Opinions Get in the Way

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

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

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

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

Tilopa 2.0

Finding Peace with Unknowing

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

Tilopa 2.0

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

Dogs Teaching Humans How to Stay

stay

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

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

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

Tilopa 2.0

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

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

Embracing Fragility and Vulnerability

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

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

The Self … not Selfie

The word Selfie has become deeply ingrained in our vocabulary, take a picture of ‘me at the Acropolis’, at the pub falling over, me with my new lover, standing next to someone famous, looking depressed, every scenario that we could possibly imagine.
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We live in strange times, a time when humanity is trying to climb out of its cocoon and take off like a butterfly; meanwhile at the same time we have a global community of people wanting to define themselves forever in frozen moments in ridiculous poses. Generations immersed in self obsession beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
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Growing Up
Liking oneself is valuable.  The inverted ego is painful, people grovelling around thinking they are worthless, not good enough, it’s part of the guilt-mind-control program of the religious tyrants, persecute everyone’s thoughts and then offer salvation. Humans are made of stardust, gods in the making, have the ability to love, to wander the stars endlessly weaving through the corridors of the heavens.  So what does it matter if someone hurts your feelings and you get offended?  Really, we need to grow up? Unless a person can divert the arrows of hatred and selfishness of others, dissolve it into nothingness, dis-empower it, there’s little hope for incarnations to come, that is if the great Gods give them another chance…. seriously now (tongue in cheek).
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As long as there is self hatred it is difficult to cross over.  Cross over what? The river that stands between humanity and forever-ness.  On the human side of the river lies a civilisation in conflict, hatred; enchantment with bling, chasing shiny things and before one knows it life is over, the spirit being is ripped out of the body and as the great Sages say, death is like a rose bush being pulled through ones being…then back out into deep space to do a life review and then pop back into another body somewhere for more or less of the same.  The great Buddha man Gautama said something like, “get off the wheel”. Humanity is imprisoned and loves it, it’s like shoes that are too tight, people keep wearing them because they look good but it’s a painful experience….and anyhow they look great in a Selfie.
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The Self and Selflessness
For eons, not just on this planet but right throughout the Cosmos, man and other beings have sought the meaning of life, to understand the Source of Creation, the goal, to put to rest the questions that haunt him/her/it.  From that quest there have been many philosophies created, some have imprisoned species and other tenets have helped them to dig deep, in many cases they have just put their minds at rest and have allowed them to go about their business and do ‘other stuff’.  With their philosophical questions answered, they can be at ease and not worry any longer. Ahhhh the tragedy of delusion, civilisations imprisoned by thought, not just here but throughout the galaxies.
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Bharat, people usually know it as the greater Indian subcontinent, historically has had many glorious beings wander its sands, earth and skies.  In the age of darkness there are many charlatans, the self obsessed pretending to be wise men. But leaving them aside, there have wondrous beings who stepped in and out of bodies there and delivered wisdom appropriate to the times they moved in and also dropped seed thoughts to grow in future generations.  These great beings arrived to remind man of his hidden nature. In some traditions it is known as the Self, or in today’s language I will coin the phrase ‘the Non-Selfie’.
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The Imaginary Me
Modern man (and also that of any time period or sector of space) has difficulty in comprehending selflessness.  He/her/it often considers that it means annihilation, death of who it believes itself to be.  On that note I will give limited-thought-man a little slack and say yes it’s true it is the death of who he/she/it believes itself to be. There is a major difference between who one thinks one is and who one really is.  Who a person believes oneself to be has come about by receiving information and building up a picture and eventually the person says “that’s me”, it is reinforced by the world around and when someone disagrees or says something negative, a person holds tighter, screams and shouts to protect its imaginary self.
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The Beauty of Nothingness
The sage Jiddu Krishnamurthi once said, “you must become nothing”.  A lot of people have disregarded or would bypass this snippet of wisdom.  It is running in the opposite direction to everyone else, everybody is building themselves up to BE something.  It is also easily misconstrued by students of spirituality who have half-knowledge, once hearing this, the sledgehammer method has been known kick in and there is often an attempt to destroy oneself and become blank, eradicate the personality, there is an attempt to run from life, t0 transcend. Human life is a glorious thing, the rising sun, the echoes of the valleys, the touch of a tender being who loves us, the rain on the tin roof, singing out loud on a sunny day, being IN experience is an important thing, life is precious. Experiencing is important, the idea of running is counterproductive, the problem is CLINGING to experience.
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What humanity suffers from is what I will call ‘loop syndrome’. As many would know, an audio loop is a sample of music that just keeps going around and around.  Humans have an experience and want to repeat it.  And mind you this is what happens with drug addiction, do it once, like it, give me more, like it a lot, give me a bigger packet and so on. This happens with MOST experiences.  In an harmonious life, a being has an experience, extracts the juice, the joy and wisdom and moves on.  With humans, what happens ‘under the bonnet’ is the thought particles get stuck and the awareness part of oneself keeps running back to have another hit of the same, like a faulty vinyl record or a CD glitch.
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SELF
The nature of the Self is closely related to selflessness, it is a beautiful contradiction.  Self is closer to SPACE than object and this is why so many people are what would be referred to as ‘going the wrong way’, there is often no consideration that what a person places in the SPACE is the obstacle.  On the other hand selfishness temporarily asserts itself as a powerful being, it separates itself out and places its own agendas above all others, at the expense of others.  Desire and need is normal, it rises for a moment, does its stuff and falls back into the abyss of space; this is the nature of the world of form and thought, there is a constant refreshing.  The NOT SELF, is a series of thoughts that join together and say “hey that’s me”, “I’m old, I’m clever, I’m beautiful, I’m fat”… the bundle of stories the NOT SELF gathers together throughout its lifetime creates the identity that it believes itself to be.  It defends itself at all costs
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FREEDOM
Freedom comes about by gently dismantling and discarding the story of who we are. The continuous self obsession of ‘Selfie mentality’ covers the canvas of life with layer upon layer of information that reinforce the sense of I. And this doesn’t mean that I think ‘freezing moments in time’ in photographs are a bad thing, but understanding self obsession and how it stands in the way of super-consciousness is critical. Personally I don’t really see what people call EGO, I just see it as thought taking up space; a process of meditation is very helpful in learning to detach from thought and abandoning the known.
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There is a way through all this chaos on the world stage and it is in understanding Nothingness, the great Emptiness.  EVERYTHING on the screen of life regardless of what world or galactic civilisation one is in, emerges out of Emptiness/Nothingness and then recedes when its life-cycle is over, this may be a brief moment or billions of years. This Nothingness is ALIVE, it holds all potentials and is at the core of our being and this is where freedom lies.

Tilopa 2.0

Refining Our Radar for Truth or Deception

In the crazy maze of human existence on the stage of the world we live and move in we often enter into states of doubt, fear of not knowing who the good guys really are, who might be deceiving us and we are unsure who to trust. During these days where there are numerous private and other hidden agendas it does seem difficult to wade through information and arrive at conclusions about who are humanity’s allies and who are the foes masquerading as friends or even saviors.
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The Fallibility of the Known
We can use logic to resolve many things, it is a most useful tool that the human species has been gifted with; we may hear words oozing out of the mouth of politicians and those in positions of great trust but we know from experience that words and the follow-on actions often differ, betrayal is only recognised at a later date.  We can do our research and ‘follow the money’ or look at who is aligned with particular corporations, boards of directors, mega-bankers and various others, however we do also know that misinformation is streamed out through the mainstream media to create a particular feeling or ‘normal’ to later implement an agenda, also the ‘secret’ in-the-know conspiracy websites or publications feed the world a mix of truth and misinformation, the misinformation is proved a lie and the associated truth makes a gurgle sound as it goes down the sink.  Both logic and research are great tools but we can easily be misled and we find ourselves in our desperation to make the world a better place unknowingly supporting agendas that are not in our best interests but are down right dangerous.  So do we just rollover, dumb ourselves down with alcohol, recreational poisons, food, sport, piles of objects and bling, obsessions with diseases and fitness or shall we just look the other way?
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Fragility of the Civilisation
We live in a time when the world is fragile, on the precipice of great change, when madmen (if they really had the power and were permitted to do it) could annihilate the world we move in with a push of a button, when scientists in their curiosity could trigger an event that would not only impact on this planet but also those as far off as we can dream and maybe in an instant destroy unknown civilisations, when liberties are being eroded to implement hideous agendas for the covert and also publicly arrogant elite.  With all this doom, gloom and darkness of mankind bearing down on man, what on earth do we do?
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The Beauty of the World
We live on a glorious planet, nature with its wondrous living breathing ecosystems unique to itself, the glorious rising of the sun that we have for a period of time until this timeline runs out of juice and a new one starts, the colors of the birds.  The playfulness of animals, the gentle of touch of our loved ones, the tasty fruits, the dew on the grass, the ability to laugh, the sweetness of melody. When we move away from the madness of men and their games of power and self-obsession, underlying it is something that a visitor from other worlds would perceive as heaven.  We need to be reminded regularly where we ‘sit’ or more specifically where we live in the Cosmos. Earth is a living being unto itself, the Mother that she is supports us, she holds and nurtures us, if we are gentle with her she responds, if in the case of what has happened and we are reckless, she will ‘shake’ and in that ‘shakiness’ what is not aligned with her sense of being will find a new destiny to live on.  I started by writing about the crazy world and living in a time of mistrust and at this point it looks as if the focus may be hinting at environmental issues, it is intricately related but this is not about climate change, polar bears or bees.  Without undermining the need for conscious change and action on how we live and treat the environment we live and move in, I am confident that Mother Earth will take care of her Being and that doesn’t mean I don’t think we should care for the world, quite the opposite, I am a man who refused to pick flowers for most of much of my life in case I hurt them. Caring for the world around us is the same as taking care of ourselves, the way we treat ourselves is usually the way we treat those around us and the tiny field of space we move in.  As for climate change all I will say is that transparency regarding where every dollar goes ought to be a concern, else we may find that while people are sleeping, someone is taking the milk from the cow to feed their ugly monster. My prayer is “may there always be noble people in positions of power and trust.”
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Questioning Everything
When we look at anything, regardless what it is, our ‘filters’ come into play. What we have experienced, learnt or been indoctrinated with writes to our subconscious, we have subtle and overt preferences on how people should look, talk, what is the correct opinion or way to view the world.  These learned or inherited perspectives are useful but at the same time I am confident that they cannot always be trusted, it is only a small part of what I will refer to as our Being. So far I have said we can’t rely on logic, the words of others and now I am adding to the list we can’t always trust our own experience, if we take this approach to an extreme a psychologist could comfortably say there is a form of paranoia going on here.  However if we think carefully and are cautious and address these three things properly it will remind us not to be naive and believe everything we assume to be logical and unquestionable, what we are told and what our way of experiencing the world is telling us.  It is critical that we are aware of the ‘sleight of hand’ that happens around us. So what to do?
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Rethinking Sensitivity
Some people are more sensitive than others.  Although I am sensitive to the point where it becomes annoying, I am not a person who thinks sensitivity is the be all and end all of experience and that anyone who is not is ‘less enlightened’, that is straight out elitist garbage, and I will ‘call’ that delusion out.  Sometimes over sensitive people lack the ability to act, to stand up when needed because they indulge in their sensitivity.  Sensitivity is a tool for life, not something that needs to cripple us and make us over emotional.  Having said that, there is a type of sensitivity that I think holds the key to discriminating about things, people, events and courses of action.  It doesn’t matter whether someone feels like they are a being encased in something like a polar bear suit with thick layers and a pair of over-sized gumboots or they are a someone who sees purple winged unicorns (real or imaginary), the playing field is equal when it comes to our ‘radar for real feeling’.
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A Tingle up the Spine
We all have had that feeling when someone enters the room, sometimes we get a cold shiver. Or at the other extreme when we go into a meditative space like a Buddhist (or choose your flavor) temple we feel a subtle change in mood.  In the case of the person entering the room who was at the source of cold shiver in us, we may know nothing about them, their clothes could be neat clean, even impeccable, they may be well spoken, have average looking features and nothing externally that would be a give-away that would give reason for concern.  In the situation of the meditative-space it may be reasonably empty and uncluttered, very plain and have nothing that represents a world of religiosity or be in any way overtly ‘spiritual’or have anything aesthetically pleasing but still there is an inexplicable subtle change.
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The Field We Move In
Each being, in fact every living thing has a field around it, there are visual parameters but the space around a person or object has an area which is populated by what I will refer to as ‘solidified thought’, this field contains what the being is aligned with, in the same way that storage media for computers and other devices hold information, there is a grid/web/network that holds the past, the present and the tendencies for the future. When a ‘sensitive’ or what is more commonly referred to as a psychic comes into contact with an individual and does a reading, they are usually tapping in and pulling out data from this space, it holds the past, present and their known and associated potentials.  Many of the psychics will have no idea how they do it, they may have a story that is true or false on the method they use but the underlying idea is that somehow they get their result and trust it.  Occasionally we encounter a seer who works outside the common methodology used, however for continuities sake I will not enter the other possibilities of ‘reading’ what is out of sight.
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When we are in the meditation-space, what has happened is over period of time as each individual has come into the environment they have gradually emptied the field in that space.  This works in reverse to a busy day at the beach, when people go home from a sunny day rolling in the waves and getting their butt tanned you will see litter scarring the natural beach environment and it has a dirtied, cluttered sensation about it.  When meditators  attempt to go into a meditative state, the process is about detaching from thought, letting it rise or fall; this action works like a thought-vacuum-cleaner.  In the room where meditation has happened, at a subtle level there is a deep change invisible to the eye, it is ‘touched’ and experienced at a deeper level of consciousness.
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Buying Into the Story
If I come back a little closer to the original idea of this article, I was discussing discrimination and how to make sense in a crazy world, how to be able to tell whether someone is truthful and whether they have an agenda that is detrimental to us, humanity or the world around us.  At a surface level we have emotional reactions to things, we may see an image and suddenly be outraged, if it has a story with it, whether it be true or false, in an emotional state we may become further outraged, if we have a story already imprinted which comes from our personal history or cultural upbringing, the image and the story will mix with that bias and then we not only may get emotional, we may act in a particular manner in response to it. If we are crackers we could blow up someones letter box or graffiti their car.  Much of what we see in the media and advertising is emotive based ‘baiting’, whether a news article or what is being advertised is genuine or not isn’t the issue, what is relevant here is that our emotions can easily stand in the way of feeling the world or the truth of a matter properly.  Human beings are very easily swayed.
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Droid Mentality
REAL intuition grabs its data from outside our logical world and is not limited to the ‘known’.  I am reminded of the limitation of droids in some of the Sci Fi movies and Spock the Vulcan from Star Trek. People need a way to discriminate between surface ‘touchy feely’ intuition which relates to the emotions, and the way of feeling the world, beings and environment.  To someone who has not developed a deep-feeling-sense they would look the same, the world would be divided into two:

(1)  Stuff we know because it is believed to be true and is confirmed by our education (and that’s a variable) and from the zone of Classic Physics (read as: Old World Thought) that has many truths but limitations.

(2) The stuff that relates to dreamers, Tarot readers, fantasizers and people who have too much time on their hands or those who have smoked a lot of weed. (This is not a criticism, I am just creating a polarity of two extremes).

Both those angles have their place in the world of mice and  men but there is option (3) and that’s where we bypass option (1) and (2).  Option (3) is the one that I find myself living by most of the time.

Option (1) is best used for most tasks like when crossing the street it would be insane to close our eyes and feel our way between the cars, or when driving under a low bridge we’d be best to do a basic spatial calculation that the truck is going to fit else it won’t be pretty.

Option (2) is useful because imagination and meandering thought is quite a beautiful thing but I do know from experience, if we get caught in fantasy and emotions they blur our vision and we lose our groundedness.
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Option (3) is something that is based in Emptiness, the same Empty state we encounter in real or deep meditation, there may also be thought present but there is no attachment to or over-interest in thought, instead we are absorbed in the space, in the same way that sky doesn’t grasp a cloud and lets it rise, fall and dance without a fuss.  As soon as we allow thought to arise from the subconscious with its history and partial-knowing, what we end up with is a filter sitting between deep-intuition and whatever truth may be.  Truth has a sensation about it and I am not talking about any supposed Spiritual Truth or great answer to the Universes questions, I mean passing truths that the politicians may be lying.  Often it is easy to research and find out if people in power are lying but based on my observation, many people are supporting agendas that look good on the surface but underneath they totalitarian. In the same way that a religious text can be altered to suit an agenda, people end up unwittingly and naively handing over their allegiance to false Gods and Cults because their intuition never RANG loud enough to warn them, so how to sort this and develop deep-intuition?
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Deep Intuition
EMPTINESS
I have already stated or implied that we need a relationship with Emptiness. This is easy to develop regardless of what cultural or religious background we come from or associate with.  Buddhism has had a focus on transformation of the mind, whereas mainstream Christianity is rooted in faith.  If we do a little exploration we will see there are subcultures of Christianity who explore deep contemplation, there is no practical reason that a person couldn’t meditate on the name of Jesus if that was their flavour.  When it comes to meditation, we do not need to dress up and pretend we are Indians and use Hindi Mantras as many people do, yes beyond doubt they are potent, nor do we need to wear white or head straight to the crystal shop and fill the house with bling.   If someone is not from a religious background there are many tools in the public domain for relaxation, we can leave Spirituality out of the mix. All that is required is a simple method without a whole lot of baggage and a practical regular commitment to taking time out.  If we are always ‘inside’ the world it’s difficult to see what is going on, our story, bias and preferences are too strong. Deep or even shallow meditation will ‘extract us’ a little.
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GRATITUDE
Fortunately gratitude has become popular and feels better than some of the other fashionable things such as eating kale or oil swishing.  In an age of self-obsession the emergence of developing a relationship with something bigger than our imaginary sense of I and understanding we are part of something that shares its abundance freely with us is in itself humbling.  Everything is alive and giving thanks seems the least we can do.
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HATERS
If we have a hate for those who are different to us in thought, appearance and action or even those who harm us with their political agendas, their violence and their hideous actions that enslave us in some way, we end up becoming part of their network of power, we become subservient to them, the underlying negative agenda empowers itself by our response.  I consider recognising this issue as a critical element in self-transformation.  “Turning the other cheek” is a seed idea that needs to be unpacked and contemplated.  It does not mean that we should not act, not create boundaries, or speak up when necessary, it is about our thinking. Our thoughts affect the world and if we add to the ocean of hate it creates additional psychic smog around the planet.   The smog of hate impacts on everyone and all of nature.  If we rise in a state of love then hate has no enemy.  The opposite of love is fear not hate.  It is fear that needs addressing.  If hate has no enemy it turns on itself in the same manner the opponent of an Aikido Master defeats himself in battle through his own self importance, stupidity and violent tendencies.
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FEELING
As we know, there is a surface emotional feeling sense we have that sabotages our deeper sensitivity, it is reasonably simple to explain and even easier if I create a visual example. If I was to break it down a little we can visualise a molecule and picture it as a a bubble. Imagine that each molecule of our being has a ‘stability point’ a sense of equilibrium that maintains its shape and state of balance, like calm water on a sunny day, it has a relaxed gentle sense of movement.  Under normal circumstances in life, the field-shape within the molecule will tilt a little as it goes about its everyday business, when our moods change a little, it reacts like the way water gets a little ripple in it if something light is dropped in it.  If we are traumatised, the particles inside the molecule may bounce off the walls and be pushed way out of shape resembling a damaged pin pong ball, the combination of trillions of these in our being make us feel unstable and at times we find that the instability completely overcomes us, the expression “off the rails” is a good analogy. We become so engulfed by the sensation of internal chaos that our attention is moved out of our natural stillness and equilibrium, our central point of awareness becomes unfocused and foggy.  When we are angry we are in a state of agitation, it is impossible to think clearly, we lose our sensitivity completely, the molecule ping pong balls within are bashing against each other. When we are very emotional and in a state of deep sorrow we become numb, drowned. In a state of joy, the ripples in our being overcome us, regardless of the wonder of the feeling which impacts on our health in a positive way, our vision can also blurred, the molecules are dancing out of control.
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The sensations of joy and sorrow come and go, depending on our ability to recover as we move along the timeline of our life, they all impact in different ways, they can empower us or we may get lost in the endless maze.

If we have developed a type of mindfulness to allow us to extract ourselves a little from the passing show of emotions we will have an advantage in being able to discriminate between natural feeling responses generated from every day existence plus our compiled ocean of experiences and then our intuition will come from outside time and the ‘already known’.
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When we look clearly at the events in the world we move in, we will see that things and events are being translated by and agreed upon by the greater community to be a certain way, this common agreement that is arrived at will at one extreme create a language for basic communication and at the other end a slave-mentality that places parameters about what is or isn’t true, this slave-mentality turns deep thinkers and visionaries into outsiders, nutters and in some cases people are considered to be a threat. An example of what can happen is the Vatican’s assassination of Giordano Bruno
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Truth has a ring to it and it is unmistakable; falsity has a doubt about it, it brings with it a type of confusion and slightly unsettling feeling, and it may even have a sense of self-righteousness and a mission.  Alertness is required, if we are not discerning we may find ourselves supporting agendas that are treacherous, destabilising to ourselves and others, we may end up undermining good men and women and see them as our enemies all because the radar deep inside us is covered over by emotions and a fabricated story being fed and sustained by the greater community’s enslaved limited social consciousness.
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These are treacherous times as we exit the previous civilisation and move forward into the glorious unfolding one.
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May we always be kind to ourselves and those we encounter
May we always be understanding of others
May the part of us that seeks truth and wisdom cut through the fog of misinformation
May we seek unity in diversity
May all beings be happy and uninhibited to follow their dreams
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Tilopa 2.0

 

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