After Thought #40
October 30, 2010



One and the same…


Radical Spirituality is not interested in creating more joy, more compassion, more peace or even more love in this world.

Radical Spirituality recognizes first, that the joy and sadness, the love and hate, the compassion and the indifference, the war and the peace, arise and subside in the same space of consciousness; they come and they go in the same space.

Radical Spirituality is not at all interested in creating more happiness, health or prosperity for self or for others.  Radical Spirituality recognizes the joy and sadness, the love and hate, the compassion and indifference, the war and the peace, arise and subside as an expression of the One divine, Being.


What is seen is that the seeker herself and what is sought are one and the same.

What is seen is that happiness, health and prosperity can only be the boo bee prize in so called spirituality.

 What is seen is that the sadness, sickness and lack are equally as valid as the happiness, health and prosperity.

 What is seen is that all circumstances within life are an expression of the co-existence of opposites.


While there will always be preferences and attachments, circumstances and situations that mirror a world of opposites, at the end of the day, it’s all one and the same.


Coming and going are one and the same.

Existence and non existence are one and the same.

Arising and subsiding are one and the same.

Unity and duality are one and the same.


Better said; there can be no coming and going, existence or non existence, arising and subsiding or unity and duality.

To be aware of and notice the space in which all this occurs is more valuable than the content of what occurs or does not occur.

To be grounded as awareness or anchored too the background of Being that is the birthplace of all foreground phenomena is true measurement of inner wisdom or so called spirituality.

To be aware of the One who is aware is the gift and portal to Being.


The gift was never in achievement, gain or merit; the defined loss never in the lack of what appears to be absent.

 What’s missing; what’s not so obvious is the one who is indifferent to the illusion of the joy and sadness, the one who witnesses the love and hate, the gain and loss.

What’s not so obvious is the space in which all this happens or not.

What appears to be missing is the One who can be free from this game we call life. 

The One who witnesses is the One who is free.  The One who is aware is the One who is beyond the up and down, the right and wrong, the in and out.

 Better said, the One who witnesses; the One who is aware of the aware-er is the One who cannot be bound by the idea of “free” or “not free”; for the idea of “freedom” and “bondage”, like the ideas of “up” and “down”, “right” and “wrong” and “in” and “out” are One and the same…


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








After Thought #39 ~ THAT!
October 23, 2010





Radical Spirituality is not about being more loving or compassionate. 

It’s not about healing yourself or the world that you live in. 

It’s not about finding or losing something; it’s about being aware of what is.


In a moment of great joy or sadness, you can be aware of not only joy or sadness, but also, the One who is aware of that joy or sadness.


Joy and sadness will come and go, the One who witnesses that joy or sadness is always there, regardless of what comes and goes in the phenomenal realm.


As long as we continue to hold onto our ideas of Spirituality we will suffer.


We will be subject to the limits that are contained with those conceptual ideas and what is unbound will appear to become bound by the very ideas believed in, and there will be pain.



Let the moment be as it is. 


Be aware of it.


Be present to it.



Be aware of the One who is in the midst of what is.


The One who is aware of what arises and subsides is the One who is always there. 

You will be there, but you are not that.

Be aware of the portal to THAT.



Everything that is there or not there is not THAT. 

What is there or not there arises in THAT.



You are THAT.



You’ve always been THAT; only what’s there often and for the most part temporarily obscures your vision of THAT.

Nothing can stop you from being THAT, since it’s always there, permanently.


Sometimes people give up on THAT, for what’s there. 

You believe in what’s there and temporarily appear to sacrifice THAT, which is always there.


Ironically in the perception of suffering and pain, THAT is also there. 

In the suffering THAT is consistently there.

In the creativity and joy, THAT is equally there.

In the fear, anger and courage, THAT is there. 

In the thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, associations and memories, THAT is infinitely there.


In the deepest “FUCK you!” ~ “I LOVE you…

THAT is also soundly and impartially there.


In the confusion, doubt and frustration, THAT is continually there; just as it is, now.


The same THAT perpetually lies in the tyrant and the victim, the saint and sinner; it also lies in the jealousy, the hate and the compassion of every feeling and every thought, proportionately.


THAT appears as the Christian, the Hindu, the Muslim and the Jew.


THAT appears endlessly in the birth and the death, and in the dying and the living.



Both the savior and the junkie, the giver and taker are symptoms of THAT which is perpetually there. 


In your so-called freedom, failure or imagined success, THAT is firmly there.



It is all there in THAT.


Just as now, THAT is unflinchingly there.


In the silence and in the activity, in the form and the formless, in the known and the unknown, THAT is fittingly there.


In the expansion and contraction, the up and the down, the in and the out, THAT is benevolently there.



Are [you] there or are [you] THAT?



Better said; there is no there and there is no THAT.


THAT is there and not there; equally, prior to, and beyond…


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




After Thought #38
October 10, 2010



The Blade of Brutal Honesty


As life goes, there are a hundred thousand ways to improve the quality of ones existence.  Whether it be relationships or realization, the goals, aspirations and lofty achievements we hold dearest in life can often become seductive, distracting band aides to the simple act of brutal honesty about ones life ~ that at once, can propel our perceived suffering and separation towards a direct perception of inherent wholeness.

Hidden by words like denial, suppression and addiction or even sociably acceptable behaviors such as status and success, one can easily overshadow attitudes and beliefs that could be striped naked of their perceived power by the blade of brutal honesty.

Radical Spirituality and the realization of our inherent wholeness posit no formulas or guarantees; there are no frames of reference for success in relationship or the concept of realization.  Say it how you will, in the end we are left to abandon those deepest attachments to the “mystery” of cosmic conspiracy; successful relationships or realization will happen or not, they are clearly not the determination of a personal “I”.

The act of brutal honesty: about ones life, ones thoughts, ones feelings, ones beliefs, ones circumstance, ones relationship or the absence there of, serves only to trigger the potential of space.  In a moment of authentic expression it is hopped that in the expression of that something, enough space will be allowed for something real to appear.

We are not looking for any so called, psychological truth here; we are not looking for love, forgiveness, understanding, acceptance, wisdom or compassion.  We are looking for the blatant expression of what appears to be, so that what has not been ~ can be. 

It is a fact that in the expression and honoring of what appears to be, that the depth of our humanity can then be revealed.  To name the story is to potentially move beyond the story.

Clarity, understanding and insight are the boobee prizes of life.  In the wisdom of awareness the act of brutal honesty to ones self or another can lead to the revelation that the wholeness we so eagerly sought was always present, hidden beneath the troubled waters of a restless mind, caught up in the web of its own making and the emotional turmoil that is so easily woven from the patterns of that mind.

In the naming of that perceived wound; in the act of taking the time to label that feeling, that belief, that notion or “trouble”, what appears to overshadow the peace of the mind or the serenity of the heart, can be removed, we can table what has been, to see what is…

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

Peace = The Absense of Hurt…
September 21, 2010

Can there be peace without hurt?

Is the ability to navigate the arising of hurt, peace?

Is [personal] peace enough; a prelude to global peace?


Like most, I’ve learned a lot about hurt and the relationship it has to the experience of peace.  Like most people, I’ve hurt and I’ve been hurt; violence is absence of peace and a substitute for hurt. Hurt is always inherent within the one who is hurting or has been hurt.

In my own life I have recognized the presence of hurt.  I have witnessed the one who was hurt, the one who is hurt, and the one who will potentially hurt or be hurt.  When I’m hurting, there is an absence of peace.  What is present instead is the memory of hurt: the hurt that arises from the past, the hurt that appears to be present in the moment, and the fear of further hurt in the future.

In these moments when [I] have lost [myself] to the perception of hurt: to the memories of my past, the experience of the moment or the fear of a projected future, what is recognized is the impact the story of hurt has on the potential experience of peace within the moment.

As long as we are in the story of hurt: the one who was hurt, the one who is hurting or the one who will potentially be hurt, there can never be peace; there will only be hurt or the fear of hurt.  The pain, struggle, fear, confusion, destruction and immense sadness that arise from the details of the story of hurt are debilitating.

Peace for most, is the absence of hurt, be it the story of hurt or the story of the search for peace that arises as a result of hurt.  As long as [you] are in the story of hurt, there can be no peace; there can only be hurt.  The root of all hurt is the [I] that imagines it can be hurt, was hurt, or will be hurt.  The [I] perpetuates the story of hurt itself.  The one who controls, the one who gathers, the one who hunts, will always be hurt.

All stories arise from the [I] who imagines it exists; the one who believes in the philosophy of separation and hurt, and the philosophy of peace.  When hurt arises [we] can focus on the story of hurt: the reasons, the justifications, the explanations, the actual details contained within the story of the who, the what, the where, the when and the why; or we can place our attention on the one who sees the arising of that hurt itself.

It’s not easy, but it is simple. [We] can focus on the hurt or we can notice the one who witnesses the story of the hurt that appears to be rising.  With a simple shift of attention, we can alleviate the subjective experience of hurt.  What is possible then; what can occur in that shift is space for peace to arise.

With the shift of attention there is a space, a wiggle, a movement from the perception and experience of being hurt to the perception and experience of being at peace.  In the midst of hurt, there can be the subjective experience of a being at peace, the kind of peace that surpasses all understanding.

We all hurt and we all have hurt.  Until we move beyond our [personal] story of hurt, we will continue to subjectively experience the results of its perception. Peace begins with the ending of hurt: the hurt that was, the hurt that is, and the hurt that may be.  Until we break the cycle of the story of our own hurt, we will not taste the sweetness of peace.


Can we celebrate peace when so many are hurting?


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


Insight #81 ~ ZEN Shredding…
September 18, 2010



Find what works in your life. 


We often have a tendency to focus on what is not working, which often amplifies and perpetuates it.  By taking the time to look at what you enjoy doing or being and where your inspiration comes from, you can re-focus your attention to what is meaningful and important.

Extended commentary:

There are no pat formulas that determine a successful life.  As much as we seek, grow and stumble through life experience, life’s inherent nature is the experience of expansion and contraction on all levels.

As strategy, what’s effortless is impersonal; what’s personal will appear to be struggle.

When [you] slip into the impersonal, [you’ll] find that life flows with ease and simplicity, [you’ll] find that things always happen spontaneously without any effort on [your] part.  There is no [you] that can make anything happen, but there is always the possibility that things can and will happen without struggle and strife, without effort or intensity on [your] part. 

Placing [your] attention on what works in [your] life will allow [you] to be present with the impersonal, without the interference of mind.  Said another way, when things are working [you] might notice there is a quieting or absence of the personal, when things appear to be not working, the personal is brought to the forefront of [your] experience, inevitably overshadowing [your] awareness.

To be clear; this is not a suggestion to overlook, ignore or deny what is not working, it’s an invitation to see that in any moment the filter of [personal] will determine the degree of suffering and struggle [you] may or may not be experiencing in the moment.  It’s a chance to notice the clues within [your] own experience and life, and how they can lead and guide [you] through your that life. 

Ultimately without judgment, the perception of what’s not working can be just as valuable as noticing what is working.  What can be seen is that something that appeared to be not working, was in fact always working, in spite of the personal judgments we had around THAT moment…


What is working in your life?


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:




Hot off the Press:


The Doctrine of ONE…




Other work:


ZEN Shredding: The Prequel



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


Insight #80 ~ ZEN Shredding
September 11, 2010


Every complaint is the source of an un-manifest goal.


Many people think that complaining is just plain negative.  What’s disempowering is to overlook the fact that each and every complaint is also a potential source of happiness, something that wants to be.  Every complaint is a request in disguise, a personal recipe for fast tracking you to greater levels of joy and happiness.

Extended commentary:

Human beings love to complain; better said the mind will always find something that does not meet its expectations.  The mind is also very good in finding reasons to justify why something is not right, OK or perfect.  We can spend our lives trying to improve, fix or change a list of things, many of which will never end; there will always be something to perfect.

There’s nothing the matter with trying to improve, fix or change something for the better, but we can lose ourselves in this process; we can become stuck in this process.  If we drown in the deep end of imperfection, we will experience anxiety and stress, we will experience frustration and discontent.

In the moment of your deepest frustration, in the moment of your deepest longing for something to be different than it is, ask this simple question:

To whom does this complaint arise?

There’s nothing the matter with complaining; as long as you don’t lose yourself in the complaint…



What are your complaints?



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:




Hot off the Press:


The Doctrine of ONE…



  Other work:


ZEN Shredding: The Prequel



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


Insight #79 ~ ZEN Shredding…
September 4, 2010



Truth can contain the lie of justification. 



When you take the time to examine truth closely, it can reveal negative assumptions, associations and beliefs about how you see your life and the world you live in.  When fact and fiction fuse, you limit your subjective experience of freedom.


Extended commentary:


I’ve always been wary about people who tell me something with a qualifying “it’s my truth…” statement.  It’s as if something they think, perceive, understand, know, believe or see is different from everyone else, and yet absolutely true at some “deep, spiritual, level. 

It implies that something is true for them regardless if it does not fit with any frame of reference, spiritual or otherwise.  You can make a claim that something might be truth, but that does not make it Truth.  Ultimately only an “I” would claim something to be true or not, only an “I” would look for something that is true or not true.  If there were such as thing as truth, “I” don’t think it would be personal. 


I think more often or not there is confusion of Truth over experience.  There are infinite numbers of experiences ~ all these experiences are subjective but not necessarily “the truth”.  Just because it’s your experience does not make it true.  You can have a subjective experience without having the need to claim that it is the Truth.

To [me] when “I” here someone use the term “it’s my truth”, it sounds more like a defense mechanism, a wall of protection that is used to hide the fact that there is an actual fixation on some deeply held belief, a belief that is somehow out of bounds, somehow sacred, something very personal, and should not be examined or challenged, because “it’s my truth.

[You] can have [your] experience, but it does not have to be true or not true, it can simply just be.  [You] can have [your] experience without needing to imply that it is some absolute truth.  The fact is that what is true now will most likely not be true tomorrow (look to [your] experience to prove this).

Beliefs come and go; they are not truth.  Experiences come and go, they are not truth.  Perceptions, ideas, notions, understandings and insights that come from the mind, will ultimately, come and go, and therefore cannot be Truth.

What is real is true, and what is true does not come and go. 

Run away from the truth.  Better yet, depend upon what does not come and go rather than what appears to be true or not true. 

Beyond the truth or not truth, [you] are…



What do you assume to be true in your life?



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:




Hot off the Press:


The Doctrine of ONE…




Other work:


ZEN Shredding: The Prequel



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

%d bloggers like this: