After thought #20
February 26, 2010



Who are you Being?

 Who you are Being has nothing to do with what you are doing.   Being happens long before the doing and the “I” occur.  Doing is the “final” expression of Being; the “I” a sequel.  Most human Beings place all of their attention on the foreground of the doing, and in doing so lose touch with background of Being. 

We have become especially obsessed with the thinking, the being, the having and the doing of life and we wonder why we suffer.  We imagine there is something special, in the process of doing; doing for the most part is placed over the essence of Being. 

Being becomes relegated to the background and doing is emphasized in the foreground where it is idolized and worshiped; placed highly above the value of Being.  The marginalization of Being paves way to the neurosis of doing, and in the neurosis of that thinking, having, being and doing we lose touch with the innocence and value of Being.

You are not the doer, “you” are Being.

The “you” that you imagine yourself to be arrives long after the brush stroke of Being has expressed its nature.  The doer and the doing are an illusion; the thinker and the thinking are irrelevant; erroneous footnotes of an “I” that has sliced and diced the moment with labels and premature cognitive commitments on the now. 

The having or not having just occur; the thinking and the being, the doing or not doing, just occur; just as Being also, always, spontaneously occurs.  Prior to thinking there is Being, prior to the having there is Being, and prior to the doing there is always Being.  The thinking, the being, the having and the doing arise and fall as an impulse of Being and are One.

If we were to focus less on the doing, the thinking, the having and the being we might glimpse the value of Being itself; we might realize it as our essential nature.  With a quiet attention on the background of Being, we might unleash the impulse of life that becomes the thinking, the being, the having and the doing.  We might for once innocently know the impulse of life that knows no bounds; where the knowing of one’s Self is the Being of ones Self.

There will always be doing, the question arises: who is the doer?

If we take care of the Being, the doing, the thinking, the having and the being will take care of itself…

Please watch this short, delicious video on the “The Joy of Being”

After thought #14
December 23, 2009


We could say that most people are meditating all the time. 

Their meditations are focused on what they are thinking, who they are being, what they are doing and what they have or do not have in life. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with this unconscious style of meditation, except for the fact that it is a very “sloppy” because there has been no instruction and there is no understanding in how to harness the power of attention.  This style of unconscious meditation that focuses attention only on thinking, being, doing and having, or not having is enough to make anyone feel crazy; and it does.

With a little instruction, with a small amount of understanding, everyone who is presently practicing these very unconscious, sloppy, styles of meditation could be “converted” into “master meditators”.  Instead of focusing on the external world of form and phenomena; instead of filling and losing oneself in the activity of their present style of meditation, one could begin to taste the freedom that lies in stillness.  One would have the opportunity to experience the many dynamic benefits of true meditation, which can be cultivated and thrive in the stillness in “non activity”.

There is nothing inherently wrong with thinking, being, doing and having; it will always appear to be occurring at the body/mind level.  But something magical can happen when the activity of thinking, being, doing and having is infused with the non activity of true meditation; meditation that allows one to experience the stillness that exists at the heart of all experience.  A little daily experience of non activity or restful alertness is enough to have an infinitely more dynamic impact on the expression of thinking, being, doing and having than any activity could ever have.

After thought #7
November 12, 2009


For most of my life I thought and believed that what was important was to think something, be something, do something and have something.  I mean isn’t that what life is about?  We’re born and our reason for being is to think certain things, be a certain way, do certain things and hopefully accumulate certain results that allow us to say we have lived a fulfilled life and we know who we are.

I’m not so sure any more, especially in the context of finding out Who We Are.  I’m not so sure, and I’m not so confident that at the deepest level, from a so-called “spiritual perspective”, that the mechanics of this assumption and process is valid.  If we look at the mechanics innocently, most spiritual philosophies follow a similar “my” theology.  In order to be “spiritual”, we need to think spiritual thoughts, do spiritual things, have spiritual experiences that will hopefully allow us to be who we are spiritually.  

I’m starting to realize inherently there is no difference to the mechanics or approach of this perceived new way of being.  It is not a new way of Being, and it certainly does not necessarily lead us to be any more “closer” to finding out Who We Are.  The same, exact mechanics are in operation here.  It’s the same way of being, with a different content; it just looks more exciting, sometimes feels more exciting, and on one level appears to be a more sociably acceptable form, or new way of living that will reduce or eliminate our suffering.  In the best case scenario, it may provide more happiness and fulfillment, but it still entails thinking, being, doing and having, and if “our” “intention” is to find out Who We Are, if our “intention” is for radical transformation, it is a very seductive distraction and illusion. 

If “our intention” is for “transformation”, to redefine “our sense of self” so that we can move beyond suffering and ways of being that do not serve, one that is not based on thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, associations or memories, then the inherent mechanics of our approach; changing the content of our thinking, being, having and doing, is flawed. 

It is the mechanics of our thinking, being, doing and having itself, that are flawed.  Changing the content of our thinking, being, having and doing, will not eliminate the suffering and it will not lead to Self, it will only serve to create yet another, potential, obstacle, towards the inherent discovery and allowing of Who We Are.  Prior to thinking something, being something, doing something and having something, you are…


The Spell of Practice…
October 16, 2008


“ You are always there.  The you that is always there, is the one that always goes unnoticed…” 


Stephen H. Wolinsky



There comes a time in a practice where one often, simply by tenure of experience, realizes certain things about ones practice; ones motivation within the practice, ones limitations, and ones understanding and misunderstanding within the practice.  Often the purpose of the practice may be questioned, and once in a great while the direction of the path itself will be investigated.


I think it is safe to say that most of us begin the journey of seeking Who We Are by listening too and learning from others.  There can be great benefits in spending quality time with teachers, mentors and friends who are also pursuing with courage, risk and passion the discovery of Who They Are.


Personal tenure of practice often provides a certain comfort and spontaneous levels of detachment as a result of multiple exposures to situations and circumstances within that practice lending to us the wisdom of experience. 


Within any practice there can also be many traps.  Significant, hidden, distractions that take the form of assumptions that serve as obstacles in the finding out of Who We Are.  When the pursuit of the practice itself is substituted for, and overshadows the deeper quest in the finding out of Who We Are, we lose ourselves not only to the story of the practice, but also Who We Are. 


The practice is a practice.  In itself the practice has nothing to do with Who We Are.  The practice is a tool, to be used to help navigate the personal, self engendered challenges we have and face that prevent us from being Who We Are.  The practice is a temporary resource, a tool to yoke our attention and senses, from “out there”, to “in here”.    


We are Who We Are, regardless of the practice.  The practice does not change, influence or impact at any level Who We Are, Who We Were and Who We always will be.      


The longer I meditate, the more I realize the distinctions and the unrealistic expectations, placed on the practice; any practice.  As a long term meditator of 19 years, I have for instance given up the notion and necessity that “I have or had to stop my thoughts”.  After a few years of meditation, it became very clear through experience, that thoughts will always come and go ~ or not; that successful meditation has nothing to do with stopping, changing, fixing or even dare I say it, improving ones thoughts. 


More importantly said the practice, in this case meditation, allows the field of attention to notice for the first time not “this” or “that”, but the ever present silence that surrounds the “this” and “that”; in this case “this” being the thought.  To notice first hand the silence that was there before the thought, the silence that was there during the thought and the silence that will be there after the thought has long gone.


But the cut does not stop there when it comes to investigation of the assumptions we place on the practice ~ any practice.  The cut must be deep and precise.  It must penetrate and sever all assumptions, all ideas, all notions, all understandings within the practice. 

As we dig deeply, the enquiry must uncover the heart of the concept ~ every concept; concepts that entangle and concepts that mislead.


My study of the work of Stephen Wolinsky and one of his most significant teachers, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, has provided much new fodder to revisit, revise and refine some of the assumptions and learning’s of the concepts, I have gathered so easily over the last 20 years or so of my “spiritual journey”. 


To be clearer, I have been blessed (?) with “the choice” to challenge and examine every frame of reference the intellect can provide; to distinguish between the witness and the intellect, to discern between what is real, and the abundance of numerous, nonsense teachings that are continually regurgitated from teacher to student to teacher.  To question the very validity and basis the dogmas that most religions and for that matter, Spirituality hide behind or within.


In the West we frequently get caught up in “the doing”.  The emphasis on doing becomes so relevant in conventional reality that we wrongly assume that Being itself, can be influenced by doing.  The practice is doing.  Any attempt by the subject “I” to influence, gain, attain, remove or harness Being, is redundant.  Doing is not the basis of Being; Being is the basis of doing.  To imagine that any doing will in some way influence or impact the nature of Being is, well… ludicrous!


When spirituality becomes organized with a dogma or path, we embrace and then emphasize doing over Being.  What was at once innocent becomes systemized, regulated and controlled.  Spirituality is Not University.  There are no perquisites for realization.  No certifications or tenures, no achievements are needed to qualify in order to Be.   When the practice is codified there is a danger that we can lose touch with the intention behind the practice as we shift our focus to attainment and gain.  Our attention is caught up in the doing. 


It does not matter which level of attainment you imagine you have reached within your practice.  It does not matter if you have practiced meditation for one year or twenty, or whether you’ve mastered your first or sixth level Ashtanga, or that you or someone else calls you a Grand Master.  While this may be of importance to the “I” mind, while this may have some validity and relevance in the world of form and phenomena, within the very system of origin that created it; it has no relevance, no stature, no bearing on the finding out of Who You Are. It is still, only, ever, about doing.


You are Who You Are.  The you that you are, was always there, you just did not notice it.  Your attention was rapped up, out there, focused on the doing rather than the Being.  The practice was a way to break the spell of achievement, to abandon the doing, while noticing the Being.  The practice was not the goal.  There never was a goal or target to be reached, controlled or mastered.  Realization is not the goal, for the self cannot master the Self; the self has no mastery over the Self. 


You are the goal.  You were the goal before you started seeking, you were the goal while you are seeking, and you will be the goal after you give up seeking.  Freedom lies in the Being, not in the doing.  It’s ok to have a practice.  It’s ok to have a good life, to be more peaceful, to enjoy life more fully in the Being rather than the doing.  When we take care of Being, the doing will spontaneously be expressed.  When we take care of Being, effortless doing will naturally be experienced, Being and doing become one.  Then we realize there was no Being and there is no doing…



“ You are always there.  The you that is always there, is the one that always goes unnoticed…” 


Stephen H. Wolinsky





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