God Doesn’t Have Problems

We live in a world that seems to have an endless stream of  chaos, mad governments, injustices, violence, suicides, social imbalance, the rich get more toys, the poor crave basics, really bad coffee and many people see no end to the suffering.
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I live on a busy Melbourne street, the other morning a guy was doing somersaults on the road, oddly enough hardly anyone noticed.  I wasn’t sure whether to report the event to help keep the guy safe from himself but when I thought it through, logic told me the fellow survived this long without my intervention, so I just let it roll.  (‘Scuse the pun)
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The Wise Ones
We are very fortunate in our lives, wise people come and go.  Sometimes we miss them; if we are alert they become part of our transformation, they leave us gems to ponder, it may be years before their wisdom unpacks.  I had a very great teacher.  Some people want the sparkly-eyed guru or master in Indian or Japanese pyjamas or dressing gown, to each their own.  But I know from experience,  often the truly wise pass us by without a fuss, no exhibition of spirituality or devotion, they can touch our lives very deeply.  My greatest teacher acted and looked quite normal, it wasn’t obvious, he was understated … when I had a conversation with him about the Dharma or consciousness, I found the mat was pulled out from underneath me whenever I sat chatting with him.  Transformation is about our known world dissolving, it has an uncomfortableness about it.  Many of us eventually come to the conclusion that our story of the world is not exactly correct, this can be troublesome to say the least, we hold ourselves together because we assume coming apart is a problem. But coming apart is the doorway to transformation.
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Dialogue with the Wise
During a conversation with my dear friend he once said to me, “God doesn’t have problems.”  Oh okay, yeah right… Embedded in this simple one liner was a healing balm. Obviously if someone doesn’t have ANY concept of a God it won’t mean much and will be bypassed.  My childhood God died years ago, the bloke with the white beard and floating entourage keeping a sense of order and handing out door passes into heaven to the good guys and go straight to jail cards, do not collect a hundred dollars and get ready for an experience of hot coals for the others.  Fear of God or a negative outcome keeps a lot of people in check.   I guess even without a God watching out for any misdemeanours or serious breaches, people would probably still realise that being a dumb-ass wont get them too far in the long run and a sense of natural order will come about.   But my viewpoint of God is different, not better, I said different.
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My friend said, “God doesn’t have problems.”  So do I make him an authority on God?  We know from experience many Gods have come and gone, civilisations sunken under the oceans and they buried their deities with them, wars fought over different religious ideologies, crimes committed against humanity while forcing a religious elitist agenda.  So God doesn’t have problems?
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Religious – Maybe, Maybe Not
I guess I will have to step out of the land of the Gods and come back to myself and attempt to do the impossible, rethink what God might be, temporarily place the mystery into a box and deal with the ‘doesn’t have problems’.  We do know religions at times can be a problem and we also know there are many good kind happy religious people; and also there are people without religions who have problems and where as others live beautiful abundant lives as atheists.  A healthy minded atheist will ask the right questions, an annoying one has a cult mentality.
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I had always in the past referred to myself a religious man; and mind you one who is at odds with all religions, the arrogance of the clergy, their crimes against children, the exhibitions of devotion and flaws within their twisted-to-suit-them scriptures, the holy elitism and superiority complex they have in relation to non believers and outsiders.   I will maintain that loosely I am a religious man so I can sort the issue and explain why the gem of wisdom has been so critical in my life.
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Lighting up the Shadows
When we have a traumatic or negative experience we generally look at the shadow and this is a very reasonable normal human response.  Losing ones wallet, or breaking a leg is never really a fun experience, an emotional reaction is not unexpected.  As a rule we don’t question a normal emotional response to an experience unless we are one of those people working on ‘mindfulness’ or some other Buddhist technique.  There are people who have had the experience of missing their plane flight and later found out  the plane crashed. Or in other situations somebody’s new heart-throb date didn’t turn up but by coincidence they met there future partner instead.  There are numerous ‘follow on’ events that come out of what we may originally perceive as negative events.  I am not saying we do not need to feel the emotional response to experiences;  however, if we see them as transitional and things to ponder or doorways to other experiences we will have much happier lives. Developing a type of thinking that can maintain a sense of balance is definitely a worthwhile quest.
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My Response to Trauma
When my oldest boy died, like every loving parent and balanced human being I was broken, confused and also I felt betrayed by my God.  How could MY God do this to me? It was a moment when I totally forgot that there was a natural order to human existence and my sense of feeling safe with my imaginary or real God disintegrated.  But thinking more broadly life does its thing with or without me and it doesn’t take a University degree to know full well that people come and go from planet earth every minute.  If we look from above and I am not saying God is above, if we step away from the small window we look through, lift the whole roof off and see the open sky, our perspective changes.  When I look at the passing of a human being it is quite normal to see it as tragic, there is a sense of loss, we hurt, we bang walls, yell, feel abandoned, the ache in the chest is unbearable, we seem crazy, everything is fragile, we are vulnerable.  But then if I look through the other eyes from the totality of beings there is not such a problem, nature which we are part of has a way of regenerating, the seasons and people come and go.  Look at the pavements or between the stones and rocks, grass and weeds gradually start to appear after a while; when there is stagnant water the rains eventually come and a sense of harmony returns, the clouds pass at will and the beauty of their aloofness is natures poetry.
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The Way Out
We often get stuck in a world view that is bordering on self-obsession, attachment to the way we assume things should be, we push against the river of life and tread water.  The Tao Te Ching reminds us that the Tao (Way) is inexhaustible.  Our exhaustion comes from thinking, when we sort the thinking the actions will come into harmony.  We have removed ourselves so far from nature, there are layers protecting us from life; we require a constant body temperature, walls to shield us from the outside, many of us like a tepid world – not too hot not to cold, we quickly run to safe zones when we feel we are out of our depth.  And yes there are adventurers who push the boundaries.
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Those words “God doesn’t have problems” for me was an invitation to think outside the box that holds the human drama in place, a reminder that even in suffering there is more than that moment going on, the totality requires change for life to unfold, the rising and falling of events on the screen of life are the natural order; and I am not one of these people who believe that we are puppets on a string that some giant God manipulates for his pleasure, that is something I cannot subscribe to, I do not see ourselves as slaves, we are creators.  However, there is an underlying TOTALITY that does have a loose unfolding destiny that is not written but it feels its way into forever-ness; as constellations arise and dissolve over eons, the various species of beings adapt to the unending journey of love.
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Although my emotional responses are real, valid, very human, the wisdom of “God not have problems” allows me to relax a little, to trust in something that I cannot define but feel in the depth of Silence, and what I see in the stars that scatter the sky like drops of paint on a living canvas…I can step away from the ‘imaginary me’ with its story, its tragedies and feelings of lack and hard done by-ness and when I feel ready, jump out of the prison-house of the known.
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Other People’s Gods
And if I changed hats and said there was a God that many others have, one who shapes the destiny of people and engraves it into the palm of the hand and follow His Will, well then I would know still know that I was safe, there was a sense of order that I can’t quite understand or see yet and trust that time will reveal its wisdom.  However, I am not that person, that is not my worldview or vision, I will come back to myself and recognise I have choices, there are options in the way I live my life and respond to the passing fortunes and events that emerge out of Emptiness that sometimes surprise me and at other times leave me feeling fragile, inquisitive, joyous and curios.
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May all beings in all worlds be happy
May all people live in love
May all suffering fall away 
May all beings be free from the agendas of others who lack in compassion

Tilopa 2.0

 

The Yoga of Being Kind

We are born into societies where we are educated to ‘fit in’ and also stand out, to be seen a little bit above the rest; ambition is supposedly a virtue to some and something to drive us onward to a wondrous destination and do the clan proud.
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The Stupidity of Being Better Than Others
In our quest to rise up, we often find ourselves accidentally casting our shadows over others; life sometimes resembles two ‘suits’ fighting it out to win points in a legal case. Earth man has a tendency to adapt the ‘survival of the fittest’ attitude. When we go to school, once all basics are sorted, we find ourselves in the situation where we are taught how to do things, to retain information and then deliver something back to the teacher, our work is graded and compared to the other children.  All smiles for those who ‘got it right’ and a feeling of lack gradually develops in those who just can’t make sense of it.  In the middle a lot of others make up the numbers.
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When we move out onto the sporting field, ‘faster’ is better, ‘slower’ means you need to try harder, be a better version of your current fastest,  meanwhile the Road Runner flies by while you pant for breath, your legs that are possibly 1/6 shorter than you’d like them to be, the appendages resemble helicopter blades going in any way but the direction you want them to. The ‘sporty person’ finds a senior position in the pecking order and scores points on the subconscious ‘way we evaluate people’ table.
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The King of Nothing Syndrome
It may start at a young age but we begin to see ‘the survival’ techniques kicking in, thugs bumble and push their way through the micro-community they are part of, some day the victims of their thugi-ness may find their way to senior positions of government and live out their revenge on an unsuspecting community.
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Others have the knack of acquisition, they take the hunter-gather thing to new heights, drones do the gathering and hunting for them, the accumulation of ‘too many things’ becomes a yardstick on how THEY value themselves in the society they are part of, and other poor innocent bods believe that because someones empire is bigger than their own, it must be a better way to exist, so then they chase an empire of objects and in their failings, develop a feeling of worthlessness with an attitude of ‘life is not fair’ and suffer emotionally…… let’s go another way.
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Getting Off the Wheel of Life
The clouds overhead look ominous to some; the gardener within was hoping for rain today, the sun had scorched the garden bed, the wind had blasted and bashed the budding plants around, I was thinking ‘sprinkles from the heavens would be a bit of a blessing’.  We can learn a lot of nature, that’s a very old common adage; Alan Watts gave us a reminder ‘there are no straight lines in nature’, I will add ‘apart from the horizon, if we look from the sky we would see it’s curved’.  Many of us would remember school assemblies,  kids standing in line, every so often one would faint, or a fart may break the silence and great chaos cuts loose.  I am thinking that the tighter the school environment, the more a person becomes a slave to the system, some push ahead with tenacity to be the leaders in our social structure, but they are still insiders, it takes a lot of work to undo our programming. Communities don’t usually like outsiders, they are a threat.
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Getting Outta Here
Lao Tsu, Buddha, Jesus, Chang Zhu all rewrote the destiny of man, although people build religious cults around their words, they changed humanity from the inside.   They did not compete, they walked in the opposite direction to the rest of humanity, this in itself is a great teaching.  They broke through into new areas of thought, or more specifically ‘thought-less-ness’.  There is a tendency for the followers to focus on their words instead of the way they lived, Emptiness is at the core of these great men, it is easily missed. When we look at humanity, people prefer ‘fullness’, even if it’s a big bucket of crap, they are more comfortable with the pain and familiarity of the known than the potential of an unborn future, the unknown does not seem safe, it requires courage and trust.
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Win at All Costs

By inherited nature, humans compete all the time, being aware of what is healthy competition and what is debstabilising for others and what ‘weakens’ us is critical, i didn’t say damaging I said ‘critical’. When we are unnaturally competitive our values can go out the window and we make excuses for our actions, any excuse will do.  To have some kind of peace we justify things and point the finger away from ourselves and target others. When we take the time to think about how we treat others we can gradually over a period of time bring about some type of transformation in ourselves that will help us relax a little; relaxing doesn’t mean being ‘sloppy’.  All the mantras, wisdom, teachings are meaningless if we lack empathy and kindness, a softened heart is the fruit of all Spiritual practice and explorations into Emotional Intelligence.
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Every Moment Zen
Every day, every interaction we have with others puts us in a situation where we have choices.  Often the smarter we are, the greater the expert, the bigger the empire and the higher we are in a hierarchy, the more chance there is to be disrespectful to others, flippant, dismissive and lacking in understanding, our value systems can get skewed, and of course there are wonderful people at all places in the community but the quest for success can cloud our thoughts and we close down a little.
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As a musician I am constantly in the situation of having to leave my opinions out of things relating to music.  After many decades of honing my craft I am inclined to be critical to the point of annoying and wanting to ‘fix’ the music around me. We all have parts of ourselves that require work if we want to live happy lives, I am aware of where much of my work lies. Where this article was always going was to point out one simple thing, and it’s an ongoing process that constantly arises, ‘it’s better to be kind than right’, we know if we are well informed about things, and whether we have a great skill, we don’t need to prove anything, it is our actions and the way we treat others that counts. I think the process of softening takes our whole life, till the moment we pass into another part of foreverness.

Yoga of Edible Weeds

I remember reading a short parable in a Zen book years ago, it went something like “To Weeds, Flowers are Weeds.”  We humans like to discriminate, we go to the fruit market to buy fruits and vegetables, most of us are unaware that around us, many of the weeds that we pass by are edible, they haven’t made it to the great hipster worshiping status that kale has, but they are just as nutritious.  And yes the ‘disclaimer’, we need to know the difference between the munch-able  ones and  those that will put us in a hospitable bed.
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Keeping the Community Clueless
Here is one dictionary’s definition of ‘weeds’: a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.  The word ‘valueless’ is something that catches my eye here; the reference to ‘valueless’ clearly defines the culture we are a part of, it’s a Biblical ‘wheat and chaff’ attitude.  Anyone who has traveled in the 3rd world will notice the way that objects are recycled and reused in the most extraordinarily inventive ways.  The 3rd world to me means,  ‘countries rich in resources and ancient culture which are being robbed by multinationals where the residents are being tricked into thinking and acting like Europeans’. Weeds are possibly one of the best kept secrets in the world,  in a way it’s a bit like all those people who run around everywhere looking under rocks for God, missing the obvious.
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One of the major factors that defines the supposedly intelligent human species is discrimination,  our ability to reason and make what sometimes are described as informed decisions.   However, when we dig into things we may find that our ‘informed-ness’ comes from a long line of programming, what we ‘know’, we take things for granted, we have curiosity but are entangled in numerous quests for wealth, position in the community, to look right, to fit into an insane world, to be our best version of ordinary; if people are too unusual they are treated like weeds, discarded and given the chop.   I am reminded once again about the sage Ramakrishna, he was a great man, his student Vivekananda helped bring an awareness about Vedanta to the West.  Ramakrishna was curious about a church in India, he tried to peep through the door, because he looked like a beggar, ‘a weed’, he was chased away.  The Catholic faith apart from being a Jesus worshiping institution that self righteously places its clergy between God and man, has many persons they hold in high regard, Saints and Sages, some real, some charlatans, some pedophiles, and here at the doors of the place of worship in India they chased a great sage away; they missed their moment.  It is easy to forget what is important and waste away our days with trivialities; filling our minds with violent movies,  petty dramas, useless bling; life is rich but we often seek what has little value, we stuff our beings with lifeless food. Food has become a form of entertainment to many of us instead of being something that ‘makes us’.
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Isolated in the World 
We live in bubbles now, the buildings around us are almost like incubators that protect fragile newborns. Air conditioned spaces; we’ve poisoned the air outside, the ocean, the earth is littered with our throw-outs, and there is also space junk. There would be plans to ship our waste to other planets ASAP if it currently didn’t cost $22k per kilo to complete the process. Here back on planet Terra, we have the disharmonious noise of the city; people yelling to get above the poorly designed acoustic cafe spaces, environments are usually only designed to look swank or hipster;  the sound of musicians who can almost play their instruments adequately, oozes  out of the HiFi system at an uncomfortable volume, it all reminds me how far we have moved from nature.  Mother nature the majestic Being who holds us; we build structures to protect ourselves from her, we isolate ourselves and keep at a slightly uncomfortable distance; we have disinfected the area around us to the point where nothing wants to live near us, the microbes say ‘we are outta here’. We wonder why there are hyperactive children, the youth are addicted to agitation, energy drinks  supply regular doses of legal speed, and sugar fries the brain.  Our feet don’t touch the earth, we live with stress and anxiety as a ‘normal’ and crave silence, nature’ s abundance and are magnetized to the wheel of ‘life as we know it’, slaves to a story of ‘how we believe things must be’, entrapped in systems.
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Transient Trance Life
We have evolved into a species who are hypnotised into living out our days as if we had no other choice.  A version of other peoples lives is streamed to us live through the electronic social media grid, we eat the info that comes to us as if it is more important than our lives, our experiences, we ruminate over it, it dominates our consciousness.  To say we “have lost our way” seems fair, if not obvious.
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There is a need to ‘come back to ourselves’, to become educated about the world around us, to understand how ‘thought’ sidetracks us; to see the value of weeds and waste-able stuff.  We may have to just slip off in another direction when no-one is looking while the world is building empires and gathering fools gold; and  leave the world where people know ‘a lot about nothing’, where trivia and bling steal the limelight, to seek what truly has value.
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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.

The Yoga of Navigating a Mad World

I wonder why we hold back tears, the shame of showing emotions?

The world of ‘hold it together’, don’t let ‘them’ see your brokenness; men are expected to be strong, don’t be a wimp, all that stuff written by buffoons, those people who value worthless things. It may be that tenderness is sacred, and is something that needs to be treated with the utmost respect, in our private cave of transformation.
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Weakness is something that is misinterpreted; the big, the bold, the haughty, the emotionless types, they often go for places of power; they can have them, by raising themselves up high, their foundations get weaker, their fall from (a lack of) grace is too common to mention. History only remembers the tyrants, and the wise men and women, each one of them brings a feeling of ‘who they were’ into the present and future. In them is a teaching on how to live our lives with dignity, to leave something sublime for our descendants, to add something of value to the kaleidoscope of humanity.
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Out of Time with the Hustle and Bustlers
About two years ago, I was walking down a busy street in Melbourne. My version of walking, generally involves an invisible path about two metres wide, and the propulsion of my body in a forward direction oscillates plus or minus 27% from whatever I set as the average tempo. This sort of meandering I will admit can be annoying to others, particularly those who are in a hurry at peak hour. A guy flew past me, I think he had an invisible ute, a dog in the back, tonight’s grog in his work bag, a half eaten corned beef samich with tomata-sauce and a bit of yesterdays dinner on his shirt. Among the expletives were the words “surely it’s not too hard, can’t you walk straight.” A bit slow in my response, I will answer that now. “Well, NO?” It is virtually impossible, in the same way that a child or a puppy heads off in all directions, it is not one of my superpowers, I am busy with life, I am a dreamer, a wanderer of the stars in my head.  Musicians may hold a solid tempo in a song, but it’s the relationship to the beat that gives it the beauty; a poet may create pictures in the mind-space by placing ice-cream in the sky instead of clouds, an artist may omit lines but still be able to tell the story. If I become an android, please someone give me a heart transplant, my life needs feeling, swing, glitches and twitches, asymmetry, bumps and mysterious flavours. My clothes need wrinkles, my face the odd whisker that the razor missed, and sand in my bed is a necessity after I go for swim in the ocean, I love the salt stinging my skin; my tribe of monks dress in non uniform colours.
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Lao Tsu, My Invisible Friend
The old sage Lao Tzu says, “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard.” I like this guy Lao, I walk through the busy city streets with him, no one ever knocks him over, he is too alert. I have invisible friends.
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The constant straightening of the world around us may make the journey faster, the excavating of the rolling hills to run a ‘quick track’ through for the hordes to get to and from the cities, we lose the beauty of the curves of nature, we create a backdrop to move in, it resembles anorexic models who are showpieces of a form of still-framed beauty for those who suffer from extreme narcism who are hypnotised by an illusory image of self; flattening out what is enticingly voluptuous in nature, to rush to and from a designer box full of gadgets, to work places where many spend their days on automatic, watching the clock for any exit moments.
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Comfortable Uncomfortable
The creating of a ‘contrived’ world and our addiction to its ingredients is deeply related to our failure to feel, to avoid a sense of realness and honesty. And the creation of a ‘spiritual fabricated Utopia’ is just a ‘virtual’ extension of this mania or dis-ease that hypnotises humanity. It is all about ‘running’, being ‘away’. And I am not confusing ’emotional indulgence’ with feeling, the former is an addiction, being caught in a loop of wanting a hit of the same ‘feeling drug’ because it’s comfortable.  Getting a little uncomfortable is what this is about; when we are in that vulnerable space, we allow what needs to arise release itself, those things that are calling for our attention. On the screen of life, the scenarios take centre stage and present themselves; our choice is always to face them when we are ready or have them arrive at some other time, maybe with more potency and baggage.
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The Blessing
May there always be wiggles, may there always be women with curves and some naturally without, may there always be rolling hills, waterways shaped by nature without man orchestrating their pathway, may the wind blow our hair and there be little bits of leftover food on our face, the smell of a wood-fire stove cross our pathway, cracks in the pavement with weeds growing through. May we weep for what has gone before and move graciously detached into forever.

Tilopa 2.0

I found this article among my hundreds of articles and not sure if I have posted before, I am currently working on two longish articles, “will the Revolution Be Televised?”, and Music 

God is Not Catholic or Pastafarian

Not so long ago there was a guy in Melbourne who wanted to get an Australian drivers licence, he fronted up to the Motor Registry Office to get his obligatory licence photo and to the bewilderment of the staff, he put a colander on his head, he claimed to be a Pastafarian.  Originally his wearing of the strainer-hat was rejected by the counter staff at the office, but ultimately he won out and the licence mug shot was given the green light.

Spaghetti Worms 
What prompted me to write this post is because a friend of mine is suing the Catholic Church for crimes against humanity, he did a simple post on a social network that caught my eye.  The post had a gorgeous sunrise over a beach and there was text heading that said ‘God is Not Catholic’.  This uncomplicated and rather eloquent post, opened the can of Pastafarian spaghetti worms.  Many of us who experienced abuse by the Catholic clergy as children have very strong views on where God isn’t; in my case I have spent my whole life since I was ten trying to make sense of the crimes, and more accurately ‘what is or isn’t God’.  Although I am clear that I am standing at the gateway, staring into forever at the undefinable and trying to fit the ocean into the bucket; every time I attempt to say ‘this is IT’, ‘IT’ moves, ‘IT’ gets bigger or infinitely minute, ‘IT’ becomes more mysterious and I resemble a physicist trying to resolve the millions of issues relating to atoms. This God thing is not conceivable by the human-mind, I know this for sure.   It is easy without too much questioning, no-blinking, quite logically say what God isn’t, this is a no-brainer.

Exhibitions of Devotion
I think most of us have seen the ‘pomp and circumstance’ of Bishops and Cardinals dressed up like they would be far more suited to an out-take scene from Alice in Wonderland or the Beatles Magical Mystery tour (sorry John and George); long gowns, staff in hand, ridiculous head-wear, self-important expressions, the nonsensical bowing and waving of arms, the haughtiness, hideous opulence, wasting of flowers, smokey myrrh and frankincense odors… it is beyond my comprehension how any community would tolerate this nonsense and not twig that something was not right. The story of the Emperors New Clothes always comes to mind. “Houston, Apollo here, come in Houston”, we have a very serious problem back on Earth.  And it’s not that I don’t like dress ups, I always try to look my best, it’s just that when your dress-ups have an agenda and are placing you in a position between God and men, we are heading for strife. I wiil say with great confidence, “everybody is hypnotised”

Men in Dresses
The global community is unaware of the scope of Catholic abuse, there are snippets regularly in the news, it may seem incomprehensible, but if you want to get a clear understanding of it all, multiply by thousands what you hear on the news about the issues and you will start to see how BIG the problem is; and I say this because I would be one of the more informed people in the country about it this topic.  I would like to be able to see the good side of the ‘being uninformed about the magnitude of the issue’, maybe there’s a way to frame it in a manner and to follow the line of thought of ‘see the good in everything’, or ‘ignorance is extremely blissful’.  But considering the impact on the individuals, the suicides,  those who have destroyed their lives with intoxicants, the mental health issues and the way it affects the families of those of us who have experienced the crimes, I struggle to see the light in this darkness, and not for want of trying; this dilemma has taken up a large percentage of my life.

Dropping the Robes in the Sand
From my perspective, beyond doubt, I can clearly say it chased me away from the church, at fifteen I said to myself ‘God’s not in there’, but intuitively due to the inquisitive nature we humans have, I felt ‘something is doing I don’t know what’, and was confident there is a bigger intelligence, a totality that resonated through things, in people, all creatures and across the skies.  The idea that the care-taking of such a sublime thing is in the hands of a bunch of guys in dresses who have alienated themselves from the community, many of who think it is their privilege to have sex with boys and then pray to God for forgiveness and then do it again, is absolutely absurd, unreasonable and so small minded that it seems incomprehensible that so many people can be duped into believing their version of the story of Jesus; it’s just not sound. And the excuse that “it’s only a small number of clergy who commit these crimes”, is an uninformed totally uneducated view. From my readings, it is clear to me that a great human being passed through the world, but the idea that the guys in dresses are the caretakers and are responsible for our destiny, is questionable, particularly when you look at the formation of the church, it’s choices and the hideous crimes committed; if the God these people speak of is represented by the values exhibited by Jesus or any great Sage, He/She/It would not select a group such as those in the church. The ‘we have all sinned’ rhetoric does not work for me at all; the small misgivings of the man on the street does not generally include the slaughter of humans because of a religious agenda, and most of us well balanced emotionally intelligent people, have much clearer and respectful boundaries with children.

Time Out 
Solitude that may be found in a monastery or church can be important, yes.  I will say from my personal experience that ‘time out’ of the world of madmen is critical. Being out of the loop of madmen is good,  it’s similar to how it’s not until a junkie stops using and stands back and looks at the big picture of the impact of drugs, the condition of the people around him and sees the tragedy of it all, it becomes clear. Following that line of thought, when we are immersed in the ‘play of life’ we can really only see a small perspective, it’s easy to miss what is going on over the fence, the lens is too small, everything is too familiar and there is little breathing space.  Time in solitude is a healthy thing for most of us, and it is in this ‘space’ that we can begin to unravel the world of men, to see what we do to each other, we can come face to face with our dark side and say, “i am never going back to that place”, then we take full control of our life instead of being kicked around by our thoughts, and following them in the opposite direction for what is good for us.

Redefining the Foreverness of God
Standing on the beach on clear moonlit night, it’s there that we can see the shooting stars, a hint of the enormity and beauty of it all; the men in dresses lose their power here, God – whatever that be, does not know them; they are strangers in His/Her/Its house, their mad ramblings about being guilty, repent, fear of the Lord, gloom and doom,  on the third day the faithful will be rising from the grave; the hundred and forty four thousand chosen ones; when we put that stuff under the microscope we can see it for what it is. When we feel the sun on our skin, sand between our toes, hold the hand of someone dear to us, or dive into Emptiness and ‘lose’ the world, that’s closer to what those on bended knee and joined palms are seeking.

Letting Someone Else Think for Us
There are a number of reasons why men and women hand over their thinking about what God is and leave it to others.  Simply put ‘it’s easy’.  By taking on a story of how things are, knowing there is a God and IF we get enough points together, one day we get to heaven, we can go about our business, then when the body runs out of fuel we can pick up the certificate as we go through the Pearly Gates.  Game, Set, Match, too easy. Really?  We can go through the motions, be a nice person, say all the right prayers, pull God out of the pocket in times of great trouble; for me that does not have enough depth.  A sense of order about God seems good; we know Jesus supposedly lived two K years ago, we believe this to be true because the “Bible tells me so”….. But hey, any thinking person  who has explored the structure of the churches, the history of the texts, the crimes, the abuse of power; even simple things like the missing years of Jesus….. will tell you something is drastically wrong.  I am not saying Jesus did not exist or there is no God, it is just that there are so many things that just aren’t right, blind faith does not suffice for any man who is prepared to ask a few basic questions.

Changing Outfits and Going Nowhere
So what can we do?  Do we become a Buddhist instead?  No maybe not, do we need another somebody to tell us what IT is?  But maybe we ought not discard the ‘Buddha perspective’ completely, the Dhamapada (collection of Buddhist sayings) is sensible; Tibetan Buddhism (a loose term for the Vajrayana teachings) has magnificent material on keeping the mind in check and an emphasis on compassion, whereas other religions focus on faith, or relationship between God and individual, the techniques and approach when we push aside the statues, pictures, beads and outfits, can help move aside the ‘nonsense’;  Taosim helps us normalise the chaos and come into harmony; and then we have the Ramayana, the tale of Rama with guidelines on being noble, how to play each role in the community to its best-est, with Hanuman the wise monkey ever faithful as a model; and the Bhagavad Gita, the Sing of God describing the battle for the hearts and minds of men, the book that many people erroneously think belongs to Isckon (the Hari Krishna movement).  As we know, there are numerous other approaches East and West, some do have substance. The idea of taking a bit from each and creating a personalised version is fair, but not really sound, it may put the mind at rest, go about our business and we can throw God or whatever IT may be into the back pocket, but all we have is a collection of ideas, concepts.

Wherever I Lay My Hat
So if we ‘leave the monastery’, the church, the safe zone, what’s going to happen? There is a natural tendency for many people to religion hop, to jump from one spiritual group to another to change from orange outfit to maroon, a bit like those bods who are collectors of stamps in their passports, they usually say they have ‘done Cambodia, are going to do Uzbekistan’, running from one destination to another, not really feeling or getting inside a culture.  I always liked Alan Watts, his best work was the Wisdom of Insecurity, a magnificent book, the title may be misleading.  The book covers the very thing I am talking about.  If you leave the monastery, church or whatever be your flavour, the ‘space’ does not need to be filled with something else, no new philosophy required to cling to; there is great freedom in Emptiness, this IS the wisdom of insecurity, not stacking up more info or religious, spiritual stories to fill the void; no story to ‘protect us’.  An important point to get to is understanding that ‘questioning does not betray God’, the God most people have is a creation of their thoughts, and I am not saying there is no God; it is our ‘picture of what God supposedly is’ that needs addressing, it’s a fantasy, a story.

Getting Rid of the Middle Man
And this is the problem with organised religion, it tells you what God is, and then sits itself between that vision and you; there is a potential for abuse of power.  And nobody does it as good as, or it is better to say worse than the Catholic Church, and I don’t say this out of spite, nor do I have a ‘bee in my bonnet’, as an experiencer of Catholic crimes I made it my business to find out the extent of the breaches of power, the crimes against humanity.  And I will say it quite openly, without blinking, without malice, the general populace has absolutely no idea of the scope of what has gone on.

  • God is not Hindu, but there is something in Hinduism to explore; great men and woman have come and gone in the land of Bharat (India), they have spent thousands of years mastering the craft of answering the important questions.
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  • God is not Christianity, but Jesus showed us how to live with empathy and compassion to be selfless.
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  • God is not Rastafarian, but if God needed a musical groove, singing about Jah would definitely be in the front runners.
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  • God is not Taoism, but we can bring our lives into harmony with small-nature and the rest of the omniverse .
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  • God is not Buddhist, but we can learn to understand suffering and manage it.
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  • God may be the Beloved to some, seen and felt in all of the creation and in the foreverness.
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  • God is definitely not Pastafarian, when it rains your head will get wet.
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    Tilopa 2.0 – with love