Archive for November, 2008

ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #24
November 24, 2008


Show up. 



So many journeys and dreams are cut short before they even begin.  As your mind slices and dices your experience, you can lose yourself in the confusion.  Learn to mute dissection, analysis and judgment of your life experience and simply show up.  Having done that, you can step aside and allow the moment to unfold.



Extended commentary:


A conscious mind will always provide a never ending train of thoughts. The wisdom tradition of yoga teaches us that we are not our thoughts; that, until we have a direct experiences of our true nature or “Self” to show us otherwise, we will continue to identify and imagine ourselves to be “our” thoughts; we will continue to be a slave to “the mind” and all the thoughts that “the mind” entertains.


Imagine for a moment that you did not identify with or to your thoughts,  that regardless of whether you had a good thought or a bad thought, a loving thought or a hateful thought, you simply witnessed the thought arise and subside without identifying or becoming fused to that thought.


  Imagine you not only witnessed the thought, but also were aware of the one who witnesses the thought itself, that you could observe those thoughts without allowing yourself to be attached too, or overwhelmed by those thoughts.  Without this distraction and confusion of thoughts or the thinking process, how would your life be different?  What kind of choices would you make?  How would you live your life?  How would you experience your life? 


Take this one step further.  You are not your mind; in fact you are not your mind as equally as much, as you are not your body.  From birth you have been conditioned to believe yourself to be your body and your mind, and on that foundation of false conditioning you built and added newer versions of an imagined self. 


As you identified yourself to your body/mind; as you fused yourself to specific thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, associations and memories that you called “I”, “me” and “mine”.  You “lost touch” with your true nature and “Self” by substituting it with a false nature and self.  You bonded and stabilized yourself to an imaginary identity; a story and composite of a shadow you, that had a past and future, memories and desires, beliefs and fears.


  You took on questions and concerns about who you were, who you are and who you want to be.  You built a life ~ an entire life, based on choices and decisions, ideas and beliefs on a character “you”, a foundation of conditioning and self engendered thoughts that you call “my psychology”, “my personality”.  You wanted happiness, security and freedom and instead, and by degree, you found mostly suffering and pain. 


We spend our lives managing a self that has no existence outside of our own mind. With well intentioned misunderstanding, we apply attention, effort and energy to the improvement, change and transformation of a false self to provide more comfort, ease and security, where there can be none.  We look out there, to the world of form and phenomena, all the while missing the One who could provide true solace to all our endevours.


It’s easy to come up with a million reasons why we “should not” do things in life; there will always be thoughts and there will always be reasons why we “should not” pursue a life and the experiences in life that could bring greater meaning, purpose and fulfillment to Who We Are.


 Sometimes, we just need to take a small, simple step in order to begin breaking the chain of an illusion; a label or definition, a thought, belief or assumption that was anchored as a perception that inherently, has nothing to do with who or what we are. 


Sometimes, when take a risk and simply show up in life in new and previously unimagined ways, we scratch the surface of a new dimension to our being.  With a flicker of attention, we shift from what was noticed, to the One who notices.  We peel back a layer of an onion that at its core, was always, simply, sweet… 


    When was the last time you remember just showing up for life and how did it feel?



To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:




Check out “Living The Dream”, the gift book version of the slideshow/movie that is available to view free on You tube or the ZEN Shredding website; an inspiring read with full color photo’s of Whistler/Blackcomb Alpine…



(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.



Who Creates?
November 21, 2008


It is a fact, there appears to be creation.  It appears there is nothing, and in that nothing, something appears.  In the end though that something will eventually dissolve back into the nothingness from whence it came.  What of it?


Only the “I” that imagines itself to be, see’s creation.  That you are a creator, the creation and the created is a surety; but it is not the you that you imagine yourself to be.  There can be no doer-ship or creation at the level of the “I” mind.  While the “I’ perceives and imagines itself as a creator; swinging in it’s contradictions, allegiance and ownership, from blame to praise, for all that happens; the “I” can only ever have a subjective experience of creation which has no baring on objective reality.


The seduction of “I create my reality” is an attempt of the “I” to organize its discomfort around the emptiness/space/chaos that appears as the Universe.  In that nothing it craves something.  The allegiance and need of the “I” for its creative principle, is an attempt of the primitive mind to imagine that it can survive in ever more sophisticated ways.  To entertain or face the Truth that there can be no personal will, volition or choice; an authorship of perceived reality; is to invite fear and potential crisis into that very reality.  The “I” will at once lose control over reality.


The “I” wants to be.  The “I” wants to live on forever.  The “I” wants to live out its agenda of being something, doing something, having something and creating something.  By attaching meaning and purpose, the “I” enhances and elevates its percieved existence as a separate, individual being with a past, a future, a vision, a mission, purpose and nature. 


The belief in co-creation provides a temporary solace to the “I” and its ongoing suffering; a false sense of security to its very illusion and demise.  This self engendered philosophy will never provide a permanent solution, safety or security to its ongoing ails and underlying need; a need to know the true nature of the “One Self”. 

ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #23
November 19, 2008



To be or not to be.



Most of us spend our lives seeking happiness but never really find it.  We create elaborate plans with lofty goals that may or may not serve us.  It’s good to plan and it’s good to have goals, but true freedom and joy can be ours if we learn to simply observe the moment as it unfolds.



Extended commentary:


Who is it that fears?


Who is it that wants?


Who is it that desires?


Who is it that needs?


Who is it that imagines and plans?


Who is it that wants to change, fix, transform, create, heal, love, conquer, be something, do something, have something, become something?


Who is it that tries?


Who is that gives up?


Who is it that knows or does not know?


Who is it that trusts, forgives, regrets, hurts, finds, loses, runs and doubts?


Who is it that struggles?


Who is it that forgets, learns, understands, takes, gives and receives?


Who is it that feels lost, lonely, afraid, ashamed, confused?


Who is it that wants liberation or enlightenment?


Who is it that wants to be saved?


Who is it that wants to be loved?


Who is it that hopes?


Who is it that hates?


 Who is it that feels joy, sadness, purpose, meaning, success or failure?


Who is it that rejects or judges,


Who is it that prays or meditates?


Who is it that celebrates or suffers?


Who is it that is humble, worried, noble, and courageous?


Who is it that listens, speaks, hears, see’s?


Who is it that thinks, or does thinking happen?


Who is it that questions?


Prior to the questions you are.

During the questions you are.

After the questions you will be.




How would you live your life if you knew the who, the what, the where, the why and the how were already taken care of?


To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:




Check out “Living The Dream”, the gift book version of the slideshow/movie that is available to view free on You tube or the ZEN Shredding website; an inspiring read with full color photo’s of Whistler/Blackcomb Alpine…



(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.




ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #22
November 11, 2008


Find your “hot spots”.




It’s amazing how easy it is for us to forget what is important and meaningful. When you look at your life do you think about how unhappy and unfulfilled you are?  When you take the time to remember which activities, choices or experiences bring you the most fulfillment and then cultivate more of the same, you’ll often find yourself being re-inspired by your own life and decisions.


Extended commentary:


You know that you know, and you know that you are; this knowing is always in the now.  In this knowing, is there a reason to justify?  In this knowing and now, is there a reason to explain, validate, or affirm your knowingness? 


When we pander to the mind and its need to qualify our knowing, we distract and scatter awareness into this, that and the other.  Instead of staying grounded in the knowing, the mind creates an agenda that seeks proof of the knowing and we lose touch with an expression of our self and our knowing in the now; we lose ourselves in the subsequent nonsense and noise that follows.


You know what makes you happy and you know what makes you sad.  The skill of knowing is more important than the solutions that come from that knowing; or not.  Solutions, choices and decisions are irrelevant when you know.  Knowing is relevant; trusting and cultivating that knowing; the knower of the known, is essential.


When the mind and body are quiet, we become more aware of knowing.  We can make a distinction between the knowing and the known.  The knowing is an expression of your true Self, undisturbed by the forces, circumstance and situations that may or may not occur in your external life; the known.


 The known is that which exists as a diverse expression of the knower, it is an after affect and potential distraction to knowing.  The known will change; the knowing remains the same, undisturbed by the pretence of the known.  What you know about the known, is irrelevant, it is always part a changing known.



Is knowing more important than the now? 


Knowing and the now are not seperate; the known appears to be seperate, the knowing, the known and the now are only seperate at the level of the mind, which craves distinction.  Until the mind is quiet there will always be distinction; the noise that prevents and distracts you from your knowing; if you spend you time knowing the known, it will always take presidence over knowing and the now.  To be in the knowing, is to be in the now; knowing can only ever be an expression of the now.



Is your attention overtly placed on the relevance of the knowing, or is your attention placed on the irrelevance of the known? 



Do you negate your knowing for the known?  



What more do you need than knowing in the now?  



Take care of the knowing and the known in the now, will also be taken care of.  Take the time to value your knowing over the known; it will be your greatest asset.  Now is the time to know.  Stay in the knowing, and you will be in the now.  



Now you know…



Where are your ‘hot spots’ and which ones are missing? What activities, choices or experiences could bring more fulfillment and inspiration into your life?


To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:




Check out “Living The Dream”, the gift book version of the slideshow/movie that is available to view free on You tube or the ZEN Shredding website; an inspiring read with full color photo’s of Whistler/Blackcomb Alpine…



(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.







Dear Mr. Obama…
November 9, 2008

First up, I am absolutely thrilled you will have the opportunity to express your unique vision, perception and understanding at the Oval office.  While it is clearly obvious that skin color “should not” have any baring or relevance on who is elected as President; I believe in this case, that as a mix blooded, African American, it will have a significant, positive, relevance on who you will be while in the office of the President; and that unique impact and influence is exactly what has been missing and is needed to shift the US in a positive direction; a ripple effect that could change the US and world forever.


To explain; the wisdom, understanding and perception you have gained has uniquely developed as a result of your past, and includes your mixed blooded heritage. In the best case scenario this can provide you with a unique perspective on life that none of your predecessors could ever have been exposed to or comprehended.  Your struggles and success as a mixed blooded, African American, will in a best case scenario, allow you to transcend certain paradigms of thinking and understanding that previously limited or were not accessible to ALL of your predecessors.  In a best case scenario, your past which includes your successes, failures and struggles as a result of your mix blooded, African American heritage, will inform and guide you in your ability to express and unleash your unique vision, gifts and talents towards the betterment of not only the US, but also the rest of the world due to the inherent interconnectedness we all experience to each other.


 I believe this is why so many of us in Canada and the rest of the world have been inspired by your story and events that have emerged from your journey over the last two years.  As long as you can continue to inspire others into taking action, you will succeed in your leadership capabilities, and herein is your greatest, unspoken challenge.  As a leader and messenger, you must provide not only the inspiration, but the tools and resources that will facilitate tens of thousands of others into finding their own voice, to become the change that we have been waiting for; the message must be as inspiring as the messenger, the message must transcend the messenger, to come alive in the one who listens.  


 To many you appear to be their savior; the world does not need any more saviors!  We don’t need any more solo, inspired messengers that hypnotize and entertain us with words and ideas that only provide temporary inoculation to our present and future challenges.  We don’t need leaders who perpetuate and enable the dependency and addiction we have on government or others, to be or make a difference in the world; we need the leadership and inspiration to help us become the highest aspirations we seek in life; to be the change. 


It is my hope that you, Mr. Obama will inspire and facilitate the uninspired, to become their own saviors.  It is my hope that you, Mr. Obama will ignite the hearts and Souls of others to pursue and become the collective change in their own lives, to help navigate us ALL through our present and future challenges.  It is my hope that you Mr. Obama through your own inner inspiration will ignite and support others in finding the strength and will of their own inner voices; to find their own messages of understanding and perception that will guide them towards creating a life that is sustainable for not only for themselves and the rest of the US, but also, all of humanity.


This is why I would have voted for you Mr. Obama.  Your inspiration; born from the struggle, conflict, confusion AND difference of your own past, are the inspirations we all draw from and are inspired by.  Your message of hope is the message of hope we all have heard or wanted to hear.  Your voice, your passion and your vision is the voice, passion and vision that we all can find, feel and cultivate within our own selves.  It is this inner voice, passion and vision that we all must recognize, discover, embrace, cultivate and express, if we are to survive our present and future challenges; to experience what is possible, in spite of what appeared to be impossible.


Have you changed the belief in the way others see America?


I believe you have elevated in a positive way the perceptions Americans have of themselves and that’s what is most important, because a change in perception creates the possibility for anything to happen; the rest of the details are irrelevant.


Mr. Obama; I wish you the best on the next leg of this new adventure, may you be guided and blessed in your journey and the choices you make for that journey!


Thank you for your inspiration!


michael sean symonds ~ a Canadian admirer



ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #21
November 4, 2008


It’s fine to feel like you’re not good enough.



New circumstances can often place you in situations where you feel inadequate and inferior.  While these inner programs and conversations often repeat themselves over and over again in your life, it’s valuable to recognize their insignificance to who you truly are.  Reminding yourself that you are not your emotions, thoughts, feelings and beliefs is a way to navigate the more challenging inner terrain of the mind that may often hamper or debilitate the pursuit of your dreams.


Extended commentary:


The field of Psychology and most New Age Spirituality, places a high regard on the quality of your thoughts.  Significance, value and assessment, suggest that not only that you are your thoughts, but also that your thoughts have the ability to manipulate reality; this is very far, from the truth…


Yoga teaches us experientially; directly, that we are not our thoughts.  Thoughts happen, or they don’t.  A thought is a thought, and consciousness places no value or significance on the thought or the apparent quality of the thought.   A thought is inherently neither good nor bad; it simply is.  It is only the delusion of the mind, and the obsession of the “I”, that places a significance or judgment on those thoughts. Consciousness manifests as all thought, irrespective of the minds judgment of those thoughts. 


As a result of judgment, the mind decides that it is a “good” thought, or a “bad” thought, a “loving” thought, or a “hateful” thought, a “creative” thought, or a “destructive” thought.  While a thought does have a certain amount of influence on creating our subjective experience of life (to the degree we are identified to that thought), it has no bearing of influence on the objective world.  Your thoughts do not create reality; they do not influence the world of form and phenomena.


Trying to change your thoughts or thinking, is like trying to change the flow of a river, or currant of the Ocean.  Since consciousness does not consider one thought to be higher or lower than another thought, why would WE want to change our thinking? 


The intention of meditation as a practice is to begin to realize that you are not your mind, nor, are you the contents of your mind.  This perplexes many new meditators who imagine they must stop, change or eliminate the thinking process. This misunderstanding of the mind, clearly deludes, confuses and misleads many who create and pursue certain spiritual paths or philosophies.


Meditation is a tool to remove the obstacles of our identification, in this case our thoughts and thinking.  The main cause of our suffering is not the kind of thoughts we have, but our identification to those thoughts.  Our identification to our thoughts, our thinking and our believing, distracts us, misleads us, and overwhelms us.  You are not your thoughts.  You are the one who is having those thoughts; thoughts happen to you or on you (or not), they are not you.


As we become more and more detached to our thoughts and the thinking process, life becomes more effortless.  We experience a subjective freedom that allows us to thrive in the objective world.  The freedom we sought was never out there, but in fact, in here.  This freedom is based on a fundamental shift in our attention from our thoughts, which appear to be things, to simply witnessing those thoughts, without identifying with the thoughts.  When we no longer identify ourselves too, or as those thoughts, we create the space for our real Self to emerge.  We no longer listen to the noise or nonsense of those thoughts. YOU are not your thoughts; YOU are the ONE who is having those thoughts.  YOU are not your thoughts; YOU are the ONE who is thinking those thoughts. 


Who is the thinker? 


Who is the ONE who is having those thoughts?




Notice a thought.


Now; notice another thought.


Notice the space before and after a thought.


Notice the thought arises and subsides, it comes and it goes.


Notice that you are having that thought; notice that the thought is happening to you, or on/in you.


Notice this thought; that thought; and all thoughts.


Notice which thoughts you identify with and to.



When you are most happy, when you feel the greatest freedom, how are you relating to your thoughts?


When you are feeling confused and depressed, how do you relate to your thoughts?


Notice how you feel about some thoughts.


Who is it that is feeling? 

Who is it that is thinking? 

Who is it that is notices?     



Is it time for you to change the inner conversation you’re listening to?



To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:




Check out “Living The Dream”, the gift book version of the slideshow/movie that is available to view free on You tube or the ZEN Shredding website; an inspiring read with full color photo’s of Whistler/Blackcomb Alpine…



(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.




The Legacy of YOU…
November 3, 2008

Every great story has its heroes and heroines, every legend its magic and mystery.  In My story you are all hero’s and heroines ~ the Gods and the Goddesses.  You are the wizards and mystics who constantly weave the threads of your own destiny to become the garments and story you call “your life”.


Your life is a story from beginning to end, filled with choices that create for you sadness and joy, fear and love.  To date, most of you have lived your lives passively participating in your story, failing to realize that you are not the details of your story, the scripts and plots, the scenes and characters that all great stories appear to have.


As author, editor, publisher and reader, you have the potential within you to become conscious of the script and adventure of your own experience and story, filling your pages with suffering and pain or magic and mystery.  You have been given the power and freedom to awaken your Self, the knower of the story; to shape and influence the direction and adventure of the role you play in your journey and life.


In order for you to consciously script your story, to celebrate the magic of your achievements, you need to embrace a paradox that lies at the heart of the human condition.  First, to accept without attachment, that what you experience in your life “is a story” and secondly, that you understand fully the insignificance of your own story and its relationship to the significance of who you truly are.


When you recognize, understand and accept the significant insignificance of your story to Who You Are, you are free to express the unbounded significance of the real you into the world of form.  You are free to experience and express unconditionally the unique gifts that you all bring, given to you by right of your existence alone.


For to long you have spent too much of what you call time focusing on what is wrong with your story.  You have lost your Self in the judgment, drama and crisis of your story and the temporary roles you play in your story.  You have forgotten how to celebrate the divinity of the One Self, and infinite possibilities that lies in the holiness of your own humanity.


As you listen to each other share your stories, recognize those stories for what they are.  As you acknowledge and empathize with each others suffering or pain, ecstasy or joy, may you also remember your Self always, so that you might see through the illusion of those thoughts, feelings and words that lie at the heart of every story.  May you always awaken and remember the truth, power and wholeness of your Self creation.


So go forth now and create your stories, fill them with the magic and mystery of your own desires, fill them with experiences that bring you joy and fulfillment.  Live your lives with awareness of Self, serving the truth that lies at the heart of every magnificent dream and profound purpose.


Use the gift of your own life to rediscover your innocence while expressing your excellence.  Elevate yourself and humanity to a place of true freedom, where the gift of Who You Are, shines through your self imposed limits to create what is possible, fulfilling dreams you thought impossible…



(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

%d bloggers like this: