The Gift Of Suffering.
July 10, 2017

The Gift Of Suffering.michael sean symonds

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Intimations On Eternity; Bk & Wh Trade Cover michael sean symonds

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The mind does not matter…
April 30, 2008

 

“ Any idea you have about Spirituality has nothing to do with Spirituality…”          

  Stephen Wolinsky
“I” wish “I” said that…

 

“I” have to confess though, that “I” read it.  It’s one of many lines written by Stephen Wolinsky in his many engaging books that have been having a very big effect on my personal journey and discover of Who I AM.  It’s one of those lines that when contemplated can have a dramatic affect on the way we perceive, understand and experience life.

(more…)

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.

Here,

my mind is still,

my body is quiet,

my breath is deep.

Here,

my life flows with effortless ease.

Here,

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.

Here,

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

 Are you ready to remember?           

              

The art of revelation, not mastery…
February 19, 2008

This entry is NOT about revelations in the bible!   

 I’m not interested in speculating or projecting the kind of rhetoric or vitriol usually associated with this particular tract of the bible… 

I’m going to ask you to pause the “play” button on the story of what you tell yourself, what you have been told and what you think spirituality is all about.  I’m requesting you examine for yourself, perhaps for the first time, if you really believe your divinity is based on something that has to be earned, gained or achieved, through some degree of meditative practice, merit, asana, mudra or pose.  I’m going to suggest that all disciplines and mastery’s, however challenging, fulfilling, or entertaining are musings of the mind and body only.   

 I am going to ask you too consider for a moment that true spirituality has nothing to do with what you put into your mouth [food], or what comes out of your mouth [words].  That your divinity (spirituality) has nothing to do with the color of your skin, who you’re sleeping with or whether you are an atheist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jew.   

I’m not interested in perpetuating the idea that if you change your thoughts you can change your reality ~ that spirituality itself, is about being positive and loving and not having a negative thought.  I’m not going to “drop you off” at some weigh station on your imagined journey to the divine that suggests if you master a secret or law of attraction you will have the perfect little life.   

You can decide for yourself what kind of lifestyle you want to live, but we need to be very clear that living a lifestyle has nothing to do with finding out Who You Are.  While that lifestyle may be nice, comfortable, safe or fulfilling, all lifestyles are maintained and enhanced by the existence of an “I” that thinks and feels; that has memories, associations, perceptions, ideas, beliefs, rules, regulations and concepts about the idea of Spirituality and divinity, which have nothing to do with Spirituality or your present, all pervading, divinity. 

I’m going to suggest that your divinity is independent of all these concepts, that your divinity is all together “above” your mind; that the divine is their before your thoughts, during your thought and after your thoughts.

I’m going to suggest that most of us marginalize our true Self and our innate divinity as well as the ever present divinity of others because we focus our attention on the foreground of what is conventional reality, the outer world of phenomena and form.  As a result of our external focus, we loose touch with the innocence that constantly thrives in the marginalized background of absolute reality.    

I’m interested in your attention; I’m interested in where you place your attention!  Is your attention in the noise and drama of your life?  Have you lost yourself in the story of your experience and your idea’s of what you think spirituality is or is not? Do you believe that your divinity and Spirituality is something that needs to be mastered, that you need to pass certain levels of completion, to finally reach a place of purity and perfection that only a “chosen” few have or can realize? 

I’m going to ask you to consider for a moment that all of this is of the mind only, that the simplicity of a quiet mind and still body is so overlooked, so marginalized by the distraction, hysteria and story of our lives and the nonsense of what is described as spiritual truth, that we blindly ignore the doorway to eternity and our true freedom.  

Is it so outrageous to suggest that your innate divinity and your ability to know yourSelf requires no effort, no knowledge, no understanding, no practice, no mastery, no time, no theology, no amount of Spiritual purification to be recognized or realized? 

Who You Are is has nothing to do with what you have achieved or not achieved in life.   

Who You Are has nothing to do with the level or tenure you may or may not have reached in your so called spiritual practice.    

Who You Are is something to be revealed…  

it can never be gained, 

  

because 

   it   

was  

never 

l o s t . . .   

 …You wander from room to room

hunting for the diamond necklace

that is already around your neck! 

~ Djalal ad-Din Rumi   

     

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