After Thought #23
March 30, 2010

Tired of being me; The role of identity.

There appear to be times in life when we bump head on into self engendered thinking; definitions of self and world that no longer serve the goal of Being Who We Are.  The judgments, the comparisons, the assumptions and beliefs; the measurements of understanding that were and are, consciously and unconsciously engrained and adopted; used as prescription to guide and inform and more often or not, determine us in the understanding of who we imagine our self to be.

The wisdom of awareness is the process of waking up from outdated ways, the common thinking with which we define and limit Self and others.  The labels, the beliefs and the assumptions; the imagined clarity and delusion of “preference” that shapes and influences who we think we are as an “I” that lives and breathes in the world of form an phenomena.

Radical Spirituality requires a radical awakening; an awakening of awareness that undermines our present cognitive process.  It’s the intentionally or unintentional breaking down of accumulated ideas and beliefs of self that we have: that we gave ourselves, that we were given, and that we will inevitable give.  The same ideas that so often easily diminish Self and others, in a hundred, thousand, different ways.

This is the heart and inherent success of any “authentic” Spiritual Path; a “path” that demands its own investigation, enquiry and validity.  Where we challenge and thwart the very integrity of an idea we imagined and believed to be true. To reveal a process, a potential demise of the very ‘path” we have trodden.

We are not speaking of accumulation here; this is not the true path of transformation.  We are not looking to add more understanding, new ideas, or more innuendo to a perception of reality that is already overwhelmed and deluded; burdened by a life of seduction into endless knowledge and the pursuit of achievement; the avoidance of loss; the clarity or confusion; the merit of doing.  We are not talking of tenure or so called mastery of this or that.

Most of us spend our lives in the pursuit of defining ourselves.  We could say that it is hardwired into our nervous system as a way to learn to survive in more and more sophisticated ways.  It’s a biologically driven mandate: “I’ve got to define myself”; “I’ve got to define myself”. “The more “I” can define myself, the more “I” can survive in better, more successful ways”. “If “I” try to define myself as a man or woman, brother or sister, student or teacher; as a seeker or “finder”, then, “I” will survive in better ways.  Then, “I” will survive in more successful ways.  Then, “I” will survive in more powerful, safer, attractive ways.  Then and only then, “I” will be happier!”

The purpose of life appears to be the journey of defining one self in more and more sophisticated and meaningful ways; but what if it is not?  What if we did not place such a high importance on defining ourselves: as a boy or girl, gay or straight, black or white, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Jew?

What if our definition of Self lay not so much in the foundation of our conditioning, our family or our community?

What if we did not define ourselves by what we did or do?

What if we did not define ourselves with regard to our political systems, culture or country?  What if we did not define or think of ourselves so much in terms of the content of our past and future, our fears or dreams, our joys or sadness; all those ideas that arise from our sanitized, narrowly defined meaning of success and failure?

What if we deliberately and intentionally decided to NOT define our selves any more?

What if we decided to un-define the defined?

What if we decided to examine and question the validity of all our past and present defining?

Where would it take us?

How would it affect us?

How would it shape and influence the way we think, feel, see and “do” life?

It’s not going to feel comfortable you know!  It’s going to slam you head first into the grain of your modus operandi in life; the ways in which you live your life in order to survive.  It’s going to slap you in the face with some of your most hard core defining, and the “you” that you imagined yourself to be.

“This is how “I” defined myself”, “This is how “I” am defining myself”.  “This is how “I” will define myself…”

Most of us think of ourselves as separate individual entities; distinctly removed from nature, each other, and everything.   But what if it’s not true?  What if we’re not so separate?

What if the distinction that appears to occur is a side effect of our defining; a ramification of our thinking and the very language that it’s anchored to?

What if the ideas, notions, perceptions, associations, memories and feelings that we have used to define ourselves in more concrete ways, have actually removed us from the truth of who we were, Who We Are and who we can Be?

What if it has isolated us from the roots of our humanity and the humanity of others?

What if, as a result of our obsessive, compulsive defining, we have instead created barriers in the use of language and thinking; in our philosophies of doing and being that temporarily prevent us from experiencing the inherent truth of Who We Are, and the potential freedom we could actually have, living from that level of Being?

What if we no longer defined our self through the hurt, the pain and the rejection we all experience?   What if we no longer defined our self according to the conditions that exist within our mind, body and world?

How would this impact “you”?

How would it change “you”?

How would it transform the way “you” think, feel and “do” life?

How exactly do we define ourselves then?

Simple answer: we don’t!

We stop defining ourselves and we begin to examine, question and investigate the impact of that defining and the meaning we give our experience.  We begin to notice; we become aware of how all struggle, confusion and suffering: both personal and universal, is based on ones attempt to define oneself; to protect oneself in that imagined definition, meaning, and story we give to all life experience.

Every time we define ourselves, we limit ourselves.  Every time we define ourselves, we create a distinction where there is none.  Every time we define ourselves we bound the unbound.  We trap ourselves in a box of words and ideas, notions and philosophies that can only, inevitably, limit the true expression of Who We Are.

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”

ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #68
January 29, 2010



There will be moments when everything comes together.


A time occurs when your dreams, desires and practice will merge providing a sweet, fleeting moment of success ~ you “jib” this moment of success and then you move on…


Extended commentary:

It’s interesting to see how the biology of our thinking contributes to the suffering of our day to day lives.  We have a tendency to think and perceive our life in factors of time and space, where there is none beyond the mind level.  Moments of perceived time are broken up into past, present and future; lives are neatly collated into memories, circumstances and situations, and the plans and goals we have for that life, plans and goals that may be reached or not reached. 

The biology of our nervous system; hardwired to organize the actual chaos of reality, and our mind which is a subtle, but direct physiological extension OF that nervous system, follows suit with thinking that involves infinite strategies, notions, perceptions, associations and ideas; thinking that tries to consolidate that which cannot be consolidated, that tries to plan and goal that life to reach a perceived levels of “success”.

This piecemeal approach, perceiving life through a mechanistic filter allows that life to be diced and sliced, motivated by an agenda of control and survival, to provide a degree of perceived comfort and safety, where there can be none.  Life will happen.  Life does happen.  And no matter how much tactical or strategic planning occurs, no matter how much context is provided for deeper understanding to the improved circumstance of life; life is not something that can be dialed; life cannot be dialed from the level of the “I”.

The Universe is not a machine; life is not a game.  Any order we experience is a projection of the mind, where there is none beyond the illusion of the mind.  You cannot control the uncontrollable.  Prior to the arrival of the mind, chaos is the inherent essence of every moment.

That being said, there will be “ups” and “downs”, there will be moments where “you” feel in the flow, and there will be moments where you perceive and feel that “you” are out of or not in the flow; or, that there is no flow.

Whether you are in the flow, out of the flow, or there appears to be no flow, it will always be happening in the perceived moment of now.  Whether you imagine that you had something to do with that flow is irrelevant; primary, is the bliss and freedom that occurs in our ability to simply be present with or too that now; in complete detachment to the contents of that now. 

Prior to the idea of “flow”, stay there; prior to the idea of “not flow”, stay there; prior to the idea of “no flow”, stay there.  The moment of success is completely arbitrary; the One Self takes delight in it Self at all times, under all circumstances and situations.  Beyond our narrow and prejudice definition of success and failure, happiness and sadness, you are; beyond even the One Self, you are…


Have you ever been happy for no reason at all?


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.


Living in the “IF” of the “I”…
April 28, 2008


From birth we are conditioned to look “out there” in life.  The “developmental shift” or distraction of our attention, perception and awareness into our perceived “becoming a person”, between the ages of 5 to 12 months will leave most with narcissistic scar so deep, we will spend our lives dancing around the scar, the “I”, and the “ifs”, in a band aid attempt to repair something that never existed in the first place…   


Life is a web of relationship…
January 22, 2008

The most important relationship you will have in life
is the relationship you have to your Self.

It is through the relationship you have with your Self
that you will create a relationship with life.

It is the level of intimacy you achieve with your Self
that will draw you into an intimate relationship with life,


it is through the internal growth and cultivation 

of your inner relationship that you will find the

inspiration, courage and success

to participate in all other relationships.

A bond to the Self is  a bond to freedom;

freedom of body, mind and Spirit.

Freedom to express

the divinity of your own true Self.

Freedom to experience and express the divine intelligence, happiness and abundance

into the world of creation.


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