Tag Archives: self awareness

What I Want My Kids to Learn

I hope my kids learn that they have the potential to be unique, that they can trust the process of life above all else, and that they are free to participate fully in their life.

Most people do not awaken to their uniqueness and do things that have been done countless times before. Most people try to control the uncontrollable – and fail. Most people are trapped in illusions, games, virtual realities, self-created worlds – and they enjoy these fragments over the full reality.

What is reality, anyway? I see it as that which results from an uninterrupted conscious connection to what lives all of us. Reality is the deep-dive into a fiery pit that burns up anything that is not It. What remains is a unique embrace of human and Divine that shines its own light – much like a star that reaches critical temperature for sustained nuclear fusion: the initial burst of light pushes gases out of the way, and then the star is free to beam into space and entwine its light with matter through all expanse.

Reality is unique for each of us because no two will embrace the Divine the same way. Paradoxically, It is also absolute. So, reality is not for the mind to understand but for Life itself to birth as It goes.

I am a pragmatist above all else. As someone who has lived through a wide spectrum of experiences and have overcome numerous hardships, I have come to understand that nothing in life is certain. Life broke me of the desire for certainty because certainty does not exist amidst flux. Then comes the question – how does one live in the face of constant change? Self-reliance, perseverance, and a life-wise telephoto lens that zooms in and out of detail – so that you can see the forest and the trees.

My pragmatism is not cold survivalism. While I identify possibilities and open doors for opportunities to grow, I also burn closed loops and dead pathways. Thus, I risk everything to be true to what I am and I trust That. My life is akin to grooming a Bonzai tree: I prune dead ends, and I cultivate potential channels for expression that is ever near and dear to the core of my being.

I prefer the sweet satisfaction of doing joy, happiness, and exploring new ways to move in our ever changing world. I teach in a school, but I am not a “teacher.” I write, but I am not a “writer.” I make jokes and laugh, but I am no “comedian.” I sing, but I am no “rock star.” Who we are cannot have a label. We can only be seen for all that we are by those who have the ability to see.

I hope my kids will see deeply into life and move with life – partner with life. I hope for them to see the limitations of video games and YouTube channels and movies and shallow conversation, and to be unsatisfied with anything shy of their depth.

Life leaves us breadcrumbs and constant signals to guide us into our fullness. Why not follow these? Why not surrender to truth that can only exist as we live it? While we have the potential to be alive, few have dared to tap it. Most seek safe nooks to hide in and live like hibernating bears. They eat, drink, seek pleasure, and dream. They suffer as the reality of life bleeds through their illusions and causes friction. I hope for my kids to see this root cause of suffering.

If there is no one to see a rainbow, does it exist? A rainbow is the effect of sunlight passing through water droplets and exiting the droplets at just the right angle. The observer must be at a certain location relative to the sun to see the rainbow! If there is no observer there, did the rainbow occur? Yes it did. The light went to that location to be received – whether or not it was received. The Universe recognizes all opportunities and possibilities, whether or not they were engaged. The secret to life is knowing that the truth is always available – to humanity and all else. Being human is not the only way to embrace the Divine, after all.

I hope for my kids to recognize the richness of life, and to see both their individuality and the Whole they represent. I hope for them to pierce the miasm of self-doubt that casts a shadow on the human race. Self-doubt is the leading cause of suicide, as I understand it, which the CDC reported today to be on the rise by 25% since 1999. When reality rubs against our limited perception, the result is disillusionment and unbearable pain. Few recognize this pain as an opportunity to see beyond our limited definition of life. What we think isn’t what it is. Anything to stop the pain, even die. I’ve been there, but I pulled up. It is extremely difficult to do in the moment of hitting bottom.

I hope for my kids to understand the intrinsic and uncaused value of life. They are more than the sum of their thoughts, actions, and words. They are a Big Bang poised to birth a universe. They are deeply loved. They lack nothing. They cannot be defined simplistically, and thus can never be judged for being.

I hope for my kids to choose wisely and to learn the map of how life works in its current state. They must navigate relationships with mostly self-absorbed people who are still asleep, shifting economic trends, and constant choices. Choices have consequences, and timing is everything. Learning to feel the clocks of life starting and stopping is key.

I know that no one can ruin my life because I am responsible for my choices. There is a huge difference between taking responsibility and casting blame. I hope for my kids to learn this difference so that they hold others – and themselves – accountable without blaming.

I hope for my kids to have the courage to be themselves, and the wisdom to not martyr themselves. Wisdom grows as you let go into the moment and allow yourself to be in whatever the moment is, taking appropriate action that expresses you. After all, you is all there is when you let go. Honing the craft of engaging the moment is to master life.

Spiritual Teacher Clothing Line

When people become interested in enlightenment, they don’t really know what they are looking for. Then come the books, the crystals, the candles, the gongs, the singing bowls, and the meditation cushions. Maybe they meditate or chant. Maybe they spend hours talking about all-things-deeply-spiritual with others.

Some decide that they are somehow advanced or enlightened because they accumulate some basic sanity about life, or some knowledge, or both. Others realize that they can’t do “it” alone and start shopping for a “spiritual teacher.”

Shopping for a spiritual teacher is a lot like shopping for an outfit. If you didn’t have a good mommy, you are looking for a dream mommy. If you didn’t have a good daddy, you are looking for a dream daddy. If you didn’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend, you hope to get one with a spiritual flair. If you don’t need any of that, maybe you hope for a therapist – a voice of reason that will counsel you through life’s ups-and-downs. And there are so many more ways to mix and match for that personalized, custom-tailored spiritual teacher – perfectly suited for the new identity you want to embody.

On the flip-side, some beings actually put themselves in the public view as spiritual teachers. There are very few who have actually transformed – and even fewer agreeing to meet a handful of seekers here and there. Most publicly available spiritual teachers are beings who got a grip on their “life-on-Earth” thing and serve as life coaches. The entrepreneurial spirit of the West has created many identities of “helpers,” “not helpers,” “catalysts,” “healers,” “mentors” – whatever. A shingle on the door, and the teacher…is…in. That being said, some people are excellent life coaches and do help others successfully navigate living.

Enlightened beings don’t go looking to be spiritual teachers. Confusion creates teachers. Those who are free do not need to teach anyone anything. Sometimes, people come by and they need something. Sometimes, it feels OK to support them. Most people who interact with me have no idea who I am. I don’t have a horse in the race and I understand free will. I also understand the value of a person seeing themselves in the mirror very clearly. Some do need to feel – even for a brief moment –  the loosening of the illusion that we can and do have so much control in life, and that this is actually alright.

I can also see through how people want to use the energy I carry for their own agendas. It’s an unconscious craving that people have – they can feel something “powerful” and they want it for themselves, without actually understanding either what they feel or what “it” really is. Nevertheless,  just by being there, I allow a person to see more clearly how they are tripping over themselves and others in life. And then, I watch what they do with that insight. I may end up giving energy to that person to help themselves heal and move forward, but how they use it is up to them. If they decide to use that energy to lash out at life because of their pent up frustration, I encourage them to not come back. I don’t give it or them another thought.

The problem with the “spiritual teacher” dynamic is that people usually just want to have lives that feel happier, better, good-er, and more meaningful. But that is not transformation. I know from experience that transformation is not something that I could imagine before it happened – and continued – for me.

Transformation is similar to the phase changes of matter – liquid to solid, for example. People studying phase changes make computer simulations to show how liquid water cools: liquid water molecules buzz around in a random state and then, suddenly, organize into clear hexagonal molecule arrangements. Similarly, the lives of a few individuals may birth certain trends and social movements: at first, only a few express something, and then many individuals suddenly organize around a cause or an idea or an experience.

Enlightenment is something that happens suddenly and irreversibly to completely reorganize how you – as a living process – relate to the energy that lives you and everything else. The process continues and there seem to be a number of distinct phases someone can pass through – until the body can no longer support the energy of that being’s life.

One cannot be taught into this different state of being. Yet, it does seem to be the next wave of evolution for humanity at some point in the future.

One can get glimpses of transformation by being exposed to a living being that is already in that state. Furthermore, one can try to study one’s life with the help and insight of a transformed being who can see you clearly. Always, you draw your own conclusions.

To most people, feeling such exposure and lack of control – where there is no game that could be played – is not a pleasant experience. In fact, those who do get to experience such exposure and obviousness of themselves, find it terrifying. Only a certain kind of soul can stare right into the stuff they don’t want to see or know about themselves, and then keep looking until things are healed…. Such tenacity requires great restraint that few have to the degree that is necessary to withstand the heat of profound embarrassment that comes with being seen, and then to move through that fire.

Any dream life is a dream, and people love dreams. They tell lots of stories, look at the stars, and pontificate deeply about whether reincarnation is fake or real, or what Christ and Buddha teachings really mean. This mind-driven analysis touches only a micro-atom of the universe that is unfolding. An enlightened being shows reality, stripped of every dream, every illusion, and turns everything that is held near-and-dear upside-down. How? By being in the room. Nothing special is done. Embodying that energy is all that happens. While I have compassion for pain, I do not engage in people’s games at all. Day-to-day, I engage people through real-world tasks or projects that need to be done – that’s mostly it.

A happy, put-together life, where all the ducks are in a row and quacking, the money is flowing in, and onlookers are dazzled – these are about mastering living on Earth. Even so, complete control and stability are impossible for many reasons. And, these things have nothing to do with becoming an open gateway for the energy that lives all – including all on the Earth. Neither kind of life is better or worse – these are just very different ways of relating to the life process.

So, if you are looking to get your life together, find a good life coach or a pastor or a therapist. Learn how to talk to people, get jobs, manage your finances, eat well, have healthy relationships, and express your talents. Let your life be your teacher and bond with people who can help you out.

If you feel that you have been-there-done-that and are trying a different way to relating to life, then a “teacher” will find you. One thing is certain – all beings who have broken through the first transformation barrier begin to serve as natural mirrors for others, and wherever you go there you are. Until then, you do you.

One thing seems true… You don’t actually stop being born until you die. You unfold your entire life. It is a myth that birthing stops upon exiting the womb.

Living as Enlightenment – Part 2

See Part 1 Q&A here…. We’ll pick up where we left off….

Question: What is the most important aspect of being human?

Answer: A human being is embodied potential to be both the finite and the infinite. It’s not quite clear to me how this came to be, but it seems to be the way it is.

When I see a person, I cannot focus on their superficial qualities or personality. I see something deeper that speaks to me directly – something I know and understand intimately.

I am still taken aback when I realize that the people I interact with don’t know who they are and what their awareness can grow into. Everyday life obsessions of “he said, she said” are so removed from my experience that I need to translate these dramas into something I can understand.

People want to be loved, and people mostly feel unworthy of love. There is fear. This seems to be the root of so much complexity and drama here. People define conditions and have expectations, which is diametrically opposed to embracing reality as it is. They spend a lot of time and energy trying to change life topography before they even find themselves on the map.

Nevertheless, everything the human race is going through is a stepping stone. No experience or realization is wasted – it is all raw material for the proverbial staircase to heaven.

When a human being glimpses that potential with the whole body and mind, no matter how short-lived, that is important. Then, this being knows that he or she is paradoxically becoming what one already is. Embracing this paradox is important and unique to the human nervous system, which is an exotic interface to the infinite.

Question: What does it feel like to observe people go through painful situations, even if some are self-created?

Answer: It depends. Over time, it is becoming more difficult for me to focus on individuals. Mostly, I feel the ebb and flow of the human race as a whole. Those individuals who recognize that I am noone in a body – they are easier to pinpoint because they must feel that they are the same as That on some level.

Some people – I feel like I know them, have known them, even if they are seeming strangers. I am already connected to them somehow and usually try to help them in some way. I will talk with them, give them attention, and sometimes take their pain. Of course, I never take money…. that is something I do not do. Maybe occasional food 🔆

Sometimes people say they don’t know why I care or help…. I see this dilemma as being separate from one’s true nature. If you know who you really are, you realize that there is nothing else to do but be available – you do what you are 24/7. There is no layer of planning or thinking about what I can get back. It just doesn’t work that way.

Most importantly, when I do not feel that draw to act, I don’t act. It is not my place, not my time. I trust and live that.

Question: If the enlightened being’s state is so different from the turmoil of this world, how can an enlightened being exist here?

Answer: At some point, the enlightened state will not be as rare as it is now. More and more people will break through the illusion of living as embodied shadows.

However, at this time, the difference in consciousness of the majority and the free beings is so dramatic that living here is not easy.

It is not easy to see people feel and act trapped, hearts break, and happiness be dependent on life’s conditions in a given moment.

I no longer cry except on rare occasions when there is united suffering of a group of people asking for help. I feel their pain as if it were my pain – vividly, viscerally, and running on all cylinders through my body.

But as the pain runs through me and has nothing to stick to. So, I put my attention on these people with a clear heart.

After enlightenment, attention does not wonder randomly, nor does it come with an intention for a specific outcome. Rather, the very act of such attention does what it can to alleviate pain and transmit a stable and unconditionally happy state of being automatically.

I have seen this act of attention bring healing to some. Bring clarity. It is a mystery to me how it works.

One thing is clear is that attending to people is an impersonal act – there is no agenda, just a pull to be there with all that is happening.

Does this tire me? Often. I need a lot of sleep to exist here and to allow my body to rebalance.

Question: Does an enlightened being look forward to being finally free of this world at death?

Answer: Every being feels a draw to the next level. However, in enlightenment, there is no urgency or need for a specific timeline.

In fact, the notion of time being something to grasp vanishes. There is only now, as cliche as that may sound. I am literally unaware of past memories or future anticipation. I am just here, and right now there is nowhere else to be.

One could say that I don’t think about my future, but that is not quite true. To function here, I need to address real-life situations, family and work responsibilities, and forge practical strategies for living with my family. I make an effort to plan living – physical life requires that. However, decision-making is fairly easy and quick. The compass always points north.

So, I do what needs to be done with the understanding that everything here – including my responsibilities, joys, and setbacks – all are temporary.

Living like this does not result in regrets or feelings of confusion. There are no looping thoughts and no unresolved dilemmas. The entire life is a simple, undirected unfolding – much like a flower greeting the Sun. And I am there with it all – both an observer and a participant.

I do not fear death, nor do I dwell on it. I just know when it’s not yet a good day to die.

One Day in the Universe

Everything rises, falls, and arises again. We are used to thinking in terms of beginnings and finalities. We look for cycles and patterns as a way to make the world seem more predictable.

We calm ourselves with fragmented insight and knowledge and cling to a promise of something better around the bend – something to look forward to. But our whole is not the Whole because the vantage point is very personal, embroiled with investment of physical, emotional, and mental energy that is but a fragment. Nevertheless, we carry on without giving the dilemma of skewed perspective much consideration.

What if you ceased looking for patterns and cycles for one day in the Universe and simply lived? It is only one day, so you can let go of any fear and anxiety…. You spend this day so fully immersed in every action that you forget to judge – anything.

You notice the fullness of the world in every spec and feel an unbridled joy that seemingly has no cause.

It is only one day, and so you let go of the past, the pain, and the discomfort of being in a body.

This one day, you find balance among all tensions of opposites and simply let go into the ever-moving Life Stream. Life is motion, someone said. So, you move unfettered by preconceptions of how life should be.

You stop the work of crafting your life, and simply embrace yourself as pure awareness. For one day, in the totality of the Universe, this is OK.

You have no need to drink because you are intoxicated by breath, by being breathed. What is breathing you? What is living you?

You realize the illusion of ownership and control because the Universe is your hands, and its stardust flows right through your fingers. You just let go into being, without defining yourself or others.

As you let go more and more, just on this day, you see all as yourself and know yourself as all. You know there is only one being here, wherever here is. You rest with eyes wide open. You may be dead or alive – there is no difference.

You’ve woken from the dream only to rest in one eternal day in the Universe that is alive at all scales – because it is One Life as many, yearning for Unity.

This Unity is the only certain thing on any day, even today.

Silence Is Being

Behind voice, gesture, emotion, and thought, there is a deep and profound Silence – the who you are that cannot be distilled into words or confined into a static mold. This Silence is dynamic, ever changing, and is the authentic presence that underlies all expression. When touched by our awareness and integrated, there is power in this Silence, whether we choose to use it or not.

My exploration of this sacred Silence did not begin when I started to meditate. Even though I didn’t speak and tried not to move in meditation, the thoughts alone were loud enough. In the beginning, meditation was all about just being with the thoughts because it was impossible to just turn them off. I learned that “quiet” is relative, and did not even have an inkling of Silence.

I stumbled on Silence rather accidentally, when I was steeped in simply being. I was not in any traditional meditation posture, but I was meditating – pure awareness touching the essence of presence. This was the “It” that cannot really be described – just alluded to by art or poetry, hinting at the energy and texture of It. I was learning to navigate these currents and diving deeper into all. I realized that the answer to the age-old question of “Who am I?” can only be explored and – lived. A language that lacks the practice of awareness of being, has no concepts or words necessary to describe that. Hence, Silence.

When I am Silent, I feel a strong wave building and a change in the rate at which time flows, including the subtle gaps between what the senses can communicate. (Yes, there are gaps in our conventional perception of reality.)

This wave is steady and rolls freely without a set course, never crashing on any shore. It is unrestricted and unrestrained, and it is who I am before images, concepts, and perceptions give me form. As Silence, I do not need a form,  a name, or a vestment to be real. I am prior to all the coloring of my presentation – inside or outside the lines. We all are.

I was surprised to learn that being awake  is not a guarantee that I can navigate  everyday life with strength. In fact, I am not yet strong. While there is no need for me to sit in meditation anymore – it is everpresent, living as awareness does not guarantee that others will relate to me without overloading me with their projections. I often hear the same phrase now – that I have “too much presence” – even if I say or do nothing at all. Not all object to this “presence,” but some do.

Because I always look for genuine connection with others, I’ve spent the past six months trying to hone a veneer that would – maybe – make me seem less threatening, if that makes any sense. It is ironic how the one with no agenda could be a threat. But, pulling in my energy didn’t really make others more comfortable around me, and it felt completely unnatural to me. However, there is the dilemma of how being radiantly happy and creative often invites caustic attacks from those who live a different reality…. And I find “protection” a superficial missing of the point.

I could now better understand why some beings choose to live in monastic orders and communities, but I also knew that this was not my path. My path is among others, who are from all walks of life, and being smack in the middle of everyday Western way of life.

While talking to a woman who I had never met before, I was fascinated by her positive outlook on life, her description of friendships, and the way she faced hardships. I asked her if, being this way, had invited backlash for her from the world – people who wanted to squash her light. She didn’t answer directly, but told me a story about how she has to deal with all kinds of situations in standing up for others. And then she added: “You have to know when to be silent.” That phrase just caught fire in every cell of my body. Silence.

When she said that, I didn’t picture  stopping speaking. Instead, I caught a glimpse of stopping hiding who I was – prior to all expression – and not trying to hide. I saw the possibility of being able to create an open space for everyone to be who they are and at whatever level of evolution, which also allowed me to be who I am. Silence took on a new meaning as the power to make room from  authenticity. As unique beings, we need lots of “room” before we acknowledge the illusion of limitations. And we can have all that we need.

Space and time are pliant and freely available. Silence – the full presence – is the force that can bend time and space to invite others to be authentic. In a way, Silence is the unexpressed expression, the underlying truth, and the eternal moment – the unspoken outpouring of the divine imbued with powerful intention that anyone and everyone is welcome. All can arrive as they are without moving a single muscle. 

I didn’t know that I had to embrace the Silence, but now I do. I didn’t know that space and time can bend and stretch to embrace all our diversity, but now I do. Prior to the hustle and bustle, is the Silence, and its power is in its unadulterated Real.

I am this Silence and – it seems – so are you. We only need to feel who we are beyond the structures and appearances imposed by perception. Feeling the Real is power to be real in any job, town or country. 

Silence is life. What would happen if enough of us tapped this reality  for the unfolding of Global Peace, so that we can stop trying to merely survive in a “harsh world” and be free to fully Be? What is the root cause behind our world being so “harsh” anyway?