REALITY BITES

 

Keep questioning your beliefs, all the way down to the ones that help hold the idea of ‘you’ anchored to some landing place. Many of the spiritual practices that we take on in the hopes of achieving freedom contain truth but they can also help create another place for identity to take hold, setting up camp displacing and denying other aspects of self that aren’t necessarily gone, just edged out to the periphery of consciousness. At times these displaced parts come knocking wanting some air time (actually this is intelligence itself wishing to remain in balance to itself), only to be pushed back down by the myriad ways that we have learned. Who would have thought that chanting one’s mantra or resting in beingness could be used as an avoidance tactic, or that peace itself could be a state of consciousness (one among many) that comes and goes like the wind?

While the discovery that something IS prior to all thoughts and to all feelings is legitimately freeing, what then needs to be taken into account and opened to over time is the rest of life that IS content itself, that is time, that is form, and that is conditioned. When we make friends with contrast and with the idea that a vast realm of existence operates just below the surface level of consciousness (that means that you are not yet aware of it), then life freed up of beliefs can find its way to continuously illuminate itself. Through honest appraisal of one’s responses to circumstances (avoiding the temptation to run to a higher ground), and through true investigation, evolution can continue its mysterious march towards wholeness and integration, with the openness that is accessed through realizing that life really is to rich and beautifully complex to put into any kind of box of our own making.

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You are pure experiencing. All that you see, taste, feel, and think, you are. You are the absolute nature of Reality, free of content, as well as all that arises. There is nothing in creation that is not you. You are made of the stars, the earth, and the sun. You are the plant, the animal, the crawling bug, as well as the dirt. You are your family, your neighbor, as well as the hungry child across the sea. You are what you deem as the good as well as the bad. All creation rises and falls as you. The past and future are held within you. Your body is made up of matter, which emerges out of life’s soup and returns transformed in another form.

Nothing is separate from anything. Even belief itself is part and parcel of the whole. As consciousness’ vision expands, the cosmic body of the whole is known more and more thoroughly by a mind that is created by you. You go to sleep, you wake up, and you remember. Wherever you place attention, you are. This is the truth of things, even when it isn’t realized. Realization happens within you, not to you, as you as a separate self do not in truth exist. Seemingly separate selves are aspects of one indivisible whole.

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Beginners mind is always available to us. It means remaining humbled in the face of the unknown. Just when we think we have gained some knowledge, to also have the perspective that we are beginners. Wherever we stand, we stand at the beginning of the unknown mystery of what we are. There is no ground to gain, except ever more deeply emerging into and simultaneously arising out of the mystery. As the infinite, we are eternally in creation. Living as Now is the eternal beginning manifesting. God breathing itself into life, into form, as a thought, as a body, as a creative work. Not even death is the end.

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Sink into your body, allowing the mind to rest in the container that holds it. The body is of the earth, of nature, and as nature, you are already attuned to listen and be open to all that surrounds you. Our skin and nerve endings, as well as the mysterious subtle energetic force of our bodies, can tune into sensing into our greater environment. I am you, and I am the tree. We are each other.
As the felt sense of being a separate self thins out and falls away, the vaster body of the whole is revealed. The body is a portal to the divine knowing itself as form.

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Life is evolving, asking us to rise up to embrace our inner autonomy and to meet as equals in service to the whole. This includes waking up to our connectedness to the Earth and all beings everywhere. The old paradigm of a few teachers serving as ‘wisdom holders’ is ebbing. We are transitioning from a hierarchical way of meeting others in Truth with the teacher on top, to an egalitarian one in which we meet in a circle, inviting each another to express our own knowing, gifts, and strengths. In this new paradigm, the teacher can serve more as a facilitator, supporting participation and helping others to access their own wisdom. I call this meeting in Sacred Mutuality.

Culturally, this transition may take some time. And it won’t be without growth pains as we meet all that holds us back from recognizing our own innate wisdom. Freeing up past conditioning of feeling unworthy and dropping identity which has shrouded our natural undefended selves helps us understand that being oneself is more than enough. We are all wanted and needed here, and being a light unto ourselves without giving away our own power is the best way to come together to support one another co-creatively.

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It is important to distinguish the difference between chasing after spiritual highs (risking becoming experience junkies), versus becoming truly free of imagining oneself as a separate self. Many people confuse feeling ‘high’ around certain teachers with what freedom is really about. Having any experiential state whatsoever is no indication of freedom, not even bliss or peace. Truth silently rests in the background of all experiential states, no matter what is going on, whether it be one of sorrow, or of joy, as no state is anything other than than what it is. I am not saying that all these arisings do not have validity, or that they aren’t to be enjoyed (in the case of peace), or investigated (in the case of suffering), but in themselves, they are not what ultimate Truth is.
So, to not mistake the finger for the moon, means that spiritual teachers or practices which produce bliss states in themselves are not what produces freedom. It is very important to remember this, as addiction to a teacher or teachings or even plant medicines, is misguided. A good teacher will want you to be a light onto yourself and free of leaning on them as fast as possible (even if that takes some time). That is the goal of any good pointer or teaching. Dependence is a sure sign that something is off, and if a teacher wants you to give any of your authority away to them, run as fast as you can! Truth is meant to be discovered within oneself, and at best teachers can help point the way. In the end, we are meant to be our own authority, because what we discover is the same Truth that resides within us all.

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In order to see whether whatever we are doing spiritually (meditating, praying, Yoga, inquiry and so on), is actually helping us live our lives, it needs to be put to the test. We are our own science experiment when it comes to seeing what works and what doesn’t. Telling ourselves the truth about whether we are in turn becoming more peaceful within ourselves, feeling more love and compassion for our brothers and sisters as well as more connected to life, are all signs that whatever we are doing is serving!

Spirituality is not meant to be kept in the abstract but made real and brought down into the nitty gritty of our everyday lives. This is good news as we can be our own self-evaluator. Teachings are here for a purpose, to help birth heaven (what is possible and what is our birthright), here on earth. Being patient with ourselves as we grow and gain ever deeper understanding about how we can cultivate presence in our lives is a good use of spirituality.

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The power of attention is immense. Wherever attention is being placed, that is what one is. The mind is an incredibly creative tool that brings things into relief. The best use of mind is to consciously bring one’s attention to a task, a feeling, or in a particular focus (like a camera lens), in order to gain greater understanding of the world around us or to explore what we are. As awareness of our true nature deepens within us, the mind’s creative potential becomes increasingly evident.

Mind is frequently lost in an unending quagmire of thoughts imagining itself to be whatever it focuses on (including the ‘I’ thought), until it is liberated from its own unconscious identification with form. This of course leads to much suffering. We are divine intelligence dreaming itself into creation. By learning how to harness the power of attention, we (as God), can use this ability in a conscious rather than unconscious way.

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It is important to realize that true maturation of spirituality must include the willingness to see and embrace our unconscious shadow as well as that of the collective. Just as a ship leaning over to much to one side will go in circles, so will our own evolution unless we open ourselves up to include all aspects of life. If you look around you will see that the world is comprised of light and dark, good and evil, emptiness and form, honesty and denial. If all is infinite intelligence, then all aspects of life are That.
Nothing is in truth outside of ourselves. Everything you see, feel, hear, and witness, are all parts of you. If we only open ourselves up to the light, what happens to the dark? It goes underground, ruling from below. Nothing stays hidden forever. Everything yearns for acknowledgment, acceptance, and understanding. This is how we become liberated, not by denying the mystery and expression of existence, but by being pure openness itself.

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The falling away of self is simply the end of experiencing life through any kind of medium. There is no longer a ‘you’ experiencing God, but God experiencing itself. Previous to this falling away, it is a common occurrence to believe that the separate self sense has fallen away (the non dual experience), when what we are experiencing is actually an expanded self (for instance unity consciousness). It isn’t until the self falls away completely (the interpretive medium), that it is seen that an expanded self is just that.
From this point forward, life is experiencing itself from its point of view, without any interpretative medium. In the end you become like any other force in nature, like the sand, a stream, the wind in the trees. All the ideas of holiness belongs to the realm of Self, not in what lies beyond.

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Don’t be afraid of speaking your minds and expressing your hearts. Don’t be worried that you may later change your mind as you grow and evolve. Nothing is etched in stone. Even the stone is eroding! We are all growing and evolving. Express your passions and concerns about how you view the world and how you feel inside. We are all works in progress, but if we hesitate to share ourselves as we are, then we are holding back from life. Life herself is a work in progress, and at the same time it is complete and whole just as it is, and we are life! So dance, sing, cry, create, mess up, and reveal your heart in whatever shape it is in to one another.

The coloring book of our life is being filled in right now, as we share this brief time together on this planet. I yearn to see everyone shine and smile, cry and grieve, with whatever shape your teeth, body, and inner process are in. Let’s step out together and dance in the streets. We are perfect in our incompletion, especially when we admit it to one another. Risk is what facilitates our growth. Being alive is risky business, and stagnation is death. We are part of creation’s story. Life is meant for living, and perfection is a myth. Freedom looks like you and me, when we embrace ourselves just as we are.single-dot-mandala-separator
It is important to distinguish the difference between chasing after spiritual highs (risking becoming experience junkies), versus becoming truly free of imagining oneself as a separate self. Many people confuse feeling ‘high’ around certain teachers with what freedom is really about. Having any experiential state whatsoever is no indication of freedom, not even bliss or peace. Truth silently rests in the background of all experiential states, no matter what is going on, whether it be one of sorrow, or of joy, as no state is anything other than than what it is. I am not saying that all these arisings do not have validity, or that they aren’t to be enjoyed (in the case of peace), or investigated (in the case of suffering), but in themselves, they are not what ultimate Truth is.

So, to not mistake the finger for the moon, means that spiritual teachers or practices which produce bliss states in themselves are not what produces freedom. It is very important to remember this, as addiction to a teacher or teachings or even plant medicines, is misguided. A good teacher will want you to be a light onto yourself and free of leaning on them as fast as possible (even if that takes some time). That is the goal of any good pointer or teaching. Dependence is a sure sign that something is off, and if a teacher wants you to give any of your authority away to them, run as fast as you can! Truth is meant to be discovered within oneself, and at best teachers can help point the way. In the end, we are meant to be our own authority, because what we discover is the same Truth that resides within us all.
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Sink into your body, allowing the mind to rest in the container that holds it. The body is of the earth, of nature, and as nature, you are already attuned to listen and be open to all that surrounds you. Our skin and nerve endings, as well as the mysterious subtle energetic force of our bodies, can tune into sensing into our greater environment. I am you, and I am the tree. We are each other.
As the felt sense of being a separate self thins out and falls away, the vaster body of the whole is revealed. The body is a portal to the divine knowing itself as form.
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Once freedom is known in a being, then what once was seen as personal is no longer seen in that way. Personal pain no longer exists, it is just pain, feelings are simply meant to be felt, and thinking just happens, it is not happening to a someone. Once the container called you is emptied out sufficiently, then the whole of creation can be felt into. No longer a separate organism, but an organism that is interconnected to every single being everywhere.

What freedom reveals is a vast cosmic body where all pain everywhere is felt and where joy and peace is likewise known as One Self. When people imagine that realization leads to the end of suffering or unhappiness, they are right in one sense, but wrong in another. When the personal self falls away, what is then known is the One Self. And within this One Self, the suffering and unrest of humanity is experienced within the cosmic body as long as separation is being played out.

What lies in the midst congruently is peace, stillness, and the truth that there is no center to consciousness. You don’t get away from anything, you gain the whole of creation which contains all polarities and realities simultaneously. Emptiness is form and form is emptiness. Herein lies the truth of things.
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Life is evolving, asking us to rise up to embrace our inner autonomy and to meet as equals in service to the whole. This includes waking up to our connectedness to the Earth and all beings everywhere. The old paradigm of a few teachers serving as ‘wisdom holders’ is ebbing. We are transitioning from a hierarchical way of meeting others in Truth with the teacher on top, to an egalitarian one in which we meet in a circle, inviting each another to express our own knowing, gifts, and strengths. In this new paradigm, the teacher can serve more as a facilitator, supporting participation and helping others to access their own wisdom. I call this meeting in Sacred Mutuality. Culturally, this transition may take some time. And it won’t be without growth pains as we meet all that holds us back from recognizing our own innate wisdom. Freeing up past conditioning of feeling unworthy and dropping identity which has shrouded our natural undefended selves helps us understand that being oneself is more than enough. We are all wanted and needed here, and being a light unto ourselves without giving away our own power is the best way to come together to support one another co-creatively.

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Truth is a fluid thing. It flows, morphs, and is pure possibility. Putting anyone on a pedestal keeps us feeling separate from Reality. Pay attention to what is the most true thing in yourself. You are never far away from what is undivided, from what is natural, from your own knowing. Spiritual teachings are meant to point you back to yourself. Remain in inner integrity to what you know to be true. We are meant to be continually growing in our own remembrance. Remember, the finger pointing to the moon is your own self.The mystery of what we are lies beyond knowing. Discoveries about ourselves are constantly being made, stars and galaxies are being born, everything returning in the end back to the mystery. Seeds sprout and grow into lush plants that we can eat while we pray, dance, love, and cry. Life is birthing and dissoluting itself over and over again.

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We are the creative matrix of life in constant self- discovery. We are the mystery uncovering our own makeup. Every moment is comprised of birth and death, rising and falling thoughts, cells being remade, contrast revealing itself in and through us. We come from the mystery and return to the mystery. We are the mystery discovering itself.
There is no final knowing, no final anything as this that we are is timeless infinite awareness. Nothing to grasp, nothing to hold to. We are pure potentiality in love with ourselves. We are the ones who give meaning to things, we are the ones who believe and then disbelieve. We are the unknowing revealing knowing to ourselves.

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The Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, said that the next Buddha would be the Sangha. What is meant by that? Each one of us is the Holy and each one of us has access to the wellspring of innate wisdom. We share the same light and ground of being as the Buddha, Christ, and all the saints. In truth no one is more Holy than another. Life offers an unending invitation to practice bringing the One who knows out to speak, move, and operate in and through us. As we practice we form new neural pathways that allows for something larger than our individual consciousness to be created.
When we give ourselves the invitation and permission to rise up in our own knowing, something miraculous occurs. Practicing the art of deeply listening to one another and sharing from the undivided space within, serves in giving voice to that which lies within a chance to emerge, be shared, and be witnessed. We are all needed in life to participate fully in being ourselves as this is a gift to the whole.

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I am radical on many levels, tempered by (mostly) a sweet disposition. I like extremes. Interesting people who live on the fringe of society who are doing things out of the box, and folks who question reality, concepts, and linear thinking. I like the teachers, thinkers, and artists who themselves questioned what they took to be true, and who create out of the discovery that they aren’t bound. Putting words to the freedom that ensues when we peer into the mystery beyond our own navel. This is what draws me to a type of spirituality that isn’t contained within walls of belief. Where I find myself over and over again is free falling into an abyss that has no final resting point. In this way I like to live on the edge of the unknown, inviting constant discovery. No formulas or definitions exist here, not even ‘spirituality’. Freedom to be the mystery, birthing itself into and out of existence.

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For true spiritual realization to first dawn and then reside within you as a lived reality every single concept, belief, even hope of what it can bring you will need to fall away. Rather than being an acquisition that helps build persona, it is a subtraction, emptying you out revealing the simplicity of true nature. It takes away your reliance on anything outside of yourself saving you, maturing you in a radically sober way that leaves you bare and naked of adornments. Finally free of the need to be something, what is always free has a chance to express itself as You in the divine dance of life, which is pure potentiality, birthing itself moment to moment.

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Just because something seems to be, doesn’t mean that there is a someone to whom it is occurring to. This includes thoughts, feelings, sensations, and even body awareness. Awareness of something still does not mean that there is a someone who is aware. Awareness is. Experiencing is. Love is. Thoughts are. And even the feeling of you being you, just is. We are all sensing, feeling, thinking, loving star dust, experiencing life as Existence.

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Feelings arise for a reason. Information is contained within them and if we open to receiving the information by allowing the feeling to enter, to touch us, then the arising intelligence of the feeling has been met, has in effect done its job.
But what happens when we push a feeling away? You have probably heard the saying: what we resist, persists, and this also applies to feelings. A denied feeling will continue to haunt us, until it morphs changing shape as denial persists, eventually leading to illness and pathologies.
Pushing away so called ‘negative’ feelings such as sadness, grief, anger, and so on conversely limits the expression of joy in our system. When we allow feelings the attention and time they deserve, then they can move through us informing us of how we are doing, similar to having our own internal weather report, facilitating a portal into present moment awareness.
We are sensing beings, and when we learn how to allow feelings to inform us, then natural intelligence can flow revealing the innate wisdom of the body.
Can we be open to the flowing movement of feelings passing through us just like the sky is available to all kinds of clouds and weather? What happens when we do allow?
Emotional intelligence is something that can be learned, no matter our age. And many of us were not taught how to meet feelings as they arise. Feelings are meant to be felt. Pure and simple, if we allow it to be.

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The dissolving of Self occurs over time and like the sea slowly reclaiming the edges of a lost coast returns what was built up back to the great Mother. Bit by bit, the sand, stones, plants and even stone walls are washed away merging into the sea water wherefrom life first emerged. The sea is indiscriminate, thorough, and ruthless, leaving nothing behind and takes paper, plastic, along with gems and hopes. Ground down to nothing but essence, new life emerges within as another life cycle walks, swims, lives on, nourished by what once was.

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There is a growing movement in the awareness of the collective consciousness to include the understanding that our bodies are Divine. Our light (of understanding) is coming through our relationship to our body, embracing sensation and learning to meet ourselves ever more deeply. Consciousness is evolving to include all of itself. The era of recognizing the absolute truth that: I am not the body, is expanding to include the embrace of its own manifestation, of all of creation. In this way, the body is a vehicle for enlightenment (bringing light to itself, the light of awareness) as it experiences this particular expression known as YOU.

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The more transparently vulnerable and tender we allow ourselves to become, the closer we are to knowing ourselves as the expression of the One embodied truth. The more intensely compassionate caring you allow yourself to have for this world, for all the beings in it, of it, the more that you are feeling into the truth of your humanness. The more that you daringly allow your heart to break wide open, so much so that the entire world can fit into it just as it is, the more that you can take reality as it is. When we crack open what becomes revealed are the eyes, mind, heart, and hands of God, known and working through and as YOU becoming manifest.

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Occupy yourself! Move into occupancy of your body, taking full ownership of it, proudly, with gusto and genuine awareness of it. This human life is messy stuff and it calls for our loving attention to the details of it. Giving ourselves to the breath, to the rise and fall of the belly, the arms stretching outward grasping this and that, the feet hitting the pavement, making its mark, the daily face, slowly changing, challenging our concepts of what is acceptable. We are our own best medicine. The state of the world is the outer manifestation of our own dissatisfaction and disassociation with our bodies, with ourselves.
Occupy yourself fully, and blossom as the unknown takes shape moment to moment as YOU.

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We run away from this moment as it is, imagining that there is a better moment to be had out there. This is habit of mind at work. Mind is in the habit of becoming rather than in the habit of resting in its own beingness. It really is this simple. Stopping wanting things to be different than they are even when uncomfortableness arises, allows for this moment to be seen for what it is. It is alive throbbing eternalness. It is simple ordinary nowness. It is you as you are without resistance.

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Allow yourself to rest here now. Take a break forever from becoming. This verbing yourself into existence is exhausting to the system. Becoming aware of this habit of mind which is felt physically as a wanting, as a drive, is the first step. It may be extremely uncomfortable at first as the habit of leaving ourselves is so strong. Repressed denied material may come up to be met, and felt, as we have been running away from feeling most of our lives. By denying what is arising now, we are in imagination. This is what suffering is. Peace is here now with all that is presenting itself, including not feeling peaceful. When you stop running, when habit of mind is laid to rest, then the inherent peace that you have always been reveals itself in the midst of everything.

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Who says there is such thing as a story? If you say there is, then you will find yourself both lost and found in it, drowned and saved it it, captured and released. Only as a central character playing a part, a role in a story, will you find ego to be real. Walk out of the theater of your own making, leaving all the costumes behind. Outside the sun is shining and you can walk on forever and ever, never tiring of the wonder of existence itself.

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We have been running away from our nothingness all of our lives, all the while longing for home. The invitation to just stop, turn around, and greet ourselves is always available. By stopping one encounters the sweetest homecoming ever known. Meanwhile, all this running is happening within the vastness that we are. Running and welcoming both happening in this that we are.

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The pain of seeking outside oneself can be the motivation to turn around and finally take a good look at where the energy is coming from. Becoming conscious of the motor that’s running is becoming conscious of oneself. Once seen and met, seeking as a verb rest, and the impulse of creativity, pure potential takes its place and gets to dance, as YOU!
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Seeking is a drive from source to unite itself back with its intrinsic wholeness. It seeks after something that it put outside of itself, innocently, when we were very young. So, essentially seeking is propelled by the memory of wholeness. It longs to make itself whole, once more. What does it long to make whole? It’s imagined lost part. The belief in being separate from its own essence.

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Awakening humanity is deepening. Moving from ‘what am I’ to ‘I am everything in creation.’ The deepening is allowing creation to know itself as every little thing. Whatever is allowed, welcomed, felt, and noticed is creation moving to occupy itself. Endless possibilities await us as we penetrate further and further into the unknown reaches of our own selves.

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The end result of realization, is the ending of the paradox. The paradox of this and that, of opposites, of emptiness and everythingness, of you being you while simultaneously you being the all, while simultaneously you being nothing. All is resolved in the resolution of opposites becoming one thing, while maintaining their independent nature. Isn’t that a paradox in itself?

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The revelation that we are the whole comes when it is seen that the ‘I thought’ (I am a separate somebody), is an illusion. Once seen, you know yourself as the totality. Whatever you perceive, you are. The trees, the stars, the person sitting across from you, the ant carrying a load, the computer screen, you are. You are all that you perceive, and you are the noticing of that. Simultaneous to being everything in creation, as well as the noticing of that (consciousness being aware of itself), you are the unborn nature of all that arises within itself. You are that which appears and disappears, back into itself, the birthing and dissolution over and over again.

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The peace you are wanting in this moment is freely available to you right now. It isn’t hiding in some future moment. Simultaneously arising within the desire for something is already the having of it. Where did it arise from? Trace longing back to its source. Feeling lack is noisier than the quiet simple truth of the completeness, the fullness, the peace inherent in each and every moment. Quiet not noisy, not insisting, it is the most intimate thing that you can ever imagine existing. As it is yourself. Isn’t it ironic that what you are avoiding and running from most of your life, is what you are most longing for? Turn your face towards the Sun. The Sun of your own Being.

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Like children, we are innocent in touching upon our essential nature. We don’t need a Buddha to remind us of what we are in truth. In so many ways, nature supports our remembering what may have been forgotten. We are innocent, we are pure, we are beautiful, and we are strong. We are resilient even amidst life’s hardships. We are One with all creation, and remembering this truth is always available to us. Whether it is a buddha, a saint, a beloved pet, your neighbor, or a tree, anything and everything is a mirror of your own inherent beauty. Look deep into your own heart, there you will find what you are longing for.

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Longing is a song consciousness sings to itself, in order to help it remember its way home. Trace the longing back to its source. It is a thin thread of truth extending its arm out to itself. Follow this thin thread backwards, retracing its journey from the known, back to the unknown, where it was birthed, where all things are birthed.

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Why have spiritual teachers over thousand of years pointed to the idea that we are not the body?
It isn’t because you are not (now come on, your obviously here). It’s because with body identification, we forget the spirit part. We forget that we are pure consciousness. Identifying ourselves as purely body, the mind takes itself as only form, the experience of being separate from the whole results, and suffering ensues. This is for the most part, the human condition. Remembering what we are in truth, spirit, frees one from being lost in suffering, it gives space and room to allow for everything to arise within it. What was being pointed to is correct, but it isn’t the whole picture. We are now becoming more integrated and maturing in our realization. Life is being seen and recognized as consciousness in form. We are the holy manifested.
We are both form and the formless. We are the body, we are life, and we are pure consciousness, awareness, which everything is made up of. We are the resolution of the paradox. We are both, as One.

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How precious and tender this life is, with it’s ephemeral nature. Rather than holding on to it, and grasping what always leaves, allow the beauty of this life to pierce your heart. When we allow our hearts to be thoroughly touched, the moment rests as it is. The simplicity of things being the way they are without any need to make it any different. The truth is, this life is so beautiful and full, simply as it is, that it breaks our hearts. Allow your heart to break open to what it has always wanted. To be here nakedly, unadorned.
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Out of nothingness, springs everythingness; life, time, planets, air, us. Realization is the remembering that we are in truth, the formless, and that everything born, returns back to source, including the ‘I’ thought. ‘I,’ being what believes itself to be a separate somebody, an innocent function of the mind, which entered as soon as we thought: ‘I am the body,’ at a very young age. This is the self-reflective capacity that makes us human, ‘I can think about myself, therefore I must be real.’ Underneath the layer of content, of all that you see, feel, hear, and experience, is the formless. Content is made up of the same unborn nature, but to realize this, we must take a backwards step, and remember, what we are in truth. What has always been the same in you at all times, since you can remember? This sameness is the formless expressing itself as everything. Once the formless wakes up to itself (you don’t realize the formless, it wakes up to itself, over and over, in each ‘one’ of us, as everything that is made of time, is born, returns back to source, to itself, including an ‘I’ thought), then the fun really begins. Then the beautiful paradox, the fullness of truth rushes in: that we are the whole. We are time, we are life, we are breath, the thoughts, the sense of being a separate somebody, the resolution of the paradox, and the ephemeralness of it all. We are the born! Yes, we are the whole. Embrace it all, as it is yourself.

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Just as a figment of imagination, such as the Easter bunny, cannot be enlightened, neither can the one who believes itself to be a separate somebody get enlightened. What is essentially unreal, and fabricated, cannot be made real. It isn’t the unreal which comes to know itself. The Easter bunny cannot get to know itself. What is only already real, always been real, comes to the forefront in consciousness. Consciousness goes on an apparent journey, known as a ‘me,’and seemingly becomes lost in its own figment of imagination. Everything created, eventually returns back to source, coming up with its own solutions. Consciousness recognizes (I like to say remembered), that it has always already been here. The easter bunny, also known as the seeker, dies, and fades back to where it came from, pure imagination. Imagination may keep turning out thoughts, and beliefs, but once the real is known, there is no more problem. The real is, and as the real, there is no one to be enlightened. Enlightenment is a figment of imagination.

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What is longing? What do we ultimately, most intimately long for? There is a yearning, in most everyone’s heart for something. It is intimate, poignant, and probably the most real thing we know about ourselves. That and the absence of ourselves, is what we know. The absence reveals itself as that which has always been the same since you can remember. What has always been here, and not changed, no matter what age you are. This is so intimately close to ourselves, that it can be easily overlooked. What we long for, is for this knowing, to become consciously known. For the one that is always the same to reveal itself, consciously be known, and then felt into.
Because we are sentient beings, we can feel into the truth of our being. The one that is always the same can be felt into. Even though it is empty of content, not located in time (timeless), and is absent of any personal sense of self (the me that is a layer overlying this one that is always the same), when felt into through the body, it has a felt sense. The sense of You. The You feeling, the feeling that has always been there, and is right here, right now, looking out of your eyes. It walks around with you, sleeps with you, eats with you, cries with you, and dies with you. It is that which aways has been, and is. And even the death part is not so clear. We just don’t know. This is a science experiment, not a spiritual belief to swallow. Who you are, has always been here, isn’t it true? Can you remember when you weren’t here?

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At some point, realizations come to an end, and there is just openness. You keep walking through an open door, extending outward, endlessly. The exploration feels like it is always just beginning, and yet, the self remains the same. Sameness is exploring itself. Newness within sameness. Deepening, ever deepening, within sameness. There is depth to explore, vistas to see, experiences to have. And it is all occurring within the self. The self discovering itself.
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You are the details of life. In the minute details, there you are. Allow yourself to be lost in the details, in feeling, in experience, even in the thoughts. What are you afraid of losing? Your sense of self? Explore what is holding back from losing itself. We are not only the expression of expansion, of being witness to, of knowing ourselves as the whole. Know yourself also as the particular, as this and that, without fear of being swallowed up. What does being swallowed up feel like? Do you disappear? Isn’t that what you are wanting, to feel, to know yourself as the all within the details? We are travelers, we travel with ease. From minute details, to the unendingness of it all. Back and forth we travel. We are the whole, and the details, the small is that as well. Lose yourself over and over again. Give it up. Give in, surrender. It is a losing battle that you will gladly, in the end, lose.

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The experience of feeling separate is a time-bound, limited perception that can be dissolved. Simply an innocent function of the mind (the self-reflective capacity which verbs itself on and on, creating a sense of self), feelings of separation can be deeply looked into and seen through. Being drawn home is the natural evolutionary cycle. Everything born returns back to its source, and so does the ‘I’ thought. We can only long for what we know to be true, somewhere deep inside. The shift that happens, when what we know to be true moves from the background (covered up by mind), to the foreground, reveals our birthright: that we are all of life, and not separate from it. A sense of self (ever more transparent), remains after the realization that you are the whole, but it is known to be just that, a sense, a sweet perfume of uniqueness, which is Consciousness differentiating itself as it does with all creation.
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How do you realize?
You have to stop. I don’t know how you are going to do this. You don’t know how you are going to do this. The stopping may happen without your even trying. Or, it may be consciously sought after to stop. But in the end,consciously, or unconsciously, as a spiritual seeker or not, what reveals truth, what reveals that which does not move, which always is, which always will be, what you are, what everything is, takes a stopping.
And then what happens, is that there is a noticing. What happens after stopping, is a noticing. And that noticing just is. It’s awareness itself, recognizing itself.
And it is nothing spectacular. And it is neither easy nor not easy. It simply is.
Later, when the mind comes in. It will say: that was easy, or not easy. That took time, it did not take time. That is spectacular and special, or that it is something very simple.
But the truth is, is that something stopped. What has always been is revealed. And one sees, finally, that it has always been here. You can call it a grace, the result of seeking, an awakening, or a remembering. You can call it whatever you want. But you know that it has always been here. And it is what you are.
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What is really true? Truth resides in the here and now. But not in one’s idea of the here and now. Connecting through the senses, the experience of Being, is much more direct and true. As Sensing instruments of consciousness, we have the ability to sense into the whole. Consciousness can both narrow down its perspective to a tiny pinprick (the experience of an ‘I’), or an ant, and also expand itself to include a mind and body, a world, and so on, ever outward, widening its lens of perception. As the perspective of Self expands to include more and more of the whole of what we are, of what it is, our knowing and ability to relate to another person’s experience, and the world around us also expands. In this way, our own knowing may now include what is also true for others. And even when that’s not personally true, relating to another’s pain, or acknowledging their human and spiritual journey with empathy and love, can serve to bridge the gap. We share this human journey together, including the joys and suffering. We also share the fact that what creates the experience of suffering is believing that we are separate somebodies, separate from each other, from life, from the earth, and from the whole. On the other side of this experience of separation, the ultimate truth is that all is One and that everything in existence springs out of emptiness, whatever one’s spiritual beliefs are.
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When we remember what we are, what happens is that we take a backwards step away from the busyness of the mind which lives in time and which is always in motion, and we remember that we are actually the stuff that all this comes out of. Seeing this is a big relief and as it begins to filter down into our bodies, minds and life, it can bring with it an enormous amount of letting go. The maturation of that takes the rest of one’s life, as the resolution permeates all of life. In the end, nothing is seen as separate, it is all One thing, and we can begin to live our lives simply, however it shows up. What is actually happening, is that love returns back for itself, and whatever the mind believed in a moment of innocently misunderstanding that it is separate from its experience, will be a moment waiting ‘in time’ to be redelivered into wholeness. This is what is called embodiment.

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Just as it is an instinctual, existential drive to protect the body from harm, the mind its unconsciousness, protects and holds itself separate from loving, both itself, and others.
It is afraid that by letting go that it will lose its tenuous hold on this thing called ‘me.’
There is relative truth in this, but the platform that mind stands on is held on shaky, fear-based ground, made of ephemeral substance. Because in truth, it is not real.
By giving the love that we are in truth, unconditionally, we free ourselves from this habit of mind.
Gushing forth without holding anything back, we (body and mind included), participate in the replenishing of the never-ending supply of this fountain, called life.
And in this way, we become a circle of giving.

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All is not beautiful and nice, this is very clear. Can you open yourself and welcome it all? Not as in ‘it’s all perfect’ or ‘it’s all good,’or even ‘for my higher good,’but as in ‘I don’t know anything and I chose to stay open regardless if my heart is feeling sad and closed, to the pain and suffering of it all, to this mysterious unknown that we are. I chose to say yes to the no. I am here and open to life as it is even when it hurts. Just because.’ In truth we already are a yes, we are already wide open. Can we become aware of this yes in the midst of no?
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Abandon yourself by allowing love to flow freely, wildly, holding nothing back. As you open yourself up allowing the flow of life to move through you, as you, right there is everything that you ever wanted. The joy and bliss of Being itself. It is life right here, right now, as you! No need to go looking for it. Just stop and pay attention to that which wants to birth itself in this moment as you, over and over again. Precious beyond belief. Beliefs are nothing compared to this that you are. Flowing outward, loving itself, touching itself, everywhere. It touches everything all the while it remains still and unchanging. It loses nothing by giving it’s all.

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The birth of consciousness and all things is a beautiful thing. And it all arises out of primordial being-ness. We can name it whatever we like. The stillness itself births itself and out of that everything arises. This seems to be a constant thing, as worlds and universes, thoughts, and all else continue to come into being. So, out of non-dual Oneness (stillness), arises the dual world that we see, touch, feel, and know ourselves as. We feel ourselves to be separate entities, and in a sense we are (the paradox of duality), but we all arise out of the same stuff, what is the substrata of all existence. And while we live our lives we are the same stuff, and we return to the same stuff. It is only thought that differentiates itself. And even that is made from the same stuff.

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We can only long for what we know to be true, somewhere deep inside. The shift that happens when what we know to be true moves from the background (covered up by mind), to the foreground, reveals our birthright: that we are all of Life, and not separate from it. I call this remembering, as we remember what we are, in truth. We long for something already inherently known. Follow the longing back to its root, it is your home.

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There is nothing incongruous about feeling our feelings, touching our pain, and at the same time understanding the truth of the way things are. Pain is pain, grief is grief, loss is loss. By allowing ourselves to meet experiences as they arise within us, we accept them. This is a courageous and loving act. Suffering and karma (stored resistance to what is), occurs when we push away feeling and whatever is arising in the moment. Love yourself right now as you are! You are perfect love manifesting as all that is.

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The sense of ‘me’ is a thin non-existent veil, that none the less feels real. It is the experience of you being you and not me. This is not a problem to be solved, you are not a problem to be solved. It is life’s own intelligence at work: ‘this mouth, not that’! Enjoy yourself and when you know that in truth that it is all One Self, and that separation is an experience, and not the truth of things, then we can all play together in this garden of flowers, each face, every being, lovely and original.

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The lens of awakened consciousness has the capacity to narrow its focus down to a point, and becoming in the process, an ‘I’ thought, along with the experience of a separate sense of self. Consciousness also has the capacity to open its lens in ever wider increments in order to include more and more of itself, in this way knowing itself as the whole of existence. As consciousness narrows down its perception to a pin-point as it does with the ‘I,’it apparently has the capacity to have the experience of losing itself there, in believing itself as truly separate; all the while, however, it is as wide as existence itself. Waking itself out of the dream of the ‘I,’once again, it knows itself as the whole, this time also while knowing itself as this separate ‘I’ sense. This is what is called resolving the paradox of duality. And embodiment is the process that ensues.

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The construction of the false self has got to be seen through in order to know the truth of Being.
We do this by de-construction, stripping down to our bare essence.
All the while what we are remains untouched.
When we know ourselves as That, then this ‘me’ can be itself, innocent in it’s persona, a sweet personal fragrance of That.

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Realization is simply seeing things as they are without the overlay of imagination. Before ‘awakening’ things are as they are, and after ‘awakening,’the same. Only you, as the mind, drops the veils hiding reality. When this ‘remembering’ happens, (as you see that it was always already there), all that got imagined over time as life being something separate from you, gets to be reexamined and brought back home to the heart. This happens naturally and mysteriously. Why not see things as they are, right now? What are you waiting for? This is life’s invitation. And you are life.

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There is nothing like going off the beaten trail. Navigating the unknown reaches of our own mind, traversing mysterious territory, vines to climb over, the stillness of the forest, stopped in our tracks with wonder, the noticing becoming what you are. The wildness of nature draws us as does dropping what we know. Inner and outer melting/melding, becoming one thing, again.

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As time goes on, understanding about the incredible depths of how Oneness is really everything deepens. It is the confusion, it is the murderer, it is the sublime beauty of a rainbow, it is all imagination, and it is stillness, pure reality where everything arises, out of. It is the pain body, and the resolution within.

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Leave everything known behind like discarded trash, or rather disappear the trash leaving no footprint. Embrace this moment as it is, freshly and alive without the imprint of the known. You are a virgin baby with wrinkles. You are the unknown singing the blues. You are, we are, here, now, with nothing standing in the way.
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We are facilitating the opening of a door for the infinite to emerge by the pure act of recognizing and celebrating one another’s passions in life. It is a courageous thing to be a witness to the blinding light that emerges uniquely from within each being. It is a flash of original brilliance that is everyone’s birthright. Turning our faces towards one another and not away, towards ones own brilliance, is a step towards self acceptance. We betray ourselves in turning away from radiance. That radiance is source moving through that being. This one source that we all share in common.

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A life lived fearlessly can be summed up as the removal of the protective layers overlaying one’s heart from the absolute realization that you are life. It is complete transparency with life as it is. In the closing of the gap of me and you this and that, fear of the unknown and of other is embraced as all one thing. Subtle variations of this all one thingness. Within this embrace, fear is seen as love, everything is seen in the end as one thing. And love is a great description.

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There comes a time when you’re so free that you don’t need to be free anymore. You’re not afraid to ever lose yourself again. Diving deeply into experience, into sensation without a care in the world. All states of mind coming and going all day long. I am this. I am this and I am this too. I am it all. There is nothing to be afraid of because you are it all the while also knowing that you are nothing. You are both at once.
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I am dancing amongst the stars today. RIght here in my heart, the dirt beneath my feet. Going barefoot today. All day long. The dirt, the trees, the cars, you and me, all stars. I don’t have to go anywhere ever again. In death this body will be gone and whatever this is will dance simply without feet. This is the only difference. I have no purpose. I simply am. Your welcome to join me.

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Come on, tell the truth, in the end it is all about being in love with yourself. Even loving others, doing for others, is all about loving yourself. We are in love with ourselves, every little thing we love. Even the heart breaking, soul shattering, I can’t stand this tough life stuff, we are in love with. Let’s face it we are in love with ourselves, and this self includes the whole.

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I used to not take seriously love that did not last (according to some idea in my mind), and now I see that any love flitting or not is a love worth having. I give myself to this love that we are, opening myself to it in every moment, giving and receiving being an amazing aspect of our nature. I give myself to feeling it all, the contraction and protection against life, and the opening and delighting in it. Moving in and out of different states of consciousness all day long, I know the thread that ties it all together. We are that thread.

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Your suffering is the world’s suffering. One suffering.
Your freedom is the world’s freedom. One freedom.
Your joy is the world’s joy. One joy.
Your birth is the world’s birth. One birth.
Your pain is the world’s pain. One pain.
Your confusion is the world’s confusion. One confusion.
Your realization is the world’s realization. One realization.
Your money is the world’s money. One money.
Your food is the world’s food. One food.
Your heart is the world’s heart. One heart.
Your despair is the world’s despair. One despair.
Your kindness is the world’s kindness. One kindness.
Your anger is the world’s anger. One anger.
Your body is the world’s body. One body.
Your dance is the world’s dance. One dance.
Your hunger is the world’s hunger. One hunger.
Your pleasure is the world’s pleasure. One pleasure.
Your sadness is the world’s sadness. One sadness.
Your talents are the world’s talents. One talent.
Your greed is the world’s greed. One greed.
Your life is the world’s life. One life.
Your message is the world’s message. One message.
Your homelessness is the world’s homelessness. One homelessness.
Your doing is the world’s doing. One doing.
Your bounty is the world’s bounty. One bounty.
Your choice is the world’s choice. One choice.
Your return is the world’s return. One return.
Your love is the world’s love. One love.

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There is no such thing as ego. Ego is a made up term for having a sense of self. The sense of self is simply a functioning of mind. Ego has become the fall guy for all that seems to be wrong with yourself and others. It is all imagination. Having a sense of self does not mean anything. It is simply that. It helps with having ones food go in the proper mouth. It is a survival mechanism. And it is also what gives us the capacity to feel like a ‘me’ versus ‘you.’ The mind also has the capacity to self reflect on this sense of self, making it seem like a separate entity which must be real because it feels real. Self reflection is what sets humans apart from most other creatures. We think about ourselves, our thoughts, our feelings, sensations, and so on making this sense of me seem ever more solid. Still, there is no ego (nothing separate from you). Mind is compartmentalizing itself in order to help explain this conditioned sense of self. ‘There must really be a me because it feels like it!.’ It is all build up imagination when all along, the perfume of you remains innocent as long as your body lasts.

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What we are is deeper than experience (me), but it also includes the me. To realize it, often taking a ‘backwards’ step out of the conditioned self (seeing what you are not), is needed. Not everyone travels this particular route of inquiry. What is right and true for you is what is important.

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The dissolving of Self occurs over time and like the sea slowly reclaiming the edges of a lost coast returns what was built up back to the great Mother. Bit by bit, the sand, stones, plants and even stone walls are washed away merging into the sea water wherefrom life first emerged. The sea is indiscriminate, thorough, and ruthless, leaving nothing behind and takes paper, plastic, along with gems and hopes. Ground down to nothing but essence, new life emerges within as another life cycle walks, swims, lives on, nourished by what once was.

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