Insight # 77 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 26, 2010

 

 

Suffering will be experienced according to the degree and allegiance you have to your lies.

As you learn to look at, acknowledge and dismantle the lies you’ve told yourself you’ll experience greater levels of subjective freedom.

Extended commentary:

We tell ourselves many lies in life.  There are the lies we tell our self and there are the lies that we tell others; there are also the lies others tell us.  When you sit with this; when you become aware enough to realize the degree to which we exchange lies in life, with self and others, it is beyond disturbing. 

I’m not talking about lies in any conventional sense of the word: lies of manipulation, deceit or ignorance.  I’m talking about lies that take the form of ideas we have about ourselves, others and the world we live in, that we believe and hold to be true. 

Even though these lies might be just as manipulative and deceitful, even though they might generate the same kind of ignorance, they are a different kind of lie.  They are lies that bound the unbound.  They are lies that keep us small, isolated and disconnected. They are pretty little, wrapped up in ribbons that prevent us from seeing and experiencing the ever-present, perfection and wholeness that innately lies within.   

I’m talking about the lies of assumption that we make about who we are and what this world is. I’m talking about the lies we tell ourselves about who we imagine ourselves to be.  I’m talking about the lies of belief and understanding that are embedded in the stories we tell ourselves about the perceived world that we live in and how that world operates.

I’m talking about the lies which make up our conditioning; the self engendered thoughts, beliefs, notions, perceptions and associations we accumulate day by day, week by week and year by year. 

There are many lies, most of which go unnoticed and unquestioned; but of all the lies, the greatest is the lie of separation: the belief that we are separate, individual entities that exist in a separate world full of other separate, distinct entities.

The lie of separation seeds all other lies; it is built on the foundation of “other”, “us” and “them”.  It is the lie of “individual”, “personal” and “diversity” that creates confusion, misunderstanding, chaos and suffering.

It is the lie of separation that fuels the struggle and the strife that occupies, consumes, and fixates our attention.  It is the violence of “I” perception, and “I” understanding that eventually becomes the philosophies, the rules and the religions with which we live our life; the ones that are based on the dogma of “me”…   

What lies are you telling yourself?

 

 

To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:

 

Visit my new Blog for daily quotes based on my writings and the book ZEN Shredding:

http://www.michaelseansymonds.wordpress.com

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Hot off the Press:

 

The Doctrine of ONE…

 

 

  

Other work:

 

ZEN Shredding: The Prequel

 

 

 Soulananda;

The Essentials of a Good Life…

   

 

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

 

 

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After Thought #29
May 13, 2010

 

 

 What’s happening?

Things are happening or not happening all the time.  The problem is the way things happen or do not happen is very different than the way we imagine things happen or do not happen. 

Things happen in a way we don’t understand; they happen in different ways than we think or imagine.  They happen in ways that we can never comprehend.

Human beings think they are so smart because they come up with ideas about how things happen or do not happen all the time.  And when they can’t find a good enough reason to explain why something happened or did not happen they create speculative stories to fill in the gaps of the “why”.  We love to create and indulge in our explanations, reasons and justifications as to why something happened or did not happen and we will go to extreme lengths to convince ourselves and others of those explanations.

Everything that is going to happen will happen and anything that is not going to happen will not happen; we cannot do anything about what’s happening or not going to happen.  We cannot prevent what is going to happen, and we cannot create what is not going to happen either.

There is no “you” that can play a role in making something happen or not happen.  Things happen or they don’t happen; period.

The you that you imagine yourself to be, arrives long after what’s happening, has occurred.  You are constantly arriving late to your so called present moment; the moment that appears to be happening.  What happens or does not happen in the present moment occurs before you arrive; you’re not really ever present for the moment or for what is happening or not happening, even though you might think that you are, or have been told so.  When you do finally arrive, the you that you imagine yourself to be spins a story of why, in a desperate attempt to organize what is un-organizable; to control what is uncontrollable.

Even though we constantly make up stories [philosophies, teachings and religions] to explain why something happens or does not happen, they are at best, sanitized speculations; they are at best words only, which exist in language only.  The explanation lives in language only.  At worst, they are conspiracies of denial.  They are personal editorializations; filtered versions of a selective viewpoint and understanding of reality, based on ideas about how things happen or do not happen. 

They may be our subjective experience of reality, but they are not reality itself.

If we really understood the depth of what’s happening or not happening, we could finally let go of pretending that we have any control over anything.  We could finally let go of imagining that we have some ability to affect what is happening or not happening.  We could dive deeply in the chaos of the Universe, prior to the appearance of creation.  Prior to the “I” that imagines it knows.

The more we can drop the narcissistic delusion of the “I”, especially the “I” that shows up in “I” spirituality, the more we could recognize that life happens or it does not happen independently of what we think, say or believe.  The more we would see that things happen or don’t happen in much grander ways than we could ever, possibly imagine. 

With awareness, we could focus more on letting go of our ideas about what we imagine needs to happen and let what’s going to happen, happen, while also ignoring what we imagine or fear might happen that will actually not happen; we could sit back and let things happen or not. 

We could let life Be.

Now, before your “I” mind runs away on some tangent about being reckless or irresponsible, or thinks that I’m encouraging us all to become radical victims of anarchy; I want to let you in on a very big secret.  It’s not some imaginary or delusionary secret about how to create or co-create your reality or get more money; to be more, do more or have more. It’s not about some short cut to enlightenment.  It’s certainly not some nonsense teaching based on mind made ideas of some “law of attraction” that will lead you to the perfect little life, that every “I” in us all, wants, needs and desires.  “I” won’t delude you.  “I” won’t lead you down that dead end path of your perceived psychology.  This is a simple secret that may or may not change how you see your life forever: 

What’s going to happen will happen.  What’s not going to happen will not happen.   How things happen or do not happen, have nothing to do with “you”.  They have nothing to do with the “I” that you think you are, because the “I” perceiver does not show up until after the event or action takes place.

The “I” has no power. 

There is no “I” that can claim doership; that has separate will or volition.  It is the one substance alone that is contracting or expanding that “produces” the appearance of an event, circumstance or situation that arises or does not arise in your so called life. 

Radical Spirituality is the realization that there is no “I” in the world that can take authorship or ownership, to what happens or does not happen in life.  Radical Spirituality is the realization that there is no world and there is no “I”. 

If something happens or does not happen, it’s because it was going to happen or it was not going to happen; regardless of what you might think or believe to be true. 

Radical Spirituality does not seek to understand mind made ideas of cause or effect to justify reality or outcome; to control perceived reality or outcome for its own means. 

Radical Spirituality does not seek reason or even understanding in a story of what is, was or will be that is spun by a delusional “I” mind; wrapped up as some pseudo, spiritual philosophy called Karma.

What is, is; or it’s not.  Radical Spirituality recognizes no relationships, other than the “One” substance that constantly arises and subsides.

What happens or does not happen, can only be perceived by an “I” that imagines it is separate from the One substance.  In the awareness of separation, in awareness of self consciousness, there will be an appearance of choice, will, volition, cause, effect or reason. 

When you slip into the gap there is no “I” and there is no happening or not happening.  Prior to happening or not happening, there is no “I”; stay there.  Prior to the explanation, justification or reason; just stay their.  To stay there, forget this attempt at explaining why something happens or does not happen; because it’s just another story and explanation. 

Prior to the “I”, and prior to the story, just stay there…

 

… inpspired by the work of Stephen H Wolinsky

and

the teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

After Thought #26
April 15, 2010

 

 

 In the awakened wisdom of my own heart, I’ve always known that we were born with innate gifts and talents; the understanding and knowingness; the awareness needed to navigate the ebb and flow of life’s currants.

The priests and the profits would have you think that the gifts of spirit need to be earned, gained and achieved.  Through work and merit, sacrifice and renouncement, they would have you believe that your salvation lies in the ideas of another: a book or law; a teaching or savior, versus the awakened wisdom of the heart. 

Some would have you believe that the “you”, you imagine yourself to be, needs to be healed, fixed or transformed.  In awareness the “you” you imagine yourself to be, dissolves, revealing what was always true and always there.

You are.

We are seduced by offerings of understanding and knowledge from the priests and the profits.  We are lost in the map of their confusion that has at once become our own, and we struggle; we suffer.  Lost in ideas of up and down, good and bad, right and wrong, we strangle the life force of our own essential nature.  Lost in a mind full of ideas, our vision becomes obstructed; we lose sight of our essential core.  Words beget words; ideas beget more ideas, as we entangle ourselves in the net of our own and another’s, misunderstanding.

You were born with awareness; you are. 

Inherent within that awareness is an essential core of love and compassion, peace and joy, harmony and forgiveness.  Within the space of that awareness there lies an emptiness that surrounds it all; an emptiness that’s full, not empty.

Essence has always been there; even though you may no longer be aware of it.  One gaze into the eyes of a newborn child can trigger a reminder of truth that appears to be lost.  Through conditioning and strife, through memory and experience, we become forgetful.  We become complacent in ideas of self that are infinitely more dangerous, binding and distracting, from the Self that we already are, were, and will be.  In the fragility of those thoughts, we slip into the foreground of thinking, being, having and doing.

Essence can never be lost.  It can only, ever, be shrouded in fear and distraction, confusion and doubt.  Moment by moment, through lapse of attention, we sacrifice what is real, for the unreal; what is imagined and feared, replaces what is true.  Words can only direct; ideas can only imply.  What’s real is always real and true.  What’s real is the silence from which it all arises; the silence that you are.

Awareness is. 

In the awakened wisdom of your own heart, awareness is still and complete, silent and present. 

Awareness is, and you are.

Radical Spirituality has nothing to do with practice, dogma or prayer.  Prior to the practice, You Are; prior to the dogma, You Are; prior to the prayer, You Are.  Prior to the belief, thought or notion, You Are.

The essence of Who You Are cannot be found in practice, dogma or prayer.  Radical Spirituality is not something you can learn or achieve, these are ideas of spirituality; not spirituality.  These are speculations; projections of a mind that has lost itself in its own thinking. 

Let us celebrate the gifts of Spirit; in the still, quiet place of the heart, let us ignite the wisdom of our own awareness…

After thought # 18
February 19, 2010

 Radical Spirituality demands a radical honesty; to have an authentic relationship with Self requires the absence of distraction.  No other “idols” can be worshiped, consciously or unconsciously.  Ideas can be just as dangerous as physical or imaginary idols.  Concepts can more dangerous than idols, when it comes down to knowing Self.

You might consider the worship of physical or imaginary deities to be primitive, but it is no less primitive to lose yourself in the conscious and unconscious worshiping of the ideas, notions and concepts you entertain and engage on a daily basis about who and what you are.  Seduction, temptation and suffering, lie in the plethora of philosophies, offerings and beliefs that innocently and erroneously market themselves as so called spirituality. 

In The Way of The Human Volume 3 ; Stephen Wolinsky writes a profoundly transparent dedication to his teacher Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj:

 “… To the memory of my teacher, Guru and Guiding Light, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, the grandfather of Quantum Psychology, the ultimate deprogrammer, and the most confrontive teacher I have ever encountered. 

 To the memory of that confrontation which forced me to look at what I had not looked at, confront what I did not know I needed to confront,

question what I did not know I needed to question,

and let go of that which I did not know I was holding on to.

with love and gratitude for facing-off with me, infecting me with the virus of enquiry which destroys everything in its path including the enquirer. 

For showing the ultimate irreverence for identities and concepts which I thought were me and mine, and the ultimate reverence for THAT ONE SUBSTANCE and BEYOND…

The mother of all concepts, the one concept that spawns one hundred thousand and more, is the concept “I”.  With the appearance of the concept “I”, a hundred thousand other concepts arise including the concept of so called spirituality.  Prior to the concept of Spirituality and prior to the “I”, you are.

When successful, meditation can be a radical practice; a prepatory step in becoming aware of the witness or observer within.  As those thoughts arise and subside; as those feelings arise and subside; as those beliefs and philosophies arise and subside, a space can be created. 

If enough space is created, we might glimpse or notice with attention, the one who is there, the one who is witness to those thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions and associations as they arise and subside. 

In awareness we might notice that there is always a presence back of those thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions and associations.  In awareness we might realize the presence “back there” is the presence that always was, is, and will be. 

In the prepatory experience of meditation, we might become aware of the one who is meditating, and in that awareness, we might ask the mother of all questions:

Who is there? 

Who is meditating? 

Who is feeling? 

Who is thinking? 

Who is vulnerable… hurt… happy or sad?

If we were to anchor awareness to itself, we might glimpse, if only for a moment, the irrelevance of it all; the irrelevance of those thoughts and feelings as they come and go.  The irrelevance of those beliefs and philosophies as they come and go.  The irrelevance of those perceptions, associations and memories as they come and go; but most of all we might realize the irrelevance of Spirituality as related to the finding out of Who You Are; and more importantly, the irrelevance of “I”and all that you imagine it to be …

For more information of the work of Stephen Wolinsky please visit:

 http://www.netinetifilms.com/index.shtml 

After thought #17
January 21, 2010

Radical Spirituality is the process of taking our attention off the foreground of our life experience, where everything appears to happen and reversing it; to re-orientate that attention from the outside to the inside. 

When we turn it inwardly, we initially discover a subjective world: it appears as joy and sadness, memories and imaginations, fears and desires, confusion and clarity.  It’s an inner world of beliefs, ideas, notions and perceptions, it’s a world of memories and feelings : some pleasant and some not so pleasant.  Sometimes, there is silence. 

All of this is can be called the “I”.  It’s the person we imagine ourselves to be.  It’s the person we identify ourselves with and as, but are not. All of these qualities and impulses are relevant on some level, but of all of them it is the silence that is the most precious.

For those who “do this”; for those who decide to turn their attention inward, it can often be terrifying and magical at the same time.  Things can change.  Fears can be faced, life can improve, clarity and perceived freedom can occur in the relationship we have to our subjective experience and the “I”, this thing we presently understand to be self.  

Life still happens with all its dichotomies, but with consistent regular attention and a pinch of understanding, resilience can arise out of that silence; simply because our attention is no longer just focused on the foreground distraction and noise of our life experience.  “Our” attention is now inward and outward.  No longer fixated; our attention has now been captured by the background of Being. 

Sometimes “miracles” can occur simply by turning attention towards Being.  Sometimes our life can fall apart.  This is a small taste of the journey, but it is not the end, and it is not the goal. There is a greater promise here.  A greater gift inherently lies within this journey we call life and the realization of radical Spirituality. 

As “we” spend more time noticing with attention the background of Being, we begin to notice; we begin to realize naturally, spontaneously, intuitively, that there is much more to our existence than the perception or understanding of the “I” which we imagine ourselves to be.  We begin to sense the “I” which appears to exist out there in the world of form, with its preferences and choices, needs and desires, wants and purposes, sorrows and joys; the “I” we had assumed ourselves to be, is actually not who we are.  It is an illusion and representation.  It is only a shadow self, an “I”dentity, a sliver of potential that lies on a full colour spectrum of possibility.

Most go no further than this initial, prepatory step of simply looking at, or trying to understand, change, transform or placate this “I” and its fleeting needs and wants, desires and fears.  There is in fact NO rule that one must go any further; there is in fact NO rule that there needs to be an orientation of attention too the background of Being at all. Everything is as it is. 

If however, there is a need; if there is a desire to move beyond sufferings of our day to day life; beyond a superficial, conceptual understanding of conventional spirituality, then “you” might want to continue.  “You” might want to examine the validity of that “I”, and all that it imagines itself to be.  “You” might want to discover the essence of your true existence that lies just beyond the “I”.

For some, there comes a time when this crossroads appears.  A junction occurs where one can remain standing in an improved “I” that seemingly knows itself; that seems to engage in the lifestyle of a so called spiritual orientation.  Scratch the surface though, and it can be seen for what it is, that “you” are actually stuck, deceived by the polarity of up and down, right and wrong, good and bad, spiritual and not so spiritual and the suffering that inherently and inevitably lies in the duality of that perception.

There appears to be a time where “we” can hold onto that “I” and all that it appears to be: the fears, the joys, the memories, the desires, the preferences; all of the entertaining and not so entertaining stories.  All the conceptual understandings that provide the appearance of a lifestyle of perceived comfort to that “I”, based on belief, philosophy and archetype, or we can continue on that perceived journey.  We can penetrate that “I” and all its erroneous thinking, allowing it to fade to the background from whence it came.  Creating the space for the background of Being to become the foreground of awareness that delicately overshadows all the thinking, the being, the having and the doing…

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