Tag Archives: awareness

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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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

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