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) 

Embracing Fragility and Vulnerability

The societies we live in are crazy; and that is an over generous appraisal on my part.  We inhabit fractured communities on this wondrous planet, all disconnected from each other and the Eco systems we are intertwined with. The Earth is a living being who unfolds her beauty in Spring, in that season everything has a freshness and bounce in its step; in Summer the hot sun in the desert burns the Earth, only the strong survives but life abounds behind the scenes; Autumn drapes her fabric, colors unmatched, her beauty steals the heart of the onlooker; the bitter bite of Winter has us rushing for soup and wood-fired pizza and diving for cover under blankets. Underneath it all the canvas of the Living Silence maintains its equipoise hidden from all.
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Man and His Mad Agendas
Man has his missions to the Moon, to Mars; his agendas block, straighten or redirect the river, he flattens the hill to extend suburbia into native grasslands, in the process he makes his beloved brothers the animals homeless. Man in the news media tells us of the worst of human behavior and then gives a moments reprieve with trivia, celebrity bling and sport, dumbing down the masses, the man in politics supports the systems to keep everything just out of reach to break the back of the community, people become dependent on the broken system, one that was never designed to nurture it.  Politicians are meant to serve the people not control them and implement hideous agendas.
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The Empty Sky
The Buddha Mind does not belong to Buddhism, it is homeless like the biblical Son of Man having ‘no place to lay his head’.  The sky holds without holding, the Buddha Mind encases all that arises in it, lets it fall back into Emptiness, neither owning or disowning. The man of a lesser god judges, he doesn’t know the great Tao encases the play without a fuss, everything rises and falls into space, empires come and go.
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The world at times can push against us, our fragility can scream, we feel as if we are going to break.  If we have read the Zen classics we will know it is the hollow bamboo that bends in the wind, it is in Emptiness we find peace. We have seen and learnt war doesn’t end in peace, there is no relationship between the two. War is about two false concepts that have nowhere to go, they bash against each other, in a way enemies deserve each other, it’s a love hate relationship, love ones own opinion and hate the other. Peace and emptiness are essentially the same, neither of them DO anything, peace is always relaxing into itself, Emptiness is the canvas that holds the universe.  War is the fruit of those who don’t understand their innate nature and inter-connectedness.
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Coming Apart
In those moments when we are most vulnerable there is a natural feeling that we need to protect something, and this is a logical response.  But if we take some time to look closely we will see we have an IMAGINARY identity. We are educated into thinking a particular way, to have opinions, to make them known seems reasonable, to stand up for ourselves, some say our views define us, it makes us feel relevant. However, in an aggressive world those who can yell the loudest, be the biggest trickster, articulate ‘on the fly’ better than others are always the champions. It doesn’t mean that those people are wiser or have better world views, they are better salesmen at selling their version of reality. When someone feels like they are not heard, an internal argument lingers long after a discussion, it eats away at them. The assertive views of others can be like arrows that shoot through the aura that surrounds a sensitive being.
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Unbeknownst to many, the Sages don’t actually mind what people think or believe. This is because they have nothing to protect, when required they state what is there, what they see and is beyond doubt in that moment of timelessness, there is no conflict with the world.  Why argue with a rock or a doughnut, why go into conflict with somebody who looks through a tiny window and can’t see the whole landscape, who doesn’t know their place in the tapestry of foreverness?  The winning of an argument is for drunk men, politicians or philosophers in the park, slaves of soap box wisdom. The philosophers aren’t usually wise men, they are smart men on the way to being wise, critical thinkers, they have opinions, they are speculators not experiencers, they are at the middle or beginning on the journey of transformation. Opinions get in the way of super-consciousness
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The Eggshells of Life
Fragility is a good thing if we know how to work with it.  An eggshell is a protective layer, under it is a new life.  The trick with the fragility is to know how to use it, to know when to crack the egg open.  The new life that emerges when cracked will be vulnerable, will require some tender handling and protection.
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So how do we work with this, how can we be fragile, extremely vulnerable and still feel safe? How can we navigate harmlessly through a world full of what seems like predators, through the chaos of life on Earth which is at war with everything around it?
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Nature is a wondrous thing.  If we look around us we will see the trail and reminders of billions of years of existence.  The stars with their mysteries, we know from research by astronomers that galaxies are in the making; planets hang in space like the baubles on a Christmas tree.  When we look across the mysterious world we see Jonathan the 183 year old turtle who lives on the island of St Helena, he and his relatives have over time developed a shell to protect their tender bodies. The cactus in the desert with its prickles telling everyone to stay away; the birds wings give them an escape strategy and the chameleon saying ” I’m not here, you can’t see me”.  If we are sharp in out thinking and have the ability to look clearly at the world around us, I mean the world MINUS man, although we will see a pattern that resembles survival of the fittest, we will notice multitudinous species that have managed to navigate the ensnarement’s and the trial by fire of life.  In this vision of the world around us we can find wisdom, it becomes our guru.  Man has intelligence, he may come out second best when wrestling with a tiger but if we look at the worlds population of 7.5 billion people, the human entity is not doing too bad in the survival stakes.
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The Invisible Glue
There is something odd that happens to humans, there is an attitude of wanting to hold ourselves together, it’s not just about self preservation, it’s about our IMAGINARY self. Sure we have a body, it goes ouch ouch if we are silly enough to ride a bicycle with our eyes closed or if we get dumped in the surf by mistiming a wave, that’s a normal response.  But the vulnerability and fragility that I am talking about is different.  We may have a strong body and still feel fragile emotionally, we may have enough money but feel a sense of lack, we may present with wonderful social skills but still feel like we don’t fit in.
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So what to do? How to be free from the vulnerability and fragility? I know from life experiences that regardless what has gone on in my life, I am still here, my awareness is still intact, my bruises have come and gone, my heart has healed.  I have navigated decades, quietly slayed the enemies as they have blocked my path, met and danced with the ghosts of loved ones who have passed over, stood on the precipice and looked out into foreverness and felt totally insignificant, raised myself above things that would have normally broken most men and survived against all reasonable odds, and this why I write.  I understand beyond all doubt that the rise and fall of events on the screen of the world doesn’t ‘touch’ the observer of the passing show, the wondrous mystery of life.  And it is not that I don’t feel, do I feel? YES, my heart bleeds daily. But I understand that feelings and emotional responses are part of their own world.  Regardless what presents itself I continue to rest in the Silence; when I remember I jump to the part of myself that observes the events of my life.
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Awareness
Learning to ‘jump’ to different parts of ourselves is something we can practice.  It comes about by watching the movement of our feelings and emotions when we are alone.  It is the same process that some people use in meditation.  Taking time out to do this will change our lives, it teaches us to know when to enter or retreat in an unemotional way.  We need to be gentle on ourselves, we won’t always get it ‘right’.  We are learning to tame the dragon, not to slay it.  Understanding ourselves and being kind to ourselves is important.  Accepting that being vulnerable or fragile is the natural order of things, it teaches us to walk gently among others, when we are gentle on ourselves we learn to be a little kinder to others, to see their vulnerability, to know when to step back.
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Everything has a place.  We do not live in a world where ‘only the strong survive’, this comes from a militant mindset.  The gentle, the vulnerable, the wise have survived for eons, they are our teachers.  I bow in honor of you.
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May all Beings Be Happy

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

On Your Mark Get Set…Stop

There is an old story that comes from the Indian subcontinent, it seems to define human nature, the craziness of the thoughts that fluctuate with intensity in our mind-spaces.  It is said that if you give a monkey a ladder it will run up and down all day; this analogy is often used in explaining how a Mantra works in controlling thoughts; whenever the mind wanders, step back on the ladder. Without going into detail, as most people would know, a Mantra is a word or phrase repeated in meditation to keep oneself busy.
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The nature of thought is to hop, skip and wobble; each thought particle is a bit like a piece of driftwood travelling from one side of the ocean to the other, going nowhere in particular, encountering mammoth waves, getting dunked, resurfacing, floating calm for a while, only to be lashed against the rocks and maybe end up on an empty beach.
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The Boat Into Eternity
My father made a driftwood boat when he was a young man, it sat on a sideboard and sometimes on a table in our house as a child, it always intrigued me, how something that nature ‘threw out’ into the vast world would end up as an ‘artifact’ far from where it began, it was my teacher.  It had a dryness about it, with only a small cut of a saw and some mild reshaping it became something of curiosity for me, it taught me how to dream, how to see through the solidness of the world around me and to find value in what people may discard. It showed me beauty is in our imagination, and how ‘what is left out’ can give something its shape, in the same way that a great musician  understands it’s the silence, the space that gives the beauty to sound; it is the backdrop of the heavens that allow us to dream of the distant stars as they dangle on the backdrop of forever-ness.
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Mooring the Boat
Coming to rest seems like the goal of many people. This is a reasonable quest. There is much confusion going on in the Spiritual circus of the world.  There is the idea of seeking a peaceful mind, a restful place either here or beyond is perceived as the goal, and although there is a partial correctness in this, it’s just a piece in the larger picture of the cosmic game.  It is true, the need to tame the raging bull of the mind , without giving some attention to all the wayward thought, it is difficult to function.  However, if we use the analogy of the boat, it is something that takes us to our destination, and when it comes to the Spirit, the port of arrival is always ourselves.  So where to from here?  Is that it? So what we were seeking was ‘stillness’?
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The Uncarved Block
Where we are going is forever-ness; our dreams shape the un-carved block.  The idea that our destination is written in the palm of our hand, that God has work for us, is rather spiritually pubescent when it comes to the big picture.  I am not denying the existence of an Underlying Consciousness that drives the Cosmos, I am just claiming it back from the doctrine-smiths, the religious zealots, those control freaks who dis-empower humanity by using the lives of great men and woman as a foundation for belief systems and ‘story’ of the world, they then enslave humanity with their religious concepts.
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Coming Home 
When the boat comes into port, then we are in a new country, one where we can begin a different dream, we leave behind what we knew, let the past sink like Atlantis in the depths of the ocean or hidden under the ice in Antarctica.
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We are always running on automatic, forgetting to question many things, we fill in the endings of the story by habit.  On your mark, get set…. stop.  Let’s go the other way. When we look at the chaos of the world it becomes reasonably clear that what has been going on just doesn’t work.  There is great potential in things that we discard if we just look at them differently.  Like my father’s driftwood boat.  I will give thanks for what others have forgotten and find beauty elsewhere.  This is the essence Yoga.

Tilopa 2.0

Real Yoga and the End of Maya

In a way we have all been fooled.  If we think back to when people were in agreement that the world was flat and they imagined it went off in all directions further than anyone could walk and they might fall off, only the dreamers would have imagined anything else, some would have looked at the moon and noticed at a period of time there was something up there that would change shape and from the pondering there would be numerous wondrous stories.  Others would have kept silent their dreams for fear of not fitting in to the community and being ostracised for thinking differently.
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A Kaleidoscopic of Tribes 
Anyone who has lived in isolation would have no idea what’s going on over the hill, each tribe in their own jungle has a special way of doing things, a specific language and what’s happening elsewhere would be incomprehensible.  Even today a percentage of the community does not realise that many of the concepts relating to classical physics have been replaced by the challenging and quirkiness of quantum physics, things have become a little more frisky, the familiar world is not so solid any more; things are named when we look at them, but everything quickly moves to another spot.  In one fast swoop and brush of the hand, this new perspective and understanding manages to disintegrate the world we knew, and unless someone is a dreamer it can make people feel a little uncomfortable, the ‘bird has flown’ when it comes to what we once knew or believed true.  Meanwhile religious dogmatists continue their rhetoric and stand their ground regardless.

It’s on the Internet, it Must Be True 🙂
With the emergence of technologies that have stemmed from quantum physics, we have a tsunami of information available that varies in quality, some life changing, other info may be trivial and ‘wannabe’, also there is monolith of material that is not even questionable but is straight out lies…or better I could say, “is from tribes from another jungle.”

When it comes to religion and spirituality, we also have quite a number of dishes at the smorgasbord, many of us are born into a familiar style of cuisine that is so normal to us that it seems so appetising, we feel satiated, so why eat elsewhere?

The World is Only Temporarily Solid
Contrary to popular opinion, the world is not what we think it is. ‘Thought’ plays a major part, and our inherited habit of ‘naming’ things is where we need to look if we want to make greater sense of what may be going on; we unknowingly have tricked ourselves, and everyone around us is part of the game, not intentionally; and not in a ‘paranoid’ sense, it’s the old story of actors in a play who get so carried way with the story, they forget their other normal daily existence.  A good point of reference to go to is Lao Tsu, he supposedly said, “The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth.  The Named is the Mother of myriad things.”  This may not seem overly important at first glance, it’s easy to flit past the endless feel good and philosophical thoughts that populate the cyber universe and bookshelves, but it’s critical to stop for a moment and ponder words by men and woman who are giants, they don’t speak flippantly, their dialogue is designed to destroy the known world, and to take us into new territory.  When wise men and women speak, what they say is something to dig into.  Lao Tsu said, “The named is the mother of all things.” If we go a fraction West to the Indian subcontinent and roll out the Vedic texts, we find the word ‘Maya’, a word often twisted by spiritual and religious zealots.  The relationship between Maya and the Named cannot be overstated.  Maya is interpreted in many ways and is often referred to as meaning ‘illusion’,  I will take the liberty of saying if you call it an ‘illusion’, it is misleading and is slightly incorrect.

Twisted Philosophy
The problem with defining the world we move in as ‘Maya’ is, if we follow that line of thought and our viewpoint or philosophy is in some way extreme, we will have a tendency to ‘run’ from life. Running will in some cases lead us away from obligations, things such as family, developing our skills, and if are not cautious we may minimise what requires our attention.  From my experience I have noticed some people who get caught up in the idea of Maya, are inclined to use phrases like “the world is material”, “it’s all God” as petty excuses to look away from life’s issues.  Many years later a person may find themselves in a situation where ‘regret’ kicks in, when the Maya philosophy bubble bursts, there are often casualties.

Maya, what it really is about is a ‘trick of the mind’, our thoughts have a natural tendency to create stories; this is inbuilt in human nature.  When we look at a tree, we name it, we don’t see the many facets of it, the colours, nor do we think about its relationship with the rest of the world, the eco system it is part of, and because it is ‘familiar’ in the sense that we KNOW what a tree is, it slips past us; we have a story of what a tree is, and don’t ‘second thought’ it.  But when we stop for a moment and look more closely and think it through, that tree that we see is just temporarily a ‘tree’, it will never be the same again, we subconsciously create parameters where the tree starts and stops.  What an awareness of Maya will tell us is we automatically ‘name’ everything, and with it comes a story, we miss what is underneath, we can be so distracted by the sparkle and glitter that emerges constantly in the world around us, we end up looking away from what is at the core of all things, and more importantly what is within ourselves.

Humanity’s Spiritual quest will have a series of milestones; I will simply of say there are markers at various points, and this is not something i would overthink or have as a rigid truth. I have often heard it said that there is a ‘different path for everyone’, this I see as a partial truth pointing to the individual having a unique experience as the kaleidoscope around changes, but at the core, ‘awareness’ hasn’t gone anywhere.  However, I am comfortable to say there is NO PATH.  What this means is there is a labyrinth, the labyrinth is constructed of thought, it goes in a circular motion; the parameters and boundaries are created by the limited view we have; the more way say “that’s not possible”, the tighter the restrictions will be. BUT if we are more detached from opinions about everything, the looser the chains will become.  Thought is the prison house and MAYA is nought but the relationship between the sparklies in the field of life and the way we lose ourselves in it.

So What on Earth Can We Do
From my experience I am comfortable in saying ‘Don’t do anything’; this is a difficult thing for many people because it requires an ‘undoing’ of the way we function.  We are generally goal driven.  The normal order of things is: do this, this and this and you will get ‘that’ at the end.  We are used to being ‘rated’ for what we do and often fall short, always ‘not good enough’,  forever we are away from the destination, or at the other extreme, there are those who are so self obsessed they consider their shower water is fine wine.

Coming Back to Me
By not doing anything we come back to our ‘awareness’, the experiencer, to something that is sensing the rise and fall of the play of life.  This way of doing things is hard for people, education is about striving, so there is habit and an assumption that this way of doing things would also be consistent in relation to the Spirit.  And in defense of the other way of doing things, there are numerous scriptures to quote; there are many words to reference that keep the world hypnotised.  Everyone is in a hurry to BE SOMETHING, but this is Maya at it’s best. NOTHING will always be at odds with Maya, they will never meet.

Maya has NO SUBSTANCE in the sense that EVERYTHING IS IN MOTION, but the centre, the ‘imaginary canvas’ is still, it is THOUGHT that is the SLAYER of the REAL.  And the REAL is the EMPTINESS, the AWARENESS at the centre of all.

A Prayer for Humanity
As the shadows and light move across the stage of life
May we always let them go when they must leave.
May we always treat others in the way we wish for ourselves
May our hearts soften to embrace diversity
May all Beings live in Harmony
May each new generation rise in love

Tilopa 2.0

The Wisdom and Freedom of the Wind

 

Most of us would have dreamed that we could fly, craving the freedom of not being bound. We are ‘supposedly’ stuck in a body and have a love hate relationship with our senses, we enjoy the tingles, textures and flavors, then in those moments of pain and sickness we crave an escape; man fears death, and understandably so, the ‘unknowing’ for most is more frightening than the known.
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The Wisdom in Nature
The Wind does things differently to most humans, it embodies much of what I think we need to know. How to live with detachment is in the Wind Being’s teaching, how to not cling, to be loose and flexible; it has a way of making adjustments, it side-steps objects, dances with pieces of paper… floats colorful leaves, leans trees over and stretches their spine, reshapes hairstyles, bounces clouds and gives birds something to push against or use as a power booster.
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If we can escape our thoughts from daily troubles, trivia and distraction, get ourselves out of the limited chaos of the play of life, we can
be the wind, develop many of the same attributes. The wind is on a backdrop of the endless sky, and the sky is a part of the Greater Mind that encases everything; the endless forever is inside and outside of us.
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Eternity Now
In the magnificent book Tales of Power by Carlos Castenada, the follow up to masterpiece Journey to Ixtlan, Don Juan says to Carlos,
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“I’m going to utter perhaps the greatest piece of knowledge anyone can voice. Let me see what you can do with it. Do you know that at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity? And do you know that you can use that eternity, if you so desire?
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There! Eternity is there! (Don Juan pointed) All around! Do you know that you can extend yourself forever in any of the directions I have pointed to? Do you know that one moment can be eternity? This is not a riddle; it’s a fact, but only if you mount that moment and use it to take the totality of yourself forever in any direction.
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You didn’t have this knowledge before, now you do. I have revealed it to you, but it doesn’t make a bit of difference, because you don’t have enough personal power to utilize my revelation. Yet if you did have enough power, my words alone would serve as the means for you to round up the totality of yourself and to get the crucial part of it out of the boundaries in which it is contained.
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Your body is the boundary I’m talking about. One can get out of it. We are a feeling, an awareness encased here. We are luminous beings and for a luminous being only personal power matters.”
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On reading this text of Don Juan, our thoughts and or logical way of processing information could easily head off into a story about whether he and Carlos Castaneda’s teacher Don Genaro were fictitious, some may even ask “does one’s guru say something similar”, or whether our understanding of God and scriptures confirm such a view. We love distraction, ‘away-ness”, when we encounter wisdom, often there is a tendency to make excuses, to look for fault in it; the false sense of ‘I’ is challenged, the false sense of ‘I’ has no substance, it is just thought, and always wants to remain centre stage, all posers do this. People talk about there being an ‘ego’, from my perspective this idea of an ‘ego’ is questionable and is not so important; it is easy to sort if we look at the first line of the Dhamapada (the sayings of Gautama Buddha), if we are astute and look closely at it, without a fuss the text annihilates the concept of the ‘ego having real substance’ in one swoop. Although there are many translations of the Buddhist text, the one I prefer says, “All you are is all you have thought”, it takes care of that ‘ego’ thing, it dis-empowers the false notion in one swoop, leaves us empty and can remove much of our pain and self-obsession, once we know this truth there is nothing to hold on to. And it’s ok, we won’t collapse, we are the experiencer and in a similar way to if we were sitting on the beach watching the tides slowly rise and fall, knowing there is an order in nature, we can trust that the ‘thoughts’ that are on our screen of life which construct the sense of ‘I’ do not hold us together, we can function quite nicely without them. Really, the image of who we believe ourselves to be is just a story, a very convincing one because it’s familiar, it’s uncomfortably comfortable, it’s like a permanent set of clothes that is glued on and wrapped around us and creates limitation.
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Detach Detach Detach
There is a great similarity between the fluidness and elasticity of the wind, and a person who does not cling to thought; although the idea of detachment is often associated with Buddhism or Taoism, it’s not, it’s universal in nature. The idea of ‘not sticking’ to things is a core principle that belongs to our inbuilt intelligence and does not require a religious philosophy for it to flower. Both Buddha and Lao Tsu (Taoism) obviously moved with this fluidity and have tapped into this type of intelligence, the ‘isms’ came later and there are numerous wise people historically who have managed to see clearly the affects of ‘attachment’; nature is our teacher and it is not rocket science nor does not require any great intellect to see such a basic thing as the trouble of being ‘overly attached’. If we can quiet our thinking a little and look clearly without too much judgement, a gradual transformation will come about, and I guess when the penny drops for some, it may be a quantum leap for some.
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Someone who continuously detaches from what presents itself in their thoughts and has the flexibility to move around obstacles, to have a type of adaptability that resembles the wind will be open to new experiences and not bogged down with old limited worn-out thought. A lightness of being is something worth aspiring to. It can be complex for some of us because information is ‘hard-wired’ into us and we are addicted to ‘what’s wrong with the world’, chasing rainbows, how to be ‘a better person’, how to fit in, not offending people, how not to be ‘hurt by people’; there are so many hooks that prevent us experiencing the wonders of life, and when we look at them we will see they are mainly ‘thought constructions’. And that is why coming back to and contemplating“all you are is all you have thought”, it will loosen the glue a little and help us to disentangle from destructive thought.
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The Beauty of Emptiness
What we can do is practice ’emptying ourselves’, lying down, no we do not need to sit like a Buddha statue. Emptiness is about annihilation, getting rid of all concepts and abandoning the known. The problem with the ‘known’ is it is most probably wrong, it’s just a story, look at the trouble it has got us into. When we lie down and empty ourselves there are no boundaries, there is no tomorrow, no past and I will go one more level than the new-age-flippy-floppers and say ‘there is no Now’. Now implies that there is a central point holding itself together; we need the bottom to drop out of the bucket, the water to run everywhere. When we routinely practice ’emptying’ it gradually creeps through our being and we begin to realise that the body is ‘inside us’ it is not outside, the stars, the galaxies are inside us. The body is a container we use to experience the world around us, it is only a small part of us, we need to care for it and treat it with respect but ultimately our nature is closer to that of the wind; then when the storm blows in our lives, we can find a type of invisibility, we will have the flexibility to move through it because we understand as the wind does that ‘everything is in constant motion’, that we have the knack of getting through or around whatever presents itself.
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There is not only beauty in nature but wisdom, nature can become our guru.

 Yoga of Self-Awareness

Thought provoking Article by guest writer – Arizona

“Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life – perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody.  That is the beauty of it. It has no technique and therefore no authority.  When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy – if you are aware of all that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation.

So meditation can take place when you are sitting in a bus or walking in the woods full of light and shadows, or listening to the singing of birds or looking at the face of your wife or child.”

  • Krishnamurti, 1979
“Can you teach me meditation?” Um, no. I can create a space where you are sitting quietly, calmly. I can ask you to observe yourself. This is all I can do for you.
How does one watch oneself? Self-awareness is a key distinction between people, a distinguisher of people. One who is self-aware has great power. That person has the power to change.
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The Angst of Self-consciousness
Self-consciousness is an interesting term. It first emerges in the teenage years, as a name for that awkward feeling when you think people are looking at you all the time. The post-pubescent paranoia that is part of growing in to a new body and exploring a mind newly shaped by those funny molecules that trigger all sorts of primal and reactive behaviours far beyond the impulsiveness of a child who cannot think past the present moment to future consequences. So much confusion about the ‘why’ of other people’s behaviour and reactions that obscures any ability to question or understand one’s own behaviour, and limited availability of a reference point or baseline in the changing landscape. Embodying. Embo-dying. I wonder what the prefix ‘embo’ means. The -dying part seems apparent.
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It seems a long path to self-consciousness from there, of being aware of, conscious of, the true nature of the self. The path is self-awareness. Awareness of one’s own behaviour, reactions, patterns. One needs a perspective to view this from, which is where the detachment part comes in, as well as embodiment. These seem contradictory but are in fact complementary.
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The Proper Order of Detachment
I see many who are not aware of their bodies. I think this often comes from abuse, which takes many many forms. So many people are their own abusers, in addition to those who have been subjected to violence of any kind at the hand of another. Detachment-abuse-detachment cycle. A denial that something hurts, a denial that there are consequences for self or other. Denial-detachment, instead of complete awareness-detachment. Detachment needs careful definition, and careful ordering. Care and love totally. But do not be attached to outcome and reactions. If detachment arises from not caring about self or any other, a natural detachment to outcome will arise but there will be little awareness of reactions; self-awareness is not forthcoming. If total care and love are present, but also attachment to outcome, again the reactions come, and fear of the future.
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Embodiment through Asana
This is where a yoga asana (asana = a posture adopted in performing yoga) path has such value to those who are disembodied and not-caring-detached. If one is not aware of where, in space, one’s arms are, or one’s head, how can one be truly aware of oneself? By gently revealing to a person how to feel into a body, how to use every muscle to locate limbs, torso, neck and toes, this awareness forms a solid foundation for more introspective observation. Further revelation of what causes physical discomfort in the body, where one’s limits of range of motion are, and discovering the link between thought, belief and physical movement is the next piece of the puzzle. It is a gentle empowerment, realising that thoughts can be chosen, that thoughts impact on the body, and that the body can and does change. The desire to harm oneself or perpetuate self-abuse falls away as the body becomes fully inhabited with awareness of sensation and proprioception.
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Self-awareness
Self-awareness arises through observing the impact of external factors on the state of the body, and therefore the mind. The more engrossed in asana a person is, the more that person will notice the effects of external factors such as a heavy meal, a cup of coffee, or a heated conversation on their asana practice. Life is a constant experiment in understanding this link between the external environment and the body. Eventually the penny drops – these external factors affect the mind which in turn affects the body. The asana focuses the mind on caring for the body by being aware of what impacts negatively upon it, be it external factors or from within the mind. It is this crucial first step of caring for self that allows total care and love to radiate outwards into the world. Awareness is therefore necessary in order to allow the external factors to be perceived and their impacts upon the body/mind to be appropriately filtered or managed. This sharpened awareness, concentrating fully upon each thing that is encountered, is the meditation that Krishnamurti speaks of. From there, one has the possibility of becoming aware of the impact of one’s own behaviour upon this external environment.
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Who is in control?
It is a natural progression from there to begin to observe the mind. Through the asana, it becomes apparent that the mind impacts on the body, and that the body is under the control of the mind. But who is in control of the mind?
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Oh that’s quite a question.
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 by Arizona

New Song of Mahamudra 2.0

A poem that emerged when I awoke on the 7th of April 2016

Mahamudra’s Sweet Sound
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in Mahamudra, am i inside or outside?
is it past that i return to,
or is it something new emerging and forming in the future?

time is a slave of the universe,
not its master
like water chases after the moon;
my shirt is made of clouds,
the sun is just a speckle
overstating its brilliance

dogs howl at the sky
their noise a whimper against the backdrop of eternity
they cannot bite me where i wander

the song wont leave me alone
even when my ears are covered
it is louder than thunder
and sweeter than the honey

the melody wraps itself around me
holds me in its spell
i fall deeper and deeper
the silence is roaring

like my beloved’s eyes
the touch of her hands
the warmth of her nearness
i can’t run, the beauty is unbearable

Mahamudra i found you
i just forgot where you were

tilopa 2.0