Posts Tagged self

I’ll Be Happy When I Get “THERE”


The seeking process is all about getting someplace and becoming someone – different from who we are. We’re racing, as fast as we can, to enlightenment.

So there you are walking down a street. You’re not paying attention to what your body is doing and what’s happening around you. You’re too busy thinking about what’s going to happen next. We look past the now even before we’re aware of the now. This is how we sleep through life.

I’ll be happy and enlightened sometime in the future, hopefully not so long from now. So I look ahead to that next event, that next book, that next happening.

Then someone like me taps you on the shoulder and asks, “what’s wrong with right now? Why are we all always looking ahead? Who’s ignoring the now? Who is projecting the belief that joy, happiness, and liberation lies in “my future”?”

This is the question you really need to investigate.

When we ignore the now, because we’re looking ahead, we are fully invested in the seeking “me”. We are “doing” precisely what every teacher and friend has said since these explorations began. We’re repeating the same mistake for the ten millionth time. And, you know what, we’ll do it again, probably in less than 10 minutes from now. You’re probably doing it right now.

Allow me to give you a tip so powerful, that it might rouse you of your slumber. We ignore the now, because a much more powerful idea instructs us to.

This is how it works. Our mind has already decided that enlightenment or awakening or liberation is much more beautiful than what’s happening right now. So we know that THIS isn’t it. The mind projects and imagines the experience of enlightenment as if it were a condition that can be attained. Of course, it isn’t. But the power and stickiness of this belief has become a deeply embedded habit. As long as this idea dominates our thinking we will continue ignoring what’s real – what’s true. We will, literally, look past liberation and continue being a prisoner of our imagination.

We reject the world and reject ourselves, because we have idea that something better is what is really real. We tell ourselves, that this moment just can’t be it. This moment just doesn’t measure up to what we know about the fireworks of enlightenment. I hope you can see this in this very moment.

So examine the belief that This is not liberation, that liberation is something that will happen sometime in the future if I play my cards right. What you will discover is this: your WHOLE sense of self, your entire psychological being is invested in this belief. The energy of this belief covers over the much more subtle essence of the liberated Self that underlies the whole ground of this unnecessary search.

We live our whole life truly as it were a rehearsal for the REAL life that awaits us if we’re very lucky.

Waking up means waking up from this false sense of self. It’s not really all that hard. All you need to do is explore this one projection – I reject this now, because I know that something much better and exciting awaits me on the other side of enlightenment.

If you do this exercise right, you will awaken right here, right now. And, you will also make the amazing and possibly deflating discovery that this is not what you were hoping and pining for. There is no self in Self!!! A-ha.

So stop chasing illusions and know that this very now is it utterly free of all of our projections, assessments, thoughts and conditioned feelings. This seeking self is just a side show, utterly lacking in substance. It is the false me. STOP believing this dramatic character now!

Know this: Where the false self is driven to race to here and there, the awakened self has no where to go. It is the exact opposite. The Buddha Mind neither comes nor goes. Cease looking elsewhere. Find the self that compares this moment with your projected moment and know what is truly illusory.

This is it

Discussion:

Seeking informs us that this universe is not right … we are not right. But this type of thinking is just that thinking. This world of the mind is purely illusory. You can love life or you can hate life, but to believe that there is an alternative life can only be a life of illusion.

To assume that the goal of this discussion is not to pin down life or to “understand” life. It is only to realize that our thinking that could ever be an alternative universe is preposterous. The via negative is only to see the thinking and see that it is based on a personal belief system rooted exclusively on insufficiency. We don’t try to “do” the spiritually correct right thing. The open sky of truth will emerge all on its own. It is out persistent effort to “do” something that sustains the illusion in the first place.

The instant we see the falseness of these beliefs, in that same instant we are truly liberated to the enslavement of the mind.

Advertisements

, ,

Leave a comment

I'll Be Happy When I Get "THERE"


The seeking process is all about getting someplace and becoming someone – different from who we are. We’re racing, as fast as we can, to enlightenment.

So there you are walking down a street. You’re not paying attention to what your body is doing and what’s happening around you. You’re too busy thinking about what’s going to happen next. We look past the now even before we’re aware of the now. This is how we sleep through life.

I’ll be happy and enlightened sometime in the future, hopefully not so long from now. So I look ahead to that next event, that next book, that next happening.

Then someone like me taps you on the shoulder and asks, “what’s wrong with right now? Why are we all always looking ahead? Who’s ignoring the now? Who is projecting the belief that joy, happiness, and liberation lies in “my future”?”

This is the question you really need to investigate.

When we ignore the now, because we’re looking ahead, we are fully invested in the seeking “me”. We are “doing” precisely what every teacher and friend has said since these explorations began. We’re repeating the same mistake for the ten millionth time. And, you know what, we’ll do it again, probably in less than 10 minutes from now. You’re probably doing it right now.

Allow me to give you a tip so powerful, that it might rouse you of your slumber. We ignore the now, because a much more powerful idea instructs us to.

This is how it works. Our mind has already decided that enlightenment or awakening or liberation is much more beautiful than what’s happening right now. So we know that THIS isn’t it. The mind projects and imagines the experience of enlightenment as if it were a condition that can be attained. Of course, it isn’t. But the power and stickiness of this belief has become a deeply embedded habit. As long as this idea dominates our thinking we will continue ignoring what’s real – what’s true. We will, literally, look past liberation and continue being a prisoner of our imagination.

We reject the world and reject ourselves, because we have idea that something better is what is really real. We tell ourselves, that this moment just can’t be it. This moment just doesn’t measure up to what we know about the fireworks of enlightenment. I hope you can see this in this very moment.

So examine the belief that This is not liberation, that liberation is something that will happen sometime in the future if I play my cards right. What you will discover is this: your WHOLE sense of self, your entire psychological being is invested in this belief. The energy of this belief covers over the much more subtle essence of the liberated Self that underlies the whole ground of this unnecessary search.

We live our whole life truly as it were a rehearsal for the REAL life that awaits us if we’re very lucky.

Waking up means waking up from this false sense of self. It’s not really all that hard. All you need to do is explore this one projection – I reject this now, because I know that something much better and exciting awaits me on the other side of enlightenment.

If you do this exercise right, you will awaken right here, right now. And, you will also make the amazing and possibly deflating discovery that this is not what you were hoping and pining for. There is no self in Self!!! A-ha.

So stop chasing illusions and know that this very now is it utterly free of all of our projections, assessments, thoughts and conditioned feelings. This seeking self is just a side show, utterly lacking in substance. It is the false me. STOP believing this dramatic character now!

Know this: Where the false self is driven to race to here and there, the awakened self has no where to go. It is the exact opposite. The Buddha Mind neither comes nor goes. Cease looking elsewhere. Find the self that compares this moment with your projected moment and know what is truly illusory.

This is it

Discussion:

Seeking informs us that this universe is not right … we are not right. But this type of thinking is just that thinking. This world of the mind is purely illusory. You can love life or you can hate life, but to believe that there is an alternative life can only be a life of illusion.

To assume that the goal of this discussion is not to pin down life or to “understand” life. It is only to realize that our thinking that could ever be an alternative universe is preposterous. The via negative is only to see the thinking and see that it is based on a personal belief system rooted exclusively on insufficiency. We don’t try to “do” the spiritually correct right thing. The open sky of truth will emerge all on its own. It is out persistent effort to “do” something that sustains the illusion in the first place.

The instant we see the falseness of these beliefs, in that same instant we are truly liberated to the enslavement of the mind.

, ,

Leave a comment

Exhaustion


Normally waking up means rising refreshed after a long and restful sleep. But, prior to falling fully asleep we must be truly exhausted.

Exhaustion is one thing to the body, but it is another thing in spiritual inquiry. In this sense, exhaustion means to becoming tired and indifferent to our conditioned selves. To put it another way, we loose interest in our own agendas. Only until we become this exhausted with our apparent selves are we ready to allow life itself to become the magic carpet of our lives.

Before this, we are navigating the often troubled waters of our life. Because the underlying theme is nearly always self-deficiency, we are always seeking opportunities to gain in life or, conversely, to avoid loss. Thus every situation presents a win/lose outcome.

It is this very win/lose quality to life to which we must, one day, become weary of. Again to put it another way, we opt out of the game of our small selves. Our investment and interest in winning or losing just falls away.

This is the essential exhaustion of the self that will always precede awakening to the light of this moment.

Thoughts about “me” and what “I” need to do will continue to pop up. Conditioning has its own momentum, but now instead of falling for it and doing our usual psychological routines, their power to control our behaviors and mental life is greatly reduced. The real test of self-exhaustion occurs in those situations that really engage us in either a very positive way, where the ego perceives an opportunity for very substantial gain or negative way where the fear of personal loss is especially vivid. Authentic self-exhaustion will even cancel the emotional charge that these situations have had for us. We stop seeking gain (especially spiritual gain!) and avoiding loss.

We have now moved pass the egotistical concerns of the everyday life. To put it in the clearest language possible, the locus of control moves from “me” to “life”. When this happens we embark on the literal wings of life and allow ourselves to be guided by the substance of life rather than the substance of ego.

Each moment becomes alive for it is our newly created sense of self – so greatly expanded. It is a kind of spiritual molting. Our judgments have become painfully boring for us. The demand for gain and fear of loss no longer weigh us down. We are so much lighter. This is the portal to awakening.

Don’t negate exhaustion of the self. It is the prerequisite to the full awakening that is, even now, happening.


, ,

Leave a comment

The Failure of “Spiritualism”


I am not an Advaitist. I am not a Buddhist. I am not anything, but myself, committed to what is true and freeing myself of what I can SEE as false. That is the challenge of our lives.

This is what you must know; people are addicted to feeling good. In comes in every form and flavor. That is the work of ego, working in service to our primal Wound. “If we fail to strive for safety – happiness – feeling good – then how will I ever be secure, happy, and feel good?” This is the perennial question of the ego. This is its obsession.

See that security – happiness – feeling good are all concepts. They are not real. They are projections of the mind. They are the false. As long as you insist on pursuing them, you will waste your life on goals that are unreal. You will live as Don Quixote, living a life that is filled with madness chasing after windmills.

The grave danger in Buddhist and nonduality teachings is how the mind bends them to achieve the goals of the deficient self. How does it do this? It does this by negating the authentic self! In this role, spiritualism is no different from any other authority in our lives that seek to mold us in ITS vision and kill our own.

Awareness shows us what is true and what is false. Usually, what is false are the beliefs we cling to that make us feel safe. But any belief that we cling to, that is not based in the truth of actual seeing can and often will undermine our well being. Beliefs are limits. They are ideas that we have absorbed from authorities in our lives. Coming alive to who we truly our asks us to question and explore our most deeply held beliefs.

Life is not designed to be easy. Only an ego loves the easy – the easy money, the easy sex, the easy this, the easy that. Life is designed to be active – alive. When we “rest in awareness” as the only goal of life, we have sacrificed our individuality. We have zoned out in the life of total “acceptance”. The only problem with that “belief” is the one thing we fail to accept becomes ourselves! Can you see that? Zoning out in belief is the same thing as zoning out with drugs – only more challenging and thus a bigger accomplishment of the ego. That’s why doctrine based spiritualism is thought to be better than drug abuse. Is it?

Zoning out is not a problem. Often the body/mind needs to zone out. We live in an exhausting time and zoning out is a pleasure we would be foolish to deny ourselves, but it is not our ultimate identity. When that happens, as it often does in meditative philosophies, we fail in the challenge of living.

Wake up to your aliveness. Wake up to your senses. Wake up to your mind – the mind that is embedded in what is real and is motivated to drop what it discovers is false. For example, I know that cars are contributing to the environmental deterioration of the planet, so I’ve decided to do all of my local errands by bike or foot. That’s what I do. If I think that makes me better than others, then I have converted what I have seen as true within awareness to be an action of ego. I see all of that and act accordingly. I see that income inequality breeds racism and classism, so I support political agendas that encourage people to live as sisters and brothers economically and socially. I know that my body depends on nature, so I can SEE that we are all connected and that when one part of our world suffers, we all suffer. I see that this as true. I see that when we pursue security through weapons, walled communities, unfair laws, racism, sexism, that we inspire division and this is life out of balance. So when I observe those tendencies in myself, I can see where I am contributing to the division and hardship of the world. Seeing it is the first and most decisive step we can make in our own liberation.

We Are All Related

We Are All Related

This is the challenge of living.

And before I conclude this post, let’s talk a minute about humor. Ultimately, this is the most liberating emotion of all. Grave seriousness is a very dependable red flag of the ego. Take yourself lightly in nearly all matters and you will truly see what is false in you. When you become overly serious (one of my “issues”) check out the status of your ego and get a good laugh out of your grandiosity. I can assure you probably look pretty funny to others – or even worse an authority for others to follow.

If you choose to follow, as many spiritual traditions urge us to do, then know yourself as a follower. If you choose to be yourself, that you become a light unto yourself.  That light can free others of their own darkness.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments

The Failure of "Spiritualism"


I am not an Advaitist. I am not a Buddhist. I am not anything, but myself, committed to what is true and freeing myself of what I can SEE as false. That is the challenge of our lives.

This is what you must know; people are addicted to feeling good. In comes in every form and flavor. That is the work of ego, working in service to our primal Wound. “If we fail to strive for safety – happiness – feeling good – then how will I ever be secure, happy, and feel good?” This is the perennial question of the ego. This is its obsession.

See that security – happiness – feeling good are all concepts. They are not real. They are projections of the mind. They are the false. As long as you insist on pursuing them, you will waste your life on goals that are unreal. You will live as Don Quixote, living a life that is filled with madness chasing after windmills.

The grave danger in Buddhist and nonduality teachings is how the mind bends them to achieve the goals of the deficient self. How does it do this? It does this by negating the authentic self! In this role, spiritualism is no different from any other authority in our lives that seek to mold us in ITS vision and kill our own.

Awareness shows us what is true and what is false. Usually, what is false are the beliefs we cling to that make us feel safe. But any belief that we cling to, that is not based in the truth of actual seeing can and often will undermine our well being. Beliefs are limits. They are ideas that we have absorbed from authorities in our lives. Coming alive to who we truly our asks us to question and explore our most deeply held beliefs.

Life is not designed to be easy. Only an ego loves the easy – the easy money, the easy sex, the easy this, the easy that. Life is designed to be active – alive. When we “rest in awareness” as the only goal of life, we have sacrificed our individuality. We have zoned out in the life of total “acceptance”. The only problem with that “belief” is the one thing we fail to accept becomes ourselves! Can you see that? Zoning out in belief is the same thing as zoning out with drugs – only more challenging and thus a bigger accomplishment of the ego. That’s why doctrine based spiritualism is thought to be better than drug abuse. Is it?

Zoning out is not a problem. Often the body/mind needs to zone out. We live in an exhausting time and zoning out is a pleasure we would be foolish to deny ourselves, but it is not our ultimate identity. When that happens, as it often does in meditative philosophies, we fail in the challenge of living.

Wake up to your aliveness. Wake up to your senses. Wake up to your mind – the mind that is embedded in what is real and is motivated to drop what it discovers is false. For example, I know that cars are contributing to the environmental deterioration of the planet, so I’ve decided to do all of my local errands by bike or foot. That’s what I do. If I think that makes me better than others, then I have converted what I have seen as true within awareness to be an action of ego. I see all of that and act accordingly. I see that income inequality breeds racism and classism, so I support political agendas that encourage people to live as sisters and brothers economically and socially. I know that my body depends on nature, so I can SEE that we are all connected and that when one part of our world suffers, we all suffer. I see that this as true. I see that when we pursue security through weapons, walled communities, unfair laws, racism, sexism, that we inspire division and this is life out of balance. So when I observe those tendencies in myself, I can see where I am contributing to the division and hardship of the world. Seeing it is the first and most decisive step we can make in our own liberation.

We Are All Related

We Are All Related

This is the challenge of living.

And before I conclude this post, let’s talk a minute about humor. Ultimately, this is the most liberating emotion of all. Grave seriousness is a very dependable red flag of the ego. Take yourself lightly in nearly all matters and you will truly see what is false in you. When you become overly serious (one of my “issues”) check out the status of your ego and get a good laugh out of your grandiosity. I can assure you probably look pretty funny to others – or even worse an authority for others to follow.

If you choose to follow, as many spiritual traditions urge us to do, then know yourself as a follower. If you choose to be yourself, that you become a light unto yourself.  That light can free others of their own darkness.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments

Violence and Body Obsession: First Cousins


How often does it happen? A normally quiet man loses his job, his wife leaves him, he abruptly receives a person-to-person call from the devil and what does he do? He gets his beloved gun kills his kids, his wife, and then turns the beloved gun on himself. Then there is the inner city drug dealer. Somebody disses him. What could the dealer do? He had to waste the asshole.

Got the Gun and the Call - Just Couldn't Stand the Pain No More

Got the Gun and the Call - Just Couldn't Stand the Pain No More

Then there’s the young woman who lives at the gym. She can’t ever get that disobdient body whipped into shape. If she sluffs off just one day, her body and her life will go to hell. Nothing comes between her and her body.

Then there is the star football player. He just has to be the best. He won’t let wimps and their loser laws get in his way. Steroids are key. Gotta be big. Gotta be strong.
i-do-steroids

You see when you believe, down deep, that you’re nothing, then you just gotta be something. It’s almost the American Way. When that man got out that gun and started killing the people that meant “more to him than anything in this world”, he was not only kidding himself with nice sounding homilies, but more importantly, he was fully living the Lie that he was no one (this is the Lie in the title of my book Liberation from the Lie). When that gym rat takes up residence at the local LA Fitness, she believes that unless she dedicates her life to endless work-outs nature will takes it course and force her to look unlovable. She won’t attract the love she so desperately needs. She will descend into the agony of the much more powerful belief in her own ugliness and unlovability. When that star atheltete poisons his body with steroids, he is compelled by the belief that unless he’s the best, then he is like everyone else, a loser, a nobody.

Down deep they each believe that they are inadequate – a nobody. They are all driven to be adequate – somebody. Violence and the need to achieve; they are, essentially, the same drive manifested in different ways.

What are you compelled to prove? You see when your main belief is in your nothingness, your unlovability, your inadequacy, your life will be organized around countering that belief. This is the life that pursues happiness with desperation, that pursues personal enlightenment with desperation, this is the life of the workaholic, this is the life of nearly all of us.

Wake up to the truth.

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Dieting and Waking Up


Late this January I noticed that I was having trouble putting on one of my favorite pairs of pants. My girth had become just little wider than the pants would allow.

As many of you know, that’s a wake up call. We have crossed the Rubicon. We can continue on our current trajectory and just get fat, get breathless, get unhealthy, but eat to our heart’s content or we can take an action that doesn’t really appeal to our carnal senses; go on a diet.

I chose to diet. So far I’ve lost 15 pounds. It hasn’t been fun. I often crave for just a couple of slices of brie (yeah – I got that upper middle class food preferences) and sometimes I really want a huge corn beef sandwich, but I know that I need to be disciplined. I got to be tough if I’m serious about losing weight.

Spiritual awakening is no different. It requires us to get touch with our lazy ass selves. We need to stop living on our own bullshit. At some point we got to get real and see the truth. If we love our brothers and sisters, if we love the planet, we need to go on a thought diet. We have to stop indulging our ignorant selves.

The Sleep of Reason by Goya

The Sleep of Reason by Goya

Waking up is realizing just how ignorant we are (ME included!!!). I beg others to show me where I have been blind and ignorant. This is authentic Buddhism. This is the loving message of the Buddha in REAL LIFE. It’s not about listening to ethereal flute music in a bamboo garden full of dancing pansies.

I’m sorry to be so blunt. I wish it were different. But we either chose to stop this life of malls, of useless self-indulgence and start getting ruthless with our insecure sorry asses, or life itself will take far harsher action. That just how nature operates. She gets rid of the cancer to allow for new growth. Right now We are that cancer.

But the good news is that this ignorant self is just a mirage. We give it such importance, such primacy. Start doing a diet of the self. Find out what’s true, what’s really true. For starters, investigate all of your concepts. Start with your concept of what you need to make you happy. See that it’s just a concept. See it for yourself. Then graduate to bigger concepts or you’re really a warrior of the spirit, explore the concept of YOU. The YOU you believe yourselves to be is, itself, a concept. What are YOU really???? Are you your body? Are you your thoughts? Are you your feelings? See that all of that changes, but the REAL YOU does not change. The you that sees, that YOU is not a concept. It is always there for (ironically) YOU.

The Call

The Call

No one can hold your hand in this journey. Only YOU can do it You You You.

Life CALLS on YOU. Heed her mighty, caressing, and beautiful call. Here’s a small section of my book Liberation from the Lie:

Forget self-help, forget meditation, forget Buddhism—forget it all. They are all distant provinces in the land of thought.


When we cling to these secondhand, borrowed notions, they become desperate thoughts imported from the fields of fear.


When we seek answers from external sources, we turn our back on ourselves. Cease seeking and find yourself. Find yourself without needing to seek.
If we stop seeking, what is HERE?


What is here is Life. Each of us is the light that shines on it and makes Life possible. That is the ultimate act of love. Love IS.


Life is ALWAYS there, and it is there for only one person—YOU.


Life never forsakes us, but we so aggressively forsake it. We forsake it for dreams that are always just past the next moment, just a little farther along the road of meditation and self-infatuation and self-rejection. We run from Life, thinking that there is always something better, something looming in the distance, that if we could only touch it, we could then possess it.


Life cannot be possessed. Instead, be possessed by Life!


When we feel trapped and hopeless, it is there—LIFE … LIFE with all of its potential, its mystery, its opportunity to connect—with its opportunity to TOUCH you and for YOU to touch IT.


Dance with Life … DANCE with all your HEART … dance with Life that is vast and Life that is small. For there is something out there that is indeed looming, and that thing is DEATH—your death, the death of your parents, the death of your husband or wife, the death of your children, the death of all that you hold dear.


Know death, and through knowing it—its inevitably, its HERE and NOW—see that every moment is dear. it is your love and understanding that make it so. Do not let Life down with your seeking for something better. There is something out there. You don’t need to seek it, for it will surely find you.


In that gap between now and the now that ends all nows, dance with all your heart. Life is your partner, Life is your center. Let it touch and caress you with its carelessness, with its ripe abundance.


It’s time to leave the shore and dive in. Be as life.


Life IS. Love IS. But they are lonely without YOU. Life needs YOU and only YOU. You exist for it and it exists utterly for you. Life made you for itself.


Do not let Life down. It’s NOW or never. Cowards run from Life seeking something better. They run and they run.


It’s time to walk away from that race, where winners only die, exhausted and spent after Life has passed them by.


Be brave and let Life TOUCH you. Be brave, and reach out in the smallest way and touch IT.


And … don’t feel bad if you just need to give up, for that too is life … LOVE knows that, and LIFE knows that sometimes you need to lower your head and go no further.


But in that lowering, in that heavy-heartedness, in that mourning, all beauty still unfolds before you. This beauty is so very patient. She waits for YOU, she waits only for you, because she loves you and only you. She knows your pain and your sadness. All the patience you may lack, she possesses in limitless abundance. She waits at your doorway, waiting for you to open your eyes, to open your heart, to let the LIGHT in.


She will always be there to invite you to the dance. She will be THERE and HERE and EVERYWHERE. She is outside and she is inside … She IS you, if you only knew that.


, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: