Living Without Fear, Worry or Stress

The following words are not meant to change your mind in any way. They only point to something that you can experience for yourself. This is important because it is only through direct experience that we can begin to awaken.

Please know that what I am sharing has nothing to do with religion, and is available to anyone interested in waking up to the realization of his or her true nature. Finding the way to where I point is not about traveling any distance, but experiencing your real nature, which has been in you all along.

The life we live in personhood is not stable. We are continually dealing with fluctuating emotions, body sensations, and feelings. The person we see in the mirror, our false sense of self, is constructed by the mind and overlays our true self or true nature.  Anyone who looks with an open heart at his or her life can see the instability. On the other hand, our True-Self is unchanging and eternally stable; having direct experience of your True-Self is life changing. If this is something you are drawn to, then keep reading.

Think of it like this: when clouds cover the sky, we no longer see the sun. Does that mean the sun is not shining? Of course not, it never stops shining, but we do lose sight of it and may wonder if it is still burning bright. Once the sense of self is constructed, like the clouds blocking the sun, we lose sight of our real nature, but it is always there and can be seen anytime we let go of this false sense of self.

It is not difficult to experience your real nature; just know that your mind will challenge you. It wants things to stay the way they are, and it will use your thoughts and senses to carry out this effort. Because of this, anything that feels hard, difficult or challenging means your mind has tricked you, and you have become attached to something the mind created to distract you. Let the feeling of effort or struggle be a sign that you need to let go.

Remember these key insights:

  • You will not lose anything of importance in your life as you know it now.
  • Any fear, anxiety, worry or thought that arises comes from the mind and is nothing more than a distraction to keep you from experiencing your true self.
  • If you do not like where you are going, you can stop at any time.
  • Waking up is not about fulfilling any desire that comes through thought. It is a calling from deep within, something you feel, a soul-full call to be home again and to live through the experience of your true nature.

Have you ever asked yourself?

  • Where do my thoughts originate from anyway?
  • Do I painstakingly create each thought with loving care?
  • Are all of my thoughts important, relevant or even true?
  • Am I aware of my rambling and misguided thoughts that happen all day, every day?
  • Have I noticed how many of my thoughts are repeated daily?

Once you begin to hear your thoughts more clearly by bringing awareness to them, you will see how absurd and untruthful they can be. Notice how they can hypnotize you, and steal the present moment away from you. When you wake up out of these stolen moments, without chastising yourself bring your attention back to noticing them once again, and this is how you begin to break the mind’s hypnotic habit.

As long as your identity is tied to personhood, the body, and the idea that you are separate from everyone and everything, experiencing God or your real nature will seem elusive. Remember this life of personhood that we take to be who we are is nothing more than a vehicle for consciousness to experience itself. To believe this is one thing, and to experience it: life changing.

Deconstructing the self, the identity that began developing at birth, will not happen in the same way your mind tells you. As I said before your mind will find ways to challenge and distract you. It will tell you stories. For example, it might say, you are so close to awakening, I bet this next thing will be the one. Then years pass by of you doing that next thing, and yes, maybe your efforts have changed your personhood experience in positive ways, but you still have not arrived at where you are being called. Surely by now you should be enlightened.

Perhaps your seeking even with all the positive changes has been a distraction from you having a direct experience of your pure self. We can spend our whole lives seeking this experience, being distracted by our thoughts and mind from our intention and our true self. We can even have moments of what we believe to be this experience, something powerful, unique or special only to fall back into personhood because we were tricked by our mind once again. Please do not misunderstand, the mind is useful for our lives, but should it be directing your life, or only engaged with when needed?

In truth, what we seek, we are, and it is only when we let go of the controlling and deceiving thoughts that we can rest in the eternal and infinite space, which is our real nature. This is the only place you will ever experience stability in your life because living only in personhood will never be a stable environment.

We do not have to believe everything we think, and we do not have to follow the endless flow of thoughts that the mind generates. However, we can still live in personhood with all of our experiences and not be attached to the roller coaster of emotions, feeling and uncontrollable changes that come with it. We can experience life as it was intended while residing in the spaciousness of our real nature.

Experiencing your real nature is simple. A good starting point is to notice that you can witness your thoughts, emotions, and feelings. In fact, from this place of observation, you can witness all activity without attachment. Once you see this, notice how it feels and what you experience. Does it feel stable and peaceful? Does it have any boundaries? What can you discern?

When you have experienced this awareness, you will see that even this observer can be witnessed. Ask yourself, am I watching from personhood, from this place the mind will be involved. Or am I watching from a state of presence? From this place, you can still notice that something is watching even though you feel peaceful. The mind may also tell you at first this is it. Finally notice when you watch from pure awareness, your real nature, you will see there is no other watcher.

Remember that I said that the mind would challenge you, so it is important not to attach to anything that arises from the mind; stay as the witness and do not be caught in any thought traps. Always come back to being the witness, notice the activity of the mind. This will help you to begin to break the habit of following your thoughts, emotions, and feelings, which can overwhelm you once you attach to them. Be sure to include all things generated in mind however the mind perceives them to be: good, bad or indifferent. One day attachment to thought and this habit of following your thoughts will be broken, and you will no longer be interested in or distracted by the endless flow of misguided thinking.

If you start to worry, become frustrated or feel out of balance in any way, know that you have been pulled back into personhood by the mind. When you experience your real nature it feels effortless; if it is causing strain, it is because you are attached to something that is leading you astray. Perhaps your thoughts are saying something like, this is hard, I cannot do it, I do not deserve it, or yes, this may be meant for some people, but not for me.

A step toward awakening is to realize that your operating system, which is your current way of thinking and beliefs, may not be your best ally going forward in creating the life and world you want, and this becomes clear once you start observing your thoughts and beliefs.

Below is the middle verse from a poem called “A Great Wagon,” from the Persian poet Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”

doesn’t make any sense.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

Follow where I have pointed, and I will meet you in the field that lies beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, where you can live without fear, worry or stress. May you hear the rumbling and let it go to find your way home. Do not go back to sleep, wake-up, wake-up, wake-up and we shall be in the oneness of pure awareness.

Releasing Our Disharmony

All things connected to personhood come and go because this is how our human existence is experienced. Therefore, it is only natural that you understand that your thoughts also come and go.

Disharmony arises when we put too much attention on pointless thoughts, which when noticed flow continuously throughout the day. Once you put your attention on any random thought, it will carry you away from the present moment to some godforsaken place.

Our beliefs, which are created by this habitual thinking, also distract us from remaining in the present. Do not misunderstand; we need some of this mechanical thinking because it releases us from consciously having to think about routine matters. However, to be continuously carried away from the present moment by something that is fruitless only leads to confusion and suffering.

Becoming aware of this useless thinking is the first clue that will lead you to something better and to what is real and true. If you want to be free in life and peaceful, you need to let these thoughts go and stop following them down the rabbit hole.

The way back home is experienced when we remember not to follow the thoughts, then they no longer hypnotize us, and we can experience our original state. Notice that something can observe these thoughts. Have you ever asked from where are you able to watch these thoughts?

When we believe these worthless thoughts continuously and wholeheartedly, they create a delusional story that feeds the ego and keeps us stuck in life.

This is not something you figure out intellectually, and it does not happen through acquiring knowledge as the mind would have you THINK. To come home again, we must enter the silence of our natural state, the place that never comes and goes. You will know this place because it is always stable, unlike your mind. Is it from this place that you are watching the thoughts?

If you begin today to notice how your thoughts carry you away from the present moment, I promise that you will start to break your lifetime habit of falling down the rabbit hole. The practice of noticing alone will begin to break the obsession and one day awakens you to the beauty of your true nature once again.

In the beginning, the mind will struggle with your attempts to stop following this addictive thinking. Just remember that disturbing emotions, misperceptions, and confusions are not in accord with the nature of reality and your true state, they are signposts that you are on the right path. If you continue, eventually the minds fight to remain in dominant control will begin to weaken and at some point, you will no longer need to pick up every thought as it floats by wanting your attention.

Notice I am not telling you the thoughts will stop, only that you will have no interest in them. You do not have to struggle or get somewhere special, have a unique or powerful experience as the mind thinks to awaken. Just follow this simple practice of letting the thoughts go and see for yourself if it is helpful. You have nothing to lose except perhaps some of your disharmony, and maybe one day you will see that what you seek has been here all along waiting for you to wake up.

Experiencing God

You will never find God by looking out into the world or through the path of knowledge. It is not a matter for the mind. You will never find God thinking that you will only meet him, her, or it after you die. Know too that God does not have human characteristics in its natural state. It cannot be described by words it can only be experienced. Furthermore, you do not have to wait until you die to have this experience.

As long as you attach to personhood and your senses, you will be tricked by the mind and your thoughts, making this experience an elusive one. The mind is a master of distraction. Do you already know this fact?

The world is held captive, not by bad people, but by misguided thinking. However, you do not have to stay hostage to this habitual thinking. You can break free when you want and do not let your thoughts tell you otherwise.

Remember, that many of the beliefs and thoughts that arise in the mind have been instilled in you from a very young age. Therefore, know that it may take some practice to be free. Nevertheless, you cannot fail, because how can you fail to become who you already are, you only need to remember this by experiencing your real nature once again.

In your heart, you know the truth. Take some time to be quiet, drop down from the mind and into the heart of God. I assure you that as long as you do not pick up your thoughts and walk away again, you will remember your real nature.

Keep this as a reminder, you will never find God through your thoughts.

Become the observer of the mind, and retire as its playmate. Use it when you need to, but do not let it continue to use you as it has for so many years. Once you do, the experience of God will find you, because God is not separate from you, and has not forsaken you.

The only thing that separates you from God is a thought and your belief in that thought.

The Good Struggle

The Good Struggle sounds funny I know, but we all experience it at some point in our lives. It is when something hard that we go through turns out to be worth the struggle. Can you think of something that has already happened to you that proves this point?

In the context of awakening, our struggle turns out to be good when we begin to recognize our conditioned self. That means we start to see in ourselves certain behaviors and thoughts that we can no longer tolerate. They make us feel uncomfortable in some way, and we now realize that they have been with us for some time, but we did not see them, or we have ignored them.

This process can begin in different ways. However, for many, it happens once we start to question our lives. We may feel a calling or that there has to be something more to life.  However, often something traumatic or difficult happens in our lives and these events shake us up, and begin to wake us up.

Once this happens, we start to see these behaviors and thoughts that were before out of our conscious awareness. Sometimes you can even see this playing out in the actions of friends or family members; however, it is much harder to see in our own lives without awareness.

Things that you might notice are that you feel uneasy, out of balance, or more emotional. Fear, anger, anxiety and other uncomfortable feelings come up more often and stay longer. Your thoughts may urge you to believe these feeling have just started and were caused by someone or something else in your life. Yet somehow, you know this is not true, and that they were there all along.

Once the light of awareness starts flowing in, the mind fights back to stay in control. Therefore, dealing with everything that is coming out makes things more difficult for a time, this should not bring concern but instead optimism. It can even feel better or easier if we just go along with our thoughts and ignore what is happening, but I can assure you this is not true. When the real self is calling us, there is no turning back, and if we ignore this calling, then our struggle can evolve into great suffering because of our resistance.

We often think that we are supposed to have a mystical or spiritual experience to awaken or we want the quick fix. Then we spend years going from one thing to the next, one teacher or workshop waiting for this to happen or chasing a similar experience that happened before, not realizing we are going nowhere.

For the majority, having this kind of dramatic moment never happens, and we end up in more distress over the years. Once we experience our true nature and the light of awareness begins to flow, things will happen naturally and without much effort. However, we must remain watchful so that we do not fall prey to the tricks of the mind because it will easily betray us through our conditioned thoughts. So yes, you may feel at times this is a struggle, but I assure you once again that it is The Good Struggle.

 

We Must Stop the Insanity of Judgment

People have felt the need to judge others since the very first humans on the planet. Therefore, it does not surprise me that so many continue it today and of course, it is much easier these days to get into other people’s business with the internet and social media. However, that does not mean that we should just because we can.

It does not matter if the events were recent or happened decades ago. Now I understand if someone continues immoral, illegal or wrong behavior, that person should face the consequences of their actions. However, this should happen through the legal system, and if not unlawful, then it should be resolved appropriately by those involved but not by those sitting on the sidelines.

I did many things when I was younger that I would never do now because I learned from my mistakes. I certainly would not want to be judged today for only those actions.

I had a drinking problem for many years and know that I did many things wrong including drinking and driving. What if I could not get a job now or fired from one today for a DUI in 1977. Does that seem fair, especially since I have been sober for 31 years?

What happened to forgiveness, should something someone did 30 years ago say more about who they are today than all the things they have done since then?

Each one of us needs to ask ourselves what have I done in the past that I would not be proud of or want to be judged for today.

I am reminded John 8:7 from the Bible “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Surely, you do not have to be religious to understand that judging others is wrong.

Therefore, the next time you want to comment on someone else’s behavior take a pause. Do you have all the facts? Does what you are about to say come from the heart or your head? Why do you feel the need to comment? Are you an outsider looking in, and if you are, do you have a right to judge that person or their actions?

There are always better choices to be made than to judge someone.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ― Mother Teresa

Do not expect to live in a peaceful world or be peaceful in your own life if you cannot let go of your judgments for others or yourself.

Nowhere Now Here Finding the Truth

Read my new post on Elephant Journal.

Having reached my 62nd birthday this past week, I can see how far I have come in life, and yet for many years, there was a feeling that there had to be more. And you know what, there is, and it is easier than you might think to find.

I have spent years on the spiritual path searching and following a calling that resided deep within me. Can you relate to having a calling or feeling like something is missing in your life, or intuitively you know there is something more to life? If you do, then keep reading.

Feelings

Do you think that how you feel is based upon what happens to you? Or do you have a choice in how you feel no matter what happens to you?

What would it be like if instead of allowing what happens to you to dictate how you feel, that you could make a choice of how you want to feel about anything that happens to you? I am here to tell you that this is not only possible, but that is how things are supposed to be. Your feelings do not control you unless you let them.

In truth, you can change your feelings any time you want with a little desire, some intention, and a keenly developed awareness. The next time you find your feelings taking control or out of control take a deep breath and remember that you can feel different if you choose too.