Archive for September, 2009

Insight #59 ~ ZEN Shredding…
September 30, 2009

WB 017

 

Do your homework.

 

Having a Diploma, B.A., Ph.D., or Masters, means nothing if you have not applied your gained knowledge into the practicum of integrated, day-to-day living.  All knowledge, talent and learning is useless if it’s not applied to the functional world of form.

Extended commentary:

What is your homework?

We’re so used to being assigned our homework: the spoon-feed curriculum of what we’re told to do in life; the when and the how to do it, the multiple reasons to justify why we should do it, all based on someone else’s perception and understanding of how things are.

We’re told how to live our lives; what to believe, what to think, and even how to feel, and when we don’t fit the box, we struggle, we effort and we force ourselves to comply under the weight of erroneous beliefs; to be something we are not.
 

From the moment of birth, we are conditioned into ways of being that are suited perfectly to someone else’s idea of how to be.  We’re filled with ideas and notions, beliefs and values, concepts and stories that are amplified and reinforced; incestuously qualified by cultural, societal and circumstantial factors.

It’s no wonder why, if only at a non verbal level, we feel that something does not fit; we know something, somehow, does not rapport with congruence, between our inner and outer worlds.  We see; but don’t relate, we hear; but we don’t understand, we touch; but we don’t align, agree, or trust.  Acceptance is resisted; in the absence of preference, compromise festers in the status quo and mediocrity of circumstance and conditioning. 

Our entire life slips into a process of accumulation: thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions and associations.  Notions and ideas are gathered, regardless of the fact they have nothing to do with Who We Are, and everything to do with why the degree of angst in our life increases; creating tension and paralysis.  Stress and suffering will now occur at all levels of the thinking, the being, the having and the doing. 

Our homework is not about accumulation.  Our homework is not about the acquisition or addition of this and that.  Our homework is the discovery of Who We Are; our homework is the revealing of Who We Are!

There will always be a time to gain, to harvest more knowledge about this and that.  There can be sweetness in its consumption, digestion and application, at the level of the mind and the external world.  But the greatest freedom and greatest sweetness, lies in the legacy of a life lived in the revelation of Being; in the finding and recognition of the One who gathers; the knower of the known. 

Our homework is due diligence, that we investigate with awareness, how we have defined and bound this sense of self.  Through investigation and enquiry, through observation and confrontation, through direct experience, we must examine the validity of what we base that sense of self on, and in that revealed freedom, discard it with abandon. 

Our homework is to realize once and for all, that the self we imagine ourselves to be, does not lie in past or future but instead, lies in a heart of innocence that dwells in the expression of Being present to the moment; in Being aware of the moment.  In the noticing of that moment, we recognize the background of stillness that encompasses it all, a vacuous field of no-thing; pregnant with possibility.   

THAT no-thing has the probability of Being something, that something will eventually become everything…

 

 How can you apply what you know?

 

 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 #58 ~ ZEN Shredding…
September 24, 2009

WB 119 

Interrupt ongoing noise in your life. 

 

On the slope, you can find perfection in silence.  Take a moment to notice and enjoy the serenity, simplicity and silence in things, as they are mirrors of your Being.  Notice the pauses and gaps in your life; they are your greatest friends, they are filled with potential and possibility. They are the source of your dreams and the connection to your true Self.

 

 Extended commentary:

 

Between one thought and another,

there is space.

 

Between every breath,

a pause.

 

As sound arises,

so it will fall.

 

Between one idea and the next,

a gap.

 

Between each beat of the heart,

a rest.

 

 

It’s funny how we avoid stillness in life.  It’s funny how uncomfortable most feel with the pause of silence that permeates all activity; how we want to fill that still silence with activity.

If we take an honest look at our lives, I think most of us would agree that we have filled those lives with too much “having” and too much “doing”.  Where is the space of Being?  I think it would be fair to say we avoid the stillness of silence by consciously and unconsciously filling it with activity.

Ironically all activity itself arises from the stillness of silence.  To avoid greater awareness of that stillness; to lose touch with that silence, by focusing only on the having and the doing, is to lose touch with not only the stillness, but also the essential birthplace that gives rise to all activity, including life itself.  Even when activities of the body appear to cease, the mind seems always ready to take over, bingeing itself on movements of the mind.

It’s so easy and so simple to lose awareness of our essential nature as we compulsively and forcefully engage a never ending list of activities authored by the mind.  To introduce the stillness of silence into our activity, to introduce this stillness to the mind, is to temporarily withdraw ourselves from the thinking, the having and the doing of life; and in that engagement, in that stillness, we enliven with dynamism not only the mind, but also all activity to come. 

In stillness, in the restful alertness that can be found in silence, there lies the potential for unbounded, dynamic activity.  To engage the stillness, to engage our awareness deeply into that silence, is to allow what is, to Be, and in that space of silence something greater can be noticed, something much greater can be appreciated. 

Perhaps, if only momentarily, we can step beyond the foreground of the thinking, the having and the doing, and we can touch with awareness the background of Being which resides as the stillness; from this silent nothing, something becomes. 

In this appreciation of stillness, in this appreciation of Being, all activity that arises will not only be nourished by the background of Being, but also will then serve in unimaginable ways, the foreground of the thinking, the having, the doing and the being.  Being will then supplement in amplified ways, the thinking, the being, the having and the doing…

 

How can you introduce silence as a practice to your day?

 

 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.

 

Mind…
September 17, 2009

 

 

In the beginning,

it’s ALL about the mind,

it feels and seems that it’s all-ways about the mind,

and it’s all about “you”.

 

There is seduction and perceived safety in the mind;

the knowing and the not knowing,

and the you.

 

In the beginning, it’s all about the mind and its needs, wants and desires. 

It’s all about the gains and loses,

the successes and failures that only a mind or you,

can come up with.

 

It’s all about its likes and dislikes,

it’s concerns,

fears,

and its anxieties.

 

It’s all about its strengths and weaknesses,

JOY’s and sorrows,

its perceived past,

and its imagined future.

 

It’s all about its frustrations,

dreams and misunderstandings;

and the pain and pleasure that it creates or does not create,

for now.

 

For now,

it’s all about the mind,

and it’s all about the “you”;

it’s all about the you,

you imagine yourself to be as a result of identifying with the mind, as you.

 

There comes a time for some, when all this drama and all this nonsense begins to fade, when the deepest part of Self seems to say enough!  By taking our attention off the mind and its wanderings and instead, placing it on the One who is aware of the mind, its wanderings and its obsessions. 

There comes a time when the mind AS you, can begin to fade, where the “you” you imagine yourself to be, begins to realize that there is more to the “you” than you could ever, possibly have imagined. More than the story of the good and the bad, more than the story of the highs and lows, more than the fantasies and phobia’s, the obsessions, compulsions, fixations and neurosis of a perceived mind that has its impulses and urges.

It is possible for a time to come when it is no longer about the mind only; a shift occurs when what is important, is not what we understand or know, what we have learned or not learned, but instead our ability to discern the difference between the mind, and all activity of the mind: the knower, the known and the knowing, the observer, the observed and the observing, the experiencer, the experience and the experiencing collapse into the One awareness of Being.

 There is a time when a space occurs, when there is a cut between the thought, the thinking and the thinker, the past and the future; where the perceiver, perceived and perceiving can end, where the thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions and associations subside. 

This is the space where freedom occurs, where there is no “in” or “out”, “up” or “down”, “here” or “there”, where there is no mind, no knower and no known.

This is the space where freedom occurs, where “pure”, “undivided” awareness arises, where there is no this and that.

 

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

Insight #57 ~ ZEN Shredding…
September 10, 2009

Picture 001

[exceprted from ZEN Shredding]

After a few months of snowboarding practice, I began to actively seek opportunities to develop, refine and enhance my skills.  My initial fear and anxiety gave way to joy and anticipation.  Increased confidence in my own abilities provided greater levels of comfort and ease, so I could simply show up and have fun.  The flow of time, experience and knowledge began to serve as a gateway of clarity to the rhythm and flow of my life. I decided to participate in a weeklong ‘ride and learn’ club.  It was an opportunity to meet new people, explore new terrain and improve my skills in the process. 

There were a couple of Australians in our group who knew how to play hard.  One was a surfer who had unfortunately hurt his arm while surfing just prior to coming to Canada.  He not only had a big heart but buckets of bravado and stamina.  As each day progressed he fell again and again on his injured shoulder.  But he showed up every day.  He justified his unstoppable attendance by the expense of his trip and the boy inside who did not want to miss out for even one moment.

It’s good to listen to your body.  It provides you with relevant guidance to what may or may not be possible.  During the first season I learned quickly, sometimes painfully, to listen to my body.  I had a pass that provided me with unlimited trips to the hill.  I did not have to show up every day to make sure I got my money’s worth; I did not need to spend long days on the hill because I was only in town for a very expensive, week long holiday.  It was liberating for me to be able to discover and determine my own rhythm of being on the hill, while also recognizing that this rhythm could be enhanced if I remained flexible as it ebbed and flowed through the days, weeks, months and years…

 

 

***

 

 

Engage the moment as it is. 

 

Conditions can change dramatically in your life.  While those conditions may conflict with your predetermined agenda, they are as they are ~ or not.  In those moments when your visibility is tempered by distraction, being OK with what is will provide you with a heightened level of presence that enables you to navigate your most challenging extremes.

 

Extended commentary:

We cannot change the content of the present moment.  In the moment of our greatest fear or suffering, pain or sadness, joy or confusion; we cannot change the content of what is.  We can however change the approach we have to the moment; how we see, subjectively experience, interpret, understand or perceive that moment.  We can have an alert appreciation of the moment, regardless of what content is occurring in the moment. 

 Do you react to the moment?

Do you run from the moment?   

Do you resist the moment by judging, evaluating or by placing erroneous significance on the moment?  

For anything to happen, the entire Universe must conspire for that moment, event, circumstance or situation to unfold, as it is.  Everything is the cause of everything else.  What makes you imagine that the contents of what is occurring in that moment can somehow be changed by the you, you imagine yourself to be?

You can Be aware of that moment, you can be present to that moment.  “You” can have your attention on the process of that moment, or not. In that moment “you” can allow your attention to be on that moment completely, fully, unconditionally, “allowing” that moment to simply Be; by Being.

In the stillness of attention, as it is placed on that moment, as it stands in Being, there is no need for anything to be changed, fixed, transformed or healed.  In the letting go of the need of  “trying” to let go, the ever present, unbounded, Essence of Who You Are can gently move from the unnoticed, background of your attention, to the foreground of Being; where condition, circumstance and situation are irrelevant, where the “good” and the “bad”, the “perfect” and the “imperfect”, are seen as “One”.    

“You” cannot change the present moment.  “You” don’t have to force yourself to even “like” that moment, but “you” can with attention, step out of habitual, conditioned ways of seeing, thinking, and doing life; allowing the many perceived obstacles that are constantly created by the mind to evaporate; that prevent your Essential Self from Being present and available to that moment. 

In the moment of Being there can be no judgment.  In the moment of Being it is possible for there to be no evaluation, and in the moment of Being the significance and fixation that one would normally place on the content of that moment, can end; abandoned forever, so that the innocence of Being, in which all content arises, can once again be revealed and experienced…    

Can you be present with your conditions without assessing, evaluating and comparing 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.

 

Insight #56 ~ ZEN Shredding…
September 1, 2009

 WB 247

 

Embrace your process. 

 

 

In your search for fresh tracks and greener grass you can get caught up in a pursuit of happiness that disables rather than enables.  It is for you alone to decide what works in your life.  Coming to terms might include your abstention from the habit of romancing the moment with narratives of saintly virtue and Hollywood melodrama.

Extended commentary:

In the pursuit, journey and discovery of Who We Are, it’s often easy to find oneself standing in a place of judgment that our process should somehow be different than it is.  There are times when it looks, feels and seems as though we are in the flow, where our life experience is perceived to be occurring in an effortless way; where the ease of it all suggests a feeling of magic, perfection and wonder is unfolding for us. 

Naturally, within the perceived flow of life, there is also its apparent opposite; ebb, where life that was perceived as once expanding, now appears to be contracting.  Sometimes it feels like it sucks!  The degree to which we can navigate the ebb and flow of our life ~ the expansion and contraction, will always be largely dependent upon our attachment to the content of what may or may not be occurring in that moment and our desire that it be somehow different.

Much of the perceived or real challenge ~ the degree of attachment, is based on the focus of our attention.  If our attention is focused “out there”, fixated and obsessed on the content of what is or is not happening in our life, there is a high degree of probability that we will lose ourselves in that process as we fixate on what we would like to be happening, versus what is happening.

Life is full of curve balls; the skill of navigating the moment is based on our ability to stand in the innocence of Being, that lies in the moment, regardless of the content of what may or may not be happening.  In the stillness of Being, we often find the resilience to navigate what is; we find the ability to simply allow the moment to be as it is, without expectation: it should be this way or that way; without applying any judgment: this is good this is bad; evaluation: this experience means this or that about…, or significance: this is more important, this is not so important; all of which, are expressions of the mind and not the “real” you.

In the so called “Spiritual” world we sometimes go to the extreme with regard to the “significance” aspect and its distortion of what is; we abstract out on the story of what is happening, by adding outrageous layers and dimensions to the already unfolding story the mind is contributing to what is going on, which is NOT what is happening. 

What’s happening is what is happening, adding past lives, karma, planetary influences or apparent” contracts” to explain, understand or describe why something may or may not be happening in our life, wil,l in most every case, only complicate and intensify the degree and level to which we have lost ourselves in the narrative of the story and what appears to be going on.

If we stand in the story, there is a high degree of probability that we will lose ourselves in the story.  If we stand in our Being, by allowing what is, to be; a space is created for the moment to unfold, as it is and our ability to access the wisdom of knowing which can only occur in the moment, will then be able to spontaneously provide a potential response or pause, that may be needed to navigate that which is occurring in the moment.

As we allow the moment to unfold without expectation, judgment, evaluation or significance, we are free to Be.  We are free to realize that we are not the content of what may be occurring in the moment.  In this shift of awareness, we begin to realize that we are not bound by the moment, the content of what may be occurring in the moment, nor the story of understanding that we have spun and use, to describe what was occurring for us in the moment.

Things can get very complicated when we try to understand, explain or come up with justifications and reasons for to what may or may not be occurring in our process; this is a description of what is happening and not the process of what is happening.  Sometimes, the best way to navigate the present moment, as our process is to simply do nothing, simply allow it to unfold as it is and happens; without trying to influence or understand the “why” of it all…   

Can you give yourself permission to just be?

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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