Archive for April, 2009

Insight #44 ~ ZEN Shredding…
April 28, 2009

 

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Witness the flow of your life. 

 

 

The current of your life can change in a moment, an hour or in a day.  It’s important to recognize that at any moment you might need to slow down, be attentive, speed up or simply stop because that is the call of the moment. While this may or may not coincide with your own plans, learning to surrender to the flow of your life will minimize the degree of struggle you may or may not be having.

 

Extended commentary:

 

As I write these extended blog entries based on my book ZEN Shredding, I am constantly “floored” as to how many of the insights have recently struck a cord of meaning and relevance to my present moment experience.  It’s almost like another version has unfolded inside of me and could hit the press with regards to the perceptions I am having with those insights in the present moment now. 

 

For the last 20 years of my life I have been actively exploring and immersing myself in the world of so called spirituality and personal growth.  I have had some amazing experiences, made some amazing friendships, and discovered many illusions while grounding myself in some of the world’s greatest, timeless teachings.  “I” also have imagined that as a result of this tenure, on some level, that “I” had “done” enough of my homework to be able to step into the enlightened side of simply Being.

 

 This last year 2008/2009 has been an “interesting” time; it peaked in the spring/summer of 2008 with the publication and promotion of a three year book project ~ ZEN Shredding, in the fall it dived.  I received news that I would not only be losing my accommodation [free rent living in a cabin in the woods] but also, that my day job was coming to an end.  Whistler, Canada is NOT the ideal kind of place to be looking for work or accommodation, in the late fall.  As a resort destination, the population of seasonal workers increases dramatically, as the population of incoming employees increases the available accommodation decreases with regards to accessibility. 

 

For “me”, it was a recipe for disaster.  I could not find work and I could not find a place to live.  As a way to ease the situation I decided to move into an alternative substitute ~ “Harvey” the RV.  I have now just finished the glory of “living the dream” of my first winter living in an rv.  While there were some enjoyable moments, overall, a large part of “me” feels like I’ve dived into the deep end of an Olympic size pool and is almost, treading water…

 

In the contemporary world of new age spirituality there is a great expectation and fever for ever expanding levels of success and happiness in all areas of our life.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with this intent as long as we do not become attached to the idea of living in an UP universe; the idea that there is some mystical magical moment when our life will permanently tread a Bullish style market. 

 

My experience over the last six months has reminded me once again how delicate life is; how easy it is to slip from the experience of being a bliss bunny one moment who appears to be on track and dialed into life; into the suffering created by shadows of fear and grief over the loss of meaning and purpose, a perceived friendship, and the circumstances that exist in ones life.  While my currant situation has improved from an external point of view, my internal world has fallen into chaos and shock.  I have stepped into the shadow of a mind of ideas and a heart filled with emotions that touch the deepest fears, judgments and conditionings of the person I imagine myself to be.

 

No human being, however “enlightened”, is immune to the comings and goings of life; the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the ins and outs that occur in the story of our day to day existence and our identification to a body/mind.  Realization of any degree has no guarantee’s; life continues to unfold in its juxtaposition of opposites: pain and suffering, joy and bliss; the ups and downs of change appear to be the only constant as the “I” dances in the world of form and phenomena.

 

As we begin to identify ourselves too the timeless factor that is our real and only Self ~ the ONE who is the witness; an experience of resilience begins to spontaneously appear, independent too the ebb and flow of our life.  As we begin to identify ourselves AS the timeless factor in a time bound experience, we begin to realize that this Self, our true Self, can rejoice in itSelf always, regardless of what may appear or disappear in the moment to moment story we call life.

 

The discovery of Who We Are, is a “personal journey” of an imagined “I”, that believes it is a separate, individual and distinct entity, with a past, present and future story based on personal volition.  The spontaneous, unconditional, acceptance of the juxtaposition of opposites within our life occurs as a result of our stabilization to our Self, and provides the space for a subjective experience of freedom to express that requires no external change for corroboration or affirmation. 

 

You are Who You Are, independent of the circumstances and situations that occur within your life experience.  As we learn to witness not only our life, but also the ONE who witnesses our life, we become aware of a level of freedom that was always available; the timeless and eternal factor that we label “YOU”, has only temporarily imagined itself as space and time bound, “me”.

 

* Much, much more than a footnote;

 

I have just received news that one of my closest friends and mentors, Louise; has been diagnosed with some kind of cancer.  Treatments begin this week.  I want to dedicate this entry to you Louise.  You are my role model; “teacher” and Angel in life.  You are someone who has shown me what is possible, that there is such a thing as unconditional love… 

 

I need to slow down and stop, now.

 

This was never part of “the plan”…    

     

 

Where is the flow of your life taking

you ~ do you need to slow down, be attentive, gear up or stop?

 

To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:

 

http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000161942

 

OR

 

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…

 

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/322380

 

 

AND

 

 

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

 

 

Soulananda;

The Essentials of a Good Life…

 

http://www.soulananda.com

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Insight #43 ~ ZEN Shredding…
April 22, 2009

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Explore and navigate the terrain of your life. 

 

 

The essence of adaptability is your willingness to explore and navigate all layers of your existence.  Skill can be enhanced as you expose, learn and practice new methods of navigation.  If there were such a thing as success it could be defined as your ability to navigate each moment of your existence without the imposition of a specific perception or viewpoint.

 

Extended commentary:

 

I always felt to a large degree that for me, most of my conventional schooling was a waste of time.  While society and “the world of business” place a high degree of affirmation on education and knowledge and systems that perpetuate their relevance, they do not provide the necessary life skills to survive, let alone thrive once you leave the dormitories of academia. 

 

You might have specific knowledge that allows you to get a good paying job and a roof over your head and have financial access to the trappings of a so called “perfect external life”, but what about your internal world; the world of thinking and  feeling and more importantly, Being?

 

Barring the exception, many of us did not receive the kind of roll modeling from our parents that provided a solid foundation of skills to navigate successfully, the rich potential that lies in cultivating healthy relationships: communication, clarity, purposefulness that allow us to become Self referral, are essential strategies and elements that can elevate ones life experience to new levels of meaning and fulfillment.

 

I’m not trying to “bash” our educational system or our parents.  Things are the way they are, and in most cases what was experienced was “done” to the best of prevailing possibilities, skills, understanding and conditioning of the time.  I am suggesting that there are clear opportunities to enhance the level of success we desire and experience in life, by learning new ways to navigate functionally the many inherent levels of our life experience.

 

For some, many of those “life skills” are introduced or learned at a later date in life.  It’s often and unfortunately in a place of crisis that we are forced to learn the value of “feeling”, “understanding” and “expressing” our deepest needs, wants and desires; through our “inner work” we find the necessary ingredients to navigate our external lives and the “work” that we do with those lives.  As a result of a customized, self engendered education and homework, we find the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding that can lead us to live a functional life that is founded on a more wholistic ethic of understanding, experience and expression of Self…

 

 

  What can you do to explore all levels of your

existence?

 

To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:

 

http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000161942

 

OR

 

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…

 

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/322380

 

 

AND

 

 

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

 

 

Soulananda;

The Essentials of a Good Life…

 

http://www.soulananda.com

 

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

 

 

 

 

Insight #42 ZEN Shredding…
April 14, 2009

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There are many levels to your existence.

 

Most human beings imagine they are just their bodies, their past, their successes or their failures. Some have become more accustomed to exploring a redefined self based on emotions, beliefs, desires and ideas, the concepts of who they think they are.  While these layers are ever more refined, they are still only subtle aspects of self that eventually merges into the One, no self.

 

Extended commentary:

 

Pursuing a “Spiritual Path” is like walking into a chocolate shop when your starving ~ you have a pass and your allowed to eat anything and everything you want!  Chocolate on an empty stomach is decadent, and like all seductions there is a chance you’ll end up on a binge.  One only has to walk into a new age bookstore to see how many offerings there are; overwhelming is a slight understatement of fact.

 

There’s also the fact that “it” ~ “knowledge”, can easily become a trap.  One could spend a lifetime pursuing “spiritual knowledge” while never actually becoming aware of whom you are.  You might have ideas about who you are, you might have endless stories of who you are, you might have a lifetime of study, insight, theory and analyses on who you are, and yet, not be “an inch” closer to actually realizing your true potential. 

 

This has to be one of the greatest obstacles to finding out Who You Are.  One can lose oneself just as easily in the idea of who you are, as they could in the distractions that are an innate part of the world of form and phenomena.  The problem with knowledge is that the real you lies beyond the mind and its infinite ideas or concepts of Who You Are.  You Are, prior to your ideas, feelings, thoughts, notions, perceptions, associations and memories. You are not an idea.  The real you comes before the idea, exists while you are having the idea, and will be their long after the idea has gone.  The real you is beyond all ideas.  Spiritual materialism ~ the collection of knowledge, can be just as addictive as physical materialism; it’s just as seductive, just as distracting and just as destructive as our attachment can be to things.

 

An extreme, organized and socially acceptable form of spiritual materialism will often become a dogmatic theology or religion that for the most part only serves to indoctrinate, accumulate and condition its participants into a conceptual idea of Who they are.  While there may be many positive benefits to living ones life within a philosophy of ideas that point strategically in a particular direction, it’s important to recognize that ideas or knowledge do not qualify or validate the nature of your existence itself.  The ideas or knowledge, explicit or implicit may not even point in a direction that allows you to realize the being that you have always been.  All of these strategies are of the mind only and your existence is independent of all ideas, knowledge and strategies, however popular they may become.

 

The wisdom tradition of yoga, suggests that ultimately all knowledge is bondage; bondage because knowledge can only further enmesh you within its specific spectrum of conceptual understanding, and at the end of the day, understanding can only, ever be the boo bee prize.  Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj once said “everything you learned about yourself, you learned from outside yourself, therefore discard it”.          

 

 

 

 

Who is it that desires, who is it that believes, who is it that conceives?

 

To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:

 

http://www.trafford.com/07-2662

 

OR

 

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…

 

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/322380

 

 

AND

 

 

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

 

 

Soulananda;

The Essentials of a Good Life…

 

http://www.soulananda.com

 

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

 

 

 

Insight #41 ~ ZEN Shredding…
April 9, 2009

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You are much more than you could ever imagine.

 

No one shortchanges us as much as we shortchange ourselves.  Whether it’s environment or conditioning, as long as you continue to see your life from the level of the mind you will experience limitation.  Wisdom tradition suggests that as you move beyond the mind by identifying with your true nature, you step into a playground of eternity.

 

Extended commentary:

 

I think we all have had small experiences in life where we stepped into the moment of what is, touching a deeper part of ourselves and in doing so temporarily lost touch with the psychology of who we imagined ourselves to be. 

 

The feeling of being present without previously conditioned, self engendered thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, memories and associations can be very liberating if only for one fleeting moment of its grace.  It is a taste of freedom that once had, can never be substituted.  Once known, we are forever seduced by that silent presence of what is unknown.

 

The true essence of all spiritual paths ~ minus the distractions of entertaining philosophies and the nonsense of dogma, is to provide a more functional experience of what is presently unknown; that unbounded part of ourselves that allows us so to more easily navigate the day to day realities of life; to more easily experience an awareness of our unbounded nature while we participate bound world of form and phenomena.

 

The greatest challenge is the distraction of the world of form and phenomena itself, which purports to offer itself in endless ways, as pseudo substitution and temporary distraction from the grace and freedom that lies within.  In order to experience greater freedom, functionality and joy within the world of form and phenomena, we need to first appreciate the silent background of our true essence by temporarily taking our attention off the foreground of the noise and nonsense that so easily dominates our life experience.

 

Successful meditation is a tool that allows us to settle the mind.  Through spontaneous detachment, we temporarily suspend our addiction and seduction to the noise and nonsense that so easily distracts, becoming an obstacle to greater levels of well being.

 

Regular exposure to inner silence allows us to naturally and more easily detach ourselves so that when we do engage activity, we are less inclined to identify to the concepts, ideas, notions, perceptions, associations, memories and emotions which can derail us from being present to the moment and we create the space for something greater to occur.  We forget our separateness while also reminding ourselves Who We Were all along; something greater than we could ever, possible, imagine…

 

 

In what ways do you shortchange yourself?

 

To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:

 

http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000161942

 

OR

 

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…

 

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/322380

 

 

AND

 

 

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

 

 

Soulananda;

The Essentials of a Good Life…

 

http://www.soulananda.com

 

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

 

 

 

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