Insight #51 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 24, 2009

 Blacomb spring 2008 057


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



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

Extended commentary:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:




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…






When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:




The Essentials of a Good Life…


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




Insight #50 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 18, 2009

 WB 083


Pay attention.  


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



Extended commentary:

 Where is your attention, now? 

 Is it lost in a memory of the past?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

 See the moment as it is:

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

without evaluation [ this means this, that means that]

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

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


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

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

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


4)  Do nothing:

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


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


To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:




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…






When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:




The Essentials of a Good Life…


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




Death of the subject “I”…
February 25, 2008

I think if people really knew the ultimate purpose of meditation they would probably think twice about pursuing the practice!  This might sound funny coming from a meditation instructor; fortunately, most people who learn to meditate show up for some of the more tangible benefits that have been known to manifest as a result of the experience over even a short period of tenure and practice: reduction or elimination of stress and anxiety, increased creativity, strengthened immunity, improved brain wave coherence… the list is endless ~ check out Googles 31300 entries for “benefits of meditation”.   

There are many stories aback of the purpose of Spiritual practice.  If you have immersed yourself into a more new age approaches spirituality will probably fall into a healing, transformation or create the perfect life kind of narrative.  If you’re grabbing spirituality by the balls, enlightenment is typically the most popular, most storied and most misunderstood of all the favored “goals”.   

When one visits a diverse expression or variety of the wisdom traditions you can often find reflections of “truth” itself, threads of insight pleasantly suggest all paths have the potential and ability to lead one to the unified whole!  Whether you want to call it enlightenment, realization, transcendence, cosmic consciousness, or what ever, ultimately all these terms result in the death of the subject “I”. 

The wisdom tradition of Vedanta suggests that most of our suffering is based on the illusion of the existence of the subject “I”.  It’s the suffering of not knowing the true Self a choice to “I”dentify with the ego or small self which grasps and fears the transient and unreal, while also resisting the illusion of its ultimate demise.  This is a proven formulae, a platform for the experience pain and suffering; enough too last a lifetime. 

One problem with many spiritual paths is they emphasize a doing aspect that is based not only a judgment of the present moment, but also places a significance on an improved tomorrow.  There are two traps involved in this methodology:  

One is that it negates the fact the bigger part of the real you is free now and can be embraced now,  

and secondly,  

it reinforces rather than deconstructs the existence and illusion of the subject “I”.   

Most teachings perpetuate or enhance not only the existence of an “I”, but also the possibility of getting, having or achieving a new and improved self or “I”.  A rehabilitated or transformed “I” that will provide you with the perfect little life.  While there can be benefits to using a variety of different methods to improve the quality and way you do life, in a Spiritual context it’s valuable to recognize early on that less of the “I” is more. Giving up something of the “I” now, allows you to reveal more of your true nature and Self and in doing so, reduce the amount of pain and suffering you experience in your life.  

The seers and sages of our distant past navigated, mapped and in a few cases “mastered” the “territory” of  the spiritual journey as a progressive “evolution” of consciousness into more expanded states and ultimately, real “I” zation.  Most of the population is very familiar with and will spend their entire lives living in the first three, of seven “states” of consciousness: deep sleep, dreaming and waking; a few more adventurous Souls may take the time to step out of their conditioned perception of reality by “force” or by  “choice” to awaken the observer or witness within and the first step in the ultimate demise of the “I”ndividual.   

The immersion of oneself into the depths of one’s true nature using some sort of successful meditation practice allows one to “travel” back and forth from waking state of awareness into the fourth state of transcendental consciousness.  It allows the mind that was once bound to become unbound.  This “journey” allows one to begin to realize that the world perceived is not necessarily the world to be experienced.   This subtle shift in attention and perception while gentle often provides many dramatic left turns in the life of someone who has made the choice to abandon the foreground of their life for the background of eternity and the true Self that had previously been marginalized.  The task at hand is noble, grand and necessary, what’s at stake is freedom.  For as long as the “I” remains in the foreground of our attention we will continue to experience reality through the veil of chaos and suffering. 

As we begin to peak behind the curtain of distinction we realize that what the “I” had created through its thoughts, memories, associations, perceptions and body “I”dentification had no substance or truth except at the level of the mind, as a projection.  We are awakened from the trance of our dream.  It’s not that clues have not been left behind informing us of our ultimate destiny and demise.  Spoken words often hide unspoken truth, behind a journey so infrequently travelled.  Sleep has often been called ‘the little death”, Samadhe a Sanskrit word describing the experience of “slipping into the gap” or silence of meditation, means “No me”; Nirvana means extinction!   

As one “progresses” through transcendental consciousness to the fifth state of Cosmic consciousness, one foot is in “heaven” the other on earth. The boundary between time and space is beginning to bleed into the timelessness of eternity.  It is here that the defined “I” begins to unravel.  The “you” and the “me” that had a past, a present and a future, that once believe it was born to die will be recognized for what it is, a role player cast among many roles, many stories, many lives.  It is here that one begins to lose the hysteria and mellow drama of our scripted lives.  It is here that one recognizes one is in the world but not of it.   

The fifth leads to the sixth; divine consciousness.  Here, there is no distinction between the sinner and the Saint.  Here, the rich and the poor the joy and the suffering are seen as “one”.    A bridge of equanimity has replaced the perception of the subject/object split.  The “I” has been upstaged, for it no longer holds the trump card of perception.  The mind is quiet; the body is still, the Self has awakened to itSelf.  “You” finally get over yourself.  The divinity within now recognizes the divinity without.  Life is no longer experienced or perceived as up or down, inner or outer.  There is simply a divine play of consciousness.  Recognition takes place of denial and the true miracle of creation ~ inclusion, is unleashed for the benefit of all humankind. 

 At the seventh level of consciousness the “I” ceases to be an “I” as pure, undisturbed consciousness erases the illusion of all boundaries. 

“Here” the person ceases to be a person. 

“Here”; there is no coming, there is no going. 

“Here”, there is no arising, there is no subsiding. 

“Here”, nothing is the same, nothing is different. 

“Here”, nothing exists, nothing does not exist… 

The purpose of meditation is not to attain but to reveal.

In silence, my mind remembers and my Soul awakens.


my mind is still,

my body is quiet,

my breath is deep.


my life flows with effortless ease.


I am aware of my own inner perfection.

In Solitude I belong to my Self.

In Solitude, I realize the One Spirit that dwells within me.


the seed of divinity that lies within me contains the whole truth.

 Are you ready to remember?           


The biology of ego seperation…
February 11, 2008



In michael’s blog world adventures there is always a lot of juicy activity on the subject of ego.  It’s not surprising since it is a topic that most “seekers” on the path brush up against at some point on their journey.  Depending on the path, dogma, philosophy or teaching on this particular subject, it has the power to elevate our ability to navigate the journey to a more integrated level of understanding of “Who We Are” or, as in many cases distract, trap or warp the mind into a seductive web of nonsense.  This nonsense is many times then incestuously regurgitated by the very path, dogma, philosophy or teachings that was designed to “liberate”.  Our innocence is once again, temporarily lost as judgement is layered on judgement, concept on concept, and we become further distracted from Who We Are.


%d bloggers like this: