Archive for the ‘enlightenment’ Category

Insight #88 ~ ZEN Shredding…
May 21, 2011





 Trust the process of your life.


Most of us have been taught to earn trust.  Sometimes you just need to step out and trust a person, place or experience, regardless of what fears you may have.  Granting trust to the moment can cause radical transformation if you have relied heavily on your own fears to run your life.


Extended commentary:

As I have alluded to in some previous “ZEN Shredding” posts, once a book has been printed [including a blog post] ~ the idea is recorded.  It’s apparently set in stone to permanently mark an expression of an idea that was or is, held in mind; an idea that may or may not have any further validity, as you move into the naked, fresh, canvass of a new moment.  

Ideas are transient in nature, they come and they go.  At best they are metaphoric representations of any given state of awareness that might have been.  They do not inherently hold meaning, significance or Truth outside any that might be assigned to them by the mind itself, in those thinking’s and in those writings.

Ideas are not direct expressions of who and what we are, although at times they may more directly point to the truth of Who We Are.  Regardless of what might be believed, ideas can only ever hint at but never replace, substitute, or “be” Truth ~ this is dogma and continues to remain the domain of most religious organizations.

I imagine this can be very disconcerting for [a person] who madly entertains the idea and possibility they can write with any sort of coherence on subject matter related to the Absolute (as “I” attempt to do).  However, I cannot fathom the possibility of anyone demanding an allegiance or commitment to any document that somehow considers itself as a replacement for reality as so many faith traditions have previously done. 

As I reflect on the past couple of years since the writing of ZEN Shredding and the subsequent follow-up “Extended Commentaries”; I realize more and more how my book was not really a new beginning for me but instead and more-so, a synthesis and ending to many ideas which would shortly, vigilantly and systematically be examined.  Many ideas that would in due course be consumed in the fire of deconstruction, since the original writing and publishing of this work.

This ongoing observation and perspective sanitizing process clearly shows up for me each time I begin to draft the words of follow-up posts related to those extended insights.  It is seen that I can no longer consider some of those ideas as part of the paradigm in which I organically operate from.  Those ideas and concepts have of necessity, dropped off the radar of my perception and understanding with which I see and experience my life. 

It seems this deconstruction process has become an integral part of my experience; a theme to the rhythm and path of my unfolding life over the last six years.  While initially subtle it seems to have accelerated to a degree of intensity I could never have anticipated, and there are no areas of my life that have not been touched by the wand of its wanton destruction: relationships, work and world view. 

At a comforting distance, it makes complete sense.  Nothing can be more organic than the understanding and expression of a changeless Self that is the heart and impulse of an ever-changing, transient, world. 

How can a mind anticipate and imagine, let alone understand, capture or control, the natural expression and impulse of Spirit as it touches this ever-present, unfolding moment called NOW?

Said differently; most conventional spirituality is based on the adoption of entertaining ideas and concepts that try to explain and organize the chaos of Being to some degree of merit and understanding. 

The prominence and popularity that New Age Spirituality has garnered, is largely a result of the fact that one can simply shop around for ideas and concepts that suit the personality or ego within that moment. Is there danger though, that we might become disabled or trapped in those very ideas and philosophies that were meant to enable greater levels of subjective freedom and intimacy to a so-called Soul?  Can any idea itself cause the revelation we so desperately seek or is it, as so often has been suggested ~ that we already, always are.

Spirit is more than mind and Spirit is more than any understanding mind could ever provide.  Crazy as it might seem and however disconcerting; the so-called process of realization could be more easily described as a process of UNLEARNING ~ a letting go of; the creation of space for something inherently more real to be felt, seen and known.

It is easy to understand the nature of the relationship to suffering we may experience in life; a suffering that is often reflected in the degree to which we have identified ourselves to ideas, thoughts, notions and beliefs so often labeled as truth ~ self engendered ideas of self, others and the world we live in that are consciously or unconsciously part of our so-called spiritual path.

I cannot express how easy it is to find words ~ to type them in; compared with the actual experience this deconstruction process has had on [my] subjective world.  I can see how easy it would be for the idea and desire to arise to want and need some escape to the imagined comfort of an Ashram or retreat, to allow this process to unfold with an assumed relative ease. 

How delicious the temptation is, to avoid the need to face the everyday, day to day demands that constantly tug and pull at awareness in so many delightfully seductive and distracting ways.  To “be in the world but not of it”; what a profound insight into the apparent dilemma and desire of a twenty first century yogi as he bumps into twenty first century living. 

For many, the deconstruction process has been described in more fanciful and romantic ways: Dark night of the Soul, Existential Crisis.  Any person of faith and conviction who has some extraordinary commitment to oneself and the fervent discovery of their own inner knowing will eventually bump into the limits of their own thinking and any particular allegiance it may have to a philosophical system.

We must hone our ability and willingness to confront; we must defiantly risk exposure of those ideas and their relevance.  We must examine wholeheartedly, with the light of awareness, the applicability of those cognitive commitments to see if there is a rapport, rhythm and flow of those ideas to the unfolding, inner knowing and experience that presently exists within the wisdom of Soul. 

As we sit on the precipice of new understanding, waiting for the bubble of our own understanding to be popped by the light of awareness; we must temper our need, desire and compulsion to pullback from new revelation.  And in the salvation of that clear seeing, witness the bound as it becomes unbound.

When it comes to the fire of conflict and struggle that lies in the deconstructive process known as Dark night of the soul; what can be seen is how easily the mechanics of thinking can distract oneself from the present moment now with its essential nature and vitality.  It is only in our ability to be stripped naked of thinking and the notion of [me] that we will truly be free to thrive in the space between us.


Who do you trust the most and for what reasons?



The Doctrine of One [Book]

ZEN Shredding ~ The Prequel [Book]

ZEN ~ Shredding [Book]

Soulananda [Book]

Soulananda [Web site]

Bliss Blog [Michael Sean Symonds]


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





Richard Moss…
May 19, 2011


There is no better adventure than the adventure of becoming conscious…






You Are, More Than Enough…
May 14, 2011







From birth we are conditioned into believing we need to be somebody.  We are taught and indoctrinated into the belief that we need to be somebody that does something, thinks something ~ to  get something that will lead us to the promised land of happiness.

We are brainwashed by family, society and peers, into believing that to be happy or successful in life, we need to do something in order to be somebody, and in the doing we lose touch with the simplicity of Being, there appears to be is a loss of our whole self.  We lose ourselves to the search in being a somebody that does something, and we miss the inherent fact that we are already everything.

In the pursuit for something more, we fail to recognize that we already are.  We fail to see that we are, regardless of whether we are being something, doing something, having something or thinking something.

Our voyeuristic fascination with Hollywood stardom and our yearning for a lifestyle of the rich and famous hints at the depth of our conditioning and underlying feeling of separation that drives the desperation, need and addiction to become a somebody; somebody other than who and what we already, always are.

How many billions momentarily lose themselves in the trance of someone else’s fairy tale Royal wedding?  How many hours will be spent numbing and deadening awareness, as we vicariously live through another’s fictitious eye; the characters that live and thrive in the imaginary world of our favourite daily soap opera and the pages of entertaining magazines and television shows?


You already are more than enough.

You always were more than enough.

You already, always are more than enough.


For most, this is not enough.  As we entrench ourselves in the search for something more; in our seeking for greener gardens and perfect picket fences, we feel lost.  With or without the kids and the cars, many feel something is missing; something is somehow absent from our experience.

But the freedom ~ however seductive, was never to be found in the experience or things.  The freedom was never in being somebody that has something.  The freedom was not in anything a somebody could ever provide, think, do or be.

For most, there is no awareness that Being nobody was always already, good enough.  It is simply not seen or recognized that Being nobody without the thinking, the being, the having or the doing is already, always, good enough.

It’s ironic that the so-called spiritual world has succumbed into the hypnosis, seduction, distraction and trappings of a confused mind.  Not happy with conventional strategies of gain, appropriation and affirmation; all manner of systems and philosophies focused on merit, success, understanding and so-called mastery of a so-called mystery are adopted.  Only the madness of a somebody could ever come up with the idea we need to be a spiritual something to prevent us from being a conventional nobody.

So we re-condition a conditioned mind with nonsense teachings based on so-called Laws of attraction and so-called Secrets that have nothing to do with finding out Who We Are and everything to do with reinforcing the hope and belief that somehow the person who appears to be a nobody will somehow be lead into becoming a somebody.  In the perverse twist of an addiction to become a somebody, we miss the innocence & psychological freedom that exists in being a nobody.

In the simplicity and innocence of Who and What We Are; everything is; whether we appear to be a somebody or a nobody.  The image, identity and story of being a somebody: whether that be a conventional somebody that is actually a no-body, or a so-called spiritual somebody that is actually a nobody; all, simply masquerades the truth of Who and What We already Are ~ which was always good enough.

 Who is this nobody that wants to become a somebody?

Who is this apparent somebody that spends its life seeking and searching for some missing factor, element or experience to elevate the notion that she is no longer a nobody?


A spiritual you, is just as delusional as a conventional you.  The notion that in becoming a spiritual somebody, you will then be free from living the life of a nobody is living life backwards.  When it is seen that there is in fact never a somebody; that there is just a nobody pretending to be a somebody, [you] won’t need to spend your lifetime seeking, searching and attempting to develop the false identity of being a somebody, a somebody that fills the perceived void of feeling like a nobody; fuelled by the idea of separation and the perceived loss of an essential, impersonal Self.

Instead, [you] can simply be free: free from the stress and strain, the confusion, doubt and suffering that is always the result of trying to maintain, enhance or elevate the false identity of a somebody who is avoiding being a nobody.  [You] can finally be free from the chronic notion, anxiety and personal neurosis that arises from the fear that you might fail in your attempt to escape being an apparent nobody; a nobody that desperately wants to be a somebody.

So if you feel like a nobody [you] may be caught up in the spell of thinking [you] need to be a somebody.  [You] might imagine and assume that this new and improved somebody will somehow rescue you from the chance of being a nobody.  Why not instead sit with that feeling, until [you] realize that [you] are ultimately neither the feeling nor the thought that drives those feelings; you might observe that they simply arise and subside in awareness.

Why not sit with the idea that [you] will always, inherently be a nobody that can only temporarily be seduced into thinking you need or can become a somebody.  Why not sit with the idea that when you are free from the vicious cycle and neurosis of becoming, you can be fully free to enjoy with abandon, being a nobody in particular, that momentarily appears to be a somebody…


The Doctrine of One [Book]

ZEN Shredding ~ The Prequel [Book]

ZEN ~ Shredding [Book]

Soulananda [Book]

Soulananda [Web site]

Bliss Blog [Michael Sean Symonds]


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



After Thought #53
April 28, 2011



Monks spend their entire life busy with the business of getting closer to “God”, foregoing the recognition that She is already,


everywhere and everything.


How divinely arrogant and naive it is to imagine that “God” can only be found in the beauty of life. 


She is undeniably already everywhere,

in all things,

 and simultaneously nowhere,



There is no place on Earth that is closer to “God” than where [you] are now. 


She is,

where [you] are,






It’s only the mind enchanted by the spell of co-dependent thinking, and a story called “The Mystery of Life”, that dismisses the inherent Oneness of Twoness.


Piety and chastity are riddled with judgment and mark the delusion of a conditioned mind that has lost itself in distinction.


Sweetness abides in the awareness that Two is always and already,

effortlessly One.


With complete abandon,

 wholeness eternally wraps itself around both the sweet and the sour in life.





 alludes the seeker, 

masquerading itself as everything,



Are [you] ready to step outside the prison of [your] own conditioning?



The Doctrine of One [Book]

 ZEN Shredding ~ The Prequel [Book]

 ZEN ~ Shredding  [Book]

 Soulananda [Book] 

Soulananda [Web site]

 Bliss Blog [Michael Sean Symonds] 


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




Within Any Given Story…
April 9, 2011





[You] are not [your] story.

[You] arrive and then the story appears to unfold on [you]; mind steps in with an editorial of approval or disapproval and you believe it.

Whether there is embracing or denying, loving or hating of the story, it’s ultimately irrelevant to Who [You] Are.

Embracing or denying, loving or hating is only the mind adding an additional paragraph or page to the mirage of a perceived story; the miracle of existence itself.

[You] can be in [your] story but not of it. We call this freedom, even though this is just another entertaining bi-line of an imagined story…


If you are not your story then Who Are You? 

Our perceived problem begins and ends with this question.  If you take the time to look at your own experience you will realize that your confusion and suffering occurs from the result of the stories you tell about yourself – about yourself, the world, and others.  [You] don’t need the grandeur of so-called enlightenment or an awakening experience, however seductive and appealing those particular stories may be, to see with awareness.

Look closely to your experience and you might notice the stories you tell yourself are always changing: one moment your listening or engaged in telling yourself a story of how happy you are because something has occurred in your life that brings you great pleasure, and the next moment, or a few days later, you are distraught because there is a new [or recurring] story of something painful and yet very real, that appears to be now happening in your life. 

And so the swing of the story and one perspective of life continues; we appear to be caught up in the cycle of the highs and the lows that appear to be always inherent within an ever unfolding story.  This story; any story, is always perpetuated by the perception, understanding and knowledge of who we imagine ourselves to be within any given story.  Any story will be prolonged, intensified and editorialized by self-engendered ideas that lead to other thoughts which appear to become words; the same words that will often appear to become actions, that lead to more chapters of a story.

There is a [you] of course; but not a you you could ever imagine yourself to be. 

The pretend you; the you imagine yourself to be; exists only in your mind as thoughts, words, and beliefs that become the stories you accumulate about yourself, others and the world you perceivable live in.  The stories exist in the ideas, beliefs, notions, perceptions, associations and memories you have about yourself, others and the world you live in.  The story thrives in the conditioning of experience and memory; in the flirtation and fixation of your attention on the stories that appear, and then become part of your imagined nature or self.

[You] exist for sure, but not in ways that you can ever imagine or think. 

Your existence is independent of any thought or idea you may have had, have, or will have, about yourself.  Your existence is independent of those memories, notions, perceptions, beliefs, association’s, thoughts and feelings you have about yourself, others, or the world you appear to live in. 

[You] exist in unspoken ways; ways that cannot include or rely upon whether they be verbal, intellectual or cognitive notions or suggestions of any conventional understanding of the body/mind.  [You] exist in different ways; ways that are not conceivable or perceivable. 

Our perceived problem begins with the fact that attention appears to be always caught up in the foreground of life experience.  It’s caught up in the language of internalized descriptions and the drama and joys of circumstance which appear to determine our subjective experience. 

We are entangled in those words and descriptions; we appear to be shackled by our subjective notions which elevate and sublimate the grandeur and drama of not only our story, but also the perceived suffering or joy that is contained within that story.  [You] are not your story.  You never were you story, and in spite of what you or others might say or think, your story is not Who [You] Are. 

Until [you] break the spell of your own story; the one you appear to have authored; you will be hypnotized by the pain and the pleasure that is inherent within all stories.  You will appear to be bound by all the ideas and perceptions, notions and understandings that are included in the stories you have gathered about yourself, others and the world you live in.  

You will be unable to see through the story, to the real [you] – until the spell of thinking is broken.  You will be unable to see through the spell of words that have hypnotized you; that have woven a thread of perception that appears to bound the unbound.  The time bound can never touch the timeless; the timeless can never be found in the time bound; beyond timeless and time bound, there is [freedom] in the silent space between us.

The end of the journey begins when you glimpse the extent to which those stories have clouded your awareness and perception; how they lead you down a hundred different rabbit holes that simply and easily, distract you from what is.  

[You] are what is. 

The more you simply notice those stories, without trying to change, fix or understand those stories, the more space in which everything arises and subsides can be revealed.  In that space, you may find a hint and suggestion, you might touch your essential nature; something that was always there; something that was always, naturally, spontaneously there, and in that space, you might find a freedom; the freedom and affirmation to simply Be.

I’m not enticing you to adopt yet another belief system or philosophy here.  I’m not asking you to take a leap of faith into some new or alternative conditioning.  I’m asking [you] to simply notice what always is; I’m asking [you] to notice what is already there, and in that noticing, perhaps the shell of your present understanding might be cracked; to reveal what was always, already there.

Who is that [you] that is already there; the one that watches the one who is aware?

I’m asking you to consider just for a moment, that replacing or creating a new and improved story will only temporarily sanitize the pain and suffering you may have experienced in the previous chapter of an ongoing story. 

We call these entertaining new stories:  religion, personal growth and spirituality; we call these stories awakenings and liberation.  They are stories guised in seduction of finding of a new purpose or meaning in life, and while they may temporarily solve the confusion, dilemma and drama of a present story, they often only become a temporary band aide that prevents us seeing the prison of our past and present conditioning. 

I’m asking you to pause for a moment and see that the power of will and desire to create a new story is really only moving from one trance into another trance, and however pleasurable that new trance may be, it’s only a reprieve, a commercial interlude from one story to the next; a postponed moment of suffering that will inevitably cycle into another period of imagined joy based on a story that will unquestionably lead to the experience of more suffering. 

It was never about enjoying or not enjoying your story.  It was never about creating a fashionable new story.  It’s only a mind that dwells on the slippery path of preference that can lead you into the prison of an apparently different experience or perspective.   It’s the apparent prison of perception and preference that gets you into trouble.

When there is passionate detachment; when there is a resting in awareness; the value judgments of “like” and “dislike”, “want”, “need” or “desire” evaporate; leaving things as they are.  When things are left as they are, the innocent state of restful awareness creates the space to more easily navigate the apparent conflicts that exist within duality and the experiences, perceptions, and stories that appear to arise in the day to day occurrences of the story we call life.

With attention, you might notice who comes first; [you] might notice that it is [you] who comes first, followed shortly by an infinite number of stories, spun by a mind that can only ever spin a good or bad story.  

You are not your story. 

Nor the good and the bad that appear to occur in your story.  You are not the highs and lows that may occur in your life, nor are you anything else you may identify within the content of that story.

So here’s the kicker, and it’s a beauty: there is no story; there only appears to be a story, and there only appears to be a story about there being no story.  

[We] only imagine there is a story, or not. 

We only imagine there is a story, and we only imagine that there is someone who is in a story or not; but that someone and the story of that someone being in a story or not being in a story, is a mirage.  They are random ideas that come together, organized by a mind that is hardwired for survival.  They are ideas that at once confuse and sublimate a freedom that is already always there, regardless of what content the mind, moment or circumstance may be presenting. 

You cannot get out of a box if you don’t realize you’re in a box. 

You cannot get out of a box if you don’t realise there is no box.  The box is the story.  The box is the person you imagine yourself to be; the one who appears to role play in the box you call “me” and “my life”.  Substituting one box, however pleasurable or comfortable, for another box; or trying to make your box look pretty or better will never free you from a box;  a box is a box or not.  The person you imagine yourself to be is the box or not. 

When we ask ourselves the question Who Am I? We are not looking for an answer and we certainly are not looking for understanding; that would only become another box; another trap with which to entrench yourself.

So there is no story and there is no box. 

Better said: there only appears to be a box and a story, and there appears to be a person who is sometimes in a box and sometimes not.  There appears to be a story and sometimes the story is nice and sometimes the story is not so nice.

When there is no longer an obsession with trying to understand and explain, fix or transform; when there is no longer an attempt to change the story a mind may be spinning; there can be a space; there can be a sense of freedom to simply be with what is. 

What could be more intimate than this? 

What is; is so much greater than what appears to be.

Where is the need of fixing? 

Where is the need of understanding? 

What [you] are already is enough; where is the need of searching? 

Because you already always are who you are; where is there a need for another story?

As long as you are in a body, there will always appear to be a story; but that’s just a story.

 So why don’t we just forget this story?

Then again; how can you forget a story if it does not exist to begin with?

Cheers to the story; the one that comes; the one that goes…


The Doctrine of One [Book]

ZEN Shredding ~ The Prequel [Book]

ZEN ~ Shredding  [Book]

Soulananda [Book]

Soulananda [Web site]

Bliss Blog [Michael Sean Symonds]


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



March 31, 2011







ON ~ Practice
March 3, 2011



The [inherent] problem within any practice is that there appears to be a person who is [doing] the practice.

Initially and for the most part, it seems and it is taught, there appears to be someone who is learning, someone who is improving, and someone who is mastering some practice.

Whether it’s the practice of asana, pranayama, mantra, yantra, tantra or prayer, [we] are seduced and deluded into thinking and believing that somebody is doing something.




So-called realization is the awareness that nobody is doing anything; it’s a knowing that nobody has ever done anything.

Most engage practice with the idea that it’s all about getting something, being something, doing something or having something.  It’s a “doing to get” philosophy, and it’s based entirely on narcissistic movement of the mind.

The unspoken intent of any practice is to move beyond the so-called mind; to know the knower; to know that [you] are not the asana, nor are [you] the yogi who seems to be learning, practicing and mastering asana.

[Authentic] practice reveals Who [You] Are; getting something, being something, doing something or having something, becomes more and more irrelevant as the [truth] of reality is unvailed.




So-called practice reveals [you] are not practice, nor are [you] body that appears to be [doing ] so-practice. The illusion of practice and the illusion of a body that does practice becomes more and more transparent until there is a complete collapse and annihilation of all ideas about a body and a practice, and the one who appears to be a body which does a practice.

Awareness that [you] are not practice or body [doing] practice reveals knowing; knowing [you] are not body nor are [you] practice; knowing [you] are in fact much more than [you] could ever possibly imagine; knowing [you] are in fact [Consciousness].

To know [you] are [Consciousness] upon which body & practice appears to appear, brings an inward peace and passionate dispassion towards life. [You] come [home], to Who [You] Are; to a place [you] never left.

Nothing appears to [become] & [do] something, until it realizes it is in fact simultaneously nothing & something; until it realizes it is IT, or not…



The Doctrine of One [Book]

ZEN Shredding ~ The Prequel [Book]

ZEN ~ Shredding  [Book]

Soulananda [Book]

Soulananda [Web site]

Bliss Blog [Michael Sean Symonds]


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



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