When Our Hearts Cracks Open

We’ve all been there, the dream dissolves.  Suddenly there’s a doorway in life, it appears from nowhere and we unwillingly step through it and are left feeling bewildered and question whether the period of our life we were in was a fantasy.  The familiar things around us, the places, the impressions in our thoughts that in a flash take us into a moment we treasured. The transience of life is something that won’t go away, it’s seems like when we are born we have a sticker slapped on our bum that says “change is the only constant embrace it or suffer.”
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All pain comes from attachment so say He the Great Buddha, his words were probs a little different but the essence the same.  My dearest friend and teacher once told me, “wherever there is pain there is clinging.”  At times it seems that wise words when we are in the state of suffering are almost offensive, insensitive, inhumane and lack in empathy.  But I know from experience the Sages who are our dearest of kin have placed them there within the scope of our consciousness so we can reach up to them when we are ready.
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The Seasons
The loss of a loved one, whether it be through death, or the changing fortunes on the screenplay of life are always challenging but are critical and are a natural process.   I do know well that transformation or what I would call the alchemy of going from raw material to gold is a usual process and also when I look at nature that we are part of, without the changing seasons there is no growth, no flowering of the tree of life; there can be no symphony without each musician playing his or her part perfectly in time with the composer’s intention, if we decide to go off in another direction and attempt to play something of our own, there will be chaos.  And I am not saying we are puppets in the hands of the Divine, it’s more like we need to fine tune our instrument, listen carefully and be in harmony with ourselves and this harmony joins the Totality.
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Being Vulnerable
Contrary to normal opinion, When the Heart Breaks Open it is safe, yes feelings arise that we may not like, there is an uncomfortable-ness about it. Being uncomfortable is not our favourite place as humans, we are standing on new ground or more precisely falling through an unknown area of space. The feeling of insecurity is usually perceived by people as an enemy.  If we have the ability to sit with it, to hold until the wayward thoughts and emotions subside we will see and experience something extraordinary.  If we become a slave to our thoughts and stay ‘in them’, suffering is a long experience, some people never recover.  If we are very gentle on ourselves, inquisitive and LOOK at the rise and fall of the sensations rolling towards us, we may notice that the perceived bee sting is not really there, it is the fear of the sting that we had, there will be sweet honey when its time.
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Embracing Eternity
I am grateful for life, for love, for the experiences that have and will shape me. In my life which has had its more than normal quota of trauma and loss, there are days when I have begged for it to all go away, to just rest in the Eternal Silence that underlies all things.  But then I remind myself that the Eternal Silence is ever present, it’s closer than a breath away, I can go there at any moment, it encases all the Universes.  The mystery of life is too precious to run from and based on what I am seeing now my intuition tells me where I am headed is beyond my wildest dreams.
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With a sense of curiosity I will say yes and give thanks to all that has been, is and what is to come.

Tilopa 2.0

That Elusive Ego Thing – Yoga Thoughts

In New Age circles we get to see a lot of nonsense about ‘how to get rid of the ego’.  There also are numerous gurus who will for a fee (either monetary or your sovereignty) will sign you up to their club to save you from yourself.  The word ‘ego’ gets splashed around like color at a Holi Festival; therapists, philosophers, counselors and back yard rubber bodied yogis and yoginis all telling you that you need to fix this evil enemy; cut it down before it swallows you or you’ll wallow in delusion for many incarnations.  Whether it be via the sledgehammer method of austerity and abnegation or sitting in groups of peaceful looking meditators with noisy heads surrounded by the odors of sweet smelling incense made from cow poo, you will eventually realise there are a million and one remedies and forms of self punishment to fix the problem that someone has convinced you exists.
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The Playfulness of Life
If for a moment we can agree there might be a God, (and a reminder that the G word has more baggage than an obsessive compulsive on their first trip overseas), I could comfortably say that God is a practical joker.  For example, I  remember going to the zoo years ago and a Tapir was lazing around on a sunny day minding its own business and a bevy of Otters were taking it in turns in swimming along a circular canal, hopping out of the water and slapping the Tapir on its behind region,  it was so bizarre, when the scenario first caught my eye, I asked the people with me to confirm what I was seeing. And to further my argument that the God thing has a sense of humor, just look at the Meerkats (“ok guys, eyes right”).  With the idea in mind that nature is hilarious, although life at times can be outrageously painful, and it may feel some days that we are in a suit that is two or three sizes too small and lined with prickles, the joke is also experienced by humanity first hand.
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In Hinduism we find a concept that there is something called Lila, without getting into fine detail, it could rather loosely be described as play, the Divine pantomime where the underlying super-consciousness plays out experiences in the various worlds. I am not evangelizing for Hinduism here, it is just a useful perspective to bring together the ideas I wish to get across about God and the practical joke. According to some wise men and also the wannabe’s, there is a view that in the Great Pretence of God, the super-Consciousness intentionally forgets who it is and wanders through the maze of the Cosmos looking for itself.  The God Being plays tricks by breaking itself in multiple parts and looks out from each window, seeks the answer to what is life and jumps in and out of bodies through various wormholes acquiring wisdom.  Whether it is true, in the scheme of this article I wont attempt unpack the supposed truth of the matter. But I do know and will state beyond doubt that everything is just ‘thought manifesting experiences through the senses’ and there is a liquidness to the environments we find ourselves in.  And with this in mind we can take a challenge to the charlatans who fill the book shops, ashrams and monasteries with information about the ‘ego’ that they really know little about.  Their work seems to send people away from where they want to be and only strengthens the old arch enemy of ego.
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The Invisible Enemy
Many people have seen the martial art of Aikido, there is a beauty in this approach.  To keep it simple, what is happening is the attacker ultimately defeats themselves, the one who is defending comes into harmony with the movements of the attacker and there is a type of invisibility or Emptiness that emerges in the defender, as there is no-one to attack, the confrontation dissolves without too much fuss.  If we take this approach or apply this type logic to this ‘ego thing’ that disturbs so many spiritual aspirants, we can quite comfortably dismantle the supposed problem and never suffer from the great lie again.
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Nothing is Static
We can, if we also follow the line of thinking that everything is just thought, the ‘supposed’ ego begins to loses its solidity, it is on unsafe ground.  If we look at contemporary Physics we will see that some physicists are in agreement on certain issues, one such thing is the world around us is not overly solid, when we dig into it with Nanotechnology we see there are a lot of particles in constant motion. We can also conclude that change is inevitable, if we gaze at nature, we see that everything seems to be in a state of rising (birth and growth) or sinking (decay), some processes happen faster than others but there is an ever constant in and an out shoot.
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Fooled by the Senses
An over identification with the body is at the core of the problem, by that I mean the five common senses of touch, hearing, smell, sight, and taste.  These are the ‘hooks’ that catches the human-fish most of the time.  There is a story built up in our thinking, we believe the information that the senses tell us; from this and the stories of others in the world around us, we build a profile of who we are. The impressions are deeply ingrained, we gather all the data and conclude ‘oh that’s me’, and those around us only enforce the idea with dialogue like ‘oh gee you are getting fat’, ‘what have you done to your hair?’, ‘you always loved donuts’, ‘i wish I had your brains’ ‘OMG you are such a dickhead’. Depending on our ability to accept or deflect the information we are bombarded with, we strengthen the idea of ‘me’ or the ‘inverted despondent me’.  There are also the numerous grayscale shades in-between that are neither positive or negative, they fill part of our mind-space with a mental picture of the ‘something identity’ who experiences the passing pantomime on the world stage.
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Something Amiss
When we start digging in, and by that I mean self questioning and exploring our thoughts, we find that this supposed identity is a little frisky and elusive to grab. There’s an old Zen Koan (thought and thoughtless provoking Parable) that comes to mind. A Zen master asks, “Show me your Original Face, the face you had before your parents were born.”  I don’t want to go too far down the Zen questioning track which has been turned into a nonsensical witty circus by many but this type of puzzle hints at a number of things.
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1) There is a possibly a false picture of who we are.
2) There is something that sits behind the experiencer and is aware in some way that the experiencer is either a charlatan or is caught in a maze.
3) Something is drastically amiss in the world of mice and men.
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The real issue with this elusive thing called ego is it has no substance and we have placed its mental meanderings in the forefront of our consciousness.  The experiencer gathers together what it knows or believes to be true and runs a program in the subconscious and makes minor adjustments as it moves through life’s experiences.  The idea of ‘getting rid of the ego’ is nothing but a concept. If we go back to basics and we are clear that there is a false association with the body and an unquestioned social belief system that the ‘thinker’ part of us is trapped inside the body, when we address this basic understanding and see ourselves as something that inhabits a much broader space and the body is INSIDE us and is purely the meeting point that relates to and perceives through the five senses and is formed by all the elements of nature we move in, then the ‘loosening’, the dismantling process begins, and it is not the dismantling of the ego, but the thoughts that obscure the view.  When we also remind ourselves and deeply contemplate that the world is in constant flux and is reforming itself moment to moment based on the ‘story of the world’ and is a projection of our consciousness,  it becomes clear that the the ‘ego’ is nothing but the intertwined fabric of thought.
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The Other Direction
The sage Krishnamurthi once stood in the Sydney Town Hall and during his discourse he said, ‘you are all going the wrong way’.  These words are a reminder that social consciousness is the prison-house and it is worthwhile to consider questioning everything that we believe to be true, have been told or assume is knowledge.   With the state of confusion and fear that runs rampant in the world, I am comfortable with going the other way.

The Yoga of Time

If we momentarily jump off planet Earth and leave behind our addictions to food, emotions, petty dramas and desires, then move out into forever-ness, way beyond the Van Halen Belt, under the moon, over the stars into deep space, suddenly we have a dilemma.  The one that most travelers are concerned about, ‘What time is breakfast?’
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The Dilemma
This question although trivial to anyone who is curious about ‘the meaning of life, what’s out there? what happens when we die?’ is more important than we may at first realise. Sure, if we’re hungry we need to eat, but when?….  STOP…. suddenly there is no sunset to remind us when it is normal to be hungry and to fire up the wood stove, no beauteous sunrise that we promised to greet on so many occasions but missed because our pillow and blankets were too cosy, that expanse of colour is gone, someone stole our horizon which included the setting sun that we are so familiar with and take for granted.  On our journey as we passed through vast areas of space, our devices bummed out,  we have no yardstick to know when lunch is arriving either, our methods of measuring are all gone.
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It’s Time 
Time is defined as the fourth dimension by some, not all scientists agree on this. How it is defined may or not be an issue, but if we explore time, we can get a deeper understanding on how we fit into the cosmos, or possibly how ‘we’ may not.  We strike a problem as soon as we are out of the ‘zone’, when our sun becomes just a sparkle in the heavens, lost among the millions of others, our reference point is gone, it’s a game-changer.
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The Annoying Sound of the Clock
Life is humdrum for many, tick-tock, tick-tock, there is the attitude of ‘we are born and we die’ and often develop a type of an anxiety to do a lot of things between the starting gun and finishing line to get us to the point where we are eventually in a position to do nothing, or should I say as little as possible, to sit back and enjoy life.   And when we get there, we are far too old and wrinkly to do anything, we are dull, tired and want cushy-ness. Near the ‘end of the life stream’ people almost demand comfortable lives as a right, the reward for hard work…. but TIME, time is ticking away. Time can become the enemy.
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Nothing is Important
One thing that appealed to me a long time ago was the idea of dropping into a meditative space as much as possible, not as an addiction but a little like craving chocolate biscuits.  I like this word ‘dropping’, if we get it right, everything else stays up and out of our way; thought may do its thing, chatter chatter, nonsense, gibberish, serious stuff, all those problems spinning around but we are oblivious to its movement. The option of getting away from it is a great relief; we know that a-lone-ness can be beautiful, this is not to be confused with loneliness.  Loneliness is about feeling disconnected from the world we move in, but a-lone-ness relates to oneness,  to feel the presence around us, to find a place in it and we at ease with the spaciousness, a completeness without over thinking.
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A-Lone-Ness
When we are in a state of a-loneness, time is not relevant. The old enemy of man is gone. Maybe it is worth considering the importance of a-lone-ness, it is not bound by the restrictions of time, the points A to Z and all the intervals in between are no longer master over us.  If something troubles us, we may be its slave; it would seem fair to say we are a slave to time, human beings have a use-by date, only so many minutes, hours,  days, months, years, tick….tock….tick …. tock…..going…going…gone, pushing up daisies, violets and edible weeds.
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Lost in Space
One thing in our busy-ness that we forget is where our planet is.  We do know there are relationships between the sun, and various other objects in our region of Deep Space that follow a particular pattern.  Our planet is bound by a set of rules, mathematicians, astronomers and physicists try and describe them.  However, when we stare out into forever-ness at the wonder, we can feel a little insignificant, suddenly the ocean that so often made us feel quite micro compared to its macro-ness, shrinks in comparison, this giant floating rock with its seven billion human inhabitants resembles a kids marble.  When we look at the big picture, the enormity of it is humbling. Humility is a good thing, it is not about cow-toeing to some bigger more important thing, humility reminds us that everything is part of the greater whole, it shows us our inter-dependence, this is real humility, when we say ‘ I love and need you all’.
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Meditation can mean a lot of different things to people; some people build business and empires based on it, they dress in white or saffron and create their own designer Spiritual culture; others go quietly about their business, a religious extremist may say, “it’s the work of the devil” and head off into the land of Biblical quotations from Daniel or Revelation;  there are a lot of flavours, some tasty and others poison. Maybe it’s good to discuss meditation and try to bring about some type of common sense.
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The Universe is in Meditation
The relationship between meditation and ‘no-time’ is important.  If I were to say the whole cosmos ‘sits ON or is IN meditation’ I would be getting a lot closer to defining the ‘nature’ at the core  of what I could refer to as ‘our Being’, also I am implying it is what’s at the heart of EVERYTHING.  Man is pompous and often considers himself as the pinnacle of all creation, man has endless untapped potential but instead is violent, selfish, arrogant, haughty, wasteful, insensitive and in many cases lacks in empathy and compassion. Leaving those thoughts aside and coming back, we can dis-empower time and look death in the eye, this is a critical quest.  I can comfortably say that one of the goals of life is to ‘take the sting out of death’, to dis-empower it, the doorway is time-less-ness.  Some of the real yogis say, “the moment of death is like a thorny rose bush being pulled through our bodies from toe to head.” OUCH!  When we sort time, death will no longer be an ogre, it can be put in its place, instead of death putting us to rest, we turn it around and put death to rest.  We are fearful, everybody is running and hiding from death, it is chasing us, we dodge it every day, Don Juan Mateus told Carlos “it’s always there 18 inches behind your left shoulder, stalking you”, we do all sorts of things to distract ourselves, in an effort to guarantee things will be okay and put the wayward thoughts to rest we create religious philosophies or find ones to agree with, temporary solutions to shut the thoughts up.  It is the unknowing that scares us; most people want the promise of a ‘future me’, something similar, maybe better, we want assurance that we are not insignificant, all is not in vain. In truth, we are scared of ‘nothing’ and want to be something, we want to fill the space with ‘me’ to feel RELEVANT. If we sort this we are on new ground, the dragon is slayed.
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The Everything and the Nothing
It is Silence, Emptiness, Timelessness and being comfortable with the ‘space’that makes a difference.  Many people are uncomfortable with quietness, they feel safer with ‘head-noise’, even if it’s a little disturbing, it’s familiar.  When we are in deep meditation there is no time; anyone who has been there will understand that five minutes could seem like an hour, or two hours could be perceived as a few minutes. Time dies in meditation, we die in meditation, our bodies and the world around us are constantly being remade, the molecules reshuffle into what we believe ourselves to be.  Religions have made a mockery of wise men with their nonsensical rhetoric about what God is.  St Paul said “I no longer live, every day I die in Christ”, this is not frivolous biblical jargon. Religious people, particularly the scholars make all sorts of commentaries on this, many are just emotional Christian fantasies; but Paul and I are talking about the same thing.  Among Paul’s writings which were twisted and used by the church to make the masses subservient, there are some gems. The Ocean of Consciousness has many names, it is not going away, eons will pass, civilisations will come and go throughout the endless living cosmos but Emptiness is constant, as is the spark of life which I would simply call Consciousness. Understanding  or better said contemplating, ‘Emptiness and Consciousness can put a lot of our philosophical problems to rest, the search ends here and life begins.’  The quest is over when we stop running, time is about ‘running’, even if it is following a zig-zag pattern, all motion is moving away from our centre, and our centre is outside time.  Time is INSIDE us.
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In the uncomfortable-ness, many people run because they are faced with themselves, it means having to come back and deal with the problems, the fear of not-knowing, the frailty of life, the vulnerability, the petty problems that when we are faced with death have no substance,  but outside time in Silence there is resolve, the show of life rises and falls and a part of us just says, ‘is that so’.
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Tilopa 2.0

The Day My God Died

Some of us do ‘broken’ better than others; some fracture from the inside out and they don’t recover, they find an uncomfortable peace in addictions, destructive distractions; others go about their business and leave it till later in life to deal with, they wear it in their skin, illness, even bitterness, a thud instead of a spring in their step, listlessness in place of a sparkle; some have a dependence on being ‘broken’ and prefer to loop it ’round and ’round, unknowingly recreating a set of experiences that give a similar ‘feeling’ to the previous one and live it out again and again in another scenario.
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Softening Our Heart

It would seem sensible for us as a community to learn to ‘hold’ each better, to recognise frailty, to be sensitive in what seems to be an outrageously unkind self-indulgent world, to go that extra bit with ‘unnecessary acts of kindness’, to be that big bellied Buddha wandering with a bag of goodies, spreading joy because ‘that’s the way we roll’, to maybe drop some of our differences of opinions at times and let people feel comfortable with what they have arrived at, to ditch our ‘king of the castle attitude’ – ‘right at all costs’ approach, to allow others to be, and do it without splintering our boundaries, by that I mean by not allowing breaches and crossing the line of what is acceptable behavior, some people take more than their share.
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I have never met anyone who hasn’t hit a crisis point, and by that i mean found themselves in a situation where everything seems bigger than them; the passing of a loved one, having to let go of something precious, dealing with abuse, or being in a situation of ‘impossible love’, where the heart says one thing but the stars don’t align, they shine and then bash into each other, the beloved’s course seems to be heading off into some other galaxy without them; there are numerous scenarios and situations that bring us to our knees.
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Finding an Ally in Things
Sometimes it is not people who hold us, we can feel too vulnerable to let people in, exposed, we don’t want to seem-needy, or can’t take that step to say ‘ouch f*cking ooooch’ for whadever sane or absurd reason, there is often a tendency to remain silent. Having an emergency crew (of things) ready with their ladders, fire extinguishers, life-buoys and gaffer tape is a good idea, every now and then we can be caught off guard. I don’t mean being hyper-vigilant either and having a SWAT team racing in with all their protective gear every time we cut our pinky…….. Me, I like chocolate, goooood coffee, the feeling of the sun on my skin, the gentle movement of the leaves in the wind, the shades of green – those brush strokes of the hidden master artist, an hypnotic melody that brings to memory something beautiful from my past, an inquisitive mind, seeing and feeling the future before it happens, the mystic poets, a silly sense of humor and something newish to learn, dissolving myself into music, singing mantras or dancing in my bedroom in the dark – occasionally bumping into things.  Things can hold us, particularly if we are people who are used to doing things solo.
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Untangling
I think it is important to be able to live in a manner as if everything were taken from us, our loved ones, our dearest possessions (the RING, Lord of the Rings comes to mind, that type of obsession permeates the community in subtle ways, we don’t want to be like that do we? Being a slave to objects), maybe we need to be stripped bare of the lot to find ourselves, or should I say to detach from the ‘known us’; and even if we are at 180 degrees from EVERYBODY else, to still know how to dig for and experience joy.  And this does not mean giving up everything, it is about our attachment to them, the power of the control people and things have over us, dependencies that we are slaves to. Some people might say, “well why would I want to live if I lose the lot?”  I reckon that’s the right question, and a very fair one.
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False Gods
When my son died, so did my false God. It took me a while to realise I had a number of ‘hidden’ Gods. I was born with the idea that God lived in everything, this in Indian culture-speak would be called Jnana Yoga, a non-dual approach, the One manifesting as many; when you break it down it’s not rocket science, don’t need to look too far, just join the dots… same water, same air, same species, same sun, same doughnuts, there are too many hints that it is quite astounding that we humans miss the obvious.  As I grew up, I was indoctrinated into false Gods, the supposed God of the Christians, and a Father God. A tradition had grown out of the life of an extraordinary being who lived two thousand years ago, in time the churches and men of low wisdom and in many cases men of minimal integrity who were seeking control and power, superimposed a God over everyone, this God was supposedly pulling the puppet strings of humanity, judging and dooming, sitting on the shoulders of every man, woman and child, like an annoying parrot who won’t shut up, monotonous information in the subconscious being fed into everyone that we all become immune to.  And I am NOT implying ‘there is no God’, but rethinking what God may be is the beginning of transformation.
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The Shattered World
It’s quite normal that we go about our business in a a semi-conscious state not overly questioning anything until our world explodes.  Experiences can break us, in fact let’s be clear here, traumatic experiences WILL break us, it’s WHAT emerges out of the ‘seed-pod’ embedded in the experience that we need to look at, explore, play with, and if we are serious, turn it inside out.  If I may, I will make an assumption that ‘grief, loss, despair’, the whole gamut of emotions which emerge from it are similar for most people, there may be slight variables in the intensity but they would be the same categories; it is the WAY we respond that makes the difference. So what do we do? Our world is shattered, we are so broken that we can barely move, everything hurts, the feeling in our chest is a throb, our every particle stings…
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Taking Control of Ourselves
I did something extraordinary when my so passed over, I asked everyone to go away, not to talk to me about it, I changed the language, I said ‘he passed over’, I avoided ‘he died’.  We all have moments of ingeniousness in our lives and this was probably mine.  My idea of Bonsai Gum trees for Japanese tourists would be way down my list from this spark of wisdom.   I’ve done some far-out things but this probably is the one wise thing that eclipsed everything else, I really have no idea what motivated me to tell everyone to ‘mind their own business’; I guess this was because I was on the precipice and something deep inside, the ‘future me’ spoke.  We are social creatures and in times of great trauma it seems natural to get the people close to us to gather around and ‘hold us’.  So what was it that was going on in the deeper part of me thinking?  I went 180 degrees… this for me is usually where the wisdom lies.
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The Past, the Present and the Future Now
I have something that I have always done, it’s a type of time-travel, not the H G Well’s jump in a machine and arrive ahead or back in time version of time-travel, it’s more  related to  my thinking. For a number of years now, I have gone back through my life from the present moment and visited the younger me and also gone to the future unborn me; this may not seem overly important and slightly absurd, but I would say, of all the ‘hey, what’s your secrets?’, this would be the one thing that if someone could bottle it, financially they would instantly be in the top 1% of wealthy bods.  It’s not just in my thought I do this, I imagine my whole being travelling back and forwards and out into the cosmos.  There is a close relationship between my ‘unborn me’, with the ‘go away’ technique I used when my son passed over.  If I jump around a little in ‘who I am’, or to be more specific, what this means “if I consider myself to be more than, or to have OTHER points of awareness apart from the ‘known’ everyday nine to five , three score and ten (75 years life expectancy) “, what I would also describe as the ‘I am a body with five senses limited being’, other possibilities for solving complex problems emerge.  It was Einstein who said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them,” Einstein was known as a physicist, but when I look at him, to me he is a visionary; without the inquisitiveness to understand the nature of things, we may as well just measure objects and archive the info; but when we have a deep passion for understanding, a desire to expand human consciousness, whether it be through science or mysticism, the spin-offs and benefits will open new vistas and humanity evolves.   The enemy of the ‘elite’ is an evolving humanity.
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Rethinking Death
Death was my problem, or better still ‘my reality’, my son passed over and I was at the cemetery standing next to his coffin all alone, how do we as ‘feeling’ people deal with this? This is not just MY problem, it is everybody’s issue, it’s going to slam everyone, our beloveds will leave here and eventually according to most logic, people say we must take this journey ourselves, we may have concepts of Gods, Saints or Holy Men/Women guiding us, but let’s keep it simple, we are going solo.  In life, we can have short term bliss, lovers, objects, sunsets, holidays, all sorts of passing moments, but when the pain is in our chest, when our heart is broken, what can we do?  We can’t run, even if we try, the shadow of death follows us, its sting seems to have no remedy, at this time when our dear ones pass over, we are on the edge of madness, some never recover.  So what do we do? Each of us has a ‘genius’ that casts a light over our world of shadows, at this time of despair my genii woke up, he said to everyone “f*ck off”, nothing personal, just “go way please, you are in my way”; I did not want other peoples half-assed stories of reality, either true or untrue.  Some may consider it to be one of those moments when we close down our emotions and become numb; in a way, in all honesty there was a hint of that, but at some other level beneath the surface, there was something different going on, something more powerful and sublime.  I will call it the future-me, my Future Yogi came into my present. This Yogi, Yoda-type lives outside the five senses, this is where the possibilities lie, this is where I went.
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The Power of Contrast
When we are in a dark room, there will generally be a tiny gap of light that shines through somewhere, obviously it would be missed in daylight in the same way that when we go about our everyday business, everything is ‘leveled’ over and the subtleties are bypassed; the stark contrast of a few small glowing particles of light against the blackness gives a lot of power to the brightness; suddenly what may have seemed meaningless, missed or insignificant at other times becomes greater.  In the darkness of trauma, there are small glimmers of luminosity; it takes a bit of courage to stride across a dark room and peep into the source of the light, but that’s the thing with grief and despair, it’s almost ‘do or die’, not death of the body but death of our feeling for life; people can continue to live but are numb,they  run on automatic and then lose themselves inside the ‘layers’ of the world; these layers consist of the ‘things that keep us busy, preoccupied ‘ to avoid feeling and questioning.
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The Future Now
The future is both unborn and already present,  that statement would resemble nonsense to some people and without clarification would almost sound a little ‘Zoolander’ (movie comedy about fashion models) the “essence of water is wetness.”  🙂  However, coming from someone who has risen above or should I say stepped outside, through or past trauma, I suggest that the statement ought not to be disregarded too quickly, it requires consideration. Some people wear trauma in a way that it ‘defines them’, this is understandable, but trauma can be approached in a way that it is trans-formative. We as a rule live in what most of us call the ‘present’; we could take a type of Buddhist stance and say ‘well our thoughts are over active and we are always off somewhere else, come back to the moment’ but keeping it simple, I will say the present means ‘look at clock > check time > that time is now’,  we will just try an easy definition without any new age interpretations.  But here’s where the brain explodes 🙂  and I could without too much trouble make this sound like a stoned rave, but as I am not a drug taker, it’s not.  ‘Now’ is constant along the timeline of life, we are always in ‘now’. this NOW, has an entrance and exit point EVERYWHERE.
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The Meeting Point of the Rivers
So how does the death of God fit into this? How does it all come together? What is the connection between time, trauma and God that I have mentioned?  For me the glue is in the ‘experiencer’, the point of perception at the heart of these three things mentioned.  The experiencer in his or her thought is stuck in time because of an over-identification with the body, this body-thing that we lug around is a bit of a trickster; if there is too much focus on it, we live in fear, we become unnecessarily preoccupied with how we look and create a world of objects to lose ourselves in, this over-indulgence takes the attention away from the ‘perceiver’, although he/she always knows that it is more than the body, there is a type of forgetfulness that we naturally drop into.  With trauma, the focus goes on the experience that the experiencer has gone through, a story emerges that defines the world of the experiencer and the story usually  ALWAYS ‘gets in the way’ of new emerging life.  This ‘God thing’ (without sounding disrespectful) also diverts the attention of the perceiver/experiencer away from itself, it is looking outward, seeking, God is often in the distance, by this I mean at some time in the future there may be a meeting or coming together with God, or in a way ‘God is looking down’ or watching over.  This understanding of God, although it may feel nurturing  to us and creates a feeling of safety, may possibly only be conceptual, a hope a dream.
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Coming Back
My God, my imaginary one died with my son Joshua.  For quite some time I had assumed God had betrayed me, and this was a serious dilemma, my life had always been about God since I was born.  However, as my beautiful life unfolded, I came to realise that this God was not real, it was a ‘learned God’, a false God.  The passing of my son led me back to something more sublime, something I had to find myself, something I was born with that was hidden from me for sometime by things that belonged to the world of men and false prophets. I am grateful for what I was given, and although it was at times a painful journey, I found my way home, back to myself.

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The Yoga of Addiction

I think addictions can be a good thing. Being distracted by, absorbed in something and a sense of regularity has its benefits. All great musicians and artists are addicted, Einstein, Newton and Buddha were all engulfed by a deep passion of wanting to ‘know’ and to reach an end, even if that end was temporary, they sought a resolve. It seems obvious when it comes to addictions that our flavour, our choice of ‘poison’ is what makes the difference. We can ask one simple question, “Does it weaken us, or strengthen us?” …. said in a deep radio announcer Shakespearean tone ‘that is the question’.
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Gimme the Lot
We can be reckless beings, the feeling of being infallible, the arrogance and bravado of youth, thinking we are invincible… gimme more, just keep loading up the bong till paranoia seems like the norm. Which tablet? Give me the lot; sucking down buckets of alcohol till even our dearest friends don’t want to know us. And we go back for more next week; ultimately in time we end up on an island of isolation, we no longer function well enough to navigate the changing fortunes that emerge on our screen of life; and do more of the same thing that got us to that point.
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The Loneliest Moment
I have very strong views on drugs and alcohol, I am not frightened to say them, they undermine our sense of community, an epidemic of destruction, they destroy the beauty of life. The window I look through comes from one ‘still frame’ moment just before my oldest boys funeral; the hearse pulled up, I walked over and just stood alone beside it, not knowing where to look, seeing the coffin, how long to stay? Why is no-one else here? Where is my family? Where are my friends? …. the preciousness of life was defined then and there, standing at the doorway to eternity. And the loneliest moment in the history of the universe had just invited me in. In a way, that moment defined the man I wanted to become, or the one who could have died with my son.
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Doughnuts are Better than Cocaine
What leads a person to the place where my son lay can be many things, life is challenging, we can be frail and keep throwing layer after layer over us until we disappear. But regardless of specifics, I do know it is about addiction, or more specifically, what we align ourselves with.  Addiction to me does not mean alcohol, heroin, ice or any other thing used by the hidden bankers to undermine the threads of the fabric of the community we live in. It means the way that we get stuck on a thought, what we think and hook into becomes bigger than us. A silly example would be:

I see doughnut (yum) >  My memory recalls sensation of bliss (mouth waters) > I devour doughnut (or half dozen) > Doughnut tickles my being (sugar dancing in mouth) >
Goes about its secret business (digests, turns into a little bit more fat than i was hoping for) >
Ultimately impacts in ways that make me feel worthless ( i think I am fat, or don’t like my pimples)…..
It really depends on how many times we run the loop, it all comes back to thought. And i am not saying don’t eat fun stuff, I am talking about doughnut addicts.
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Making Friends With the Enemy 
If we are smart, self-loving, alert, tender with ourselves, we will develop a sense of ‘well-being, problem is that’self care and love’ is the wisdom fruit of life’s experiences. So let’s short track this.
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In the same way that a clear pond way up in the hills, in the wooded valleys has fresh water coming in; we need to refresh our thoughts, to keep new information coming in so we don’t stagnate. Personally, I go for science and technology, quantum physics and break-through’s, I ponder the stars and dream a lot, question religious texts and try and get inside them, study and explore different aspects music.  I do this because I UNDERSTAND ADDICTION and the plasticity of the brain.  If I freeze and become addicted to things that undermine me, I would lose my sparkle for life. I have an obligation to those who I love, those who have left the world already, those who have taken the time to offer me the knowledge they had; so I seek joy in the depth of experience. My nature is addictive, I was very aware of that at a young age and in a stroke of genius turned it into my friend. I have learned to use it to my advantage; to choose things that are good, not just those that feel good temporarily.
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And it’s that simple.

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Meeting my Son After He Passed Over

I like most days, it may seem odd to not like one or two days out of 365 or 366, it’s a bit like ostracizing a color, looking at turquoise and saying, “did you know, across the whole spectrum of possibilities, you just don’t cut it?” Every day is new, never been before, so what’s the story?

The Fragility of Grief
Years ago I had another son, one of two (and I have a dawta), he’s no longer here, he went into forever-ness and everyone who knew him was left wondering, feeling, grieving, going about our business with just a space where he might have been.  So today is his birthday, usually on this landmark day I am a little cautious, feel the world slowly, ask everyone to be gentle on me, to take their super serious problems elsewhere, some days I just can’t do it; the people who message me or call to tell me their world is falling apart…. it’s usually that they don’t love themselves enough and identify with a bundle of thoughts that they think equals them, just a story, and I am always happy to oblige, as people we hold each other….but today it’s different, it’s Joshua’s birthday and the world is rubbing up against me, it feels like small bruises, the Tinman in the wizard of Oz had no heart….I am not him, I can feel something.

What has Meaning?
We go about our business, first world problems, often our concerns are just trivia, turning marbles into bowling balls and throwing them into other peoples lanes,  knocking over their stuff.. when it would be much more sensible to be still for a while, patient, not so self-obsessed.  This is the age of narcissism and distraction, deluded by sparkles and glitter, missing what’s really important…death is the great leveler, it’s in that moment, that gateway to other worlds that the nonsense falls away, when we are raw, that’s when we see what matters.

Meeting my Son After He Passed Over
I met my son after he passed over, I recorded an audio file about it, it took about fourteen years to say it but i finally did it last year.  Listen if you dare, there s something extraordinary in there. This is what most people would refer to as Out of Body Experience (OOB), I have other definitions and descriptions of it, but at this moment I won’t go into it.

With Love Tilopa 2.0