Category Archives: Personal Growth

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

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.

kwanyinsitting

New Year, New Blog

2012. The year of the big ending so the prophets said. Now everything will be different since we’ve arrived at 2013 – right? Have you noticed any changes yet? I believe the shift is a bit more subtle than the imagined apocalyptic chaos and instantaneous ending of it ALL. We will need to look within for great endings and quantum shifts. Has your consciousness changed?

Contemplating if there is an inward change, looking for a root shift within ourselves – we don’t always notice how much awareness has shifted, reversed or expanded. But if you take the time to reflect and consciously ask – what is different this year from last? – you may be surprised at what you see.

You may find that things that were challenging you are no longer there. Attitudes have changed from shadowy uncertainty, creeping fear and lightning-quick self-defense to a new feeling of faith, detachment and love. Old ways of relating are gone for good. Self-focus has been transmuted into a loving interest in kindly caring for every living thing.

What has dissolved in this year to end all years is astonishing. Take an inventory within and you will see. And perhaps you will discover that what has departed is as nothing when compared to the Light of Understanding that is now awake within.

cosmic light rising