Sunday, May 31, 2009

Only a Bowl of Rice

This is as clear an example as you will find on how to live your life in the flow of Tao, Source, Self, or True Nature. I have drawn from this pool of great wisdom before and always gain something useful for my Path with Heart. I have written earlier posts here that speak to this important lesson. One such post is a short entry entitled, 'Your Path with Heart'. I hope you enjoy this post and find it helpful in finding your Path with Heart. Please feel free to visit Derek Lin's website by clicking the title. There is a wealth of wisdom there!

I am currently working on new post that should add some depth to whatever discipline you live, breathe, and sleep - your Path with Heart. Until then, walk as One with the Present and be protected by Source.


Tao Living

Only a Bowl of Rice

by Derek Lin

Once upon a time in ancient China, there lived a sage who was known for his ability to solve difficult problems. One day, he had two visitors who needed his advice. Both were polite young men, and each insisted that the other should go first. After some discussion, they discovered that their questions were essentially the same, so they settled on speaking with the sage at the same time.

One of the young men asked: "Master, our problems are similar. We are both low-level employees being treated badly at work. We get no respect at all, and our employers constantly push us around. Can you please tell us if we should quit our jobs?"

The sage closed his eyes and meditated at length. The two young men waited patiently, until finally the sage opened his eyes. He gave them the answer in five words: "Only a bowl of rice."

The two young men thanked the sage and departed. They contemplated the answer as they walked back to the city. "That was interesting," one of the young men broke the silence. "What do you think the sage meant?"

The other one was thoughtful: "Well, it's fairly obvious that the bowl of rice represents our daily meals."

"I agree," said the first young man. "I think he was telling us that the job is nothing more than a means to make a living."

"Yes, when you come right down to it, that's all we get out of the job – our daily meals."

They went their separate ways. One of them continued working at the same place. The other one submitted a letter of resignation immediately upon his return. He went home to the countryside and took up farming.

After several years, this young man achieved considerable success as a farmer. He used what he had learned in the city to import high quality seeds. The fruits and vegetables he grew became known as the best in the region. He enjoyed not only great profits, but also a reputation as an expert.

The young man who remained at work also did well. It was as if he became a different person. He took on difficult tasks and demonstrated an ability to handle adversity. He rose up through the ranks and received one promotion after another, until he became a manager.

One day, the two of them met again. Once they got caught up with one another, they realized that they had taken two very different paths – based on the exact same answer from the sage. They were both wealthy and happy, but which path was the correct one?

"How strange!" the manager exclaimed in puzzlement. "The Master said the same thing to us, and we both heard it the same way. Why did you quit?"

"Isn't it obvious?" the farmer was also puzzled. "I understood his words immediately. The job was nothing more than the means to get my daily meals, so why force myself to stay in a horrible situation just for a bowl of rice? Quitting was obviously the right thing to do. Why did you stay?"

"I also think it should be obvious," the manager laughed. "The job meant nothing more than a bowl of rice, so why was I getting so worked up over it? As soon as I understood this, I realized there was no need for me to get so upset. I did not have to take the abuse heaped on me personally, so of course I stayed. Isn't that what he meant?"

"Now I am completely confused," the farmer shook his head. "Did he mean for us to take your path or my path? Let's go see him again and get to the bottom of this."

Once again they presented themselves before the sage and explained the reason for their visit. "As you can see, Master, we would really like to know the real meaning of your advice all those years ago. Can you give us some insights?"

Again the sage closed his eyes. The two men waited patiently as before. After a spell, the sage opened his eyes and gave them his answer... again in five words:

"Only a difference of thought."

Upon hearing this story, some may think it does not have a proper ending. The sage did not say which was the right path. Doesn't this make the story ambiguous? How can we learn anything from it?

The perceptive reader will understand that the ambiguity is the point. The first teaching of this story is that nothing is fixed in the Tao. The two young men took paths that seemed diametrically opposite (staying versus quitting), and yet both achieved the same dream (wealth and happiness). In a similar way, we all have our own paths to follow, and even the paths that appear to have little in common can nevertheless lead us toward the same destination of spiritual enlightenment.

The Tao mindset is like a stream flowing downhill. It wanders this way and that, following the lay of the land. Sometimes, depending on local conditions, it can even change course. But no matter which way it takes, it ends up flowing into the ocean. This makes the Tao unlike spiritual traditions that insist there is only one correct way to the divine, and only they know what it is. The Tao does not care which way you take to get to it. It knows that you'll get there one way or another.

The second, and more important lesson from the story is exactly as the sage expressed: one small difference in thought can make a huge difference in life. Both young men in the story made the right decision, but this was a stroke of luck. It does not mean all paths are equally correct. Although we can take countless different roads to reach the same destination, there are just as many roads that take us further away. One decision to turn left or right at an intersection can mean the difference between arriving safely and being hopelessly lost.

This is true because the Tao isn't just present in the universal and macrocosmic. It also manifests in the small and seemingly insignificant. Thus, the sage pointed to the power of a single thought making a single choice. We may not think of this as being important, but it is a lever that has the potential to move the world and change your life.

How do we know which thoughts will impact the future, and which won't? Tao cultivators do not attempt to distinguish between the two. Instead, they treat everything they do, and all of their thoughts great and small as being worthy of attention. They do not try to figure out when to practice the Tao and when not to; they want to make living mindfully a habit, so they are in tune with the Tao at all times.

Only a difference of thought. That's really all it takes. One impulse, one idea, one decision can change everything. This is is why every thought counts... in alignment with the Tao!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Decisions: Get Out of Your Own Way

I have known since my days in Kenpo that we operate at our full potential when we act without thought or "not-do" as Lao-tse taught. In fact, this "non-doing" at the core of Taoist philosophy is the foundation for all legitimate martial arts, especially the powerful internal arts of Tai Chi Chuan, Hsing I, and Pa Gua - the three fundamental internal martial arts (Triad) at the core of all internal arts. This has been described forever as "go with your gut-feeling" or something similar used to describe that feeling that we all experience when faced with difficult decisions or occasionally when we enter a situation that "just doesn't feel right". I wrote an earlier post entitled, "The Second Attention" where I explained this mode of "knowing" that occurs before we ever involve the conscious, thinking mind. I actually stumbled across this scientific article while exploring a website I have had bookmarked for quite some time and entitled, "The Second Attention". A Yaqui Indian Man of Knowledge, don Juan, made famous in Carlos Casteneda's books, would call this "stumbling upon" an Agreement. An Agreement is simply our Source or True Nature communicating with us that we are right or on the right Path. Most people are too busy thinking to ever notice such subtle occurrences and would never accept the notion of such a thing anyway. I really do not remember my first Agreement or, actually, the moment I Awoke to this ongoing communication or communion with Source but they have been numerous and growing in number as my Awareness deepens. This is just part of how Wisdom unfolds to those who are on their Path with Heart. Anyway, it is obvious how excited I get when I am blessed with Agreements but I will let go of this attachment now so you can read how science has recently observed this natural way of being. This article appeared in the Science section of The Wall Street Journal on June 27, 2008. Enjoy!


Get Out of Your Own Way
Studies Show the Value of Not Overthinking a Decision


Fishing in the stream of consciousness, researchers now can detect our intentions and predict our choices before we are aware of them ourselves. The brain, they have found, appears to make up its mind 10 seconds before we become conscious of a decision -- an eternity at the speed of thought.

Their findings challenge conventional notions of choice.

"We think our decisions are conscious," said neuroscientist John-Dylan Haynes at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Berlin, who is pioneering this research. "But these data show that consciousness is just the tip of the iceberg. This doesn't rule out free will, but it does make it implausible."

Through a series of intriguing experiments, scientists in Germany, Norway and the U.S. have analyzed the distinctive cerebral activity that foreshadows our choices. They have tracked telltale waves of change through the cells that orchestrate our memory, language, reason and self-awareness.

In ways we are only beginning to understand, the synapses and neurons in the human nervous system work in concert to perceive the world around them, to learn from their perceptions, to remember important experiences, to plan ahead, and to decide and act on incomplete information. In a rudimentary way, they predetermine our choices.

How do you best make up your mind? Are you better off when you sleep on a decision? What does this mean for our sense of choice and free will? Share your opinion in an online forum.

To probe what happens in the brain during the moments before people sense they've reached a decision, Dr. Haynes and his colleagues devised a deceptively simple experiment, reported in April in Nature Neuroscience. They monitored the swift neural currents coursing through the brains of student volunteers as they decided, at their own pace and at random, whether to push a button with their left or right hands.

In all, they tested seven men and seven women from 21 to 30 years old. They recorded neural changes associated with thoughts using a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine and analyzed the results with an experimental pattern-recognition computer program.

While inside the brain scanner, the students watched random letters stream across a screen. Whenever they felt the urge, they pressed a button with their right hand or a button with their left hand. Then they marked down the letter that had been on the screen in the instant they had decided to press the button.

Studying the brain behavior leading up to the moment of conscious decision, the researchers identified signals that let them know when the students had decided to move 10 seconds or so before the students knew it themselves. About 70% of the time, the researchers could also predict which button the students would push.

Is your freedom of choice an illusion?

Your brain knows what you're going to do 10 seconds before you are aware of it, neuroscientist John-Dylan Haynes and his colleagues reported recently in Nature Neuroscience.

Last year In the journal Current Biology, the scientists reported they could use brain wave patterns to identify your intentions before you revealed them.

Their work builds on a landmark 1983 paper in the journal Brain by the late Benjamin Libet and his colleagues at the University of California in San Francisco, who found out that the brain initiates free choices about a third of a second before we are aware of them.

Together, these findings support the importance of the unconscious in shaping decisions. Psychologist Ap Dijksterhuis and his co-workers at the University of Amsterdam reported in the journal Science that it is not always best to deliberate too much before making a choice.

Nobel laureate Francis Crick -- co-discoverer of the structure of DNA -- tackled the implications of such cognitive science in his 1993 book The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul.

With co-author Giulio Tononi, Nobel laureate Gerald Edleman explores his biology-based theory of consciousness in A Universe Of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination.

"It's quite eerie," said Dr. Haynes.

Other researchers have pursued the act of decision deeper into the subcurrents of the brain.

In experiments with laboratory animals reported this spring, Caltech neuroscientist Richard Anderson and his colleagues explored how the effort to plan a movement forces cells throughout the brain to work together, organizing a choice below the threshold of awareness. Tuning in on the electrical dialogue between working neurons, they pinpointed the cells of what they called a "free choice" brain circuit that in milliseconds synchronized scattered synapses to settle on a course of action.

"It suggests we are looking at this actual decision being made," Dr. Anderson said. "It is pretty fast."

And when those networks momentarily malfunction, people do make mistakes. Working independently, psychologist Tom Eichele at Norway's University of Bergen monitored brain activity in people performing routine tasks and discovered neural static -- waves of disruptive signals -- preceded an error by up to 30 seconds. "Thirty seconds is a long time," Dr. Eichele said.

Such experiments suggest that our best reasons for some choices we make are understood only by our cells. The findings lend credence to researchers who argue that many important decisions may be best made by going with our gut -- not by thinking about them too much.

Dutch researchers led by psychologist Ap Dijksterhuis at the University of Amsterdam recently found that people struggling to make relatively complicated consumer choices -- which car to buy, apartment to rent or vacation to take -- appeared to make sounder decisions when they were distracted and unable to focus consciously on the problem.

Moreover, the more factors to be considered in a decision, the more likely the unconscious brain handled it all better, they reported in the peer-reviewed journal Science in 2006. "The idea that conscious deliberation before making a decision is always good is simply one of those illusions consciousness creates for us," Dr. Dijksterhuis said.

Does this make our self-awareness just a second thought?

All this work to deconstruct the mental machinery of choice may be the best evidence of conscious free will. By measuring the brain's physical processes, the mind seeks to know itself through its reflection in the mirror of science.

"We are trying to understand who we are," said Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, "by studying the organ that allows you to understand who you are."

Get Out of Your Own Way
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Colorful Wisdom of Chuang-tse

Along with Lao-tse and Sun-tse one of the three original Taoists, Chuang-tse* wrote a collection of very humorous and mysterious epigrams that have survived largely intact to this day. I have read many different translations of the Tao Te Ching by Lao-tse and always gain something new and important to further my Path with Heart, however, I so enjoy reading the humorous stories written by Chuang-tse that contain the great Wisdom of Lao-tse too. First, is a brief introduction to this very wise teacher and uniquely humorous Taoist Master written by Lin Yutang. Then, some of my favorite stories and teachings of Chuang-tse. I hope you enjoy the way he uses very colorful and descriptive names for the ficticious characters in his work but also gain the vast wisdom contained within each story.


* As with Lao-tse, there are several different spellings of Chuang-tse such as Zhuangzi here.

Lin Yutang's Introduction to Chuangtse: Mystic and Humorist

Jesus was followed by St. Paul, Socrates by Plato, Confucius by Mencius, and Lao-tse by Chuang-tse. In all four cases, the first was the real teacher and either wrote no books or wrote very little, and the second began to develop the doctrines and wrote long and profound discourses. Chuang-tse, who died about 275 B.C., was separated from Lao-tse's death by not quite two hundred years, and was strictly a contemporary of Mencius. Yet the most curious thing is that although both these writers mentioned the other philosophers of the time, neither was mentioned by the other in his works. Chuang-tse is therefore important as the first one who fully developed the Taoistic thesis of the rhythm of life, contained in the epigrams of Lao-tse. Unlike other Chinese philosophers principally occupied with practical questions of government and personal morality, he gives the only metaphysics existing in Chinese literature before the coming of Buddhism. I am sure his mysticism will charm some readers and repel others. Certain traits in it, like weeding out the idea of the Ego and quiet contemplation and "seeing the Solitary" explain how these native Chinese ideas were back of the development of the Ch'an (Japanese Zen) Buddhism. Any branch of human knowledge, even the study of the rocks of the earth and the cosmic rays of heaven, strikes mysticism when is reaches any depth at all, and it seems Chinese Taoism skipped the scientific study of nature to reach the same intuitive conclusion by insight alone. Therefore it is not surprising that Albert Einstein and Chuang-tse agree, as agree they must, on the relativity of all standards. The only difference is that Einstein takes on the more difficult and, to a Chinese, more stupid work of mathematical proof, while Chuang-tse furnishes the philosophic import of this theory of relativity, which must be sooner or later developed by Western philosophers in the next decades.


oot of Heaven roamed on the south side of Mount Vast. When he came to the bank of Clear Stream he met Nameless Man and asked him. "Please tell me how to manage the world."
"Go away you dunce." Nameless Man said. "Such questions are no fun I was Just about to join the Creator of Things. If I get bored with that, I'll climb on the bird Merges with the Sky and soar beyond the six directions. I'll visit Nothing Whatever town and stay in Boundless country. Why do you bring up managing the world to disturb my thoughts? '' Still Root of Heaven repeated his question and Nameless Man responded "Let your rnind wander among the insipid, blend your energies with the featureless, spontaneously accord with things, and you will have no room for selfishness. Then the world will be in order."How do I know that enjoying life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death we are not like people who got lost in early childhood and do not know the way home? Lady Li was the child of a border guard in Ai. When first captured by the state of Jin, she wept so much her clothes were soaked. But after she entered the palace, shared the king's bed, and dined on the finest meats, she regretted her tears. How do I know that the dead do not regret their previous longing for life? One who dreams of drinking wine may in the morning weep; one who dreams weeping may in the morning go out to hunt. During our dreams we do not now we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream. And yet fools think they are awake, presuming to know that they are rulers or herdsmen. How dense! You and Confucius are both dreaming, and I who say you are a dream am also a dream. Such is my tale. It will probably be called preposterous, but after ten thousand generations there may be a great sage who will be able to explain it, a trivial interval equivalent to the passage from morning to night.


hen Zhuangzi's wife died and Hui Shi came to convey his condolences, he found Zhuangzi squatting with his knees out, drumming on a pan and singing ''You lived with her she raised your children, and you grew old together, Hui Shi said "Not weeping when she died would have been bad enough. Aren't you going too far by drurnming on a pan and singing ?'
"No," Zhuangzi said, "when she first died how could I have escaped feeling the loss? Then I looked back to the beginning before she had life Not only before she had life but before she had form. Not only before she had form, but before she had vital energy. In this confused amorphous realm, something changed and vital energy appeared,- when the vital energy was changed, form appeared; with changes in form, life began. Now there is another change bringingdeath This is like the progression of the four seasons of spring and fall, winter and summer. Here she was lying down to sleep in a huge room and I followed her sobbing and wailing. When I realized my actions showed I hadn't understood destiny, I stopped."


hen Zhuangzi was about to die, his disciples wanted to bury him in a well-appointed tomb. Zhuangzi said, ''I have the sky and the earth for inner and outer coffins the sun and the moon for jade disks the stars for pearls and the ten thousand things for farewell gifts. Isn't the paraphernalia for my burial adequate without adding anything?"
''We are afraid the crows and kites will eat you master," a disciple said. "Above ground, I will be eaten by crows and kites; below ground by ants. You are robbing from the one to give to the other. Why play favorites'''


onsider Cripple Shu. His chin is down by his navel His shoulders stick up above his head. The bones at the base of his neck point to the sky. The five pipes of his spine are on top: his two thighs form ribs. Yet by sewing and washing he is able to fill his mouth; by shaking the fortune-telling sticks he earns enough to feed ten. When the authorities draft soldiers, a cripple can walk among them confidently flapping his sleeves; when they are conscripting work gangs, cripples are excused because of their infirmity. When the authorities give relief grain to the ailing a cripple gets three measures along with undles of firewood. Thus one whose form is crippled can nurture his body and live out the years Heaven grants him. Think that he could do if his virtue was crippled too!


uke Huan was reading a book in the hall. Wheelwright Pian, who had been chiseling a wheel in the courtyard below, set down his tools and climbed the stairs to ask Duke Huan, "may I ask what words are in the book Your Grace is reading?"
"The words of sages." the Duke responded. "Are these sages alive?" "They are already dead" That means you are reading the dregs of long gone men, doesn't it?" Duke Huan said How does a wheelwright get to have opinions on the books I read? If you can explain yoursel f I'll let it pass otherwise, it's death." W'heelwright Pian said ''In my case I see things in terms of my own work. When I chisel at a wheel, if I go slow the chisel slides and does not stay put; if I hurry, it jams and doesn't move properly When it is neither too slow nor too fast I can feel it in my hand and respond to it from my heart. My mouth cannot describe it in words but there is something there 1 cannot teach it to my son and my son cannot learn it from me So I have gone on for seventy years, growing old chiseling wheels The men of old died in possession of what could not transmit. So it follows that what you are reading is their dregs."


ui Shi said to Zhuangzi, "I have a large tree, of the sort people call a shu tree. Its trunk is too gnarled for measuring lines to be applied to it, its branches are too twisted for use with compasses or T-squares. If you stood it on the road, no carpenter would pay any attention to it Now your talk is similarly vast but useless, people are unanimous in rejecting it."
Zhuangzi replied, "Haven't you ever seen a wildcat or a weasel? It crouches down to wait for something to pass, ready to pounce east or west, high or low, only to end by falling into a trap and dying in a net But then there is the yak. It is as big as a cloud hanging in the sky. It has an ability to be big, but hardly an ability to catch mice. Now you have a large tree but fret over its uselessness. Why not plant it in Nothing At All town or Vast Nothing wilds? Then you could roam about doing nothing by its side or sleep beneath it. Axes will never shorten its life and nothing w ill ever harm it. If you are of no use at all, who will make trouble for you?"


ow do I know that enjoying life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death we are not like people who got lost in early childhood and do not know the way home? Lady Li was the child of a border guard in Ai. When first captured by the state of Jin, she wept so much her clothes were soaked. But after she entered the palace, shared the king's bed, and dined on the finest meats, she regretted her tears. How do I know that the dead do not regret their previous longing for life? One who dreams of drinking wine may in the morning weep; one who dreams weeping may in the morning go out to hunt. During our dreams we do not now we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream. And yet fools think they are awake, presuming to know that they are rulers or herdsmen. How dense! You and Confucius are both dreaming, and I who say you are a dream am also a dream. Such is my tale. It will probably be called preposterous, but after ten thousand generations there may be a great sage who will be able to explain it, a trivial interval equivalent to the passage from morning to night.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ego: Our Own Worst Enemy

Everything in the Universe, including the Universe, was born, has evolved over time, and is in a state of constant evolution until it's destruction or ultimate death. Evolution of the material is the most obvious but mind and even soul have gone through this process and will continue in the same fashion. There was a time in our distant past when we were in a perfect state of Oneness - a Oneness of mind, body, and soul. In this perfect state, there was no duality, only Oneness - a Oneness of All. This was a state of total Bliss and harmony. Then at some moment long, long ago, evolution made itself known and a part of mind unknown until that moment, broke through our Collective Unconscious and forever shattered our pristine Paradise. This part of mind is Ego.

This has been written about in many cultures as the moment we lost Paradise, or lost our Innocence. In Biblical terms, we "ate the fruit of knowledge" and "God" kicked our collective, but now individual, butts out of the Garden of Eden - ie, Paradise. It was at this moment, according to the Bible, that we realized we were naked for the first time. There was now a separate you and a separate me, and, we were horrified! Well, I believe the Bible says, embarrassed, but I think something more dramatic is called for at this particular point - this birth of all things Evil.

Yes, I used the word "Evil". How about the word "Satan"! Does that give you a better idea of the magnitude of this event? It was the worst moment in our entire existence. Now, do not think for a moment that some fiery-red dude with horns, a pointy tail, and a pitchfork appeared. No, nothing so fictionally dramatic like that happened then, or ever for that matter. The actual definition of the word "satan" is: Satan(noun)from Hebrew,satan,"adversary"the Devil,the Tempter,the Chief Rebel against God mentioned in the Bible* This truth is so obvious once you understand that our Source is pure Love, altruistic Love, and then you realize that all selfish, unkind, cruel, and evil thoughts and actions originate from the thinking, scheming, and self-gratifying Ego.

When Ego emerged, it emerged as the adversary to our Source, God, True Nature, Self, et al. This was the initial separation of self (individual) from Self (collective whole or Oneness) and dualism was created by Ego in order to manifest this illusion of self** or separateness. In order for a separate "I", "Me", "you', "we", or "us" to exist, there must be an "outside or background" to contrast against. For example, can there be an "up" without a "down" or "left" without "right"? It is the same with you. There must be something outside of you for you to exist. Without this contrast, it would look like this: !! White font against a white background equals nothing! It is just too easy to get drawn into the scholar's world of Philosophy at this point with the virtually unlimited number of philosophers and texts on this subject. Many philosphers throughout history have undertaken the task of explaining "self" so I will mention just one here for reference, John Locke. *** His description of "self" is: "personal identity consists: not in the identity of substance, but... in the identity of consciousness". So, to put it simply, "I think, therefore, I am".

We have been trying to get back home, back to Paradise, back to our True Nature, ever since. There were no bread crumbs dropped leaving a trail back to Source and Ego certainly did not take notes or draw a map, so it is up to each of us to get back. There is one little catch though...most people do not even know that this is an illusion created by Ego and therefore are not even aware they are lost. These people, of which everyone was once one, are Asleep for now and can not understand. This too has been written about by many philosophers over the ages without any sufficient conclusion as far as I am concerned. I think it has to do with the age of and the evolution of the soul or perhaps it is tied to reaching a certain level of wisdom - just speculation. Albeit, if you are reading my blog though, then I am assuming that you have Awakened and are on your Path with Heart. If not.......WAKE UP!!!!!

Okay, so here we are on our respective Paths with Heart and seeking the Wisdom to get back home. First, you must realize that you really never left - remember the illusion part. Second, visualize "home" as a radio station that broadcasts only in the Present and you are trying to tune it in. Third, consider that your thoughts of the past and the future are static created by the Ego and they are preventing you from getting a clear signal. Now, relax, let your thoughts quiet down, and "tune" in" CALM Radio. It is the completely silent and peaceful spot on your radio dial between the Oldies station and that new irritating, adrenaline-pumping station that sounds like noise to you but the kids love it. Focus on that perfectly empty space until you can actually feel the stillness inside of your Center. Now, as you are relaxing further and further into that very quiet place, without a thought, just calmly look around. What do you "see"? That is is you, me, your dog, everyone, and everything.............and all you feel is the Infinite Bliss of pure Love. Welcome home!

* Satan - Wiktionary (10 May 2009)

** Self as an illusion:

In spirituality, and especially nondual, mystical and eastern meditative traditions, the human being is often conceived as being in the illusion of individual existence, and separateness from other aspects of creation. This "sense of doership" or sense of individual existence is that part which believes it is the human being, and believes it must fight for itself in the world, is ultimately unaware and unconscious of its own true nature. The ego is often associated with mind and the sense of time, which compulsively thinks in order to be assured of its future existence, rather than simply knowing its own self and the present.

The spiritual goal of many traditions involves the dissolving of the ego, allowing self-knowledge of one's own true nature to become experienced and enacted in the world. This is variously known as enlightenment, nirvana, presence, and the "here and now".

*** John Locke
......................... considered personal identity (or the self) to be founded on consciousness (viz. Memory), and not on the substance of either the soul or the body. Chapter XXVII "On Identity and Diversity" in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) has been said to be one of the first modern conceptualization of consciousness as the repeated self-identification of oneself.
~ Wikipedia, under: Personal identity (philosophy)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Great Potential of Challenges: The Way Home

This post is in response to a comment from a dear friend concerning my earlier post, "A Most Unlikely Blessing". This event long ago is an integral part to my being and has been the ultimate tool for prying my Ego from my True Nature and showing me my Path with Heart - the path back to who and what we really are. It does not require the use of memory because I am this event, all of the myriad of separate events that it created, and every moment both good and bad. Sharing this life-changing event was a unique opportunity to pass on wisdom of a sort that most people never encounter and even fewer understand. I sincerely hope that this is read and read until the reader can truly grasp what the Second Attention is and can find this hidden "sense" within themselves. This is an astronomical leap in understanding our True Nature and a huge jump in time and space on their Path With Heart. I am privileged to understand this natural "Knowing" which we all possess and very glad I survived my encounters with death so I could share this wisdom with everyone interested.

Life is school. The only school that counts and it uses many teaching aides to help us to understand the One Truth that we all must learn. Pain is just one tool and there are many variations of this tool. I do not believe that physical pain and emotional pain are the same but they are definitely intertwined. Whether the tool used to teach us a lesson is pain, or something else like frustration or anger, the important thing is how we use the tool provided to uncover the intended lesson(s). As with every event our Destiny unfolds to us, it is not so much the event but how we allow the event to effect us. This is the one choice in Life that we all have - the Only choice! It is in dealing with the challenges in our lives where the lesson(s) lies and the wisdom awaits. Some will pass by or through these challenges and move on to the next one much wiser, more accepting, and with a positive attitude. Many others will "hit the wall" trying to deal with their challenges and literally get stuck while more challenges continue to pile up in their lives. These unfortunate people allow life to become a nightmare because of the bad choices they made in approaching and dealing with their challenges. Most eventually become overwhelmed. The subsequent decisions they make under this duress usually lead to terrible conclusions and lost ground in their main objective of overcoming Karma.

To overcome Karma, you must learn to face life's challenges as a true warrior faces battle. The true warrior relaxes his mind into stillness and sinks this calm mind into his body. He is now in his most powerful state of being. His is One of mind, body, and spirit and is living completely in the moment, the Present. When his adversary attacks, he Knows his intent and flows with his every move until he Senses an opening. Then, without a thought, he acts and the battle is over. In martial arts, this is called, "it is done before you do it". Lao-tse called this "Non-Doing" because there is no Cause for Karma to detect and therefore no Effect to deal with later in this life or the next. By living every moment this way, your long list of Effects, your Destiny, eventually runs it's course and comes to an end - The End. The End of your attachment to this material world and your attainment of genuine Free Will. You have overcome this world! This is exactly what Jesus did eons ago and then came back here to show us, "The Way". He called his teachings, "The Way"! How could most of the world miss this One Truth!! This is my great frustration! This is my challenge now and it is a great mountain to climb indeed!

Ok, Ok, back to dealing with challenges, all of those obstacles laid out before us by our Karma because we do not live each moment as a true warrior. This is our Destiny that we continue to lengthen with every Cause we create because under the absolute Law of Karma, each Cause must and will have a corresponding Effect. And on and on and on and infinitum! This is why that devastating, life-changing, death-defying, event that I wrote about in
"A Most Unlikely Blessing" was actually an incredible blessing. I learned the lesson of the true warrior, the power of living in the moment and approaching and overcoming every challenge one calm moment at a time. Over the decades of first learning and then becoming this true warrior in times of crisis and great struggle, I have also "seen" solutions to small puzzles which then became pieces of larger puzzles. Then I "saw" the solutions to these larger puzzles which then became pieces of yet larger puzzles and so on and so on and so on...................... Such is the infinite unfolding of Wisdom as you travel your Path with Heart. There is no destination, it is a journey! When you awaken to your journey, something we all must do, then you have started your Path with Heart. Why is it a Path with Heart? It is called this because you have awakened to the fact that this is why you are here and that this journey, overcoming your challenges without creating Causes, demands that you dedicate your entire being, put your heart and soul into this new and wondrous way of living, and that makes your new Path, a Path with Heart!

So relax, "stop the world", get off of the circular rat-race of Cause and Effect where the Ego makes us act like dogs chasing their tails, and move to the calm Center. Here you can be One with All, experience the natural bliss, beauty, and magic of our True Nature as One, and quietly watch this illusion of living, this frivolous folly of a rat-race, go on without you while you sip on your sparkling elixir filled with the Wisdom of the Universe and calmly settle into your chair at the table for All at the edge of Everywhere!


The beautiful picture above is from Daniel B. Holeman, an awakened individual I came upon while searching for a proper picture. It is called
"Welcome Home (Olias)" and here is the description:

A woman leads the man back home, back to God. She stands poised as he points in awe and wonder and remembrance.
"When we went to Earth, we forgot it all and gained much from our journey back home," he says. Poised, she smiles with a twinkle in her eye, "There is still a ways to go, but now we can see our way."

The Symbol

The symbol (based on the "Olias" symbol) represents the concept of oneness of God and diversity (creation) and acts as a reminder of our path back to God through finding our oneness and embracing our diversity. The symbol is based on the "Olias" symbol of musician, Jon Anderson, combining the circle, square and triangle - the symbols of the fundamental dimensions of consciousness from oneness to diversity. They are all actually part of the same oneness. There are many paths back home, all unique to the individual who finds their way back, but all have one thing in common - the way back home is through TRUTH, as it was the distortion of TRUTH that made us seem lost and away from home.

Here are some wonderful quotes from him also. Enjoy!

"From outside this Earth dimension and the plane of duality, things
appear quite different. It is through a tender heart and understanding
that all the suffering and drama is seen. In fact, while in it, nothing is really as it
appears to be - most everything is being seen and interpreted from a
distorted, illusory perspective - that of separation and self-absorption (ego)."
~ Daniel B. Holeman

"Being "Awakened" means one has had an awakening - the profound experience of seeing the nature of the illusion one has been living - that acute remembering of the TRUTH of what one is and how one has been taking themselves to be a concocted "somebody" that is not really what they are. It is just identifying with a made up "story" of a self. Following an "awakening" is often many years of continued habitual experience of that "story" and "one's issues" ... but now seen from the new perspective or context of the greater TRUTH. Finally it stabilizes and one lives "Home" all the time and never wavers. This comes from the repeated seeing that the "habit" one has been so long in of creating dishonesty in the illusion that one is separate and therefore appears to be a somebody trying to get from life what they want and think they need (ego). Always attempting to have things THEIR way and wanting others to be how THEY want them to be (self-will). After repeated seeing that all one's suffering and problems stem from this, and that it is all based on a lie (rather a misunderstanding), one gradually (or suddenly) lets go and surrenders to the TRUTH, and is once again, HOME."
~ Daniel B. Holeman

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]