Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
There are so many meditation techniques and spiritual practices. All are good in that they point in some way to the impersonal Truth that is here right now..
As the goal of spiritual practice is to see without a doubt that Life is already free of the idea of 'you', then complicated techniques can slow down realization.
So ... when meditating just sit in silence and "take what you get". In other words, just be still without expectations and notice what presents itself.
You will come to see that all that presents itself is not you. You have always been free.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Absolute mystery is what is here. We try through concepts to arrive at some conclusions about life, to make it seem tame, or to find some sort of fixed truth about ourselves or the world. We do this habitually to cover our fundamental insecurity and the fact that we have so very little control. But defending ourselves with ideas never works, does it?
But when we notice, through our direct experience, what presents itself right here right now, we are flung into That which cannot be described in any way whatsoever. We are smack in the middle of the Mystery that is beyond thought but is effortlessly experienced.
Meditation is just noticing what is here right now without expectations. In that sense meditation is identical to enlightenment.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
We become like that with which we associate. Just take a look at teen behavior to see the truth of this statement.
When we associate with silence, or stillness if you prefer, we become like silence: non-judgmental, forgiving, vast, and peaceful.
In my view the highest form of spiritual practice is to sit in silence without expectation. When we sit regularly in silence and take what we get from each session we become like silence. We, without effort, lose our fears, guilt, and loneliness. This is because silence knows nothing of these dreams.
Regular silent meditation will teach you that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, and that, at the root, you are silence itself.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The trick, if I might put it that way, is to become still. When you are still, seeking drops away and Life is seen as it really is: without a 'me'.
To find that stillness you must realize that ALL your thoughts (however ugly or beautiful) are lies.
So ... during your meditation periods, just treat ALL thoughts as lies ... just let them pass ... until they stop ... then you will see.
Understanding is the booby prize.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Just like it is the nature of the wind to blow hither and yon, it is natural for thoughts to arise sometimes often and sometimes rarely. We need do nothing about them because they are not 'ours' any more than the wind is 'ours'.
Just noticing this is massive freedom as well as the goal of meditation practice. You are beyond anything that can be thought, felt or experienced.
good news huh!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
When we first begin meditation practice most of us are hoping to escape from some discomfort in life, to gain some spiritual insight or perhaps even to achieve enlightenment. In other words to gain something for ourselves. In the beginning meditation is seen as a means to some personal end.
As we mature in our practice, we begin to wonder: "who is it that always seems to be seeking something?" ... Who am I really?
When the "I thought" is examined we realize that there is no me whatsoever. It is merely a fiction based on ideas from the imaginary past. We see that, right now, Life is just experiencing Life. Everything is impersonal. In the absence of 'me' there is only freedom, peace, and wholeness.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
If you read the 442 passages, beginning with the Adam and Eve story, I bet you will conclude that evil is simply the idea of more.
Is it not our resistance to what life presents that causes us to twist and turn? Always wanting things to be more or different than they are: more money, better relationships, more success, more, more, more.
During meditation we allow things be as they are (they are that way anyway). When we accept that life could only be what it is in this present moment, resistance drops away, we lose self definition and the idea of evil cannot be found.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
How do we avoid the suffering that comes with the habit of attaching? Ultimately the only way to stand free of attachment is to accept whatever is happening in this present moment. When we accept what is happening (whether 'good' or 'bad') we lose individual definition; then freedom dawns immediately.
There is nothing to do and nothing to achieve There is no need to even stop doing. Just notice what is happening right now and see that it is already free of 'you'.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Searching for ourselves, the truth, or happiness in the world of ideas or things never yields fruit. The fruit that I'm alluding to is that fruit whose nature is immutable, eternal, and whole. Thoughts divide. How can we find wholeness through the process of division?
During meditation just acknowledge how mysterious this present arising is ... it is not in parts! Give up searching and so much dividing. Give up all your words. Give up even giving up and SEE!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The question that meditation poses if we sit in silence for even a little while is: "Who am I?" ... sometimes we are happy, or sad, or mad, or angry, or pleased, or fulfilled, or bored, or in pain. Are you these experiences? Everyone notices that all experiences just come and go despite our efforts to control them (the big insight that almost no one is willing to face).
What if you were NOT! What if life is just unfolding all by itself without a 'you'. Could it be that the reason you have not been able to find happiness and truth is that there is no one to find them?
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
During meditation we notice that whatever arises in awareness does not last ... sorrows, burdens, great feelings of freedom, thoughts, no thoughts, sounds, silence, or whatever. Everything is transient!
This is the 'big insight' that confronts you every second. The ego (merely a bundle of thoughts about the past) is completely unwilling to accept what is so obvious to anyone who has sat on his or her meditation cushion for even a few hours.
If the ego were to accept the fact that nothing lasts it would have to accept that it too is temporary ... ouch! This would undermine its whole foundation that it actually persists and exists and is 'you'.
Change, change, and change and all that changes is absolutely impersonal.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Many of us, in our meditation or spiritual practices, are searching for something: some sense of freedom, some better identity, or perhaps some good feeling. Searching can never uncover what has not been lost.
You are, in fact, that vast timeless space in which all 'things' appear. You are not a 'thing. Rather you are That in which all 'things' appear. By things I mean: thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and any external object.
So .... in meditation JUST BE ... don't take yourself to be anything that is thought, felt, or experienced. Do this and you will find stillness; then all will become clear.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
When the desire for things to be other than they are drops away the immutable peace [pure awareness] that is always present becomes visible. The habit of unconsciously recoiling from life as it appears right now hides this fact. So ...
Give this a try. Next time you want to harshly judge another [which by the way is only thinly disguised self hate] - instead just relax. Just relax your body and your mind. Forget about the past and the future; let go of the things you think you need or want. Then notice, right here right now, the radiant peace that permeates everything in your field of awareness ... the pencil laying on the table, the sound of the air conditioning, the hairs on 'your' hand - peace everywhere without any effort at all on your part. So easy ... just relax.
Awakening is effortless ... bathe in this knowledge and all will become clear.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
So ... how do we see though the fog of all this seeking? The answer is given in many teachings but one of my favorites is the way Jesus put it over two thousand years ago. He simply suggested that we unburden ourselves and join in That which has already been accomplished. His good news was and is that you are without the blemish of guilt and that you have always been Whole.
So ... during meditation we just relax and let all searching go. We gently surrender our expectations, hopes, and efforts. We simply rest - rest in the spaciousness and freedom found in the present moment - rest in the Wholeness that becomes evident when we give up the search.
In Matthew 11:28-30 we find this wisdom stated perfectly. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Where would your center be? Take a look right now and see if you can find it. Bet you can't!
The idea of finding our center is one 'spiritual' variant on the idea that we can find some state or place where, in the future, we will have some consistent experience. As Dr. Phil often wisely asks: "How is that working for you?"
I suggest that if you take a careful look right here right now, you will find that there is only emptiness when you ask the question: "Who am I?" How can emptiness have a center? How can the profound freedom to let things be just as they are right now have a center?
Living life without center is to live life as it spontaneously arises in each moment ... noticing its astounding perfection. How do we know that it is perfect? Because that is how it is ... nothing can ever be other than it is.
So ... rather than trying to find some 'center' when you meditate, just notice how perfect everything is right now. Then you will see that the idea of 'you' having a 'center' is riotously laughable. Enjoy the laughter! As Alan Alda notes: "When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other."
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
In the end, we realize that 'we' do not awaken, seeking simply falls away and the awakened state remains. In the absence of seeking, there is no 'me'. The 'me' consists only of seeking, seeking things to be other than they are right now which is very very very still.
So ... whatever your practice or beliefs about awakening are, the key is: be still and all will be clear.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
To know whether any enterprise is succeeding or not, we need to compare the current state of that enterprise relative to some goal. Unfortunately we too often set our 'spiritual' goals from our past conditioning. We often choose our goal to be one that we picked up from some teacher, to erase some past hurt, or to get something we lack. As thought is always about the past, this means that all such goals are just our past conditioning warmed over. New mixes of past thinking are still just past thinking. If we think about it, it is the past we are trying to transcend.
Let me challenge you to make your meditation goal be something that is not some 'new' version of your past thinking. Why not shoot for something fresh!
Why not choose your goal to be one that has already been accomplished yet is knowable right now? In other words, why not choose a goal that is outside the framework of past and future and outside the realm of 'things'.
What is available right NOW that is right smack at the heart of what is nearest and dearest to you? It is simply the forgiveness that has always been. If you make forgiving the world (and yourself) your goal, you will know that you are succeeding when you know that unconditional Peace is who you are.
PS: My wife told me I'd better explain what I mean by forgiveness as there are so many interpretations of the term. As you read this blog, I'd like to to at least know what I mean by the term. True forgiveness is the acknowledgment that the 'incident' never occurred ... that the 'incident' was just a fiction of separated mind and has no reality whatsoever right now ... it's something like a bad dream. Moreover the test to see if you have forgiven some one or some thing is: if you can remember it, you haven't forgiven it.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
During meditation we ask the question "What is absolutely true right now" We turn our attention away from the past and the future". In the silence that presents itself during meditation we notice that we can't control anything that is happening. In that silence, we notice that we cannot predict which thought will pop into our heads next, or how we will feel in the next second, or what noise in the room might arise. We see that wishing for some better 'future' is to miss the wonder and mystery that is here and now. Is it not clear that our attempts to find security is what causes our feelings of insecurity and unhappiness?
I like the way Alan Watts states it:
"If happiness always depends on the future, we are chasing a will-o-the-wisp that ever eludes our grasp, until the future, and ourselves, vanish in the abyss of death."
What is your experience?
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
We habitually recoil from "what is" by expecting something else. This endless judging and comparing causes dis-ease. Judging, for some of us, has become a habit or even an addiction ... happily all habits or addictions can be broken. There is nothing wrong with judging per se: we could not survive for a day without it. But when it becomes an addiction we have trouble, trouble, and more trouble.
So ... give this a try. Next time you meditate just say "YES" to everything that arises in awareness. Just welcome every thought, every feeling, and every perception whether 'pleasant' or 'unpleasant'. When we welcome what is arising, we are affirming reality and subverting the ego's automatic recoil. Then life is seen to be free from 'me'; and desire-less, welcoming peace shines. By the way, you don't have to restrict this "everything belongs" practice to your meditation periods. You can do it anytime.
Enlightenment is effortless. It takes great effort to carry so many opinions about what belongs and what does not. Unburden yourself .... no one is forcing you to carry so much.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Are you seeking truth in things or thoughts? You will never find truth in anything objective because everything that is thought, felt, or experienced is temporary ... the Truth is beyond all that and is unchanging.
You are Awareness. The One who only notices, never judges, never condemns, and never changes. Awareness is not a thing, an idea, a noble being, nor can it be lost or do anything. It is what all appearances point to.
Everything that arises points to Awareness as "every thing" arises out of Awareness, abides for a moment in Awareness, and falls back into Awareness. Just stop seeking for truth in things; then things will lose their hold on you; and You will remain as you have always been: whole, eternal, and free.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
From childhood on we are barraged with thoughts about who we are, what we should believe, and how we should act. There is nothing wrong with all this conditioning. We need it to interface with the world's conditioning. Problems start when we forget that we are much much more than our thoughts. When we forget this, we unconsciously act out of our conditioning which is always a recoil from present reality.
This mechanical recoil causes needless suffering for us and others. Why? Because we are out of step with what is happening right now.
Daily meditation gently releases us from the tyranny of the past (our thoughts). It allows us to see that we are vast indeed. Moreover, we see that there is no need to rid ourselves of thoughts or even to change them because we are able to see that we have always been completely free of them. Do you see this?
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
We bring our "doing more" attitude into our meditation practice. We are usually looking for results from our practice like: to get enlightened, to quiet our minds, to get closer to God, or to have some blissful experience. Though we may get these 'things' we will not find what we are really looking for because it can't be lost or found. The Divine nature of all things is only seemingly masked by so much seeking.
In meditation it is best to just relax, let go, and take what you get. Drop all techniques, drop your ideas about enlightenment, drop your ideas of what is good or bad. Just come to your practice empty handed ... innocently and effortlessly into the present moment. Let Love come to you.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Because feelings or thoughts of shame or guilt come and go during your meditation session, means that they are not real. That which is real does not come and go. So ... given that they are not real, there is no need to do anything about them ... we need neither engage them nor push them away. Just notice that all negativity is transient even the thought that this feeling will never go away.
I have been sitting in Silence for a long time and I have realized something that I want to share with you if you have missed it ... It's good news.
You are NOT GUILTY of anything; you are completely FORGIVEN. The separation from Life that you imagine never happened. You are WHOLE and always have been. You only imagine otherwise.
This week, while you meditate, I invite you to join me in the certain knowledge that you need do nothing; that you are totally FORGIVEN. When thoughts that indicate otherwise arise ...just notice that they disappear by themselves leaving you without thought and COMPLETE right here right now.
Can you see this?
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
The purpose of meditation is to see the completeness of the present moment where it is noticed that what is arising is absolutely free of 'me'.
Discomfort (suffering) is caused by the gap between what we think ought to be happening and the reality of what is arising in the present moment.
Obviously, what we think ought to be happening comes from our past conditioning. It is this past conditioning arising in the present moment that creates the idea of a 'me'. Whatever is arising is not 'me'; it is only past conditioning arising as thought.
To illustrate all this consider the common traffic jam. During a traffic jam cars are moving slowly (if at all), the engine idle can be heard, and the scenery is more or less stationary. That's pretty much it! But what do we think 'ought' to be happening: cars should be moving at the speed limit or more, there should be fewer cars on the road, drivers should not be switching into 'our' lane, and our plans to be on time are intact. These fanciful ideas about how traffic should be clearly come from past conditioning.
So ...given such a big gap between our expectations and the reality of a traffic jam, it is not surprising that we get upset. Meditation practice shines a bright light on the gap between presently arising reality and our 'dreams' about how things ought to be.
Awareness is curative ... regular meditation practice affords us the opportunity to see with clairity our "ought to be" dreams. Simply seeing this recoil from reality melts the dream and reveals the completeness and peace of the present moment in which we always find ourselves completely at home. Next time you are in a traffic jam notice the staggering peace that is there.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The purpose of spiritual practice is to frustrate. The 'you' trying to get free of 'you' is like a dog chasing its tail. Is this not your direct experience? Have any of your efforts to find immutable freedom ever lead anywhere?
Yet, without practice and effort, we seem to remain in separation and suffering. What's going on here? This seeming dilemma cannot be stated more clearly than Nisargatta Maharaj states it:
Unless you make tremendous efforts, you will not be convinced that effort will take you nowhere. The self is so self-confident that unless it is totally discouraged it will not give up. Mere verbal conviction is not enough. Hard facts alone can show the absolute nothingness of the self-image.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
In a like fashion, we cannot control or predict which sound will happen next ... perhaps a bird tweeting, a dishwasher running, or the sound of someone's voice who has just entered the room.
The reason we cannot predict which sound will come next is because we have no control over the matter nor are the sounds 'ours' to control. So it is with thoughts ... they are not yours.
Ahhhh ... the freedom!
Friday, February 5, 2010
In the last post I talked about seeking and the perils of getting lost in it. Seeking can be a trap because "Seek and do not find" is the workout regimen of the ego. On the other hand, Seeking is not bad. Without some of it we would simply languish in disease (no fun for sure). But a question that we forget to ask is: "What are we seeking?"
Mostly we seek for some 'better' future outcome or some relief from the discomfort of the present moment. If we think about it, we see that our seeking is just rooting around in the past for some solace. This is because the future is just the past in drag. What if we sought the Truth? The Truth that does not come nor go. The Truth that does not hide itself. The Truth that just IS ... right here right now.
What are you seeking? What would happen if you found it? How is it different from what's appearing right here right now? An even deeper question is: "Who's doing the seeking". Who are you?
Friday, January 29, 2010
Those of us involved in spiritual practice (of whatever form) are seeking something: God, the truth, peace, enlightenment, or whatever. Could all this seeking be causing the problem we are trying to solve?
I did a little study about nine months ago on the idea of evil in the Christian Bible. It turns out that the term evil (or Devil, or Satan) is mentioned 563 times; 446 times in the Old Testament and 117 times in the New Testament. That's a lot!
I read each passage in context and concluded that in the Bible EVIL is THE IDEA OF MORE. It began in the garden with Adam and Eve being unsatisfied with paradise and wanting more. Check out your Bible and see if you agree with my conclusion.
So ... I'm suggesting that it is our endless seeking "something more" than is appearing right here right now that is causing our suffering. Said another way: it is our idea of how things ought to be conflicting with how things actually are in the present moment that causes all suffering. In silent meditation we can see this pattern clearly.
Can you see this pattern in yourself? How can it be that what's so right now is not enough? Are we tired of playing God yet?