Sitting quietly, where is the focus? Listening to Life or to thoughts? The mind is a miraculous tool, no doubt. But it’s also a random noise generator. It weaves fantastical dances that mesmerise and entrance. It distracts the senses, instating its machinations as truth. Beliefs laid overtop of Reality lead to searching, not Being. Pausing, listening, feeling, Life’s ongoing artwork becomes evident—a continuous creation of colours, scents, touch, tastes and sounds, ever-present in an endless array of magnificence. ∙ The sound of rain drizzling as a background canvas for varying pitches in birdsong.∙ The scent of flowers and trees, so intense
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
We humans divide existence into things, feelings, and ideas. We then separate them from each other by believing them to be independent parts. What we misunderstand or, more precisely, misrepresent in this process, is that there is no inherent separation. It is a mental projection that leads to discontent and internal noise. We believe in ‘I’ and ‘You’ and we fiercely protect that which we deem to be ours for fear of loss. In non-separation there is silence because we know that all is one and regard all equally. “All things, all bodies, all organisms, are from the same source
There was a time when I fully embraced nihilism, which is ironic since the philosophy rejects fundamental aspects of human existence. But I was looking for a way to express and explain my experience that everything in the world felt empty. Essentially, I was attempting to blame objects for their hollow animation (yet failing to grasp the absurdity of said pursuit.) The more I looked, the more I noticed that the actual problem was an inability of the mind to adequately describe and define the underlying presence of the perceived. I discarded the theory and focused my attention instead on
° Tenderness when catching a hangnail while donning a sock.° The irritation of rough fingertips in a knitted mitten.° Frustration with a thread that won’t let go its static cling.° Recent annoyances eddying in mind or body.° Fear, pain, disappointment weighted heavy in vexation. All are aggregations of psychic loose-ends. What can one do with them?Differentiate. Observing within enhances our ability of discernment. We develop inner sight that helps in distinguishing and deconstructing the labels we apply to things and events. By so doing we become free of hooks, regardless of their origin. We “mend our afflictions, defilements, proclivities to
Bare yourself raw.Burn away the padding.Confront it all.See past the illusions.Connect with your divinity. The legend of a jealous Brahma trying to keep humans from discovering their divinity. ❝ Brahma called a council of the gods to help decide on the right place to conceal their divinity. ‘Let’s bury it deep in the earth,’ said one of the gods. But Brahma said, ‘No, that will not do because humans will eventually dig into the earth and discover it.’ Then another said, ‘Let’s hide it in the deepest part of the ocean.’ But Brahma said, ‘No, they will eventually dive down
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
❝ I have little to no interest in extreme mystical states—I have enough on my hands chopping wood and carrying water. I would be truly disappointed if some mystical shortcut bypassed these kind of efforts. I think I like to plod along and rub shoulders with the mundane, with its subtle surprises.❞ This quote is by a very dear friend who has a knack for clearly expressing small mysteries. For years I scaled back the amount of stuff I owned or travelled with. I needed to declutter. A lot of it had to do with cleaning house internally—mind, body, spirit.
Occasionally, clarity presides. For me, it happens most often when sitting quietly in or after meditation. Life, in its wondrous simplicity …just …happens. Later, the individual ‘I’, believing itself to be the creator, moves about attempting to orchestrate and manage. This is both true and false at the same time. True because, the separate self creates all manner of illusions in pain and happiness. False, because these veils, overlaid on reality, mislead and complicate unnecessarily. Yesterday, while skiing, it was clear that no thought was required in order to transition the body effectively through the complex array of neural and
I recently had a very long travel day that provided an opportunity to spend time continuously listening to chanting and reading, interrupted occasionally by game playing. The many hours of idle musing laid a fertile bed for a simple question, one posed by a beautiful friend the morning after my arrival, “How does it feel to be there?” This modest, loving query quickly took root, giving rise to prodigious introspection. Among the gamut of impressions sprouting in response was a sense of lifelessness and disconnection from nature. Wanting to get some oxygen in the body and morning light in the
❝ Healing is not born of vanity. It is born of honesty. Honesty is born of pure love. And love is the most divine healer, the sweetest, holiest and most effective.❞ ~Val Kilmer I have no regrets, nor am I embarrassed. I make no excuses, nor do I feel shame. Instead, I hold dear, and strive to uphold in myself, authenticity and honesty. These two take me by the hand and lead quickly to their cousin, vulnerability. It is through this triad that I bear witness to existence, though it’s not always painless. Why is raw openness often uncomfortable? Perhaps
Something has changed. Breadth in discovery. Obvious shift, indeed. Abaft, door closes gently. Portal ahead. Wide landscape, invites. Opportunities birth. Much to learn. Everything, to forget. Patiently earnest. Its nature unknown. Already, familiar. Tutored by trees. Adapting and being. Steadfastly flexible, in communion. Curious essence. Mental, emotional, physical. All, and none. Daemons not quite vacated. Retiring in peace. Less sticky, withdrawn. Embracing the adjustment. Vulnerability the theme. Whatever, this is. Something is changing. Peaceful venue. Living, in breath. ❝ People underestimate the power of Self-awareness. It is the purest and most potent force in the universe and yet few human
I’d like to share a fable and why it speaks to me. ❝ A realised man, a sadhu, was walking in the forest. Because it was sunny, he wanted to find somewhere to have a rest. He sat down under a tree, leaned back against the trunk and had a short nap. When he woke up, he was ready to continue his travels. As he was picking up his stick and his begging bowl, he saw many people sitting near him. Much to his surprise, they all stood up and thanked him for his satsang. He told them, ‘But I
I often marvel at Nature’s beauty and process, the interweave of all living beings. I shake my head with a smile at how fortunate I am to own a cabin in this magnificent theatre. Even still, I almost sold the place last week. I became overwhelmed at the enormity of the necessary repairs and my desired improvements. What’s more, I’ll be by myself through most of it. Questioning my interest in spending every free moment with renovations, and with the mounting depth and breadth of every single step, I began to feel that it was better to ‘get out while
Sitting outside in the early sun and cool air, listening to the birds sing and chirp, I was reminded to notice the space between when sound ends and quiet begins. That space is silence. It is Source. Observation of the infinite pause is possible with any intermittent sound, i.e. interruptions in an… abnormally… slowly spoken… sentence, or even periodic construction sounds. You may notice that it’s also a span where thoughts pause. There may even be a hint of rest in the mind and body. For me, daily meditation provides opportunity to experience this recess, the nothing that is everything.