The Fourth Noble Truth

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

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

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

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

First Noble Truth
Second Noble Truth 
Third Noble Truth

Third Noble Truth

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

Going Past the Second Noble Truth

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

Tilopa 2.0

First Noble Truth Reconsidered

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

Dissolving the World into Love

The world moves, everything changing constantly… familiarity blinds people.  So few notice that each object in the field around them is reforming moment to moment, it disintegrates and re-emerges in space.  Humans ‘know’ too much, it’s not really knowing in a wisdom sense, it’s data-compiling, an assumption that because something is perceived by name and can be identified that it will be enough to close the book on it and recall it from memory when needed.
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The Unknown Future
It can be difficult to face things that were on our invisible bucket-list that sits in our subconscious.  We make assumptions about the future and stumble towards it oblivious to what is going on.  Suddenly another new possibility and direction appears from nowhere and our world wobbles like it’s been hit by a meteor.  What we expected to happen ‘invisible-izes’ itself and dissolves into the ethers.  If we are crazy, crazy, we chase that unborn experience, reach to grab it and although we see its misty form, it’s not really there, we are just dancing with ghosts, phantoms of the past and non-real futures. Wise men let them lie and create new potentials, briefly looking over their shoulder as the universe recedes in the rear-vision mirror of life.
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Micro Bliss
I spend my days seeking the perfect coffee, it’s a minor side show but as a serious thinker I do need simple things, delicacies, stuff that generates joy, these things that give us micro-bliss are like life-buoys in space, the journey through the corridors of the world can get a little tough and having things to snap us out of seriousness is critical. Seek joy, seek peace; I know that wisdom is not enough to wander planet Earth. Dinotopia speak says “Breath Deep Seek Peace”, their civilisation did not know of chocolate and coffee.
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Mad World
The noise, the bustle, the bling, the ads, the show, fast cars, credit cards, a super-imposed reality, over consumption, upgrading objects and throwing away what was quite okay… it did its job, the losing of sovereignty by distraction, the Rishis watch on in wonder at the play of mice and men … wine is wondrous, just a mouthful, not a bucket to drown in and hide ones feelings.
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In this chaos and busyness, people throw away people, sadly we’ve all done it … I’ve learned too well that it is what I have done to others that hurts me more than what they have done to me, as time passes this truth in some way haunts me, it always has; in the moment other peoples antics hurt but as we move along the arrow of time, it’s our STUFF that bites us on the bum.  Even the small moments of unkindness are things that I struggle with, I have all the techniques, the tools required to resolve many of the problems of the Universe but I know in truth in the end I must just sit and feel into the disappointments as they rise in my consciousness, wait until they pass, to find a way to be comfortable in my uncomfortableness, to float through the tsunami of experience in the lifeboat of understanding and accept change.  Humans throw away people as if they are disposable cups, had enough of that one, get me a new model.  I know there is a need to stop and breath, to seek kindness, to aim at healing, to resolve, to acquire peace, without resolve it is difficult to CREATE the future, emotions block the flow of energy through the pathways of the brain.
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The Field of Life
The field of life brings many experiences, often those we don’t want… quick I am outta here. We are selective, we choose the happy and run from the sad.  And yes that seems fair ‘n’ normal.  I am reminded that the great Sage the Buddha reminded us that “the First Truth is that all life is suffering, pain, and misery,” I will go out on and edge and say that is not what HE said. That is an enslavement program implemented by those who came later.  It is twisted, a great Sage would not say that and I am not in any way being disrespectful to my great hero Gautama Buddha. A Sage would see the beauty of the creation, the bliss of unfolding life in the field of space; he would understand ‘entanglement’ but NEVER say that life is suffering.
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NEW DAWN
The new day breaks, I rise to the challenge of it, the beauty and mystery of it is what I seek.  To heal my heart, to share love, to grow, to resolve what troubles me, to BE the man I have dreamed of being, to be kind enough to myself to know when I am wrong, when decisions are or were poor and to accept them. I seek tenderness in the world around me, to be an ally when needed and to accept change, to allow others to BE who they are regardless of my opinions which are often bold.  To be vulnerable and stand on the edge looking into space and say “I accept what is emerging” and to adapt my dream accordingly into something wondrous, delicate, artful … I wander through space, may integrity always find me and light my way.  And in the unknowingness I will seek and find love in all things.
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Tilopa 2.0

Me Too and the Fragility it Brings

Lately during Springtime where I live and also far off across the world as Autumn spreads a veil of leaves across the land; the hint of summer here, away over yonder across the not-flat-earth, the gentle sting of the cold is cutting in, women are stepping up to the mark, in unity, some broken, angry, fragile, ever so heroically and with trepidation to claim back what was lost and to tell the world what just isn’t okay.
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At first some people were wondering what #MeToo meant; someone assumed when I wrote ‘me too’ whether I was coming out as a rainbow person, I nipped that one ‘in the bud’ and declared my blokey-ness’ pretty fast and yes like millions of other heterosexual males I do honour peoples choices and rights in love.  We’ve seen the breast and prostrate cancer icon posts on Social Media, at first were mysterious and confusing.  And as a parent who had my oldest wondrous son suicide, I often go into mild panic mode and lock myself in my house for half as day when I see the posts about suicide and am confronted by the ‘if you really cared you would post this to your Fakelife Page’, all well intentioned but it only reminds me that people DON’T understand trauma and they do not realise doing good their way is perceived as bulldozing the garden of others like myself who are fragile beings. And it’s not that we want to feel that way, ‘it just happens’
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Us as Well 
In Australia we have had an ongoing Royal Commission Into the Institutional Response to Child Abuse, that title clearly defines what it is, it has outed so many molesters.  Like many others who experienced the crimes of the Catholic Clergy as a ten year old I was violated by a GROUP of supposedly adult Godly men, I stepped up, not because I wanted to but I knew that those of us who do have basic intelligence, can articulate, have sound memories and that little bit of Frodo courage, we could inspire others to hopefully heal, to claim back and maybe even have a victory over the crimes against humanity.  I do know of other men and women who testified from their jail cells, some on their death beds, some limped in pretty messed up, however there are those who are forgotten in psychiatric wards or in many cases are those homeless people we walk past every day in the cities, their stories will go down with them in their graves.
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Being Gentle
So leaving the ‘hero to oneself’ moments aside and stepping back into the field of life, here’s what I think people need to consider, we are in a very delicate stage of human evolution, we are moving away as a species from living like ‘knuckle draggers’ (thanks James Gililland) to become beings who are more sublime, empathetic, compassionate, with passing phases of being emotionally intelligent. When the Australian Royal Commission was announced, when I looked around I noticed a lot of people were coming apart; on the news there was an endless stream of information about the forthcoming Inquiry and unbeknown to many the vulnerable were being stirred up because it was in their face everyday.  During that time the Lifeline (suicide help) phone in lines were being swamped with calls, in one week it increased by 25% and we do know a number of people left us as they did not cope. Back in the supposedly real world out on the streets because I was a little outspoken, I had quite a number of women approach me to discuss their issues relating to their abuse when they were children.  I seemed to be reasonable human to approach as they found it unusual for a man to speak up about abuse.  The issue we were faced with as a community was the crimes committed on those tender women were outside the scope of the Royal Commission, they were fragile and due to the increased coverage they couldn’t run and had to in some way process what was coming up relating to their deep dark past. This is not easy, I know this journey well.
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This Me
So I write now to make a plea to the community to be gentle with each other because men like myself do feel vulnerable, we are triggered by what has emerged in MeToo in the same way that others felt fragile when the Royal Commission emerged. We are also the MeToos, there are literally millions and millions of men like myself who were abused by men when we were children and we are also fragile around other men but we are not part of the violations, I am clear that NOBODY has said we are.  There are wondrous men in the community who do attempt to be noble, respectful and wish to see women claim back their power and want to see the GODDESSES that women are emerge and wish to see boundaries that are put in place respected.
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I know from the experience of years of slowly unpacking the violations on my being by miscreants, at this moment it is a time when the community needs to hold each other, to be there united in healing, to be gentle when it’s easier to be bold and angry.  To make people accountable for crimes is more than acceptable but great caution is required to not break everything else in the process.  I wish everyone healing, transformation and hopefully this coming forward by the millions of Metoo’s can make the world a better, safer place where peoples sovereignty is respected.
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May all Beings Be Happy
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Tilopa 2.0

 

Beyond Myth and Feeling Beings

One of the problems we have is ‘intelligent people’ rule the society, not the governments, they are run by hideous tyrants.  What I mean is ‘intelligent people’ have hoodwinked the communities from one side of the globe to the other that they with their knowledge or more specifically I will say ‘impressions and viewpoint of the world’ are at the apex of civilisation and that anything that is not according to their set of rules or understanding is lesser, of not much value, inconsequential and needs to be minimised, put in its place or even scoffed at.
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FEELING
Arrogant elitism has a feeling about it.  And this is where the ‘feeling people’, the Empaths, the Sensitives, the Mystics like myself, the dreamers, the wanderers, the gentle of heart, those of the Spirit have the ability to claim back our power and rise above the limitations of imprisoned social consciousness and disempower in our thoughts those who have dominated the civilisation for ions.  It is FEELING that is the doorway to transformation, not emotions, FEELINGS, not intelligence, FEELINGS.  As the great sage Tilopa 1.0 said a thousand years ago “Although it cannot be said, Naropa I will say it for you”.  All the wise men go past intelligence but many have it in their tool box to pull out when needed.
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NATURE
The wind gently brushed against my skin, normally I hide from that blowie wondrous Being who picks up the seeds and scatters them to their new quarters to create future generations of their species; but now as my heart opens a little I am learning to break down the walls of the prison I have been educated into.  I’ve always loved the salt water on my skin, the Sun that glorious living God burning the surface of my being, the sand in between my toes reminding me that grittiness and texture is a sensation I need to seek more often.  Wrapped in water under the waves I recall a deep past when some of my ancestors the Mermans and Mermaids swam with Matsya to save the Vedas from being lost forever. To many, they see that as Myth and Legend, stories for children, tales told by a foolish primitive community that was too stupid to understand what was real and what was important or intelligent.
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As Mother Earth suffers mans pollution, all the hideous crimes against nature, the obliteration of species; man the outcast of the Stars with his narcissistic tendencies and over abundance of self importance. We now see and experience the affects of ‘intelligent’ man who have allowed businessmen, tyrants, the elite, sociopaths to call the shots of the destiny of man.
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Smarty Pants
Intelligence can be wise, Jiddu Krishnamurthi had extraordinary intelligence but he used it to place mankind under the microscope and transform lives, Einstein and others had a creative intelligence and questioning to translate the mysteries of the the world and beyond into some sort of super reasoning and formulas.  I do think being a genius is the ultimate – cooooool. However if intelligence reigns supreme at the expense of the feeling faculties we shall suffer like we are a being out of balance who has tiny legs, arms and torso with a head that is too big for the body to carry around.
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the NEW DAWN
And now we rise.  It has been said for quite some time that a New World would come, the old would be washed away in the twinkling of an eye. The Feeling Beings are reading the stars, no not that intriguing Vedic Astrology that marks the descent of Kings, Gods and Goddesses. The heavens are alive, once perceived by some as dead and mysterious; the dreamers are reading them, the Astronomers look on in wonder and tell everyone “look up” the heavens are full of living entities. The Feeling Beings are watching nature, the creatures who are our brothers and sisters all have the wriggles, they are telling us great change is coming. But intellectual man feeds the media with its problems, its studies, its half-arsed knowledge and has not listened to the wisdom of others, those who protested the war in the 60’s, the logging and damming of rivers in the 70’s, the tree-huggers of the 80’s and all those who came later with their warnings of ‘you are going the wrong way’.
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There is a great separation going on, those that feel and dream a miraculous future at one end of the spectrum and those who fear and have no trust that the Heavens are alive and the beauteous Being that we live and move in and on, shall claim back what is hers.  She will shake her garment, raise her head nobly and those of us who LOVE will travel with her and go beyond the known limitations.
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May all beings Be Happy
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Tilopa 2.0

When Our Hearts Cracks Open

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

Tilopa 2.0

From Suffering to Freedom

The path of self transformation is a bumpy one.  Each person has a history, some traumatic.  When we look at the lives of others we can become inspired by their ability to rise above tragedies,  admire their courage and at times share their tears.  Many great men and women have inspired me to never give up, to keep plunging deeper into the mysteries of life.
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Like others I too have a story, one that will never ever be told completely and will be lost forever in time and that is for the better. But from the experiences that I needed to rise above, I found a way to bring about some type of healing, a way of addressing the thoughts that troubled me and ran in the background of my life since a child.
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I have created a book to help others come to some type of peace, to slay the dragons of troublesome thoughts, to claim back and enhance the quality of life. This book although small was seven years in the making and it is tender.  It is not about survival and the crimes committed, it has a sweetness, a vulnerability about it.  Being able to show our vulnerability is okay, as men it can be difficult but if we are smart or wise enough to embrace those moments and use them as food to empower our being, we will grow and eventually only casually look back.
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This book is my offering to help heal those who have suffered.

All my love Tilopa 2.0

The Meaninglessness of Fame

There is an unnatural desire in man (the species) to want to be famous, to stand out, to receive accolades, be important, to be raised up above others. Having said this, I am not writing from what is known as ‘the tall poppy syndrome’, a type of sickness that wants to see others cut down if they are successful.  Achieving things is fine, going past our known potential and doing what may have been considered impossible, creating wondrous music, to excel at what we do, this is something that I consider as natural, to unfold something extraordinary in the human kaleidoscope is noble.
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The Big People Know Everything
When we are children we start to ‘look up’ to people, we are little, they are big, they have more experience in the world and looking out our tiny window we see that they can do and know many incredible things.  Depending on the experiences that happen to us and whether we are powered or dis-empowered by those who educate us, we gradually slot into a place in the community. In some cases in the past adults had an attitude of ‘children should be seen and not heard’.  This attitude has spawned generations of suppressed humans who feel like they are wearing a suit of armor two sizes too small with minimal joint movement. In some cases, in those moments when they escape the suit they often lose the plot and we see a trail of casualties of drug and alcohol abuse and other destructive behaviors.  And of course there are others who manage to surf the gigantic waves and ride safely to the shoreline and live out beautiful lives.
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The Leveler 
I discovered by accident years ago that all men and women are equal. Yes we hear that every day, there are documents in place, people spout it from pulpits in churches, the writers of political speeches throw it in every now for touchy feely effect to have you believe their brand loves everyone.  We have to come back to basics here and rip the idea of ‘all are equal’ apart.  Here’s how it works. I may be a barista, the worlds best, dreadlocks, hipster clothes, mice music oozing out from the vinyl on the stereo system, a smarty-pants walk, everybody loves me.  When I am making the worlds best coffee that has been carried by donkeys from deep in the jungles of Amazon,  I am doing my dharma (my natural calling and life purpose done with utmost integrity and virtue), at that moment I am invisible; when I am invisible God/ the totality of Being/ the Sublime Super Consciousness is flowing through my veins like water at the Iguazu Falls.  When it’s time to go home and I don my alpaca sweater, pick up my 1940’s typewriter and climb onto my solar powered bicycle, no longer am I the worlds best barista, I am just doing what I am doing, biking it down the road, giving the finger to motorists, smiling at the lay…deeees.
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Being able to TURN OFF who we believe ourselves to be is probably the second greatest secret there is.  There is an invisible hierarchy in all communities, and in many cases it’s not so invisible, it’s overt, in your face segregation into pockets of people who ‘know their place’.  I m reminded of a story from India.
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“There once was a man, well educated, had lived in the West for many years and went back to Bharat (India) to visit his family.  He ad a slight arrogance about him that often is seen on the faces of those who see academia as the pinnacle of civilisation.  He got to the river , climbed into the ferryman’s small rowboat. After about five minutes as the boat paddled across the waterway, in ‘exhibition of intelligence’ he opened out a newspaper. (NOTE: Prabhu is a term of respect.) The ferryman said “Prabhu, what is this?” The man gave a little exaggerated chuckle and said “What, you don’t know what that is, you poor fellow, it’s the New York Times, you have wasted a half of your life,missed so much, you don’t know much about life”.  The ferryman said “No, Prabhu I don’t what New York Times is, what does it say?”  The visitor said, “Hear take it, read it.” The ferryman said, “Prabhu, please could you read it to me?.” The visitor said, “what! you can’t read, you have wasted three quarters of your life”. Just then a storm came up, the visitor looked terrified.  The ferryman said, “Prabhu, what is troubling you?” The visitor said, “It is looking very stormy”, he started to shake as the boat rocked up and down.  The boatman looked at him and said, “Prabhu, can you swim?” The visitor shook his head implying that he couldn’t swim. Just then a massive wave hit the boat and as it was turning upside down, the ferryman said, “Prabhu, you have wasted your whole life”… We all value different things, we humans develop a sense of self-importance relating to our achievements.  The tragedy is if we don’t treat them respectfully they divide us, they allow us to feel greater or lesser than others.
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Cosmic Glue
The moon shines out in the night-sky, the planets, shooting stars and a few spacecraft from outside the Earth show themselves briefly and disappear; the night has a resonance about it, a ringing, a deep hum beneath it and occasionally it is broken by the noise of man.  The light of the moon is shared by the rich and poor, lovers, the lonely, the dreamers and the animals peeping out of their holes in the ground.  The Earth in it’s magnificent beauty holds us, its trees that add to its wondrous garment give shade to Sages, dacoits, the homeless and the athletes who need to rest their tired legs. We are bound together, our ancestors held hands with those of strangers we see in the street, the water running through our bodies was once part of something somewhere off in the skies… we are a part of the totality of all of nature and in our hearts our spirits are bound.
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Thought 
It is thought that divides us, everything else is bound together in nature. Molecules collide, they dance and although we can’t hear it they sing. The song of the bird although feint adds a sweetness to the day.  The discriminating mind has its benefits, it allows us to know that 7 pieces of pizza although desirable, will create a problem; walking backwards down the street will not be the immediate logical choice when we think it through.
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We know this ‘thought-thing’ we have can take us to heaven or hell, if we brood over something it can turn into anxiety or stress, if let something go without a fuss, things go smoother.  The ‘thought-thing’ that people usually (and erroneously) call the mind is the source of our discrimination.  We pull stories out of our memory banks that travel with us through our lives.  We have placed people where we think they belong.  There is a tendency to look up to people who have achieved great things, and in the community there is often a feeling of ‘better than’ the less fortunate, the illiterate, the homeless, those who behave in manners that are anti-social.  The poor look at the wealthy and often feel lack, doctors and lawyers are also held in high regard by the uneducated, their feeling of self-worth  can be challenged.  It’s this looking up and looking down that is at the heart of all our problems.
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Bringing a Sense of Order
If I come back to the idea of the dread-locked barista with his hipster clothes, when he goes home the Espresso machine gets turned off and it rests patiently awaiting to appease the needs of the taste buds of early-risers wanting their ‘hit’, the barista is just another hipster in torn jeans, doing his thing, breathing the air or puffing on his e-cigarette.  And after a long shift the doctor lays down his tools after achieving what centuries ago would have seemed a miracle and in some ways I guess it is; he once again becomes himself, a living breathing being with normal emotions, needs, desires, joys and he suffers the same hurts as any of the other brokenhearted, fears of death and other traumatic losses.
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By coming back to basics and seeing that in navigating the human experience we need each other; if a man is suffering, regardless whether he is rich or poor, whatever his cultural background, a healthy being reaches out with empathy, compassion, kindness. At the water-well we all need to quench our thirst equally, a smile is contagious like a yawn, and when we lay our bodies down at night to rest in the dream state, there is no-one higher or lower as we wander the star-fields.
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Tilopa 2.0