Category Archives: Mind

Awake and aware – it all remains the same

You know the saying, the more things change, the more they stay the same? It’s a true observation in many ways. Familiarity plays a vital role in the conditioning of the mind. Human beings rely primarily on their individual ego identity, and  even though even the ego itself changes through the years, the primary method of outer-world perception stills resides within this familiar identity of self. Preconceptions play a large role in this saying as well, causing us to to be far less alive and aware in every new moment than we imagine we might be, if we could consistently be free from the constraints of this identity and its hold upon the mind.

Hermes observed centuries ago, there is nothing new under the sun, implying that the familiar routines that take hold within human thought and life are played out in some manner throughout all of existence. The seasons change, the rain comes and goes, evolution marches onward slowly and methodically since the birth of the earth. The field of play for this majestic expression of divine creation is the earth, the universe, the finite space of material manifestation. Bound by time and universal cycles, there can be nothing new, only a repetition of themes of dark and light, cold and hot, alive and dead, and all of the other dualities inherent in a 3-dimensional world of form.

In Zen there is a similar saying: Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. Even when consciousness expands, bursting through into a state of radiant light, so bright that it extinguishes all identity, time and duality and any memory of them as well, action remains with the body in which that consciousness has sprung to life. Action in the 3-D world of time and duality goes on for everyone, whether they have attained this great realization of not – even a monk sitting in meditation must breathe.

Even though our daily tasks, routines and actions may make us feel that we have seen it all before (if not in this life, then in previous incarnations), we do receive spontaneous gifts and blessings that can catch us by surprise. A sudden inspiration, a fresh insight, a flower that catches our eye, a newborn baby,  making love to someone for the first time, a transmission of spiritual energy in a group or from a teacher – these kinds of special experiences snap us out of our familiar state and wake us up in the here and now. These bursts of expansive aliveness disrupt the preconditioned ego, alleviating the burdens of the same, old, embodied point of view. They shake us out of body consciousness and the rhythms of the world, as if to say – Hey! You are the eternal, blissful, changeless, formless One – remember?

The task of the sage after awakening is to ground consciousness here on earth, as vast a consciousness as one can realize. And to recognize that vastness as the infinite identity that is you – and give it life in this embodied state. Remember this identity in the midst of action, duality and time and you can consciously play with this illusion known as form. Then, you may join the liberated saints in saying: After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water – and I laughed all the way.

~ Check out the current state of my eternal changes at my new website – ChavahAima.com

 

bodysurrender

Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Quotes/Buddhist/General/Z/Zen-Saying/Before-Enlightenmenti-Chopped-Wood-And-Carried.aspx#ApFItQRq0rBuSVRf.99
Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Quotes/Buddhist/General/Z/Zen-Saying/Before-Enlightenmenti-Chopped-Wood-And-Carried.aspx#ApFItQRq0rBuSVRf.99

Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Quotes/Buddhist/General/Z/Zen-Saying/Before-Enlightenmenti-Chopped-Wood-And-Carried.aspx#ApFItQRq0rBuSVRf.99
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Let go of beliefs and liberate your mind

The superficial advice that has been made much of in the infamous law of attraction directs us to avoid negative thoughts and take up positive thoughts instead; however, those who embrace this belief have learned nothing really helpful to the process of mental liberation. It is likely that they may be attempting by this method to suppress uncomfortable, unconscious content arising from the subconscious mind that they should instead be welcoming, facing and resolving. Real transmutation of the mind requires more than simply programming and conditioning the mind in this way, which only strengthens and enhances dualistic ideas and beliefs of creator and created, mind and matter, attraction and repulsion. Only when we go beyond these mind games does it becomes possible to enter deeply into unified Consciousness itself and discover ourselves as the Self who commands all things.

What we believe we will receive, but when we find out who the believer is, we go beyond belief into truth and understanding. The very thought of thought itself – good, bad or indifferent – must always remain illusion, an inherent part of the net of Maya. To become free from Maya, we surrender the mind fully to the Self. Of course it can be temporarily helpful to hold the opposite thought if one’s thoughts are highly negative; but in the long run it is far healthier to allow the negative thoughts to arise and be released, if one truly desires to be free. It’s important to know that the ultimate help, in any case, arises only when we stop all thought and find out who the thinker really is. It is only in a fully unconditioned state of mind that we can experience this true Reality.

The transmutation of these constructs of the mind feeds our spiritual growth as beliefs and their resulting manifestations dissolve. Old emotions, ideas, attachments and physical conditions break down, releasing dynamic energy to serve as rich and nourishing compost to bring about new consciousness and life.  We support the liberation of the mind when we dissolve beliefs into pure, unconditioned consciousness. We do this by consistently adopting the most expansive view toward everything we encounter. We refuse to believe anything that we see with our outer eyes, having faith instead that true understanding can only arise from the Self within who sees all things in the perfect light of consciousness. Beyond the mind lies truth, and by turning our eyes inward we become free from all limitations.

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Taking Refuge in the Real

Reality. We think we know what it is – but what we take to be the ‘real’ is only an unreal illusion. We can start the journey to the real by recognizing what is not real. Even that which we take to be ourselves – the mind, emotions and body – are not the true reality. The world is also not real in the way that we believe it to be.

The Master Jesus taught that the kingdom is within. It is not of the world, and neither are you. Enlightenment scriptures, masters and sages tell us that our first contact with Reality comes about when we transcend sentimentality. Somewhere beyond our emotional attachments lies the true reality.

The dramas of daily life, relations with others and the so-called facts of science are not only unreal, they actually prevent us from experiencing that which is real. We experience our thoughts as if they our own. We take the emotional interactions we go through with others not only as real but sometimes as being critical to our happy lives.  We move and take action with the body, and  believe that we are that body.

All of these things that we take to be real are merely phenomenon, an illusion created by a limited ego.  The analytical mind of science is the least real of all, giving us pictures, ideas, names and forms that hold no significance in the true reality. This mind can never take us into Reality. Scientific instruments seek to expand the range of the senses, but only give  the mind new problems while bringing us no closer to wisdom.

The great sahajin Lewis Thompson wrote,  “All direct knowledge is mystical. All direct experience cuts across and disorganizes conceptual continuity and is immeasurable.” Such deep experience is self sufficient – there is no way to explain it. It does not fit the concepts of an unreal everyday world.  There is no way to express this experience – it transcends language. It is no less than the experience of absolute oneness.  This unspeakable, transcendental  consciousness is Reality.

The world of objects, emotional drama and mental analysis, the body and the appearance of ‘others’ in our lives are created by the ego, itself an unreal illusion caught in a dream of separation.  The Earth itself is only as solid  as our perception of it. All of the things that keep our attention and emotions engaged throughout each day are merely symbols that might point us toward the Real if we could only realize them as such.

By detachment, awareness and mystical experience we build a bridge to the Real. When we receive light from above and within, it illuminates the shadowy, unreal world created by ego and allows us to experience the Presence of the true Self – that living, loving Reality that provides eternal refuge from all error and delusion.

Shiva-Dancing