Posts Tagged trust

Living Life When Your Thoughts Don't Matter (from my new book The Way of Liberation)


We are like a person treading water in a dangerous sea – always scrambling for a lifesaver to drift our way. Whether it be anxiety or depression (the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis of the human psychology), we become firmly attached to the belief is in an external condition that will, temporarily, free of us of our distress. Anytime this belief is prominent, and let’s be honest with ourselves – it is true for most of us, we will live our lives in fear and anxiety. When we live our life this way we will never have the opportunity to express our authentic self. This is the life of the invalidation triad. We are puppets of a heartless, all-powerful world. All the power resides outside of us and we are helpless.
It is to this very desperate, deeply conflict person that religion and patriotism extend their very “helpful” hands. In our moments of deepest vulnerability, they inform us that they will answer our questions, they will become our partners in this ever-threatening world. Thus we learn to take sides in this life. It’s either for us or against us. It’s survival of the fittest. To the most powerful go the riches and all the rest. Here is one of the sources of deep violence, hatred, and division. This is the answer for so many millions of us.

Contrast this relationship with that of the hunter/gatherer. Unlike those who are identified with fear and hopelessness, he is made alive by and through life. He is one with life, flowing with its infinite changes. He is life.

His trust relationship with this world is never severed. The power of life is shared with all, from the tiniest insects to the towering redwoods. He lives in the vast web of connection, as life. The apparent separation of all of life and his body is merely an artifact of sight. They are truly one and the same. The beating of his heart is the beating of life itself. He has no interest in life ‘working out for him’. The external elements of life do matter for him, because he is this very life in this moment.
What would it be like to live a life where, literally, nothing mattered? What would it be like to live life as life? What would your life be like if you saw the whole energy sucking hope that life give you a “break” ended right now?

End that person now and see what happens.

Try it out and see for yourself. Let’s say that I’m walking down a street and see someone grabs another person’s purse. What happens then? If it is at all reasonable, I would intervene and try to help!
You then ask, “well, if nothing mattered, why do anything?” That certainly sounds like a reasonable question, but is it true? When I say live your life as if nothing matters, what that means is that we stop believing the many voices in our mind that tell us what matters, those thoughts that generate and sustain the toxic fear that governs our everyday existence. Instead, when nothing matters, we live in the immediacy of the present moment. Thus, when I see the woman’s purse taken away from her, I intervene, if it is, at all, possible and try to help. If nothing else, I offer my assistance after the crime has taken place.

When we live life as if nothing matters, we are true to our own self and not to the mass of fear-based thoughts the circulate in our consciousness. We are, finally, true to ourselves.
We find the strength and loving power that lives in the core of our authentic being.

This is Liberation.

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Living Life When Your Thoughts Don’t Matter (from my new book The Way of Liberation)


We are like a person treading water in a dangerous sea – always scrambling for a lifesaver to drift our way. Whether it be anxiety or depression (the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis of the human psychology), we become firmly attached to the belief is in an external condition that will, temporarily, free of us of our distress. Anytime this belief is prominent, and let’s be honest with ourselves – it is true for most of us, we will live our lives in fear and anxiety. When we live our life this way we will never have the opportunity to express our authentic self. This is the life of the invalidation triad. We are puppets of a heartless, all-powerful world. All the power resides outside of us and we are helpless.
It is to this very desperate, deeply conflict person that religion and patriotism extend their very “helpful” hands. In our moments of deepest vulnerability, they inform us that they will answer our questions, they will become our partners in this ever-threatening world. Thus we learn to take sides in this life. It’s either for us or against us. It’s survival of the fittest. To the most powerful go the riches and all the rest. Here is one of the sources of deep violence, hatred, and division. This is the answer for so many millions of us.

Contrast this relationship with that of the hunter/gatherer. Unlike those who are identified with fear and hopelessness, he is made alive by and through life. He is one with life, flowing with its infinite changes. He is life.

His trust relationship with this world is never severed. The power of life is shared with all, from the tiniest insects to the towering redwoods. He lives in the vast web of connection, as life. The apparent separation of all of life and his body is merely an artifact of sight. They are truly one and the same. The beating of his heart is the beating of life itself. He has no interest in life ‘working out for him’. The external elements of life do matter for him, because he is this very life in this moment.
What would it be like to live a life where, literally, nothing mattered? What would it be like to live life as life? What would your life be like if you saw the whole energy sucking hope that life give you a “break” ended right now?

End that person now and see what happens.

Try it out and see for yourself. Let’s say that I’m walking down a street and see someone grabs another person’s purse. What happens then? If it is at all reasonable, I would intervene and try to help!
You then ask, “well, if nothing mattered, why do anything?” That certainly sounds like a reasonable question, but is it true? When I say live your life as if nothing matters, what that means is that we stop believing the many voices in our mind that tell us what matters, those thoughts that generate and sustain the toxic fear that governs our everyday existence. Instead, when nothing matters, we live in the immediacy of the present moment. Thus, when I see the woman’s purse taken away from her, I intervene, if it is, at all, possible and try to help. If nothing else, I offer my assistance after the crime has taken place.

When we live life as if nothing matters, we are true to our own self and not to the mass of fear-based thoughts the circulate in our consciousness. We are, finally, true to ourselves.
We find the strength and loving power that lives in the core of our authentic being.

This is Liberation.

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God: a Symbol of our Collective Powerlessness (From my new book: The Liberation Way: At Home on Planet Earth


Men of Faith (I just couldn't resist this picture)

When our sense of ourselves is incomplete we want a god to be there for us. This want is personal and strong.
When we embrace a moral code that condemns the behaviors of others as wrong, evil, sinful, we want “our” god to bring justice to these people, societies, and even countries in this life or the next. We thirst for justice and we see our god as the ultimate deliverer of justice.
When we depend on god to do our violence, our retribution, we will do innumerable horrors in his name. Because our god is not real, we know that unless we act in his name, nothing will happen. Our blood needs will go unfulfilled. If we truly relied on our god, this would be the very god we would cease asserting our belief in. Acts of horror are always done in the name of our invalidated identity. The vacuum of inner powerlessness gets filled with belief, faith, and hunger. Violence ensues and for a moment we celebrate the blood-letting. Then the shadows of anger, rootlessness, confusion, and powerlessness fall again, so the search for the enemies arises again in our quenchless souls. We lack the inner conviction to trust our world, we invent a god to take care of those we love and to punish those we hate.

Where the decisive belief of the hunter was his alertness, his awakened nature to the world around him, we have turned that bedrock quality around and buried underneath our god. We don’t need to be alert. We don’t need to see. We can close our minds and leave it all to god. We make them the heavy, as we make ourselves light weights. We bury our lives in mindless television, hate and gossip mongering, in the cold, certain comfort of our brittle identities.
This is why most of us are wary of science. After all, the best science reflects the methods of the hunter. It keenly observes the universe and with its vast wealth of observations draws tentative conclusions about this miraculous universe. It is alive in its alertness. In its purest form, it is a true rebirth of the primordial hunter who watched the skies, smelled the seas, and knew every tree in his land. When we fail to explore the path of science, when we label it as “just another belief”, we posit a god to explain a complex universe and remain comfortable within our complacency.
Thus the desire for a god is wedded in profound unhappiness and a powerless submission to the interactive universe that we are a part. The need for a god is a reflection of our greater powerlessness. The power we lack is projected onto a projected and faith-based being.

Explore that powerlessness. If you find it in yourself, learn more about it. If we lack power at all, that lack can only be found in the personality we believe ourselves to be. Lack is a belief wedded to a projected persona. It is attached to the person we believe ourselves to be, but what we are not. That person is the other side of the god/me coin. He who observes is the hunter peeking through the all but opaque veils of the false-self.

For when we believe we lack power, we will, by necessity, project that lacked energy onto something external to ourselves. This explains why where lack is most acutely felt, there is the greatest propensity for self-righteous violence, as well as its opposite, the propensity for complete resignation; giving up. Resignation is a sign that we have both felt the anguish of close proximity to our Wound and we have our Fear-Selves have lost confidence in their personas. The collapse of the energetic Fear-Selves results in the creation of an exhausted, defeated Fear-Self. This weakened Fear-Self represents a step in the direction of liberation, but it is only a way-stop, alas it is a way stop that can last for generations. The resigned being manifests on both the individual and group levels.

The god belief systems, when they are personal and faith based must always result in a continuum of behaviors ranging from the ultra-violent to the pained acquiescence of utter resignation.
The pathway to resolving our struggle with powerlessness is found only in our personal and collective liberation.

How is that done? We take the first step in our liberation through seeing the process play out in our individual and group affiliated lives. We observe our propensity to be close our eyes to the truth that’s right in front of us. We observe how we rely on faith and second-hand knowledge passed down between people and generations without ever being held up to scrutiny. We observe our gullibility of collections of belief that people fear to questions because it’s in the bible or other “sacred” texts. We ask ourselves, as often as we can, “is this really true?”

When we move from faith to alert, open observation our hearts and minds open up to our very real lives. We are truly alive. If I am worried for the welfare of my children, then is it the most beneficial choice to place our need for safety and security in a belief that can never be tested or proven, or should we just work with our kids – open our hearts and minds to their concerns, not seek “final” answers, but just to engage in the process of connection. This is how we begin moving from the second-hand beliefs designed to keep us dead and obedient and migrate to living a vibrant, open, and creative life. We evolve from rigidity to flexibility. This is the yoga of the soul alive in this very moment.

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Let Awakening Come to You: The Path to Yourself (From the Liberation from the Lie Sequel – The Way of Liberation: At Home on Planet Earth)


Do you really want liberation from the seeming meaningless of your life?

Do you strive for what others have called “enlightenment”?

Do questions like these often fill your consciousness?

Then listen up. For you are now on the wrong track. You’re missing it and you’re missing it by miles.
Awakening is now or it’s never. It will never happen when you’re seeking it – when you’re struggling to “get” it. It is either here and now or it is nowhere.

I know your problem because I’ve suffered from the very same problem. We hear about all of this enlightenment stuff in a life where there is constant heartache, struggle, and challenge and when the fear of death hangs over us like a guillotine. So we take the bait. We read dozens, often hundreds of books. We’re on the look-out for the next Mooji video and wished we lived in a place like Santa Cruz where enlightened dudes can be found speaking in small bookstores or in the comfy well upholstered living rooms of well-off people.

We get obsessed. We really, really, really want this thing called enlightenment. There have been moments when we’ve been filled with bliss and light and then the moment sadly passes. Just another state that comes and goes. We have no where else to go, but to get back on the track and start running, breathlessly running for the one book, the one talk, the one retreat, even the one off-hand remark that will finally and forever set us free.

Yet it eludes us and there is a part of us, a small part but real voice that whispers in our ears that it’s hopeless. Now we know that we’ve come to a terrifying crossroads. The first and most obvious road is that it’s all hopeless. We could meditate for a hundred years in the very presence of the Buddha himself and still never make that essential breakthrough. The other road tells us that it’s all bullshit. That we’ve been feverishly chasing an illusion – a hoax. That these fakes claiming to be enlightened and actually have the gaul to wear white flowing robes and always be sitting next to a vase of pretty flowers and be surrounded by their adoring and reverential followers (assholes) are just full of shit.

It’s either one or the other.

Actually it’s both. It is hopeless and the people we observe, who claim their special status are anything but enlightened.

Surprised?

If you’re not, you should be. For we know that as long as we’re seeking “it”, we will never “get it” and we know that no body ever “gets” enlightened. This we know.
Are you totally convinced? Probably not, (although you should be) but allow me to continue.
First you do really must know that it really is hopeless and these self-proclaimed gurus are not enlightened. That is just a simple fact.

Let’s address the gurus first. That’s the easy part. They are not enlightened because no “body” is enlightened. What you see and hear and feel is just appearance – fleeting and insubstantial. It’s just sight and sound ‘signifying nothing’. While their body is just a body, their words may trigger something in your experience that can illuminate the false. We move closer to the true every time we see what we’ve believed to be true turns out to be false. That is the very process of self-liberation. In illuminating the false these words can have the power to enable to release yourself to the real. But ultimately, the many gurus out there don’t matter.

All that matters is you.

We’ve already said that if you’re seeking “it” – “it” will elude you. As seekers, it truly is hopeless. This is a basic fact.

“It” can only happen now. So what are we to do? I am beaten by this profound problem and am left truly hopeless and now without resources.

What you can “do” is to put out the “awakening’s welcome mat” by engaging with an open heart and mind with this moment right now and right here. This, my good friend, is your life. Live your life right now and let the ‘magic’ happen. When you are seeking for it someplace else, it can never be found. You must live your life now, as if you will die by nightfall and if it is night when you’re reading this, then just substitute the word dawn.

Five minutes can seem like a lifetime when you’re really alive to it. Get pulled in by life just as it is. Stop being so quick to judge this moment as “not it”, for every time your mind inserts this belief it creates an insurmountable wall to Realization. So live “this life – your life” right now and awakening will come to you … rather than the mind goading you to run to it. That which runs toward anything is merely the “inadequate self” seeking relief from itself!!!

So let awakening come to you by living this moment and the next moment by truly living it. When you love life, life will love you back.

You see your very mind, the judger, the knower, is the final obstacle. Awakening is right here, right now. Drop all of your defenses and resistance to this moment and the next and the next and the next – and it will come to you. Trust life.

Then you will Realize and it will truly be yours’. Just as we awaken each day from sleep, so the spirit awakens unbidden and free.

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Becoming Trust Itself


Yesterday we said that trust in one’s self is the final hurdle.

We noted that perceptions, feelings, and thoughts belong to “know” (no) one, but are simply part of the living environment. Thus, if you are sad, the sadness is not your sadness and if you are happy, the happiness is also not your happiness.

Thus striving to be anything or anyone is a hopeless endeavor. It is also true that seeking to avoid a certain condition, is also equally hopeless.

A thought (feeling or perception) is intrinsic to itself. This means that an object is true to itself in the moment of its apperception. It is not your object. The YOU you take yourself to be is just another object that is also intrinsic to itself in the moment of its apperception.

That tree that you can see outside possesses little quality of being possessed by the personal you, but your thoughts feel like your very own thoughts. But it is said here that, in essence, the tree and the thought are not different on the level of objective reality. As the tree is intrinsic to itself, so is the thought. Any thought or feeling can be appreciated in the moment it arises.

When you see a tree, both the “you” (a thought) and the tree (a physical object – experienced as a different class of thoughts) are objects that belong to no one. They are each objects of differing class arising from the ground of being.

We will never be able to trust ourselves as long as believe that our thoughts and feelings belong to me – a thought.

We can’t trust that false sense of me because it’s a concept based on a false premise – something that isn’t true. You and I are not thoughts. Thoughts are just objects and objects are subject to change.

The realization that you are not a thought, that you never have been a thought, and never will be a thought is enlightenment itself.

Here is the key instruction: The effort to understand yourself as a thought or a concept or a feeling is utterly futile. It is what keeps the infinite wheel of seeking going. When you truly know that you are not a thought, the seeking ends and everything is revealed in the light of your perfect being. It is radiant, raw beauty.

We are that which never changes. We are not a thought. We are that which experiences thought, but is not any experience.

That which sees the tree and that which observes the thought of the seer of the tree is one and the same. Do that right now. Observe something, then quickly notice a thought of someone (yourself) seeing the object. Not how that which sees and notices the object and the assumed subject are the same thing – a kind of perfect openness.

Trust THAT!

The moment our need to trust a thought as ourselves is seen as false and we instantly transition to just being that which observes and notices, we are free of the slavery to the false me. This is not an easy or simple Realization.

You and I are not slaves to any thought.

When I think I am a fool, I feel bad. When I think I’m a wonderful, generous person, I feel good. Neither condition or identity is stable. It just moves with mood and circumstance. When it feels bad, it needs to feel good and when it feels good it tends not to be very concerned about feeling bad.

Liberation is freedom from all notions of good and bad. But it is more than mere noticing. For when we are free of identifying with any thought, we can be one with anything and we are one with everything all the time. The array of observed things change but the open field stays the same.

There is a vast embrace held by the field. This is compassion, connection, and carrying – all at once.

Imagine the Great Plains, covered in wild grasses. It holds the immense Western Sky, the thousands of birds that fly in the open space, their infinite calls, the powerful clouds that drift above, the mighty herds of buffalo that rumble across the open earth. Now a band of hunters appear. They wildly fly after the scrambling buffalo. A lance hits one of the buffalo and rich, red blood spurts from the open wound. Death happens suddenly in the vast field of being. Elsewhere a baby calf is born. Life happens suddenly in the vast field of being. Night follows day and Spring follows Winter. The cycles follow an invisible spiral beginning nowhere and ending nowhere and we are that.

The challenge of trust becomes nothing at all when we are free of all self-identifying thoughts. Instead of needing to trust something or someone, we are trust itself – trust in the perfect, seamless reality of this world.

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Trusting Yourself: The Final Hurdle


For nearly all of us, the final hurdle between conditioned being and that which is Awake is the problem of trust.

Why is this so?

The psychological being, the person we take ourselves to be, depends on mind.

  • Mind is the agent which sets priorities;
  • Mind is the evaluator;
  • Mind is the decider;
  • Mind is the carrier of culture;
  • Mind reflects our genetic heritage;
  • Mind tells us who we are, who we are not, and who you are; and
  • Mind is the holder of the ‘inadequacy belief’.

Mind depends on itself for being. It tells us, time and again, that we are our mind.

In other words, we place our inherent trust in our minds – even if we deny it.

This is even more true for people who are intellectual. The mind of the well educated has even greater importance because it has demonstrated how brilliant it is. It has the capacity to organize vast volumes of facts and it has the ability to perform complex forms of analysis on these many observations. Thus its power and voice are all but deafening.

We learn, a million times over, to trust this mind.

And this is precisely why awakening is so rare for nearly all of us. And this is why I say that Trust is the final hurdle.

We must see that even the great mind is seen and it is seen in every moment, if we are open to that seeing. The challenge of awakening inevitably boils down to this pivotal question: “Do I trust my mind or can I trust open awareness?” It’s very similar to Hamlet’s immortal question, “To be or not to be? That is the question.”

The issue is not can I negate the mind?

Is there a way we can bridge this terrifying gap? Can we find the place where mind seems to end and open awareness begins?

How do we learn? How do we see what is true? The only compelling answer to that question is this: we observe. Awareness is the source of our knowledge. And for forms of knowing that elude us (say, for example the computer programming that has made the internet possible), we learn from those who have observed truth on that level of experience (which we call computer science). Thus a vast web of knowing evolves and grows.

We learn through awareness. If we could not trust this awareness, what could we ever know? This, to me, is the bridge that connects the perceived world with living, open awareness. Our aliveness is a direct and immediate outcome of awareness with mind.

Our problems and our suffering begin when our identity migrates from open awareness to a mere thought of the mind. We have never been a thought and if you observe very carefully, you will see that every manifestation of identity is all wrapped up in thought.

If nothing else, the best thought can do is to inform us who we are not. That’s the best it can do.

Can you trust the clear shining of your open awareness? That is the decisive question. Can we trust what we see in this very moment without needlessly inserting the quest for a personal identity in that seeing? Because as soon as we renew our quest for a personal identity, in that very moment we have severed trust with our primal aware being and overlaid it with our conditioned, thought-based false self.

This is why I say that trust is the final hurdle. Trusting this open awareness is very scary. It’s a kind of courageous falling backwards into space. There is no place to stand here. We are just This.

But here is where and how we can regain our power in this moment – here is where we discover the balance that can never be taken away –

We don’t abandon the mind. We just stop seeking our identity within it. And here is the part that may “blow your mind”. When we awaken into the openness uncontaminated with personal identity, we observe something that is all but miraculous. We see that what we took for “our” mind, is really just another object that seems to float unseen everywhere in the universe. The knowing that we took to be personal and part of the self, is, really, another energy thing that happens here, there, and everywhere. It belongs to know one, but is available in the moment of its seeing. The cosmic narrative that binds all things into one is the mortar of the universe and it is yours’ right now, if you can only trust this open awareness that is before anything and everything else.

As long as we fight the mind, we will be at war against ourselves and our world. What we have taken to be ‘our’ mind is the world and the universe. It is the birds and the rivers and the stories. It is all of that and so much more. It lives to be seen.

Can you trust that? Can you trust your true self, that which does not come and go?

If you take away anything from this post let it be this:

The mind naturally loves itself. When identity is attached to mind, the mind is expressed as ego. It is a normal outcome of the personal inadequacy belief. But when mind is FREE to be mind AS mind, then it can love itself AS itself. So thoughts can love themselves AS themselves – that which is heard can love itself AS itself – that which is seen can love itself AS itself – that which is felt can love itself AS itself.

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Wu Wei – Doing Nothing and Everything is Done


Wu Wei  Doing Nothing

Wu Wei Doing Nothing


What happens when “you” do nothing?
Did you birth yourself?
Do you choose your death?
Do You do the seeing?
Do You do the hearing?
Do You do the tasting?
Do You choose your thoughts?
Do You choose your feelings?

If you are rigorously honest with yourself, the answer to each of these questions (and so many more) must be “no”, a real emphatic “NO“..
Then – let life live you. Trust!
Fall into life – if we see the truth and I mean REALLY see the truth of life, that is the most transformative, heroic, and loving act we can do.
We sever the ties to FEAR. Sever it fully and see how beautifully you survive the fall.
Wu Wei – Doing Nothing

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