depths of your body; all the way to the cells, the molecules, atoms and further. The inner world is everything in the body to infinity. When you are in this realm of being you are no longer the body. The inner world is an experience - it is not thinking or imagining. 

The outer world is everything outside of your body; the trees, sky, stars and beyond. The outer world is everything outside the body to infinity. The outer world is also an experience.

You may have experienced pure awareness at certain times. It may have been when you gazed at a beautiful sunset in awe. For that brief, tender moment you were not your body and you were definitely not in your mind. You were immersed in the beauty and wonderment of the experience, right there, that very moment. In that instance you were one with all that is.

In pure awareness there is no "I" or "me."  Even though there may be chaos all around, all is quiet inwardly and outwardly with silence permeating your experience. A friend of mine was taking a walk along a lake one sunny afternoon when he suddenly realized he was on a spinning planet in infinite space. He relayed is experience to me this way; "Wow! Everything is so vivid. Everything is just happening - going on - movements and colors are very clear and crisp. Every thing is continuous with everything else like a mosaic. No separations. All is contained in an infinite space that stretches out without boundaries. Movement is effortless and there is a feeling of timelessness - a feeling of space without a self or a location - never ending."

To be continued.