In Transition

My friends,

I am in transition right now. I will be posting regularly again very soon.

Please browse the archives and check back soon.

Kindness Among The Kindred

I find it humorous how it seems many of the words we use have double meanings which help point to how they were coined and how the meaning of the word shifted over time. These words also often point to a deeper perspective.

One such word is, 'kindness.' We all know the traditional meaning of kindness, but have you ever noticed that we use the same word (kind) to describe things, people, and concepts that are the same?

In other words, "We have the same kind of car," and, "I want to thank you for being so kind," use the same word. How is it related?

Being kind to someone, and things of the same nature being categorized as the same kind, are both examples of consciousness recognizing the common elements in itself and another or between two others. Said more simply, it is acknowledging 'sameness,' in both cases.

When we are kind to someone, we are acting without thought of reward or reciprocation. We are doing without wanting. When we act out of kindness, it feels exactly the same to give, as it does to receive. It is as if there is no distinction between the feeling of the person being kind, and the person receiving the kindness. It seems that way because it is true.

We are the same kind. There is no difference. The differences that we see are far outnumbered and outweighed by the overwhelming commonalities we share. Search all your experiences of kindness (whether first hand or just witnessed) and you will see for yourself that this kindness came from a place of recognizing a connection of oneness between the spirits involved. The line dividing the parties involved becomes blurred to the point that the giver and the receiver share the same feeling.

This is why being kind feels so good. It is as if you are giving to yourself; because you really are giving to yourself.

I have a pretty good list of these kind of words in the "Language As A Clue" section in my book. Check it out if you like.

Only One at a Time

Most of us have at one time or another in life, had one of those 'aha!' moments. These are times when your paradigm shifts, your perspective broadens, and you can see a concept, situation, yourself, or the whole world in a brand new light.

Then there are a growing many of us who have had one of these 'aha!' moments about our very essence. The awareness of consciousness becoming aware of itself. We have had glimpses into our own infinite endlessness and realized we are much more than what we appear to be. But it was only a short lived glimpse.

Satori is a Buddhist term for enlightenment. The word literally means "understanding". Satori translates into a flash of sudden awareness, or individual Enlightenment. Satori is as well an intuitive experience.

The short lived glimpse of your true nature is only the beginning of the awakening process and the practice of observing one's self. As this practice continues and strengthens in consistency and duration, we start to become more and more established in this satori.

We may realize that no matter what, there is only one moment at a time. We may also realize that we can only be in a state of higher consciousness during that one moment (at a time). So no matter what, we can only be enlightened one moment at a time.

This may help some to see that becoming established in such a higher state is not as far off as it might sound initially. It only takes some in-the-moment practice. Even if we can only glimpse our true nature for a split second, if we can string together several moments of this higher awareness, we are already bringing about a further shift into consciousness.

No matter who you may look to as a great example or guide of what it means to know enlightenment, they can only be enlightened one moment at a time (just like you).

Every Set Back is a Set Up For a Come Back

(Sept. '08 Archive)
A comeback would really not be possible if there was not a lapse in progress. Don't take my word for it. You already know this. I challenge anyone to find a comeback story or any possible success story that set backs and obstacles did not affect. It was the wide perspective of the people in these stories that allowed them to become successful.

Loss of any kind always presents us with a choice. This is a choice that we are actually always making. It is the choice of how we interpret our experience. It is the choice of whether we accept and adapt to, or resist what is.

To accept your reality is to be at peace and one with it and as a result, able to affect change with in it. It is literally to be in the present moment with the absence of egoic thought.

To resist your reality is to be in denial of it. You see yourself as separate from the situation. You would rather see a different reality and so you are not truly in the present moment. You cause yourself an incredible amount of unnecessary stress. All stress is resistance.

If you look at those who get ahead in life; you will notice that they all were experts at adapting. They knew how to roll with the punches. As a result, they were never shaken from the path to their goals. It is so ironic that many people's idea of being strong is to be immovable. In reality, the more flexible and prone to adapting you are; the stronger you are and the longer you last.

It is the set backs that allow us to see that we are not the story. Sometimes we are able to see we are the consciousness which allows the story to exist. We are not defined by the loss. We are the consciousness which allows us to notice a loss. The rough times often develop character because your true essence gets to shine through whatever has been lost.

Every set back is a set up for a comeback! Don't believe it. You already know it.

The Best Medicine

According to an old story, a lord of ancient China once asked his physician, who was the most skilled physician in the healing arts. The physician, whose reputation was of the highest in medical science in China at the time replied, "My eldest brother sees the spirit of sickness and removes it before it takes shape, so his name does not get out of the house. My elder brother cures sickness when it is still extremely minute, so his name does not get out of the neighborhood. As for me, I puncture veins, prescribe potions, and massage skin, so from time to time, my name gets out and is heard among the lords."

The medical industry we are all familiar with is just what it is called. It is an industry. It's just business. It is not designed to heal you to never be sick, but to give you a band-aid treatment so that you will return as another loyal customer. Healing patients permanently would be self defeating to the industry.

In contrast, the healers that you don't hear too much about are actually the ones that you might have greater success looking into. Reiki, acupuncture, and other forms of healing that deal with the unseen life forces that animate us do not treat illness as an enemy to be fought, but as an imbalance in the energy of your body. As a result, the cause of the problem is eliminated instead of covered up by drugs or surgery. We are beings of spirit. We have unseen energy bodies. To only focus on what can be seen when trying to heal us is a closed minded approach.

I, myself, was in a very bad auto accident a few years ago. I got a bad head injury which resulted in the paralysis of the left side of my face. I could not even close my left eye when I blinked. The medical industry's solution for the problem was surgery on my eyelid (almost laughable). Fortunately, my mother suggested I get acupuncture treatment. As a result, the movement in my face started returning and I could completely close my eye with no problem. All this because the doctor focuses on my flow of 'chi' (life force energy) that he detected was altered by the accident. Redirecting the flow returns balance and can solve a lot more problems than drugs and surgery.

I encourage you not to take my word for it. Do your own research and find out the wonders of real healing as opposed to band-aid treatment. Returning to a state of balance and harmony is always the best medicine.

Who Gave You the Right?

George Carlin was a very funny comedian. What I enjoyed even more than the laughs, was his broad perspective which always dared to question the story society tells us to believe. As in a few previous posts written here on this blog, he challenged people to use their own senses of observation as opposed to being a sheep being led around by old and dysfunctional ideas.

Some of his conclusions might seem kind of harsh to some, but the exercise in objective thinking is excellent.

Check the clip to see some great examples of this.

Related posts:

The Middle Road

The Middle Road, more traditionally known as the Middle Way, or the Middle Path, is the practice of non-extremism. This practice has been a part of many disciplines for centuries around the world. Those who master the road or way are called 'enlightened'.

As stated in this passage from the Pali Canon ( Samyutta Nikaya's Kaccāyanagotta Sutta):
"'Everything exists': That is one extreme.
'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme.
Avoiding these two extremes,
the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle...."

In everyday life situations, this can be practiced through the perspective you use to watch events unfold. It is a state of awareness that can sound paradoxical when described. It's like looking in opposite directions at once. You give attention to your surroundings and present situations, yet simultaneously stay focused on how you feel and the thought processes (or lack there of) going on. In other words, you are looking out and looking in.

This perspective slows the mind. Whenever we give our attention to our mind and/or our breathing, they will slow down. Our awareness is present like always but we watch the amount of thoughts passing slow down. Of course this attention can only be given in the present moment and aligns your awareness with the present moment. In this frame of consciousness, extremes fall away.

Extremes are resorted to in stressful situations. Ego threatened thought produces stress. When a person slows or eliminates excessive thoughts, they can effectively slow or eliminate stress. No extremes. The middle road. The middle way.

Related posts:

I Can't Wait

(From the Archive Sept. '08)
I wouldn't imagine there are too many people around who have not heard the phrase, "I can't wait," uttered many times in their life by others, if not themselves. Of course it is usually followed by a certain event or circumstance.
"I can't wait until I get my raise."
"I can't wait to get out of debt."
"I can't wait to get you home tonight."
You get the picture.

The funny thing is, if you ever really gave any attention to the validity of this phrase, you could almost laugh at how popular it is. If you really observe it, you will realize that the only thing the person expressing the phrase, will do, ... is wait. They are actually waiting as they are verbally saying that they can't.

'I can't wait' is more accurately expressed as, 'I don't want to wait.'
'I don't want to wait' is more accurately expressed as 'I don't want the present moment. I don't want right now. I don't accept this reality; I want that one.' This is why people do not enjoy being anxious.

Anxiety is a form of resistance to what is. It is a denial of circumstances. It is a rejection of the present. It is self inflicted stress. It is not a favorable feeling.

The good news is; it is completely avoidable. The only reason that a person feels that they ‘can't wait’ is the attachment to an idea of how they want things to be.

If you can stop thinking about how you want it and enjoy the gift that the present truly is, the anxiety is gone.

Synthesize Happiness

This post is a follow up to the previous post "Good Times."

It is a talk given by Dan Gilbert, author of "Stumbling on Happiness". He challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. It fits in perfectly as a great illustration of the way we interact with or actually create the way we feel about reality.

Check it out:
Dan Gilbert asks, 'Why are we happy?'

Good Times

Good times. We've all had them. Some people more than others, but we've all had at least a glimpse of them. Individually, we all might have different situations and circumstances that we might give the label of 'good times,' but that's where the differences end.

Amazingly, but not surprisingly, everyone alive has the exact same view or feeling when it comes to having a good time. We all share and contribute a feeling of acceptance (joy, gratitude, enthusiasm, relief, appreciation, bliss, ecstasy, peace, or any combination of these) to whatever the situation or circumstance is.

The very definition of 'good times' are when you are in high acceptance of what is. It is not possible to have good times with out the special ingredient of this perspective.

Looking at this fact with the analytical, logical, and deductive reasoning skills of a scientist breaking down a compound to isolate and identify a single element; we may realize that an attitude of acceptance is the common denominator in every single person's experience of 'good times.' We may see that it is because we add this single ingredient of acceptance to a life situation that 'good times' occur. We could then successfully conclude that we can create 'good times' whenever we want by adding high degrees of acceptance to a life situation. We can effectively synthesis 'good times!' We can create 'good times' whenever we want!

Of course it works on paper and sounds real nice, but does it actually work? Is it all just hype and hypothesis? Don't take my word for it. Think about your own life experiences and see if it holds up.
  • During your best life experiences, what was your attitude toward the situation like?
  • Even right now, if you picture a scenario of something you want to happen happening, what is your attitude like toward that?
  • Can you even imagine a situation where you are not in acceptance making you feel good?
Good times. The best memories in your life are often very vivid. You can so easily recall the sights, sounds, smells, what you felt like, and what was going on. It is at times like these that you might feel more alive and your awareness or senses are heightened. Of course it makes for a more vivid memory, but why does this happen? It is because in a high mode of acceptance, the regular mind chatter slows or ceases and your feeling of being in the moment, being alive, and sensing everything comes to the forefront of your consciousness. Good times only happen in the present moment.

You can be in high acceptance at will. You can have 'good times' at will. It might not be easy at first, but it definitely gets easier with practice.

Let the good times roll.

Wearing Attachments

Imagine having a very stylish jacket with one very irritating feature. This one thing (one stress causing attribute) is that the jacket is full of little grappling hooks (just like the one in the picture).

The only thing that gets caught in the hooks of the jacket are ideas and concepts. Not every and any idea. Only the ones that you identify with to the point of confusing them with your very identity. In other words, ideas like race, culture, religion, nationality, status, and the like, are the types of things that get caught in theses hooks. These ideas are the kind people more often than not, confuse with their very identity.

Whatever gets caught in the hooks, will be defended by the person wearing them as if they were defending their very lives. As a result, these attachments will inevitably bring pain and suffering to the wearer. When the ideas are questioned, threatened, disproved, or shown to be irrelevant, great amounts of stress are experienced by the person attached to them.

On the road of life, these attachments we wear often bog us down and get snagged on other things along the way. They can be looked at as both a gift and a curse though. When we are aware of these facts, they are a gift in that they are excellent reminders and can help us measure how attached we are to certain things in our lives. When we are unaware of them, they are the cause of an endless stream of stress. Paradoxically, this stream of stress will help us become aware of attachments and put an end to the cycle. In either case, these hindrances to our peace of mind only help us to move closer toward that peace once recognized.

A big attachment (like a romantic relationship or a source of money) can sometimes work as a wake up call once the hook it hangs on comes under pressure. It's like the attachment gets snagged on an immovable object. Either you get stuck where you are along with this outdated idea and suffer from the lack of progress you are making or suffer the temporary growing pain of freeing yourself of the idea and move on.

Accepting attachments in order to free yourself of them is a process I am becoming more familiar with and starting to get really good at. I was blessed with certain life situations that helped me realize I had some attachments left when I thought I had none. At first, it seemed like a curse. Stepping back a bit, it is easy to see the gift I have been given.

The Logic of Acceptance

Acceptance is a major life changing perspective and can be used as a tool to dramatically increase the value of your life right now. Regardless of your views on life, religion, science, philosophy, cultures, politics, or any other possible topic, you have almost no choice but to agree to the logic of acceptance. Check it out.

positive + positive = positive (+ and + = +)
Say yes to the yes...... in your perspective and you will enjoy life.

negative + negative = positive ( - and - = +)
Say no to the no...... in your perspective and you will enjoy life.

This is allowance of life situations. This is acceptance. This is adaptation. This is the root of happiness.

positive + negative = negative (+ and - = -)
Say yes to the no...... and in life you will feel pain or stress.

negative + positive = negative (- and + = -)
Say no to the yes...... and in life you will feel pain or stress.

From the teachings of Buddha to your nearest psychologist, it is agreed that the key to peace and happiness in life is to be in acceptance and not resistance to what is. Suffering is indeed a state of mind; and if you can change your mind (train your mind), then you can change your life experience.

This logic is true, mathematically, philosophically, and most importantly, it is true to your experience of life.