In Difficult Times

We are meant to be fundamentally changed by challenging times and events; to transcend our old identity.

Pain and suffering will occur to the extent that we resist what is happening. However, when we can see these circumstances with a pair of fresh eyes, a new perspective, we will suffer less, and for some, it will be possible not to suffer at all.

You do not want to end up being the same person that you were before these events happened; otherwise, you will become more anchored into the conditioned-self, leaving you no better off than you were before they occurred. Always remember you are walking in Consciousness or God and not just your body.

The Real Cause of Our Pain and Suffering

The mind and our conditioning tell us that we should never suffer, feel pain, or have difficulties; that the perfect life is problem-free, and this becomes our belief and pursuit. Many religious people think and are taught that if they find God, all their problems will go away, and the spiritual seeker often believes that enlightenment will free them from all of life’s complications.

Is this your experience? Can you tell me that this is true, that you have escaped the challenges of life through these pursuits? Following this concept of freedom, when presented by the mind, will only keep you trapped in an endless quest. You will always feel that you are getting closer to your desired destination, why it’s just one more step, the mind will say. Yet somehow, you never seem to arrive.

If we want to be free, then we must awaken from the mind’s blinding influence. We must be willing to take a step back from what it is saying for a moment because real freedom comes when we allow all of life to flow through us. We cannot continue to follow the false narrative that the mind presents, where there should be no pain or suffering at all.

We must allow and feel whatever arises, to embrace and experience it. Being mindful when resistance appears, because whatever flows will go, be transmuted, or transcended. Whatever we resist will get stuck and persists.

Take a step back, become the observer of your thoughts, and watch how the mind frequently influences your life. Then let your unrest awaken you to the present moment and your True-Self. Let feelings and facts destroy the imagined storytelling of the mind and be open to receiving grace and the guidance of your True-Self that is always available to everyone.

An Observation

Do you mold your religious/spiritual teachings around your life to self-satisfy your egoic actions? This can be seen today by many who put their political party and personal interests over their religious ideology.

Or do you embody your religion/spiritual teaching and put it first, by questioning your words and actions and always correcting course when errors are seen?

You can see these two very different ways of living playing out around the world, which will manifest two very different outcomes. This observation is not new; they can both be seen by looking back through history at how men and women have treated their fellow human beings, the planet, and themselves.

Living an Awakened Life Becoming Zero

I remember when I was growing up that calling someone a zero meant that he or she was useless or worthless. Now here I am decades later writing about becoming zero but from a loftier understanding.

You will notice with a little bit of awareness that everything in personhood comes and goes, including the body. Life is not stable from the perspective of the person. One moment you can be upset, the next laughing and then the next anxious. When we take pause, this can be noticed, but it is something that usually is overlooked or ignored, not by choice, of course, but by habit, a habit that took shape so the mind could remain a controlling authority.

Let me tell you with one-hundred percent certainty that becoming zero is the most stable state you can experience. However, I do not expect you to believe me; but instead, I want you to experience it for yourself because it is only through having a direct experience that you will come to see the truth.

When you are curious, you learn, and when you are desperate, you discover. The mind wants to learn and will have its own interpretation of what becoming zero means. It will put up roadblocks every chance it gets to distract you. Therefore, it is up to you to use your awareness to awaken to these distractions and stay focused on what is evident.

What do I mean by becoming zero? It means you do not have any attachment to your thoughts and feelings. Please do not misunderstand me; I am not saying that you should not think and feel. Of course, you will. However, you will do it by choice. In other words, your thoughts and feelings will not control you and operate unchecked. They will still come and go, and you are free to pick them up at any time. Moreover, it certainly does not mean that somehow your life will be dull or boring. In truth, just the opposite will happen.

Can you feel the freedom that comes with having command over what causes your psychological suffering?

Remember, a thought, feeling, or emotion has no power over you until you believe it. I can have a thought that says this is amazing, and someone else might think it is awful. When we believe something is amazing, we feel good, and if we believe it is awful, we suffer. I am sure you can access countless instances of this in your life — for example, a new relationship or the break-up of one. Therefore, without belief, a thought, feeling, or emotion has no power, and therefore it will pass like a cloud floating across the sky.

Now, this is very simple to do. First, we create some space between our thoughts, feelings, and emotions by not believing in them automatically. We begin to notice or question what arises. This is accomplished by bringing awareness to them and becoming the observer. It is from the position of the observer that we create the space we need to stay unattached to what comes. As long as we are watching and not grabbing hold of the thought, feeling, or emotion, there will be some space creating a moment free of reaction, which will lead to stability. You will feel a sense of freedom in this space.

Now I did say this was simple to do, and it is; okay here comes the but, the challenge happens when things start to bubble up from underneath, i.e., conditioning, beliefs, feelings, etc. You have years or decades of automatically going with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions; it is a habit. To break the habit, you will need to come back to observing as the mind distracts you repeatedly. And it will try to distract you because you are taking your power back. Remember, nothing will stick unless you believe in it. You break the habit of attachment by becoming the observer.

There is no need to struggle. If it feels hard to do, then notice that that is a thought. Step back into the observer position, and the hardness will soften, letting go with ease. Any struggle signifies that you are attaching to a thought, feeling, or emotion created by the mind to distract you.

“The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.” -Blaise Pascal

Start here first, and do the best you can because the smallest step toward your authentic-self transcends the mind and brings about tremendous transformation.

 

Your Habits, Conditioning, and Narrow Focus

We have become so narrowly focused on all the things occurring outside of ourselves, that we feel a loss of control in our lives. Of course, this kind of thinking leads to anxiety, stress, worry, and fear. These types of psychological problems are becoming all too common for us these days.

External problems can appear to be the same to specific groups of like-minded people and not as problems at all to others. That is because of each person’s conditioning, and the beliefs created out of that conditioning. In other words, it is how we think about things that tell us whether or not it is a problem.

The conditioning we receive is instilled at such a young age, much of it before the age of seven, that it is never questioned. This conditioning becomes the foundation that we build on to become who we are now and what we believe. When enough people believe and think the same thing, it creates what we see in the world. That is because we make choices based on our beliefs.

Could we have been misled or built our views on incorrect information? Is there more to us than what we see with our eyes and think with our minds?

If you narrowly focus on one thought long enough, then it can become the truth for you, and then all your choices going forward will be based on that new belief. This unreliable information then makes us think things that are not true. For instance, I am not good enough, I am not smart, or I will never be happy again.

Many have come to the point where they are at the mercy of their thoughts and feelings. At times, they find that their thoughts and feelings are overwhelming. There seems to be no way to be free from them, which again creates more anxiety, stress, worry, and fear.

When you slow your thoughts down by paying attention to them, and you begin to question them, you can start to discover and unravel your conditioning. Self-inquiry like this will lead to freedom from your conditioning and creates a very different life than what you are experiencing now.

We unconsciously attach to our thoughts and habitually follow them. These thoughts arise spontaneously without any conscious effort on our part, and you can see this taking place with awareness. They are not based in fact but often accepted as fact. They are born out of our false foundation. It will require effort for most people, particularly in the beginning, to break these habits, to uncover their True-Self, and to shed the skin of who they have become.

Know that anyone can be free, no matter what your mind and thoughts tell you. The challenge is not to believe what the mind tells you and not to be tricked by its subtle and cunning ways. This is because you are more than your mind and body. The only way that this idea becomes a reality for you is to have direct-experience of your True-Self. Otherwise, your mind will use this lofty concept to keep you a prisoner, and you will be lost in a maze of thoughts leading down a path with no way out. Rest assured, in my words, that there is always a way with awareness.

How Much Time Do You Need to Become Timeless?

What you are is revealed when you let go of what you are not. You are no longer the seeker, but you remember who you are in truth.

“What we are looking for is what is looking.” ― St. Francis of Assisi

Therefore, you do not need more knowledge, rituals, or some other practice. It is discovered through the recognition of your conditioning, misguided beliefs, and habituated thinking. By using one of your greatest gifts, awareness, you can begin to uncover your True-Self or real nature through direct experience.

Of course, you can continue to follow your thoughts and the mind, which will keep you trapped in a never-ending journey. They will always confirm that what you seek is just around the next corner. Yes, you will make some progress this way. However, you may have already noticed that you are not getting very far. Ask yourself this question and see where it leads: how much time do you need to become timeless?

How to Find What Is Missing in Your Life

Does something feel missing in your life? Do you feel called toward something different or more meaningful? Are you continually searching for the next thing that will bring you the peace, joy, and happiness that you desire? Do you find yourself doing, doing, and doing until exhaustion, then trying to squeeze in time to enjoy life? Do you hang onto memories of the past and dream of better days to come?

Many experience life like this and ultimately wake up one day wondering where their lives are going or went, and this awakening becomes the motivating force to create something new. The misstep that happens is that we believe we must embark on a long journey to some place new — not realizing that what we are seeking is already here and does not need to be created.

What if your searching, which has offered you incremental change toward your desired outcome, somehow is simultaneously keeping you from your intended destination? Can you see this happening in your life? Does your intended destination always seem so close, yet somehow you never arrive?

The surprising solution is so simple that many think it cannot possibly work, and therefore, it is often overlooked. Is it possible that you are so trapped in personhood that you have lost the ability to see the truth of who you really are? Has your doing, doing, doing kept you from being able to just BE in life, to be present in the moment?

For some, this will sound silly to the mind, and especially so to anyone who has never questioned who they are. All I ask is that you ignore your mind just this once. Ask yourself this question if you are having trouble understanding where I am pointing. Has your mind throughout your life produced thoughts that were always true and helpful? If not, then please keep reading.

The following insight will tell you when you are actually in the moment, which is something you can confirm for yourself. When you can be present, in the here and now, the moment, thoughts are not perceived.

We have all had times like this when we do pay attention to our thoughts, and they seem to be gone. For example, when we are in awe of a sunset, or we experience so much joy that we lose track of time. In these moments, there is nothing to do and nothing wrong. We are one with what is and fully present. We become still inside and full of peace. It is only when we fall back into personhood that thought once again appears.

Of course, afterward, we THINK that living every moment in this way is not possible because we have to make a living or we have to take care of the family, or we have to… Like a dog chasing its tail, we continue looking for something that seems elusive. We keep searching to find that thing that will recreate our experience, not realizing that it is always here. We have forgotten it is our natural state, just to BE.

The truth is that living in the present moment is not about creating anything. It is not about taking a journey or changing anything. We are so attached to our thoughts that we cannot see this, and we THINK that being present is about practice, a ritual or hard work. We fail to recognize that we are more than just the body and this life as a person.

You cannot figure all this out through the mind because it will get in the way of you seeing the truth. It will make you THINK that you already know or you are getting close if you just do one more thing. Finding your way out of this mind-trap is simple; however, letting go of years of conditioning and habitual thinking is not always easy for most of us.

Therefore, if you truly feel a calling to go deeper and have direct experience of this truth, you must be vigilant and bring more awareness into your life. Life does not have to be so serious. Suffering comes from the attachment to thought and the desire for a different outcome than what showed up. You know when this has happened you have become too attached to personhood and lost awareness of your True-Self, your real nature. You will only find stability there because everything associated with personhood is unstable; it comes, goes, lives, and dies.

I am not asking you to believe me or to acquire more knowledge. Test it out for yourself, because it will only be through direct experience that you can build the strength to ignore the misdirection of your thoughts. Use your mind when you need to and stop believing everything it says. Become aware of its rambling, and your life will become full of joy and peace. Return to your real and timeless state.