Inquiry into Awakening
(Prior invitations for your reading pleasure)
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January 24, 2013
Let's say that our present scientific representation and interpretation of the electromagnetic spectrum, the nature of vibration, frequency, wavelength, and amplitude including the atom, its protons, neutrons, and electrons, and all the other cool magical stuff that we have names for including the neurotransmitters and synaptic fatty tissue of the brain that they say is responsible for the perception of reality, or even the creation of reality, and maybe even subjective consciousness itself, is all flawed.
I encourage you to go in search of a coherent biological explanation for the appearance of subjective consciousness and some or any definitive science that can express with certainty what exactly reality is. My suspicion is that you will have an interesting time of it; maybe a fantastically rich adventure sifting through a serially complex web of metaphors and structures and plausibility / assertions / hypotheses all of which merely self-refer so you end up profoundly empty handed.
It sincerely amazes me how deliciously and delightfully plastic the radiant dreaming actually is, and how rigidly we defend the hyper-fantasy and belief matrix of ourselves based on what the scientists would have us believe about the nature of "reality". Could it be that some profound expression of magical randomization and patterning (particle + wave + observing force) having no motive or utility and no agency is self-seeding the creative impulse of radiant and ever transcendent recognition via some electromagnetic apparitional blueprint that no one will ever find?
Here this is, are you really so sure you have any clue what this is? What might happen in your present experience if (just for fun) you could not assert or presume you knew? Here's a nice place for us to sit and consider the consequences.
January 17, 2013
Despite all the conjecture and literature and science and clever explanations for why "humans" suffer - the prime suspect and scene of the crime culprit is self-evident.
Grasping - that's it, look no further. Crime solved.
Permit me to expound, it's an occupational hazard anyway.
Experiencing is not made of time, does not occur inside of time, doesn't evolve over time, did not begin, does not end, and has absolutely no measurable (or immeasurable for that matter) duration.
Memory, whatever that is, and no one knows - permits / confounds us to "record" and recapitulate what we imagine happened prior to now - and every last drop of that is pure fantasy, it is not actual, it is all ideation. Memory + Experiencing = the imagination of Time.
With time comes the further identification that experiencing is accompanied by or even requires an experiencer - this is not so.
Grasping is the reflex of imagination as self in time. Grasping is the insistence that experiencing or the primary miracle is occurring to someone encased in a symbiotic bacterial and viral colony that we call the body, as in my body. And this reflex is only an idea, it is not actual.
This primary miracle is not graspable, it is not findable - it is simply expressed with no residue from moment to moment and there are actually none of those.
We were not made in God's image. God does not have an opposable thumb or a memory making frontal lobe - she's free, we're phucked.
Januray 10, 2013
Now that I have this pimento omelet stuck to my head, I can see more clearly!
Enlightenment is easy, ignorance is complicated. Let's unravel the bogus and perennial (if not perineal) advertisement that your life is worth improving, once and for all.
In order to improve your life, you must first believe that you are having a life, and if you believe you are having a life you are phucked silly in ignorance of the already and ever present transcendental nature of being.
This is not your life, This is an aggregate singularity of inconceivable radiant expression which is absolutely free from story, explanation, process, duration, motive, and agenda - so why bother improving a life that you are not even having?
What you really want is freedom from time, freedom from self, freedom from the slightest thought or impulse of even seeking for or requiring fulfillment. Seeing the nature and sacred geometry of how consciousness forges ontology and phenomenology out of nothing and forgets itself in the process (aka the presumption of your individuated experience) permits you to see its “simultaneous” nature as absolutely free from mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual adhesions.
Seeing what This is releases you from presuming you know what it is, and that is Awake – not even awakening. With due appreciation to our friend Shawn McDonald (see tune links), don’t you want to be Ready to be Perfectly Done?
Now that you see this, what are you going to do about it? Well the obvious answer is nothing, not a god damn thing – That (Enlightenment) was Easy. See you at an Inquiry meeting, where fools meet to enjoy the emptiness of themselves.
January 3, 2013
First off, please accept my sincere appreciation for your participation during 2012 in our Inquiry into Awakening adventure whether you read / ignore the invitations, have joined our facebook page, or actually join in on the aboriginal dreaming circle we create when we look at the nature of reality together. Your willingness to touch the unknown by showing up and sharing your curiosity and availability is what makes the Inquiry circle so vital.
Some scientists / researchers have been exploring the nature of consciousness recently and shedding some light on, or asking provocative questions about the nature of free will. It is an interesting conundrum to consider if what they are suggesting has any merit. What they are putting forth is that our sense or conviction of decision making is actually an artifact (not a causative certainty) that occurs after a mysterious neural net of deterministic (as in impossible to find) conditioning makes a choice absolutely under the radar or prior to the exercise of our free will.
This suggests that you are not the captain or pilot or autonomous owner of a right to possess or exercise free will. You are something stranger than that. Maybe a nature or alien programmed materialistic bio-robot, maybe the holographic expression of a simulation, maybe we're on the cusp of the Singularity where human consciousness and tissue, advanced bio-research, and artificial intelligence converge into a miasma of systems birthing systems of such inconceivable potential that we become unrecognizable disembodied telepathy in a few short years. Thankfully there is some hesitation (as in no consensus) on where this all leads. Isn't that a relief?
I like to take this on at a more practical level, or maybe that's just a lame excuse to cover for the fact that I have no clue what to do. Free will or not, still it makes sense (and who can say for how much longer) to gather your capacity for peering into your own nature and commit yourself to understanding what samsara ( a.k.a. the fantasy of discursive rumination and the presumption of individuated birth) really is so you can attend to the simultaneous companion observation of nirvana (a.k.a. the ineffable recognition of emptiness and joy).
I say Free Will or Bust in 2013, Shakespeare said, "Get thee to an Inquiry", what else is there to do with a life but go all the way into the mystery. We look forward to your visit.
December 28, 2010
Who's on your Enlightenment "A" team - is it a long gone culture, a famous cookie, or a Rock Star? The first gave us a beautifully carved stone pointing to impending cataclysmic cessation & doom - today. The second is a sure bet for type II diabetes, and the third gave us a kick-ass dance number and a message of total abundance that goes on and on forever. So who’s your favorite?
Is it A) The Mayans?
Is it B) An Oreo Cookie?
Or is it C) Conrad Birdie?
(Kindly click image for the most enthusiastic "Mayans can kiss my ass" spiritual message of our Age)
But I digress - here's what I really meant to say as my pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-iconoclast (both recent accusations from my fan base) contribution for the Holidays.
Peering into the Heart of Samsara -
When's the last time you questioned the miracle of experiential continuity? Have you ever even considered the myth and curious portrayal (if not betrayal) of time and space and events occurring in and as "your" experience?
Only the strange and compelled pioneers of suffering, and perhaps recovery, are encouraged to look into this adventure. For most humans we are simply taught not to question the very foundation and core revelation of the primary miracle - so we take our imaginary lives as the doer, decider, chooser, sufferer, enjoyer, planner, and center of the universe for granted.
In other words, we are absolutely certain (beyond any curiosity) that we are individual biological units thrashing about as the result of birth (of which we have been affectionately accused) and that our experiencing consciousness is the result of this birth.
This strange certainty of ours completely ignores the possibility (if not observable truth) that the hierarchy of being is 180 degrees meaning "completely" opposite of what we presume to be true.
Might it be that the world/universe and the creation myth of the big bang and our apparent physical being subjugated as it were to time and space are surrogates of the consciousness?
Forgive my oblique approach here, but I am asking - do you want to find out what experiencing really is or are you sanguine with your certainties?
This is the motive and agenda for Inquiry into Awakening, there is none other. Thanks for considering the implications.
December 20, 2012
Predictions are easy, anyone can do it. Soothsayers of the past have nothing to lose (or gain for that matter) when it comes to predicting your demise by coronal mass ejection, cataclysmic weather, social order disintegration, plague, or just death itself. BFD I say, it's not so special to predict that stuff will die - seems to be quite evident, you think?
So what's really eating us (metaphorically of course) is life, not death - we're afraid of life. We brace and shut down and act out over what's not happening as in our worst fears or projections. Our confusion is at hand, not in the future; this may be useful to see if you have any hope or interest of responding to this abstract condition of imagined madness.
Not one single creation myth, including the Big Bang, is true. No one has found (nor will they ever find) the smallest ingredient of matter or the lowest common denominator of energy - not happening. Experiencing in "real time" as in the imaginary occupation zone of now is all that is happening, and we have no idea why it is, what it is, how it came about, or most tragically - what to do with it.
All religions and sciences and explanations and philosophies and white papers on the mystery of This are 100% mistaken! Even the most poetic of tetrahedronal representations of sacred geometry and timeless fractal expression cannot adequately convey the gate gate paragate parasa?gate bodhi svaha ("The Heart of the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom") of the primary miracle.
Now you may be interested in cultivating an understanding or perspective that offers you more/better peace of mind and freedom (though not of choices) so you can withstand, if not enjoy, the end of the Mayan calendar coming to a theater (or on pay-per-view) near you. The truly disturbing / liberating observation is that absent a past and a future and a present, WTF is there to be afraid of and exactly how much time do you really have to suffer such a frivolous panic?
Get to the bottom of that riddle, and see for yourself what a mind-numbing mystery you really are.
This coming Friday is it, nothing will happen at all. You see how easy it is to make a prediction? If I'm right, we have a little party and laugh it off - if I'm wrong, what are you going to do about it as a foul smelling smudge of fried protoplasm stuck to the carpet?
December 13, 2012
What could possibly be left or right to do before you give yourself permission to stop? What do I mean by stop? Stop seeking, stop making sense, stop explaining yourself to yourself, and stop trying to make anything right?
What exactly must be accomplished or seen or certified and by whom for This moment, just as you are, to be perfectly OK for you to enjoy the immersive nature of your own clumsy divinity? No one anywhere to be found or not found stands between you and your perfect autonomy. You don't need any cosmic or spiritual or channeled advice from any authority to be what you are, to see what This is.
If you are holding out or hiding out or waiting to be purified of some bullshit in your crappy awkward and totally unnoticed life, which would just be some lame and unfounded excuse not to dream yourself directly into the heart of God. See you at an Inquiry soon I hope.
December 6, 2012
If you listen carefully to the end of Strawberry Fields John can be heard murmuring something (time stamp 4:04 left speaker); at first folks swore this was "I buried Paul", later revised to "I'm very bored", and finally John said it was "Cranberry Sauce". Now you might be asking (though probably not) what does this have to do with my suffering and quest for enlightenment?
Well nothing has anything to do with your suffering and quest for enlightenment so why not make it about a Beatles song? We sure involve ourselves in a million other nonsensical ideas from moment to moment imagining that my life "enjoys and includes" object permanence, causative factors influenced by my decision making, and the consequences of my carefully considered behavioral actions all aimed at perpetuating my security and perfect happiness. Right?
Let's take a quick moment to grade ourselves; think of it as a spontaneous performance evaluation that will influence your Christmas Bonus this holiday season.
Scale: ( 1 = Got This! ----> 5 = I'm Totally F'd )
May I suggest that when it comes to enlightenment, none of these self-assessments amount to anything at all so no matter what your score, Jesus loves you. The best Christmas present is to realize that it is possible to peer into and through the self-generating (not that you're doing it) nature of temporal and spatial hallucination which suggests that you were born into a homogeneous and isotropic universe existing outside of yourself (you as a body). As you contemplate the curious nature of experiencing and its apparent content (if you do) some very startling if not liberating observations can be made. This is Here for the taking, so to speak.
The promise, seeking, discovery, and fruition of what This is can be breathtaking though completely counter intuitive to our typical ways of thinking and experiencing. Come kick it around, and keep your appointment with Awake.
November 29, 2012
Enlightened people have a certain advantage, though to a fault, most will readily dismiss this perspective. It may be useful to understand both points of view as the earth's ambient temperature rises steadily in the direction of societal and life form collapse.
The reason enlightened people have an advantage is because they have become completely inebriated with the radiant nature of pure and abiding consciousness and know this fractal wonderland of WTF as themselves - thus there is no fear or bracing against unpleasant circumstances occurring to their person or body, since they have veritably transcended or seen beyond the primitive primate perspective of being a body or a mind flailing about in time.
They are easily and perhaps always immersed in the core intimacy of direct understanding that they are God - not as a willful or choice-burdened creator, but as the engine of creation, expressive dreaming, and awareness / sensorium of all permutation as a non-durational singularity.
Now this is also oddly the reason that they decline to consider their "condition" as having any advantage - at least the truly awakened subscribe to this egalitarian view. We can discard for a moment the plethora of "teachers" who espouse advantage seeking and demand devotion and cash from you for their own worldly purposes.
To reiterate this subtle view, once you realize what reality (as if there were such a thing) is, and you see firsthand that it is an infinite dreamland of inexpressibly immersive bliss as yourself; you are not going to place much investment in whether anyone else sees this miracle, for you, it's all good.
And it is all one, so whatever happens (or appears to happen) to the life forms and mother Gaia herself is simply another day at the office for reality - why not chill by the water cooler or wake down by the coffee maker and shoot the shit with the other inmates. This is a no worries universe, it’s more like a Rasta-verse.
But for the rest of us slowly cooking seekers, who have a nagging suspicion that this understanding may actually be apprehended, we want it and we want it now - at least we think we do.
The good news is you already are it, what else could you or This possibly be than what it is? The bad news is that we simply fail to see its abiding and sacred/secular nature as we are so habituated to a complexity of delusional presumptions that defy explanation or causation - so we live in fear and congestion and dysfunctional self-interest on a personal, familial, community, religious, spiritual, industrial, financial, environmental, and police-state level, to name a few.
Between now and the day you die, I would urge you to consider the adventure and moral duty to wake the phuck up, because despite what the enlightened people say (as in don't worry about it), their advice is pure shit.
As the temperature rises (please click the image link below), the Armageddon we've all been waiting for will come/has come to visit and it isn't taking any prisoners meaning you, your children, and for sure your grandchildren. The predominate condition coming to all humans (the 1% included) is baked, and I do not mean by way of marijuana legalization.
So waking up is a must-do political and survival act, it is the first and foremost revolution you and your family needs to be actively engaged in - for love's sake, truly for love's sake.
November 29, 2012
Why not have a developmental map for the awakening process? Everyone wants to know what this is, what's in store for me, how am I doing so far, what stage am I at, how soon till we get there, and are we (am I) there yet? So thanks to our friends at Waking Down in Mutuality (which I encourage you to read about, but not actually participate in) we have some nicely "abbreviated" stages to think about.
Phases of Embodied Awakening:
quantum shift of embodied awakening
Realization Part 1: Consciousness Awakening
Awareness or Presence
Realization Part 2: Embodied Awakening
Regardless of the insightful and nuanced map to / of inconceivability I like to simplify the adventure, mostly because I have a short attention span and can't keep all these spiritual directions and assertions in my head. If I may be so bold:
You are always present as This. The Inquiry into Awakening encounter / adventure aims to reveal exactly and profoundly what that feels like. Nuff said. Hope to see you this week.
November 22, 2012
I hate the love and serve everyone, we are all one, and praise the lord approaches to awakened autopoiesis, mostly because I am such a coward when it comes to love, and I cry at animal, animated, and most chick flick movies. Drowning in a pool of tear drenched sentimentality, what use am I?
So to over compensate for my wretched Scrooge-like disdain for relieving suffering I resort to various forms of complaint, proselytizing, and spiritual sarcasms to make a point. Ah, but what point is it? Does it have any redeeming quality or utility for we naked and shivering primates heading for an apocalyptic and frenzied shakedown street?
Despite the pandemic of mass delusion, conflict, division, and sorrow - we do have This. We have at our disposal the entrance to and the presence of ourselves; of this unfettered and metaphor free miracle of luminous infinitude that shines as itself no matter what you think or say or feel about it. Just because you may be inebriated with non-stop self-interest characterized by the presumption of your birth and the liturgy of preferences that bind you to a miniature view of life happening to you - still the liberated fact that all is happening in you is not deterred.
You may have noticed by now that your happiness does not lie with people, places, circumstances, or things - if you're paying attention that is. You may have turned the corner and become motivated to discover some authenticity that you can call your own without living vicariously through others' experiences or teachings or explanations or practices or anything having to do with self-improvement or spiritual accomplishments bound to time. You may have become a voracious and insatiable seeker of truth, not necessarily a good thing, just the best thing.
But now you want the fruition of your most cherished instincts about absolute freedom to become profoundly real for you, as you. That's what makes for a thrilling and nourishing Inquiry into Awakening. This is not some entertainment (though entertaining it is), this peculiar right-now is the very best intimate moment of everything your life has been aiming at up to this point - so it makes perfect sense that you would discover and inhabit absolute freedom just as This Is in this right-now moment.
Despite my cranky patina of a personality the fact is, and I am happy to say it (though Edie Brickell says it best, please click to listen), Once In A Blue Moon there comes somebody like you.
November 15, 2012
If you're lost you can look - and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you - I will be waiting
Time after time
- Cyndi Lauper
You know how sometimes you may rely on your mind or your thinking or your memory or your inner discussion to assess your life or cultivate more/better joy? Have you ever had that sinking feeling that you always come up empty, immersed in confusion, can't find an anchor for your own experience anywhere? These rich encounters may be characterized as a first hand meeting with your own existential panic. It sucks for sure, but it is a good thing.
Maybe you wonder; what organ, what gland, what force or agency do I exercise or use to fulfill my most sincere longing?
Now it may be somewhat deflating to find out that you can't exercise your will with any reliable satisfaction. It may be quite frustrating to see that you can't box your way out of a resilient paper bag whose walls are built with the profound delusions of being a person. Do you have any idea just how many false and superstitious beliefs you have about your imaginary person-hood and how many compensatory certainties you harbor to avoid the litany of emotional or psychic pain you've suffered thus far in your life? Have you ever considered that these castle walls might be prison walls?
Now what are you going to do? If you aren't prepared to cross the moat with your hands raised high and declare a full surrender, you're gonna cling to your gingerbread house surrounded by insatiable sugar addicts, and they are gobbling you up alive! Bite by bite, your carefully constructed identifications with race, gender, ethnicity, religion, social status, political convictions, health and longevity, clever insights into the Illuminati and other rapscallions, scalar energy, career, parenting skills, money, stuff, security, and all the rest are gonna be devoured by the potent and dissolving saliva of reality - better have your seat belt on! The only thing you have to look forward to is "melts in your mouth" and you're the one melting.
Fact is, not everyone is cut out for or interested in stepping outside the primate perimeter. We'd rather ignore or supplicate a god out there or up there then find out that what we truly are, time after time, is the curious funny bone of infinite divinity itself. And if you are bold enough to believe in Santa for the rest of your life you may find out that you have been waiting for yourself - good catch.
November 8, 2012
With what authority or earned conviction do you listen to your own thinking? Is your internal dialog and certainty concerning your present experience really that compelling and persuasive that you simply believe everything you are telling yourself? Is there any possibility that your unexamined presumptions and reality checks are completely misleading to the point of surreal absurdity?
If it turns out that the sense of I is nothing more than the presence of a dissociative disorder characterized by impersonal free association arising spontaneously out of nothing which appears to create a world in which you appear to be a discrete inhabitant then the story of yourself is nothing more than an instantly dissolving dream.
Since this discontinuous hallucination is not actually happening it is possible to wake up from the irritability of individuation and duration. And this recognition is what may be called liberation. Perhaps you'd like to explore it further?
November 1, 2012
No one would argue with the simply observable fact of being, the presence of sentient experiencing. The fun begins when you contemplate or observe within the whole damn family how many different explanations and stories and superstitions and holy books have been written to tell us what this is, how it began, who's responsible, and what we may expect from it during our so called lives or even after "we" die.
Once you have purchased (as in believe without careful examination) one or several of these superficial and nonsensical secular or religious rites of unmitigated fantasy - then you can begin your allotment of suffering and disappointment and presumption and control and denial and complete lack of intelligence - then repeat.
If you are lucky there is food, energy, indoor plumbing, and unbridled consumption / despair or there is chronic poverty, parasitic infestation from poor water supplies, and the indignity of over population - the basic short list.
You may be compelled to live a life framed by the unimaginably self-righteous and myopic crumbs (called opportunities) offered you by the generations of sheep that have lived before you - the suppressing and repressing thought control leaders of our political, financial, industrial, governmental, educational, familial, and religious universe.
You may, on the other hand, find yourself compelled to find a way of thinking and discovery that goes against the grain of the somnambulistic minions - and this is generally called spiritual seeking. Seeking is as seeking does, so we are going to walk the strange path right back to now - here - this, and play "Convince me, convince me not".
This is where we find some way of waking up to what's present as experiencing without overwhelming the naked streaming consciousness with metaphors, explanations, or the reflexive insistence that memory or mind has anything to do with anything; and simply pull the petals from our own miraculous lotus flower of awareness and inquiry to see what this is.
Serious and avid seekers usually have some thorough and far out ideas about the nature of realization or awakening that they have gleaned from so many adult comic books about accomplished personages from every conceivable religious background which line the shelves of their esteemed spiritual libraries accumulated over many years - and to a tee all of these expectations and carefully constructed notions are inaccurate, incomplete, over simplified and simply wrong.
In order to jump an electron orbit or several outside the primate perimeter you must refrain from filtering the miraculous through what you think you know, including the suspicious authority of your own consciousness and meaning making machine we refer to as thought.
Once we entertain, learn, and reinforce how to do this, it is possible to wake up at will, and tune your unencumbered nature to the mystery at hand rather than wallow within the all too familiar field of presumption and defensiveness called I - Me - Mine. Those silly non-dual (Advaita) snake oil salesperson's that tell you there is nothing you can do are full of shit, they just want to turn your authentic aspiration into a cash annuity for their upkeep.
As long as you keep coming to their workshops for the inoculation and repeated booster shots of spiritual powerlessness, they get the ka-ching and you get suckered into submission. Don't do it! Go to awake, go directly to awake, do not pass go and do not collect $200.
Once the storm clears, we'll schedule some firm meetings.
October 25, 2012
A few members of our informal group asked me recently, "Hey Jeff, we want some useful spiritual secrets, stuff other people don't know, we want something to do or believe in so we can get enlightened as soon as possible?" Really, no one asked me anything of the kind, but I need a lead in - even if it is a blatant lie.
So I picked up the phone, you know the one where you put your thumb by your ear and your pinky by your lips - and then simply make the call. And thankfully I was patched right through to Neale Donald Walsch; God and Oprah were busy.
So I said, "Hey Neale, I am seeking some secrets so me and my pals can make more certain and steady progress toward enlightenment, got any?" And without a moment's hesitation he says, "Yes, but I have three secrets for you, not just one - can you handle it?" And of course I reply, "Well shit yeah, I'd be an idiot to pass on these!"
And Neale proceeds to let me in on some pretty cool out-there God kind of stuff that only he would know since he has actually had conversations with God.
So without any delay because I know you're busy and you have a bunch of important matters to attend to before you perish from this earth without leaving a trace of ever having been here in the first place or having made any useful or lasting or worth reading contribution to humanity including your family or your job or your belongings or your friends or anything or anyone else for that matter simply because you don't matter and after you attend to your family of origin misgivings and insults and recovery issues maybe you come to see that you don't matter and that revelation is a benediction rather than a worrisome tragedy, so you finally give up trying to be something that someone else notices as being worthy or entitled, well then here are the secrets just as I promised without delay because they may change your life and you wouldn't want to put that off for another second let alone another lifetime or even several of those since the ultimate goal of your curious presence is to find out exactly what this is and who you are in the mysterious scheme of not-things so you can live more peacefully and joyfully with a major acts-of-compassion bank account balance that you can draw on in heaven to get more cosmic bling and not have to wait in line for the next iPhone and use the best apps to enhance the life you recently lost because now you're in heaven and you didn't even notice that you're phucking dead, but I digress...........
Note: these came directly from Neale as a most reliable mouthpiece for God, so read 'em and weep.
Secret # 1: There is no space and no between.
Secret # 2 (actually a bonus double secret, God enjoys Jeopardy!): At conception God whispers two indelible instructions into your pre-corporeal morphogenic fractal signature matrix.
Secret #2a: Have the most fun possible; you never know when I will consume your planet with fire on a whim.
Secret #2b: I will not let you rest until you find me.
Now I stop Neale right there and say, "Jesus Neale, I mean Neale Neale - those are some incredibly wonderful secrets - these can change everything, I don't know how to thank you!" And he pauses a moment, as any decent spiritual teacher might, and gives me the third secret.
Secret # 3: The first two secrets can be forgotten.
October 18, 2012
With your kind permission, please consider this fugue of introspections as rants to myself. I enjoy being able to accuse, prod, and challenge myself to spar with any gesture of awake-like gibberish that wants to take wing. So these considerations are not aimed at anyone living or deceased, they are purely for the entertainment and benefit of fictional characters. If you are indeed a fictional character, you may find something useful here. Otherwise you may discard what follows, but you already knew that.
Mood 1 -
Imagine for a moment that you don't know what this is. You’re not sure of the content of thought, the process of thinking, or who it is that appears to be conscious of either – including the very fact of your own presence.
Everything you've read or practiced to cultivate illumination are now artifacts of a dream you may have had in the past. So with nothing at all at your disposal, perhaps you can attend to what is present as experiencing, if I may call it that.
In each and every moment (though there are none) this suchness is breathing / dreaming itself into being out of nothing without a single supreme architect or author to take credit for it. Can you actually find or define any boundaries between what your senses are placing before your attention and the seat of attention itself? Are you doing this, are you responsible for sentience?
What is the presenting nature of experiencing? Is it the objects, the sense data, the movement of memory, the sense of "being" you feel yourself to be, the stories and complex associations that define your personality, or what you wish you were and what you wish you weren’t?
As long as you remain transfixed by bracing and aspiration you can only be a late-to-the-scene voyeuristic reporter about a life you aren't even living.
Perhaps you are lingering in the empty space where bracing and aspiration cease to capture your interest? You may find yourself suspended as it were without motive. We are not seeking; we are not refusing or refuting anything. The simple void efficacy of this presence is sufficiency itself; it is the self-evident texture of awake. Screw awakening; consider yourself hell bound for awake!
Mood 2 -
Congesting or occupying your hyper-mysterious and unexplainable meta-intelligence with rituals of any kind places you in psychological time and this occupation is the rooting of fantasy and durational empathy - sometimes referred to as suffering.
Think about it, once you aren’t befuddled by what this isn’t, you can then stop asserting a remedy or seeking a solution for what it’s not. Not knowing permits you to discover how motive-free and intimately infinite the basic space of inconceivability really is.
If this is immutably fluxing and beyond reach of explanation or capture or concept or self, do you have anything left? Do you still insist that you possess knowledge of worldly or extra-worldly information that is worth conveying by way of a book or a radio show with some non-dual interviewer who dispatches spiritual wisdom by having enlightened phuckers tell us all about their experience?
Your life is a holy trinity of aimless despair, and you do everything in your “power” to pretend it isn't so.
You find yourself in the midst of unmanageable and uncontrollable circumstances defined by some combination of a) getting through the day, b) aspiring to a better condition in the future, and/or c) frantically applying useless remedies for every problem that is present or imagined.
So the equation is to get to as much (“a”) or slugging through as you can while maximizing (“b”) the gravy, hoping the (“c”) remedies will somehow work in your favor. Sooner or later this frustrating and seemingly unbreakable bubble of psycho-narcissistic consumption will finally give way. But if you aren't in a pioneering mood to cross over the very delusional chasm of your own consciousness, then you remain in complaint and wanting.
Maybe at some point you just consent to this degrading condition and thus ignite your liberation. Making no effort for consciousness or experiencing to please you, you drop out of time. And what's there is what this is when all that's left of you is discovery itself.
Your permission and receptivity to transmute right here and right now must be present in your experience, and that is awake. Any effort to attain or measure this is complete madness. The collapse of the future sets you free to see what you already are. And what else could you be but this unobstructed and radiant in-your-face as-your-face reflection of your faceless-ness?
October 11, 2012
Waking up is a lot like Mission Impossible. You get a note in a cereal box to go to a phone booth under a train platform in a part of the world you've never been to and then you're instructed by a total stranger to break free of all conditioning and veritably assassinate yourself - and if you fail, well, we never knew you in the first place. Then the phone booth bursts into flames.
October 4, 2012
When we conclude or assert that we exist or things exist or circumstances exist, just what are we saying? Simple, "I am having an experience", or more accurately "it appears that experiencing is happening", but I can't say what exactly it is that's happening or to whom it is occurring. That's about it. Forrest Gump might say shit is happening and Mr. Natural might say it is some pretty weird shit.
The cellular biologists might say that the so-called five senses (themselves made of pure light) are in a stimulus / response loop and the incomprehensible neuronal matrix we call brain is having a field day organizing a cacophonous rush of sensorially and sensually raw data into a world in which I "exist" as a decision making entity enclosed in and by a bio-luminescent sheath called skin, but this is not what this is, is it? Unless you say so, then it is what you imagine it is for you, or not.
Everywhere you look, if you are looking that is, you will find sober and studied professionals (quite unlike myself) question every and all presumptions that science and religion have imposed on us, imposed on themselves since someone scratched some buffalo (or visiting extra-terrestrial) etchings on a cave wall. Time is at risk, space is at risk, subjects and objects are at risk, your cherished world views including your problems and your solutions to those problems are at risk - everything presently appearing (oops gone) in your consciousness as experiencing and interpretation is at risk.
The naked and simply observable fact of experiencing is that this has no duration, doesn't resolve to anything, is constantly leaving town at the same time it arrives, leaves no trace of itself, doesn't go away, has no author or building blocks, opens as infinity to infinity with inconceivable fractal precision, and can and will kick your ass from here to eternity with no emotion.
So if that's what you see from the mysterious and fuzzy vantage blur of your experiencing, you're not going to be a very well behaved member of the scientific or spiritual community - including the new age phukers who like to imagine that we are all one. And to them I say (and thankfully they are not listening), "Why not grill an ambidextrous Mayan at your next charcoal-free vegan barbecue for the Arcturians, or give the ascended masters a ladder and a rope so they can come down off their high unicorns and hang themselves at high (as in make hemp legal) noon!" Or something like that.
We are so drunk with Is, I Am That I Am, Om Tat Sat, Gate Gate Para Gate, and the like that we seem to forget that This is as much Isn't as it seems to be Is. What if This Isn't, then where are you? What if all and every compulsive or poetic impulse you have to make sense of radiance appearing in consciousness (more gibberish of course) simply Isn't?
Can you get a glimpse that what you call your life and your plans and personal history and aspirations for sensual or spiritual refinement are not going to come true for you, ever? And if this unpopular blasphemy goes over your head or if you disagree vehemently, that's OK too - still This Isn't. You are not going to be successful at making this a reliable or creative or satisfying Is. And if you have the gift of seeing this (even just a little bit) then your liberation is no longer in your future, then what this Is or Isn't (and it may very well be beyond both/or/and) is simply This.
You see the suffering and the end of suffering? If this is no longer some personal durational existence, egg assistance, or exit stance - then there is no room for you to be hoodwinked by the imagination that you are a separate entity at risk. Thus ends suffering, at least that's the idea. Just ask that guy (below), he knows.
September 27, 2012
At some strange juncture in your personal spiritual adventure you see that Buddhism is not something to do, it is present realization. You may be well served to practice meditation and contemplative cultivations of many kinds to favor the odds of realization, but please remember that you are after realization; not ritual, not repetition, not encyclopedic command of a body of work or its defense. You want to realize now. Yes?
The beautiful floral arrangement represented by the foundational nature of the teaching is something to behold. Simply put, we only need contemplate three observable humors:
Anicca, which refers to the inconstancy or impermanence of all things including the non-reliability of your own consciousness and the non-lasting nature of experiencing itself.
Dukkha, which refers to dissatisfaction or the inability to apprehend tranquil peace while tethered to the imagination of an independently existing self.
Anatta, which refers to the absence of a separate Self, an independently arising and experiencing entity.
Merely contemplating the delicious freedom inherent in these three observations (or we could simply go to unobscured reality itself) it may be possible to simply awaken to the nature of creation/emptiness while just relaxing on the stoop. Or we can take (which is more common of course) a strange and circuitous route including years or lifetimes of metaphors and opinions from nowhere back to nowhere, which is right here.
Something inside your curious nature must be able to shift from projection (which is fulfillment in the future once any number of things are resolved) to present understanding with no more room for or insistence on delay or deferral or explanation or what if's or what about's. As I mentioned, Buddhism is not something to do, it is present realization.
Having recently attended a local Sangha to enjoy some meditation and sharing, I was dismayed (quite typical for my restless and presumptuous nature) to find that the quality of investigation was rather superficial and rushed and frequently referred to more and better compassion as some lame refrain of attainment or behavioral carrot-on-a-stick self-improvement as the necessary pre-enlightenment plateau.
In other words, no one seemed at all interested or prepared to shift from projection (a common ailment of primates and practicing Buddhists) to realization. And as if that wasn't heart breaking enough, they defended their view with all sorts of clever derailments and objections to the present fact of being espoused by the very religion that they practice. One guy said that the Buddha was one of the most accomplished meditators of his day, as if he was there or read the papers, or got a hold of the race card to bet on the Buddha perfecta in the ninth so he could reel in a big purse!
Contrary to popular misunderstanding, Buddhism has little to do with meditation and everything to do with realization. And then he went on to report that while other meditators (of the day) had had enviable accomplishments in their own right the Buddha himself derided their realizations because they had nothing or little to do with alleviating suffering - which reads as insufficient compassion. Now tell me something; some 2,000 years after the master meditator got the goodies under the tree - just how successful was he at alleviating suffering?
You can line them all up - all the big purveyors and gnostic genesis-istic revelators that spawned the world's major religions (we don't talk about "M" to avoid those nuisance fatwas) - how would you grade them if their single objective was to alleviate human suffering. How about a big "F" - no one graduates, back to study hall, take a summer refresher course and try again next year.
Now as much as I like to expose frivolous thinking (everyone else's of course) the real banana here is how about waking up now? How about we stop playing Buddhist Peek-a-Boo and go to the root of the realization which doesn't require a compassion deposit or any other credential whatsoever? That's the invitation, that's the inquiry, that's the awakening.
September 20, 2012
You might have the sneaking suspicion that the human condition (as in a species evolved on a water-logged sphere breathing invisible gases on average 21,600 times per day) isn't doing such a great job of cultivating sustainability or cooperation. No indeed, we are so primitive when it comes to partying that for some strange reason we find time for arguments and organized pageants of homicidal self-inflicted violence than we do for dancing in the streets.
If you explored the sheer wonderment surrounding what kind of lottery odds there would have to be for all 7+ billion of we bacterially infested symbiont's to be here at the same time in the same biosphere some 14 billion years into God's manifestation bender - your jaw would drop and you'd be beside yourself in love with every creature present and accounted for. But that natural ecstasy isn't getting any play, no momentum, not in the news.
So you might conclude that something else is afoot, lurking in the shadows of our collective and morphogenic consciousness. Why is facebook such a dopamine rush, why is our mutational impulse toward trans-human holo-intelligence becoming derailed by false prophets of telepathy such as cell phones and the delayed real-time appearance of pseudo-anonymous TCP/IP voyeuristic and vicarious news posts made on facebook?
How many times in a day do you just stop the train of fevered imagination and wonder what this really is? Wonder what exactly experiencing is? Wonder about the root of being and the nature of your immediate experience when you don't have an answer or an explanation or an opinion, when you really don't know what this is?
J. Krishnamurti was outspoken when it came to abiding intelligence. He is worth reading. At the end of his life he wondered aloud in his talks and writings about what would happen to us when artificial intelligence met up with bio-engineering. These musings were cautionary, not just sport thinking.
If you make time for everything else other than the sublimity of this present mystery, your present will be your future. As a species we have failed thus far to elevate the full spectrum of all present creatures into such a field of abundance that our mere sufficiency would permit ecstatic contemplation of our eternal and non-lasting uninterrupted nature. Is it worth looking into?
September 13, 2012
A dear friend had a marvel-icious spiritual experience the other day, I hope you have sniffed out the trouble already - but I'll just convey the event. He lives in a beautiful place on a magical property dripping with renewal and sprites and gratitude's from nature. So naturally he has the good & god sense to chill out from the world of busy-busy and immerse himself in the gifts of his surroundings.
So imagine, if you will, a typical North East overly humid late summer day offering some relief with a canvass of swirling blue-grey clouds, a storm warning breeze, a summer-long warmed pond, and sheets of cooling rain falling so hard it sounds more like crystals falling on crystals, than rain on a lake. He is sitting in this baptismal body of water and becomes immersed in the entirety. His mind goes, time goes, obligations go, the story of self goes, planning and assessment go. All becomes crystals, all becomes revelation and immersion in unencumbered wonder - your basic "god rocks" encounter.
Then a blue gill bites him in the belly with a sharp lipped ferocity that startles his consciousness out of grace, and now his heaven-sent reverie is gone and won't return. Yet another appointment with the divine has been derailed by a creature of the divine, and you can appreciate the dis-appointment, the fall from grace.
If you will permit me, the question is, what happened to the Transcendence? Was the joy of being really put on hold by a friendly fish nibble? Is your awakening a product of circumstances, the right circumstances, the perfect storm of emancipation elements? Bliss in nature and the bliss of self-emptiness are the best gifts you can find, and if they are experienced in a relativistic manner (which implies an event in time occurring to me), then surely they will morph into something else. Even the Buddha knew this; he called it "Anicca" or non-permanence.
The magical meme here is to see, to have the recognition, that the gift of transcendence is a-temporal (outside of time), non-local (free from the imaginary constraints of objects in space), and beyond the measure of interpretation or duration. If the absolutely baffling miracle of being attracts your attention (which is itself), it won't be long before you shift from immersion to immolation - and you will be able to glimpse (if not abide in) this unspeakable mystery.
This is the reason (not that we need one) to Inquire into Awakening, to have the direct encounter with our own ineffability. So the next time a friend or stranger tells you to "Go Transcend Yourself!", don't delay, DO IT TODAY!.
September 6, 2012
I don't know about you, but I've been accused of having a big ego so naturally I want to know just how big it is and exactly where I might find it, just in case I may wish to shrink it somehow. So the first stop on our Ego Discovery Tour is how big should or could my ego be?
Let's say there are somewhere around 7+ billion egos on Earth, but how much ego volume can Earth support? Now this is a bit more complex than one might suspect at first glance. Recently (give or take a hundred years or so) scientists have suggested that reality is not independent of mind; mind meaning creative and non-local interference patterns accusing nothing at all of being something more than ambiguous indeterminate fuzz.
In a word (or a few more than one) reality is being understood to infer a fantastic fractal holographic non-local non-durational faster than light self-fulfilling luminosity that operates as a multidimensional phantasm of unencumbered self-awareness without an object or even a subject. Shit, even comedians know about this stuff, take Bill Hicks for example - one of his best bits follows:
.... Wouldn't you like to see a positive LSD story on the news? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition? Perhaps? Wouldn't that be interesting? Just for once?
"Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration – that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There's no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we're the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather." ....
So just for fun let's say your ego was as big Earth itself, "Wow," you might exclaim, "I am an über egomaniac with no hope for spiritual redemption!" But please do not dismay - this short video will help you to see just how truly insignificant your planet sized ego really is - Ego as Big as Earth.
With that settled, let turn our attention to the second stop on our Ego Discovery Tour, "Where oh where has my ego gone, oh where, oh where can it be..." This is an equally baffling question seeing how a simple sample of 3 neurons / brain cells can look startlingly like an evolved universe; can you tell which one is which? So is your ego in the brain or in the entire universe?
Thanks to the strange and revelatory observation that all form can be understood as spiraling fractals of incomprehensible replication we can turn our attention to another lovely video presentation to answer the question, "Where is my ego?" Imagine this beautiful landscape to be the space between your ears, can you see where your ego is hiding? Ego Peek-a-boo.
All aboard that's coming aboard, the third stop on our Ego Discovery Tour is about to leave the station. Let's say the macrocosm mirrors the microcosm, let's be bolder still and say they are an unbounded unicity having no discernible differentiation. Then it might be possible that your ego is so small it actually defies measurement, so small that it doesn't even exist! Maybe it is merely a ghost of the graininess of space.
From an article about proof (in the data of the gravitational wave detector GEO600) of a holographic Universe:
"The smallest possible fraction of distance is called the 'Planck length" by physicists. Its value is 1.6 x 10-35 m (or .000000000000000000000000000000000016 meters) – this is impossible to measure by itself. Established physical theories cease to function at this scale." This suggests that your ego fails to function (or be real) at this scale.
Maybe it's true that who, what, where, how, and why you think reality is is nothing but the graininess of space? The evidence against your discrete existence is mounting - be afraid, be very afraid.
August 30, 2012
Why do you imagine humans are interested in transcendence? Pardon me, I presume (not to make a "pres" out of You and Me) that this is a topic that interests you, if not, I can't fathom for the life of me why not, but hey, one aspirant's ceiling is another aspirant's floor. But really, haven't you given any thought to supreme joy, peak experience, runners high, lottery winnings, spooning with a hot human, the ultimate vacation, resting in the lap of God? Let's just say you have - not too much of a stretch.
Well then, what is the driving and urgent force within your experience that compels seeking beyond comfort or certainty to reach for an encounter with transcendence? Take a moment; it's a sweet moment........................................................
I might suggest that this delicious, if not maddening, force is transcendence itself! And what would that imply? It would imply that the active and expressive presence of transcendence is already running the show. It would imply, if you care to take it this far, that what we have here is the fulfillment of our seeking - as in now and here. Wouldn't it? It's a floor or ceiling kind of thing.
Despite the fact that reality is illogical, ambiguous, and beyond measure, it sure the phuck is right here, isn't it? And even though your mind is mad with specious presumptions about how This got Here (all of which are laughingly and lavishly incorrect) - here This is, right on time, not a minute late!
So let's keep our appointment with transcendence, OK done. I mean always done, never not done, wonderfully done, infinitely radiantly in your face done. OK?
Any questions? I sure hope so, I really do, I've got a truck load myself - see you sometime this week to kick it around.
August 23, 2012
The always present fact of absolute and unencumbered freedom is what we have here. That's all we have for sale and it's already yours, the shelves are stocked and your closets and basement and attic are overflowing with the stuff - so I'd be a fool to charge you for it and you'd be a worse fool to buy it. So the next time you shell out some good money for the next morsel of instruction or inspiration - see what it is that you imagine you are paying for.
If you reach into your psyche just a little, not too deep or we'll have to have an intervention, just a wee bit I'm asking - you may find out what you are hoping to secure or achieve. You may be able to articulate or vision what your idea of sustained joy (as good as any metaphor for awakening) is supposed to look or feel like. You'd think by now we would realize that whatever we get or experience as some spiritual realization or "We Are All One Kumbaya Party" seems to drift into memory rather quickly, leaving us with a fond story to tell, but no real capital to reply on.
And it may be a surprising and novel point of view to see that Enlightenment Sucks! It really does, and not just a little bit, but a lot. All my seeking is crap, my great yogic accomplishments are crap, my meditations are crap, my devotion is crap, my whole library is kindling - Enlightenment Sucks!
It may never occur to us that as long as the "experiencer" remains intact, so does the fundamental irritability of the fractured self and we once again seek a better experience. Having this dilemma is actually a good thing, it suggests that some sufficient degree of self-observation has occurred to make you absolutely mad with the frustration of never being able to be free of your own commentary and opinions and preferences and control and envy and apprehension; and on and on and you know what I'm talking about.
There is no answer here, there is no palliative, there is no solution - what we may be delighted to discover is the profound impersonal and timeless nature of what this already is. So the seeking becomes seeing, and the discovery is made right where you are.
August 16, 2012
It's not such a bad idea to consider one's suffering. Not that I wish to impose anything upon you or convince you of a condition that isn't already present in your experience. But if there is some pinch or restlessness for improved experience then maybe we can surf the texture and atmosphere of this profound and potentized urgency for joy, for relief from self. Maybe we can make a dent in it and see our presence in a different light.
And let's face it, such an adventure is not undertaken by everyone (at least not consciously or with verve) so there must already be some compelling inspiration to take a chance on liberation, to be available for a revelatory encounter. I'm asking, really I am - would you be willing to apply yourself to the most beloved journey of a lifetime? Are you interested in taking the journey of you, the mystery of you, the miracle of you, who knows what beauty you'll find down the velvet goldmine. (click that for Matt Alber and listen while reading this indulgent missive)
Sometimes you can just go sonorous on this shit, I mean soar with angels, break the mold on your tired thoughts, forgive everything that's not right, starting with yourself, leave your certainties and aspirations behind, dive head first and heart first into this fractal wonderland of unspeakable beauty, see this. See this, please give some of your gracious attention to what this is. I implore you, I am asking this of you. I am asking this of myself.
What you may experience is not so liberating as the fact of experiencing itself, what you conjure with language and projection is not a reflection of your true nature, please see that you know yourself without words, you know the effulgence of your magnificent being without symbols. The timeless cradle and mantle of creation is yours, unbounded and without limitation, this is not what we think it is - and the adventure we consent to take will reveal friends and teachers and wonder that will lift you into absolute autonomy.
When we give ourselves over to the symptoms and artifacts of a species lost in delusion, we lose our sovereignty by pursuing security. As and at the genesis sparkle of each moment, we are gifted with yet another full pardon from the past. We are free to feel the presence of this moment as we have no future. So the next time you remember to remember yourself, accept the invitation and allow your pretense to transmute into perfect availability and permission and imagination - after all, we are always welcome to see our presence in a different light.
August 9, 2012
My Guru is a liar, a cheat, and a thief! He said so himself, why would I doubt his candid self-appraisal? Now you might recoil with rejection of this strange admission or mumble, "I told you so." But I have been taught (as in punched in my face over and over again) to look a little deeper than my own dubious reflexes and presumptions about what's going on here, so I pondered the koan to see what he may have been alluding to, beyond my obvious and all too proud delusional disdain.
And I discovered that:
- It is true, he is a liar - he lies about the nature of delusion and nirvana to arouse my suspicion and tune my aspirations clearly.
- It is true, he is a cheat - he has cheated me out of my beleaguered certainty and unexamined world views to arouse in me an intimate encounter with radiant being itself.
- It is true, he is a thief - he has stolen my heart more deeply than I imagined was possible, and left me with the gift of no thing, no belief, and no resistance.
We may ask ourselves, "How did I get here?" (Courtesy of Talking Heads, a must see YouTube.)
And we may ask ourselves
What is that beautiful house?
And we may ask ourselves
Where does that highway go?
And we may ask ourselves
Am I right?...Am I wrong?
And we may tell ourselves
MY GOD!...WHAT HAVE I DONE?
Well here's the lesson, if we can appreciate life as lesson. Don't waste another moment imagining you know what this is, imagining that you know who or what you are, or insisting that there is an experiencer here - or you may find yourself at some dear and profound moment in your hallucinating life pleading out loud, MY GOD!...WHAT HAVE I DONE?
August 2, 2012
I dreamed about standing in the center of the award podium, tears streaming down my face, listening rapturously to the National Anthem. Rockets, bombs, flag worship, the free and the brave. And as I bowed in reverence to my accomplishments and the big golden coin was draped over my neck, it struck me that I hadn't done anything, not one damn thing!
No training, no sweaty days at the gym, no sacrifices, no coach, no supportive family members or bake sales, no endorsements, no celebrity - nothing. I haven't done a damn thing with my life to inspire anyone to take notice of me, put my face on a cereal box, talk about me at the office water cooler. Nope, not a thing; I am just one of seven or so billion that don't count, that will make no mark on society, whose lives will go completely unnoticed - what a blessing.
There is a profound seduction at hand; the siren song of self-importance, the opéra bouffe of who you think you are, belting out story after story and opinion after opinion, shouting "I exist" to the rafters, and hoping someday for thunderous applause. With all due respect to everyone dead or alive that have accomplished things, that's not our particular interest.
We want to know what this is, we want perfect freedom, we are compelled to deal with the inexorable discomfort of not being from here or belonging here - we want to solve the every-person's dilemma. And for this we need look no further than our own ruby slippers, and once we start looking and that looking becomes infused with the magical nature of unfettered interest and affection, then the looking itself is the finding and neither resolves to anything one might call an accomplishment.
This simply present and profound being is what we are, what we want, and what This is. And the most fun is that everyone comes in first, everyone gets the gold!
July 26, 2012
"An estimated 38 million people spend approximately $44 billion annually on new age products and services including astrology", source StarIQ™.
"Anthony “Tony” Robbins is an American success coach, professional speaker, actor, and self-help author with an estimated net worth of $480 million dollars." source Celebrity Net Worth.
(Note: Recently several members of his 6,000 strong seminar audience burned their feet real bad walking on hot coals. If you go to a spoon bending class and can't get the hang of it, you end up with a useful spoon. If you can't focus on a 10 foot fire walk, you get burned feet. Choose your workshops carefully.)
“…starting up a yoga or Pilates studio may still be a safe bet, despite a profusion of them around the country. Revenue for this niche is expected to increase over the next five years in the U.S. by an average annual rate of 5.0% to $8.3 billion”, source Wall Street Journal.
Well, well, well, just what do we have here? Freedom is big business, really big business. Self-improvement, self-empowerment, self-enhancement, self, self, self - is there any way out of this pandemic of neurosis that doesn't cost a penny? Why is it called freedom when it costs so much? People want to know.
If you are aiming for sensual or experiential or financial improvements, I hope you invest wisely and find what you are looking for. If you are aiming for freedom (and not as the result of wealth or accumulation) then we may have to take a different tack. When we become enamored and seduced by the circumstantial content of experiencing we become perpetual slaves to lacking and insufficiency. And this simple fact is well understood by most New Age merchants, because they are lining their pockets with your consumptive compulsions for a better life.
On the other foot, it is not so out of reach to see that this incontestable fact of being is what it is, and to discover that it is not relying upon inference, abstraction, conjecture, opinion, second-hand information, will, or choice, or intention could possibly be better than any workshop you could possibly attend; and oddly enough this discovery has no price, no fee, no one profits.
When (as in how about now) you discover (and you can discover) that experiencing itself is the unabated source and fullness of this profound attribute-less vastness, then you can enjoy your breakfast cereal with your unbent spoon and rub your sweet blister-free feet at the same time! Imagine that.
July 19, 2012
What if what we call suffering, is something other? What if the common Buddhist tautology concerning suffering is just wrong? If this actuality defies causes and effects, if there is no possibility to link anything to anything - how can you make a case for suffering being the result of attraction and aversion? What if asserting some perennial wisdom worshiped for millennia actually condemned its followers to more imaginary "suffering" by imposing some useless portfolio of remedies that had to be studied, followed, implemented, or perfected over time?
Wouldn't you be interested and/or willing to discard spiritual misrepresentations so you could discover what is true about the nature of experiencing? Without being too mystical let's take a simple look at what's ordinarily observable.
1. If you look for or back in the past, you can't find it (it is an imagined function of memory which is mystery itself);
2. If you look for or toward the future, you can't find it (it is an imagined function of memory which is mystery itself);
3. If you presume a present it may be useful to ask yourself, just how long does the present moment last - and the simply observable discovery is that it lasts less than not at all.
Perhaps it simply dawns on us that this is a non-durational WTF that has no room, or space, or time for it to be anything other than what it is, but we can't lasso this or tie it down or successfully make anything abstract (believable) about it, including the presumption of a self that suffers. Could it be that the genesis and presence of experiencing or being is the already transcendent fact; requiring no explanation or remedy or practice?
If we discard all religious and spiritual superstitions including our most cherished presumption of being the experiencer, what might we discover? How would this look and how would this feel were we to stop living through second hand information? What if the Buddha had simply made this single utterance, he might have saved so many Buddhists from so much confusion worshiping such a shallow litany of myths for far too long? If only.
July 12, 2012
You'd think we were downright blessed just to be. You'd think that the miracle-free miracle of this presence would be sufficient for a non-stop worldwide mosh-pit flinging party to go on and on unabated till we all drop from joyful exhaustion. You'd think that if you spin around fast enough (with no warning) you could catch a glimpse of the universe constructing itself as the familiar street that you live on which was not there a moment ago, except in your memory.
You'd think this (like love and compassion have some value), or you'd think that (meditating on the "I Am" would reveal just what this is), but in all cases you're going to come up empty headed and empty handed - and that's the good news.
You may catch a glimpse of your own (as if it were yours) strange and non-volitional experiencing plasma resorting to juggling fractal information-rich data packets in order to construct the fundamental blasphemy of individuated subject-object permanence, and even this subtle observation would already be mistaken.
This fact of being is absolutely untenable, and since it perpetually dissolves though never goes away, there is no lasting moment that you can say or know anything about it from a conceptual or organizing point of view. This is perpetual and eternal, transcendent and solid, a-causal and in your face.
In this respect if there were freedom, it would already be This, just as it is - without lifting a finger to describe or discover anything. Now some of us may have a slight dilemma, because we are process and experiencing junkies - so if that is the case we can always just get loaded on God. The blackouts can't be all that bad.
July 5, 2012
This week’s musing is in appreciation for Colin Hay and his beautifully written Waiting for my Real Life to Begin.
The instant that you imagine a future, wanting becomes your closest companion. And if you notice, there has never been and there never will be a future. You'd think this observation would be perfectly clear, but I have my suspicions. What we infer as time is this non-stop effervescent bubbling of experiencing happening, we can't act in or touch what we call the past, and there is never a future - all is only and everlastingly happening now.
A small, but poignant consequence of this revelation might startle you into the insightful whammy that what you call your life is a complete fantasy of complex fractal raindrops made from mystery and memory that are asserted in the present moment. You are not your life, you have no life; there is just This self-permeating luminescent and transcendent dreaming. But maybe that is saying too much; unless we are willing to question the "evidence" of individuation, we may not be open to a new way of seeing.
If we spend our life waiting for our real life to begin (aka having a future), we are oppressed by wanting rather than liberatedly living. We may become complacent with this delusion, dwelling in perpetual expectation for a future that will never arrive. If we are lucky however, we may ask ourselves at some point, "why am I so joyless"?
June 28, 2012
One can liken awakening to learning a second language. Say you wish to study Italian. Slowly and steadily you learn the vocabulary and beautiful speech elements that permit you to become conversant and comfortable as a natural Italian speaker. Folks that have a gift for languages say that when you finally dream in your second language - it has become perfectly natural to your way of being.
And so it is with reality. We use stillness practices, metaphors, and observational elements to peer into the nature of mind, of time, of consciousness, and of experiencing itself in order to disrupt habitual patterns and presumptions about what This is, so we can see the self-transcendent nature of presence more clearly. And with each epiphany and intimate revelation we become better acquainted with the textural vocabulary and beautiful expressive elements of reality.
Reality is more than a second language though; it is this un-fragmented and inconceivable nature of being. As it comes to roost in your consciousness as your consciousness no one can predict what this unicity is going to look or feel like. The subtlety of our radiant adventure from human aspiration to trans-human understanding is itself the heart and hearth of the unencumbered sacred.
When, not if, it occurs to you that you must fulfill your appointment with awakening, your life reflects the impulses and encounters that satisfy your soul. Though there is no future, it is not too farfetched to see that your liberated destiny is calling the shots.
June 21, 2012
Placing your precious consciousness at risk is not an instinctive act, it takes a leap of self-exhaustion to consider it, and another shove from somewhere sacred to see the implications for yourself. Just for a moment, because that's all it takes to unwind your personal sovereignty, kindly consider that you don't know what experiencing is. That is a very big embrace because if you don't know what experiencing is then you can't possibly know what the subjects and objects and all manner of phenomena are either.
This majestic infinity prescribes an imposed or impostered sense of self from the pure and inconceivable nature of experiencing, out of nowhere and nothing and having no actual permanence or duration. So if we are willing to entertain the view (as it is right in front of our faces) that the very primal nature of experiencing itself is beyond abstraction, beyond sentimentality, beyond human psycho-emotional and rational frames of reference, then what we have right here is a marvel of impossibility - the ever-present sacred expression of divine WTF!
The fractal and holographic patternistic wonder of apparitional expression (including what we may typically refer to as consciousness) is entirely counterfeit in that it doesn't belong to you, has no commencement or agency or duration and remains completely unprecedented and unpredictable as a free flowing spontaneous instantaniety and you cannot ever find what it is or isn't or say anything remotely true about it.
And despite the fact that you can't reduce a non-volitional and serendipitous presence to a findable subject or object, still we seem to persist in the confidence of a separate self made of the past with a most certain future that needs to be planned for and executed to the best of our willful abilities and agendas and chosen / preferred outcomes. But it never occurs to us that there has never been and never will be a future. We miss this simple observation.
At some point we are going to become disinterested in, or better yet, profoundly irritable with our own stories and we will "consciously" seek to be free of self. We will supplicate the sacred (in whatever secular or spiritual gesture and garb) for release from self, and if we are lucky [and everyone gets lucky when the desperate destiny shows up] we will be catapulted into the fact of radiant inconceivability. Care to kick it around a bit?
June 14, 2012
Entering the Stream "Sotapanna" is a Buddhist term that refers to one who, by virtue of direct encounter with the ineffable nature of reality, becomes immersed in the view. For those of us in the West it typically means you'd better find a flexible and ritual-free support group who gets you before the cops do. As you begin to witness the consequences of your Inquiry, you may no longer behave in a convincing manner that pleases or meets the expectations of your social or professional circles. It is a good time to have acquaintances and dharma pals that are friendly toward your trans-human predilections. Or not.
While we may make fun of conventional religious convictions, including Buddhist and other exotic or New Age styles, this is no joke. This is not a game. From God's perspective it may be a Lila or play, but your life and your awakening depend on the fervor and heat that you bring to it. If you think that non-stop intimacy and ephemera are for the taking, think again, or stop thinking, not that such an act is volitional or necessary.
You don't break free from the common human delusion package without a fair amount of crazy heat (sometimes referred to as Tapasya, and I'm not talkin' about a wide variety of Spanish appetizers) and unshakable dedication to seeing what this really is. And once you begin to observe the timeless nature of phenomena with no clinging frames of reference, you are going to be a bit strange. It's not that enlightenment mitigates our suffering, it doesn't - what it erases is us!
Everything is working for you, and everything is instantly delusional, spinning the yarn of a durational and personal experience. It doesn't matter where, how, or with whom you take up the avocation to be perfectly free, it's a Nike thing, "Just Do It!"
June 6, 2012
This is some of the weirdest shit, really it is. And it really beats mindfulness, really it does.
So you think, and that's not quite true; you believe, you insist, you don't even ever question the absolutely blasphemous presumption of your own individuation - you indeed "know" that you were born into a pre-existing universe or earth plasma as a separately existing perfectly individuated experiencing consciousness inhabiting a physical body and you are tragically all alone, always have been for as long as you can remember! In fact we are deeply confused, and full of compensatory amelioration's that just don't work. Sad fact, but full of potential!
And if you've read some bathroom Buddhism, heartfelt Hinduism, cozy Catholicism, zesty zen, jubilant Judaism, pithy pathwork, or succulent self-help manuals then you know all about suffering and why / how it appears, including the remedy(s) which you may or may not apply to your spiritual journey so you can feel better about being bitterly separate. And by now if you have any sense left at all you may come to the honest conclusion that your life still sucks in oh so many ways. If it doesn't, you're out of motive, if it does, you've still got a fighting chance; and those are the self-loathing aspirants I like to hang with. Hey, like attracts like.
So here we have our experience, and that's all we have - we have no idea what or how or why it is, but we have it just the same. And wouldn't it be a wonder if we could enjoy the transcendent gift of not knowing what it is or who / how we are and had no ideas or beliefs or apprehensions or certainties or explanations or even questions about it?
What if the root presumption of being born into a world appearing outside oneself were to flip 180 degrees to see that your experience alone is, and everything (as if there were things) appears in you? Imagine (even if for a moment) that there was no individual at the center of your experience, that this is an entirety made of infinity and you can no longer find or insist upon yourself.
That's where we're going, nowhere fast - just here just now just nothing.
Let's celebrate with a song, aptly enough sung by the Crystals. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqgtsai2aKY
May 30, 2012
If you are fortunate enough to glimpse the spiritual impoverishment of bracing and control, you may discover an inner compass that can guide your aspiration to total fulfillment. You may enjoy an irrefutable view of This radiant presence as having no author, no building blocks, and no duration. You may be graced with an intuition of the entirety as the entirety with no frame of reference whatsoever. You may be gifted to see the great perfection, and thus perfect incredulity, and this is liberation; but you can't say for whom or from what.
This absolute inconceivability cannot be comprehended or apprehended or described or reduced to causation or relativistic / quantum/ string theory. No beginning or genesis or consequential paradigm is true about This. Nothing appearing in primate mind as abstract melancholia and/or temporally bound certainty can restrict or incarcerate what is not born. Though it may appear as if you possess consciousness, you are the dreaming dreamed which cannot be found.
Our hypnogogically informed neurosis boils down to a simple confounding mythos - having been led to believe "I" exist as a separative durational entity we unconsciously attempt to assert and impose self-interest upon this present mystery where nothing has happened a moment before now and by the time we opine upon what we think is happening or has happened, it is farcically and deliciously long gone.
We then "live" within the deep delusion (though not really) that satisfaction and security and all manner of affection can be (should be) accomplished by us as durational beings, though the fact of being is completely anathema to this misunderstanding. So if we are paying attention, and even if we are not, the trans-human liberation train will come to solicit and seduce us back to sobriety, and then to divinity - but not in any way we can possibly imagine.
Really, it's like Rip Tides and Teddy Bears, and you already know what I mean.
May 24, 2012
How about a little good news for a change? You are never going to heal your family of origin wounds! Your inner child will never grow up, you will not find a life of earthly satisfaction or primate driven security. Whatever process(es) you are subscribing to at present to improve your life experience as a person are doomed to failure. This doesn't mean you won't find a better parking space, or stop/curtail your substance abuse habits, or actually enjoy an adult relationship, or have a plethora of New Age epiphany's that would cause a Mayan priest to spin in her tomb. It simply means that if you are after something to happen to you in time, it won't work -and even if it does, it won't last.
At last night's meditation / Inquiry we talked a bit about the Pathwork - one of many psycho-emotional-spiritual healing modalities that describes itself as follows:
"The Pathwork is a spiritual path of self-purification and self-transformation on all levels of consciousness. It emphasizes the importance of recognizing, accepting, learning to know and ultimately transforming our Lower Self or shadow side of our nature. Pathwork helps us understand that through honest self-examination, with carefully applied tools and practices, we can overcome and remove the inner obstacles that keep us from living fully from and in our Godself, our true nature.
Pathwork also encourages us to develop a healthy, mature ego. For it is only when the ego is strengthened, and purified of its misconceptions about life and its own task, that it can look beyond itself and recognize that it is only a part-albeit a vital part-of our greater self. By using the ego to transcend itself, we are afforded a way to become fully and consciously who we are: our Real Self, our Godself."
My first impulse is where do I sign up? How much does it cost (are there discounts or a sliding scale) and how long will it take (hopefully less than a couple months) before I can find my rightful place as my Godself? But that's just me. You might have a different reaction to the promise of total fulfillment as a healthy and mature ego.
So where is the flaw, the catch, the Achilles heel of this approach? Why doesn't it work?
Well what if the base presumptions are deluded? What if there is no self requiring purification or transformation and there are no levels of consciousness? Isn't that very first assertion making quite bold assumptions about the nature of reality? Is there really a lower self as contrasted with a higher self? Is there a shadow "side" of our nature, while the other "side" faces the sun?
Once you subscribe to the notion of obstacles lurking in the depths of your semi or unconscious experience, a lot of cash passes from one hand (yours) to the spiritual authorities, just take a look at Scientology if you will. And isn't it a tad suspicious to insist on the presence or reality of ego, once strengthened (God help us) and purified of its base and childish nature that it can actually transcend itself for fun and profit?
So once we agree to the delusional ground rules of what this is and/or why we suffer and how this or that solution is going to fulfill our quest for liberation, we are stuck in the mud of confusion and the likelihood is that we will not be successful. And the simple observation is that if none of these convenient explanations are true, then the path they prescribe as a remedy cannot possibly deliver.
If you are going to reach for the gold ring (and not the one Frodo was given, just look what it did to Bilbo) then you must be willing to condense (or better yet refuse) all remedial efforts into a single insight, do not lift a finger to do anything about anything - give all your attention to discover what this is and isn't first. Now, you may come to this abandonment of solutions after you have spent a number of years and dollars to achieve perfection - and that's cool. Since nothing ever happened or could possibly happen prior to this moment, you're in good shape. Fresh start is all we have.
May 17, 2012
I like psychics, there's just something about them, I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I like it. Maybe it's because they're psychic - though I don't really know what that is. I mean let's face it, isn't it cool to get messages from the dead - maybe that's it, psychics are like facebook for the dead. We can find out what the dead are doing with their lives (no, that can't be right) - or they can see our wall and offer salient advice through mysterious means on how we can live our lives better.
I wonder why on earth (maybe not on earth exactly) dead people want to send messages of love and care and hope and well wishes from beyond the grave, don't they have anything better to do? I mean really, are we condemned to be emotionally codependent and continue to intrude on others' lives even after death? Will we ever get any rest from the vicarious strains, interests, and obligations we feel toward other people? Will we ever get any release or privacy from consciousness?
If I were dead (and I can't say with any certainty that I am not already dreaming from a sepulcher on a wind swept hill overlooking the turbulent sea from a high bluff on a stormy night with the full moon peeking through the gray swirling clouds) I would be staring lovingly into the radiant face of G-d till my flesh and bones were consumed entirely leaving no trace of mental or story-telling activity that could be of any use to anyone. I mean what's wrong with totally gone?
I don't know if you have noticed this other interesting psychic phenomena, the ever burgeoning presence of more and more ascended masters - and I'm not sure if this is a good thing or just another symptom of opportunistic channelers, healers, and guides vying for our attention, our vulnerability, and our cash. Have you ever seen the ascended master checklist? Is there a program of some kind or a certification bureau one can apply to in order to become an ascended master?
Do you get a staff (either a working team or a walking stick) and must you scour the countryside till you find a host that you can infect like a parasite or a vampire so that they can become your mouthpiece on earth and in other dimensions, like the local Walmart parking lot? As the paralyzed and myopic primate multitudes hurl themselves into a certain abyss of major collateral damage one wonders why the ascended masters and our benevolent extraterrestrial visitors can't seem to make a dent in the unavoidable consequences of too much intercourse, too much waste, too much environmental catastrophe, and so much sorrow.
I like psychics, I envy their upbeat attitudes and hopeful guidance as an antidote to my crushingly depressing observations.
Anyway, I still think awakening is the shit and you can join us this week for some interesting conversation if you can tolerate the aroma.
May 13, 2012
Inquirer: A realization came to me a few moments ago. It was the sense that I don't exist and that this is a marvelous and fascinating masquerade and charade.
So much appears totally pointless. I lost the sense of what appears and disappears.
Why am I appearing as this person in a body with a name?
Response: You're not, the consciousness (or radiant expression appearing in/as awareness) is utterly without name or form, but is very pushy never the less. It is all pointless, but since there is no point or frame of reference that can assess it, what's the point of calling it or naming it as pointless?
The root of delusional misapprehension (4 noble truths, sans the 4th one which is a waste of time - though there is no time nor nothing wasted) is that a presumed durational action figure felt as "I" can or will or should operate according to its wishes in a non-durational fractal wonderland.
Once you see through the quark's eyes, or the neutrino's eye's - as contrasted with the eye's of a born and durational me-self, the mystery cracks open to a "marvelous and fascinating masquerade".
It's never not been exactly This as it is, and since it can and does spin endlessly and profoundly into inferred though counterfeit patterns and signatures - none of that can contain or limit what This is, what you are.
The seeing of the entirety through the eyes of the entirety annihilates the imaginarium of me-self as a separately occurring durational wanker.
May 8, 2012
I received an email announcement from a local Zen Meditation Group for a Journaling workshop designed to open our hearts and minds to accomplish a better view, or some kind of pleasant and useful contemplative experience - they do this a lot in Zen. It's kind of like Do This and then This will happen, and make sure to register early (or pay at the door) for your fair share of enlightenment.
Now you might have guessed that I'm a junkie for enlightenment, which is a really really stupid drug habit to have, because you cannot find a reliable dealer anywhere and if you do find one, even after you've spent all your money jonesing for a high, you come up empty handed over and over again. And the worse part of this drug habit is that there is no Recovery Group that can help you - if you beseech your higher power all you'll get from Him-Her-It is the message to keep trying. There is no recovery from being addicted to enlightenment, only enlightenment can cure you! I repeat, this is a really really stupid drug habit to have.
So, back to the Zen workshop. According to the announcement the materials list (to bring from home) includes pens, pencils, markers, a pair of scissors, glue stick, and scotch tape. They will provide a blank journal. So I am thinking really hard on this Zen Koan - how will these materials be a vehicle for my enlightenment, how will these materials be a vehicle for my enlightenment, how will these materials be a vehicle for my enlightenment? You get the picture.
And then Kensho - it dawns on me in a flash - the secrets to Zen actualization finally revealed!
First you take the blank journal, tear out a leaf, then use your favorite writing instruments to make a sign that reads "Enlightened at Last!" Attach the sign to your forehead with the scotch tape, then the fun part. Swallow the glue stick so that it chokes your trachea and plunge the scissors into your heart before you pass out and asphyxiate!
(Disclaimer: Do not try this at home, we are trained professionals, this is for your entertainment only, not a prescription for happiness.)
See you this week for some good Inquiry, if you can get a ride from the morgue.
May 3, 2012
Engaged Awakening is admittedly a non sequitur (an inference or conclusion that does not follow from the premises or evidence). They have engaged Buddhism if you are interested, when you put your spiritual accomplishments and practice where your life is - and apply your mindfulness to help those less fortunate in your community and elsewhere. It is a worthy adventure for certain.
But engaged awakening is a bit strange, if one really had the capacity or intelligence to see the folly of run-away capitalistic constitutional and human rights violations, perhaps you might respond in an engaged manner. And we do see the Occupy movement and other symptoms of constructive response on the media landscape, but still the two party system controls the media and the votes and the money and the policies and the conscience and of course the right to take your life without restraint or due process.
“He has few constraints (except those he's internalized). No one can stop him or countermand his orders. He has a bevy of lawyers at his beck and call to explain the "legality" of his actions. And if he cares to, he can send a robot assassin to kill you, whoever you are, no matter where you may be on planet Earth. He sounds like a typical villain from a James Bond novel. You know, the kind who captures Bond, tells him his fiendish plan for dominating the planet, ties him up for some no less fiendish torture, and then leaves him behind to gum up the works. As it happens, though, he's the president of the United State, a nice guy with a charismatic wife and two lovely kids.”
- Tom Engelhardt
One might ask what the utility or purpose of waking up is - well it has none really, mostly due to the fact that it is an organically appearing trans-human gift of insight that defies comprehension. So in this light there is not really some universe or principle or species that benefits from it, as it is what this entire God dream is already. But if you are seeking (and who wouldn't) a useful prescription for why one might engage in profound discovery, here's a timely message to consider.
"The quest by a bankrupt elite in the final days of empire to accumulate greater and greater wealth is modern society’s version of primitive fetishism. This quest, as there is less and less to exploit, leads to mounting repression, increased human suffering, a collapse of infrastructure and, finally, collective death. It is the self-deluded, those on Wall Street or among the political elite, those who entertain and inform us, those who lack the capacity to question the lusts that will ensure our self-annihilation, who are held up as exemplars of intelligence, success and progress. The World Health Organization calculates that one in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum.
When the most basic elements that sustain life are reduced to a cash product, life has no intrinsic value. The extinguishing of “primitive” societies, those that were defined by animism and mysticism, those that celebrated ambiguity and mystery, those that respected the centrality of the human imagination, removed the only ideological counterweight to a self-devouring capitalist ideology."
- Chris Hedges
One must find the aspiration for awakening inside one's own consciousness as a hunger, a birth-right (though no one was born), a crazed destination from which you will never be deterred - otherwise the magical elements of animism and mysticism and ambiguity and mystery are lost or simply not engaged. In these most profound days / daze of crushing and aberrant anti-constitutional legislation which mark the twilight of a spiritually bankrupt, debt engorged, and unaccountable nation; really what's left to do?
So even though it makes no sense and is admittedly a cheap shot to arouse interest in trans-human discovery as a remedy or palliative for political and system collapse, oh well, you caught me. Awakening is not so much a gesture of personal or social revolution, it is a gesture of self-less love even though it seems for so long to be a journey of self-absorption. Hope you can join us for some Inquiry this week, whatever you imagine your motives to be.
April 27, 2012
A fighter pilot punching the throttle at Mach 2 is traveling at 1,522 miles per hour or 2,232 feet per second. Just in case something is in his way he'd better be certain it is more than 450 feet or 1.25 football fields away, otherwise he is going to impale that sucker on his nose cone needle or shred the poor soul in his scramjet. And why is that might you ask? Because at that speed of flight given the typical human reaction time of 200 milliseconds the pilot will be long gone by the time he realizes he needs to take evasive action. In other words, you need a lot of margin to cope with reality on its terms otherwise you are always and perpetually late.
And just what are you late for? How about your own life? If you are flexible enough in your inquiry to see that everything arising in conceptual mind as thought or will or responsibility or doer-ship is already past the point of inconceivable instantaneity - then what you think you are experiencing or have just experienced has already left the station, and probably without Elvis.
The fact is that you cannot possibly reflect upon or opine upon the effervescence of being with any modicum of utility because your very ruminations are artifacts or exhaust of what this actually is. Just like the Eagles sing, You are already gone!
Now this profound and liberating conundrum may confound you as long as you insist on object permanence or the presumption that you are preemptively existent and have a lot of continuing to do. But if you are willing to take a peek at your soulless soul and the maddening freedom of non-stop and never born acausal fuzzy fractal freebasing masquerading as a person, it might elicit a chuckle. And that chuckle can become a guffaw, and a good guffaw can avalanche into breathless hilarity - and that's where you find nirvana.
April 19, 2012
Few primates seem to question some very foundational hallucinatory presumptions about the nature of being, about the nature of their own miraculous consciousness and experience. Let's face it, no one knows what creation is. We have theories and "evidence" and spiritual explanations (with all due respect to the Great Turtle) of all kinds to describe and conclude and convince us that this must be a pre-emptively existing universe in which we find ourselves born to strange and generally disappointing parents.
We are fed all kinds of propaganda about the names of things, about the reliability of object permanence, about the nature of G-d and the genesis of this strange and fantastic apparitional imaginarium in which we are startled into profound dumb-foundedness if only we would permit ourselves to be so. And so we reduce the mind of G-d, which is what we are, into a life of accumulation and accomplishment based on and inspired by the mad march for personal security; hopefully to be gained some time in the future - because the present can really suck!
Well, why not give it another try? No one is stopping you from completely re-framing the pack of lies that you have been sold, the shared conformity of behavioral folly and presumption factory of our fellow human beings. Do it for G-d, do it for yourself, do it for the Great Turtle. There is no telling what you may discover.
April 12, 2012
Free will by the numbers. There are estimates that the typical human body contains upwards of 40 trillion cells. Does anyone know what 40 trillion means, I don't think so. Further, each cell is a bustling city of micro-biological activity.
This quote from medical animator David Bolinsky helps to illustrate the point - "Each of us has about 100,000 [kinesins] running around, right now, inside each one of your 100 trillion cells. So no matter how lazy you feel, you’re not really intrinsically doing nothing.”
What we refer to as consciousness, self-will, perceiving, decision and choice making are the artifacts of an incomprehensible actualized portfolio of unseen expressive micro-pulses that animate the functioning and bio-luminescent container we call human, or myself. And each of these micro-pulses are made of exactly what; photons, neutrinos, quarks, God?
What if the entirety of what we insist is our life is merely a highly pixilated animation of something or no-thing that is unavailable for comment? What if your memories and certainties and entitlements and hopes and dreams and urgency for a more-better-me is nothing more than an apparitional dream scape which appears to enjoy (or suffer) the hypnotic suggestion of object permanence and causality?
And perhaps equally disturbing if not liberating, should such blasphemous insights litter your consciousness - what becomes of you then? Don't ask me why, but we actually talk about this stuff and see what happens, hope you will join us.
April 5, 2012
You'd think that a major world religion (any of them) would be able to deliver on its promises.
- Eternal life (who in their right mind would want such a thing),
- Peace on earth (tell me about it),
- Easeful joy and daily gratitude (oh yeah, that's an epidemic),
- Fearless embrace of life's vicissitudes (once we stop complaining about just how victimized we all are),
- Acceptance of others (sure, that's coming just after we invade, destroy and genocide the folks that don't believe in our God), and
- Protect and preserve the dignity of the children (the Church may not have gotten the memo).
So if we were to apply a simple litmus test to just how well our religions have served wo-man, how would you grade them? Are you still interested in and/or relying on the founder, the sacraments, the garb and gear, the great book, the retributive temper of the Lord, the peace that surpasses all understanding, mindfulness, yoga, living food? And as you live your life or near your death (click by click) are you applying yourself diligently to your chosen path for personal salvation and the highest possible expression of unfathomable joy available to human beings? Or, like me, are you just an ambivalent slacker?
So perhaps we're living just to get through the day and earn our wage and offer some simple affection to those we have the privilege to know - and what's wrong with that? Sure enough someone is likely to attend our funeral and say, "he worked, he loved, he died. I liked him." And why shouldn't that be enough?
At some point (if it hasn't already happened) the luminescent and effervescent curiosity of awareness will come knocking on your door and ask you to come out and play. And that's when you become a miserable seeker; an insatiable and intolerable jerk for God - what a life gift!
If this unfortunate turn of events has rattled your cage, perhaps you'd like to consider drinking from the fountain of Kool Aid, called awakening - bottoms up!
March 26, 2012
What is the most sublime condition or experience you have ever had, or would wish to return to, or to happen again? What was its nature? Did it involve beauty, flow, peak experience, emotion, sentimentality, security, hallucinogenic vision, or serendipity? Was it of the nature of time as something happening to or for you? Was it a consequence of choice or will or effort or cultivation?
How would you describe the most sublime encounter with wonder or awe or expansiveness that captivated your consciousness and rendered you speechless? Did it sneak up on you, or were you waiting in some anticipation or expectation for it to occur?
When you drill all the way down to the deepest sublimity or joy that has visited you - how would you express it or share it with a friend?
This is meditation - this question that starts with miracle and penetrates miracle is a way that consciousness explores itself. We are unexplainably confronted with infinity as infinity, a roiling fractal wonderland of highly pixilated holography packaged together with the effortless vibrancy of presence which is not the result of anything nor framed by words or explanations. Just this - an untenable strangeness indeed.
That we have (this has) the dubious, but amazing capacity to interpret infinity as self is beyond words; and we take it for granted and wander about trying our best to make the best of it, all the while missing the naked fact that no one knows how or why or even if anything is happening at all - and what if it isn't?
If this primary miracle is not caused, has no duration, and is without consequences - what do you do (not that any doing is required) with yourself? Come and join us if such questions have visited you - direct encounter can be communicable.
March 23, 2012
Why, might you ask, is awakening so tough? Well, one might say, it is both impossible and right at hand.
We'll start with the easy one first - This is Awake! What else could this be? A universe of stuff, still mostly undiscovered and completely beyond explanation pouring forth as consciousness and expression at an infinite clip (referring to the quantity and variability of experience) having no duration whatsoever and relying upon the vague, unscrupulous, and ridiculous hallucination of what we refer to as memory masquerading as your life. I mean, give me a break, this is so in our face that it is a freaking miracle that we can create a world where I reside at all.
Now the more difficult part; you find yourself as experiencing (no "I - me - my" is added yet), just experiencing. And this experiencing has no manual. no study guide, no instructions or illustrations - so it is itself with absolutely no explanation at all. Next a bunch of "adult" primates that you are compelled to imprint upon for food, warmth, and attention tell you that a) you were born, and b) what the names of everything are - and you are happy to comply with and in their unbridled madness because what the phuck do you know?
So a complex set of total lies is set in motion that identifies with and frames itself in relation to pure primate fabrication; and you even justify and defend this trickery as necessary for survival, but you really don't know just who or what it is that feels justified in surviving. So now you have the building blocks of a completely imagined self occupying a completely imagined life and there is no hint remaining inside of you that this miraculous construction of abstraction is pure fantasy.
So it makes perfect sense that you want your life, not the truth - you can't handle the truth! And that is how awakening is tough, strangely more complex an explanation than how awakening is all there is!
Now if you are waiting and wishing for God to send you a life boat (as in enlightenment from the outside) to rescue you from stupidity (if not drowning) - well oddly enough you are surrounded by a veritable flotilla of seagoing vessels non-stop, the rescue squad has arrived! The key to getting in the boat is that you find yourself compelled to lean into the miracle of awake and see it (yourself) for what it really is - and this cannot be reduced to words. What you want - when it comes time in your life to want it - is direct encounter with awake. What you want is Close Encounters of the Third Kind, aliens (which is yourself) in your face. Care to talk about it and see what shows up?
March 15, 2012
At lunch today I overheard some guys talking about first understanding how one creates her/his own universe and in so doing how to control that universe. It wasn't clear exactly (mind you, I was eavesdropping from a distance while slurping soup) if they were emphasizing controlling one's experience of the already extant universe or if they were actually focusing on controlling the events/circumstances of the universe.
In their zeal to have a better experience of life (and who wouldn't want that shit) they may have missed the principal gift of the Buddha. Life sucks, it has always sucked, it always will suck - this is the First Noble truth, a near perfect interpretation from the original Pali language. The Pali were not so dissimilar from the Jews or the Irish or aspiring rock musicians, all of whom get a lot of mileage out of impenetrable despair and its deep poetic implications.
But the poignant kernel here is in the seductive nature of experiencing as an experiencer who craves for more better in a perpetual carrot-on-a-stick loop of self worship and becoming that assures the perennial and profound misunderstanding of what this really is. Craving and aversion are the bosom buddies of an entity appearing in psychological time that is “samsaracally” lost in getting a leg up on reality, to the surreal point of cultivating creative control over events and circumstances and one's own story of experiencing - thus trying over and over again to improve upon reality from a personal and loathsomely lonely point of view.
Does this make any sense to you? Do you see the circumlocutious frivolity of burning even a single calorie to improve upon the self evident nature of satcitananda - better known in fine coffee shops as being, consciousness, bliss? Really, all ye funny primates, dare to lift a single finger to improve your imagined condition and your imagined condition persists.
March 8, 2012
Despite my penchant for rambling and scrambling to make disjointed free-association appear to be premeditated and thoughtful writing, I'd like to try something on you - to see if you might pick-up what I'm putting-down.
A very simple exercise is simply to appreciate the difference (as if there is any) between knowledge that refers to memory and This presence that is without conceiving or naming or destination or time. Memory could be appreciated as the movement of thought impulse appearing in the mind (a metaphor for somewhere between your ears) that arises and is "heard" as internal dialog or discursive thinking.
Imagine a computer doing a hard drive seek for a file or URL or program launch, all is referential and of the nature of conceiving, naming, destination and time. For the primate it is the sense of becoming as a person or entity unfolding or awaiting new events to occur in the future - which is a function or symptom of memory and identification.
And on the other foot (before it slips into one's mouth) you may get a feel for the presence of awareness or experiencing in which memory and self-determination or self-entertainment is occurring. And oddly enough one can peer into this awareness and experiencing before any conceiving or naming or anticipation or future fulfillment has a chance to grab your attention and set you spinning into imagination.
So if I ask you are you present, sentient, aware - the typical answer to this would be yes of course - with no hesitation, without reference to memory, and having no story associated with simply being. And if I ask you how did you get here or what were the circumstances, decisions, or actions that led to this moment - then you would instantly do a hard drive seek to come up with a story from the annals of your memory in order to recount some apparent chronology of events and decision points that were the certain causes of this being right here and right now.
But what if those events and decision points culled from memory were not the origin or reason for this present being? What if memory of past occurrences is not connected to anything and therefore not responsible or causative of this presence (right here, right now) that you are? What if your entire portfolio of personal (or circumstantial) memories are absolutely unreliable, inaccurate, ill conceived, and completely counterfeit having no meaningful or legitimate role to play in your actual and mysterious condition?
What is this, then? What or who are you, then? If you don't know who or what you are, if you don't know what or how this is - then what? Please join us for some Inquiry and add your enthusiastic incredulity to the party. Or you can simply enjoy the rest of your life in abject unsatisfactoriness - you decide. If only we could, if only we could.
March 1, 2012
The Big Bang is a fundamentalist illusion promulgated by mind control freaks, physicists, corporations, and the Spiritual-Industrial complex for the purpose of having you remain perpetually unhappy and thus compelled to consume useless products and throw away New-Age dreams so the bastards can line their pockets with cash while they suffer the same indignities as you without knowing how or why.
You think this started, you think you were born, you think there are subjects and objects and a never ending stream of To Do's that you must get done before you die and so you remain beleaguered, befuddled, bewitched, bereft, and betwixt - and constantly dwell in the abstraction of self-determination hoping secretly (though typically forgotten) that your ship will come in someday in your future.
And you'd rather maintain and defend this profound and lonely sense of individuation in duration than get to the bottom of it and see that it just ain't necessarily so.
It ain't necessarily so
It ain't necessarily so
The t'ings dat yo' li'ble
To read in de Bible,
It ain't necessarily so.
This consciousness did not start with a Big Bang some 14 billion or whatever "years" ago. It is only right now and dreams an entirety into present awareness instantaneously which has absolutely no duration and nowhere on earth or in heaven or hell can you find who you are or what this is because its nature is that of a pristine object-free plasma of radiant ambiguity that does not quit. This is not born, and despite the transcendent and unutterable majesty of what we call the body, neither were you.
So your ship will never come in, and not because you are undeserving somehow or screwed up your life choices or made a bad relationship or financial or parking spot decision. No. Your ship will never come in because it has never left the dock, and you are already a fully stocked luxury liner dancing freely in the piano bar without limitation or want. You may be drifting in Indian seas surrounded by Pirates, or half submerged off the coast of Italy, but nothing can harm you and God wants you - dead or alive.
February 23, 2012
Let's just say (because talk is inexpensive) that Awakening is the recognition that all creation and the experiencing of this creation is of the nature of an unbounded radiant self-transcendence that cannot be reduced to words. Now any reasonable seeker might ask, show me the evidence for this grandiose and baffling soap box declaration. Let's face it, the odds are not necessarily in our favor that we might eschew the world and come to appreciate the inherency of our hyper-dimensional and profoundly luminous nature.
However, we have a few valiant and vital advantages to consider. Permit me to travel a little deeper than usual - underneath (in a manner of speaking) all thought processes and ruminations and temporal considerations we are operating at a feeling or textural experiential level. The incredible complexity and sensitivity of our bio-chemo-magneto vibrational nature is way more compelling and driving than the content of discursive thought.
Everything is actually processed by our natural and scintillating intelligence at levels more profoundly instantaneous and instinctual than word-based thought can possibly formulate or keep up with, such is the light speed of our imagining and conjuring and enjoyment of our own vibrancy.
And we are bathed in or dwell as this ambiguous and brilliant call and response harmonic 24 / 7, including an extra day in February every four years to help keep the earth's rotational rounding on time. It may be kind of obvious that thinking or strategizing our way to Awakening might not be so effective, since thinking and strategizing are merely symptomatic expressions of our already fully baked radiant nature.
So how do we come to revelation, appreciating that revelation is not conditioned or abstract or symbolic? Revelation must be This, Awakening must be This, Transcendent Understanding must be This - we can't come to it as if from some other place or some prior condition. The revelation is exactly the nature or what This already is, an unbounded radiant self-transcendence that cannot be reduced to words.
Our Inquiry is a diving board, if you're lucky the pool is deep and the water is shallow - come hang out and see this for yourself.
February 2, 2012
So what does Punxsutawney Phil have to teach us about awakening? Uh, scratch that, what was I thinking?
Well the movie had mystical elements anyway; condemned to be stuck in time for the afflictions of greed, impatience, entitlement, manipulation, frustration, bargaining, slowly transmuting into acceptance and transcendence of self, and finally release from the clock to enjoy a brand new world in a brand new way with a brand new personality gifted with love and warmth and genuine interest and concern for others' well being. A Buddhist tale if ever there was one.
You could say that awakening was indeed the theme of the film, that a day or a life or 10,00 lives might be necessary for us to occupy our true selves and learn to walk in peace, goodwill, and a blessed authenticity. And it might be possible, when it is possible, and not before then, to see that this miracle of creation is not just sufficient in each moment, but that it is a self-transcending and always renewing bliss fest that leaves no residue and suffers no anticipation or apprehension for what comes next, because it IS always next.
Somewhere along the curious yellow-brick road which may be strewn from time to time with groundhog excrement, or flying monkey (with stupid hats) poo, we are always with this brilliant and wondrous and deliciously strange companionship - and one might suggest that the gift of awakening is to discover that we are this brilliance - and that's when the hallucination of individuation ends.
We don't visit the wizard, we are the wizard, so pay no attention to that groundhog behind the curtain - I may be mixing my movie metaphors. I won't try and defend it.
January 26, 2012
If the sacred has come to visit with you, it is a gift. And I would suggest that the sacred is not all that far from here or must it overcome any considerable obstacles in order to arrive. Arriving can be a very useful metaphor; hopefully a tad more subtle than the proverbial Be Here Now or the Power of Now or How Now Brown Cow. Arriving might be expressed metaphorically (and what else do we have in the realm of language) as the cessation of becoming, the total relaxation of psychological time, freedom from the nagging and seemingly seductive habit to entertain ourselves with thought, as thought, immersed in thought.
Is it really so distant to see that the expressive entirety does not rely upon ideation or projection or word-forms to be ever present? This is ever present, and it has no author or building blocks or destination or purpose or even duration. The physicists and the mystics have seen that the constituent fractal wizardry of all permutation is no-thing. The brilliant strangeness that you may call yourself is made of no-thing apparently vibrating to the tune of some many trillion cells each one exercising immaculate, impersonal and dumbfounding intelligence at sub-molecular levels that defy comprehension.
And out of this sacred soup of cosmic brilliance a kind of hypnosis occurs that occupies our pedestrian attention (or may appear to cause our pedestrian attention) when all the while, even though there is no all and no while - this is no-thing. Is there a spiritual remedy, I mean really - is there one? One must first have to assert some presumption of knowledge or certainty concerning the nature of suffering to imagine that it can have or should have a remedy.
But what if we don't know what this, where is the tautology that can insist on anything clearly enough or long enough to have some remedy for what exactly? This is ever present, and has absolutely no story to tell - except the one that appears in your intimate imagination and drives you to personhood. The sacred is not so far away, it is one's self.
January 19, 2012
Sometimes I like to pull your chain, it is an act of affection. Sometimes I like to question "sacred cows", it is an act of suspicion. Sometimes I like to stare into space and melt into presence, and that is peace. So what would a friend wish for a friend; perfectly annihilating liberation, speechless joy, inconceivable revelation, impersonal intimacy? That's what all this Inquiry is about; dipping our feet in the water, hanging from the last branch, simply dropping into God.
Do we really have so much else to accomplish or gather and store or wait for than this dumbfounding moment that requires nothing and asks nothing from us? We spend a lifetime in anticipation of what exactly? How much experience do we think we need to stuff into our hamster cheeks before we are ready to confront eternity? If we imagine anything less than immeasurable mystery is happening right now, well imagine again.
January 12, 2012
Thursday's meeting will be very good, as they always are. But Friday, now that's a day for some kick-ass ruination. The most troubling instruction I was given by my Guru was to "Pray for Trouble, because then you'll remember God." And you can imagine my chagrin with such a discordant instruction.
Pray for trouble indeed old man, is that why I flew my silly ass into the belly of Calcutta and took 3 train rides, 2 bicycle rickshaws, a minibus and a hike along cobra infested ponds just to seek your intervention in my oh so crappy life? And this is what I have to take home!? Shit, I am truly phucked (a Pali word for esteemed).
You would imagine that the Guru and the Medicine Buddha would be all too happy to lift you from misery, but they don't, they chart the course for your ultimate ruination. And generally we are too stupid at the time to see the gift of it, to see that the medicine is really instant liberation and always has been. Oh well, there is no accounting for the length or harmonic of the slow road to awake.
Friday the 13th is called by some a day to keep your head low, be conservative in your activities, stay at home. But for we crazy pirates, it's a good day for dying.
January 5, 2012
It's a good idea to set the tone for 2012 to be the Year of My Liberation. Why not, got a better dream waiting for you somewhere else?
The key to this adventure of being the most happy is to see what reality actually is. If it is a person born and inhabiting a body, struggling with thoughts and sentiments and impulses that don't belong to you, you might want to try one of several religions that offer a support group of belief and conformity tools so you don't have to suffer alone. That's all you'll get from them.
However if you have the strange gumption to eschew religious belief and solution guides to see for yourself what this is, then liberation in 2012 becomes more of a possibility. If you don't grant yourself the gift of imagination and permission to leave your own gravitational field, how do you expect to be available to encounter the miraculous nature of being? Awakened is as Awakened does, thanks Forrest.
So in order to get started on this transcendent self-annihilation (note I didn't say self-improvement) project we'll have to have a good breakfast - the Vine & Fig is across the street from the Doylestown movie theater. We'll be sitting meditation at Pebble Hill on Sunday morning at 9 am before breakfast, if your splitting dehydrated headache will permit you to get out of bed at that hour.
Our regular consciousness crushing / uplifting program continues on Thursday, as always.
December 29, 2011
This Thursday evening is your last chance in 2011 to Awaken!
Nah, just kidding. There is really no last chance, no 2011, no 2012 (please don't tell the Mayans, it would ruin their whole calendar thing), no awakening, and nothing to do or not do that concerns you at all. So what if the so called earth revolves around the sun every 365 days (give or take a February 29th every four years) or that we have skillfully imagined increments such as years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds. Do these artificial increments really create time? Do they really assist or interfere with the unprecedented present and timeless moment that has never happened before and will never repeat?
If it were possible, what would supreme and uninterrupted happiness look and feel like? Would it include bottomless wealth; total security; freedom from all fear; freedom from self; freedom from addiction; transcendence of old age, sickness, and death; more of same to repeat forever? Do we really understand the geometry of our suffering so perfectly well that we know what the remedy is? I have my doubts.
And still restlessness, impulse, rumination, apprehension, fantasy, past-ing and future-ing go on unabated enrolling us in a near perpetual morass of dissatisfaction and pride where we often (if not always) feel trapped by our galaxy, planet, species, culture, race, gender, country, family, and worst of all - our own consciousness. If it weren't just past Christmas I might say, "Jesus Christ," (evoked sincerely, not simply in vain) "What the phuck (a Thai word for deep meditation) is going on?"
Will I ever be able to discover some abiding relief from the onslaught of opinions and intrusive bidding for my attention from others as well as myself? Can I discover what true peace is? Can I do this now?
We'd love to have you join us for a bit of discovery. And of course a New Years Blessing to all courtesy of our friendly Thai Buddhist Masters, May all beings be phucked!
And not to be outdone, a loving message from God as well, "Here's looking at you kid...................."
December 22, 2011
Jesus was born, lived in some respects an immaculate life, he became immersed in the divine as the Holy Spirit, his own Father, and as himself - the son of God. He told others about the truth of being without fear or hesitation, perhaps knowing what the consequences of his life's path would be. He was revered and adored by those that had the eyes to see who and what he was while he was alive. Perhaps a blessed few.
To many others he was a force of change and transmutation and light that they could not reckon with or permit themselves to be liberated by. The immanent and fully present Kingdom of God is not some folly, it is our own soul here and now and forever and reigneth Omnipotent.
Jesus was humiliated in more ways than we can know or appreciate, he was pierced and whipped and made to bleed, even his own Father had to bear the pain and heart-break of the crown and the spear and the cross. And Jesus himself was compelled to reach out in the midst of this grand spectacle of transcendent love to ask if the cup could be passed from him, but it could not.
So Jesus was consumed and he died for our hubris and misunderstandings. The catharsis was completed and he rose from the dead to everlasting and abundant abiding in the place of the Lord, a testimony to our own presence and inherent wonder. In this Christmas season we are encouraged to recall the path and fearlessness and emancipation of Jesus, not just to worship what was in the past, but to follow in his footsteps to fulfill our own urgency for liberation and love.
See you Thursday, maybe we can discover that divine countenance is our own true nature and Jesus' heart is none other than our own. Any takers?
December 15, 2011
This one is tough to face, but I am confident it bears some encounter. We don't trust God, we are OK with getting good stuff and welcome opportunity, but we don't really trust God. We harbor one fear after another, superficial and deep, that some gnarly shit is going to take us down. And you know the list, you sure don't need me to elucidate.
So all the while we are supplicating Angels and Mayans and UFO's (the friendly ones that don't poke your sphincter) we are deeply troubled and in a short-wave panic about our future. Isn't it the case? Aren't we seeking and using all these interventions to deal with our fear, our grief, our loss, our apprehension, our needs? Is this basic mistrust of creation and circumstances and clinging and craving all about a fundamental vulnerability and near constant lack of perceived safety for my life?
And if this is even a little bit true (it's your call), how do we come to grips with this panic and resistance and all the failed remedies we have sought to liberate ourselves from fear? Have the drugs worked, the 12-Steps worked, our trusted therapists worked, what about spiritual stuff and meditation and metta or compassion or gratitude or intentions? Have these sincere efforts set us free from fear and mistrust once and for all?
If they have, you are truly blessed - have a nice day! If they haven't maybe we need to look more deeply at our own consciousness and presumptions and identifications and rugged investment in self interest. It's up to you - if you face the beast, maybe there will be some revelation that truly serves your life. If not, well you know how that goes already.
This week the regulars are facilitating the meeting, let's put God on notice - "We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore!"
December 8, 2011
If we assert or refute then we are lost in the conveyance of concepts, we are drunk with presumptions. Being thus lost is a form of madness, though seemingly quite popular. That there is appearing as experience does not say anything about what this is, no experience at its root of unconditioned expression says one thing about itself, appearing does not insist that "I" am having this experience.
All stories and explanations and causative factors and consequences and time-bound preoccupation with events of the past or the present or the future are artifacts of thinking and misinterpretations of the fact of being. One could say that our insistence on separative being is the effortless lunacy of chronology, the seduction of duration, the fallacy of object permanence.
It is an observable fact that we don't know what this is or why it is or how it is or for what purpose under heaven it is - and its Is-ness is also strangely suspicious. Typically we are filtering or notating all unconditioned arising as happening to me, we are inebriated with self as the doer, self as the decider, self as the accomplisher, self as the chooser, self as the one at risk.
We remain tethered to a portfolio of ideation that places us in the penitentiary of constant unsatisfactoriness. And the warden is not concerned when confronted with the fact that the cells have no locks. He simply shrugs and says, "we don't need to lock down the inmates, they stay in their cells quite voluntarily, no one really wants to leave."
So what would it take for this event-driven, willful and banal primate neurosis to cease? And is that a question that interests you? I sure hope so.......
This week the inmates are facilitating the meeting, and if we're lucky, there will be an uprising.
December 1, 2011
What exactly is a word? A sound, a breathing gesture combining your teeth and your tongue and your palate, a concept, an object, a working hypothesis, a URL to a synaptic site in the energized fatty tissue between your ears? Is any word the actuality to which it refers?
And what is thinking? A stream of words appearing within your consciousness, a gaggle of complex pointers shuffling a bunch of imaginary inferences about as internal dialog? Does thinking actually connect anything to anything? Is thinking really the best use of your time? And who is it that is doing the thinking?
Perhaps it is possible for you to observe (and how, we don't exactly know) that there is no single shred of evidence for the "I". Permutation appears in consciousness as experience and you can't really say it is happening to "me". That it (or something) is happening, even though we don't and can't know what it is, is not really proof positive that it is happening to "me".
The "me" part is an artifact of language and memory, also appearing in consciousness, that is abstract only, always late, full of presumption and an imaginary sense of personal continuity. So if there is no "I" and no "me", but simply a miracle field of radiant pressure and tingle - what are the ramifications for you?
The aspirant wants to find out who she is, the yogi wants to drill all the way down to the bone on this, the shaman, magician, and alchemist are occupied with this quest and unfolding all the time. Consciousness is not a part time job - if you are afflicted with a similar bent for discovery, please come and join the Inquiry.
November 23, 2011
We will be meeting this evening in celebration of the possibility of Awakening.
At some point in this life your body will be dead, cold and lifeless - and who knows when that will be.
So while you still have some fight left, you may as well consider the best epiphany and revelation possible - and that would be to wake up - not to get lost over and over again in your imagination of individuation.
What we have here is pure God, perfectly secular and strange and totally unreliable, not to mention frustratingly ambiguous and beyond comprehension, nothing has ever happened before now, and there is and never was a future, your silly imagination and fantastic pride is totally useless and has never been attached to or responsible for anything, the impulse to become and occupy time is pure delusion; it is the certainty of continued dissatisfaction and suffering.
I don't mind if you agree or disagree, I'm not selling anything and there is nothing in any of this for me or you - but we can hang out and give thanks, to whom I don't know and for what totally escapes me.
See ya later, it will be a hoot!
Even Turkeys know this to be true................
November 17, 2011
The physicists seem to be getting closer. Not necessarily to reality, but to the observable fact that they will never be able to meaningfully map reality. Reality is not fractured or fracturable; there is no single entity anywhere in the cosmos; no one can escape reality to observe reality from some vantage point and then construct a useful abstraction or certainty or relationship having to do with reality.
Imagine Punch & Judy leaping off the puppeteer's hands and saying, "we're outta here dude - this puppet gig is over!" That's what the physicists are doing. Everyone and everything is an apparitional appearance made up of liquid infinitude without duration that will forever defy representation. This includes physicists, Mayans, Buddhists, and every imaginable extra-terrestrial visitor whether Grey or Blue or simply out for a joy ride. And most importantly it includes you, and that's where the freedom comes in.
Imagine Kermit's surprise when he learned that God's arm was all the way up his GI canal.
This is what the physicists will find, that reality's hand is up their ass all the way to the neck - and this discovery is sometimes referred to as Awakening. Come join us and move your jaw about as if you have any idea what you are saying, it's worth a chuckle all the way to Nirvana.
November 10, 2011
It doesn't take much. If once in your life you get a glimpse of your perfect self without the burden of becoming you know that time and persona are mere hallucination. Somehow you know that your memory and agendas and entertaining nature are all counterfeit. You know that the body is dreamed and that freedom is your essential nature.
This moment or two of divine rest burrows into your soul and starts replicating at the nano-psychic level, where there is no time and no space and no volume and no container. This movement of grace has the power to ignite your intelligence and open your being to unutterable simplicity.
What is inherent in all phenomena and perceiving beings is this perfect rest, this speechless wonder, the resonant harmonic nature of radiance and not self.
Sometimes we just get together and dwell in this resonance, no big deal, no appointments, just this, simply this.
November 3, 2011
The Buddha made the bold and possibly misleading suggestion in his Second Noble Truth (and you have to wonder why there were four of them, isn't one noble truth sufficient?) that "suffering is caused by desire." We-e-e-elll.. la-de-freakin'-da! (thanks to Chris Farley), did anyone ask the sage who is responsible for desire? Did everyone just presume; well I must be responsible for desire and my life sucks from suffering so I'd better get rid of this despicable desire ASAP so I can finally enjoy my life? I guess so seeing how fabulously well all the Buddhists are doing all over the world dedicating themselves to relieving suffering with such enviable results.
I mean after 2,000 + years of this gracious and "Noble" advice you'd think we'd have this suffering shit licked by now, wouldn't you? I would. I mean give any self-respecting seeker a handful of Noble Truths, an eight-fold clear-as-a-bell practical solution plan and 2,000 + years to work it out and you'd expect (like any decent middle manager) that we'd have this logistics issue solved by now - with bonuses all around! So what the fig went wrong?
Hmmm, Let's see - a) we have completely ignored the Buddha's advice, b) we tried, but the path was too vague or boring or didn't produce results fast enough so we abandoned it, c) the advice was well intentioned, but that just turned out to be another road to hell, or d) the Buddha was mistaken! And maybe there are some other possibilities that would account for a species now seven billion strong heading for the crapper after having a few thousand years (if not more) to pay attention and just do this thing!
In the 12-step rooms they say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. And you could say with some confidence that as long as we continue to approach the mystery and promise of life from the vantage point of a separately existing born creature hoping for some spiritual goodies - we are insane. And in this case the desire for total emancipation and grace is not suffering, it is perfection, it is a driving force that helps us to stop doing the same thing over and over again. It is the instinct to take a new tack and sail into an uncharted sea.
Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. Kindly join us this week (Thu and Sat evenings) to explore new ways of thinking, or abandoning thinking altogether.
October 27, 2011
So let's say you were not born and will not die. Let's say what you call your life and this earth and all phenomena which "require" your careful attention and control are not exactly what you think they are.
Let's say that this is a constantly self-transcendent and intimately expressing radiant infinitude that does not obey time or space, has absolutely no duration, and doesn't last long enough to know or say anything about itself, and if that isn't sufficiently mind altering this libidinous imaginarium cannot posses or reveal anything that could be construed as true while not also being untrue and before you even finish your thought or sentence it has already and without effort transmogrified in every and all respects into something / nothing that has ever happened before and will never happen again, and this nonstop weirdness did not begin and does not end, not to mention that all apparent apparitional extrusions appearing in consciousness as experience are inexpressibly beyond what you could possibly recognize them to be which includes the profound mystery of what you might insist is your own dubious gift of sentience.
Believe it or not, this is the First Noble truth - the Buddha (who suffered the indignity of living without a keyboard) decided, and probably for good reason, to keep the original teachings a bit more abbreviated. So he said something like "life is suffering", which may have had more to do with his displeasure about not having a keyboard than anything that could or should have been construed as relevant for the rest of humanity - but these simple misunderstandings happen all the time.
The point is (and it has already become some other point intended by someone else for some other audience) is that you have no idea what this is because no idea could possibly contain or express or aid in the understanding of what this is. Still we can come together and hash it out as a miraculous sliver of love, if you care to.
October 20, 2011
It may be useful to think of your life as a "who dun-nit?". The journey to understanding is not unlike a murder mystery - and you are the deceased.
We are surrounded by clues. Restlessness, insufficiency, control dramas, invasive and enmeshed responsibility, resistance, craving, and aversion are all marvelous clues that the killer has left at the scene of the crime. Without these we might have no reason to seek relief, we would have no urgency to discover a deeper mystery - we would be habituated and resigned to a life unexamined.
So the journey to liberate one's self from the symptoms and consequences of individuation and hallucination (as a born entity dwelling nearly 24 / 7 in the personal television sitcom or soap opera of thought that we call our life) is indeed the sacred movement of awakening. First we try and make the life impervious to this fundamental dissatisfaction and chronic uncertainty - we do this with substances, affable behaviors, accumulation, distractions, denial, deferral, and all manner of spiritual aids to get a leg up - to attract some advantage to ourselves. And thankfully this doesn't work.
So after we consume the better part of our lives with a losing strategy (and all dead-ends in the labyrinth are useful to some degree) maybe we become acquainted with a different approach. We stop trying to ameliorate or medicate the root dissatisfaction of this consciousness and take a deeper look at what it really is, and isn't. In a sense, we simply arrive and learn to contemplate the nature of consciousness on sober terms. We end the charade of trying to be a successful escape artist. Then a whole new world, which is never not here, can reveal itself to our awareness and attention.
October 13, 2011
It's time once again for the perennial chicken vs. egg investigation. Does awareness and attention arise because you were born, or are you born into awareness and attention? What's running the show here, or more aptly, who or what exactly is crossing the road and why?
You might imagine that the fact of phenomena and experience and memory and a life that you call your own are de facto evidence that you are the owner or recipient of great power, and as any Spiderman fan knows - great power is accompanied by great responsibility. There is no doubt in your mind of course that with great responsibility there must be an entity to wield this responsibility and be the enjoyer or sufferer of the consequences of how well you execute your responsibility.
Circumstances rule our consciousness and we grasp at (attempt to control and cultivate) favorable circumstances and outcomes while we recoil from (the famed aversion) anything that may harm us as a body, as a creature, or as an independently occurring self imbued with choice and decision making power. Might it be self-evident that we have no freedom and no chance of freedom as a creature consciousness living in a world as a body? It's a fairly simple test, how's it going so far?
We have become hijacked by the effervescent free-associating improvisational full time seduction of thinking, and have become acquainted with living in thinking and abstraction as ourselves. We imagine we are separately emergent and self-existing long standing persons inhabiting the body and call this strange hallucination "I".
Through fairly simple observation (which is the heart and soul of meditation) you may discover that the entirety of your life is imagined, that the actual condition of phenomena has no past, no future, and oddly enough no present that you can occupy or benefit from. The strange gifts of awareness and attention are not yours, they will not obey you.
Everything you think is an after-the-fact fractured imputation of what this really is - for some this news is liberating beyond belief, and for others this investigation is nothing other than the crazed and indulgent rantings of a delusional artifact. Is it any wonder that our Inquiry meetings are not for everyone?
October 6, 2011
We presume that thinking; an electro-magneto-chemical movement or impulse of internal dialog occurring (where, we don't know), but seemingly "listened to" (by whom, we don't know) in the space between our ears is connected to or even responsible for what we call our decisions, our will and choice, our intelligence, the very proof of our individuation.
And further we insist that I am thinking as an act of will and that I decide what to think, and what to feel, and know full well how I will respond to events or emotions or perceptions or behavior, after all I have free will to choose what my experience is and will be.
What if thinking is completely useless as the primary means or vehicle for comprehension and functionality? What if the spontaneously arising cacophony that we might call experience or my life is absolutely independent of any primate's idea of self-will and choice making? What if all impulse for behavior and experience simply expresses into awareness (as awareness) moment by moment from nowhere and has absolutely no duration, thus the inference of psychological or geo-physical or cosmological time is imaginary?
What if all apparent objects appearing in or to your consciousness are not made of anything that you can find? And what if your very consciousness is not made of anything that you can find? Do you really think or presume that stuff is made of chemicals / elements, made of molecules, made of atoms, comprised of electrons, neutrons, and protons, and then sub-atomic particles, and maybe finally neutrinos which recently have been spotted to travel faster than the speed of light?
Well it kind of begs the question, if you are made of non-solid impulses that travel faster than the speed of light, what are you doing here? You are cordially welcome to join the Inquiry and see if you can find yourself, best of luck.
September 29, 2011
So what is your take on life? Are you a Big Banger, or a Sacred Turtle-er, perhaps you believe that God is responsible for all this - but which God exactly? Did the Christian God do all this, was it the Jewish God, or maybe an Incan God, or was it the Hindus' Vishnu, the Buddhists don't believe in God so how did they get here? Perhaps their Karma had an appointment with their Dharma, so they were just spontaneously extruded from emptiness - sounds plausible.
And it is curious to note that no matter which of these powerful celebrities is truly responsible for creation they all seem to agree on one thing for sure, each of them is committed to making sure that all the creatures they painstakingly created are going to end up as a putrid plasma of anaerobic bacteria, or fertilizer as your local garden center calls it.
How did all of these Gods and Stars and Animal Elementals actually get together and come to some consensus on what creation would look and feel like and then all agree that shortly after the gift of birth, death would come? I mean wouldn't it have been the conference of a lifetime? And did they all meet at the same conference center? Who did the catering? I bet the bling and the place settings were stunning!
Isn't it just a little curious or strange that we all strut around on planet earth (3rd stone from the sun) in some tiny niche buried somewhere in the infinity of the milky way galaxy with absolutely no reliable frame of reference for anything whatsoever, and still insist that we know what this is despite every possible disappearing photonic impulse that suggests otherwise?
What is consciousness? What is sentience? What is experience? What is awareness? What is attention? What is memory? - What the frig is going on here and how do you even know that anything is happening at all, and is it really? Now that it is fall, perhaps your mind will blow away like leaves from the trees - we welcome your participation.
September 22, 2011
This isn't it, right? My life is missing something, right? I thought I was the organ grinder, but perhaps I have been the monkey all along. If I spend the rest of my life studying the nature of suffering and putting my insights and answers on the shelf, will I ever come to peace?
Have we really missed the ferry to beatitude, and been left on the wrong shore with our crappy and indignant life? Is this really as good as it gets? Am I actively interested in relieving the mirage of suffering, in freeing myself from my own incarcerating thoughts and presumptions? Have I signed onto the adventure of asking questions to penetrate the ever present mystery, or do I already know what this is, who I am, and what is happening?
If we are depending on experience to be what we want it to be, just how successful are we going to be? If I have a vital interest in undoing the rhythm and apparent solidity of myself, of the sufferer, of the center of assessment and opinion - maybe not-knowing anything can be of some service. What exactly is peace, what is the way to peace, are we actually missing peace? This conversation may attract your attention, follow your nose and feel free to join us.
September 15, 2011
Maybe you are searching for some condition, insight, or experience that is somehow better or more spiritual than the present condition, insight, or experience. If this is so then it would suggest that you truly believe that something is missing from your present experience, it would suggest that there is a "better" somewhere out there in your future.
What if this rather simple equation turns out to be the root and branches and leaves of personal suffering - what if our confusion and restless seeking is triggered by the unexamined presumption of insufficiency and lack.
Maybe it would be a good idea to turn our attention to this confounding presumption and see if it is really true, rather than work so hard to ameliorate what's wrong or fill the imaginary gap of not enough. When turning our attention to what this really is, a different vista may appear, it may be the fulfillment that you have always suspected - right here and right now. Perhaps it is indescribable joy - the Inquiry may turn out to be a revelation.
September 8, 2011
It is a privilege to participate in an Interfaith
Church, one hopes to rely upon an atmosphere of welcoming and permission that expresses a fresh and inclusive view, an atmosphere that demonstrates a willingness to value all paths and journeys toward the one un-fragmentable divine expression. In today's world (for the sake of discussion we'll have to agree that there is a today and a world) the friendly confluence of diverse points of view might help to alleviate the insularity and loneliness that many people feel. By being Interfaith we can truly practice and appreciate the religious tones, sentiments, and practices of our esteemed religious traditions, as long as no approach is called into question.
However, we may end up with a challenging issue when certain religious traditions (often the fringe and less popular ones) thrive on disrupting the comfort zones of belief and the externalization of God in order to evoke direct seeing and a profound realization that transcends rationality. Let's face it, was Jesus practicing Christianity when he fasted in the desert without a script or the Pope's blessing and traversed his own way into the heart of God? Was the Buddha practicing Buddhism when he sat under a tree all night confronting the demon Mara to win his emancipation from worldly suffering? Just how many Buddhist texts did he wave in the air and quote to assuage and conquer the skillful demon?
The Indian saint Ramakrishna was intoxicated with visions of the Divine Mother until a mendicant yogi shoved a piece of glass square into his third eye (right into his forehead between his eyebrows) so he could transcend his own condition all the way to the ineffable and inexpressible Brahmanic apogee. I'm not sure how well this strategy would work at our next Interfaith Celebration.
So you see, we can hope to practice our Interfaith commitment and welcome the didactic and history of certain traditions, but for those who wish to experiment at the fringes of conceivability and eschew personal safety for the annihilation of delusion - it is a different matter entirely. This is where what's acceptable and comfortable and affirming are simply not going to run the show, they can't, they are symptomatic of the very conformist delusion some of us wish to abandon.
So it is not a matter of disrespect or denigration to question the observable limitations of these traditions - it is the privilege of participating in an Interfaith
Church where the soul's deepest adventure and our appointment with Awakening can also thrive.
September 1, 2011
It's not possible to ameliorate or medicate or vanquish existential panic with relationships, money, spiritual experiences, a great parking spot or cool stuff. Despite the money spent on and attention given to popular New Age themes like the Secret, Law of Attraction, or the Power of Now - none of these will bring you any relief from the fundamental delusion of your own consciousness. It may be a New Earth for our good friend Eckhart all the way to the bank, but how does that help you?
The Mayans can't help you, the Incas can't help you, the Hopis can't help you, the gurus can't help you, the Buddha can't help you - I mean he's been dead for over 2,570 years, how is he supposed to help you? You can dance around the maypole (a good thing) and chant "We are All One" till the unicorns come home, but what exactly does that mean to you anyway? You can sit on a cushion and cultivate metta (indiscriminate good will) or you can tangle with tonglen (sending and taking practice) and still your anticipation and sense of entitlement will be alive and well.
The instant you effort to remedy an illusion, just what do you imagine your chances of success are? You are likely to have better odds with a Lottery Ticket than you will with spiritual accomplishment. Sometimes I wonder why this morsel of common sense seems so elusive, but not so much anymore.
Typically the well defended sense and privilege of my life and my ideas and my well crafted relief efforts will writhe with indignation and defiance as a reaction to what I might be suggesting - and that is also a good thing. The question is, are you done with methods and teachers and a bookcase full of solutions to an imaginary problem?
Might it be OK with you that there is no one and no thing out there that can help you? What if you are already (and have always been) the source and perfectly improvisational, impersonal, and non-durational expression of the entirety? What if consciousness likes to play hide and seek with itself, and tag - you're it! Now we can have some fun, only if you wish of course.
August 25, 2011
Where exactly would you turn your attention if you were interested in transcendent understanding? Are you interested in transcendent understanding? Do you harbor questions about life and happiness and self discovery and do they motivate your aspirations and pursuits? If you have been walking a path, are you satisfied with what you've learned; is there a vitality to your interests, practices, and inquiry?
After all you've read, seen, and done - has your highest aspiration been fulfilled? Do you have a highest aspiration, do you know what it is, do you share it with friends, and do you make time in your life to give it your fullest attention? In other words are we OK and sated with our present point of view, or is there some curiosity or drive to go deeper into the nature of things, the nature of one's self?
There has to be a driver or tickle already awake in your consciousness in order for there to be some interest and adventure for discovery, otherwise we meander through life dwelling in and of the world. Sobriety may be sufficient for you (and often hard won), Buddhist practice may be sufficient for you, living through the filters of presumption and certainty often accompanied by near constant insecurity may be sufficient for you, it's all good.
If however you are inclined to get to the heart of the heart of the matter, we welcome your participation in our Inquiry.
August 18, 2011
Is higher consciousness an aspiration of yours? Do you have any idea what higher or consciousness really means? To whom do the senses belong? Are they yours? Does experience belong to you?
If you are lingering in and/or navigating through the labyrinthine texture of thinking, does that inner world have anything to do with reality? When we become immersed in the psychological movement of thought streams are we really referring to ourselves, or is it perhaps some abstract and compelling dream system? Are our so called decisions really connected to anything? If reality can be said to be what actually is, are our thought patterns and abstractions (appearing in no place special) reliable at all, referring to anything at all?
Do you have a list of thoughts to think next, feelings to emote next, sensations to feel next - and does this impersonal autonomy include the constant streaming / appearance of whatever is happening within your experience right now? Do you really have even the slightest control over anything that is occurring? Seems rather suspicious when you see (or consider) that thought is merely ephemeral abstraction that has no true author - and is always after the fact of this profound immediacy which has never happened before.
What if the entirety of consciousness is doing itself and we are dreamed and incomprehensible extruded apparitions having no more self-determination than a stalk of corn? Is that a bummer and worth discarding or is it possibly liberating? It may be worth your curiosity and interest to discover what we can discover - if anything.
August 11, 2011
It's very strange (at least for a little while) to be struck with the insight that what you call your life is nothing but a fractured, misleading, and ill-conceived collection of memories and that none of them have or had anything to do with what really happened.
Our dubious capacity for observing the present is already so fully influenced by our conditioning, expectations, presumptions, transference and projection impulses, and incomprehensible filters - that it is not so inaccurate to say that we don't even know what is happening right now. And if that is seen (or entertained) how can we possibly presume that our memories of events have anything to do with anything but some form of dreamt sentimentality and self-definition?
Are you still with me? My admitted assertion here is that it is possible to see through the highly pixelated imagination that infers that we know who we are, where we are, or what this is - because the fact is is that we don't. What we insist upon as my life or my memories or my opinions and certainties is one big poof of nothing solid whatsoever.
Everything we hold dear as self or belonging to self or being influenced by self (via volition and decision trees) is 100% imagined. This is the liberating observation. Now the fun part is that you may find yourself really wanting to explore this further, keenly compelled to look into the nature of your own being - or not. So who placed the curiosity in your heart to find out what this is? Did you decide or choose to get down with the root of creation and tangle with the veil?
Let's face it, most folks (if they read this invitation at all) will consider these ideas foolish, and that's putting it kindly. So you have to be one loopy pioneer if you are going to join in a conversation that annihilates your precious ideas about what life is. I can’t imagine a more fun conversation to have.
August 4, 2011
There's a new Reality Show coming to your TV, it's called "So you think you can Realize!"
The idea for the show (conceived by some young Hollywood Buddhists) is that near seven billion contestants will compete to wake up to their true nature, however the Producers are having some trouble scouring cities all over the world to find just those specially talented and charismatic "people" that are keenly qualified to wake-up so they can eliminate those who are not. One Producer writes, "We have been interviewing hundreds of millions of "people" attempting to eliminate those without any talent and we haven't been able to find a single person that is not interested in their own supreme happiness, it's a total bummer! We may have to scrap the show."
This turns out to be bad news for reality TV, but good news in general. Every moment of every day, even though there is no time, we have a built-in "comes with" instinct for the best possible happiness. The motivator is already there, and as they say at your local office supply store, "That was easy!"
So our part in the puzzle is to find out just what supreme happiness is. Perhaps life is a bit like a maze, we start somewhere (can't say where) and run the course for decades (or lifetimes if you are into those) only to find the destination was our own already radiant and needs-free consciousness. Strange game you might say, and far be it from me to suggest otherwise.
We don't need to compete for or pine for or acquire or cultivate what this already is - we simply need to discover that it is so. Kindly join us for some scintillating and evocative conversation if it is your predilection.
July 28, 2011
Recently I received a notice that referred to an esteemed spiritual personage as being an "Expert" on a calendar that portends to say something useful about some future event or events that may be cataclysmic or species changing or represent a cosmic upheaval, maybe even usher in a new spiritual materialism that we haven't already yawned our way through.
You may be waiting with baited breath (or seeds, fuel, gold, and bullets) for the New Age to finally deliver on its promises. At this point I am so confused by all the promises made by all the merchants of the New Age that I'm not even sure what I am waiting for or how it is supposed to be so much better than what I am experiencing now.
Do I get love, money, a better parking space, higher consciousness, a more flexible body that will resist disease and last longer, more recognition for just how special I am, urgent messages from Angels, extra-terrestrials, or earth spirits, clairvoyance, gifts of channeling, more/better compassion, living from a heart space, less co-dependence, freedom from addiction, cool disembodied friends - I mean what exactly do we want from all this hopeful frivolity and so many lay-away spiritual payment schemes?
If the present moment (whatever that is) isn't the best place you've ever been, how do you expect you are going to have a better one a moment from now - it is always going to be the present moment for you till the end of time or the Mayan Calendar - whichever comes first.
So if we become really really done with all the experts and their messages and the silly reliance on what anyone else has to say about anything other than investigating and living with my own unfathomable direct experience - we may be able to turn our attention to what this really is.
No one knows anything, they can't possibly know anything; what this really is defies all advice ever given. Once you are interested in making this discovery, all knowledge and insufficiency reveal themselves to be dreaming - and then the incomprehensible comes and steals your heart away.
July 21, 2011
An esteemed teacher from Tibet has recently arrived and will be teaching on "Generating a Compassionate Heart." Sounds pretty good at first glance until you realize (if we ever do) that you've been snookered into another Buddhist mousetrap - and that can easily be another Hindu, New Age, Pleiadian, or Judeo-Christian mousetrap, not to call the Buddhists into question all by themselves.
The Buddha is in your face, in your armpits, dwelling in your navel and for sure your smelly socks that have been lying on the floor for weeks. Maybe you are wishing to discover where experience is happening and so "Generating a Compassionate Heart" makes perfect sense to you - it is a great spiritual accomplishment to have a compassionate heart, who doesn't want one?
But please tell me, where is experience not happening? Can you find that? Perhaps it would be useful to discover that what you already have is sufficient to the task of liberation? Maybe your nature, just as it is right now, is Buddha Nature - fully awake, profoundly pristine, with gobs of compassion already present within the present fact of your experience.
To cultivate something that you think you are without is delusion - it is bondage. Why on earth (not that there is one) do these esteemed and learned teachers sell such self-effacing oblivion? Is it for alms, for spreading the word, to help you?
If you are done with self-improvement and the fantasy that improving yourself will deliver some preferred result to make you happier a moment from now, come hang out and laugh it off - or you can aim your newly cultivated compassionate heart at we poor fools.
July 14, 2011
Reaching for the best possible happiness is built into the matrix of creation; it is embedded in the morphogenic field and expression of each cell, each synaptic chorus, each breath. It is perfectly understandable that we seek to fulfill the siren song of happiness within the life around us, the life within us, this very moment.
Now why is it that our most cherished predilection for happiness seems to evade us? Isn't this entire creation the animated breath of God Bliss? Isn't this miraculous expression of Source fully fulfilled freedom from fear here now? That's what the religious traditions tell us, isn't it? Aren't all religious and spiritual traditions telling us that this present and unprecedented moment is the wholeness of the Divine? What else would it be?
I mean what's the point of learning lessons on spaceship Earth if they cannot be converted or actualized into perfect fulfillment right here and right now? At some point don't you become bored and unfulfilled by "lessons" and seek to become fully autonomous and fully realized in God as God today? Or are you happy to kick the tires over and over again and hang out in one round of Samsara after another accumulating lessons for the sake of I don't know what? So we can enjoy Oprah Winfrey reruns till the Unicorns come home? I don't think so.
It takes some urgency and radical honesty and self reflection to make a demand upon your self and your consciousness and your immediate experience to get to the bottom of this present moment. It takes some wondering and noticing and permission and imagination and illumination to wake up to what this truly is. If you don't have it, if you are deferring it, if you are gleefully distracted by news and stories and self and opinions and presumptions - there is no harm and no foul.
If you have even the slightest vector of love or demand to discover your nature, come and join the Inquiry. I can promise you there will be no lesson plan.
July 7, 2011
So how many times each day do you connect with the sacred? Is it when you do yoga, or meditate, or read, or become absorbed in free cell or Popit? Do you feel a need or a compunction to reach out or reach in for divine connection, for the delicious absence of your thinking and commenting and lamenting mind?
Has your human life become sufficient and satisfactory for you? Are you sated, sane, and sanguine with your consciousness and relationship with living? Is there any suspicion or driving force within you to discover more, to reach for some higher intelligence or insight?
The awakening journey can be lit by an event, by some devotional curiosity, by a life-time of co-dependence, addictive predilection, and/or relationship dissatisfaction. The push to wonder and fulfill is organic, it is not a decision, it is a gift.
If this wondering is alive in your life and you might wish to share the Inquiry into Awakening with others smitten by the same affliction, come and hang out and see what emerges in your direct experience as we contemplate this mystery together.
June 30, 2011
If you were taking a comparative religion class or an adult education program about Truth, let's say, and you were given an assignment for a short essay on Total Freedom, what would it look like? How would you characterize or articulate Total Freedom for yourself?
What is your most intimate voice and authentic response to this question? Would you include financial security, freedom from health concerns, paying back taxes, looking and feeling your best to attract a companion, journey's to mystical places and vortexes, something to do with omniscience or omnipotence or even immortality?
If you were given a pass from God to fulfill your deepest wish for the best possible happiness in life (present and/or hereafter) what would you ask for? Would your essay include freedom from things or freedom for things? Would your essay be about your body, your self, your belongings, your wishes for others, or your spiritual aspirations?
It may be interesting to explore just who or what you think you are and what This (as in life and experience) are in the context of Total Freedom and the best possible happiness - please join us for the discovery.
June 23, 2011
Let's refer to this waking dream as our entire presumption about the nature of reality and the basic fact of experience.
In many instances (perhaps far too many) the purveyors of spiritual solutions promote co-dependence and extract money from “primates” seeking a different experience for “themselves,” and this is not liberation – it is the continuity of dreaming.
Most of us are interested in how “we” can feel better, how “we” can make a difference, how “we” can live with greater harmony and alignment with our true purpose – and all of this is counterfeit.
Once you participate in offering a primate advice on spiritual (or any other) matters – you are dreaming. Once you subscribe to a betterment program, you are dreaming. That is the principal principle to see, wanting anything from this mystery is suffering and delusion.
Liberation from delusion is tantamount with not-wanting – but not as an accomplishment or intention or affirmation (all of those belong to the dreaming primate). Liberation from delusion is otherness, it is the collapse of identification with dreaming as a separate being, it is waking up to the effortless nature of consciousness to reify and take authorship of experience, it is veritably mystical – that is the true conveyance, it cannot be sold.
June 16, 2011
What if you had free will, but discovered it was counterfeit? What if the sensorial evidence and memory that helps you "define" your experience were simply a mirage? What if your persona and the inventory of your whole life's recollection is just not so? What if you could discover that no-thing-ness is the root and delight of being, that there is nothing for "you" to accomplish or defend, that seeking some better experience could end right here and right now?
Perhaps there is something whispering to you or pressing against your presumptions. Perhaps you have some inclination to look deeply at the strange and incomprehensible nature of your own being. Perhaps you have been touched by some intelligence within you that is willing to oblige the necessity to wake up. If cliff edges and no turning back are calling your name, kindly join us for an Inquiry into Awakening this week.
June 9, 2011
If we would simply give our attention to the geometry, structure, and imagination of suffering, we would have a clear diagnosis; and with a clear diagnosis we would have an appropriate response. It's very simple really - suffering is the natural consequence of imagining ourselves to be independently existing as discrete entities inhabiting a flesh tube (that was born) experiencing duration or dwelling and existing in psychological time. This is the meat of the "me."
All apprehension and insufficiency and projection and need and hope and co-dependence are all extrusions of the base hallucination - I am a separately manifest psycho-physical person with a past and a future. Now, once you are inspired to take on the root of the impersonally arising primate indulgence, your odds for ending suffering are greatly improved.
You can of course explore the Sedona Method, Mindfulness techniques, the Four Agreements, Visualization, Angelic visitations, and hundreds of other attempts at suffering remediation, but as long as you see and feel yourself to be an entity requiring some assistance from someone or something else to be free - you are going to be disappointed over and over again.
The root of all dissatisfaction stems from the conviction that you are an independently arising durational incarnation occupying a physical body. Once that presumption is dismantled and transcended, the Angels will be asking you to help them.
So if it is your predilection to bust out of your human insistence, we can have a really fun time just waking up - because that is really all there is - total awake is the nature of This, case closed, seeking over, money saved, co-dependence free, unbroken availability, unfathomable transcendent glee. See you this week or some time in the future when you have exhausted your workshop budget.
June 2, 2011
Let's be frank, we want happy. Our souls and our cells and our minds and our entire being wants happy. Now how is it possible that we know what happy is and that we are as focused as the honey badger to acquire it? Where and when and how did this profound instinct for happy come about? Can we really describe happy, is it a formula, is it at all related to things owned, things accomplished, things relinquished, things understood?
Why do these religious authorities and experts condemn us to sinning and suffering and displeasure and unworthiness with such aplomb and conviction? One might wonder just who these exalted spiritual giants are, and where exactly (or from whom) did they get their authority from. Was it the cross, or the Bodhi tree, or the desert, or a burning bush, or some really heavy stone tablets? Isn't it a little suspicious - this whole happiness and grace and religious scripture chaos based on faith and belief and the promise of some after life or some other threat of condemnation or damnation?
We want happy, but is it really possible to acquire or own it? If you would like to look into the matter with a fresh set of eyes and attention, you may find our Inquiry discussions quite helpful - you may find a hint of happiness, you may find that there are no obstacles for anyone to circumvent or hurdles for anyone to leap over - ever.
May 26, 2011
Instead of going to Sedona for vortexes, or to see Braco for healing, or bending spoons, or cavorting with Angels - wouldn't you just like to find yourself? Wouldn't the pristine resolution of any and all spiritual adventures be discovering yourself? And what could we possibly hope to find elsewhere that isn't already fully itself, imbued with magic from radiant moment to radiant moment?
Where are we going, to see whom, to explain exactly what? And what could they possibly know that is any better or deeper or more to the point than our own natural being right here, right now? Just how many spiritual calories do we have to burn paying homage to someone or something other than our own presence?
If you are getting close to the full-on cessation of chasing awakening somewhere else, then come and hang out and be your groundless self with a few other incredulous inmates - it can be downright riotous.
May 19, 2011
I watched a great "documentary" about Crop Circles, they rock! The sacred geometry (well I guess everything is sacred geometry) is so evocative and nourishing that I can sure understand why these mysterious formations attract such sincere attention. And in case you are wondering, these organic and profound expressions are not human made, at least IMHO.
People and researchers wonder who made them, how were they made (seemingly overnight or in minutes), why are they appearing, what is the message or the meaning, etc. And it is understandable that these formations might trigger such curiosity and "spiritual" alignment - they are beautiful and intuitively provocative.
But my question here is, have looked at an artichoke lately, or peered into a glass of water, or truly encountered your bodily thirst and the quenching of that thirst? Have you considered how odd and miraculous your own experience is; the senses, the thought structure, your imagination, the mobility of consciousness, sleeping, being touched by the incomprehensible beauty of a flower or the capacity to pick your own nose?
I mean Crop Circles are fantastic, but are they really any more fantastic or strange or indescribable or data rich than any morsel of the entirety of your momentary and daily experience? Are they a better or cooler expression of the totality of creation than anything else? Do we really think we understand what is happening in "ordinary" experience that makes it matter-of-fact while Crop Circles (and other phenomena) are the act of extraterrestrial intelligence or something bigger, better, or other worldly?
If you are willing to make the time to explore the present mystery of your own unfathomable experience, you may discover something or no-thing precious and sacred right where you are sitting.
May 12, 2011
Let's apply our attention to the experience at hand. If we look at the intimate mechanism or chronology of experience we may find a root sentience or consciousness, sometimes referred to as I Am. This sense or uncontested conviction of existence lies at the root of the remainder of experience which could be said to be awareness of objects in space time, by a subject ("me") that somehow inhabits the physical body and is bounded by the vehicle of this physical body.
Some New Age folks might say that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, rather than human beings having a spiritual experience. But what if both of these orientations are inaccurate? What if the root "I Am" does not belong to anyone and is itself an apparitional dream sequence that does not and cannot exist apart from the entirety that cannot be found? What if the genesis of personal suffering is due to the misapprehension of "experience" as something happening to "me" as the unwitting owner / operator of this body / mind?
Perhaps freedom has deeper implications than improved life symptoms, or the accomplishment of mystical or spiritual assertions? What if the very root of the subject / object frame of reference occurring to this I Am is profoundly mistaken? What if all conceptualization and the art of conceiving itself are inferred and imagined? Where would you be then, what would you be made of, how could personal experience actually be appearing?
If we look, and look with fresh eyes - there is no telling what we may find.
May 5, 2011
To whom or to what is experience occurring? Is it possible experience is occurring to no one or no thing? Without the movement of memory do you know what you did five minutes ago? Who is it that is listening to or hearing thoughts, making decisions? Who or what is it that knows thinking is happening? If you look very realistically at what is called "my decision", can you see the spontaneous arising of impulse and refusal / resistance or acquiescence that occurs? Can you see how memory takes hold of the immediacy of action and claims authorship as the doer, as "I decided"?
Some meditators are motivated to transcend thoughts, wish them away, see them as clouds, get out from under the oppressive weight of imagination and projection - the engine of apprehension and psychological misery. It's as if there is an "I" who thinks, who decides, who enjoys or suffers actual (whatever that is) or imagined events and consequences. And we can't stand the near constant companionship of insecurity or the refrain of what's going to happen to me. So we turn to some form or forms of spirituality or religious ideation to medicate our psychological vulnerabilities.
And for some lucky few, an epiphany or born-again conviction fills their soul and the world is right, I envy those good folks. For the rest of us there is the seemingly long and arduous road from Perdition to Liberation. And sometimes we happen upon an opening, a possibility that we had not yet entertained or even considered. We stumble into a dimension of seeing that pierces the veil of me-self, that washes our entire capacity of awareness clean. We wake up from the inertia of imagination and discover This present beatitude in a wholly new way. We log off from memory and conviction and reason, and we are left delightfully dumbfounded by presence itself.
You are welcome to take the journey with us; maybe a few tears, maybe a few laughs, and a whole lot of This.
April 28, 2011
So what would you say is real? What would you say is the litmus test of existence? Would you say that ideas appearing in your memory or thought-stream are real, and that the objects or memories you recall exist? What is the present, how does one live in it, why would you care to, and is the present any different from the past or the imagination of the future?
Let's say you were interested in happiness or deep trust and relaxation in living. Where might you find that, when would you expect to accomplish these goals - now or sometime in the future? Maybe you want to be happier in the past. If spiritual fulfillment (whatever you imagine that to be) is something that interests you - it might be useful to explore where and when and how that is going to occur. And if we take the contemporary physicists' ideas to heart - if there is no time or space or mechanism for reality to be what it is, then "Houston, we have a problem."
Some of us have spent and are spending a lot of effort and money to accomplish some vague notion of life experience improvement that we will enjoy in the future. We live with an unresolved and near constant presumption that we should get something from (or out of) life, something that generally eludes our grasp, something that hasn't materialized for us yet. Moreover, we imagine that this getting is the result of effort, choices, self-development, spiritual practices, cleansing, purification, visits with extraordinary persons, vows, bargaining, the kind and loving intervention of Angels.
So it may be useful to ask a simple question of our honored life quest, how's it going? Have we accomplished the love and peace and confidence and fearlessness and spiritual fulfillment that we have been seeking? If your answer is yes, that is delicious; if your answer is no - perhaps we can talk it over and flip the equation to give you better odds at the craps table.
April 21, 2011
If you look for the "me", where will you find her? Just because there is sense stimulus in the so-called body, and a thought factory seemingly between the ears, and the appearance of the facility of memory and decision impulse - do all of these really add up to sufficient evidence to prove the existence of a separate doer, a separate person?
If we turn our attention to the un-deciphered and conclusion-free arising of experience that has no actual duration and appears perfectly spontaneously can we really insist upon me / myself as a genuine entity - or might it be that consciousness is using sleight of hand to make it appear as if a separate being is occupying a discrete physical flesh tube and choosing his / her fate, experience, and destiny from moment to moment?
Does it make any sense to you that the appearance and experience of psychological and emotional suffering must orient around a center, a person, the one who is at risk in some way, the one who is always trying to control the outcome of things and others' behavior? Many say there is a way of understanding that transcends the hypnotic suggestion of incarceration and insufficiency that define the person - perhaps you would like to explore the possibilities?
April 14, 2011
The spiritual seeker gets no respect. First off we don't usually ask for the curious head-slap or heart-break that starts us on the journey back to reality. And we're gullible as heck, hardly capable of discerning one teacher or teaching from another. And we're usually co-dependent to the gills, just plain boundary and relationship and self-respecting confused. What a freaking mess of a personality - and now we're "spiritual" too so it is a real witches brew!
Thankfully if we apply ourselves to the basic family of origin issues that make us delightfully nuts, and do our recovery home-work - perhaps just enough autonomous intelligence may emerge that permits us to give our attention to the root of the mystery. So now we can spend some quality time wondering about the genesis of how we came to believe that we are separate and willful beings, occupying discrete physical bodies and having the risk and complaint of insufficiency as our constant companion.
This is where the fun work begins, in this instant there is nothing that could possibly bind us or that requires healing or improvement of any kind. The very nature of awareness is unfettered, unconditioned, without story and absolutely free, and that is the discovery that shifts us from subjects in a sea of objects to the very radiant awareness itself. This discovery is at once possible because it is the primal fact, and unspeakable to boot.
April 7, 2011
The Power of Now has no power and you can't find now, even if your life depended on it. The New Earth is not new, Earth is a myth of time / space, all is without purpose and there is no such thing as spiritual evolution, except in fairy tales written to give you some sense of hope - while the author hopes you will part with your money for these solipsistic fantasies. And then keep subscribing for more shallow positivity and reinforcement that you matter and that you can and will be the enduring enjoyer of mystical experience.
The only activity (which is not a movement of effort) is to discover what this is without pre-conceived notions or expectations or hopes for a better material or spiritual future. It is possible to see that the slightest hint of existence as a persona occupying a body having the dubious gift of a mind, is a load of fantasy. And in this seeing the collapse of fantasy driven presumptions occurs, and you can't say what that is or how it feels or how you may benefit from it because it defies all description.
Knowledge of a separate self is merely the movement of infinite associations appearing in the plasma of awareness and fractured into a single subject and countless objects. This miraculous hallucination can be seen through even though there is no how or one to accomplish it. Come hang out and look at it for yourself.
March 31, 2011
What if everything you think, feel, know, decide, like, resist, bargain with, accept, avoid, suffer, and enjoy (just to name a few) are projected illusions / presumptions conjured in a spontaneous and effortless thought factory that defines your experience and constructs the "world"?
What if the nagging background field of vulnerability and insufficiency were to transmute into something inexpressible, beyond knowledge, and of the nature of your core inconceivable presence? Would you take that drug for a quick ride, or even better, would you seek to dwell in that understanding?
What if the popular New Age "we are all one" name-badge blew your mind so thoroughly that the fact of being revealed itself to you in a completely trans-human manner, leaving all delusion behind? Which pill are you into - the red one or the blue one (and I forget which is which)?
March 24, 2011
Some folks like to explore the curious waves and theater presentations that play inside their heads, inside their imagination. This theater of the absurd is always cranking out new improvisations and takes advantage or our gullibility to nudge us into one belief after another. So we construct an entire universe extruded in space and time appearing outside ourselves, and then take ourselves to be independent players on the stage, living as it were inside a body.
We are imbued with choices, decisions, discernment, perception, attraction, gratitude's, intentions, right action - all of which is possibly a complete fantasy of mind and doesn't authentically represent what is actually happening here. If we aren't aroused / troubled by suspicion, then we have become accommodated and habituated to the general condition of the entity, the person. We can of course measure our own personal degree of happiness and satisfaction with the seven billion-person view, the pride of the person.
On the other hand we may be compelled to take a break from all the concussive pressure and coercion of the collective belief beast - and take a risk to discover something completely new, completely revolutionary. What is the cost you might ask, only everything you think you know. Inconceivability has no price and better still, no utility.
March 17, 2011
So what's your most compelling crisis facing humanity today? Might it be Peak Oil, Chem Trails, Religious Fundamentalism, Corporate Influence, Conspiratorial Crimes, Industrial Animal Cruelty, Climate Instability, Control of the Media, Global Financial Risks, Natural Disasters, Predatory Priesthoods, Fascist Supremacy Movements, and/or the noise between your ears and the insatiability of your own cravings?
Maybe there is something to end-of-days predictions, and maybe not. You don't have to look too far as the photon flies (thanks to the Hubble) to see a cosmic landscape with proportions that defy imagination sporting trans-galactic events and phenomena which dwarf and complement the magical presence of our own anonymous solar experience.
It seems rather justifiable that if we "see" only through the eyes of our local surroundings and inhabit this strange creation as individuals, there is plenty of worry and instability for all, no shortages there. So perhaps our spiritual challenge is to "see" from a different perspective, a different dimension, utilizing the full bandwidth of our innate presence and full textural awareness to open a window of perception that includes everything. This is the kind of conversation that gets me out of the house and in the warm company of fellow travelers, feel free to join us. Looking deeply can be quite fascinating.
March 10, 2011
It's likely you have had a peak moment, an epiphany, or some encounter with gratitude and awe that struck you speechless and fulfilled. I wonder if such moments in your life have triggered a curiosity or personal spiritual adventure that has acted as some compass for your life's journey and relationship with living.
And if you are an avid practitioner I wonder if your spiritual portfolio of practices, acquaintances, and discoveries have brought you face to face with the same speechless encounters you have enjoyed in the past. Perhaps you are actively engaged in cultivating a deeper relationship with meditation or some form or yogic stillness practice. Maybe you just want to quiet your mind and not have to listen to so much inner apprehension.
Funny thing about awakening is that it can only happen right now and right here, and that's all we have so we're in luck. You may find something of value in entering into a conscious and participatory exploration of the nature of awakening; you may even stumble into more than your typical share of dumbfounded awareness.
March 3, 2011
We often (if not always) place ourselves as decisive and self-willed respondents operating in a fully autonomous manner at the center of what we call our experience, or our lives. We imagine into being a discrete and isolated entity familiarly referred to as me, myself or I. Maybe you have wondered if it is possible for the unexamined consciousness to dream itself into being as an independent operator; one that takes authorship or ownership of the spontaneous and impersonal arising of presence or reality.
If this kernel is followed or opens to its natural consequence, the entire structure of what we call ourselves or this world is available for reevaluation. What then is really happening if we peer into consciousness, sentience, being, thought fields, sensation, stimulus / response mechanisms, rapture, peak experience, "the flow", and other curious moments of complete and liberating incredulity?
What if this (as in all of this) is an entirety that has no author and no disparate parts? What if this is an unbroken morphically resonant fully realizable mystery? What if all of our sentient certainties are dream puffs imagined or interpreted as subjects and objects when there is / are no such thing(s)?
It may be possible, if not inevitable, that this adventure reveals a landscape that completely upends our personal view of self. It may actually be the case that we are not entities that have been born into separate bodies, and that what this truly is joyously defies any and all descriptions to the pointless point of rapture. Can't hurt to find out.
February 24, 2011
We want happy, don't we? We want security, assurances, positive feedback about our decisions, control, attention, financial sufficiency or abundance, not to be lonely, continued existence without illness, peace, love, compassion, spiritual progress, freedom to make our own choices and live the life that we may imagine might fulfill us.
And we want all this for the sake and benefit of ourselves, for our stuff, for our personal interests, for our future. And when life shows up in a way that doesn't conform to our needs, expectations, or demands - then perhaps we suffer. And we don't like it when we suffer, so we want to "do" something about it. And the loop of the fragmented and individuated self keeps repeating, the lament of the primate can be heard all over the world, it is a veritable symphony of discontent.
It appears that we are "free" to join in the chorus and lend our voices to the cacophonous rapture of the song of the earth-bound primates, the song of "this sucks" - you can imagine that our extraterrestrial friends have tuned to another station centuries (or more) ago. But what if there is another perspective, would you be interested to explore it?
Perhaps there is another tune that you might like to sing, maybe you have had enough of the all too predictable Cajun dance number, "it's-all-about-me". A few of us howling primates will get together to look into the nature of this curiously addictive dilemma and see if we can't lend some insight, some clarity, some humor to the situation. It's all about happy, so why not give it a try?
February 17, 2011
Is it OK to suggest that all spiritual and non-commercial scientific endeavors are motivated by some curious urge to look into the nature of things, to understand the fabric and condition of experience, to cultivate joy? We have this life, these activities, the wonder of creation as our playing field. We want to respond to the innate pulse and drive for relationship and togetherness and love. The question is, how do we do that? How do we value and orient our precious time toward the fulfillment of our deepest longings?
The journey of awakening could be a useful frame of reference for us to examine and attend to the most intimate gift that we have - the gift of this life, the gift of this present moment, the gift of our attention and curiosity. Once in a while it may be useful just to sit around and ask some deep questions of ourselves, it's not unlike prayer or a conscious expression of gratitude. We just want to sit around and commune with the deepest parts of ourselves, and in that process we can touch the heart of the matter, we can discover what we truly are. You may be surprised and nourished by what you find.
February 10, 2011
Once in a while an ordinary primate wakes up to her true nature just by crossing the living room to get a smoke. Not that there is a causal relationship between the nicotine parasite, or the pack of Lucky's you left in your coat pocket, or your spontaneous understanding of the whole universe, but who knows. Imagine an impulse arising from nowhere so you take the long journey out of the recliner, around the coffee table, over the newspaper stack, fake left to miss the cat, and reach over to the old leather coat lying on the floor to fetch the open pack so you can light one of those cool refreshing burnt tobacco leaf emphysema sticks that taste so good swirling hot juice down your throat, and whack - you see through unconditioned eyes!
Most of us craving for some release from the sheer repetition and predictability of our own ghastly personality take quite a few turns and some indeterminate number of adventures to break up the wall of self and entitlement that clutter up the otherwise pristine nature of our awareness. So it may appear that we apply ourselves to the task of making just enough mistakes and unsatisfactory attempts before something genuine and authentically valuable pushes its way into our consciousness. But some say that if you knock, it shall be opened unto you - just be careful not to knock with your head, try your fist for a while, or your knee, or kick the door - that sometimes helps.
February 3, 2011
Seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling are happening, but can you really say with absolute confidence to whom they are occurring? Just where did this "I" come from? On what authority and with what vital powers does this "I" claim authorship and ownership of the functioning of this bio-luminosity? Thoughts occur and there is the experience of an inner dialog or inner hearing of thoughts arising, but to whom exactly?
Let's say we're preoccupied with apprehension, projection, anticipation, fear, cringing, and resistance - over something imagined that isn't even happening. Would you call that "I", or a form of madness? And when a wave of psycho-emotional discomfort effortlessly and spontaneously arises in consciousness and is recognized, who or what is doing the suffering? "I" am?
What if the entire cosmos operates on auto pilot without an author and having no parts? Where is the precious "I" then? Say the body is "made" of cells bathed in curious fluids that are ultimately photonic and made of nothing (as the physicists suggest), where is the "I" in all this? What if you are actually a self-effulgent radiant expression of inconceivable mystery that defies any and all description, absolutely beyond harm and having no duration. What then?
January 27, 2011
It's not so easy to eschew all spiritual authority and all spiritual helpers. In fact we tend to seek them out over and over again - often shelling out good money for their psychic and other-worldly assistance. We may have to come to terms with a simple yet profound encounter - that we alone are, that our experience of life and responsibility in considering our death is our own journey to take. No one can interfere or actually intervene in this revelatory autonomy.
So what are the clues and observations you can make about your own intimate spiritual adventure that can serve to set you absolutely free from confusion and samsaric existence? What can we actually "see" with the capacity of our own direct communion which may reveal facets of our constantly unfolding inconceivable timeless nature? Are we even interested in looking?
Wouldn't it be liberating to see that we are already sufficient to the task of awakening? Wouldn't it be a happy day to recognize that our own inherent nature is already complete? Try and insist upon one single obstacle and you'll discover a dream, maybe you'll even buy a bridge - back to yourself.
January 6, 2011
Awakening is not something that happens to you. It is not an accomplishment or spiritual milestone, it has no utility. Awakening may be hinted at as the collapse or suspension of belief in your imagination. It is the absolute discontinuity of the filter of perception that we commonly refer to as the sense of personal entity. It is perfectly unconditioned and cannot be confined to memory or circumstances.
If we investigate the complexity of sorrow and accumulation, self-preservation and loneliness, entitlement and advantage seeking - we may find that the culprit of self-interest is always at the center of our motivations. It is all about me, myself and I! We burn so many psychic calories arranging for a future happiness that never comes - we quietly flog ourselves, disparage our condition, put up a good face, shelter our grief, and get lost in a thousand indulgences and distractions.
If you have become suspicious about this cyclical behavior and have experienced a yearning for some emancipation, some relief, some understanding that truly nourishes your instinct for freedom - our investigations into the nature of reality may be of some interest to you.
Awakening is the recognition by the entirety of its own and always unfettered nature, and because we are that it is possible to discover this shockingly luscious fact. Besides, you'll lose everything and gain nothing - where are you going to find a better deal?
December 30, 2010
Let's face it (or not), we may pine for and orient ourselves toward a psychologically predictable and comforting life, but you may have noticed that this approach doesn't work so well. We may intend, attract, cultivate, bargain for, and solicit the universe to act on our behalf - but you may discover that these strategies don't always (if ever) bear any fruit. Still our orientation is a kind of life-long cringing where we are secretly or outwardly praying for things to go our way, or at least not pound us into submission.
We may discover that underneath our socially acceptable patina and winning personality (and I envy you folks), there is a hint of being one big fat liar - there is that inner insecurity and vulnerability that we live with (of which we are generally unconscious) every single day. Either you cop to this or you don't. If you are willing (or gifted) to see the chronic self-aggrandizing nature of creature-hood, you may seek some release or understanding.
Maybe we are under a rather formidable hallucination called self-will, event control, emotional management, compassion, spiritual advancement, generosity, financial security, good health, and the like. Thankfully, it turns out that the conditioned human psyche is no match for the real - we are never going to be successful in managing our lives within the ambiguous, indeterminate, roiling radiant push of reality - and for a few of us, that is great news!
You are welcome to join in the madcap adventure of waking up, if you are inspired to do so. Otherwise we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Good luck with that.
December 23, 2010
After our quiet Sunday morning meditation someone said that things are always changing. You've heard this before I'm sure, but it may also be true (or observable) that nothing changes at all. Permit me to explain - in order for something (like an object, or event, or experience) to change, it has to have occurred or be occurring in the first place. It can be seen however that what we may call experience is just an after-the-fact interpretation or presumption about what is.
And that interpretation / presumption is merely a habit of word forms that are commenting upon or reporting about what has already passed. All the word forms appear in what we call mind and the sense of continuity we imagine we experience is just the movement of memory - it is actually completely unreliable, just imagined to be so. And this fantastic mechanism happens absolutely effortlessly, and one could say that it gives rise to what we presume is stuff happening, therefore always changing.
But you can just as well see it as nothing happening at all, ever - and certainly not occurring to an entity as me, myself or I! Please peer into the present moment and ask yourself, how long does the present moment last? What is the unit of measure in psychological or clock time? I would suggest that no moment has any duration; all is expressing and dissolving simultaneously as a singular strange radiant mystery.
So maybe it is true that nothing ever changes because nothing ever or could ever actually occur, this entirety defies time and certainly cannot be apprehended by a thinking process that is always late. If even a whisper of this gets you interested (or better yet confused), you may enjoy the ride this Thursday.
December 16, 2010
One funny thing about awakening is that it reveals the perfectly impersonal nature of reality. As this revelation (among many) percolates through your being other odd, but nourishing elements come into view. There may be a collapse of advantage seeking, or the cessation of the need for exotic or extroverted spiritual experiences. You don't have to go to Sedona and meander through vortexes because your own first-hand experience is that of unimpeded revelation and self-reflective wonder.
You may discover that the God or enlightenment you've been seeking is non other than yourself - it's all in the seeing. The inherent collapse of ideation and the presumption of separation can come to fruition in your daily consciousness, and these often respond to the degree of availability and interest that wells up inside you.
Our inquiry aims at discovering the unique features of what this is right now, right here - when the habit of acquiring and naming simply drift away, leaving us present and open, free from any reflex to grab or hold or become.
December 2, 2010
Perhaps you've done some reading and exploration into contemplative matters. Perhaps you want to understand what is meant by "ego"? Maybe you are serious (in a joyful way) about this curious mystery? It might be that you imagine there are places where this mystery can't go, secrets that it can't see, or that you are a separately existing entity possessing the magical gifts of self-will, decision making, and choices - amounting to so much nuisance?
What if all the psychics and healers and spiritual interventionists are mistaken about the primal nature of This Mystery? What if they have misled you? It's too late to get your money back! But, since you have no actual soul that you can call your own, it shouldn't be so hard to retrieve. When the at-your-fingertips hallucination of processing "all this" from the vantage point of an entity collapses (and it is always thus), where will you go to find your answers? Who will you pay to make it better?
The instinct for awakening comes from the ordinary life, it is right here and right now that your intuition is whispering the truth of being. Simply by agreeing to look, you will discover - and that is what we enjoy together.
November 24, 2010
Awakening is not an accomplishment; it doesn't happen to a person. If we are lucky we may be able to see the useless habit of gaining some advantage for ourselves; to enhance our experience, to be enjoyed as knowledge, to arrive at some ultimate understanding.
This unfathomable stream of Being is not dependent on our participation or approval to be what it is. We don't really need to process "This" as it is doing itself. Our curious dilemma (if we recognize it at all) is that we find ourselves processing reality through filters of language, naming, and experience which includes the constant craving / dissatisfaction of what's in it for me.
Then we go to spiritual merchants (and there are a bunch of those) to feel better about something that isn't even real. And the merchants gladly sell us a solution so we can improve spiritually or psychologically and have a better experience, when the underlying perfect and indeterminate chaos of Being hasn't even noticed our plight. You could say that God doesn't give a fig about religion, any of them. God is, while religions collect money - go figure.
So the question is, do you want "free" or the imagined continuity of your frustrated, fractured, and totally loopy self image? This adventure is not for those enviable souls who are happy with their relationship with living, it is for the strange ones amongst us who have to discover their true nature.
November 18, 2010
First off - you've got to be interested in waking up (or whatever you may wish to call it). Otherwise we're all standing in an elevator and nobody is talking or asking any questions - stone cold socially acceptable silence. So you have to be curious, interested in your own nature, inspired to discover.
And somewhere along the line you are forced to discard what others may say, what teachers teach, and special experiences you've read about. At some point you want to have (must have) your own first-hand contact with awakening within your own experience, then you are all in.
And once you are all in; you must come to terms with how your life may change as you discard the common human conundrum and aim for the highest possible happiness you can touch, the most intimate understanding that you can bear - and the fact is that this is not always pretty. But you haven't come this far to be socially acceptable or appreciated by others - your homecoming is within yourself, you step off the cliff into being.
This is the kind of gibberish we tackle in our togetherness, so please join us this Thursday & Friday evenings for a good time..........
November 12, 2010
Simply put, the presumption of creature-hood is a total myth. You may have had some direct experience(s) that revealed to you just how thin your personal reality is. If you are an adventurer you may want to find out what This is, and I mean the whole of it. Don't take your consciousness, your awareness, your certainty about anything for granted. This may turn out to be something entirely unexpected, but how will you find out if you don't look?
Our unscripted and spontaneous explorations delve into what it means to be present, aware, and free from the insistence of one's personal story. Our dialog process is aimed at exploring the obvious and subtle myths we hold about the nature of awareness, our expectations for higher consciousness, and the means at our disposal to touch inconceivability.
November 5, 2010
What we presume to be the body, mind, and spirit of an independent entity (our selves) is a rather complex set of stories - the primal fact of sensation appearing in consciousness does not insist upon or provide evidence for these conclusions. What This is ....may actually be beyond description and may defy our best attempts to reduce this presence to any package of certainty at all.
So if we are predisposed to discovering our true nature (not necessarily a common endeavor) then we may wish to look deeply at the entire portfolio of self-delusion and explore the curious clues that can assist us in the organic process of awakening. Or not.
If you have been invited to look into yourself, please come and join us for some scintillating self discovery. You may come to enjoy just how empty your mind really is.
October 14, 2010
What if this very moment was the intoxicating angel-filled highest possible intimacy with the Absolute possible and the volume is always on 10? What if the hallucination of psychological time, object permanence, and a separate ego-structure were the impediments to seeing this fact?
Would you take some time from your bowling game or favorite TV show to explore the possibility? That's what we do on these ordinary Thursday evenings - we take a look at the self-evident revelatory nature of consciousness. And if we're lucky, something beautiful might be revealed.
One other small reminder: please don't bring your personal story or experts to the table, they cannot help you to see your own true nature. It's only when the mind is completely free from conditioning and assertion, that the beatitude comes to call.
October 7, 2010
If we are inspired to consider the nature of experience, we may stumble upon some interesting observations. For example, what is the medium of experience, how would we explain or express the certainty of "knowing", how does the sense of a separate "I" come into view?
What might we say about the nature of radiance, perfect clarity, or the constant dissolution of each frame of "time" that can only hold our attention for a mere moment. What are the implications of this inquiry on the presumption of object permanence and how we frame our world view?
September 30, 2010
There is a rather simple yet mystical aspect to awakening that tends to elude most spiritually minded aspirants. If you're the kind of "person" that is interested in the puzzle and journey of awakening, you may wish to join us this and next Thursday evening to look into the mystery.
Once you have healed, intended, attracted, balanced, yoga-fied and Buddha-fied your life - and you still have some suspicion that there is something else that you're missing; you're welcome to join in the conversation that (if successful) leaves no trace of who you imagine yourself to be.
Our unscripted and spontaneous explorations delve into what it means to be present, aware, free from the insistence of one's personal story. Our dialog process is aimed at exploring the obvious and subtle myths we hold about the nature of awareness, our expectations for higher consciousness, and the means at our disposal to touch inconceivability.
September 23, 2010
It is understandably rare that someone wishes to understand awakening - the spark for it has to be lit, and that is a function of grace. The world we think we inhabit is the best damn hallucination you'll find anywhere - it's so good we don't even question it. But once in a while someone has a WTF moment - and once that happens, the fun begins!
Some folks like to try their hand at life-improvement strategies, including all kinds of spiritual guidance and practices that promise to lead us toward a better hair day - some day in the future. And the amount of cash that changes hands (and makes some authors / gurus wealthy) is staggering.
And some folks get to a point in their journey where they are prepared to discard any method or subscription for happiness; they are for some strange reason prepared to embark on a different path of understanding. It becomes clear to them that any endeavor for self-improvement or effort to improve circumstances will not reveal any utility or insight.
So in our unscripted and spontaneous explorations we delve into what it means to be present, aware, free from the insistence of one's personal story. Our dialogue process is aimed at exploring the obvious and subtle myths we hold about the nature of awareness, our expectations for higher consciousness, and the means at our disposal to touch inconceivability.
We engage in the art of dialogue and deep seeing to evoke a direct experience of the subtle energy body and natural receptivity. Please join us for some thoughtful explorations into the nature of psychological time, the genesis of the separate self, this effortless totality, and skillful means to see through our typical modes of perception.