Insight #66 ZEN Shredding…
January 5, 2010


Enjoy the mystery of the unknown. 


While traveling unfamiliar terrain in life can trigger immense confusion and fear, it often provides the space for new ways of Being to be cultivated and eventually enjoyed. 


Extended commentary:

It’s been almost a year and a half since I published my book ZEN Shredding.  If you have been checking into this blog since my first post you will probably have noticed that I “try” to add something a little different once in a while; it’s not always consistent with the theme of the book; somewhat like life?

It’s an Interesting (paradox, challenge, dilemma, irony?) with writing a book and publishing it; once you have said what you have said and then put it in print, the “you” that apparently wrote that book or better said, was the mouthpiece for that book, continues to proceed on a journey that appeared be fixed by those words, paragraphs and pages.

One of the reasons I wanted to write this blog was to see where my ideas, notions, beliefs, thoughts and feelings would go with regard to the insights I wrote for the book and their “evolution” in the now.  It’s been interesting and challenging to watch this process unfold; there have been many moments over the past year where my process has been intense and overwhelming.

I can say that I never would have realized how much things change with regard to many of the ideas that “I” presented in ZEN Shredding, including my own life experience which obviously shapes those words and thoughts.  For instance, on one level I thought of ZEN Shredding as a beginning, while now and for the most part, “I” am realizing that it feels more like an ending in terms of some of the ideas presented especially in regard to my perceived process. 

To be more specific; with many of the ideas I wrote in the book and expand on now, I realize they are more strategies or tactics for living a more successful life, which is fine if that is what you are aiming for (it has served me well in my own journey). If your focus however is to find out Who You Are, your probably going to bump into some provocation at some point with realizing that all strategies are from the mind; finding out who you are is of Self.

More recently “I” have come to understand that while many of those insights may seem to “spiritual” they actually have nothing to do with finding out Who You Are. To be clear; there is nothing wrong with having healthy strategies in life, but at the end of the day they are conceptual understandings of mind and life and can often distract or create erroneous thinking and personal philosophies that we mistakenly believe to be spiritual understanding. 

I’ve come to see in my own life and the work that I feel the greatest “juice” in, is not so much about “personal growth” and improving the quality of life any more, but more so in finding out Who I Am.  One could spend a life pursuing strategies, living life and those strategies with great meaning and purpose and not necessarily “move” any closer to find Self. 

Since writing the book, and over the last year or so, I made a distinction with regard to these very different “paths”.  Strategies (however successful) seem to be more like a process of adding, changing, fixing, getting, achieving and the molding a pseudo self that lives and breathes “out there” in the world; while on the other; finding out who you are, seems more like a process of unlearning, deconstructing and dismantling erroneous ideas, beliefs and seed stories about life and its process and of course about who we really are.  I guess, I’ve really just reconciled a personal understanding; “I’’m not a strategy and while it may seem painfully slow at the level of understanding, “I”’m also, not my mind!

Peace be with you for the new year!  


When was the last time you tried something new?  


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.


ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #12
September 1, 2008


Seize opportunities.




But what opportunities? Find the opportunities that hide in the people, places and experiences that occur daily in your life.  The opportunities that lie dormant in the conversations, chance meetings, and relationships.  The most important thing is to pay attention to the story of your life, listening and looking for relevant themes and continuity.


Every moment is potentially an extraordinary moment in the elevation and evolution of your own awareness.


Extended commentary:


I do not believe we only get one chance in life. 

I believe opportunity lies outside the domain of rational thinking, beliefs, perceptions, notions, values and philosophical thinking’s and circumstance.  It is the nature of the ONE Self, to orchestrate forever, infinite opportunities to elevate the intimacy, and relationship potential that occurs in your life.


In every moment there is an opportunity to reconnect with what appears to be disconnected.  In every moment there is the possibility and potential to allow greater levels of creative authenticity to be expressed into the world of form.  While the mind may question, doubt, resist, analyze and formulize the who, the what, the where, the when and the why of life, the ONE mind seeks to unite this and that, here and there, up and down, in and out.


As you stabilize your attention to the “ONE mind”, you will cultivate the opportunity for you to engage your life in ways you could never have imagined.  Events, situations, and circumstances will synchronistically guide you to the threshold of a life you could only have previously dreamed of. 


Be attentive to the opportunities that lie in chance meetings, conversations, and coincidental circumstance that arises in the present moment.  Each present moment is a stepping stone to the next moment and the evolution of your life.  Each moment is an opportunistic thread, woven into the fabric of an ever unfolding conspiracy to elevate Who You Are and What You will become…   




What opportunities in your life need to be



To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:




Check out “Living The Dream” the NEW gift book version of the slideshow/movie with full color photo’s of Whistler/Blackcomb Alpine…


 Watch the video:

be patient ~ it takes a while to upload : ) 


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







13 Steps to Synchronicity… Y = #2
April 12, 2008


Y  Say “yes” to life… 


We have been conditioned to say ‘NO’ to our lives.  Just as we successfully learned to be clear about and  negate the “no” experiences of our life; the experiences we did and do not want to have or occur, we can also learn to open up to the most important things we do want to experience in life: expressing, experiencing, supporting and serving. 


There is “no one” who can determine or decide what will be on your yes list, except “you”.  Where does the “yes” fall in your life?  What situations, circumstances, experiences, places and parts of yourself do you need to say “yes” to?


  Giving ourselves permission to say “yes” to life is a learned and practiced skill.  Learning to say “yes” to neglected expressions of our individual humanity opens us up to experience more synchronicity and deeper levels of clarity around the day to day circumstances of our life. 


More importantly, it also is reminder to us of the “yes” that also dwells within the minds and hearts of all humanity, that we all deserve to experience the expansion of happiness, peace and harmony in our lives, by pursuing a life that brings the deepest fulfilment and joy, a life that can serve ourselves and others in the highest of ways.


Q.    Where does the “yes” fall in your life?

another sneak preview…
February 21, 2008

OK, so I can be an impatient kinda guy…

I’m still looking out about three weeks [end march?] for the release of my book, so I’m going to shamelessly publicize it by sharing another excerpt from:

ZEN Shredding: Insights, Questions and Confessions of a Meditator and Novice Snowboarder on the pursuit of dreams, inspiration, passion and change.

Here is the first few pages of the intro, copied and pasted for your enjoyment (or not). 

If you have not had a chance to see the accompanying slideshow/video that I released on the internet a few days ago, head to my main website: and download the ZEN Shredding movie. 

If it inspires you great! 

If you are also feeling generous, perhaps you can make a donation to the Zero Ceiling Initiative that is part of the slideshow/movie and book,

if you have lots of extra cash but like to get great deals you can pre-order the book at a very attractive discount!

Inspire yourself, inspire others!

here she is…  

Sometimes we just need to show up in life.  When we spontaneously show up we often have an opportunity to take the time to experience our lives in new and exciting ways, perhaps for the very first time.  When we show up, we create the opportunity to learn more about the gifts, talents, dreams and passions we have.  We allow the Spirit in our life to move through us in ecstatic ways.  When we have an opportunity to share our gifts, talents, dreams and passions we also have the ability to engage change creatively while discovering more about the  mystery of who we really are and who we can become.   

I believe human beings crave inspiration, and the intent of this work is to inspire you to cultivate inspiration and change in your life.  It is my hope that these words and insights will ignite your own passions and, too support you in cultivating the pursuit of your own dreams.  I believe many of us have lost touch with the value and meaning of inspiration and the effect it can have on our life.  The word inspiration comes from the Latin word Spirare, meaning Spirit; to infuse with an encouraging or exalting influence; to animate or give life; to stimulation by divinity and genius.  We ignite the fire of inspiration within us by getting in touch with who we are while also cultivating and pursuing the dreams we were born with.  As we discover who we are and get in touch with those dreams I believe almost anything is possible.  When we are inspired change occurs at a very organic level and we approach and experience life from a place where Nature nurtures us.  

Most of us have been conditioned to live life in very conventional ways of being many of which are based on struggle.  I believe that our world would be a completely different place if it was filled with human beings who lived their lives more actively in the pursuit and cultivation of inspiration, while also discovering who they are.  When we surround ourselves with people who inspire us, mentors that lead us, teachers that support us and experiences that nurture our Soul at a very deepest level, effortless change becomes the natural way of living and Being in life.  

When you witness the experience and story of someone who genuinely enjoys life, you will often find that they have taken time to uncover, refine and express an inner inspiration that ripples as passion into all their relationships. There is no more important task for us than to pursue and experience deeper levels of inspiration in our life, to look directly into the mystery of our being and embrace it wholeheartedly.  This has been an underlying theme and hunger in my own life and the lives of a few inspiring people that I have had the honor of meeting and befriending.  This is not a book in any conventional sense of the word. In January of 2005 another birthday rolled around for me and I decided that it would be an auspicious time to learn how to snowboard.  For someone living in Whistler, B.C., one of the worlds foremost winter playgrounds, this would seem like an obvious choice.  I’d simply reached a point in my life were I was tired of standing on the sidelines; I didn’t want to watch others playing any more, it was time for me to play.  The intention behind the choice was simple: I wanted to bring more inspiration into my life, to push some personal boundaries, to get back into my body, to enjoy the freedom and bliss of being in the body, on the mountains, while playing in the snow. 

I have pursued many passions in my life, the most important being my Spiritual Journey.  During the last twenty years or so, I have been blessed with experiences that have dramatically changed the way I see and experience my life. Sometimes simple choices have a way of weaving new experiences and possibilities into our lives.  My immersion into my snowboarding adventure is in its third season as I type these words in the fall of 2007.  On the surface Zen Shredding is a fusion of different experiences and different worlds.  Zen Shredding is a culmination and synthesis of my ongoing Spiritual Journey, expressed as insights, filtered through the experience of snowboarding. I hope it truly inspires you to push your own boundaries, to take risks in the journey and to discover who you are. 

Since this is not a conventional book,let me make a few suggestions that could enhance your experience and understanding of this work.  While you could choose to read this as a book from cover to cover, my suggestion is that you don’t!  Perhaps after reading the introduction you might progressively make your way through each insight, one at a time.    As an approach you might simply read the insight and stay with it for a day and note what it brings up for you.  Perhaps the next day you would read the explanation and commentary I have written and again, see where it takes you.  Finally, you might ask yourself the question to anchor it into the everyday reality of your life.  Whether you choose to stay with the experience of one insight a day or week, feel comfortable with your own rhythm, get to know your own rhythm.  Using this somewhat unconventional approach, I think you will find a deeper appreciation for the value and impact the insights and book can have on your life by intentionally making it a process rather than a read.  Journaling all of these steps will also deepen and enliven your experience.  I continue to work with most of these insights as they have served me well in my life.  I trust that some may serve or even inspire you in your own journey of transformation and change while on the path of discovery to the one divinity and humanity that lies within us all. 

On a final note I need to confess that I have taken artistic liberty in borrowing the term Zen for the title of this book.  I am not a practicing Buddhist nor am I a Zen meditator.  I have been meditating daily since the fall of 1989 and over those years have been exposed to knowledge and experience that has lead me to the belief that all meditative practices when successful have the potential to lead us to the same “destination”.  My affinity with the title, its basic definition and the archetypal representation of the Buddha, encapsulates for me a fleeting state I have touched; it speaks directly to a way of being I seek to cultivate.

Thanks for showing up!  

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