Opinions Get in the Way

Human beings are an odd species, the ability to discriminate is a great skill and some would even say it is this that separates man and beast, however I know a dog who is very discerning, smarter than the average human.  Another thing about the human entity is the deep emotions that can drop a person into despair or make him or her weep when a child wins a sports trophy, a team wins a final or if somebody has a personal victory against all odds, we take these things for granted.  Those people who have done their research properly about things Alien or from Outer and Inner Space know full well that humans have certain characteristics that many others don’t.  Some space civilisations are so advanced technologically, on their journey of evolvement they have all but bred out emotion in their quest for excellence in specific areas; their bodily forms are adequate for their lifestyles, some have big heads and tiny bodies with minimal or virtually no muscle tone, some have no ears because they didn’t need them any longer and others survive on various gases or light forms.  There are many that would not survive a moment here without a breathing apparatus, in the same way if humans go too fast or far into deep space they would get turned into jelly;  there are others whose bodies are similar to human beings such as our friends from Alpha Centauri (who are closely aligned with the Venusians who met behind the scenes with the Governments in the 1950’s),  if you looked closely at their bodies you’d see areas that are designed to protect them and so they can function comfortably in aquatic and gaseous environments.  This diversity is no big deal really, simple as:
1) There is life on other planets.

2) There are many beings in each of the other worlds and planets in the same way that Earth has numerous species sharing the environment

3) Species adapt, evolve and develop a body to suit the world they move in
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If it’s Convincing Enough, Humans Will Believe Anything
The fascinating thing about humanity is the human being is not really over scientific in the way he/she experiences the world.  There is an assumption that because we have been given information that most people agree on, it must be fact.  Think carefully about that last sentence and you will understand the problem, your brain might just light up like a pinball machine when the coin drops; when you understand the implications that our world is built on assumptions you will begin to be able to dismantle the untruths that create the human prison house that inhibits mankind.  Essentially there are many agreed upon untruths.

Rewiring our Vision of the World Around Us
A wise man or women must always be prepared to be wrong about everything. I like the idea that in a split second we have the ability to go from being a genius to ignoramus and back again; it’s very humbling.  Being wrong is okay, I don’t mind being wrong however I am adamant about what I know if it’s based on personal experience, I will stand my ground on things that have come out of going through various processes and have eliminated doubt. And that does not mean I am not open to new information, it pours in every day at lightening speed.
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Kids are interesting, we’ve all been there.  A mum says, “don’t touch that, it’s hot”… the sound of a howling child fills the neighbourhood.  On the other hand we have the situations where we are told there is a God, depending on how severe the indoctrination aka upbringing is, a person may run through their life doing rituals, saying prayers, doing all the ‘right’ stuff that God wants.  When something happens that is not so wonderful, some people who have been shaped by the ‘guilt ridden judgemental church’ even think it is a punishment and go about their business not even questioning option B, C, D or other. Let’s go there.
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So many of us dress the same, it’s a follow the leader mentality. In a world of petty tyrants and bullies this is understandable because ‘fear’ holds the power over the community. Fear is useful, we see a tiger in the wild or in the world where I grew up a shark in the water is more common, often they are minding their own business but sometimes lunch is their business and there’s no need for me to go into detail.  Fear is a very normal thing but there is a world of paper tigers and paper mâché dragons that have people spellbound.  One of the great monsters that I will call The Fear of Change Dragon keeps people on a repeat loop, it’s safe to do the same thing and not step out of line.
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The Dreamers and Forgetting the Known
From my experience of watching the world, people and their behaviours it seems obvious that brilliant people, the dreamers, the wayfarers often come from the left-field.  What I mean here is in many cases they didn’t fit in, they were on the ‘outside’ but managed to turn the fruits of their experience into wisdom.  There are others who didn’t survive the journey.  There are many things that impact on how a person navigates it all but I do think that it is the OPINIONS of OTHERS and how they ‘stick’ to a person that makes the difference.  If a person does not have what I would refer to as enough ‘personal power’ then they will crumble because the dominant world views of others will be given a much higher degree of importance than personal experience.  An example is religious indoctrination.  I am not saying that religion or philosophy for that matter has no place but the truth of the matter is it is second hand knowledge, information comes through a lot of filters and agendas and is not based on personal experience; others experience may drop a hint on which way to go but unless we live it it is just a story.  A person may spend their life enslaved by an erroneous doctrine and it is the attachment to the doctrine that prevents the person from seeing a grander picture because the ‘mind space’ is so full of information it will block the view and prevent exploration of grander concepts.
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Unless we totally abandon what is ‘known’ there is little hope of heading into super-consciousness.  The thoughts of others, opinions of the world create a MIRAGE in the mind-space of each individual and the thoughts are so thick they prevent the individual from seeing what is really there.  A transparent view is critical if a person is serious about the journey of the Spirit.  The statues people pray to and with, the beads, the tainted scriptures, the Gurus and Masters, the Gods, the Spiritual practices are all an obstacle to freedom, they come with baggage, they zip a person up into the bag and prevent real experience from unfolding.  It takes incredible courage to abandon everything a person believes to be true.
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May all beings be happy and find their way 

Tilopa 2.0

Finding Peace with Unknowing

When I was a kid I remember my sister saying to me, “wanna play a card game?” I said, “yes, which one?”  She said, ” fifty two pickup”, then to my frustration she proceeded to throw the deck of cards in the air, they scattered across the floor accompanied by the sound of haunting thunderous older sibling laughter. Over the years I’ve felt that same sensation just after life’s milestones such as before or after moving house, the end of a relationship, leaving a job, death of a dear one or some type of trauma large or small or the sale of a previously loved ‘I will never leave you’ favourite guitar. These events that leave us a little unsettled remind me of fifty-two pickup, all the elements are there, they look familiar but there’s a feeling of chaos and a sense that someone or an invisible being has played a dirty trick or they weren’t straight with us.  Trying to grab all the cards or more specifically the pieces of our life and put them into a sensible workable order so we can function again seems to be the issue we are regularly faced with at the various milestones of our lives, that unknowingness at times has a haunting sadness about it.
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Cafe Culture
Cars go past the cafe, a lot of them seem ghostly, they’re almost empty apart from the occasional over animated driver speaking with his invisible friend or more than likely someone at the other end of a mobi-fone conversation; multi-tasking has become more common now, brain electrons zoom so fast. We’ve come a long way since the horse and cart, men on the Moon, flat earth concepts (chuckle), the hidden space programs no longer a conspiracy theory (I will leave that subject for others to debate, this subject is not in my portfolio and is too far removed from my Sunday coffee hit), tech companies can make a 3D printer that can print a building but ironically their ability to manufacture a normal printer that spits out a piece of paper with a bit of text print on it without any problems still seems to be a challenge and is a thorn in the side of many IT people and office admin.
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The Non Hangover
It’s Sunday, I am not a heavy drinker so I don’t experience hangover-regrets or that scary feeling of not knowing what really happened the night before, some days I do have that ‘what’s it all about, where’s it all going?’ feeling that often comes after the infamous big night out but it’s from being alive and not from substance abuse. There is an oddity for me with the questioning ‘what’s it and where’s it’,  I am very informed and have a big internal crystal ball that gives me a rather detailed view of what is unfolding on the world stage, not being able to see things that are more personal is annoying. I guess in all honesty those questions are more about a deep yearning for wanting to put my roots into the ground, define a new direction or better still wanting that sensation of falling or being in love. Falling or more correctly rising in love and wondering who that future being is, is what I think has often troubled me most, the element of surprise is too much and although one of the beauties of life is the unexpected mysteries that arrive on the doorstep, having our heart in order is for me a doorway to an abode of peace; the parting of a loved one always rocks the Universe and all the wisdom of Buddha and the inner Sage regarding detachment doesn’t count much for nothing in moments of loneliness when a kind word or a tender hand is probably all that is required, our inability to reach out for that is one of the great mysteries of life.
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Surfing the World Around Us
The wonderful thing about our existence is we have the ability to experience an over abundance of things that can create a distraction, if we are inventive as well as inquisitive, new vistas present themselves and for many of us if we can temporarily put our traumas and pains on hold we can preoccupy ourselves and glide over the ocean of sadness like a surfer slowly paddling across the water knowing there are sharks out there somewhere but understanding when we do the maths, our odds of surviving the day without being munched on are pretty high.  Some people take up art, a musical instrument or writing, as a writer I know it can be a little self indulgent and without an astute editor in our head we often need to be cautious we aren’t just feeding the fire of our problems and amplifying our pain, for me Quantum Physics or something a little more tasty gets the the electrons in my brain fired up.
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Food therapy can get expensive, fortunately I like good quality health food and there’s little chance of me ever being over weight or getting sick and I have a rather strict regime of not exercising, I’ve worked with the logic for years that if I exercise, a message will go from my brain to my body that says “I am unwell”, this allows me to maintain good health and saves a lot of time.  I know that approach sounds crazy but it works for me, to argue against it is futile and would only undermine it and I prefer the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t touch it’.
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I can quite confidently say there is not one of us that haven’t felt lost, I guess there maybe some exceptions such as Ramana Maharishi, Shirdi Sai Baba or the Avatars Krishna, Rama, Matsya or the one currently hiding in centre Earth.  At times our boat floats in the ocean, gets swamped by waves and heads around directionless, the wisest of men and woman have experienced/suffered this, the not-as-wise-as will also have doses of it so there is no need to feel special if we suffer, it’s the normal.
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Healing by Looking at the Big Picture
If we look back in time and see all the civilisations that have come and gone, the human species and its variants have managed to maintain its presence on planet Earth, whether this has been due to interference and help from off Earth entities is not the point, life here has persisted and in this is where our hope lies. It may seem like I may be a pessimist when I say look at the lost civilisations which are buried in molten rock or under the ocean or the North or South Poles, I could also include the network of tunnels all across the Earth where the old communities hid from the elements and predators but in being able to see and accept the comings and goings of communities, a wisdom of the impermanence of the nature of things kicks in.  Many would know that this ‘impermanence’ is one of the core underlying ideas of Buddhism or any other half decent approach to  self transformation.  When we look at the bigger picture of the cycles of comings and goings we can see in the macrocosm that there are patterns that are reflected in our microcosmic world.  This careful observation is very useful for dealing with the unwanted and unexpected things that leave us feeling a little shaky, sad or at times even devastated.  By observing nature and here I mean the cycles of life, we can learn to see deeply and without having to put too much of an emphasis on an issue we will gradually accept the inevitability of change and allow what ‘needs to leave us’ go on its way. If we are constantly focused on one problem and forget all the wonders going on around us it can poison the garden of our lives, and that really is a tragedy.
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Change is constant and this is a good thing, we gather our wisdom from experiences and wander into foreverness.

Tilopa 2.0

Samadhi, Satori & Nirvana

There seem to be experts everywhere on the subject of meditation these days, you can pay big money for a technique, get initiated, grab a white or ochre outfit, a string of 108 beads, picture of Guru, incense, prayer book, Ganesha or Hanuman statue, throw in a weekend intensive workshop and you’re all set to go. Some people are just running a business to support their dream lifestyle but other teachers are wonderful and a short encounter and simple introduction to a meditation practice with them may be life changing and help maintain quality of life.
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The sound of David Byrne from Talking Heads singing, ‘We’re on the Road to Nowhere’ briefly passes through the playlist in my head, it popped up between the Mantras and the floating thoughts about multi-dimensional-beings and other worlds; my referencing the song lyrics here is not a negative statement in any way, quite the opposite, taken out of context that line is more potent than anyone would at first realise.  NOWHERE is a place I like and am comfortable with.
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Entering the River
I had the greatest of meditation teachers in my early twenties; however I was 18 was when I had my first attempt at disintegrating the Universe (although there have been attempts to escape it the Universe is actually quite a nice place to wander in and as the days unfold it’s become clear that there are many other Multiverses). There I was, blissed out on a sunny Saturday sitting under a tree in a park trying to go inside myself, to leave the world behind Not much happened on that fine day but I felt gooooood and it was a milestone in my life, I had taken a step into foreverness. My long hair, baggy clothes, Indian sandals, I fitted comfortably into the tail end of the hippy generation, Vietnam war had finished some years before, a lot of Peace signs around, an overuse of cheap patchouli odours orbiting people in the flea market, most teenagers I knew were smoking hash and what was at that time called dope but is now called weed.  I’d heard about gurus at 14, seen the Hari’s dancing in the street, read the Gita and was well on my Vegetarian life path by then… during those times whenever you mentioned ‘no meat’ people would look at you strangely and make a joke, after about ten years I gave up being offended and dropped most of  my reasons for being a veg-head.  A Vegan was someone from a bright star out in the Milky Way past Arcturus.  I’d heard Jesus had lived in and passed through India, studied in Tibet, he was my hero so it was only a matter of time before I went over to the supposed holy-land Bharat, the place where Gods, Sages and the Kumaras had incarnated, palak paneer, the Ganges, gulab jamun, beggars, dosas, temples, burfi, rickshaws, samosas and a certain amount of filth and chaos; the land of contradictions; hate it love it, it gets under your skin and changes your Being forever.
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Back to the Future
It’s 2017 almost Christmas, the word Yoga is oh so common now, ‘everybody‘ is a yoga teacher, no longer is it just for those overly arrogant people supposedly ‘in the know’ who remind us that one day karma will get people back for their misdeeds, Yoga is also for some of the wise and healthy or the many sincere seekers. Young women wander through Fitzroy (Melbourne) with mats rolled up under their arms, as they pass, the smell of aroma-therapy-oils wafts up my nose, a far cry from the smelly arm pits from years back; my peace is being disrupted, people making business calls doing work-stuff in cafes clearly define how much the world has changed ON the SURFACE. A passing reflection reminds me of the first time I saw a guy on skateboard in the early 90’s with a mobile phone, I considered it far more confusing than when I had sighted my first UFO.
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The Crazy Mixed Up World
We live in a time of great stress, the noise of the city rattles and there’s a continuous hum, the lights never go out; I get a little perplexed and reach for my phone regularly, I can’t tell the ringtones from the tunes floating out from the cafes; tension, road rage, violence on my street every second day, a lot of people on the edge, commercial and real beggars with their hands out asking for cash clearly showing us how corrupt the systems are, traumatised beings who haven’t recovered and take their pain out to the streets as a reminder that things aren’t okay in the land of milk and honey. Such is the pressure of this civilisation, even the wise seem to get anxious, Kali Yuga blues; endless lies in the media are spewed out to create fear and uncertainty, something is brewing. What to do?  How to Be Here Now, filter out the nonsense and get away?
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Road to Nowhere
I remember the first time I went into Samadhi (loose translation = a far state deeper than every day waking consciousness) I realised something rather monumental had gone on, I had’t reached the goal but my toes had dipped into the Ocean of Consciousness; some Buddhists would more commonly define it as Emptiness; beyond all doubt I had drunk from the cup and tasted the Divine Elixir. The Deep Silence felt comfortable, very familiar, it seemed like I had never been away from it … it had moreish-ness about it like chocolate mint biscuits, you eat one then could gobble up the whole packet. Post Samadhi I still had my anxieties and everyday probs but I could tell it was the real thing.
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The Great Void
Being a natural born meditator (which is really no great feat) it had confused me what the fuss was all about, it was quite difficult for me to understand why others couldn’t go into deep states of consciousness, people always complained of head noise and the endless chattering of thought, eventually after many years it made a lot more sense why, (I won’t go there now).  Samadhi is always present, in the same way that when we look at a painting we see the paint, we forget about the canvas, it has no meaning apart from creating the parameters/dimensions around the artwork, so we don’t notice its contribution to the art piece.  Although it is difficult to describe the relationship, I will loosely say that all the Universes sit on top of Emptiness, it’s always closer than a breath or heartbeat away, it’s easy so to miss. Another example is we see the objects in a room we don’t give attention to the space, we feel it, we sense it, when we look carefully at the objects in a space we can see the importance of spatial relationships.  I worked out early on that thoughts, our whole Being, EVERYTHING is dependant on Emptiness. Thoughts and civilisations rise and fall but the constant is Silence, Emptiness, Nothingness, the Great Void, call it what you like.  The road that we take when we meditate is ‘to nowhere’.  Samadhi is NOWHERE.
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Awakening
Satori is something very different to Samadhi.  Satori experiences come in stages , at various intervals throughout life, at least they did for me. I will generally only discuss what I have experienced myself, at other times I cross reference the experiences of others who have had similar events happen or relate teachings because they make absolute sense and are relative to what I have seen, felt or experienced. Satori is an awakening to a clarity of mind or clear perception where all doubts about certain aspects regarding the nature of things, old limited conditioned thoughts no longer hold the individual COMPLETELY in prison when the newer awareness steps in. To some degree the underlying idea of separateness departs and at times the view is more like looking at a room with a number of slightly transparent partitions, it’s the same room and the divisions are there so there is no spillage and everyone goes about their own business with cloaked memories and awareness; there is always a choice of jumping from the individual to the totality.
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Degrees of Awakening
The RESPONSE to Satori/Awakenings are things that require caution to navigate, they USUALLY are NOT the END GOAL.  Many problems arise from people who have had an Awakening and consider that they are THERE, there is an assumption that what was sought has been fully found. Often they have reached a TYPE of Enlightened Mind or transformation, an inner knowing has presented itself within their consciousness, unfortunately often when it settles they go out and gather followers. Due to the euphoria that permeates their thinking and subtle changes in body sensations and awareness there is a tendency to want to share this joy with others.  This is not always the case, the great sage Ramana Maharshi had an early awakening and what unfolded for him was far greater than most of the others in the modern era that are on the world stage. Nisagadatta Maharaj, Neem Karoli Baba had a slower unfolding process, whereas the great Indian saint Shirdi Sai came into the world completely ‘open’, this is unusual and falls outside the area of what I would refer to as Satori, it was a similar situation with Kabir the great weaver poet; of interest Shirdi Sai stated he had been or more specifically ‘WAS Kabir’.  As I am unfamiliar with the various contemporary teachers from Japan I will only reference the great teachers from India but still use the Japanese term, ‘Satori’ is often translated as ‘seeing into ones true nature’ or even Buddhahood.  I am confident that the word is a variable and although the process can in some cases may be Earth shattering and a disintegration of the known, there are variations that depend on the individual experiencer.
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Nirvana
The word Nirvana is a little more encompassing and generally deals with the bigger picture relating to transformation, some may call it Buddhist heaven, this description is a little vague and misleading. Heaven in a Western sense relates to an end goal beyond death and is future based whereas in the Eastern spiritual traditions there is generally an emphasis on freedom NOW, it is not something that is in the distance beyond the dropping of the body, the only real similarity is that both Nirvana and Heaven are semi –permanent states that are desired by the seeker, the religious faithful or spiritual aspirant. The idea that Nirvana is the final resting place is not quite correct although it would be very easy for someone to formulate an argument that it was.  Considering the layers of multi-dimensional consciousness beyond the Empty state that is way outside the limited 3D form, it is impossible that what is referred to as Nirvana is the final resting place, there are many people who have gone into what is often referred to as the Nirvana state who are still at the elementary stages of consciousness and are unaware of what is beyond it.  The only real constant is the Emptiness and all the points of Awareness that emerged out of it.  In essence the polarities are like a binary situation, 1 or 0, true or false, is or not is.
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Whereas Samadhi relates to a state that is accessed either through a meditative process or an unexpected interruption of normal consciousness into another state of ‘natural’ awareness, Nirvana is descriptive of a more permanent state. However in truth that state is always present, it is just that the thoughts that fill the mind-space are filtering out what is constant, and that is Emptiness.  Nirvana is a term used in relation to liberation but a reminder that 3D human experience is at the bottom of of the food/consciousness chain and it is an accidental misconception for anyone to think that jumping out of the human state into Nirvana is the end of the road, it is more like the leaving platform at an airport.
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Chasing the Tail to Return to Oneself
The whole of humanity is seeking freedom from itself, whether it knows it or not there is an inbuilt longing to get out of the mental prison, to be more, find happiness and ride off into the sunset of foreverness and wake to greener or more stable desirable pastures. I think it is important to point out that often people use Spirituality to run from life.
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We have a dilemma, how to get our toes wet, swim safely and not drown in the ocean of life. Life with its suffering, those giant ‘ouches’ that interrupt our intermittent peacefulness and sense of imaginary orderliness?
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Becoming comfortable with the world and the interplay of life and learning to accept what emerges plus being able to let go of things without a fuss as natural as possible is a desirable place to be, without struggling too hard.  And learning to be Empty and enter the Silence without worrying too much about the ACHIEVING.  Experience takes care of itself, the skins of the onion naturally peel when they are ready, the flowers bloom when their time is ripe.

I’m on the road to nowhere
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Tilopa 2.0

The Yogis of Obsession

We’ve had enough years pass for the word Yoga to comfortably settle into the English language.  Yoga means something different to each individual, depending on one’s depth of experience the understanding will differ greatly. Yoga product markets have emerged, some flexy-bods are living the dream with their small businesses, others are in an infinite loop running back and forwards to Bali, Rishikesh or California to upgrade their skills; and many of us are well aware of quite a few supposed Yogis or Masters who came over from India to become household names in the Spiritual and what now falls under the title of ‘alternative lifestyle’ scene, some turned out to be villains, criminals even, type A personalities and abusers; others were or are sincerely humble and loving. There are also the handful of Sages and Yogis who have gone about their business unnoticed behind the scenes saving humanity’s butts.  And of course there are those people who just love their mat.
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Pic-a-nic Baskets
A lot of humans would know my hero Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo his ever loyal companion.  Yogi has a fascination with picnic baskets, other peoples. I don’t mind a picnic myself, scones, jam and cream or for my vegan friends we have options of not-cream, not-scones and a not so scrumptious non-jam alternative.  What I always liked about Yogi the Loveable Bear was his understanding of unity and sharing, it was beautifully expressed in the fact that he considered other people’s picnic basket content as fair game for him to participate in, it’s just most people hadn’t yet got to his level of understanding of what’s yours is mine.  All jokes aside, where I am going is Yogi lives life to the fullest and is at the polar opposite to those who practice asceticism. Asceticism ranges from severe to really messed up.  Being rigid is a long way from the over popularised Zen concept of ‘Be like a Hollow Bamboo’. A wise man once said to me “a spontaneous man (woman or other) is a liberated man.” Although this came from the wisest man I ever met, I won’t over think or delve into the idea of how people struggle to relax, the contradiction is obvious.
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We hear so many versions of what yoga might be, I will bypass the lot and not waste time with philosophy or hypothetical concepts. I am from the Yogi Bear school of Yoga and in the same way Yogi perfected and refined his snatch-n’-grab the basket skills, I have spent decades on my invisible-mat fine tuning and digging deep into and beyond the core of my being. I prefer bananas to asanas and it’s not that I think body-yoga is useless, it’s just not my natural tendency, there are people on the planet who don’t eat ice-cream or chocolate, bless their suffering souls, I do and the more crumbs on my face the better. Fortunately most of my friends do the body yoga stuff,  I have a resource available and they would be more than happy to tell me about it if I ever became interested.
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Yoga Means?
Here is the dilemma. We know we are all connected at some level.  You may have an inkling that there are great Beings in Inner and Outer Space. Those Beings would all un-dividedly say in unison that the only thing separating every Being is thought,  a person is always welcome to complicate what yoga might be but this is the essence of what you need to know whether you believe it, like it or not.  Yoga is about unity and separation is the issue. Often the word Yoga implies DOING SOMETHING to fix the dis-unity. But here’s the issue and where it gets weirder, THERE IS NO SEPARATION, to understand that, go back to the idea of ‘separated in thought’. Obsession with a mistaken identity is the problem whether you think you are a yogi nor not.
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The Age of Me Me Me 
We live an a fascinating time.  If I was to time-travel back to being about fourteen years old and looked along the arrow of time into the present, my bold smart-ass younger self would quite outspokenly say with a lot of bravado, “people are pretty up-themselves”. The ‘up yourself problem’ has come about because of an identity crisis. People don’t know who they are, more specifically they think they need to be someone or something special; the ‘no snowflake is the same’ analogy just isn’t potent enough because the disorder of needing to be somebody is very, very deeply ingrained. People want to add colour to the snowflake, bling, bells and whistles and say, ‘it’s all about me’, not recognising the sublime diversity of each snowflake.
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EGO, What Ego?
Strange as it may seem I don’t include the word EGO in my vocabulary, I only use it in conversation as a reference for those who consider it to be a reality or truth, which seems to be most people, therefore any accusation of ‘he or her has a big ego’ doesn’t hold any weight in my world, it’s meaningless because it’s a judgement call based in untruth.  The supposed EGO thing is just a bundle of thoughts and the central perceiver believes that the combined ideas it perceives about itself is a real identity. So for me the ‘up themselves’ issue is not about EGO, it’s very different, it’s about projecting an identity onto the stage of life.  People measure the mental projection against other projections, a lot of sub-conscious calculations go on and then the individual places him or herself into a hierarchy that is not really solid, the ‘virtual hierarchy’ is in constant motion depending on who is present, who it relates to and how the individual is feeling. It’s all conceptual.
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Social Network Imagery
If we were to dig around social networks  and see information or profiles relating to YOGA we will end up with an endless stream of images of healthy looking bodies in leotards stretched into poses that remind us of cheetahs, big cats and other types of animals, maybe a Buddha statue carefully placed, an OM sign, a Byron Bay tan and a feel good wisdom statement.  To some people this is perceived as a problem; a lot of my friends resemble that model and are deeply embedded into the yoga community, it’s really no big deal for me, however I do know there are those who would say ‘POSERS’.  But the underlying idea for many of these practitioners is often “I take care of myself, I feel good, I want to look good, am running a class in healthy lifestyle, I’m pushing forward”, in all honesty there really is no big problem with that.  However, where the issue lies is that if the onlooker perceives that ‘model’ to represent yoga, spirituality or health and they desire to be it and are incapable of ‘looking or being that way’, then Houston there really is a problem.  If we jump across to another community, we know from experience Hollywood is full of show ponies, at one end we have celebrities that wouldn’t waste their time to talk to a person that they didn’t see as ‘their equal’, they are TRULY up-themselves; at the other end of the spectrum we have some people who may be glamorous, visually beautiful, stylish and very kind, they may serve the community in ways that no-one would even know.  Looks are deceiving.  My ‘teacher’ was really badly dressed but he had the deepest most beautiful eyes that could see into forever. As I came from a family where being nicely dressed was normal, my teacher’s attire was in itself something that was not only humorous but it required a lot of rethinking and adjustment of my world view.
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To Obsess or Not Obsess
I will go back and focus on the title of the article, I am writing about the Yogis of Obsession.  Obsession is more about the times we live in than Yogis. People are struggling to find a place, to be noticed, to make money, to have a sense of self-worth in communities that from birth place kids on the back foot where there is an underlying program running in the background to ‘get out there and do it, make us proud, one day you are gonna make it and show everyone that you’re special’… better than all the rest.  This spills over into all areas of experience, however because Yoga (what I define as the Unity of All Consciousness and Emptiness) and what we see in the world around us are at 180 degrees to each other, the topic of Yoga is the perfect example to pinpoint the problem we are faced with; in truth the underlying issue is the deer is seeking the musk inside itself, the dog chasing its own tail, the SEEKER is the SOUGHT. People are trying to become what they already are, in this quest there is an accidental denial of Divinity. The common ‘narrative’ is that God, the Self, what you are seeking is more wondrous than the experience you are going through. In social consciousness there is the unspoken idea that things must be better than what’s happening now if it’s God or the Self we are talking about. I am in no way implying that there are not phenomenal things happening outside our known scope, there are, we are Multi Dimensional Beings and the brain filters out what is beyond our ability for us to cope with but EVERYTHING whether it be other dimensional or the known is still in the world of form or some type of frequency which essentially is a combination of Consciousness and Energy.  It is ALL an expression of THOUGHT.
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Making Sense
If we are serious in our quest, we need to come back to basics and find a ‘leveller’, something to bring about common sense, real humility (not exhibitions of devotion or public displays of service), to ‘rework’ the VISION and STORY of what Yoga is and who the Yogis are.  Firstly it needs to be clear we are ALL in a constant state of Yoga. And with that idea as a foundation then the obvious implication is we are all Yogis; not just those who get up early and do stuff, chant, do Japa and mantra or look funky in leotards. We need to understand fully that the great Godmen and Godwomen have ALWAYS incarnated into all areas of the community both historically and currently.  Rama was a king, Buddha was a wanderer after he let go of his Royal duties, Jesus was extremely poor, we know he learnt carpentry and also did many things from sixteen years old as he travelled the world before and after his moment on the cross; look at the life of Joan of Arc, Arjuna was a warrior, some of the Sages live on the street in the ghettos, others hold down 9 to 5 jobs.
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I am a different type of Yogi, I don’t steal picnic baskets, I don’t stand on my head or salute the sun or even own a mat. I know beyond any doubt that I am a part of the Totality, that my God molecules are no different in their nature than any Being that will ever Be and I know that the underlying Emptiness, the Super-Consciousnes is my foundation, when I disintegrate myself in deep meditation that this Silence that sits beneath, beyond or within all is my core Being.  But I am not obsessed with it, I may be obsessed with expounding the gloriousness of Yoga and by that I mean the Totality or even obsessed with unfolding my life’s tapestry into foreverness.  I am not a seeker, the sought is found, never distant, it is HERE NOW.
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A gentle adjustment is required, a slight movement in thinking and disentangling from the bundle of thoughts that define themselves as the self,  the little obsessed self that is forgetting who it really is, the one that runs in circles to achieve Yoga or some type of union with the ALL. It already exists, there is not a place where the SELF is not, it unfolds the creation beautifully and looks out with our eyes and feels it with our Being.
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Tilopa 2.0

The Fourth Noble Truth

At the core of Buddhist Teachings there are some tenets that are called the Four Noble Truths. Although it may seem an unusual perception to some Buddhists, I see each one of the Noble Truths as complete within themselves and a doorway to transformation.

* I have written on the first three already and will add a link at the bottom of this article.
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According to most Buddhists the Fourth Noble Truth relates to the PATH.  For this article I have borrowed some Buddhist text that seems to clearly define the modern understanding of the Fourth Noble Truth reasonably well.  In this article I will dig in and explore whether it is a great Truth, a real guideline for transformation or a control program used by those who wish to enslave humanity and add members to their club and dress them in their religious uniforms with a few added bangles, beads and statues.  If we don’t rip the Teachings apart and put them under the microscope we could end up wasting our lives and become a slave to dogma, renounce our family and friends thinking that ‘we know’ and they are ignorant and don’t understand.
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Overview of the Fourth Noble Truth
“This path leads to the end of all suffering, if we avoid harming all other living beings, if we sharpen and focus our mind, and if we gain wisdom, each of us can reach perfect happiness, the end of all misery. The way to end suffering is to follow the Noble Eightfold Path namely:
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Right Understanding, Right Thought
, Right Speech
, Right Action
, Right Livelihood, Right Effort
, Right Mindfulness
, Right Concentration”

Looking at the above that includes the Noble Eightfold Path, it seems reasonable at a glance, well intentioned, practical and useable in life.  However, I’ll jump straight out of the box and flip it around and bypass the End of Suffering for now. I have an inbuilt program that always says if there is something happening at the end, better check out the starting point, so let’s go to the BEGINNING of Suffering.  What causes this thing that we are all so scared of? It cripples us, people do the most outrageous things due to suffering? We know from experience that when it all becomes too unbearable people my harm themselves or even exit the planet.
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Where Does Suffering Come From
If we look at all suffering, if it’s not physical pain we are feeling then it obviously relates to the mind.
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When I look at the nature of the mind, the mind is essentially Empty, an empty canvas but it is populated at regular intervals by visitors, when I say visitors I mean ‘thoughts’, they come and go and by nature we cling to some of them.
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When I poke around a little further I see that it is not just thought, thought by itself is like words in a book in a library waiting to be read.  This issue is our relationship with thought.
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When I dig further I see it is the way that I or we get caught in thought that is the problem, we attach to it.  Attachment to is a word we will often see when commentators discuss Buddhism, the wise and also the slaves of dogma use it. This is quite simple really, if attachment to thought is the problem, we need to find ways of disentangling from it.
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Thought rises and falls.  A very wise man once said to me, “where there is pain there is clinging”.  This is as bright as the full moon on clear starry night.  This is our quest, to work out a way to detach from thought as it rises in the mind-space.
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Harming Others Harms Us
The Fourth Noble Truth reminds us not to harm others, I like this, all reasonably sane would people love and respect this attitude. We are interconnected, our air, our water, the sun, the fabric that holds the Universes in form is joined together, we move on and in it and we are bound Mother Earth, she shares her fruits with us, we can be part of her beauty or if we live carelessly, in time she will shake her garment and we will experience her very uncomfortable response to it.
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Clarity
“If we sharpen and focus our mind”, I like this, when I read it I know I am on my home turf, safe ground and am not being led into a delusional concept, the underlying idea is for my awareness to look clearly at what is going on.  Many people are lazy in their thinking, garbage from the world around pours in from television sand movies, ads, screens, low quality food, intoxicants, people talking nonsense, examples of hedonism around us that create a sense of what is normal behaviour, intoxicants, just keep shoving it all in to the point where the mind-space is like a windscreen covered in mud, can’t see out and all you have to work with is what’s in the automobile, you can’t see out and have no idea where you are headed, chances are it’s going to be a wreck sooner or later.
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The ‘W’- word 
“If we gain Wisdom”, that makes me giggle, I will withhold the belly-laugh as a courtesy.  Wisdom is something that does not come cheaply.  No book will give it to you, if you are fortunate you may get a hint from someone who has ‘walked-through’ into forever, you can’t get it from prayers … they may help bring life into order and a sense of positive trust may arise. There are a lot of gurus, monks and teachers who will always SAY they could deliver for you, but that’s not real, it’s not YOUIRS, there is a price to pay, your time, your money and even your freedom.  Wisdom arrives from experiencing life, this is no great revelation, the non-religious will know it better than the Sadhaks (spiritual aspirants).  Sadhaks have the ‘elephant in the room’ in the way, the very things they are doing or believe are the things that obstruct the view and are what prevents transformation.  I am not saying that Spiritual practice is useless, I am inferring that eventually it must go, beyond any doubt the elephant of Spirituality blocks the view.
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The impression in the mind of ‘what it is’, ‘what’s on the other side’, ‘what the goal is’ is in essence the problem, what humanity is seeking is not graspable by thought; how can I state this any more clearly?  This IS the PROBLEM. Wisdom comes from doing the hard yards, digging in, facing life’s challenges and using THEM as the doorway.  And I am not using the Christian ‘pick up your cross and follow me’ approach when I say ‘hard yards’; I am saying people need to get uncomfortable, be pushed beyond the limits, BREAK,  go outside the safety zone; if someone doesn’t they will just be a slave to social consciousness.  Social consciousness and freedom are polar opposites, well not really opposites, they hate each other (joke). Freedom is in emptiness, non-clinging, whereas social Consciousness is about the ‘story of the world’.  The story of the world does not allow the unknown, the impossible, it holds everyone prisoner and says, “you are bound by my rules”.  Wisdom comes to those who dare to step out of the world.
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Slaves of the world always say, “I will never know”, they create their own thought prison and limitations.  They assume because they see the unknown as a challenge and unknowable, that nobody else is capable of making Known the Unknown. Wisdom is not static, it unfolds moment to moment, like a flower; it moves like a kaleidoscope it responds and makes decisions on the fly, it is a living intelligence. It is not a bundle of ‘truths’, information or practices, it’s alive.
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“Each of us can reach perfect happiness”, sounds good, people have a sigh of relief, hope for the hopeless, water for the thirsty.  Let’s turn this on its head.  If we are not vigilant we will lie down.  Not all but many of the Sages were great warriors, both in the world and they also fought the battle within. When people get a PROMISE of FUTURE HAPPINESS, it’s really a warning, sure you might get happiness but it must be NOW.  Freedom is NOW. Reaching, reaching, always seeking fulfilment at some stage Utopia, Valhalla, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Mystical Promised Land.  Any desire for it IS the obstacle.  It creates the separateness, a sense of unworthiness, the concept of imperfection. I’m not making this up.  This is true.
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And End the of All Misery
They tell us, “The way to end suffering is to follow the Noble Eightfold Path namely:
Right Understanding, Right Thought
, Right Speech
, Right Action
, Right Livelihood, Right Effort
, Right Mindfulness
, Right Concentration.”

And there at a glance seems to lie the solution and as many of us know within a solution there possibly also is the problem.   When there are a lot of ‘rights’, suddenly with it comes the ‘wrongs’, if we are not cautious we can end up living unnaturally.  What I do like about Buddhism is it is often referred to as the Middle Way.  It implies moderation, keeping a balance between indulgence and abstinence;  like people on a Macrobiotic Food Diet, eating from the middle of the food range, a stable diet MAY lead to a balanced mind-space, clearer thinking and by this I mean not getting pushed around too much by the ups and downs of life, I do not imply not having feelings. And I am NOT confusing feelings with emotions.
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Too Tight Too Loose
There is an old expression about a string needing to be the right tension, if it’s too loose its an issue, if it’s too tight it will snap. The tightness and the RIGHT-NESS is where the power mongers come in, this is where they enslave.  Traditionally nearly all communities hold people prisoner, it’s not intentional it’s just the way societies work, ‘what’s normal’ is a subconscious program. When kids are born, immediately the world takes shape, their opinion is being formed.  The real issue is in most cultures there are power-monsters, religions are in bed with governments, sometimes literally.  Those who dominate politics have their hands in the pockets of the money men and the three way relationship is completed by the religious ‘elite’.  Not always, there are great Buddhists, humble, sincere, kind, they live their teachings, are they free? In most cases NO, don’t kid yourself. It comes down to whether you want to be educated by good religious men or free men and women.  This is a question any sincere Spiritual aspirant needs to ask. A good religious or spiritual person may help you live a wholesome life, tell you the story of what God is or isn’t, give you a set of tools, give you hope that in the future there is freedom, but IT’s NOT IT!
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The decision is already made regarding whether an aspirant wants to be led or controlled by a religious tyrant, this answer is easy for most.  However there are people who are naive and have difficulty discriminating, good members of the community need to keep an eye out that these people are safe. We can’t think or make choices for others but we can ‘flag’ problems. Tyrants are always seeking the vulnerable and strange as it seems the vulnerable are at a deep subconscious level seeking the controller; supply and demand.
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What the broader community doesn’t realise is that every Sage, Buddha, experiencer of Christ Consciousness, Siddha or Mystic does the work until the last moment of their ‘imaginary’ incarnation.  Although extraordinary things happen around them, the game, the dream continues until the last breath.
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What mankind calls Suffering is nearly always there, it’s a persons relationship to it that makes the difference. Any idea of a Path implies ‘movement away from what one is, which in truth is the Buddha itself.’
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Tilopa 2.0
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Further reading

First Noble Truth
Second Noble Truth 
Third Noble Truth

Getting Rid of Spiritual & Religious Tyrants

We live in a wonderful time in history.  When we look at the news all seems bleak, those who are behind the news media like it that way, fear porn, carnage and misfortune to entice, a feeling of lack, hopelessness, warring political factions, low level corruption exposed, chaos, all peppered with tantalising ads and the occasional feel good story to have you believe they are good guys, touchy feely and they care … it just keeps coming from all directions… misinformation and nothing short of subliminal mind control.
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Nope We are Not Buying the Product
There are those of us who are highly intelligent, not just blessed with ‘intellectual-smarts’, there are people who are meek, intuitive, gentle but powerful in the sense that they see through the world of smoke and mirrors, many of us have a clarity of mind as we watch daily something extraordinary emerge from behind the scenes.
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For two thousand years in the West and much longer in the East we have had petty tyrants who have controlled communities through religion, spirituality, false gods (no I haven’t stated there isn’t something sublime that holds the fabric of the Universes in a sense of order).  These tyrants and their lackeys have placed themselves for their own comfort and agendas between God and man. These hideous miscreants have used their positions of power to abuse children, young women who sought god or enlightenment and anyone who is vulnerable, they have in the past and still prey on the community to satisfy their own needs, fill their nests with a bounty made from the sweat and hard work of others.
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Across the globe we now have a movement in the consciousness of humanity who are stepping up and saying ‘game over’, people are standing up and claiming back power.  In Australia we have had what is called the Royal Commission into the Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse.  I like thousands of others, brushed myself down, scraped off the cobwebs, stood up straight, held myself together just long enough to put my invisible helmet on to go to battle…with tears streaming down my face hidden by sunglasses I jumped on a Melbourne tram, walked in to testify at the Royal Commission about crimes committed against me as a child by adult men of the Catholic Clergy.  As my wonderful dad said to me, “son this has gone on for far too long, someone has to do it, I am proud of you, you are very brave”.  Those words carried me through the door, into the lift then into the room to meet the Commissioner who so nobly sat through my testimony as she had for many others.  I went alone on this day as I did not want those who loved me to hear what I had to say, I had a few tokens of power and very organised documentation to carry me through the day.
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It’s not just about Me
For those of us who spoke, it wasn’t just for ourselves but for those who were incapable, some suicided, some are in mental institutions, some live on the streets and experience more heinous crimes daily, people forgotten by society, those with addictions and for those gentle souls who wanted to speak but were too broken and just walked away.
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The Unconsidered
Here’s a problem that is often missed by many people.  When there is child abuse that is carried out and hidden under the umbrella of a religious institution there are additional complexities.  All abuse has a shadow of some sort that follows people through their lives, this is obvious to anyone with even basic intelligence.  However when ‘GOD’ is involved, there is a type of entanglement that keeps the experiencer of the CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY (lets call it what it is) intricately bound into a web of thought. We humans are born into cultures, we’re Italian, Bhutanese, Ecuadorian or whatever; we understand that with this comes a way of doing things.  We might meet on Fridays, drink wine on Sundays, watch the Football religiously, eat gherkins, chilies, all these things are hardwired to our sense of normal.  I remember as a kid in kindergarten looking at the Italian kids eating their lunch, I was a white-bread thin sliced sandwich kid; the boys with the funny accent had sandwiches half the size of their heads, jam packers with weird stuff. For me, diving in the surf, salt on my skin, getting over browned by the sun that I felt proud to look like my Maori ancestors.
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Cultural Idiosyncrasies
I am painting the picture of ‘normals’, things we don’t give a second thought to.  Me I am a psychic who doesn’t do fortune-telling, I just stare into space like the ‘Men Who Stare at Goats’, it’s my normal but ridiculous to others. My dad was a great singer, I thought everybody had a playlist in their heads 24/7, it wasn’t until I was 40 years old that someone told me it wasn’t true, I am not joking.
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When you are part of a religious community, organisation, cult, sect, or even a wonderful group of kind but totally deluded people who all where purple Nikes, there is a ‘creep’ that happens.  I have seen it many times. A newbie turns up very raw, they walk in with their jeans, T shirt, pair of hipster boots, a tattoo or two, a rucksack, bright eyes and an inquisitiveness. The calendar pages flip fast, the months pass and before you know it they have gone ‘full native’, they own a statue, a set of beads, are all but ‘speaking in tongues’ in a language unknown to ‘normal people’, just one stop of owning a camel or riding an elephant through the streets to the local mall.
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The Power Junkies
The top of the hierarchies in religious institutions is where the hideous tomfoolery can be pointed back to.  There are people who place themselves there, maybe just maybe some sincerity when they entered into their quest to explore the answers to the Cosmos, stare at their navel, or to make sense of ‘what is the sound of one hand clapping’ or they liked the freedom of dancing and singing throwing their arms in the air or hitting a bongo.  But rising to a place of power and being indoctrinated into warped ideas about ‘what is or isn’t normal sexual behaviour’ by those who wish to turn healthy people into eunuchs, the suppression of natural desire seems to get a little much for them and they seem to have intervals of brain spasms and inflict their mixed up concepts on the vulnerable.  And due to their being in a position of power when they are exposed, their side-kicks and bum-lickers rally around to protect them because they are doing ‘God’s work.’
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Men Dressed Inappropriately
And here’s where it becomes difficult for experiencers of the crimes of the BLOKES in DRESSES with their mala-beads or crosses around their necks.  Over many years the indoctrination is so powerful, unquestionable even, their victims have subconsciously placed these hideous miscreants between God and themselves.  There is an assumption deep in the being of the victim that by stepping up, coming forward and triggering the healing process that in some way they are BETRAYING GOD. Even though the experiencer of the crimes is fully aware at a surface level that these abusers are NOT God’s representatives, the mental wiring is so entangled it becomes all but impossible to separate ones own relationship with what God might be from what one has spent their life believing.
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Claiming Back
When I testified at the Royal Commission, afterwards I had a casual conversation off the record with the Commissioner, I said to her, “If you want to solve this, you need to forget God exists.” She understood what I was saying.  And this is where the healing lies, this is where the disentanglement begins or becomes complete.  Victims of sexual abuse that happened in religious or spiritual institutions need to reconsider what God may be.  A person may burn their prayer books, throw away the beads, buy new clothes, get rid of old friends, never go back to the church or temple.  And I say this as a man who is not an atheist who spends most of his days immersed in the world of there Spirit.
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Aaaah Freedom from the Known
In the cafe wear I write there is a young child drinking a baby-cino, the smell of coffee reminds me I am alive and the gift of creation is wondrous thing.  The flowers on the table are sort of scarlet coloured, people have sparkly eyes, the sky is blue, it’s sunny and I feel its warmth on my skin.  Within the presence of all things I feel the tingle-of-foreverness, some might call it the Divine Spark, there is a hum.  I am a free man, I do not need the petty tyrants to manage God for me, to tell me what I must do in order for me to be a part of what surrounds me, to make closer to what I live and move in, to dive into the depth of Silence, to wander with the Sages who are my closest of kin.
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The world is changing and as a community we are going to bring those religious and spiritual MotherFUCKERs down and make them accountable for their crimes.
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Get up, stand Up!
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Tilopa 2.0

Third Noble Truth

To those who are unfamiliar with Buddhist teachings, there is something called the Four Noble Truths.  In my case I write on the subject from a very different perspective than traditional Buddhists and this is because my commentaries come from experience and not from a religious perspective. Those of us who comfortably move in and out of the transcendental at will have the ability to look at doctrines, teachings and scriptural texts and ‘see’ through them, then articulate what is written into a language that is ‘living’ and transformative.  To many Buddhists the common understanding of the Third Noble Truth is the “Knowledge of the Cessation of Suffering”.  The first Noble Truth is the Truth of Suffering and the second is to do with the Cause of Suffering, I have written about these already but this commentary on the Third Noble Truth is not dependant on the other two. Traditionally people consider that the Noble Truths may be sequential but when it comes to wisdom we can enter at any point and it will unfold its mystery.
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Not Feeling the Pain
There is a type of irony right now within this moment.  I am sitting here, my belly full like a chubby smiley Buddha, I feel warm, the food odours waft by, the sweet smells seem to get my salivary glands going a little more.  Being a vegetarian for most of my life I am very fussy and ridiculously over-sensitive, this place I am in has a comfy slightly hipster Eastern contemporary feel about it, around me people are laughing and chatting, everything is cruisey not so bluesy.  Out on the street it’s a little chilly, I’m sitting in a cafe on a popular street in the inner city, lots of bars open with people spilling out onto the pavement. It’s Friday night, everyone seems rather joyous after downing a drink or two, no-one is obnoxious or has drowned in their alcohol … yet.  I can’t see or feel the Suffering right now that my Buddhist brothers and sisters fuss about or speak of.
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Human Nature
There is something that visitors from other worlds must wonder about and although some of us know that a lot of our alien friends have super-minds and present as if they are emotionally dry and wouldn’t crack a smile in a million years (literally). But there are others humanity will encounter who do have a sense of humour, they no doubt would fall off their super-sonic chairs in their shuttle-craft in disbelief watching the antics of humans. Humanity is a very mysterious species, an enigma to the star people from Inner and Outer Space who gaze on in amazement and monitor everything.  The human being is such that if you tell him or her that something is missing, sure enough they won’t be able to help themselves and will head off in all directions to find out what it just might be.
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Rethinking the S-Word
Suffering is our friend.  Strange as it may seem. We do live in an odd world, we interpret things in a particular way but it is so familiar everything seems okay. Our genes carry the opinions of the past civilisations and our ancestors.  We need to reconsider the role of suffering in order to be free. The Noble Truths are about freedom, they are not about acquiring information and adding it to our bundle of supposed wisdom.
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Let’s go there, get personal, realie and feely.  There are people who we have adored, then in an instant a strange shadow emerges out of Emptiness.  In a moment what we perceived as love dissolves right before our eyes, that’s a part of life on planet Earth; friendships and love-ships can change so quickly.  I don’t really have enemies, I try to resolve everything, it’s not always possible but this attitude is healthy, otherwise my days are poisoned. My real enemies are the things I need to change within myself.  Mankind does have an enemy, there is an abomination that wishes to enslave it, it takes the form of various tyrants who run the world, the creators of the systems that dominate the communities we move in.  But suffering, BELOVED SUFFERING is our friend.  It IS the ache in our heart that points us in the direction of DEEP change, it leads us gently or drags us unwillingly into transformation, it is the harbinger of a new season of experiences emerging. It is NOT some tool of a hateful god who seeks vengeance and accountability for our supposed misdeeds or inflicts us with ‘our karma’, if you want to believe that stuff your life may always feel like misery or you will have a dull ache and shadow following you around, ahhh the tragedy of enslaved thinking.
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OUCH!
Like many other people I don’t ‘DO’ or overly like pain, particularly things that physically hurt. Am I soft? NO I am gentle, there is a difference. I like to feel nice, it’s my birthright to be happy and the Western Christian concept of guilt, despair, and repent sinner are control programs. As a child and young teenager I did play Rugby Union and Rugby League; like most teens when all the natural chemicals kicked in I quite enjoyed getting smashed around, struttin’ my stuff, the harder you hit meant the higher in the hierarchy of the Lion Kingdom you were or more specifically Planet of the Human Apes. But as years passed I have loosened up, as a musician I care for my hands and after a large dose of hippiedom in my late teens, acoustic guitars and a lot of brown rice I changed and the artiste within took control of the reins of my being.  I am not one of those unfilfulled artists who carries on like the world owes them something, I do stuff that I love and within this is fulfilment.
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Suffering is something extraordinary.  I know the feelings well that fall under that heading and I don’t run from them, would I like to? Absolutely.  I peep out from under my blankets and say, “gotta get out of here, see ya later alligator” but after a short period of time my Sage within wraps his arms around me, holds me gently and says “you’ll be okay, just wait, we are in this together, there is a new day coming, you are loved and blessed,” my eyes fill up with tears and I stay.  Like many men and women my beloved left, I loved her so dearly, I am not ashamed to say I loved but I am not a victim of love lost, I am a feeling being who has the intelligence to embrace change, to seek understanding, to accept the patterns of the changing kaleidoscope of life and allow others to follow their dreams.  So how on earth do I tell the man that I am who is hurting that ‘suffering is a friend’? If I said this to another fragile person who had a grieving heart, that friend would walk away, they would tell me that I lacked empathy and they would consider me as somebody who was insensitive and although I had written many things over the years that expressed wisdom, in my actions I had proven beyond any doubt that I was all talk with no walk.
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Looking at Noble Truth Number 3
I am writing about the Cessation of Suffering, the Third Noble Truth.  If the teachings of Buddha that are passed down are true, then there is hope that the cessation will come. However we do know that those who run the religions create lies to control, to imprison man and to have power in the strength in numbers by getting their communities to believe in their truths.  So maybe it’s best to bypass the great Gautama Buddha and attempt to come to a point of rest without dogma, scriptures or tradition, to ‘arrive’ by seeing from personal experience.
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So let’s go back to the problem or at least a real scenario and dig in, when we are in it, it bites, we’ve all been there.  Our loved one has just left us high and dry, the pain is unbearable, can’t sleep, everything and everyone reminds us of him or her, it feels like a dark shadow we can’t shake, tears emerge at the strangest times, you think you’re over it then whammo someone says something and you melt like an ice-block in the desert sun, or feel the bitterness of winter and it seems to have no end, your bones hurt from the cold even though it’s a hot sunny day.  Sound familiar?
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What’s Normal?
When resolving things I always like to start from the point where I make a decision of whether it is normal or not; to have an aching heart when someone we love exits the arena of our life is a very natural and healthy response, even though we can say this is not unusual, there will be no consolation when I say, “Hey this is normal”, it won’t pacify the pain nor dry the tears.  If we didn’t feel something it really be would be a concern; we know the Cosmos is in order, it’s uncomfortable yes true; life consists of a number of seasons, things form, grow, sort of stabilise then there is decay, change is constant.  Humans are feeling beings and that is such a beauteous thing about the species; without feelings life becomes just a set of menial tasks, rather drone-esque and robotish.  And if that’s all that life is, best we close down the Universe immediately.
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Feelings
From my experience I know that wisdom comes from experience, experiences unpack feelings. Feelings are important but we need to be cautious that they don’t become our master.  There are days when I don’t want wisdom, I’d rather be a dumb-ass in love, to feel the loving arms I miss, to see her eyes, to feel her being beside me. So here I am with my deepest feelings on the surface, totally unashamedly vulnerable. HOWEVER, this is where I walk through the doorway to freedom each moment, this is what separates the Gods from the Philosophers, the Sadhaks (aspirants) from the Siddhas (the free men/women); freedom is not in the future, it is unfolding each moment, people have been duped by books and false teachers.
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Through this doorway that I peer stands forever, endless possibilities, unknown worlds, changes cascading, glorious Benevolent beings… if I wallow in the state of ‘what isn’t’, in dreams of how I think things should be, clinging to the past and imaginary futures, suffering is my booty, I am its slave.
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The Third Noble Truth as I said was, ” the Cessation of Suffering”.  Suffering at this point and phase of humanity’s evolution is always there, we have a choice whether we enter it, cling to it, allow it to be the driving force behind what we do.  Or we can step off the dance floor of life, take a breather, see it for what it is, just another dance step in the passing show, tripping over our toes …we restore our balance and glide across the floor.
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Freedom is now, not in the imaginary future, it is HERE NOW.  The real issue is people have no idea what it looks or feels like.
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Tilopa 2.0

Going Past the Second Noble Truth

The Great Buddha has been revered by millions of people over the centuries, that wondrous hero gave up what many men desire; fame, fortune, royalty, beautiful wife, beloved child, an exquisite garden he roamed in … he had everything that so many crave.  He walked away from it all off into foreverness to resolve some of the mysteries of life and by his actions not just words said ‘here’s how you do it’.
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End of an Era
The age that the Buddha lived in that we are a part of is just closing its window now, the sun of this era is setting.  Even though it has been spoken of for decades, unbeknown to many people a new world is unfolding just out of view in the background hidden behind the curtain of the ‘stage of life’. We still see the remnants of the outgoing civilisation, regardless of over two thousand years of mankind trying to get it right, the state of the world is even more chaotic, polluted, on the edge of destruction, in the lands where the Buddha roamed there is immense poverty and unbearable pain, hatred, cultural divisions, cruelty to animals, all those things that make us feel a little uncomfortable, many of us try  not to look, at times it’s all too much.
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Two Buddhas
When I was I teenager I loved seeing the statues of the Laughing Buddha, I imagined that chubby wandering wayfarer spreading joy wherever he roamed, sack of goodies over his shoulder, he IS owned by nothing and a slave to no man or imaginary Ghost.  Maybe we could all pick up a sack and follow him across the Universe spreading happiness and bliss; there is great confusion in the world now, I wonder if in the chaos if we all ‘walked out’ the world would settle into a sense of order.  Buddha Gautama was skinnier and less obvious but his story more potent and far reaching across the globe and into future times, he escaped the palace, he bolted.  Hidden forces helped him over the fence to get out of the enchanted worldly-prison. Mankind is guided and nurtured by people from the stars, here I am not joking and I will emphatically state they are alien beings, there is also the great Vedic civilisation that is hidden within the Earth. Many Buddhists wouldn’t know this and would bypass the idea, see it as fantasy.  Buddha didn’t work alone he was sent in to lay a foundation to guide humanity to train the global community in a methodology of how to behave with dignity, to teach people how to live lives with integrity and get out of the thought prison. All humanity is in enslaved and the clean up is done by those who seeded the planet and have overseen its growth.  Many Buddhists generally may not want hear to those sort of things because it is outside their dogma and it would be considered heresy, mere speculation; however the Cosmos does not belong to Buddhists alone and that is a no-brainer; this is about the great escape and as the Buddha may have said, “a chain is a chain even if it’s a gold chain”. Wise men are not bound by religion, dogma or philosophy.
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Understanding Nobility
When we look at the second Noble Truth and frame it as a question, ‘What is the Noble Truth of the origin of suffering?’ It is easy to respond with cliches, let’s not waste our time with that, we can dig deeper and be bigger than that. Nobility is something we need to think about here.  Noble beings have an ability to see through the limitations that mice and men are stuck in.  Being a slave to time and desire are symptoms of the disease that humanity is suffering from.  I have brought time into the picture here because Noble men and women are very forgiving or I will say more specifically they have an understanding that eventually over a long period of time all beings COME back and rest in the Source, I don’t mean oblivion, I am saying that there is a journey OUT through the Cosmos and once a Being is totally awakened to its nature, he, she or it will merge into and reemerge at will to and from the Emptiness; rise and fall, in and out, unfolding into new possibilities. Thus the Nobles understand that a moment in time is just a speck in the grand scheme of things. We have forever and in there lies the compassion of understanding.
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People speak of Truth, Truth depends on what point one is looking from, the idea of Absolute Truth is conceptual, if you would like to believe in an Absolute Truth you can easily find one, hold fast to it, enslave yourself and others; I would not waste my time in debating if there is an Absolute Truth, I am aware of the underlying nature of things but I will not philosophise about it, unless something is experienced first hand it is just an opinion.  However, here in this instance we are looking from the point of Noble-Truth.  We need to BE the Buddha in order to understand what a Noble-Truth may be, if we stay human with the normal parameters that imprison man we will always get it wrong. A Noble Truth in this case is something that will jailbreak a being out of limited thought into foreverness.
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Origin
We are looking at the Origin of Suffering, most of us probably have all heard the words attachment and desire used in relation to the cause of suffering.  The pattern is much like:  Cat sitting in garden sunning itself, mouse scoots by, cat gets sparkly eyes, cat chases mouse, cat eats mouse, yum…savours the after taste.  Cats memory gets loaded up with the yummy sensation. Next day, cat waits in the same spot and hopes one of the mouse’s buddy will pass by, he can sense the flavour in his taste buds… “What do I want?”  Mouse, “When do I want it ?” Now.  This is the pattern that we humans understand all too well, choose your designer addiction if you please.
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The Buddha Eyes 
Like other awake men and women I have looked out my Buddha window many times, I see the problems that arise from wanting to keep things longer than their use-by date or those moments when I see something scrumptious before me, I know too well what banana and strawberry cake with cream tastes like; based on a lifetime of experience I am aware of the size of my mouth and stomach, I am clear that one slice is usually enough but by the third helping my eyes are almost rolling, the sugar is kicking in and feelin’ a little edgy, the stomach is screaming “bad idea, baaaad idea, don’t do it, you’ve had enough”… due to the flavours overriding my common sense I give in.  Next day I pass the cake shop and just can’t resist a visit.
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It’s More Than a Question
Okay let’s look at this. We are trying find the Origin of Suffering.  Maybe we can go a step further and instead of just getting a superficial intellectual understanding of it, we can take ourselves into a state of being where suffering ceases.  Being hypothetical and answering a question may suit a lot of people, put the thoughts at rest; they can get a good understanding and possibly some day in the future they could get to the point where MAYBE suffering ceases.  I’m not big on promises of good times in the future, it’s not that I don’t want a happy future it’s just that if I seek the doughnut on the string I am fully aware that as the world spins through space the doughnut is constantly moving away into the distance ahead of me.  I may unfortunately due to a wayward comet hitting Earth have my lifespan shortened or in a bizarre unheard of comical scenario that would be a real social media hit, suffer the fate of bumping heads with a dolphin in the surf, get knocked unconscious and swallow too much water, alas! And so was the fate of Tilopa 2.0 forever etched in digital form to be shared at will by those seeking a little laugh.
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Being There Now
Let’s do this now, break the sense of order, bypass the third and fourth Noble Truths, get rid of dogma and mental slavery forever. There is nothing that says we can’t.  Let’s claim back our power, destroy those who keep humanity prisoner with there limited religious thought; I will have no mercy nor respect here, we need to disempower the petty tyrants who use their faith to control humanity with ritual and hollow practices.
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Dreaming
We have heard in passing that life is a dream, this could be scary for some, absolutely terrifying, whereas others may say, “thank heavens what a relief ” and there will be those who think this to be meaningless nonsense. Regardless of whether we perceive that to be true, at times we do notice a certain amount of translucence to the world we move in, we often find ourselves in-between worlds just as we wake up or go off to sleep.  We see an old friend by accident on the street, we question “is that really you?” We fall in and out of love, people pass from our lives and nothing seems solid; we look back through our years and it seems lifetimes ago, beloved people leave the stage of the world, we weep and long for them, they are just a thought memory.
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In this passing show of bouncing molecules readjusting themselves into new forms is where we can understand where freedom lies and then take action…or more precisely should I say take no action. In perceiving the transience of the world is freedom. When we know that there is a mistiness and impermanence of EVERYTHING that comes into our field of experience and also that even WE have no real substance to us that is solid, transformation of the mind-space emerges.  It may cut like a knife through a birthday cake, it may slay you for a while, it could gently wrap itself around you like a blanket and warm your being, you may weep tears in longing for what you think you have lost.  The phantoms of the world come and go, we greet them, we love them, we do our best to accept them… we move off into foreverness into the mystery, we travel into the stars and beyond the deep midnight blue.
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The Dance
We have a choice every moment and this is great wisdom if you want it regarding the second Noble Truth, “what is the origin of suffering?” Simply put, YOU ARE.  So what do you do with this, you may say, “I don’t feel any different”.  As everything emerges on the screen of life, the awareness that experiences your life has an option to enter it or be a witness to the passing show, to allow it to be what it is, show its face.  We look at it and see it as a facet of the Divine doing its dance, it turns and looks at us and says, “Do you accept me as this?” We gaze into it with a loving acceptance, embrace it and say YES”.  It dissolves back into Emptiness, we throw our sack over our shoulder like the Laughing Buddha and wander on our way through life with gratitude, with kindness and a deep understanding of the nature of things.

Tilopa 2.0

Dogs Teaching Humans How to Stay

stay

It’s one of those days when I want to run, things feel mysteriously empty, not in a Buddhist way, there’s a gentle ache in my Being.  I could hurriedly say I don’t like this feeling, instead I will attempt to sit with it after I have distracted myself for a few hours with coffee, chocolate, food, writing articles and a few meaningless things that I will give importance to in an effort to make me feel like I am doing something of substance.  Like many people, for years of my life I have struggled with saying what needed to be said and often in most cases I just walked away feeling disempowered and disappointed that I wasn’t heard or have been misunderstood or mistreated.  I am not into power, I find it hideous; the power I am interested in is the Power of Creation, to bring new things into being.  In the world of mice and men I have a tendency to walk away like a puppy and lick my paws after the scraps in life.
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Dogz
I only ever had one puppy, he was a black and white Cocker Spaniel, a gorgeous being who got taken out by a milk truck driver when I was about four years old. I am not a dog person these days but watching my son train his beloved best friend teaches me a lot; how to soften up and also toughen up, not be so uptight, dirt and poo is not as bad as I thought it was, and most of all how to develop discipline.
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The D Word
The word discipline is one that every teenager, gypsy, anarchist, rebel, vagabond and village Bohemian gives the finger to.  When I eventually realised that SELF Discipline has no relationship to the big-stick-discipline I headed off on a new journey of discovery; I was reminded that practicing guitar for ten hours a day was a definition of the friendly-D-word. It is obvious that there really is no relationship between the two D words but like anything, until we know it in the totality of our being, (read as: understand it and do it first hand) there is always going to be someone with a big stick standing over us correcting our ways and in response our thoughts will be saying, “stuff you.”
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Learning Dog Tricks
Life is meditation with a few thoughts in between, well maybe more than a few, it’s closer to a snow storm or rainy day, they just keep falling into our space, we capture some, others go back into Emptiness. Learning to stay is something that dogs do well, waiting, sitting, focusing, no distractions, what ever goes by don’t follow; we learn to watch the rise and fall of moments and events, knowing that in time all things must pass.
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Just Being
Sometimes I am the master of thought, wisdom is easy for me but today I will sit, feel what is in my being, embrace the uncomfortableness, wait  with a slight sense of timidness and wonder instead of giving into fear, I will not fantasise that by speaking up for myself it will bring about turmoil and if it does so be it.  There is a time to step up and a time to retreat and be silent.  For me peace is important, to be understood has always been a critical thing but due to the diversity of human nature this is never guaranteed and is a little fanciful, unrealistic at times but sometimes possible.
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The Caravan of Life
I sit and look in the invisible rear-vision mirror and see my past dissolving, before me there are new experiences unfolding and cascading, new people and things, moments I never dreamed of or had even considered.  I seek love, empathy and compassion.

As the SAGE Rumi says,
“Come Come whoever you are,
Wanderer, wayfarer, lover of leaving,
Even if you have broken your vows thousands of times,
Come, ours is not a Caravan of Despair”

I will tie my camel and stay in my tent until the storm passes.

Tilopa 2.0

(image is the property of the wonderful cartoonist Maria Scrivan and is used for educational purposes so we humans can learn from dogs) 

First Noble Truth Reconsidered

The world we move in has always been gifted with great Teachers. They arrive open hearted to lay a foundation for future generations to be able to put in place a set of principles so humanity can protect itself from itself.  Hedonism, decadence, over consumption, excessiveness, imbalanced life, narcism always seems to naturally run rampant, humanity at times is like a car rolling along without breaks and is in danger off self destruction, when we add science to the mix we end up with Weapons of Self Destruction in the hands of madmen.
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After the Main Guy Leaves
It is not uncommon to see the situation where once a great Teacher has left, after a short period of time things get a little bit twisted, okay let’s be clear, it’s really a BIG little.  It’s easy to follow dogmas, they are comfortable – feel good, dangle some beads around the neck, set up an altar and a few statues, grab the prayer book, learn the designer lingo, and then bond with a ‘sense’ of community who are all going the same way … regardless which way, doing it together feels safe.  Spiritual aspirants usually call themselves the ‘black sheep of the family’ but always join another flock all wearing the same fleece.  It is easy to be told or fed someone else’s wisdom, to accept and believe what it may mean when you are told it by a more senior member of the community or someone you feel is ‘in the know.’ Those in the know are powerful, it is not uncommon that they sometimes misuse that power; obviously not always as there are well intentioned people everywhere.
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HOWEVER it is critical to question everything, if not we may unwittingly become a slave to a concept.  It’s easy for the Spiritual bling to creep in, it can take over our lives and we can assume that these things make us closer to God or the goal, when really it’s often just wallpaper, delusion, Maya at its finest. Spiritual adornments are just laying extra layers over the top and block the view. The Universes/ Prakriti is the playground, there is form and the formless.  Out of Emptiness emerges all things, they rise and fall in consciousness. When freedom is what a person is seeking, imprisonment just doesn’t cut it…run…run fast…get out of there ASAP, in a moment we can cut through the delusion and if we linger it does lead to immense suffering. The baby and the bath water doesn’t cut it… run…run…run…back to yourSelf. Each moment we have the opportunity to abandon EVERYTHING, there is no obligation to the past or what we have committed too when it comes to real freedom.
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The Buddha
Great minds don’t think alike, they go where no-one has dreamed.  They bring in the unknown, something extraordinary that creates a new pathway for humanity; these people make others feel a little uncomfortable, people run away. Uncomfortableness is good, it’ll make you a little itchy, restless, give you sleepless nights; these will say what you are NEVER ready to hear.
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Buddha Gautama was one of many throughout the history of the endless Dance of the Cosmos who emerged out of the Infinite Silence to uplift humanity. He arrived and like other great Sages his very presence transformed those he encountered, even if they didn’t know it, the mixing of His field with theirs was enough to totally destroy them, I say destroy because in freedom everything we believe to be true gets annihilated, Buddha planted the seed as He wandered, even those who hated him benefited by encountering Him. Those who follow later, the people who form groups that ultimately morph into structured spiritual or religious organisations, cults and sects, they will interpret the words and experiences to suit their limited perceptions and understanding and create dogmas.
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Is it Noble? Is it True?
Although I am very familiar with Buddhist texts, the other day my eye was caught and I froze when I read a reasonably common translation of the First Noble Truth. ‘All Life is Suffering’, this is one translation, one of many, I won’t address other ones that may be wiser but this is a springboard for removing something that has filtered through those that are both in and outside the Buddhist faith.  I felt a little unsettled when I was reminded of this way of thinking, it knocked on my being so I decided to explore it.  I could see clearly that it had the potential for undermining the wellbeing of the well intentioned Spiritual aspirants. I do know that if we dig in and run with it we will probably find something transformative. If we are not cautious we can easily bind ourselves to a self-imposed dogma, there’s always a type of subtle programming that can undermine our joy.
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Lights Action  – Take Two
Let’s start over.  What I write here is not about being correct and attempting to be wiser than others. These are living teachings not historical.  I am interested in transformation, creating a bridge to cross over; we need to be prepared to abandon what we assume to be true.  Humility is reflected in our ability to be wrong, to throw EVERYTHING out the window.  Without this attitude there is no hope, we can become prisoners of doctrines and our misunderstandings.  Philosophy is about opinions, people looking at an object and telling us about it, that is only mind games, speculation.  I have learnt from experience that much that I considered to be true, even EXPERIENCED based things were totally wrong, the experiences were real but in time I discovered it was my interpretation of them that was upside down.  I recommend being open because if we are not, when it COLLAPSES and we see into what is really going on, it will be a shock to ANYONE, I know this first hand.
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Our Nature and Birth Rite
Happiness is not just a goal for the future, although if we are generally unhappy now it is reasonable to have desire for it to emerge at some point downstream in our lives, this is normal but really, happiness is for NOW. If we are always running to find happiness in future times, living with a hope that one day it will be okay, unknowngly our life will flit away, the wrinkles gradually arrive, the signs of ageing creep in, the sparkle in the eye dissolves like salt in water, the essence of electrical current in our being whittles down to zero; but the doughnut on the string will still be out of reach even when the angel of death passes over and knocks on the door and welcomes us in.  If we are addicted to our past and are hypnotised by all the blissful moments that flowed under the bridge, we may find ourself always trying to recapture them; that first kiss, travel in new country, a breakthrough in art or music where we discovered we could compose a song or said “hey I really am going to be an artist”.  We do need to embrace our worthiness but find ways not cling to things, to see events like petals on a flower in our garden of existence, an ever changing lush landscape with seasons.
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We need to be cautious of what drives us. By this I mean there is something deep down hidden in the subconscious that impacts on the way we feel the world and create our lives.  The first Noble Truth about suffering requires a lot of thought, clarity needs to be there, our insight must deepen.  If we stay on the surface and take on the concept ‘all life is suffering’ we will be in serious strife. We may get caught as if we as humans are in debt to suffering and continue the narrative.
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Beauty 
I grew up by the beach, as a child the rolling waves were inviting but scary, the gritty sand in my toes, kids using sieves to find coins, playful waves on the shore, the gentle swish noise of the water moving backwards and forwards at the edge of the great blue expanse, the rock pool with baby tiger sharks wiggling, fish, starfish, jellyfish, the sunrise, all those wondrous lifeforms reminded me there was more than the television, the milkshakes, girls in bikinis strutting their stuff, the smell of coconut oil. There is no need for me to seek suffering there; only a madman does that.
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On a hot day I can still taste the ice creams and paddle pops I ate as a child, feel the sun against my skin, sense myself diving under the waves, swallowing a little too much salt water, dumped on the sandbank.  I rarely eat ice-cream now, my body finds it too cold as it heads down my insides but I honour its existence, some glorious being breathed it into being.  I am not addicted to my past experiences, if I cling too much to the joys and keep pulling them into the ‘screen in my frontal lobe’ I will find myself lacking, they are gone, have moved back into Emptiness.  And if I am a slave to the joys of my past I will have to embrace its twin, the sadness, despair and tragedies that slayed me at moments.
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I found it
I see the clouds changing shape, they take new forms just like the molecules in the world around me. I know that I have found love, not just in the arms of those wondrous women beings who passed through my life and left a piece of their beauty in me, those wondrous beings who helped shape the man I am for better or for worse, I embrace love in the passing play of life, not clinging but in learning how to accept the diversity of all things, the aridness of the desert, the biting cold, the gentleness of meek people, acceptance of those who are naive, the loud and bold also have their story, and the sound of a child singing strange noises.
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I will leave suffering to those that need it to guide them.  I will walk another way, an uncharted path and be my own Buddha.