Tag Archives: Enlightenment

Riffing on Infinite Joy

Suppose you believe, like me, that consciousness is the force that created the universe. That all of the planets, stars, and galaxies came to be out of nothing by this inexplicable, unknowable power in an attempt to perceive itself. So for 14 billion years stars have been exploding, galaxies colliding, planets forming, all in an attempt to create life.

Now, lets take it a step further. We know that life on earth today looks as it does as a result of evolution. That the diversity of life created, combined with the ability to mutate, has enabled life to adapt to whatever environment comes it’s way. Not only to adapt, but to thrive. What if this also happens on the biggest scale of all.

What if our universe is the result of a mutation?

Hypothesize with me for a moment that there are other universes out there where gravity acts a little different, atoms are organized in a different fashion, or the fabric of space time is woven a little more loosely. How many universes could there be? Millions? BILLIONS?? What if our universe is the only one that managed to create intelligent life? What if our planet is the only planet in any universe with any life at all.

Now imagine that moment where the suffering person finally awakens and achieves enlightenment. In the realization of their true nature they turn away from all thoughts and forms and now exist purely in the silent stillness of the present moment. It is at this specific moment that space is created for consciousness to emerge. As this force behind all existence takes over perception and gazes upon itself for the first time it must be an overwhelming, limitless joy that is felt.

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There is no “I” in Self

For many years I had been attempting to follow the teachings of several spiritual gurus and, honestly speaking, I had experienced very limited progress. The teachings are similar throughout the spiritual realm and they primarily focus on these approaches:

  • Presence
  • Acceptance
  • Surrender
  • Stillness

I had attempted to practice each one of these many times. I had practiced presence by focusing on my senses and attempting not to interpret what I perceive. I had practiced acceptance by trying not to resist my current situation no matter what it may be at the time. I had practiced surrender through utter frustration by lack of progress and to a certain degree giving up. And I had practiced stillness through meditation and daily long walks in a local park.

But yet I wasn’t making the kind of progress that I wanted. I was most definitely going through a healing process but there were still plenty of moments of suffering. Then I noticed one major flaw in how I had practiced those spiritual techniques.

They were all practiced from the place of “I”

I cannot be present. I cannot accept. I cannot surrender. I cannot be still. It is the “I” that subsides in order for any of the above to genuinely occur.

“I” is a concept. It is a vast collection of thoughts, often contradictory, that one accesses relentlessly in maintaining their false identity. Each one of the approaches above demands an absence of thought. No “I” can coexist within them. Instead, the techniques all act as gateways from the “I” to the real self.

What they offer to the seeker is a taste of the true self. A hint of truth. Evidence that there is a self that exists beyond that limited “I”. If for only a moment you experience true presence, acceptance, surrender, or stillness you will see for the first time a separation from the “I”. You will step back from the life you have always known and become it’s witness. If only for a moment. And you will have awakened.

What Am I Supposed To Think?

This is the question that blocks my growth. Some moments or days I am endlessly asking myself this question.

I become an infinite loop of validating that my thoughts in a particular situation are representative of the person I wish to be, or think that I am. I fear that if I don’t perform this double and triple check my very identity will drift off and become something bad, something very far from where I want to be.

It’s like I am constantly righting the ship.

The random nature of the mind makes this an incredibly tiring activity. I am sure there are many techniques one could perfect to train the brain to be more efficient in it’s thinking. Prior to becoming spiritual I forced my thinking to become more positive. I wrote down my better qualities and carried them around with me. In my tougher times I would repeat positive phrases dozens of times.

And this worked to a certain extent. Repetition was the fuel of my negative thinking so it makes sense that it could be reversed. However this still empowered the mind as the determining factor of my inner peace. And the randomness of the mind is still there.

I suppose it is that inherent randomness of thought that enables creativity.

It allows new ideas to emerge. It is this total freedom to create without boundaries that the mind loves. As soon as we place limitations, rules and boundaries around thought our mind rebels. Almost like a teenager, you tell the mind not to think something and it will think it until the cows come home. And because we are trained to identify who we are with what we think our anxiety goes through the roof. Compounding this is that the emphasis on identifying with thoughts is growing exponentially in our culture.

There is popular buddhist saying “What we think we become”, however the end of that quote is often left off and it changes it’s meaning entirely. It follows “When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” While the shortened version of this quote seems to emphasize controlling your thoughts, when heard in it’s entirety it seems to point away from that. To free yourself of thought is to be joyful.

In order to really change this world you need a free mind.

When you’re that true self who can watch the mind without getting wrapped up in it’s content brilliant ideas will flow through you. Perspectives that remained hidden before will be revealed. You will have an understanding of the whole that’s required to transform this planet into the utopia it was meant to be.

The Deeper I Look

The closer I get to enlightenment the more it frightens me. The deeper I look, the bigger it gets.

To transcend the mind is to abandon everything you “know” about yourself. Your likes and dislikes. Your fears and desires. Your definitions of love and hate, good and evil. It is the absence of who in the question ‘Who am I?’. It is to admit not only is there a God in you, but that you ARE God. That hidden within you is the purpose of all life. That you are an expression of life and while the form of that expression may pass, that essence of life, that Godliness within you, goes on.

To truly dabble in this world is overwhelming. When you do you start to separate from your attachments. In doing so you realize the sheer quantity of them. Your job, your house, your family, your personality, your hobbies, your wit, your look, your skills, your religion, your health, your thoughts… All unsteady as they prop up your identity. And every one must go. Not very easily done, even when your hand is forced.

It is a door that I’ve started to open and it won’t shut even if I wanted it to.

Random Thoughts on Spiritual Awakening – Part Two

Why is honesty so hard? My writing often feels forced. Whether I am trying to be too poetic, or poignant, or prophetic it is struggle to stay true to who I am. I am writing as if I am the person I want to be, not who I am. I struggle. I doubt. I suffer. I feel hopeful and hopeless. How can I write so much about abandoning thought when I still feel so trapped in my own? I have my moments and I try to write about those moments. They often lose power in my words.

I am afraid of honesty because of how vulnerable it will reveal me to be. I have been through some pain but it has been self inflicted. My life has been good. By good I mean nothing compared to the struggles of others. There has been no divorce, no cancer in anyone close to me, no drug addictions, no serious financial issues, nothing that typically would make someone suffer. I was single for a long time (married at 36) and I think near the end of my bachelorhood I was being pretty hard on myself.

My honesty feels superficial. I can only be honest to the extent that I am aware of the truth. There I go trying to be poetic again. There is alot of uncertainty in me. Alot of “What right do I have to express such deep truths?” I am consumed by this spiritual journey. Unfocussed at work at times. But other days, when I have some sort of breakthrough, I am very motivated and productive in both my leadership and execution. Many days I think that my spirituality will lead me away from this desk and thus I seem to value it less now. Of course that is not really accepting the present moment.

Last night, I had a moment of clarity. If you can forgive the spiritual lingo I will try to explain. Looking around my family room the feeling of oneness was strong. I could feel the underlying beingness of all things. Everything I looked at had in it the same thing that was deep within me. There was no separation. And without separation there is no I, no identity, no me. I may have eyes and ears but it was not me looking. It was the universe looking upon itself. And if there’s no me, no individual life, then there’s no individual death. That force within me will continue on in all things long after my body goes. I must sound like I’m off my rocker…

In my spiritual journey I am trying to have experiences like this but I wonder if I’m actually having it or is it just because I have read about it. I do actually feel peaceful during these revelations but it fades quickly. Last night was great but only this morning was my mind overactive again repeating my same patterns.

When I go to work in the mornings I regularly take a few moments in my car after parking for a little reflection, some writing, trying to get my head straight. This morning I found myself asking what do I need to do to have a more permanent shift. The response came that no thought would have saved me from my thoughts this morning. There was nothing I could have done differently. I am relying or hoping that some key thought will present itself that I can use in those moments to set the ship back on course. This is non-acceptance. From thinking that something needs to be changed. I wrote that it’s like trying to pour water into a cup that’s already full. I am already complete and in trying to change myself I create the problem.

Lighten Your Workload

To observe
To define
To derive meaning
This is the pattern of pain

In response the seeker attempts
To be an impartial witness
To accept
To be aware

True acceptance annihilates the acceptor
The term loses meaning and function
If you never knew war
How would you know peace?

A speck of awareness
Precedes all thought
You may be lost
But possibility renews eternally

Is it not enough to see?
Lighten your workload
Be simple
Find goodness