Insight #82 ~ ZEN Shredding…
November 22, 2010

 

 

Pay attention to the story of your own life.

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the vision and dreams of others, the movers, the shakers, the high rollers, but what about your own visions and dreams? Your future; the intentions and desires, the dreams and visions you have for your life, are a unique mix of the known and the unknown.  The known is the story of your life; the unknown is a field of infinite possibilities determined only by the quality and direction of your attention.

 

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 will always provide us with a diversity of experience that lies outside the fields of our own desire and preference; desires and preferences that often overshadow what is.

To often we become hypnotized by the story of another; the wish for a life to constantly move in upward spirals of being more, doing more, and having more.  Our expectations are often thwarted as the pendulum of life experience swings naturally between periods of expansion and contraction.

Navigating the expansion and contraction of life with ease will often be determined by the degree of attention to we give to the story of that life experience.  The story of our life is what’s happening or not happening in our life; better said, the story is the perception of what’s happening or not happening in our life.

When we compare, assess and evaluate our story we invite ourselves into the deep end of the story; we invite turmoil, conflict and provocation that arises from a perception that is skued for it to be other than what it is.  Resilience to the juxtaposition of life experiences comes not from the skill of navigation, but acceptance; acceptance of what is.

When our attention is placed solely on the story of what may or may not be working in our life, we lose touch with the part of ourselves that is simply aware but detached to the fleeting details that arise and subside within the pages of that story.

Yes, it is important for you to pay attention to the details of [your] own story without comparing, assessing, or evaluating it to another, but greater yet, it is important to give your fullest attention to the one who is aware of that story; the one who watches that story unfold in each and every moment.  The one who is beyond that story…    

 

 

Whose dreams or visions are you following?

 

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

 

&

 

Hot off the Press:

 

The Doctrine of ONE…

 

 

  

Other work:

 

ZEN Shredding: The Prequel

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Insight #76 ~ ZEN Shredding…
June 16, 2010

Ask questions of your life.

 

Ask questions of yourself, of others; of what you’ve been taught; of everything you believe yourself to be. It’s important to engage and apply the process of enquiry and investigation into your life, to examine all the beliefs that you have about life. 

Enquiry and investigation prevent denial and resignation. It is the birth of a new narrative based on the present, not the past or future. Your best questions entice the Universe to respond in a dance of “co-creation” that transforms your subjective experience.

 

Extended commentary:

 

Any good dialogue therapist understands the impact of well crafted question. A well crafted, skillfully delivered question can change the understanding, perception and behavior of a client forever.  A “change” in ones understanding and perception can often lead to a change in behavior, which inevitably leads to a change in ones life and the way with which one lives ones life.  

Well crafted questions can open doorways that can lead to freedom: illuminating buried thoughts, revealing hidden feelings ~ placing a spotlight on self sabotaging ideas, notions, perceptions and associations with which we live our life.  A well crated question can also create context, meaning and purpose for an individual and their lives.  A well crafted question can unveil order where there once appeared to be disorder.

As a general rule we might often avoid the use of “Why” in dialogue; it is often relegated to a “use only if… and when… status”, due to the seduction of its nature as a “call for justification”; an invitation to create a story or reason, where there may be none.  Better said, one can easily trap oneself or another more deeply into the story of “me” and “why”; the story that we might be telling ourselves or others, when asking or addressing a question that begins with [Why?]

That being said, there are always exceptions.  There’s always exceptions, and there will always be moments when a well crafted, skillfully delivered [Why?] will open up a mother lode of information and ideas so pure, so informative and so valuable, that they can change the direction of ones life or another’s forever.

[ Living in the [Why] of Life.]

 

As a strategy for successful living, a well crafted, open ended [Why?] question, can reveal a spectrum of ideas, notions and values that often can shape and influence an individuals entire motivation; it exposes the roots of their “modus operandi”; the very impulse of [Why] we do, what we do; “our reason for being”.

 [Why] am I in this relationship?

[Why] do I enjoy my [fill in the blank] work?

[Why] do I want to do “this” or “that”?

[Why] am I so unhappy in this [fill in the blank] job?

[Why] do I feel what I feel?

[Why] do I do, what I do?

[Why] am I here?

 As any good dialogue therapist knows, a well placed open ended, [Why?] often initially unlocks a dearth of information that requires mind-full navigation: where the [How?] and the [What?]; the [Who?], the [Where?] and the [When?] must equally and necessarily, be applied with exacting precision, to the uncovered material so that it might be harnessed to its fullest potential.

A well crafted, closed ended, question [Who?, What?, Where?, When? and How?] can lead the dearth and seemingly, perceived chaos of that revealed information [the Why?] in supportive directions that will inform and enable the inherent value of that [Why?] to come alive.

A provocative, all encompassing [Why?] has the inspiration and power to lead us to an engaging [How?], and an engaging [How?] can steer us to an essential,[What?]! 

[Why] am I here?

[How] can I cultivate, refine and develop that inspiration most easily?

[Who] can support me in the implementation of that purpose?

[What] do I need to specifically do to engadge the creative process in the world of form?

[When] do I need to do the above?

And therein lies the strategy and life cycle of a well crafted question!

 

 What part of your own story do you need to question?

 

 

Please watch this inspiring TED talk by Simon Sinek; a master of dialogue…

 

 

 

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

 

&

 

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. 

 

 

Insight #75 ZEN Shredding…
May 20, 2010

 

[… An excerpt from ZEN Shredding]

TRUTH, LIES AND OBSESSIONS:

It’s about clarity, courage and letting go

 

 

For many years I had been developing a negative view towards my body.  The combination of moving further away from the biology of my youth, and the cumulative diet of morning muffins with lattes and pasta dinners was having its effect.  My first few lessons on the hill were reality checks of just how bad things had become ~ I could barely reach over to strap into my bindings.

There is something vulnerable and paradoxical about some learning experiences.  You show up to learn something new and all of a sudden, the moment is hijacked by memories of your past failures or fears of future catastrophes.  There was a moment during my first lesson of snowboarding where my coach had us practice a side slipping technique, where your board is horizontal to the incline of the mountain with both feet strapped in.  The skill was practiced first, facing up the hill and then looking down the hill.  In both variations we were to hold the hands of the instructor for stability, without looking at the ground or our feet.  This skill practice in particular required complete trust, a letting go and relying on another human being ~ not something I’m so practiced at. 

I will never forget the intense intimacy and security I felt as I held onto my instructor’s hands while gazing directly into his eyes.  For a brief moment it felt like there was no past or future, for a moment it felt like I was completely present and completely vulnerable to another human being. In that moment I did not fall, in that moment I bridged the fears of my mind to be present in the possibilities of the moment.  My choice to surrender to the moment by relying on someone else’s support allowed me to digest the skill at hand and a much deeper learning. It was a reminder of the importance to surround yourself with people who are big enough or skilled enough to support you with the dreams you have for your life.

Mentors are essentially people you can trust, people that can provide you with alternative information and new perspectives or skills. Having another point of view helps to prevent you from falling into the traps of self engendered thinking and conditioning, behavior or action…

To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:

http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000161942

OR

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

http://www.michaelseansymonds.wordpress.com

 

Other work:

ZEN Shredding: The Prequel

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/322380

 

 Soulananda;

The Essentials of a Good Life…

 http://www.soulananda.com

 

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

 

eEarth Week Challenge Day 3
April 25, 2010

 

 

It’s funny how life experiences can change us forever, sometimes in ways we could never have imagined or predicted.  Sometimes those experiences make us grateful, sometimes those experiences leave us with the deepest of perceived scars. 

A few months ago I ended a very tough year and a half of my life.  It was a year and a half where I experienced a number of extreme challenges in living life and dealing with those things that happen in life.  One adjustment was the loss of work and home.  If there is any time to do that in Whistler, ya just don’t wanna do it in November; 2500 young adults are hitting town and the number one Ski Resort in the world; all competing for work and a place to live.

My creative solution for the “roof” over head was to move into “Harvey the RV”.  I’ve lived once before in a place that did not have running water, but that was almost 2 decades before when I lived in an artists loft in Yaletown, Vancouver, livin the life of “a starving artist”. 

Harvey was upscale compared to my loft; but it did have its challenges, one of them being the need to ration my water.  I gave myself permission to have one shower a day:

 

 “on”,

 

“wet”,

 

“off”,

 

“soap”,

 

“on…

 

…briefly”

 

“off”

 

… I had enough water to give me 9 showers max, do my teeth, with a little left over before I had to refill the tank, which was a chore in itself…

This is nothing compared to what much of the worlds population face.  I first watched this google, documentary in Harvey.  It has taught me a lot about the idea of gratitude, especially for something that can be so easily be taken for granted in Canada; water…

     

 

“ A World Without Water: The world is running out of its most precious resource. True Vision’s timely film tells of the personal tragedies behind the mounting privatization of water supplies. More than a billion people across the globe don’t have access to safe water. Every day 3900 children die as a result of insufficient or unclean water supplies. The situation can only get worse as water gets evermore scarce.”

 

 MY CHALLENGE TO YOU:

 I’ve forwarded this post and invitation to a few of my blog buddies, “I” invite you to do the same.  For the next seven days, in your own unique, creative ways; whether that be images, words or ideas of your own or another’s; use your venue of choice [it could be your own home and the simplicity of your own awareness] to bring attention to this moment, our Earth, and the awareness that is needed for meaningful, lasting, significant change.

How can you play?

[Facebook, Twitter, Blog or email] Inspire change: Provide a commentary or link; create a question, image or article that stimulates awareness, conversation or understanding of “Earth Week”; and its intention to continue to promote and bring awareness towards creating a just, sustainable and peaceful planet.

Forward this challenge to your own friends or readers.

  

Insight #72 ~ ZEN Shredding…
March 4, 2010

 

Spend more time in Nature.  

 

There is a rhythm, flow (and chairlift) in Nature that connects us to Harmony. Spending time in the rhythm and flow of Nature allows our minds, bodies and Spirit to recalibrate to the very same power that creates a baby and orchestrates a Universe. 

You can have moments in Nature, when everything dissolves into everything else, where there is no “I”, “me”, or “mine”.  Being in nature can often lead to spontaneous meditative states that can fulfill you on the deepest, most natural levels of your Being. 

Extended commentary:

Everything is always dissolving into everything else, because it’s all really nothing disguised as something.  Without “nothing” you could not have or appreciate something.  Everything is nothing and that nothing sometimes becomes something; eventually it will subside into back into nothing.

There’s more to the experience and beauty of nature than the infinite visual expressions of diversity that dance before our eyes.  The essence of nature’s beauty lies in its naked, direct, unbridled expression; nothing masquerades as something.  A few hours in nature is equivalent to one thousand sessions of therapy; without the necessary understanding or expense.  A few hours spent in nature allows you slip into the rhythm, flow and movement of your own Being; the same Being that is the life throb of divinity itself. 

In the stillness of nature that appears to be something; the impulse of nothing begins to dissolve mind made barriers; distinctions that would normally elevate our personal suffering subside, and the mind that once thought it was something, becomes nothing.  Gently, quietly, we are seduced and intoxicated by nature’s sweetness.  Form becomes Being, Being becomes form.  In these sacred, immersed moments in nature, we are reminded at the deepest level that form is Being and Being is form.  When form is experienced as Being, and Being is experienced as form, we realize there is no form and there is no Being; the personal becomes impersonal. 

Notice with the appreciation of your attention the gift of  nothing as it becomes the something we call nature; notice by spending time in nature that in that something we call nature there is actually nothing, and in that moment of nothing, you will find everything…           

 

 

When was the last time you went for a walk in the park or looked for a shooting star in the night sky?

 

To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:

http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000161942

OR

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…

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/322380

AND

When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:

 Soulananda;

The Essentials of a Good Life…

 http://www.soulananda.com

 

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

Insight #62 ~ ZEN Shredding…
October 20, 2009

LYFE PIC (138)

 

Be clear about what you need.  

 

We have been conditioned to believe in the sanctity of taking care of the needs of others first.  Learning to practice Self-care first eliminates becoming ungrounded and scattered.  When you can take care of your own needs, you will be ready to take care of the needs of others at a level of unmatched success and mastery.

 Extended commentary:

 

 

A New Way of Being

 

How delicate the gossamer thread of self love.

Most,

love ourselves and others according to the way we were loved.

 

What did we unconsciously learn in that loving or unloving way of being?

What was said, practiced, done, or experienced in that primordial dance of the past that we presently entertain in all our doings?

 

Was it kind, unconditional, patient and steady?

Was it spacious, timely, steadfast and warm?

 

In those moments;

in those pivotal moments,

between the sweet and the salty,

were our minds and hearts nourished and informed by seeded words and actions of tender compassion, patience and Presence?

 

Or,

 

were we determined in other ways by voices inside and out,

of dissonance, discord and determination?

 

 

Now is a new moment in time,

a time for old ways of being to depart.

 

Now is a time for unlearning.

 

Now is a time for recognition, reconciliation and realization.

 

Now,

is a time for a new way of Being.

 

 

Will it be warm and vulnerable?

 

Will it be courageous and consistent?

 

Will it adore, appreciate, comfort and embrace?

 

Will the thread of its weave value and protect,

cherish and sustain Self and all “others”?

 

Will it be forgiving?

 

Will it be the impulse and expression of a new beginning;

 

a new way of Being?

 

How can you take care of yourself in better ways?

 

To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:

http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000161942

OR

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…

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/322380

AND

When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:

 Soulananda;

The Essentials of a Good Life…

 http://www.soulananda.com

 

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

 

Insight #61 ~ ZEN Shredding…
October 14, 2009

 WB 030

 

Avoid losing yourself in the noise of your life. 

 

The experience of clarity can be cultivated by the reduction and elimination of drama in your life. Learning to navigate life with effortless ease is a learned skill.  When your story becomes overwhelming, when the noise of your life experience overshadows the connection of clarity to your inner wisdom, you can quickly lose yourself in the detail and noise of life.

Extended commentary:

I don’t think I need to define or explain the infinite ways in which we often lose ourselves in the “noise” of life; the many forms and shapes of its experience.  Simply said, it’s anything that distracts you from Who You Are.  It could take the form of major drama, or be a simple memory that sits in the recesses of the mind obsessively haunting and triggering you into immense suffering.

When I was first exposed to this insight, it radically changed the way I perceived my life.  I’d had had my fill of “noise”, and understood immediately the context of the insight.  I also recognized the perceived challenge of “not losing oneself”; because most of my life had been spent in the yearning and pursuit of THAT seemingly illusive Self whilst in the noise.

Interestingly enough the noise of life does not necessarily have to be a “bad” or so called “negative” experience.  Any experience can potentially become a trap or distraction, even the so-called “good” experiences.  You can’t get out of a trap if you don’t know you’re in a trap.  You can’t get out of a trap if you are acting out or believing the experience IS a trap.  In the absence of judgment however, all experience can serve as a tool to re-align our attention and perception in how we see ourselves, others and the experiences we have and that occur in the world.

While we may be a little clearer about what the “noise” may look and feel like in life; what does it look and feel like to lose your Self?  We must set a president here, by understanding that while it may look and feel like “I” or “you”, or any “other” may have lost myself, your Self or their Self; the Self can never really be lost.  To paraphrase an ancient Vedic expression:

 

“Water cannot wet it, fire cannot burn it, iron cannot cleave it…

It’s ancient, it’s unborn, it never dies…”

 

It is only at the level of the body, mind and emotions that we imagine and interpret that we have lost touch with the Self; it is in the thinking, feeling and external dimensions that we imagine we are in separation.  Since EVERYTHING can become, or is a potential “noise”, it is only in our distraction too noise, where our attention gets caught up in “noise”, that we then seemingly “lose touch” with our essential nature. 

Re-stated; when the focus our attention is allowed to get caught up only in the foreground of life amongst the thinking, the having, the being and the doing, there is a good chance that we will eventually become overwhelmed by it.  We lose touch and awareness of the background of our Being and the brilliance of its light.  In favoring the foreground of life only; in the favoring of the thinking, the being, the having and the doing over Being, we appear to temporarily lose touch with our essential core.

To be very clear; we can never truly lose our Self.  Our life can be filled with a myriad of experiences; the greatest suffering and tragedy possible, and the Self will always remain the One eternal Self that most of us spend our lives seeking.  Because our attention is on the noise and foreground of life; in error, we identify with the noise and foreground, as being self, and the background of our true Self, goes unnoticed.

What’s needed and what’s desired by so many is a greater level of appreciation and awareness of that background presence.  What’s needed and what’s desired by so many is that the background of Being shifts to become the foreground if reality; to permanently overshadow the thinking, the being, the having and the doing; where we no longer feel a perceived loss too our essential nature: the peace, the potential, and the stillness from which it all arises and eventually subsides…

 

In what areas of your life is there too much noise?

 

 To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:

http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000161942

OR

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…

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/322380

AND

When you get a chance, please visit the home of my latest work:

 Soulananda;

The Essentials of a Good Life…

 http://www.soulananda.com

 

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

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