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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]

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



The Doctrine of One…
June 5, 2010



“I” AM the World “I” live in.


There is but “ONE” creation and “Self”.


All “things” appear in “me” and yet, “I” AM beyond all things.


All existence is “my” existence.

All happiness is “my” happiness.

All suffering is “my” suffering.


“I” will relinquish “my” obsession with the past while waiving speculation of an imagined future.


“I” will be present with what is.


With concern and attention focused on the present, “I” will find response to every situation as it occurs.


The greatest gift “I” have is Self and life.


The perfect moment is now.


Now is a good time for joy.

Now is a good time for purpose, meaning and quiet attention.

Now is a moment of opportunity to be.

Now is the time to:


rediscover “my” innocence,

express “my” excellence,

to serve humanity.



Now “I” become a knower of reality.



“I” set right all ideas of the “ONE” Self.


“I” realize the ONE-ness, timeless, dimensionless perfection of “my” own inner Being where nothing can be gained and nothing can be lost.




Living The Doctrine of ONE, “I” will be attentive to the present moment now:




* The purpose of life is the expansion of happiness on all levels.


The wisdom of happiness while subjective can be enhanced.  Harmony occurs when “my” happiness and the happiness of “another” meet.  The essence of all happiness can never found in things; things that are grasped or feared, things that the “I” can identify with. 


Genuine happiness can be realized by abandoning who we imagined ourselves to be, creating the space for finding out Who We Are.



* We can find out Who We Are through investigation, enquiry and detachment; by stepping onto the path of unlearning; by cultivating a quiet, attentive mind.


In awareness we can find freedom from the known.

By stepping out of the known, we lose ourselves to the potential of Who We Are:

a field of infinite possibilities, unbounded by space and time.




* Finding out Who We Are is not about having more, doing more, or being more. 


It’s not finding our success or preventing failure.

It’s not about fixing, changing, transforming, getting or losing.

It’s not about being saved, saving “others” or purifying the ONE self.

It has nothing to do with what you eat, what you wear, or what you believe.

It depends not on whether you are man or woman, black or white, gay or straight or whether see and think of yourself as a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim or Jew.


Finding out Who You Are has nothing to do with what you know or don’t know. 

It’s not about discovering past lives, the burning of the seeds of Karma or the gaming of reincarnation.


Finding out Who You Are has nothing to do with priests or profits, the gurus or God(s).  It has nothing to do with dogma or tradition.


It’s not about mastering a particular asana or the use of a specific mudra.


It matters not whether you have meditated for one year or twenty.



*  First,

you imagined this:




“I” am separate, “I” am a sinner, “I” am a Saint.  “I” am blocked; “I” am gay or straight.  “I” am black or white; “I” am a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu or Jew.  Once imagined; you gathered and you filled, you took yourself to be the mind with its self engendered thoughts and beliefs.


You identified with all that you imagined the self to be. 


As you endorsed the illusion of an imaginary self, you temporarily distracted yourself from Who You Are.  You created a story and then you lost yourself in the nonsense of that story. 


You imagined a loss of freedom and lost touch with the connection you always have to your ONE true Self. 


First you imagined a story; then, lost in your story, you posited a path.  You created a path and you created a process that you called my path.  You created a story and strategy of how you would return some day to some Garden of Eden; a garden of perfection that was in fact, never lost.




* To find out Who You Are you need not go somewhere or do anything; just be.


In the doctrine of ONE you become aware of the fact you are aware; you become aware that you are. 


You become watchful, quiet and attentive.


To know the Self, you need just be the Self.


You cannot become what you already are.




* There is no other:


You are not a person. 


Reality is impersonal.


You are reality. 


You are a timeless, dimensionless Being.  You are a centre of perception that momentarily gets caught up in imagining you are a person, a thing, a body, an emotion, a thought, a memory, an association, a perception, a feared future, or a perturbed past. 


You cannot move away from perfection, since you are perfection.  The real you is perfect, whole and complete now. 


You are Universal now.


There is no “up”, there is no “down”; there is no “in” or “out”.  There is no “here” there is no “there”; there is no “above” or “below”.  There is no “high” or” low”, there is no “other”. 


There is no “self” or “not self”.




* There is no path:


No doctrine, no dogma or law, however holy or sacred; however ancient or wise, can ever describe in words the truth of Who “You” Are, who “you” were and who “you” will always be…



“I” am not here to live an ordinary life.


“I” am here to discover the “ONE” Self;

to realize the “ONE” Spirit that dwells within “me”.


Then “I” will live an extraordinary life.


“I” am here to realize the “ONE” spirit of human solidarity and interdependence; to cultivate “ONE” kinship with all life.


What “I’ve” read is not as important as what “I’ve” done.


What “I’ve” done is not as important as who “I’ve” been.


The “ONE” seed of divinity that lies within “me” contains the whole truth.


Am “I” ready to remember?


Am “I” willing to allow?


Am “I” willing to unlearn?


Am “I” willing to be?



For a sneak peak or to order this book…


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

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,


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.

ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #23
November 19, 2008



To be or not to be.



Most of us spend our lives seeking happiness but never really find it.  We create elaborate plans with lofty goals that may or may not serve us.  It’s good to plan and it’s good to have goals, but true freedom and joy can be ours if we learn to simply observe the moment as it unfolds.



Extended commentary:


Who is it that fears?


Who is it that wants?


Who is it that desires?


Who is it that needs?


Who is it that imagines and plans?


Who is it that wants to change, fix, transform, create, heal, love, conquer, be something, do something, have something, become something?


Who is it that tries?


Who is that gives up?


Who is it that knows or does not know?


Who is it that trusts, forgives, regrets, hurts, finds, loses, runs and doubts?


Who is it that struggles?


Who is it that forgets, learns, understands, takes, gives and receives?


Who is it that feels lost, lonely, afraid, ashamed, confused?


Who is it that wants liberation or enlightenment?


Who is it that wants to be saved?


Who is it that wants to be loved?


Who is it that hopes?


Who is it that hates?


 Who is it that feels joy, sadness, purpose, meaning, success or failure?


Who is it that rejects or judges,


Who is it that prays or meditates?


Who is it that celebrates or suffers?


Who is it that is humble, worried, noble, and courageous?


Who is it that listens, speaks, hears, see’s?


Who is it that thinks, or does thinking happen?


Who is it that questions?


Prior to the questions you are.

During the questions you are.

After the questions you will be.




How would you live your life if you knew the who, the what, the where, the why and the how were already taken care of?


To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:




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…



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




ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #21
November 4, 2008


It’s fine to feel like you’re not good enough.



New circumstances can often place you in situations where you feel inadequate and inferior.  While these inner programs and conversations often repeat themselves over and over again in your life, it’s valuable to recognize their insignificance to who you truly are.  Reminding yourself that you are not your emotions, thoughts, feelings and beliefs is a way to navigate the more challenging inner terrain of the mind that may often hamper or debilitate the pursuit of your dreams.


Extended commentary:


The field of Psychology and most New Age Spirituality, places a high regard on the quality of your thoughts.  Significance, value and assessment, suggest that not only that you are your thoughts, but also that your thoughts have the ability to manipulate reality; this is very far, from the truth…


Yoga teaches us experientially; directly, that we are not our thoughts.  Thoughts happen, or they don’t.  A thought is a thought, and consciousness places no value or significance on the thought or the apparent quality of the thought.   A thought is inherently neither good nor bad; it simply is.  It is only the delusion of the mind, and the obsession of the “I”, that places a significance or judgment on those thoughts. Consciousness manifests as all thought, irrespective of the minds judgment of those thoughts. 


As a result of judgment, the mind decides that it is a “good” thought, or a “bad” thought, a “loving” thought, or a “hateful” thought, a “creative” thought, or a “destructive” thought.  While a thought does have a certain amount of influence on creating our subjective experience of life (to the degree we are identified to that thought), it has no bearing of influence on the objective world.  Your thoughts do not create reality; they do not influence the world of form and phenomena.


Trying to change your thoughts or thinking, is like trying to change the flow of a river, or currant of the Ocean.  Since consciousness does not consider one thought to be higher or lower than another thought, why would WE want to change our thinking? 


The intention of meditation as a practice is to begin to realize that you are not your mind, nor, are you the contents of your mind.  This perplexes many new meditators who imagine they must stop, change or eliminate the thinking process. This misunderstanding of the mind, clearly deludes, confuses and misleads many who create and pursue certain spiritual paths or philosophies.


Meditation is a tool to remove the obstacles of our identification, in this case our thoughts and thinking.  The main cause of our suffering is not the kind of thoughts we have, but our identification to those thoughts.  Our identification to our thoughts, our thinking and our believing, distracts us, misleads us, and overwhelms us.  You are not your thoughts.  You are the one who is having those thoughts; thoughts happen to you or on you (or not), they are not you.


As we become more and more detached to our thoughts and the thinking process, life becomes more effortless.  We experience a subjective freedom that allows us to thrive in the objective world.  The freedom we sought was never out there, but in fact, in here.  This freedom is based on a fundamental shift in our attention from our thoughts, which appear to be things, to simply witnessing those thoughts, without identifying with the thoughts.  When we no longer identify ourselves too, or as those thoughts, we create the space for our real Self to emerge.  We no longer listen to the noise or nonsense of those thoughts. YOU are not your thoughts; YOU are the ONE who is having those thoughts.  YOU are not your thoughts; YOU are the ONE who is thinking those thoughts. 


Who is the thinker? 


Who is the ONE who is having those thoughts?




Notice a thought.


Now; notice another thought.


Notice the space before and after a thought.


Notice the thought arises and subsides, it comes and it goes.


Notice that you are having that thought; notice that the thought is happening to you, or on/in you.


Notice this thought; that thought; and all thoughts.


Notice which thoughts you identify with and to.



When you are most happy, when you feel the greatest freedom, how are you relating to your thoughts?


When you are feeling confused and depressed, how do you relate to your thoughts?


Notice how you feel about some thoughts.


Who is it that is feeling? 

Who is it that is thinking? 

Who is it that is notices?     



Is it time for you to change the inner conversation you’re listening to?



To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:




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…



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




The Story Of YOU…
October 21, 2008



 “ YOU are always there.


The YOU that is always there,


is the ONE


that always goes unnoticed…”



Stephen H Wolinsky




YOU are always there.  You were there before you began searching, you were there while you are searching, and you will be there after you give up searching…


The fact that YOU are already there, is so blatant, it goes un-witnessed.  YOU are so oblivious to your Self, the real YOU that YOU are, that YOU look outside your Self instead.  YOU look to the stories about a YOU, instead of the real YOU that is always there.


The stories about YOU are very seductive; they have to be otherwise they would not make great stories.  The best of those stories turn into mythologies, dogmas, traditions or religions ~ stories about the birth of YOU, stories about the loss of YOU, stories about searching for YOU.  While those stories contain many experiences had by some YOU; some, even direct experiences or realization; it has now become a story which is not YOU.


YOU are not your story.  The story is happening in, or on YOU.  YOU are not the details of the story, the experiences or circumstances contained within that story.  When YOU spend a lot of time focused on the story of YOU; the labeling, the evaluating, the assessing, the judging and the placing significance or importance of certain details, ignoring other details within the story; trying to manipulate the story for good or for the bad, YOU create confusion; YOU start to identify with the story.


When YOU identify with the story, YOU lose touch with the YOU that YOU are.  By placing attention on the details of the story which has nothing to do with YOU, YOU are seduced by the pain and the pleasure of the story instead of the Self which YOU are, which is independent of the pain and the pleasure.  Spirituality and Psychology are infatuated by the story, through incest they create stories within stories; they create stories about the YOU in the story; stories about the pain and the pleasure.


When your attention is on the story of who YOU are, and the pain and pleasure that occurs within that story, YOU begin to place more significance on that story and its pain and pleasure, rather than the truth, which YOU are.  YOU become obsessed by the story.  In your neurosis, YOU begin to imagine that YOU are the story; not YOU.  YOU start to fantasize that YOU can create the story, change the story, understand the story, develop or resist the story.  YOU do your best to sanitize it, suppress it, and edit It, to some imagined likening and when it does not fit that likening, YOU go into denial of the story that was not YOU or true, to begin with, and when YOU can, YOU try to switch your present story for another story about YOU.  In most cases YOU become overwhelmed by the story and the endless details of the story; YOU become overshadowed by the you, YOU imagine yourself to be.


Once YOU are lost in the story: the imaginings, the illusions, the ideas, the notions, the perceptions, the understandings, the concepts and the drama contained within that story, YOU spend the rest of your time trying to find a way out of the story. 


If YOU are not a story, then what reason do YOU need to find your way out of it? 


If YOU are not your story, what reasons do you need to change it? 


If YOU are not the details, circumstances or situations within the story, then why place such importance on it? 


If YOU are not your story, then YOU are also not someone else’s story either, whether it is about the imagined YOU, or not. 


Who is more important; YOU or the story of YOU? 


What is more important; the story of YOU or YOU?


Who is the YOU?


What is the YOU?


The YOU that YOU are, is already free.  YOU cannot accept your freedom, because you are lost in the overwhelming details your story.  Spirituality and psychology, loves to endorse the story YOU; of how YOU got lost, of why YOU got lost, of when YOU got lost, of what and where YOU need to do/go in order to find, once again, the YOU that YOU always were.


If YOU are always were, then there is no need to go looking, especially out there.  If YOU always there, there is no need to do anything, be anything, achieve anything, gain anything, lose anything or find anything to the YOU, that YOU are.


How can YOU find something that was lost only in a story?


When the story of who YOU are, becomes more important than the realization of who YOU are, YOU become manipulated by the details of the story, you become a victim within the story. 


If the YOU that YOU are is already there, where is the need for conversion?


If the YOU that YOU are is already free, where is the need for salvation?


When the story of who YOU are becomes more important than the recognition of who YOU are, the story at once determines who YOU are, by emphasizing what YOU are doing or not doing in the story, rather than who YOU are Being.  The story of what YOU could be doing or not doing takes precedence over the simplicity of the YOU that exists in the present moment, now.


YOU are inherently perfect, now.  The degree, to which you experience the rhythm and flow of YOU, will be determined by the degree of awareness YOU have of YOU and its inherent perfection.  YOU can accept what is said about YOU; YOU can adopt a story about YOU, or YOU can simply be YOU.


YOU are ancient and unborn.  If YOU are unborn, YOU cannot die.  The purest of wisdom traditions suggested that water cannot wet YOU, fire cannot burn YOU, wind cannot dry YOU and iron cannot cleave YOU.  For to long, YOU have relied on external sources to validate who YOU are.  For to long YOU have depended on confirmation of an imagined YOU, defined by the story.  YOU define yourself by affirmations that exist only in the world of form and phenomena that serve only to entrench YOU; your milestones have become the millstones of pain and suffering.


YOU already know this.  YOU already know, that YOU are; what YOU are, YOU do not know.  YOU already sense that the story of YOU is not the real YOU; otherwise YOU would not always be looking.  YOU just need to stop looking out there.  That does not mean that YOU cannot enjoy the story for what it is.  There will always be a story.  As long as YOU have a body/mind, there will be a story.  It is possible to be in the story but not of it.  It is possible to participate out there, in an infinite number of ways while in the story; as long as your attention is on YOU.


Now is the time to get to know the real YOU, because that’s all that there was, is and will ever be.  As you get to know the real YOU, YOU begin to let go of the story of YOU.  YOU become more and more detached from the story and the impact of the YOU, living in that story.  YOU let go of the filters of doubt, which always creates confusion, the confusion disturbs your clarity and when you lose clarity, YOU lose the inner peace that YOU are.


The inattentiveness of your attention gets caught up out there. In a moment of hypnosis, YOU temporarily redefine your understanding, perception and experience of who YOU are, through the story of who YOU are.  Who YOU are; what YOU are; when YOU are; where YOU are; and why YOU are; are irrelevant, because YOU are YOU.  The divine YOU manifests all-ways, in everyday happenings.


Now is the time to trust who YOU are.  As YOU trust who YOU are, YOU will no longer be dependent on the story or anything contained within the story for your safety, security or freedom. YOU will Be.  YOU will recognize the freedom YOU are, even though YOU appear to be in the story.  YOU are always YOU, and YOU are always there.  What ever YOU do and where ever YOU go, YOU can Be your Self.  But this is just another story about how YOU became me; and YOU are not the story, YOU are YOU!



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


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