Archive for January, 2010

ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #68
January 29, 2010

 

 

There will be moments when everything comes together.

 

A time occurs when your dreams, desires and practice will merge providing a sweet, fleeting moment of success ~ you “jib” this moment of success and then you move on…

 

Extended commentary:

It’s interesting to see how the biology of our thinking contributes to the suffering of our day to day lives.  We have a tendency to think and perceive our life in factors of time and space, where there is none beyond the mind level.  Moments of perceived time are broken up into past, present and future; lives are neatly collated into memories, circumstances and situations, and the plans and goals we have for that life, plans and goals that may be reached or not reached. 

The biology of our nervous system; hardwired to organize the actual chaos of reality, and our mind which is a subtle, but direct physiological extension OF that nervous system, follows suit with thinking that involves infinite strategies, notions, perceptions, associations and ideas; thinking that tries to consolidate that which cannot be consolidated, that tries to plan and goal that life to reach a perceived levels of “success”.

This piecemeal approach, perceiving life through a mechanistic filter allows that life to be diced and sliced, motivated by an agenda of control and survival, to provide a degree of perceived comfort and safety, where there can be none.  Life will happen.  Life does happen.  And no matter how much tactical or strategic planning occurs, no matter how much context is provided for deeper understanding to the improved circumstance of life; life is not something that can be dialed; life cannot be dialed from the level of the “I”.

The Universe is not a machine; life is not a game.  Any order we experience is a projection of the mind, where there is none beyond the illusion of the mind.  You cannot control the uncontrollable.  Prior to the arrival of the mind, chaos is the inherent essence of every moment.

That being said, there will be “ups” and “downs”, there will be moments where “you” feel in the flow, and there will be moments where you perceive and feel that “you” are out of or not in the flow; or, that there is no flow.

Whether you are in the flow, out of the flow, or there appears to be no flow, it will always be happening in the perceived moment of now.  Whether you imagine that you had something to do with that flow is irrelevant; primary, is the bliss and freedom that occurs in our ability to simply be present with or too that now; in complete detachment to the contents of that now. 

Prior to the idea of “flow”, stay there; prior to the idea of “not flow”, stay there; prior to the idea of “no flow”, stay there.  The moment of success is completely arbitrary; the One Self takes delight in it Self at all times, under all circumstances and situations.  Beyond our narrow and prejudice definition of success and failure, happiness and sadness, you are; beyond even the One Self, you are…

 

Have you ever been happy for no reason at all?

 

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.

 

After thought #17
January 21, 2010

Radical Spirituality is the process of taking our attention off the foreground of our life experience, where everything appears to happen and reversing it; to re-orientate that attention from the outside to the inside. 

When we turn it inwardly, we initially discover a subjective world: it appears as joy and sadness, memories and imaginations, fears and desires, confusion and clarity.  It’s an inner world of beliefs, ideas, notions and perceptions, it’s a world of memories and feelings : some pleasant and some not so pleasant.  Sometimes, there is silence. 

All of this is can be called the “I”.  It’s the person we imagine ourselves to be.  It’s the person we identify ourselves with and as, but are not. All of these qualities and impulses are relevant on some level, but of all of them it is the silence that is the most precious.

For those who “do this”; for those who decide to turn their attention inward, it can often be terrifying and magical at the same time.  Things can change.  Fears can be faced, life can improve, clarity and perceived freedom can occur in the relationship we have to our subjective experience and the “I”, this thing we presently understand to be self.  

Life still happens with all its dichotomies, but with consistent regular attention and a pinch of understanding, resilience can arise out of that silence; simply because our attention is no longer just focused on the foreground distraction and noise of our life experience.  “Our” attention is now inward and outward.  No longer fixated; our attention has now been captured by the background of Being. 

Sometimes “miracles” can occur simply by turning attention towards Being.  Sometimes our life can fall apart.  This is a small taste of the journey, but it is not the end, and it is not the goal. There is a greater promise here.  A greater gift inherently lies within this journey we call life and the realization of radical Spirituality. 

As “we” spend more time noticing with attention the background of Being, we begin to notice; we begin to realize naturally, spontaneously, intuitively, that there is much more to our existence than the perception or understanding of the “I” which we imagine ourselves to be.  We begin to sense the “I” which appears to exist out there in the world of form, with its preferences and choices, needs and desires, wants and purposes, sorrows and joys; the “I” we had assumed ourselves to be, is actually not who we are.  It is an illusion and representation.  It is only a shadow self, an “I”dentity, a sliver of potential that lies on a full colour spectrum of possibility.

Most go no further than this initial, prepatory step of simply looking at, or trying to understand, change, transform or placate this “I” and its fleeting needs and wants, desires and fears.  There is in fact NO rule that one must go any further; there is in fact NO rule that there needs to be an orientation of attention too the background of Being at all. Everything is as it is. 

If however, there is a need; if there is a desire to move beyond sufferings of our day to day life; beyond a superficial, conceptual understanding of conventional spirituality, then “you” might want to continue.  “You” might want to examine the validity of that “I”, and all that it imagines itself to be.  “You” might want to discover the essence of your true existence that lies just beyond the “I”.

For some, there comes a time when this crossroads appears.  A junction occurs where one can remain standing in an improved “I” that seemingly knows itself; that seems to engage in the lifestyle of a so called spiritual orientation.  Scratch the surface though, and it can be seen for what it is, that “you” are actually stuck, deceived by the polarity of up and down, right and wrong, good and bad, spiritual and not so spiritual and the suffering that inherently and inevitably lies in the duality of that perception.

There appears to be a time where “we” can hold onto that “I” and all that it appears to be: the fears, the joys, the memories, the desires, the preferences; all of the entertaining and not so entertaining stories.  All the conceptual understandings that provide the appearance of a lifestyle of perceived comfort to that “I”, based on belief, philosophy and archetype, or we can continue on that perceived journey.  We can penetrate that “I” and all its erroneous thinking, allowing it to fade to the background from whence it came.  Creating the space for the background of Being to become the foreground of awareness that delicately overshadows all the thinking, the being, the having and the doing…

Insight #67 ZEN Shredding…
January 14, 2010

 

 

…It’s OK to fall ~ again. 

 

Remind yourself that life is the coexistence of opposites “up, down, good, bad, happy and sad”; this elevates your choice to place attention on what is important while withdrawing your attention from what is old and stale.

 

Extended commentary:

I was taking the gondola up today; not anything unusual for most on a ski hill, except for the fact that it was my first time this season… I’ve been absorbed, very self absorbed, in the circumstance of my life and the process of regaining a sense of balance that was perceived to be lost over the last year or so.  As in a lot of cases, I have withdrawn myself from a many activities that would normally provide inspiration, comfort and the naked, direct pleasure that can be found in life; so my adventure was a small “breakthrough” in my process.    Accompanying me as passengers, there was a young boy, his father, and one other separate, older gentleman also heading up the slops. 

The boy was noticing many things as most children innocently due.  It appeared as though he was now heading higher up the mountain than previously before.  At one point he exclaimed “I’m scared” as he realized he was breaking new territory in his own snow adventure.  His father mumbled something to reassure him just prior to getting out of the gondola.  Upon exiting, the other male passenger looked at me and exclaimed “I’m scared too” with a smile on his face; I bluntly said: “I too am scared ~ of life…” 

This last year has been a huge reminder to me of how delicate, rare and precious life can be.  How so often in our day to day lives, we can easily take for granted the illusion of security, comfort and safety built by the content that fills those lives.

Sitting in that gondola listening to that young boy, I was reminded how normal and innocent it is to feel scared; to be afraid when we enter the unchartered waters or territories of our own life circumstance that one might have also taken for granted: work, a roof over ones head, a long term friendship cut short by the ravages of cancer; the gain, promise, and devastating demise of a new friendship, when perceived barriers of values, communication and sexuality clash, stalling the expression of intimacy.

Sitting in that gondola, I was reminded how often and necessary it is to develop skills and relationships in life that support, enhance and nurture our well being. In that moment there was a recognition, a smile, an inner sigh of relief, that a few years before, I had “forced” myself to take a few lessons in snowboarding, providing me with a new set of skills that would allow me to forever navigate some of those amazing Whistler/Blackcomb slops I was about to drop into, with a small sense of confidence and ability.

Sitting in that gondola, listening to the innocent expression of a child, I was reminded that it’s ok to feel and express our vulnerability and fear when life presents us with situations and circumstances that appear to pull us out of our centre of gravity.  That no matter how difficult things may seem or get, sometimes a little skill, and the resilience found in silent meditation of Self, and the genuine support of relationships that nurture, can help us navigate the darkest imaginings of the mind, and our day to day experience; even if or when, there appears to be yet again, another perceived fall in the circumstance and story of that life…

What memories from your past are no longer serving you?

 

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.

 

After thought #16
January 8, 2010

 

Most human beings want something from each other, and in that wanting we suffer.  For every want there is an assumption, a projection of need; that we somehow lack something, that we are somehow incomplete.  In most cases, we want what we imagine and perceive we don’t have, and our attention is deprived from noticing what we do have. 

It’s easy to forget the background of Being, when we allow ourselves to be overshadowed by the wanting; when our attention becomes fixated on that wanting.  The only real solution to our perceived suffering, and the end to irrational wanting, is to bring the background of Being, to the foreground of our life, through the use of attention.

Presently, and for the most part, it’s easy to live life being caught up in the seductive foreground of our life experience, forever seeking the endless opportunities and desires, dreams and aspirations that life has to offer.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with these movements, as long as we don’t lose touch with our essence in that process; as long as those movements or impulses, do not lead us astray; as long as we do not get caught up in believing that it is the foreground of life that is itself real, thus distracting us from what actually is real, permanent and true ~ the background of Being.

We can drown ourselves in the wanting.  Radical transformation is to see things as they are, not as we imagine, want, or were told them to be.  Under the surface of wanting, can lie the perception of deep wounds of neglect, hurt, judgment and need.  It is not the object of our experience or circumstance, our want or need that must be reached, touched, experienced or had but instead, the wound of perceived separation that inherently drives innumerable quests that can fill a lifetime.

Often, in the desperation of our wanting; in our forgetfulness, we lose touch with the fact of our inherent perfection; we allow ourselves to be hypnotized by the circumstance of social conditioning. Our ultimate salvation lies not in thought or deed, understanding or belief, but in the realization of our essential core. 

Realization can never be stabilized when our focus is caught up in the story of our perceived imperfection, and an “I” that seeks to correct or change a moment of time that no longer exists.  Of necessity, our attention needs to be shifted from the story of our want, to the one who is wanting. 

As we settle our attention onto the one who is wanting, the one who is hurting, the one who is unloved, or the one who is in joy, pulling it even further back, prior to the want itself,  it is possible to notice that the real “you” is not the product of a projection, feeling or perception; the spell of wanting can be broken…

Insight #66 ZEN Shredding…
January 5, 2010

 

Enjoy the mystery of the unknown. 

 

While traveling unfamiliar terrain in life can trigger immense confusion and fear, it often provides the space for new ways of Being to be cultivated and eventually enjoyed. 

  

Extended commentary:

It’s been almost a year and a half since I published my book ZEN Shredding.  If you have been checking into this blog since my first post you will probably have noticed that I “try” to add something a little different once in a while; it’s not always consistent with the theme of the book; somewhat like life?

It’s an Interesting (paradox, challenge, dilemma, irony?) with writing a book and publishing it; once you have said what you have said and then put it in print, the “you” that apparently wrote that book or better said, was the mouthpiece for that book, continues to proceed on a journey that appeared be fixed by those words, paragraphs and pages.

One of the reasons I wanted to write this blog was to see where my ideas, notions, beliefs, thoughts and feelings would go with regard to the insights I wrote for the book and their “evolution” in the now.  It’s been interesting and challenging to watch this process unfold; there have been many moments over the past year where my process has been intense and overwhelming.

I can say that I never would have realized how much things change with regard to many of the ideas that “I” presented in ZEN Shredding, including my own life experience which obviously shapes those words and thoughts.  For instance, on one level I thought of ZEN Shredding as a beginning, while now and for the most part, “I” am realizing that it feels more like an ending in terms of some of the ideas presented especially in regard to my perceived process. 

To be more specific; with many of the ideas I wrote in the book and expand on now, I realize they are more strategies or tactics for living a more successful life, which is fine if that is what you are aiming for (it has served me well in my own journey). If your focus however is to find out Who You Are, your probably going to bump into some provocation at some point with realizing that all strategies are from the mind; finding out who you are is of Self.

More recently “I” have come to understand that while many of those insights may seem to “spiritual” they actually have nothing to do with finding out Who You Are. To be clear; there is nothing wrong with having healthy strategies in life, but at the end of the day they are conceptual understandings of mind and life and can often distract or create erroneous thinking and personal philosophies that we mistakenly believe to be spiritual understanding. 

I’ve come to see in my own life and the work that I feel the greatest “juice” in, is not so much about “personal growth” and improving the quality of life any more, but more so in finding out Who I Am.  One could spend a life pursuing strategies, living life and those strategies with great meaning and purpose and not necessarily “move” any closer to find Self. 

Since writing the book, and over the last year or so, I made a distinction with regard to these very different “paths”.  Strategies (however successful) seem to be more like a process of adding, changing, fixing, getting, achieving and the molding a pseudo self that lives and breathes “out there” in the world; while on the other; finding out who you are, seems more like a process of unlearning, deconstructing and dismantling erroneous ideas, beliefs and seed stories about life and its process and of course about who we really are.  I guess, I’ve really just reconciled a personal understanding; “I’’m not a strategy and while it may seem painfully slow at the level of understanding, “I”’m also, not my mind!

Peace be with you for the new year!  

 

When was the last time you tried something new?  

 

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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