Archive for June, 2009

Insight #51 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 24, 2009

 Blacomb spring 2008 057

 

Enhance your attention: it’s all you’ve got. 

 

 

Where your attention goes energy flows.  Temporary withdrawal of your attention from activity into silence elevates your attention to greater levels of being.  Elevated attention leads to elevated awareness from where you can respond to every situation as it occurs.

Extended commentary:

Many would have you think or believe that your salvation lies in the hands of some super Being; that your ultimate surrender to something “out there” will provide you with the peace and sanctification of your “inner” Being.  This is a very old story; this is a very tired, old, story!

While you always have the freedom to place your attention where “you” decide, you might have observed that there is a tendency for you to habitually place it on, or fixate it in very specific ways.  We are conditioned from birth to place our attention on the external world of form and phenomena.  Part of this attraction is hardwired into our body/mind as an inherent need for survival, a mechanism that is innately built into the nervous system and old brain.  The attraction we have in placing our attention to the foreground of our life experience for greater, more sophisticated levels of survival (pleasure) is enough to distract us for a lifetime; it is enough to distract us from our inner world and the discovery of our essence indefinitely.

For most people, perception of there inner world simply means scratching the surface of their own: thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, associations or memories; nothing particularly very exciting when it comes down to the seductions and attractions that lie in the external world.  Deeper yet, our inner world can provide us with an experience more real than the world we presently perceive or apparently occupy; an infinite, unbounded, ocean of consciousness more profound than we could ever possibly imagine.

If you’re the kind of person who only chooses to focus on the external world, you’ll likely never enjoy the rich potential, value, freedom and strength that comes from a lifetime of inner exploration.  There is no judgment in this; things are as they are, what is is.  If on the other hand, you are interested in risking the exploration of an inner journey, all you truly “need” is the vigilant commitment to consistently apply the value of your attention to what brings the greatest meaning and fulfillment to that journey; what you need is what you got; attention and awareness.

“Salvation”, lies in the inherent awareness you were born with.  As you intentionally shift your attention or awareness from your thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, associations and memories that bind and limit you, by instead witnessing or watching those very same thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, associations and memories; you create space that allows you to begin to identify with a different “you”; the “you” that we could call the “big Self”.  The “you” that those thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, association and memories appear on.  Rather than engage what appears to be “you” and the “you”, “you” imagine yourself to be, “you” instead, begin to naturally and spontaneously identify yourself with the “you” that was in fact always there.

The truth is we are already saved; in fact, there is nothing to save, because the real “you”, does not need to be “saved”.  Truth be said, there is nothing to save; the real “you” lies outside the boundaries of linear, rational thought; it is not touched by the concepts or value judgments of  “high” and “low”, “in” and “out”, “up” and “down” or “good” or “bad”.  The real “you” does not recognize the concept of “saved” or “unsaved”.  As your attention is gradually withdrawn from concepts that appeared to “bind”; the “bound” becomes “unbound”, and you are at once “free” to worship the Being that resides “inside” you, rather than some external, substitute of a concept that lives “outside” you…   

 

What activities can you withdraw yourself from to enhance your attention?

 

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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Insight #50 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 18, 2009

 WB 083

 

Pay attention.  

 

In any given moment your life will be calling you, inviting your attention uniquely.  Embrace, discover and celebrate what has captured your attention in the moment, it may provide you with just what you need.

 

 

Extended commentary:

 Where is your attention, now? 

 Is it lost in a memory of the past?

 Is it overwhelmed by the story of who you imagine yourself to be; perhaps it is seduced by the distraction of what might be? 

 Is your attention placed “out there”, into the foreground of your worldly experience, or does it settle into the quiet, still, background of Being?

 There is great freedom and power in the quality of your attention.  When your attention is in the present moment and your mind is not clouded by unimportant things, you are free to navigate the day to day circumstance of your life.  You are free to be.

The quality of your attention is affected by objects of your attention.  When your attention is anchored to the background of Being, it enables you to witness what is; without judgment, without evaluation, without significance.  When your attention is anchored to the background of Being ~ the One who is being attentive; your attention will spontaneously illuminate what is vital, necessary and relevant to the elevation and evolution of your life in the present moment now.

If your attention is scattered, distracted by form and phenomena and the circumstances or experiences that lie in the foreground of your life, your attention will be bound, it will fixate on unimportant details; you will swim in the delusion of your mind and the distracting thoughts that appear as the mind. 

Attention energizes and activates the objects of your attention; it gives life to the objects of your attention. Anything that has a beginning, middle and ending is an object, including something as subtle as your thoughts or feelings.  Your body/mind is an object and everything contained in the world is also an object.  Will you highlight the transient, bound objects with your attention or will you highlight the infinite, eternal, unbound, background of your Being?   

When your attention is focused on the background of Being, you will simultaneously, be fully absorbed, awake and aware, to the present moment now; you will not be distracted by obstacles, which can only exist in the foreground of your life experience.  Quiet attention gathers and informs, organizes and orchestrates what is.  In the stillness of attention; when you’re standing still, in attention, you have access to energy and information which can inform Who You Are, and who you will be.

You can “do” four simple things to elevate the quality of your attention:

 

1)  Calibrate your body/mind to the rhythm of nature; spend time in nature.

 There is no actual separation between your body and the body of our Earth, as nature.  When you become familiar with nature by spending time in her presence, you immerse yourself in the primordial sounds, sights and experiences that are part of her expression; you remind, restore, and awaken the memory of wholeness and perfection that lies within you, as your rhythm and the rhythm of nature merges to become One.  From this place of balance your attention and awareness is restored, rejuvenated and refined to support you in your day to day experience, where you can not only survive, but thrive.  

 

2)  Cultivate an attitude of innocence; witness, accept and allow what is there to be there.

 See the moment as it is:

without judgment [this is good, this is bad],

without evaluation [ this means this, that means that]

without significance [ this is important, or holy; this is not so important or unholy]

When you can see the moment as it is, you will be free to be present with the moment as it is.  Your mind will no longer be distracted into the past, or seduced by a future possibility.  You become aware of the bliss of the moment as it is.   

 

3) Elevate the background of Being; celebrate the One who is attentive:

“You” can always make a decision to place your attention on the foreground of your experience and its petty details or, you can place your attention on the background of Being.  While you might clearly think, AND seriously feel that you are the foreground content of your life experience; as long as you continue to fixate your attention and awareness by indentifying to the foreground of that experience, you will automatically marginalize the background of Being and struggle. 

When you shift your attention to the background of Being; when you become attentive to Being by becoming aware of being; the background of Being will move to the foreground of perception and experience.  Being leads thinking and feeling; thinking and feeling leads doing.  The Being, the thinking, the feeling and the doing are One…

 

4)  Do nothing:

We’re always doing something; filling our lives with activities and things, ideas and notions.  There is value in the doing of nothing.  In nothing, there is room for everything.  You can’t afford not doing nothing; so every once in a while allow yourself to spend your free time, doing nothing, allow your attention to become unfocused, so that it can drift in the moment to where it needs to go.  In this reverie you may be surprised at where it takes you, at what comes for you; you may be surprised at the insight and inspiration that can percolate into awareness.  When your attention is left to drift in the ocean of consciousness as a result of doing nothing, you might have a moment where you glimpse everything, and in that precious, vital moment, your life might be changed forever… 

 

What calls to you, what speaks most to your heart in this moment?

 

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 #49 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 9, 2009

new whistler blackcomb 046 

Be present in your body.

 

The easiest way to get out of your head and into your body is through your senses.  Nature’s intelligence speaks to you constantly through your senses.  The more attention you pay to your senses, the more you nurture your senses.  What you touch, taste, smell, see and hear can nurture your senses and allow you to become present to the moment as it is.

 

Extended commentary:

More often or not we have a tendency to judge or minimize our bodies and the experiences that can occur in those bodies such as feelings of stress and anxiety or emotions of anger, sadness and joy.  Many of us have lost touch with our natural ability of simply listening to our body and the many signals of comfort or discomfort that can readily be felt and accessed on a daily basis. One of the most common comments heard of a new meditator, is the amplified awareness they have of the amount of stress or emotions they have been “carrying” while in their body. 

The wisdom tradition of Yoga suggests that the body is a vehicle or instrument that can be used to navigate life not only with increasing levels of awareness, but also the bliss of simply being.  The five senses are a direct way in which we can not only receive relevant, timely information from the Universe, but also, express our uniqueness to/with THAT Universe.

Reducing the amount of stress that we accumulate in the body can allow “nature’s intelligence” to more easily operate as “our intelligence”; the vehicle of our senses can be utilized directly as a tool to reduce stress, which impedes the flow of information and energy to and from our own body and the body of the Universe.

The yoga of touch, is a valuable way to accelerate and elevate the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis or balance; for example in Ayurveda, there is a “Self” massage technique known as Abhyanga, whereby you give yourself a short oil based, daily massage, every morning after you wake up and before your shower.  I practiced this for many years and noticed an amazing improvement in my overall well being and ability to connect kinesthetically with all levels of body, mind and Spirit.  It was a simple way I could both appreciate my body with an expression of self love.

The yoga of taste is also an important way the body can communicate and regulate balance.  Do you notice that you enjoy certain foods taste different at times of the day and season?  Do you notice that you avoid certain tastes always, sometimes, or only occasionally?  The body has its own natural rhythm which coincides with the all other rhythms. 

When you listen to and allow your body to move to its own ebb and flow, you will find it will often calibrate itself, naturally, spontaneously and effortlessly when we honor its expression.  Food, spices and herbs, are delightful ways in which we can enhance, elevate and celebrate the gift of Being in a body, and taste is lateral way for us to digest the infinite, unbounded, information and energy that comes in the form of food, herbs and spices.

The yoga of Smell is considered to be the shortest and most immediate way of communicating via our nervous system/brain of all our senses (think of the short distance between your mind and nose).  Do you notice certain smells excite, relax or rejuvenate your body/mind?  Aromatherapy is only one tool we can use to improve the level of our personal well being and the “positive” neural association that smell has on the present moment.

Spending time in nature; listening to the sounds of nature, is an effortless, abundant way to entrain oneself to a symphony of resources.  The sound of birds at dawn, the waves on an ocean shore, the chatter of rain on a window sill or sound of wind in the trees, are a few numerous ways in which we can connect to the primordial sounds that occur naturally in nature; that will allow us to reduce the stress that may be occurring in our body/mind, while also nurture our body/mind/Soul at the deepest of levels.

The yoga of sight or seeing is an accessible way in which to synchronize the life throb that flows through all of creation.  Nature again can provide us with vistas beyond the normal day to day objects that appear and disappear in the world of form and phenomena.  A majestic mountain range, a single flower, watching children play, the beauty of witnessing a sunset, are simple ways in which we can access and engage through sight, an infinite number of scenes and images that quantify the ever present, underlying unity that can be found in our life experience.

I think it also important to mention that awareness “can be split”.  We can have our attention on our senses and their mindful use, AND, we can also be aware of the one who see’s, the one who is touching, the one who smells and the one who is tasting.  When we are conscious of both expressions, when we are aware of those perceived expressions; in that Self awareness, we have the ability to amplify and enhance our ability to be truly present to the moment…

 

        In what ways can you develop awareness around your body and senses?

 

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 #48 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 2, 2009

Blacomb spring 2008 049

 

You are not your thoughts; you are the one who is having those thoughts.

 

It is said that we have over fifty thousand thoughts per day, every day.  The frightening part of this idea is that ninety percent of the thoughts you have today will be the ones you also have tomorrow.  As long as you continue to identify solely with your thoughts they will continue to have power and dominion over you.  As you practice identifying with your true nature, your thoughts no longer have the power to disempower you in your life experience.

 

Extended commentary:

Sit comfortably and let your eyes close, do this for ten minutes or so, if you can.

While your eyes are closed, take the time to simply notice your thoughts.

After around 10 minutes, let your eyes open, slowly, then read/contemplate the following questions…

 

What 10 assumptions have you, or do you make, about thinking?

Were you able to sit for the full amount of time?

Were you able to notice/hear your thoughts?

Were you able to notice that there was a space between each thought?

Did this space between thoughts increased or decreased at all during your meditation?

Did your thinking speed up or slow down?

Did you judge, evaluate or place any significance on the thoughts you had during the meditation?

How did you feel about the thoughts that occurred during your mediation?

Did you notice any physical or emotional reaction to those thoughts?

Did you find yourself identifying yourself as/to/with those thoughts?

 

I would like you to sit comfortably once again and let your eyes close, do this for ten minutes or so, if you can.

This time around I want you to again watch your thoughts as they occur, and, as they occur, I  would like you to notice the space or gap that occurs before and after each thought.  Allow your thoughts to occur, and place your attention on the space, however big or small, that occurs before and after each thought.

After 10 minutes or so, open your eyes and think about the following questions:

 

Contemplate:

How would your life be different if you did not identify with or to your thoughts?

What makes you think that “your” thoughts, are “your” thoughts?

How would your life be different if you knew that the thoughts you have, are not yours, that they do not belong to you personally?

Do you place a “higher” level of appreciation on positive thoughts, while also demonizing your “negative” thoughts?

What makes you think that positive thoughts are different than negative thoughts?

How would your life be different if you knew experientially, that thoughts have no inherent power; that, only when we unconsciously or consciously ascribe power to those thoughts do they then appear to have power over our subjective, (internal) experience?

How would your thinking and behavior change if you knew that all thoughts arise and subside into from and too, the same “place”?

If you are not your thoughts and all the concepts that arise out of all thoughts and thinking, then who or what are you?

Now, as you read these words on the screen of your computer; as you read these thoughts that have become words and sentences, I want you to use your attention to notice the one who is reading these thoughts and words. As you read these thoughts and words, notice that there is a presence; a presence that is aware of not only the words, the spaces between the words, but also it self.  Notice that your attention can be on the words and thoughts and also in THAT awareness or presence that exists before, during and after the words or thoughts are perceived.  Notice that the presence that is their now, reading these words, is the same presence that was their yesterday, and will also be their tomorrow.  Notice that all thoughts come and go, arise and subside, in this awareness; in THAT presence.

You are not your thoughts; a symptom of you appears as the one who is observing those thoughts; a symptom of you appears as the witness to those thoughts.  The you that appears to observe those thoughts is the same you that was their, that is here, and that will be their tomorrow.  The presence that appears as you is your touch point, your bridge, and your doorway to your freedom and the bondage of the mind. 

Avoid the story that your mind is spinning, you will only, ever, get caught up in the conspiracy of its conjecture.  Any time you identify to a thought ~ ANY thought, you will limit yourself in some way.  In the silent, still, awareness of your being, things come and go, arise and subside; they will appear to exist and potentially exist in this awareness.  You are not the you that you imagine or think yourself to be.  You are much more than you could ever possibly imagine or think.    

 

What is the most negative thought you have about yourself and how does it influence your life?

 

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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