Listening to Your Inner Voice

Reprinted from Fractal Enlightenment

“You must listen to your heart and follow it or it will find a million ways to remind you that there is something missing” – Unknown

Probably one of the most cliché phrases we hear in spirituality circles is, “follow your heart.” Everyone is telling everyone to follow their heart, listen to their inner knowing, follow their intuition etc… Unfortunately the heart doesn’t have a loud booming voice that comes from the heavens and tells us exactly what we should or shouldn’t do. Nor does it hang signs and banners in front of us telling us “go this way” or “don’t go that way.” So how do we know which of our inner voices to listen to? How do we know if we are making decisions from our heart or if we are listening to our head?

It’s important to remember first and foremost that we are born with the natural inclination to follow our hearts. A baby doesn’t make any decisions from its head, all decisions are based upon how it feels. If the baby feels happy it giggles, if it feels angry or hungry it will cry and scream, it has no thought of how ridiculous it looks to have been laughing one second and the next be wailing and crying. Over time we lose this natural ability to just handle life based purely on our body’s energy and cues, because we start to learn the social “norms”.

We discover which behaviors are “appropriate” and which aren’t and we start to form our personalities based on how we think, not only society but also how our family and friends expect us to behave and live our lives. All of this listening to other people and their opinions and standards for what is a “good” life or what is a “good” job or what is “bad” one, leads us straight into our analytical selves (our head), and straight away from our true feelings (our heart). We mull over decisions from the perspective of what is “good” and what is “bad” or what is “acceptable” and what is “unacceptable” based purely on our programming, which is a collection of the data we have collected from television, parents, culture, society, book’s we’ve read, etc…
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The problem is most people do not consciously know that their heads are filled with a collection of things they’ve read, heard on television, heard their friends say. They actually think they are generating all of their thoughts on their own which makes it even harder for them to discern between which thoughts are coming from their head or which are intuitive nudges from their heart.

So if operating from our heart is what comes naturally, and operating from our head is what we have learned over time, it’s safe to say that the unlearning of listening to our mind chatter and getting back to our natural way of dealing with life, is where we should start in order to start being able to tell head vs heart apart.

“The quieter you become the more you can hear” – Ram Dass

Forget everything you think you know about how life should be. Shed every “should do”, “shouldn’t do”, that you’ve heard from people in your life. Everyone you meet is going to have an opinion on what is the right kind of life to have or the right decision to make, but the only person who can truly make that decision for you is you. Of course this is easier said than done because our programming is so ingrained in our heads, but once you start to disconnect from all of your past programming you will find that your mind gets a little quieter.

Since the mind is divisive in nature, it wants to label each decision as right or wrong, good or bad. This is what it is always doing no matter what. Almost all fear and doubt is coming from your mind, and I say “almost” because there are actual instances when you will be in danger, in which case a natural intuitive fear will come about, but these are rare occasions. While the heart KNOWS what to do, the mind THINKS it knows what to do… and then it’s not sure, and then it is sure, and then it’s not sure again. It goes back and forth between “should I” or “shouldn’t I.”
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Anytime we are caught in an internal conflict such as this, we can be assured this is coming from our head and not our heart. The heart however, operates from contraction and expansion. Contraction is when our body tenses up, we may feel short of breath or our chest will feel tight. Expansion makes us feel lighter, like we can breathe better, like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders. Sometimes following our heart will make us feel a little scared too, because it may involve us making a huge life change, but when we are trying to make an ultimate decision, we notice that one decision will feel stifling, suffocating and limiting and one will feel like anxious excitement.

It’s important that we are able to decipher which is which. Excitement about the future is always a good sign that a decision is coming from our heart. If you are noticing that lots of fear is popping up in your decision making, walk yourself through the fear. Does the fear stem from what other people will think about you? Does it stem from making a ‘wrong’ decision and then regretting it later? Both of these are coming from the head, they are based on the programming again of what life should or shouldn’t be like. If we just remember, the head thinks and the heart feels, we can start to be more in touch with the cues our bodies are sending us instead of the fear and doubt that our minds are generating.
followyourheartfreeheartlovequotefreed-3f29078a80bf0a4dac642d73cb7e5ea3_h_large Everyone has that little voice in their head telling them “you can’t do it,” “you’ll never succeed,” or “it’s going to be too hard or take too much time, so why even try?”… Everyone. Once you realize this voice is lying to you, a whole new realm of possibilities opens up for you. What if you knew, like REALLY knew that anything was possible? How would your life change? The more you stop believing in that little fear voice that likes to instill doubt in you, the more you realize that those thoughts aren’t popping up at all anymore.

At this point you can follow what is coming naturally to you, maybe it’s moving away, or maybe it’s painting, or maybe it is writing or making music, it doesn’t really matter what the decision is. When we start doing things that intuitively bring us joy and excitement we will start the ball rolling on our expansion of our heart and our true self. Living our life from our heart will FEEL good, so little by little we start to trust this little intuition feeling instead of the thoughts stemming from our minds and slowly but surely our life starts to unfold into a spontaneous set of exciting circumstances, instead of a controlled, rigid and fear based existence. Then our heart becomes our ‘go-to’ guy in decision making, which makes life not only completely unexpected, but also amazing.

Going with the Flow

Much of our pain is caused by failing to heed the following rules of the road. Peace comes from recognizing what we can and should do, rather than what we “need” to have happen. It is not inaction as is pointed out, but taking the right action for the right reasons.

From Fractal Enlightenment

It goes by many names, “the law of least effort” and “going with the flow”, to name a couple, but the path of least resistance is a theme we hear about in many spiritual texts. At first glance, it may go against everything you have ever believed was true about following your dreams and achieving your goals. Is this concept actually implying that doing LESS work, putting in LESS effort will help us achieve things faster? Not exactly.

The path of least resistance does not suggest that you take NO action, but that you take PERFECT action. For example, the biggest thing we can observe applying the path of least resistance is nature. Everything in nature has a sole purpose, and 100% of the time, without fail, each thing in nature sticks to their purpose and therefore takes perfect action.

A tree grows towards the sun, takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen… always. A bee pollinates flowers, or makes honey…. always. You wouldn’t see a tree struggling to swim like a fish or a bear struggling to be like a cloud. Each thing knows its purpose and place in the grand scheme of things, so no effort is put forth into being something that doesn’t come naturally.

However, don’t worry if you don’t know what the “perfect” action is for your life. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for your evolution of consciousness. How do you know that this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.” Which means that every action is perfect, nothing ever goes wrong per se.
the path of least resistance
We create problems for ourselves when we sit in resistance of a situation, we believe in our heads that things should go a certain way and when they don’t go that way we are frustrated. Or when a situation has repeatedly shown us that things are not working out, we may continually try to force what we believe to be the way things should go on people, places or things only to be disappointed over and over.

The greatest thing about the flow of our lives is that it is always trying to push us forward. We create dams and blockages for ourselves by our limited belief systems. So how do we know if we are following the flow or going against it? Here is path of least resistance checklist to help you out:

1. Am I listening to my thoughts about a situation or my body’s cues?

Your thoughts will lie to you. They will tell you eating a quart of ice cream is a good idea & then after you do it, they will tell you that you should be ashamed of yourself. Your body-mind cannot lie, it’s the tension you feel in your body when you are around certain people, the upset stomach you get when you are in a stressful situation, the tightness in your chest you get when someone or something makes you uneasy, etc… When you pay attention to your bodies cues instead of your thoughts you can decipher which situations make you FEEL good which will guide you only to things that are ultimately going to make you more fulfilled and happier.
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2. Do I accept situations as they are or do I find myself wishing people/places/things would change to meet my expectations?

There are going to be things in life we cannot change. We can’t change who is in our family, we can’t change the past, we can’t change the way another person behaves. When we learn to see the difference between which things in our life we can change vs. which things in our life are unchangeable, we learn the power of acceptance. Also we empower ourselves to change things in our life that make us unhappy, and accept the situations that we can do nothing about. When we accept things we cannot change, we allow ourselves inner peace because we are not living in the how we think things “should be”, and instead are living in the how things are.

3. Am I motivated by fear or love

When love is behind our actions we will know it. We will feel good and happy and joyful when we are engaged in those activities. Fear is tricky, because many times it will disguise itself as love. For example, a person may stay in an unhealthy relationship too long under the guise of “but I love him/her.” Even though they know they are unhappy and the other person is as well, the fear of not wanting to be alone outshines the love they should be showing to themselves.

When we switch our motivation to love we naturally attract situations to us that make us feel good. Being in love with life will help us progress with the forward flow of life more quickly than staying in unhealthy situations a little too long.

4. Am I too attached to the “how” something will happen instead of the “what” I want to happen?

This is a huge one. Our ego/thoughts are always trying to make sense of everything, so when we choose a specific goal that we are trying to work towards our mind automatically starts coming up with a plan of how it is going to happen. And if a goal sounds too unreachable your mind may also tell you to forget about it, it’s not going to happen. These types of thoughts create roadblocks in our path, because if we don’t believe it is achievable, it won’t be. When we follow the path of least resistance here we open ourselves up to limitless possibilities, instead of closing ourselves in to exactly how we believe things should happen.
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5. Can I find purpose in my day to day existence?

It doesn’t matter if you are a garbage man or a stay at home mom… every job has a purpose. When the perspective of our job is how much we hate it we are in resistance all day long. No it does not mean to work at a job that is unfulfilling your entire life, what it means is that for the time being, while you have to work where you work, enjoy it.

Focus on all the ways what you do helps people, or makes them happier, or makes their life easier. When you see your job in these terms, the day flows faster, because we are happier and sitting in acceptance. Not only that, but when we are happy we attract to us more opportunities…which may eventually lead us to our dream job. When we go with the flow of our life instead of against it our life runs more smoothly, and progresses more quickly.

And the great thing is that it’s never too late to start following the path of least resistance. In fact, it’s probably the easiest thing you can do because you do what comes naturally instead of forcing things to go how you think they should. This path opens us up to the intelligence of the universe instead of the “intelligence” coming from our own ideas and thoughts, which means we become open to the limitless potential that exists in the universe… which can be an amazing thing as long as we allow it.

 

Four Genuine Acts of Immanence

Taken from Fractal Enlightenment:

“Only as high as I reach can I grow. Only as far as I seek can I go. Only as deep as I look can I see. Only as much as I dream can I be” –Karen Ravn

Immanence is the presence of the divine within all things. Individually, immanence is presence, but a kind of inherent presence that subsumes time and space. Namaste is an immanent interjection meaning the divine within me recognizes and honors the divine within you. In seeking a more balanced spiritual life, we must proactively and authentically engage with each other and with the world. Practicing Namaste is practicing social immanence. In this article we will break down and analyze Karen Ravn’s quote to see how these four acts of immanence might help us grow more spiritually robust lives.

1. Only as high as you reach can you grow

“The greater danger with most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

If you would be immanent, be a paradigm crusher. Flatten all boxes you’re forced to think inside of. Transform all rigid boundaries into transparent horizons. Dare to reach higher than you did before. Adventure lies on the other side of your comfort zone. Stretch it. Be elastic. Like Socrates said, “Let him who would move the world, first move himself.” The more you reach for the unknown, the broader your comfort zone becomes.

The broader your comfort zone becomes, the more of the world you encompass. The more of the world you encompass, the more your fears are transformed into courage. And courage is all you need. It’s better to shoot for a difficult target and miss, than to perpetually hit easy targets and stagnate, because even when you’re missing you’re still growing. And growth is the essence of the journey being the thing. Allow the journey to be the thing and adventure and immanence will surely be yours.

light at the end of the tunnel2. Only as far as you seek can you go

“One must be willing to stand alone – in the unknown, with no reference to authority or the past or any of one’s conditioning. One must stand where no one has stood before in complete nakedness, innocence, and humility.” –Adyashanti

Imagine you’re at a crossroads. There are two signs. The one pointing to the right reads: Comfort, security, certainty, and the end of knowledge (blue pill). And the one pointing to the left reads: Discomfort, insecurity, uncertainty, and the pursuit of knowledge (red pill). Which one do you choose?

This is the ultimate crux of the examined life: if pursued wisely, there is no end to the discomfort and uncertainty. The more you seek, the more cognitive dissonance is experienced, and the more previous knowledge becomes uncouth. The only certainty is perpetual uncertainty. But there is a joy in discovery that trumps the bliss of ignorance. Indeed, there’s a ecstasy in new knowledge that utterly eclipses the pleasures of comfort and security.

So if you would be immanent, I beseech you, choose the uncomfortable path of perpetual knowledge over the comfortable path of stagnant knowledge. It’s worth any amount of discomfort. And with enough practice, wrestling with your doubt, cognitive dissonance, and insecurity will become an art form and a state of peaceful immanence will be yours.

3. Only as deep as you look can you see

“A little bit of agitation gives resource to souls and what makes the species prosper isn’t peace, but freedom.” – Machiavelli

Undeceive yourself. Break the illusion. Recondition the precondition. Don’t settle for the spoon feeding of advertisements and corporate controlled media. Question them instead. Demand to be slapped with the truth rather than kissed with lies. Look deeper than you dared before.

The deeper you look the more you will see. The more you see, the more you’ll see how everything is connected, and the more you’ll care. Sure, there are scary things in the Desert of the Real, but so what. There’s truth there. There is freedom there. And there can be no immanence without freedom and truth.

art,photography,scull,butterflyeyeliveanddie,butterfly,eye-97b96ad785319a638db77c3cf03f419a_h But there is also no evolution without the questioning of what’s deemed true. Stir up all comfortable roosts, especially your own. Ruffle all serious feathers. Reform all stagnant forms. Disturb the peace, especially when it masks war. Shakeup the status quo with your courage to question it. Keep looking, deeper and deeper. Be Alice, “curiouser and curiouser” in Wonderland. Be Neo, transcending the Matrix. Be Dante, eclipsing hell. Do as Walt Whitman suggested: “Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.”

4. Only as much as you dream can you be

“I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat. I have read, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.” –David Whyte

6fdd75e2b4e0Dare to dream beyond yourself. Even if the dream seems unreachable, dream it anyway. It is through the striving of your dreams that immanence becomes unique to your soul signature. Striving for your dreams is allowing the journey to be the thing. Indeed, the journey is the thing not just because it sharpens our souls and strengthens our hearts, but also because we are not perfect creatures.

We will fail. You will fail, over and over again. And that’s okay. That’s part of your journey. You must dream anyway. You must strive for your goals despite any and all setbacks, even if, and maybe even especially if, others are telling you to do otherwise. You don’t achieve authenticity by acting out the conditioned reflexes of your culture; you achieve it by undergoing a process of self-discovery that requires a psychosocial death, a letting go of the comfortable and the familiar.

You reach it by passionately delving into the Abyss; replete with its orgies of pain, its orneriness of angst, and the certain defeat of your expectations. Only then can you gain the capacity to rebirth yourself and rise up like a Phoenix from the ashes. And it’s in the rising up, again and again, where the essence of immanence reveals itself.

Transforming the Ego into Soul

Taken from Fractal Enlightenment:

We live in an excessively unhealthy culture. We are constantly surrounded by victims. This is because we are all victims of an egocentric society, and hence victims of our own ego-attachment to such perspectives. I’ve written about transforming wounds into wisdom and victims into warriors. This article will analyze tactics for transforming Ego into Soul; to go from a state of instability to a state of impeccability.

1. Expand all boundaries
“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” –Bruce Lee

Utopia is a goal, never an end. When I walk two steps, the goal moves two steps further into the horizon. What is the goal for? It’s a reminder to keep moving, to keep going. Don’t stop, because the goal is constantly moving further and further away. Indeed, the journey truly is the thing. Keep stretching your comfort zone until it becomes the world then keep stretching it until it becomes the universe, and then keep going. Never stop. Like Sarah Lewis wrote in The Rise, “Masters are not masters because they take a subject to its conceptual end. They are masters because they realize that there isn’t one. On utterly smooth ground, the path from aim to attainment is in the permanent future.”

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2. Subsume nature
“Tradition is the illusion of permanence.” –Woody Allen

Exhaust the primitive. Nothing remains the same. The only permanence is the impermanence of nature. When we subsume nature we realize that we are nature. We realize that we are constantly changing along with nature. The only healthy response to an every-changing system is to be open to change. We do so by exhausting the primitive both within and outside us so as to shatter any and all illusions of tradition or permanence.

I always hear this argument against the nature-based perspective: that the primitive is nowhere near as efficacious for the control of nature as our domesticated civilization. To which I retort: But of course, nature-based living may not be able to control the world, but at least it isn’t in any danger of destroying it. Our civilization controls the world up to a point at which it seems to be destroying it. And so we have become the antithesis of man as human animal (ego), whereas nature-based man is the apotheosis (soul).

Instead of only using our vainglorious narcissistic faces as mirrors for each other, we need to once again learn how to use the entire cosmos as a reflection. Like Jung fabulously articulated, “What is needed is to call a halt to the fatal dissociation that exists between our higher and lower being; we must unite the conscious aspect with the primitive.”

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3. Verify the irrational
“Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.” –Tony Schwartz

Nothing entrenches the ego in itself more than certainty. Always leave room for doubt, especially in such areas as religion, nationalism, sexuality and racism. The soul flies when the ego dies. It is from the blood and guts of the ego that the soul gets its fuel for flight. Like the blood and guts of the caterpillar must be annihilated in order to transform into the butterfly, so too must our egos be annihilated. We do this by consistently verifying the irrational. We do this by constantly interrogating our worldviews. We do this by daily questioning and re-questioning our perspectives in relation to others. Like Philip Guston wrote, “To know and then how not to know is the greatest puzzle of all… so much preparation for a few moments of desperate play. To learn how to unlearn.”

Remember: God interrogating itself to the limit is you; you interrogating yourself to the limit is God. Like Gerry Spence said, “I’d rather have a mind open by wonder than one closed by belief.”

4. Obtain a sublime reputation
“The day you stop racing, is the day you win the race.” –Bob Marley

When it comes to advice about life, my attitude is very simple: seek it out, absorb it, synthesize it, but when you are in the throes of living, forget it, and just live it. There is transcendence in letting go of transcendence. The daily rat race of chasing money for the sake of money has us all going through the motions of chasing each other’s tails through an indecipherable maze of one-upmanship. Let. It. Go! Live your life. Don’t let life live you.

If there is somebody telling you it can’t be done, inspire them by showing them how it can be done. Uplift the downtrodden. Move the unmoved. Exalt the un-exalted. Don’t just inspire, inspire awe through daily acts of courage and love. The status quo is the Ego’s prison. But the bars are an illusion. It’s up to you to realize that fact and free yourself, and then act as an example for others through your sublime reputation. Then again…

best way to predict future

5. Create one demon at least
“The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

Create at least one monster. Life is full of shoulds and shouldnots. It’s also full of should-a, would-a, could-a. One way to decalcify the ego, and thus magnify the soul, is by creating our own art: the kind of art that rejuvenates the spirit and is cathartic for the ego. Art is less about what you have not done and more about what you have done. The demon to be created and then consumed is the transformation of what we have not done into something we have done. This usually takes the form of art. Like Bertolt Brecht said, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

This seems contradictory to #4 but this is only because art is contradictory. Objectively, art is alive in a way forbidden natural objects and, subjectively, in a way subsuming the subjects who create them. We humans are a fallible species. More so we are an excruciatingly complex and insecure species. Art is the cathartic process of our self-actualized inadequacies. Through our own creative expression we, in one fell swoop, free our demons and give them wings. Like Scott Adams wrote, “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

So create at least one monster. Scare people with it. Shake them out of their too-comfortable comfort zones. Have the courage of the artist. Her courage is the ability to swallow the status quo and create new forms of perceiving. Like Bansky brilliantly tagged: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

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6. Inhabit everyone
“Just as one candle lights another and can light thousands of other candles, so one heart illuminates another and can illuminate thousands of other hearts.” –Leo Tolstoy

Sojourn with all things. Try your best to “walk a mile in their shoes” or “stand on the shoulders of giants.” If you can consistently do this, then your wisdom will become a force to be reckoned with. The reason is because of the interconnectedness of all things, cosmically, and our need for empathy, socially. We need each other. Our insecurity alone reveals that absolute fact. Empathy shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s vulnerability. Being vulnerable is constantly being in a state to receive new information without fear that it will change us; because it will change us. And that’s okay.

Like Alexander Velazquez pointed out: “Buddha mapped enlightenment as the nautical ley lines to inner peace. Jesus walked on waves of self-sacrifice and plotted love as a way to helm the soul to salvation. Nietzsche rode against currents of religious piety—and in the face of that behemoth, sailed the breakers of nihilism to eternal joy. King sailed through channels of racial inequality and anchored western culture to paths of desegregation. Malcom challenged legions of racist warships and conquered waters of racial identity and power. Sartre showed us clouds of self-creation and tactical action as the guide to horizons of happiness. Gödel built compasses of mathematical rebellion to defy currents and streams, enabling circumnavigation through new straits. Wittgenstein stripped ships of their excess cargo of intangible and irrelevant philosophy in pursuit of truth. And Jung, by covering the entire ocean of the spirit, drew our first maps of the person. It is in studying carefully these great maps and utilizing their initiatives that we can invent new means and passages to distant frontiers.”

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Awareness Is. . . .

From Michael Jeffreys Blog:

Question from Facebook:

Jason: I just think i need to be clear on what exactly awareness is….

Michael: Been there, done that… awareness is absolutely nothing… you are always aware of something, so whatever the mind claims is “awareness” can never be it… let the mystery have you… nothing to figure out… it’s the mind’s attempt to figure out something it can only ever guess at that keeps the suffering going… can you notice how badly the mind wants to be “right”??

What is your direct experience when the whole search is dropped, confusion and loose ends and all? “I give up” full stop.

What is left but this naked moment exactly as it is?

Jason: Yea there’s nothing left….no thought just sounds and sensations..of this direct moment…

 

 

Awareness

Awareness Taken from Evolving Times.

Are YOU really aware?

“If we are too busy, if we are carried away every day by our projects, our uncertainty, our craving, how can we have the time to stop and look deeply into the situation – our own situation, the situation of our beloved one, the situation of our family and of our community, and the situation of our nation and of the other nations?”   Thich Nhat Hanh

Are YOU really aware of life and all that it offers? Do you ever step back and look at things from a different perspective? Do you ever observe the things you do and question why you are doing these things? True awareness is being able to observe and understand life as an impartial viewer. Awareness may be a strange concept to the uninitiated; those who have been running on the treadmill of life may not comprehend such a concept as awareness. Put briefly, awareness is simply the ability to perceive, feel or to be conscious of events and circumstances that impact our lives.

Let’s look at the different levels of awareness we encounter in our daily lives. Firstly, there is the physical world in which we live. Things like the house we live in and all that goes with it; furniture, lighting, carpets and all the collectables we have accumulated. Then outside your residence there is another layer of the environment in which you live. This includes our neighbours, the  neighbourhood and the surrounding area in which we live. Further afield there is the environment that we know is there but cannot see. Then added to this we have nature and all those things we take for granted on a daily basis, like air, water, the biosphere, wind, rain, light, temperature, humidity and a multitude of animals and plant species. For most of us, not all, we are trapped in our own world making sure that everything runs smoothly and our lives tick along. Our awareness only extends to our immediate life.

For the most part, awareness of our physical world is about being in the moment and experiencing the now. It is not about being on auto pilot and doing things out of habit. Buddhist and Zen masters spend many years focusing and practicing specific activities to help build present moment awareness. You can practice too. It is really quite simple. Every time you do something, be aware of what you are doing. Let’s say you are washing up the dishes by hand after the evening meal. Practice being completely aware of what you are doing. Feel the temperature of the water, feel the weight of the dishes, the texture and the action of the water as you scrub the dishes with your hands.

A famous Zen fable highlights this present moment awareness. The student asks the master “what is enlightenment?” the master responds, “wash up your dish”. We take this simple exercise of washing the dishes for granted. We are on auto pilot and just going through the motions, doing things mechanically. Yet this simple exercise shows us that so many of the things we do in life end up becoming mechanical. Our entire existence can become mechanical if we let it. We just cruise through life on auto pilot. We have to re-engage with life and experience life and all it has to offer by being in the moment and enjoying the process. We can find happiness and joy in doing almost anything, even in something that seems mundane. The pleasure can be found in the awareness of doing and witnessing each moment for what it is, at its simplest level.

Article by Andrew Martin taken from his book One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

A Simple Piece of Advice

the-self-who-is-speaking-the-entombed-soul-the-spirit-driven-in-in-virginia-woolf-355477This is a very simple exercise in stopping that voice that dictates to you day and night.

For those who wish to move beyond the ego, you might want to give this a try.

From Michael Jeffreys:

Have you ever asked your internal voice, “Who is Speaking?” And then waited for the answer?

We habitually, automatically, and robotically  believe the thoughts in our head without question… yet, have you ever inquired to see WHOSE Voice is actually speaking? Who or what, exactly, is saying all those things in your head virtually 24/7?

If the voice declares, “It’s me, it’s my voice!” don’t fall for it. Saying, “It’s me” doesn’t give you any information. Okay than, who is this “me”??

Few will actually take the time to investigate this deeply, perhaps because knowing unconsciously this would expose the egoic identity for what it is and so, for whatever reason, they prefer, for the time being, to continue on in the dream with “business as usual.” But for those few who feel this burning desire for Freedom, the next time the internal voice speaks, they will ask themselves, “Who is Speaking?” and then sit silently, for as long as it takes, until the answer reveals itself from within.

– Michael Jeffreys

Laughter Announces Your Arrival

laughing-buddhaIf you have ever wondered why the Buddha laughs, well the answer is simply that enlightenment does that. Osho, the Indian mystic explains in Shift>. 

I does seem like something very much to look forward to and something very much to work for. But of course, it requires no work at all.

When one becomes enlightened, laughter is almost a natural by-product; spontaneously it comes, for the simple reason that we have been searching and searching our lives for something which was already there inside. Our whole effort was ridiculous! Our whole effort was absurd. One laughs at the great cosmic joke. One laughs at the sense of humor that God must have or the existence: that we have it with us already and we are searching for it. One laughs at one’s own ridiculous efforts, long long journeys, pilgrimages, for something which was never lost in the first place.

My own understanding is that there is nothing more valuable than laughter. Only laughter is left in you when you are total. In everything else you remain partial, even in lovemaking you remain partial. But when you have a really heartfelt belly laugh, all the parts of your being — the physiological, the psychological, the spiritual — they all vibrate in one single tune, they all vibrate in harmony. Hence, laughter relaxes. And relaxation is spiritual. Laughter brings you to the earth, brings you down from your stupid ideas of being holier-than-thou. Laughter brings you to reality as it is. The world is a play, a cosmic joke. And unless you understand it as a cosmic joke you will never be able to understand the ultimate mystery. I am all for jokes, I am all for laughter.

Everybody takes themselves and others seriously. That’s the way of the ego to exist. Start being a little more playful and you will see ego evaporating. Take life non seriously, as a joke — yes, as a cosmic joke. Laugh a little more. Laughter is far more significant than prayer. Prayer may not destroy your ego; on the contrary, it may make it holy, pious, but laughter certainly destroys your ego. When you are really in a state of laughter, have you observed? …the ego disappears for a moment. You are again a child, giggling. Again you have forgotten that you are special. You are no longer serious; for a moment you have removed your fixation.

That’s why I love jokes…they are poison to your ego! You would like me to talk about serious things: astral planes and how many bodies men have, seven or nine, and how many chakras. And every day there are questions — esoteric, occult. These are the serious people. They have fallen in a wrong company! I am not serious at all. I don’t laugh with you because that is part of telling a joke: the person who tells it has to be very serious, he cannot laugh with you. All my laughter I have to do alone.

But my approach towards life is utterly nonserious, playful, because in my experience this is how the ego disappears. Watch when you laugh: where is the ego? Suddenly you have melted, suddenly you are liquid, no more solid, but flowing. You are not old, experienced, knowledgeable. Listen to this joke and try to find out whether the ego remains or not.

All buddhas have laughed when they awaken. Their laughter is like a lion’s roar. They laugh, not at you, they laugh at the whole cosmic joke. They lived in a dream, in a sleep, intoxicated completely by desire, and through desire they looked at the existence. Then it was not the real existence, they projected their own sleep on it.

You are taking the whole existence as a screen, and then you project your own mind on it and you see things which are not there, and you don’t see things which are there. And the mind has explanations for everything. If you raise a doubt, the mind explains. It creates theories, philosophies, systems, just to feel comfortable, that nothing is wrong. All philosophies exist to make life convenient, so that everything looks okay, nothing is wrong — but everything is wrong while you are asleep.

Nobody lives, nobody dies. Nothingness lives, nothingness dies. You are not. Have a good laugh at this situation. You are not and you exist. You are not and you are. This is the cosmic joke.

You see a person and you smile. You smile for them. One should smile only for oneself. If others share, good. If nobody shares, good. But one should smile of one’s own accord. One should not laugh to make somebody else happy, because if you are not happy, you cannot make anybody happy. Even if you are happy, it is very difficult to make somebody else happy because it depends on that somebody else as to whether he will accept it or not. One should simply laugh of one’s own accord, and one should not wait for reasons to laugh. That too is absurd. Why wait for reasons? Life as it is should be enough of a reason to laugh. It is so absurd, it is so ridiculous. It is so beautiful…it is so wonderful. It is all sorts of things together. It is a great cosmic joke.

Methods for Working on Consciousness

DesertDog1I always find that walking the dog is a great time to try to practice some of these methods. It makes the time and distance go by rapidly while helping me to center within.

This post is from Waking Times and was written by Brandon West.  I hope you find it useful too.

 

 

Consciousness evolution is the process of becoming universal consciousness. In order to do so, all that we need to do is simply open up a channel within us so that universal consciousness can flow through us uninhibited, because our highest self, the highest level of our consciousness is universal consciousness.

This is the process of consciousness evolution and it is a completely natural process, indeed one that each one of us will go through at one point or another. It is guaranteed.

We have two aspects to our being. We have a radiative aspect which is always changing: our thoughts and emotions; and we have an observing awareness which is collapsing towards singularity where we are one and connected with the rest of the universe, all beings, and where we are united with our source of all-possibility: pure consciousness. Awakening consciously to the former is the path of consciousness evolution.

Our thoughts radiate from the event horizon of our being which is the boundary between thought and silent awareness. Yet there is a lens which determines how the pure energy of consciousness expresses itself through us in our thoughts and emotions which directly manifests in our lives and in our bodies.

That lens is belief.

Imagine belief as a lens much like the negatives on a roll of film which creates an image on a screen when light shines through. When you change the negative, when you change the belief, the image on the screen changes. Your body and your life is a three-dimensional hologram defined by your beliefs, and our society is the collective holographic image we have co-created with one another and with the Earth hologram we call nature, within a greater hologram we call our solar system, our galaxy, our universe, and so on to infinity.

And yet the most important thing to remember is not that your belief determines your hologram, but that if your belief system was out of the way altogether then pure consciousness which is energy of the highest vibration – love – would radiate from yours being and express perfection and abundance everywhere in your life. Not if your belief system was changed, but if your belief system was abolished. And that is where thought and meditation comes it.

Thought is a natural part of yourself, so there is no reason for you to feel the need to stop thinking altogether. We just have to learn how to think consciously. However, it is important to periodically strive for (and eventually achieve) inner silence in order to open ourselves up so that our thoughts, emotions, and actions can channel through us unadulterated from a higher level of consciousness within.

All beings are expressions of the universe, God-in-action, but the reason why we have murderers, rapists, imperfection of any kind, and sleeping people of varying degrees is not because some people are inherently good or bad, compassionate or evil. There is no such thing.

The reason we see negativity is because there is so much distortion in the high-vibration energy from the lens of our beliefs and the chaos created by unconscious thinking. The natural high energy of consciousness ends up being distorted and misdirected by so many different limiting beliefs and negative habits, thoughts, and behaviors that it ends up being expressed in harmful ways. Either harmful in an expressive way towards another human being (or yourself), or it is repressed and internalized and it manifests itself as disease in the body.

Therefore peace in the world and health in the body both stem from inner peace and inner silence: clearing out the clutter within ourselves.

I know in my heart that everyone can change if they want to. It is just a matter of cleaning out the programming.

Three Steps to Consciousness Evolution

These three steps are the most essential steps in order to raise your level of consciousness, cultivate personal mastery, and thus engage in the process of consciousness evolution.

1. Live on the Event Horizon between Thought and Silence

“Be mindful of your self-talk; it’s a conversation with the universe.” – Unknown

In order to live consciously and to think consciously, we must live on the border between thought and silence. Only then are we in the best possible position to be truly self-aware and to manifest because this is the only position where we can follow Deepak Chopra’s succinct process of manifestation: “Slip into the gap, have the desire, detach from the outcome, and let the universe take care of the details.”

Only from this place can we manifest, and only from this place can we be truly vigilant over our perceptual state. When we live in this space we can easily see not only the perceptual pattern we are living from, and change it if we desire, but we can also feel clearly how spirit is moving us, and what we are being guided to do by the unified field of pure consciousness.

Silence is the yin aspect of our awareness, and thought is the yang. When we live right on the border, but deeply centered in silence with a greater tendency to submerge ourselves in infinite divine consciousness than to radiate too far and become lost in the world of things, then we will learn how to live with true power and potency because from this perceptual position our thoughts emanate directly from the highest aspect of ourselves without being distorted by our thoughts and beliefs.

Our actions from this place are aligned with our highest potential, our thoughts are pure and our emotions are of a high frequency. When we live on the event horizon between thought and silence, then we flow from our highest self and there is an immediate feedback of creation between the two infinities of the universe.

2. Let Go and Surrender to the Universe

Letting go and surrendering is not laziness and apathy. It is the process of learning how to live from a place more aligned with the highest aspects of ourselves.

Everything we have ever done, and every experience we have had is leading to our consciousness evolution. It has meaning. If we shift our perspective from being a victim of our experiences to being the recipient of a cosmic education and co-creator of our destiny, which ultimately is consciousness evolution, then we can start to tap into who we really are.

Letting go and surrendering is not laziness, and it is not giving up. It is simply centering yourself in the awareness that your dreams and all of your purest desires will unfold naturally as an expression of who you are, if you discipline yourself to get out of your own way. It is a shift to the awareness that you already are complete, and that all you need to do every day is exactly what you are inspired to do, what you’d love to do, and what makes you happy in this moment. That is the difference.

Wayne Dyer explained the shift to letting go and surrendering to the universe best when he said: “Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul. When you do this, you’re also tapping into another face of intention: love. If you’re doing what you love and loving what you do—whatever it is—you make a living at it!”

Letting go and surrendering is a process of getting your ego out of the way so that your higher consciousness can work through you.

3. Live Without Desires, but by Divine Inspiration

Instead of living from low-level desires such as earning lots of money, achieving fame, recognition, or even respect, try living more aligned to universal principles (and thus universally aligned desires) by cultivating a deep desire to serve the consciousness evolution of humanity, to live your highest potential, and to create as fearlessly and as ego-lessly as you can. This is what I mean by living by divine inspiration.

When we can live consistently in this fashion, every one of our needs and desires will be taken care automatically.

Living by divine inspiration means to focus all of your energy on your love, and the creative self-expression that is your purpose in life, and to let the universe handle the details. We have been trained to care about the outcome of our efforts through school and society in general. We have been conditioned to seek success. But humans are far too powerful to waste their time with such low level activities.

When we focus all of our energy delving into the depths of ourselves, tapping into the universe through our inner connecting link, and then expressing the truth, love, power, inspiration and creativity that we find, then the universe will take care of the rest. The more we try and force the world to do our bidding, the poorer the results and the more frustrated we become.

If we instead focus all of our energy on living from inspiration and the boundary between thought and silence, and the deeper we submerge ourselves in that inner silence which is the cosmic ocean of pure energy/information, the brighter and more radiant and powerful we become. When we live from this space we have true power, and the universe responds.

The more that we align with our universal source, the more we become our universal source. This is the process of consciousness evolution.

Conclusion

The result of living a life aligned with these three principles and practices is that we enter into a world of magic; a brand new world and perception of reality that we achieve by disconnecting ourselves from the matrix which exists only in our thoughts. The perceptual matrix of our society is at a low level of consciousness, and the only way we can get out of it is by thinking from a brand new place within us and living from a new awareness.

In order to live from a higher level of consciousness we must stop taking orders from lower levels of consciousness, our minds. This is not an event but a process. And while there will most definitely be spontaneous shifts, or quantum moments, know that all your previous actions and work accumulate to make these quantum shifts occur.

The universe is speaking to each one of us individually and is seeking to express itself through each one of us because we are the universe … except we are resisting this aspect of ourselves and pretending to be small, limited, insignificant, and powerless. The universe is consciousness and we are consciousness, thus we must be like what we came from. There is no division. When we can continually center ourselves in silence, and learn to let go and allow ourselves to be guided by that silence, a miraculous shift will occur in our lives…

We will cease to desire from the ego. Recognition will become unimportant. Success will not be the greatest pull on our attention. Instead we will discover a magical connection within us where there is a flow of information, creativity, and knowledge, and by tapping into this flow, we will create and discover beyond our wildest dreams.

Tapping into this flow consciously will release the dam created by our minds so that the universal force, the Tao, or God, can flow through us like a mighty river, and this new energy will be of such a vibration as to radically transform our perception of reality. And we will live “in a great and wonderful world,” where “dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you will discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be,” as the great Sage Patanjali expressed so beautifully.

This is the potential within each one of us. The limitations of any individuals are in direct relationship to the degree to which they live from their mind. For as soon as we discover silence, all barriers disappear, and the universe speaks through each and every one of us equally.

 

About the Author

 West is the creator of Project Global Awakening. A website dedicated to the research of a variety of scientific and spiritual disciplines, and applying that knowledge to help you live an inspired life and change the world. Follow Project Global Awakening on Facebook, and Twitter.