Belief

Happy Place

I’m in my happy place.ㅤBefore now, I always thought this contentedness was limited to a certain place, time, activity, solitude, or with certain people. These things matter. There are places, people, and movements that resonate more harmoniously with this person we call Howie. So, yes, they all play a role, but not in the way I thought they did.ㅤCurrently, it’s easy to feel positive. I’m healthy, my body is responding to training like never before, and my life situations are quite stable—simple and uncomplicated. I feel excitement for what’s ahead in the next few months and the beautiful people with

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Longing

❝ If you look at all our wisdom traditions and our literary and artistic heritages, across the world, across the centuries, they have been teaching all this time that the bittersweet side of existence is a way to creativity, it’s a way to connection, it’s a way to transcendence.❞~Susan Cain Several core themes in Rich Roll’s conversation with Susan Cain (RRP #699) landed as bull’s-eyes for me, stirring something that’s both beautiful and painful. The bittersweet essence of quiet aching gripped me early in this life. As a child, introverted sensitivity was evident as I shun assemblage and found solace

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Centre of The Circle

It was only by stumbling upon Laozi’s words (at bottom) that I began to find a way to express experiences from this past week and what is present now. Moving into the weekend there was uncertainty, self-doubt and fear. I exited with motivation, self-confidence and gratitude. A shift in viewpoint resulted in a transformation of attitude, but, as pointed to in chapter 29 of the Tao Te Ching, the place I find myself now is where always I’ve been. Both are true from their own perspective. ㅤ In a recent post, I shared that I’ve been struggling with frustration and

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Awareness Oriented

❝ Questions are just as important as answers. The goal is not necessarily to arrive at an absolute answer. The goal is to improve the quality of your questions. The quality of your question determines the quality of your answer.❞ When I searched for the source of this quote, something very peculiar jumped out at me. I say ‘at me’ because what I found is in stark contrast to how I experience the message. Pause for a moment. What do you perceive as the core tenet? For the time being, I’ll disregard the underlying question that’s begged, how to define

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Peace

❝ Peace is not an objective experience. It is simply the presence of Consciousness without an object. That is why it is peaceful! ❞ ** Even as I deeply feel the truth of Rupert Spira’s quote, I simultaneously encounter grasping for objects (in order to acquire Peace). The mind believes that certain objects have previously produced Happiness and Peace. But memory falsely attributes the source of the experience. Happiness is our very nature. Peace is inherent in presence. Objects are a part of the expression of Peace and Happiness, not the origin.ㅤReminding myself of this connection is an almost daily

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Is It True

❝ Many of our ideas and beliefs about ourself and the world are so deeply ingrained that we are unaware that they are beliefs and we take them, without questioning, for the absolute truth.❞ ~Rupert Spira Why not investigate these thoughts and beliefs? Why not look closely at the experience of them? Why not enquire into the consciousness of those experiences? Why not become aware of the consciousness? Why not find out who is investigating, looking, enquiring and being aware? Allow me to explain. Perhaps it’s my rebel nature or an undying curiosity that beckons like an enduring echo. But

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Who

Years ago, I had the belief that experiencing bliss and peace required toning down my emotions so that my actions would be more measured. This approach was inherently not blissful because I continually desired something in the future, something I thought I didn’t have, a particular experience. At its core, it was a hostile and unsustainable approach at forceful removal. To be honest, it was a bit of a relief to accept that emotions are part of life. What wasn’t pleasant was that they seemingly controlled me. I was reacting to stimuli rather than being fully conscious and respectful. Seeking

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Open Questions

The quote at the bottom of this post resonates directly with one of the most important aspects of living a human life: awareness of the space in-between. In my late teens and early twenties, I showed clear evidence of an innate curiosity—an interest, or pull, to investigate the subtler aspects of existence unfazed by time. Unfortunately, the outward manifestation of pliant thoughtfulness was unmistakably absent. It wasn’t until after divorce, depression and recovery that the notion of “open questioning” became evident: (a concept my ex, now my best friend, tried for years to engage with me). As if a veil

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Sunshine

Peace

❝ Peace is not in the hall. It is in the repose of the Self. It can be gained anywhere.❞~Sri Ramana Maharshi This quote is, for me, more than a nice thought. It’s a bit of guiding principle. The past many weeks have been dreary and dark—literally and figuratively. My mental, emotional, and physical dispositions have been rather low. The reasons are multi-faceted. Thankfully, I’ve spent years building a collection of tools to support myself in situations like this. It includes reaching out to others; I can’t make it on my own anymore, nor do I wish to try any

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Nature is itself

Right As Rain

Life is incredibly full. I just have to slow down enough to experience it. When I sit quietly listening to the rain, watching leaves dance in the droplets and noticing the changes in the ebbs and flows of intensity, all the purpose in the world is present and accounted for. Within this space, I hear an invitation to give up my constant pursuit of whatever it is I think I’m looking for and instead just notice what’s already and always present, even as I engage in ‘daily life’. We, humans, are a curious animal. We seek reason for which something

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Conscious Connection

Pre-dawn and daybreak are special times of day for me. There’s a feeling of love, connection and quiet that allows me to more fully resonate with the subtle energies and hear the singing birds. Over the past couple of weeks, out of solidarity and concern, my neighbour and I have taken to waiving and greeting each other, “Bon dia.” During these magical moments, I actively soak in life’s vitality, knowing that it will support me during the coming twenty-four hours. This is especially important during my extended isolation in lockdown. I often think and dream about being in a different

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Real—Unreal

This morning I climbed onto a ledge and sat in the first rays of sunshine to drink tea and read. The chapter, entitled ‘Creation theories and the reality of the world’, contains Sri Ramana’s answers to questions regarding our enigma with the waking and dream worlds, and our difficulty in coming to terms with which world, if either, is real and which is unreal. It’s a subject upon which I’ve never felt I could get any grasp, and not for lack of trying. But this morning’s musings were set on the backdrop of comments made virtually between friends these past

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Portal

What an odd experience it is to be sequestered, to be in lockdown. I’m certain that we all feel some level of frustration, uncertainty, helplessness, and/or inquiry into one, or many, dimensions of our central, global coronavirus motif. Admittedly, my biggest challenge is the same now as always, not to be overly occupied with beliefs on various topics. Perhaps that’s why I keep returning to the theme of holding space for insight and change. Humorously, even this is based on my own viewpoints. Notwithstanding, I step into the enquiry: can this time be a catalyst for a shift in the

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Mouna & Upadeśa

❝ Silence [mouna] is the true teaching [upadeśa].It is the perfect upadeśa.❞—Sri Ramana Maharshi, ‘Be As You Are’ Mother Nature is forcing Homo sapiens into retreats.Perhaps she is inviting us to take a break from our outwardly focused attention. Let us stop being so ‘busy’. Dive within. See what is already there.Let us each learn more about ourselves, our inner workings. There will be resistance.That is how the asanas [mental tendencies] work.But, with practice, those tendencies—that which separates us from our inner peace—will be rooted out. Just as standing on one leg becomes more difficult when the eyes are closed.In

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Types Of Quiet

I entered the hall with our group, filming to capture the moment. Then, I turned towards the statue of Sri Ramana Maharshi and my world flipped upside-down: the power and presence of Maharshi reached in and took hold. I directly experienced Bhagavan and crumbled to my knees crying. Quiet #1: SpiritYears ago, I’d read a few books containing Ramana’s teachings, but I never imagined visiting Sri Ramanashram. It seemed to me that it was a place reserved solely for highly committed devotees. Yet, there I was, unmistakably overwhelmed in my heart and not understanding why. Over the following two weeks,

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