Archive for January, 2009

Insight #32 ZEN Shredding…
January 28, 2009



There is only one purpose ~ the continued expansion of happiness. 



According to preference or skill, green, blue and black are flavours to be enjoyed and indulged at will.


Extended commentary:


Most anything we do, is done out of a need or motivation for happiness.  We spend our lives in the pursuit of happiness.  I think it’s fair to say that the element of happiness changes as we navigate the terrain and journey of our life; as we ourselves change.  What brought me happiness ten years ago may not provide me with the juice that I seek and search for now..


The pursuit of happiness is often marked by a significant shift from what we thought would bring us happiness, to what actually allows us to realize happiness.  Much of our life is spent discovering that what we thought would bring us happiness [conditioning] actually does not; simply due to the fact that it was based on an erroneous belief to begin with.


Many of the strategies and concepts around personal growth and “spiritual pursuit”, are based on the process of unraveling, discovering and finding what is truly meaningful and fulfilling to us at our core; the clarity of recognizing those goals, intentions, desires, dreams and things, that speak most deeply to us, that we consider to be inherent extensions of our inner world and being. 


This being said; we are often cautioned by the purest of wisdom traditions to recognize that true happiness cannot be found in things, that we will suffer if we depend upon, or rely solely upon, things to provide us with happiness.  While there may be a certain level of happiness to be found in things, they are impermanent, and will therefore never provide us with a lasting happiness that we seek. 


The suggestion instead, is to pay attention to the part of us that remains unaffected and unchanging, in a world that appears to always affect and change; too seek everlasting happiness or bliss in the Self.  Happiness is always found in things that come and go; but everlasting or bliss can be found for those who seek happiness within the Self.


I have spent most of my life in the pursuit of happiness.  I have experienced much joy, discovery, meaning and fulfillment as I passionately pursued not only the things, but also the Self. What I am noticing of late, is that personal happiness however successful, is meaningless ~ dare I say irrelevant,  unless you have the opportunity to also share it with others in some way.  And in our ability to share it: the gifts, the talents, the resources and the Self with others, we only amplify the depth and experience of happiness, one hundred fold…




Do you surround yourself with people and

experiences that nurture happiness?




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…






When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:




The Essentials of a Good Life…




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





Emotional Wellness…
January 25, 2009


 The dimension of our emotions are a complex, intricate aspect of our psyche.  The degree of Emotional Wellness is relative to our ability of being aware of, and able to respond or navigate in healthy ways, the vast spectrum of emotions that occur to us on a daily bases. 


One thing is very clear when it comes down to the foundation of emotional wellness; we need to recognize that it is we who are responsible for what and how we are feeling.  If I am in love, while there may appear to be another human being that I am in love with, I must recognize that the feelings I have of being in love, are my feelings.  It would not be unrealistic to say that we are never in love with another person, but in fact, in love with our feelings of being in love!  Likewise, if I am angry, they are my feelings of anger, even though it may be the asshole ahead of me, who just cut me off!


The first, and most difficult aspect of cultivating emotional wellness within our psyche is understanding the need to take 100% responsibility for our own feelings ~ the feelings we are having or not having.  The practice of taking 100% responsibility for what we are feeling while challenging, provides a level of freedom and understanding that ripples out to all levels of our being, it is the turning point of being the innocent victim in life, always determined by something “out their”; to becoming Self referral as we become ever more informed by our true nature.  When embraced as a way of being, our emotions can begin to inform us to the deeper needs and colour of our humanity; they allow us to tap into the very life throb of divinity within us.


While easily said, the process of embracing ones emotions can often face internal resistance, especially if we have been conditioned to judge, evaluate or dichotomize the spectrum of feelings that occur.  We celebrate joy, while avoiding sadness; we condone compassion, while we demonize anger; until the full spectrum of our emotions are embraced with an attitude of allowing, we will not realize emotional wellness within our being. 


Acceptance is a huge breakthrough in the evolution of emotional wellness, while we may not know what or how to deal with our emotions the element of acceptance often creates the space for the impulse of emotion to surge through our nervous system to completion, without triggering physiological side affects; without the need to psycho analyze their content.


At the subtlest level of our being, all emotions are equivalent; it is only the mind that places significance of one over another ~ that decrees some with the judgment of sin and others with a blessing of virtue.  The spiritualization or demonization of our emotions can only, ever, lead to more confusion, denial and emotional turmoil.  The expression of hysteria, panic, depression and disassociation are often symptoms of emotions that have gone unchecked, emotions that need to be understood, acknowledged or felt.


I think it also valuable to note the interconnectedness of our thoughts and our feelings, to recognize the interdependence between our thoughts and beliefs, and the level of emotional wellness that may or may not be occurring within our experience.  To know and understand that what we may be feeling has a lot to do with what we maybe believing, cannot be underestimated, overlooked or undervalued.  When it comes to stretching the capacity and potential we have of maintaining, adapting or enhancing the level of integration within our emotional awareness, there is necessity to examine and question the validity of all thoughts and about the nature of Self and life. 


Suffering comes easily to those who remain unconscious to the subtle realms of thinking and feeling; the freedom of emotional wellness begins and ends with the One who is thinking and, ultimately the One who is feeling…


Which emotions do you sit in judgement of the most, and least?


What emotions do you need to feel?


Can you surrender completly to what your feeling?


Are you demonizing; are you sanctifying?


 “the art of healing is the art of acceptance, total acceptance of what is.  In our total acceptance of what is, in our allowing of what is, what was no longer matters, we are ready to witness what will be, as it it unfolds spontaneously, undisturbed and uninterrupted”


 (c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds.

All Rights Reserved Worldwide.








Emotional Freedom…
January 23, 2009


I’ve had a few interesting conversations over the past few weeks around emotional fulfillment, or the fulfillment of our own emotional needs.  It’s a dimension of our “psyche” that most often goes unnoticed ~ better said, it is an area of our life that for most, gets denied!


Every day, I am reminded of the consequences of what it means to live in a world filled with people, who are for the most part, deprived of the opportunities to learn and practice the fulfillment of ones own emotional needs.  In my own opinion, I do not think that the majority of the population of the planet has a level of comfort or understanding around their own emotions. 


The significance of this neglect ripples out as a series of tidal waves impacting all areas of our life and worldly experience.  The symptoms of deprivation are mirrored by the depth and degree and absence of wellness or dis-ease that is present within our society both at a mental and physical level, and in the day to day experiences we have in our own interpersonal relationships.


The human body/mind – nervous system, is an amazing feet of biological evolution, with a sophisticated, inherent ability to “heal itself” when given the right environments and elements of support.  The lack of understanding, skill and practice; or the tools or resources needed to maintain and enhance our emotional well being acts as yet another source of “disturbance” or “irritation” to the body/mind system, becoming a Petri dish for the perversity of disease to thrive.


As a Rebirther, I have had many years of experience and exposure witnessing individuals get in touch with, and process their own emotions to the point of integration.  I have my own personal story of past depression and the ebb and flow of my present, day to day life experience, that provides me with a rich, ongoing, palette of opportunity to discover and understand the realms of my emotions and inner world; a way to navigate and bridge in healthy ways, the expression of intimacy in relationship that I have to the Self and life. 


The “juicy” conversations of recent have been based on the observation that most human beings seek emotional fulfillment from others, that there is an obvious lack of personal skill, knowledge and practice, surrounding our own personal emotional needs and their fulfillment, which subsequently creates a perceived void within our psyche.  This deprivation often results in an inherent addiction, to seek emotional fulfillment outside ourselves from another human being, activity or experience, to find the things that will substitute, replace or cover up our deepest feelings of lack and loss within.


Fulfilling our emotional needs is a learned skill.  The absence of role models in our lives: persons who themselves are intimately versed in the skill and ability to touch, taste and feel in healthy ways, the diversity and gamut of their own emotional spectrum creates a vacuum of relevance that cannot be replaced or substituted itself; by another person, place or experience.  Our desperation to fill this emotional void, leads us to make decisions and choices in life that often appear to act as temporary band aids, to the festering puss of wounds that lie within.


We often recognize the absence and neglect of our own emotional fulfillment, as a daunting “neediness”; to seek and find our emotional fulfillment in/from another; it surfaces in our day to day reality as a terminal disappointment; a dissatisfaction with our life experience and intimacy within relationships; as we hop from person to person, experience to experience and place to place, never quit quenching the thirst within.  We seek comfort and safety in the harbor of another, not yet realizing that the turbulence lies within, that it is we ourselves that can only, ever, provide the necessary intimacy and nourishment that is needed to heal the perceived wound of neglect.


I have been blessed in my own life experience to have met and befriended a rare few role models and mentors; human beings who are clearly care, who are clearly in touch with, and know how to nurture their own emotional fulfillment to levels of resolution.  They possess the deep understanding that comes from the wisdom of experience; the ability to skillfully navigate the rich spectrum and terrain of their past and present emotional memories and experience.  In relationships, I have learned that it is unrealistic to expect the mirror of emotional fulfillment from another, when they themselves are not versed, present too, and understanding of, their own emotional needs.   


The doctrine of emotional freedom lies in the realization that one can only ever find true emotional freedom from within; that, while others may mirror to us in healthy ways the necessary skills and abilities needed to elevate our own practice, experience and perception of emotional needs; we can never be dependent on, or rely on, another human being for our own emotional fulfillment. 


The dearth of this topic is infinite; the conversation, ongoing.  I have included a few questions to trigger further understanding with a transparent intention that the freedom can only come from within.  May you blaze new trails of understanding and be blessed in your own life with role models that lead you to the experience and mastery of emotional freedom…




Do you have a legacy of mentors in your life, who role modeled for you, healthy emotional skills?


Are you comfortable being vulnerable in your communications with others, can you share the pain of your past as easily as the joy of your present?


Do you presently surround yourself with friends who honor, encourage, listen and respond too your deepest feelings, while also supporting you in the highest aspirations you have for your Self and life?


Do you enjoy and make an effort to spend time alone; can you be alone?


Can you sit with, be present too, and navigate the spectrum of your own emotional landscape, anger and sadness as well as joy?


Where does your neediness lie?


When does you loneliness surface?


Can you translate the language of your own emotions in a way where they inform you, rather than determine who you are being?


How do you personally nourish your emotional landscape?



“In the silence of a quiet mind, all emotions, thoughts, and deeds come to their final end; when the body is still, there are no thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, associations or memories; the fabric of your true nature is finally expressed…”



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








ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #31
January 19, 2009



Play is an all too often neglected discipline in life.




While the ski hill trail signage of blue and black may lead to a great adrenaline rush, a return to the ease of a green run will remind you just how far you have come.


Extended commentary:

Most live a “goal” and “plan” orientated life.  Our attention is focused for the most part, “out there”; the complex intentions, dreams and desires we have for our life are also very often based on the seductions of an external world and life.  There is nothing inherently wrong with those seductions, as long as we do not lose ourselves to the infinite expressions that manifest “out there”; as long as our adventure also includes the journey of discovering Who We Are.


The experience of play allows us the dispassionate opportunity to enjoy life as it is, without expectation.  When we introduce the element of play into our experience, we have the opportunity to allow spontaneity and unrestrained freedom to express itself within the moment. 



 The degree to which we have become “too serious” in life, reflects the degree to which we have forgotten how to play in life.  When we lose touch with our ability to play; the ability to do something ~ anything, without a particular attachment to outcome, we open ourselves to becoming overwhelmed by our limited, perceived understanding within the circumstance of our life experience.  A moment of innocent play is the naked, direct, experience of unbridled, unedited, joy; a chance to experience the moment as it is, without projection of any kind…     




How can you play more often in 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…






When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:




The Essentials of a Good Life…




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



ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #30
January 9, 2009


Quest out of bounds. 




While it certainly can feel safer to stay within the confines of a routine that is predetermined and planned, a mundane, repetitious life can stifle your Soul.  Sometimes you need to take responsible risks, to dive into and meet the unknown head on.  Sometimes you need to shake up your routine by adding new ingredients to spice it up.  When you dive into the uncertainty of these moments the magic and mystery of life will often roll in ecstasy at your feet. 


Extended commentary:


As a trained “Rebirther”, I have been fascinated by the psychological and physiological implications of the Birth process on consciousness and individual perception.  Many years ago I read much material on the subject of early childhood development and its influencing factors.  One concept that is strongly related to Rebirthing in particular, is the idea that a more natural, effortless birth, shapes our perception and personality in untold, beneficial ways, as opposed to a child that has been subjected too, or had experiences of a more “traumatic” experience at birth.  While generalizations, these observations can lead to a certain amount of understanding in our ability to crack the cosmic egg of our unlimited potential. 


As a model, philosophy and concept goes, there are many indicators that our first, earliest, and most significant, erroneous impressions of life, continue to replay and influence us indefinitely on who we imagine ourselves to be, unless we integrate [transform] those first impressions to a place innocence; until we have a direct and different experience that can inform and indicate to us, a glimpse of our true, Self nature.


A child whose consciousness through a more natural, effortless development, will progressively live and lead a life nourished by their own, inner strength, which can potentially provide more direct, progressive experiences of wholeness based on the driving enquiry:


“Where AM I ?”;


it will lead to a lifetime of explorations, expansion, experimentation, investigation and enquiry into their very existence and what it takes to live a meaningful and purposeful life within their experience.  Clarity, trust, purpose, meaning and direction will be the hallmarks of distinction within their journey, guided foremost by an ever developing sense of unity within the diversity of life.


A child whose consciousness is exposed to experiences that potentially derail the developmental process of discovering their innate, inherent connection to wholeness, will spend a significant amount of their life time temporarily distracted or sabotaged by a driving enquiry of


“Am I safe”;


 it will potentially lead to a lifetime of experiences, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, memories, perceptions and ideas that perpetuate a belief that life is only about survival at it’s most basic level; doubt, confusion and fear, will undermine the most basic attempts of living and achieving a life of meaning and fulfillment.


Neither of these paths of inquiry, are inherently higher or more significant than the other; neither of these paths are any more safer, restrictive, reliable or virtuous than “the other”, since the blueprint for wholeness lies, always, within; waiting to be revealed, regardless, of the content and experience of that individual journey.


At any point in time, the distraction of external circumstance can inform or determine both paths and the choices, behaviors and experiences we make on those paths, temporarily masking our ever present perfection, and while the story of our lives may be expressed through the themes of discovery or survival, at any point in time, we have the ability to once again tap into the nature of a real Self, that lies outside the boundaries of rational thinking, experience and circumstance.


When we quest out of bounds; stepping outside our comfort zones, making radical changes to the mundane, mind numbing hypnosis of self imposed, conventional living, we create the space for the magic of discovery and transformation to occur; we ignite the passion of wholeness that lives within and that can thrive without.  When we look for a Self that lies outside the memories of our past or the fears of our future, we open the doorways of a life that is filled with possablities an old self could never have imagined…  



Are you stifling yourself and your Soul with too much routine and repetition?



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…






When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:




The Essentials of a Good Life…




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







ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #29
January 3, 2009



Slowliness is holiness!


In your fifteen minute sound bite of stardom, finishing first, fastest, smartest, most skilled or best in the class will only last as long as it takes for the Universe to catch on that it’s time your ego got refreshed with a face shot of purifying, fluffy snow!  Take your time in life; the how, what, where, when, why and who unfolds naturally as you remain attentive to the moment.


Extended commentary:


I’m not the most patient person “I” know.  Depending on the nature of my desire, this particular “virtue” often remains aloof to my experience.  In the West we are used to a fast food style of approach to living.  I do not believe there are many areas of life that have not been affected by the increasing demands and compulsive sense of urgency that we have towards our desires; that it all happens, AND that it all happens NOW! 


When I was first exposed to this particular insight it referred to the context of the “Spiritual” path; we’re so used to getting our veggie burgers J in a couple of minutes; why not enlightenment?  While the fast food approach to living life may be eagerly consumed in many areas, it has absolutely no frame of reference when it comes to “healing” or spirituality; it is only the mind that filters a perceived reality, at a time based level.

The notion that one can accelerate the “healing”, “realization” or “creative” process is as much a delusion as the actual idea of “healing”, “realization” or “creative process” is itself; but those are other conversations!


Slowliness is holiness because we can only, ever, experience one moment at a time, and since this present moment leads to the next present moment, neither is considered to be more important or significant than “the other”; it is only the subjective mind that sees’s a progression or recession in the changeable; while the unchanging remains, forever present, whole or complete.  It is only the subjective mind that short orders our wants, needs and desires and the dreams we have for our life. 


What happened no longer exists; what is happening now will be of the greatest value, when our attention is supremely concentrated in the now.  What will happen is of no importance to this now, since it exists only as a possibility in the womb of creation.  What is happening will always, only happen in the now; when the mind superimposes its own wants, needs and desires onto that now, the trouble begins.


We get caught up in our sense of urgency because the mind imagines it has some influence and control over the present moment, as we identify to our body/mind we project the illusion of control onto the uncontrollable.  Our obsessive interventions (often called planning!) serve to strengthen the illusion that the “I” has somehow mastered an ability to create a reality, where there can be no authorship or ownership.  If anything is to happen, it requires the entire “Universe” to participate in “that happening”; the sense of doership arises after the circumstance or situation has already arisen.


Our fixation and hunger for having it all now, is further complicated by a society that enables our obsessions by creating systems and models based on “urgency” and satisfaction with the intention of providing us instantaneous gratification, i.e. our “credit model” (no explanation needed?) while temporary often leads to an extreme cost.


 As I mentioned before; I’m not the most patient person I know; I’ve played, danced and sunk in this impulsive energy many times and what I’ve learned is that in most cases, there is a belief that one can only repress or express (respond and act) to this energy.  The greater the urgency, the greater the chance lies in the possibility that these impulses of energy that are operating are NOT you, and will in most cases, not serve you in the expression of “your” desire.


Herein lies an opportunity to a deeper level of potential freedom; to simply witness the beginning, middle and end of those urgency patterns, to sit with these impulses and see what might be revealed, by NOT acting; by watching and witnessing those impulses; to potentially reveal hidden assumptions and beliefs that may surface when those impulses are NOT responded to.


The inherent value of witnessing these patterns of the mind, these impulses of energy  that we imagine and assume our self to be, is that we objectify and deconstruct the very impulses that in most cases drive lifetimes of behaviors, actions, choices and decisions; that often, and in most cases, go on unattended. 


Slowliness is Holiness…      




How can you make your life less busy?



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…






When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:




 The Essentials of a Good Life…




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



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