The Root Cause of Your Disturbances

Are you feeling frustrated because things are not going the way you want in life? Perhaps you are looking for a job, relationship, or you have a desire that will not manifest. Maybe your fearful of all that is happening in the world today.

Do you know what the root cause of your disturbance is? Does your mind immediately tell you that it is another person, outside circumstances that cause it, or maybe it is something you perceive to be out of your control, like covid19 or something personal like your age?

Have you noticed that all these reasons that show up in the mind are entirely unsolicited? They do not come from critical thinking; they just show up spontaneously. What would happen if you did not immediately identify with these thoughts? Would your life unfold differently if they never appeared?

Let me answer that last question for you; yes, it would be very different because your thoughts would no longer be in control of guiding your life. You would be free from doing things in the same conditioned way you do them now, and you would have a stronger connection to your intuition. You would be free from frustration and worry, or it would be significantly minimized. You would have more energy, and your life would change in many unexpected ways.

The question is, how do we take our power back. I can offer you a simple process that works. It may feel challenging at first because we are unconsciously habituated to listening to and identifying with our thoughts without question. The extent of this varies for each of us. But we have been doing it for years, if not decades, so do not think that you are the one person not impacted by it.

Most of us will make gradual progress over time rather than giants leaps or the expected instant gratification the ego wants. Our progress is based on our ability to connect with greater awareness and then bring this awareness into our experience, which may feel uncomfortable at first. Particularly for some people, they notice the volume of unsolicited and negative thoughts; previously unseen is much greater than expected. Many of these thoughts can sound ridiculous once we start to pay attention to them.

So, what is this simple process? It is the observation of your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations that arise from them. When we can observe them occurring, without identification, we create some space or freedom from them. The mistake many make is trying to stop them consciously. You will only find yourself identifying with them more, a subtle trick of the mind to distract you.

When we no longer perceive ourselves as the thought, we notice that all thoughts come and go, just as everything does in personhood. This is an essential recognition because we often begin to THINK that uncomfortable circumstances will last forever. Our thoughts reinforce this misunderstanding. You can verify this by looking at past experiences. By having this erroneous perception, we begin to experience frustration, anxiety, fear and worry. We begin to have pointless conversations with ourselves in the mind that reinforce this story and keeping us stuck. We can no longer see a way out, which causes tremendous suffering. Suffering that is unwanted and unnecessary. The desire to not have this experience can intensify our suffering because we now have conversations about how bad it is, so the cycle persists.

We must regain command of the mind, our thoughts, and feelings if we ever want to be free from suffering. Therefore, I offer you this simple and effective way to begin breaking the habit of the cause of your suffering. Begin today, observing your thoughts and any feelings that arise as often as you can. Notice when you get pulled into a conversation with the mind and question if it is essential. Are there body sensations that clue you into being caught by the mind? Notice and see. Bring more awareness into watching this unfold in your daily life, and I guarantee that you will begin to see how much time is wasted being dragged around from one meaningless thought to another by the mind. Feelings arise from these thoughts, and cause disturbances in the body, pay attention.

With some attention and awareness, a little practice, and some time, you will begin to master this innate ability, and your life will change. You will experience more peace, suffer less over things that do not need your attention, and find your way back to the present moment.

The Blame Game

Do you ever get tired of all the blaming that goes on these days? It is the fault of the liberals or the conservatives, which is not the reality. If you cannot see that both parties are to blame, that the root of the problem is not a political party, but some of the people that make up that political party, then you are blind to the truth.

If you think all the good and right people are on this side and not that side, you need to wake up. Belonging to a particular political party does not make you a good person or right. Belonging to a specific church or religion does not make you a good person or right.

We are good people when we love one another and treat everyone equally and with respect. We are good people when we are kind, compassionate, and empathetic. We are good people when we make good choices and learn from our mistakes. We are good people when we dare to do better because when we know better, we should always do better. Of course, as we see in the world that does not always happen.

So let’s start learning from our mistakes and start doing better. Doing better will not be accomplished by pointing figures at one another but by questioning where we can do better personally. Instead of expecting someone else to be different, we need to take a closer look at ourselves.

You can complain all you want, and all it will do is cause you to suffer, worry, and live in fear. Stop thinking that your way is the only way. Start to quiet your thoughts long enough so you can feel some peace again and realize we are all in this together. If you cannot give love, then show some kindness. If you cannot be kind, then be patient. If you cannot be patient, then say nothing. Get support, ask for help if you need to, love yourself first, will make it much easier to be a good person.

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.

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.

The Fear of Feeling

When the fear of feeling our emotional and physical pain becomes more significant than our intention to heal, we fall into a state of resistance and contraction. When we resist and contract we fail to release the energy of this pain entirely, and part or all of it remains in the body.

The ongoing presence of this energy in our body literally influences our lives on a daily basis through our thoughts, choices, and actions. It can also affect the physical body in a myriad of ways including illness.

It is not until it comes back into our awareness through self-inquiry or another event that brings it up into our conscious awareness that we can release it. At that time it must be felt and released, or it will remain stuck indefinitely and impacting our lives in some way.

 

The Excitement of FEAR

Life can be difficult at times, which can cause emotions to run wild and wreak havoc on our sleep, body, and life. We experience worry, anxiety and endless thoughts that things will not go our way.

We become frozen in fear and are not able to take the steps we need to, to create what we want. Our fear becomes the instigator of manifesting what we worried about in the first place because of our lack of action.

Here are a few acronyms for fear I learned years ago. You may have heard them before:

False Evidence Appearing Real”

Face Everything And Recover”

Future Events Already Ruined”

However, this next one has more power in it. It is important to know that we can change our perceptions. Once we do our experience also changes. Therefore, the acronym for fear I want to share with you today is this:

Feeling Excited And Ready”

Now doesn’t that feel different from the other ones when you read it? Yes, the three I mentioned above can bring new insight to your situation, but they do not necessarily get you moving or encourage taking action. When we feel a sense of adventure taking action is much easier because we want to move forward, our fear shifts or drops away entirely and no longer is an obstacle, it becomes a motivator. Yes, fear can be a motivator.

Back in my alcoholic drinking days, the fear of going to jail became a motivator for me to stop drinking and it got me to take action. If you think about it, at some point in your life fear was a decisive factor in making some kind of positive change in your life, and you just did not notice it at the time.

Therefore, the next time you become overwhelmed with fear and your thoughts run amuck, remember the acronym and say to yourself, I am feeling excited and ready; I am prepared for this new adventure. From this new perspective, you can start taking action instead of being paralyzed in a fearful story of your own making.

Mistakes

Would life be different for you if you did not think that making a mistake was wrong? Would you then take more risks in your life? What if I told you that you were conditioned to feel this way and that in truth there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. In fact, that is how we learn.

Think about that for a minute, can you make a wrong choice if you are always learning from your so-called mistakes and moving forward with greater awareness in your life? Would you still consider it a mistake or a gift?

What if your conditioning had not taught you to think that anything short of perfection was wrong or incomplete. What if we had been shown never to fear to make mistakes and we saw them as opportunities, a chance to learn, grow and move forward in life with a new awareness.

Can you look back on your life to times when you thought you made a mistake and it led you to a new understanding about yourself or your life? Can you see that this so-called error was actually a guiding light to something better in your life?

Making a mistake is never wrong if we see it as an opportunity and learn from it. That is the beauty of life, we always have the chance to start over, to learn and make all of our mistakes and problems into victories.

Remember the more significant the mistake or problem, the greater the triumph when you overcome it.

Now, you are to remember that, so that when you have a disturbance of any kind raging inside you, you will never follow your conditioning and go into automatic thinking that the storm is stronger than your real nature because it isn’t. You can always be in charge of your thoughts and learn from your mistakes and problems.

Bringing awareness into your life, noticing your conditioning and automatic thinking can only make your life better, so take a risk, and be willing to make mistakes because it will lead you to a better life.

Right Action

FEAR

As an individual, a country and a planet that is becoming more connected than separated we must learn from our deepest fears. Otherwise, we will continue to inflict suffering, pain and even death to others, and ourselves instead of compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and love. When will we learn? When will we face our fears instead of acting out from them? When will we have the courage to do the right thing?

“What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.”

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

 

Mine, Yours, OURS

When our desire for money, security and even safety is driven by fear, are we following the teachings of our religion, especially when it is at the expense of those who are suffering? Would this be the choice of Jesus, Mohammad or Buddha? In addition, if you are not religious, are you doing the moral and right thing when you allow these choices to be made?

What are we so afraid of in this life that we would put our own interest ahead of those who are suffering, perhaps that we too will suffer? Maybe our greatest gift will come in taking this risk and reaching out with our hearts instead of trying to put walls up to protect what we think is ours and ours alone. Remember nothing is ours to begin with and all is meant to be shared. We should no longer be the selfish child on the playground, but the generous and loving adult that we grew up to be.

It is always easier to be frustrated than to be kind.
It is always easier to be angry than to forgive.
It is always easier to hate than to love.

We all have the opportunity to look within and make different choices in this life, today, tomorrow, and always.