Friday, July 29, 2011

In-between the Bookends

The day is filled with thoughts and feelings. These tumble one after another, sometimes forming synergistic experiences. We attempt to label these special experiences with words, like ecstasy, trauma, bliss, synergistic, special. None of these words could ever accurately describe the actual experience. It is something one must directly experience and witness for oneself.

There are actual activities and atmospheres that can yield paths to these direct experiences. The paths all lead to the same place, a deep mental and emotional connection to the present moment. This means the capacity is omnipresent; it is right here, right now, always.

What is it that blocks us from these extra ordinary, direct experiences of thought and feeling? It is our ignorance, our mistakenness. Both direct experience AND mistakenness are concurrently existent. Through awareness of our mistakenness we open the door to direct experience.

Awareness is not judgmental. Awareness is openness. It is not about right. It is not about wrong. Simply, awareness just is. It is in every thing and every one and is within this very moment.

The allure of these synergistic experiences can also close down that awareness. Too easily, we become attached to the greatness in ecstasy and bliss. This attachment denies us continued awareness and simultaneously closes the door on openness.

We also block less “feeling good” emotions and thoughts with aversive measures. Aversion is our mental reaction to not having it our way.
Between the two bookends of attachment and aversion, the vacuum of our self takes hold.

Our mind was designed for awareness, not for vacancy. It is this vacuum of self, the space between attachment and aversion, which is the barrier for direct experience. We’ve created a logjam within the universe, attempting to hold onto what we want and pushing off what we do not. In these synergistic moments, the logjam has been dislodged, if only for just a moment.

Imagine removing this logjam intentionally. Only we can remove the barrier of the idea of our self. Through exploration and awareness of this vacuum we can begin its purposeful removal.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Internal Waters of Thinking of You

We all think about others. There are countless impressions we have when we think of people and things. These impressions are a heterogeneous mixture of mental images and emotional sensations with bits of memory and stage direction scattered and connected throughout. It’s a big mash up made entirely by our mind.

If we let go of the bits of memory and dismantle the stage directives, it frees up that mental/emotional framework for exploration. It is all the holding on and having it our way activities that block joy and happiness that are in that mash of stuff called our life. Clearing and halting all of those activities present many obstacles, but in each obstacle is an extraordinary opportunity, the opportunity to do something entirely different.

Each obstacle we encounter is mostly of our own creation. Whatever it is that we’re feeling and thinking at this moment comes about naturally. It falls apart naturally as well. What clouds and muddles this process is our memories of before and our hopes and fears moving forward.

We rarely achieve a clear view of our present thoughts and emotions in the moment. In fact, it can be extremely overwhelming to begin to explore either, especially considering the longevity of our ignorance of this inner universe. This is why patience is a cornerstone to progress toward a new way. These uncharted waters have been with us in every moment of our existence. What we have done and not done have accumulated much in these uncharted internal waters for at least our entire life.

Consider the oceans at large we were born into, namely our families, our communities, our country and our world: the accumulated bits of everything and everybody that have been since when. Almost everything that is here and now has been here for a very long time. From this world of stagnation, opportunity for liberation is plentiful, even omnipresent. If we can unclutter the mental and emotional reservoirs, we can begin the journey of reunification.

For the majority of our lives, we have felt set apart from all that we see and experience. Plentiful have been the moments where separation seemed clear and apparent. Rarely, have we thoroughly challenged that clear and apparent nature of life, that somehow we’re separated from all else. Considering the constant flux of matter and energy into and out of this body and this mind, how could we ever have believed we were separate and somehow singled out from the rest?

Letting go of memory isn’t forgetting the past; it is letting go of our limited version of it. Our mistakenness of our real nature has poisoned our well of memories. We must release these memories from the consistent control we wish to wield on others as well as our self.

All of our machinations of tomorrow must be released. All that makes up tomorrow is present here and now. As much as we do not desire external control, we must not direct control outward. These machinations are movies and stories we contrive.

Constantly, we are holding casting calls, building and deconstructing stages and set designs. Our plans for the future are both elaborate and subtle in the ways we seek to control others and the conditions we find ourselves within today.

Search your thoughts. Search your feelings.

Are the people you think and feel about real or imagined? Certainly, people are living lives all over this planet. But are the thoughts and feelings about these actual people accurate and reflective of the life that each has led? Just like us, each person has their own sets of thoughts and feelings. Are those sets of sensations in our thoughts and feelings about those people, or do we just have impressions of people, impressions that are not based in reality whatsoever?

Challenge your thoughts. Challenge your feelings.

These thoughts and feelings ebb and flow, come about and fall apart continuously, one after another after another. With minimal challenging, we can discover the true nature of both. Thoughts and feelings come out of our mind like a natural spring.

Imagine if we let that natural spring flow free.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Changing the Observer into the Observed

The mind lives through the brain and the body through the sensory apparatus and consciousness. The mind is not just a physical object that can be cut out and dissected. It spans outside of the physical body through the sensory organs and the consciousness using the body to manipulate, re-orient and alter the surrounding physical world.

Mostly, we apply minimal effort to the examination of how our mind and body interact with each other and our world. Our curiosity of the inner universe should be nurtured, as it is this inner universe that directly engages with our connection to the whole that is the universe. If we open ourselves to the real connection that exists between us and everything else, we embark on a journey that seeks to cut through the illusion-centered existence that clouds our judgment and muddles our involvement.

Ignoring the realm most accessible to us anywhere and anytime and in any conditions is an option for us all. Despite ignorance of this internal realm, it is always there. Our mind was developed to explore. If we do not take ownership over the mind’s exploration, this is where the subconscious is allowed to reign. We can rejoin with our subconscious by exploring it. The way to explore it is to turn the mind on itself and observe the ultimate observer.

The option is always there. We can continue to choose to take this option lightly. Imagine what would be possible if we take that option seriously. We could begin unraveling the causes and the effects in our lives. We don’t even need to devote the entire day to this exploration. We could just try this for a moment, even less than a minute. Our day deserves at least that much.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Masks of Appearance

Appearances can dominate the mind and cloud our judgment because the mind is where appearance is born, takes residence and seizes control.

The mind gathers information about our environment through the senses using the sensory organs to do so. The sheer mountain of sensory input that is continuously being generated makes it difficult to end the dominance of both the sensory information and our categorization of that input in our daily life. It is the combination of the volume and the sorting of volume where appearance takes hold. It is far easier to assume with casual gathering observations than to uncover the truth behind the surface of those initial observations.

We can see a car, even drive a car, without any clue as to how the car is able to be and do. We can see a car that is a stationary and not realize if it was either simply idle but drivable or if it was broken down and needing to be carted off with a tow. Mostly, we don’t try to find the keys to someone else’s car to discover which is true. This is the same with most of our assumptions based on appearances. We elect to not take off the mask and explore what lay underneath.

We don’t challenge appearances easily. In fact, if we challenge every appearance, we would not be able to do much on this earth and in this society that could affect change on much of anything.

The amazing aspect of the mind is its discernment function. With exploration of the mind, we can begin to unravel how the mind works and why it works in the way it does. We can learn which mental expeditions are the most efficient and effective at retrieving the most rich, diverse data for the most useful and expansive mental functions.

Once we set off on one of these mental expeditions, we directly impact and affect what we are exploring. We change the circumstances. Sometimes, these changes can yield amazingly rich data on what lay underneath the appearance. Sometimes, it yields misleading or fallacious data due to our interference. If we were to walk away, it may return back to the previous state, or we may have started a process of continued adaptation without any further intervention.

Appearances are at the heart of our daily lives. Appearances drive our decisions. Taking off the masks of appearance can assist us in both.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Hurt Struggle

“You hurt me.”

If we feel others have hurt us, this is mostly not true. We most often hurt ourselves.

Harm comes to us in three major ways: physical, mental and emotional. Emotional and mental harm, however, are self-created. We only use others in order to do the harm to ourselves without claim of ownership. What we think and what we feel are our own thoughts and feelings. Although we all have the capacity for similar thoughts and similar feelings, these are internal, individual experiences.

This discussion is challenging; let us ease into it.

Certainly, we can physically harm others. We, however, have a fairly superior role in where we are and who is around us. There are some very notable exceptions, sometimes involving work and home. Work and home environments, however, are mostly dictated by our own judgments at certain points.

Other major exceptions do exist in our modern world, involving totalitarian rule and grand scale oppression. Recently, weaknesses have been exposed even in these ways of governance and control. Despite these exceptions, unless we’re being held against our will, we hold the superior role. This does not make the role an easy one; it just means that it is ours to wield.

As long as we continue to see life as being done to us, we’re going to languish in suffering. If we realize we’re at work for a reason, that we live where we do for a reason, then the life dynamic changes from one of victim to overseer. This moment immediately becomes more workable.

We will get through this moment to the next regardless of effort or lack thereof. It is the way in which we consider this moment and our role in it that is the only difference.

We can become distracted by the struggle against reality. It is our struggle against what is that does not much to alter the current state of affairs. A fiery, feisty spirit can be a huge benefit in difficult times, but it can also get in the way. Learning the difference between fighting and accepting is not a clear difference.

Lack of struggle cannot be simple acquiescence. We’re not going to just take it. We’re going to do something about it. To be able to do something about it, we must be able to take it in completely and fully. That is why we have our senses connected to our mind. These senses are a set of devices designed to assist us in working through this moment, directly altering matter and energy to manifest a seemingly different next moment.

None of this is easy. Understanding our role in our life is just a step toward a new life status, one where life and living is on our terms, not the terms of others. Does this mean we don’t contract with people and entities in order to gain a firm footing? No. But, when we do, we need to realize the need, accept the help and live within that contract. Considering other more autonomous options is part of this ongoing process.

We must be careful here. Just because life and living come back under our umbrellas of authority and responsibility, does not stop the tumultuous nature of life weathering that is ongoing. What it does give us is an opportunity to learn as we go, witnessing the results of our direct interventions as we do. This is how we learn as we actively live.

If we’re looking for a simple answer to permanently cure our pain, we won’t find it. The answers have been covered up by misconstruing the source of pain and the source of salvation as something outside of us. Neither is true. Through the exploration of our roles in our lives, we at least give ourselves an opportunity of uncovering these sources from the universe within. It is, after all, the universe within that connects us directly to the universe as a whole.