The Next Top Author?
April 9, 2010

On a very personal note…

ZEN Shredding is  self published work.  For many authors the expression of our work provides the greatest satisfaction and meaning in life.  This Word Press Blog is also a gift for all of us who desire to create a dance in the language of words…

It was always my dream to be picked up by a Publisher/Distributor, something that sort of stalled, until this time…  I’m entered into this little competition that could make a big difference in the publication of my work. 

If you have enjoyed the ZEN Shredding extended posts within this blog, I’m asking you for a small favour, to support me by copying, pasting and voting for ZEN Shredding so that it might be picked up by one of those “Big Boys”…

It would also be very helpful to pass it to your three most important friendships in life 🙂

here’s the link!

After Thought #22
March 23, 2010


Who Are You?


One of the most important questions we can ask our Self on the path of awareness, is Who am I?  When navigated successfully, it is the beginning of the end.  It’s the beginning of freedom and the ending of the “I” that we imagined ourselves to be. It is a fresh new start in living and perceiving life in more unbounded ways; free from the baggage of self engendered, conceptual encumbrances; free from the hypnosis of cultural conditioning.

If you walk up to an “average” person, on an “average” street corner, and simply asked them the question Who are you?  They would likely come up with a number of varied but predictable responses.  They would probably tell you their name and ethnic background; perhaps their occupation in life.  They might describe themselves as a man or woman, a teenager or old man, they might say I’m a student or teacher, or describe in some detailed way, a passion or role they engage in their life: “I’m a writer”, “snowboarder” or “photographer”.  “I’m a “father”, “husband” or “basket ball coach”.   While all of these responses seem reasonable in any conventional way of thinking, we need to acknowledge that they are not Who You Are. 

If we are honest; brutally honest, everything that has been said so far, is really a label or description of something you do, a condition of your body, or a circumstance that may exist in your life; which is not Who You Are.  All these ideas and notions; all these labels come from the mind; a mind that grasps and clings, a mind that shifts and changes in its assumed identification, from moment to moment and thing to thing.

You are not your labels, nor are you any of the things you call ideas, notions, perceptions, associations, memories, feelings, and emotions that appear to happen; that come and go.  They are impulses of the mind.  They exist or did exist.  They will come and they will eventually go.  These are conditions of the mind; they are states of the mind. 

The wisdom of awareness can tell us that we are not the mind, nor are we the thoughts contained within that mind.  The wisdom of experience can also inform us that we are not the body, nor are we the conditions and circumstances that happen to that body.

Who you are is present in all these circumstances, all these conditions, and all these states as the silent, still “background”.  Even if you are not aware of it, the real “you” lies beyond these circumstances; circumstances that can only, ever, happen in the foreground of life.  The real “you” happens as background.

Most of us marginalize Who We Are because our attention is focused and obsessed only on the foreground of life.  Our attention is fixated on the foreground and we have lost touched with the background, which is reality.  We have a sense of self that is based on our identification to things. 

We identify ourselves as those things; things that can be labeled that become the content of our life; of what has occurred, of what is occurring and what might occur.  We also, easily identify ourselves with what we wanted to occur, what is not occurring, and what we fear might occur in our day to day experience.  We identify ourselves to the stories that arise out of those occurrences and none occurrences; we imagine we are the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we tell others and the stories that they tell us and others about ourselves.  We label those stories “my” past, “my” present and “my” future.

We think we are how much money we have, or don’t have. We think that we are the type of car we drive or the car that we are going to drive.  We think that we are what we have achieved or not achieved; what we did, what we’re doing, or what we’re going to do.  We think we are happy or sad, white, black or other.  We think we are a man or woman, gay or straight or a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim or Jew.

We think and identify ourselves to allot of things: the thoughts we have, the feelings that inspire, the emotions that come and go.  We think we are the perceptions, associations and memories we have or don’t have.  We think we are what we are thinking, being, having and doing. 

Because we identify ourselves as these things, and to these stories, there is immense suffering as a result of our labeling and identification, as a result of our obsession to define ourselves.  Our conditioning is thick; we lose ourselves in that conditioning.  We lose ourselves in the content of our experience; the “good” and the “bad”, the “up” and the “down”, the “clarity” and the “confusion”. 

We cannot find Self in things, nor can we find IT, in past or future.  The wisdom of awareness asks us to consider that Who We Are can only, ever be found in the present moment.  It suggests that we can only ever really know Who We Are by first identifying what we are not, because Who We Are is so indefinable, so unimaginable, and so natural, that we can only ever Be it.  We can only ever Be it now…

Insight # 71 ~ Zen Shredding…
February 26, 2010


Live life with intention and purpose. 


When you live life with intention and purpose, merging your desires with practiced clarity you may find you can navigate your life experience in more detached ways independent of ever changing external conditions.


Extended commentary:

Living life with intention and purpose is one of the most powerful of strategies for successful living.  We cannot however be dependent upon or imagine for even one second that it will provide salvation ~ a finding out Who You Are, although it may become a significant stepping stone in guiding you towards a realization of Who You Are.

More recently or not, western teachers have furthered the notion and importance of finding meaning and purpose in life.  It has been suggested that we all have contained within us some mystical purpose or quest that needs to be realized.  Nothing could be farther from the truth. 

The spiritualization and sanctification of purpose and its pursuit while innocent, can sometimes lead to innuendo, confusion and potential suffering for those who secretly, unknowingly and clearly are on a journey towards finding out who they are.

What needs to be realized is the Self; all else is illusion; all else is potential distraction.

I was one of those teachers.  For over 20 years I had relentlessly pursued and taught the path and potential trap of this inspiring but distracting illusion.  The path of inspiration can be very seductive, if “you” are not grounded in knowing Who You Are now.  The hypnosis and pull of this journey can lead many “seeker” deeper into the foreground of life, as they desperately seek and never find their so called “mission”, “vision”,  “purpose”, or  Dharma; a reason for being.

There is no reason for Being; Being is. 

Being is enough. 

Permanent fulfillment lies in the realization of Being, independent of all external circumstance.  The expression of thinking, being, having and doing are based on Being; not the other way round.  Clarity and alignment of thinking and doing might lead to the appearance of having and being, but it always directed by the impulse of Being, not a cognition of the mind.   

Only the mind cognizes an idea, belief, reason, or notion for being.  You are not your mind.  The Self has nothing to do with any reason the mind may offer as a justification for existence. 

While those notions may satisfy, while those notions may potentially guide you to a more meaningful and fulfilling life, they are not Who You Are and they are not any more or less sacred or spiritual than being a cashier at a local supermarket, or your favorite server at a local restaurant.

What is the purpose of your life?

What intentions do you have for your life?


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. 

10 Questions for an Emerging New World…
June 17, 2008



Q.   #1

What aspirations do you have for your life that if pursued, could provide the preamble for more passion, inspiration and transformation in your life and the world you live in?


Q.   #2

Do those dreams, desires, gifts, skills, and talents enhance and elevate the resilience you have too your own inner wisdom and the service you could provide to the one greater Earth community?


Q.   #3

How can the visions and aspirations you have for your life be synchronized in solidarity and kinship with others?


Q.   #4

What changes do you need to make in the way you live your life that if made, could improve the quality of your own well being and the larger living world?


Q.   #5
How can you live your life with greater admiration towards yourself and others?


Q.   #6

What unspoken words and conversations do you need to hear or have to foster a culture of peace in your experience and surroundings?


Q.   #7

What values do you need to enhance or adopt to form a solid foundation and personal sacred trust towards sustaining a new life and new world?


Q.   #8

Recognizing that you are both interdependent and interconnected with all people and things, what three principles are you willing to commit too, affirm and cultivate in your life that will elevate a sustainable, ethical way of being for yourself and the planet you live on?


Q.   #9

How can you live your life with a greater reverence and humility, for the mystery of Being; for gratitude in the gift of life and for humility regarding your place in nature?


Q.   #10

What can you do to elevate the shared responsibility you have in the stewardship of the Earth and humanity towards a just, sustainable and peaceful global society?




The legacy of your life will not be what you have done or gained, but in who you have been while journeying on this little blue planet called Earth.  The courage and risk needed for the success of this rare journey and adventure can only be enhanced once you acknowledge and recognize the only change you ever needed was not outside yourself, but in fact within. 


In the finding, cultivation and practice of innocence, you rediscover the divinity and peace that lies within you and the emergence of a new life and humanity dawns.  The unfolding experience of awareness and inner wisdom is the only true door to the freedom and peace you seek.



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





13 Steps to Synchronicity… C = #10
April 19, 2008


C   Clarify the meaning and purpose of your life…


Many wisdom traditions throughout the ages have suggested the importance of gaining clarity to your moment to moment choices while also aligning them to your purpose; your reason for being.  It is a suggestion that these elements can contribute to the elevation of your own understanding to as to why you are here, what you will do and how you will be on this journey. 


One could live ones life without unraveling, clarifying and committing to their own personal story or allegiance to some quest, vision, or purpose, but in doing so, one losses the opportunity to bring value, understanding and meaning to the journey we all take while having a body/mind.


One can be so distracted by conditioning in life that it is also possible to think that you are on purpose when in fact you are not, you are living someone else’s idea of how you should do life, because you have never taken the time to unpack your own thoughts, feelings and beliefs about this particular approach to living. 


The absence of meaning in life is often a reflection that there may be opportunities to spend some time unraveling your most important decisions and their alignment with your purpose and reason for being in the moment. 

In any moment you have the ability to change the direction your life may be heading, clarifying why you do what you do allows you to add more meaning and purpose to why you do what you do. 


At best you’ll end up with more contentment in knowing that you have done your best in living a life that was worthwhile to you.  At best you will experience enough success that you can then use those results to leave the planet in a better condition than you found it.


The expression of synchronicity in your life is both a clue and affirmation.  Follow the threads of your experience; notice the details and colour of the coincidence that is expressing.  What themes or relevance do those synchronicities have to the larger vision you have for your life?  Find clarity and comfort in knowing that you have been blessed with a body/mind that allows you to experience and express Who You Are, in action. 



As you cultivate the commitment you have to your Self, by increasing the sense of responsibility you have in clarify the impulse of your purpose, you will be less inclined to lose yourself to the delusion of your own mind and the ever present distractions that are part of our worldly experience.





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