Right Vision Comes in the Gap

If there is breath in the body, a fresh viewpoint is always available. Right or clear vision happens in the gap. The gap is devoid of beliefs, concepts, judgments, conditioning, and thought. What feeds all of these and our troubles in life is identifying with the endless flow of unsolicited thoughts we have every day.

Experiencing the gap is simple but often misunderstood or thought to be hard, impossible, or only for a few. Which is funny because what causes us to misunderstand or think it is hard, impossible, or only for a few is the very same mind that is causing our problems in the first place. Therefore, experiencing the gap is not the problem. The problem is the thought that says you cannot experience it or that you do not know how to do it. Once you identify with a thought that says you cannot do it, it becomes impossible until that thought is no longer believed. The mind will do what it must to keep you distracted and reinforce the impression that it is impossible. Seeing this becomes very clear in the gap.

We put our complete trust into something that misleads us all the time, our mind. We do this by identifying with whatever arises in it. Once we do, there is no opportunity for discernment or to question the information’s validity. When we slow the mind down, even a little bit, it creates some space to begin to question what it is telling us and to see that most, if not all, is false.

How do you begin to slow the mind down? By questioning what arises in it, which guides you into the gap. Can it be that simple? Yes, it can. But it does come with some challenges for many of us. We have developed a robust habit of identifying with our thoughts without question. And now, this habit is anchored in place after many years or decades of reinforcement.

Once we begin to see how incredibly untrue our thoughts can be, it can be unsettling at first. However, do not let this discourage you; it means you are onto something. So instead, let it motivate you and propel you forward. Continue questioning your thoughts as often as you can. Begin to question who you are. Are you the body, your feelings, your thoughts, or your personality? Are you something more significant than just those things? What is your true nature, your true self, do you know? Have you had direct experience with it?

Your true self or true nature refers to the aspect of your being that is entirely aware of its expanded nature no matter what you may be experiencing in your life of personhood. The gap I am speaking about is your expanded nature. It is stable and not bound by time. Our personal lives, the psychological self, on the other hand, is bound by time, and it is the one that experiences problems and suffers.

Now you may find what I just said hard to believe, but of course, that is just a thought. Is it based in fact or an assumption? Notice that thought can be observed.

We have all experienced our real nature or true self. In truth, everyone has experienced timelessness. Think of an experience where you lost track of time. Perhaps you were watching a sunset or enjoying the company of a friend; I am sure you can remember an experience like this where time ceased to exist or flew by. You were not distracted by thought during this time, but instead, you experienced oneness or presence.

Please verify what I am saying for yourself by beginning to watch your thoughts. See them slow down and notice how this affects your state of being. Perhaps you will feel more peace or joy, pay attention, and see what is different. As you practice, you will find at some point that you have dropped into the gap. The mind is no longer your master but has become your slave. Now it can be used when needed and no longer has the power to interfere with your life in the same way. It can only disturb you when you give it the ability to do so by identifying with what it has presented to you through your thoughts without question.

Be Out of Your Mind

When you hear the phrase, you are out of your mind; it means that you do not deal with things properly or behave normally. It could also mean that you are stupid or even mentally ill.

However, there is a way to be out of your mind, that is a good thing, let me explain. We often become victims of the mind and the thoughts that originate from it every day. The thoughts I am talking about are not consciously brought forth, but arise completely unsolicited. When you identify with them, they impact your choices, actions, and yes, even your feelings, this can all happen without your awareness.

Once you become aware of these thoughts, you can regain command over your choices and actions, including how you experience your feelings. Especially those feelings that are not based on truth but that are stirred up by these kinds of thoughts. You will notice that these thoughts are usually not for our highest good. You do not need to fall prey to these kinds of unhelpful and hurtful thoughts, but that will only happen when you wake up to them.

We have thousands of thoughts per day. How many do you remember? Do you consciously decide to act upon every one of them or just some? Do you ever act on ones that you are not aware of; I can assure you that you do.

How many times have you chosen to eat something bad for you or overeaten and then regretted it? Was the initial thought to do this a conscious decision, or did an unsolicited thought appear, I want that now. You then identified with it and acted upon it, all without consciously thinking it through to the logical conclusion that it will be bad for you if you do it.

What I just said is very important. Please verify this by paying attention to your thoughts throughout the day. Do not just confirm an existing belief without verification or create a new one that is not based on having a direct experience; you must verify what I am saying is true. Otherwise, what you think is right might not be true at all.

When we are out of our minds in this way, then the usual meaning of being out of your mind is not how other people see you. They will feel or notice that you are different. They will resonate with the peace that you are vibrating because it is an expression of your authentic self, your real nature, and their true nature as well. You will stop listening to your unsolicited thoughts, they will become unimportant rather than all-powerful, and you will be able to respond appropriately in situations and not react inappropriately.

Once you stop identifying with these thoughts, you reconnect with your heart as you drop down from your mind or headspace. Your mind will immediately connect with what I said, to the physical heart in your chest; however, I am talking about connecting to consciousness, the heart of creation. The heart in your body may be used as a reminder or an anchor of this when your mind is restless. A restless mind is called a monkey mind in Buddhism. If you are experiencing monkey mind, then place your hand on your chest and rest your attention there. Where your attention goes, your energy will follow. The heart of consciousness that I am speaking about said another way is the heart of creation. I am pointing to who you truly are, your real nature, your authentic self—the unchanging truth.

The unchanging truth is the part of you that is not born and does not die. In other words, it does not come and go as everything will in your life of personhood. Every thought, every experience, every physical body, and everything in this life is not stable; it comes and goes. However, something always remains, and that is the unchanging truth of who we are. The unchanging truth has everything to do with personhood and nothing at all.

If you do not understand what I just said, it could be because you identified with a thought that said, I do not understand, notice that this thought was observed. You are observing from your true nature, spirt, or consciousness. Question it, is it right, or do you feel something deep inside your soul that knows differently? You would not be reading this post if you were not searching for something that does not need to be searched for, only remembered. This recognition will come without a struggle if you begin to bring more attention to your thoughts and notice the unsolicited ones. This is a simple process, so do not let your mind complicate it. However, it is not always easy to break the powerful habit of identification with these kinds of thoughts. Only those who hear the call will answer. Any attempt to avoid this call will only extend your unneeded suffering. Therefore, I encourage you to step up and answer it by starting to pay even more attention to your thoughts. If you did not understand what I just said it could be because you identified with a thought that arose, perhaps it said, I do not understand, notice that that thought was observed. You are observing from your true nature, spirt, or consciousness. Question it, is it true or do you feel something deep inside your soul that knows differently. You would not be reading this post if you were not searching for something that does not need to be searched for, only remembered. That will come without struggle if you begin to bring more attention to your thoughts and notice the unsolicited thoughts that are not for your highest good. This is simple so do not let your mind complicate it. It is simple but it is not always easy to break the strong habit of identification. Only those who hear the call will answer.

The Overlooked Paradox

As we journey down the spiritual path, we find countless options to wake up, become the person we think we should be or find enlightenment. We can even believe if we connect with our divine self, we will finally be free from problems and live in endless happiness. Sounds good, right, but is it true?

With so many options, we struggle to decide what to do. Should we take this workshop, read that book, or work with this person or that practitioner, etc. For some, this can become an addiction with the mind supporting you every step of the way. It will tell you what a great job you are doing. It will tell you how you are better than those who do not do this exploration. It will tell you that you are so close to getting there, only to have that mark moved year after year, decade after decade. Sound familiar?

And yes, you have made progress, you know that you are different. And yet, something still does not feel right or complete. You thought you would be further down the path and even arrived at your intended destination by now.

This continuous shopping around becomes a ploy of the mind to distract you. The thought that you must reconnect with your real nature seems complicated, something separate from you, even distant. This thought is another distraction, another lie.

Thoughts arise that tell you that you are so close; if you only go to this next workshop or do that next thing, you will finally feel and be the way you want. So, you take the workshop coming home on a high. You feel so good about what happened, what you learned, what you let go of, and your progress. And then it happens, someone does or says something to you, or perhaps something insignificant happens like misplacing your car keys, and you get upset, maybe even angry. You say to yourself, but why, I have done all this work on myself. Why is this still happening to me?

You must realize that what you have been doing is not working in the way you thought or intended when you started your journey. Even though everything you have done has added value to your life, it has not done what you thought it would, and if it hasn’t by now, will it ever? You must see this if you want to wake up; otherwise, you will continue to follow your mind’s guidance and schedule that next workshop or appointment. Understand that I am not telling you not to do these things. I am saying to do them with awareness, and not out of a compulsion that they will be the answer to what you seek.

We are talked out of doing things by our thoughts all the time, even when they for our highest good. Have you ever wondered where those thoughts originate? Have you noticed they are unsolicited and appear out of nowhere? If that stirs something in you, then start observing your thoughts, and it will lead you to remember your real nature, which is and has always been with you. The thought that you must find it is a lie. Direct experience of your true nature helps, but it is about remembering who you are, not finding something outside yourself.

Prove this to yourself, do not take my word for it, or believe it is true. Just having a belief will end up being more thought and distraction through the mind. Look with the intention to prove it to yourself. You have a choice to identify with whatever thoughts are coming up now and telling you this is nonsense or that it will not work. Or you can observe what is arising and choose not to identify with it. It is your choice, not the minds.

When it comes to having a direct experience of our true nature, the paradox is, we find what we are looking for when we stop looking. Your mind does not have to accept this for you to know the truth.

Note: To help you see how subtle the mind’s deception can be, if the act of observing is observable, then the mind is once again playing a trick on you. When we are in our true nature, it cannot be observed from somewhere else; that is impossible because there is nothing outside of it.

Optional Exercise

If you want, take a moment to get quiet, see if what I have said in the paragraphs above applies to you, maybe you already know it does. But if not, find a quiet place, somewhere free from distractions. Draw your attention down to the heart area of your chest. You can even place your hand there to bring your attention from the head to the heart if you are having trouble.

Know that the truth will not come to you through your mind in the form of thoughts, and it will not come from all the knowledge you have acquired. It will arrive directly from your soul, consciousness, Divine Creator, or God if you prefer. It will come in the form of insight or direct experience.

Become empty of thought by keeping your attention in the heart area. If any thought arises to distract you, notice that it is observed, and let it go. The key is not to identify with it. If you don’t, it has no power. Body sensations, emotions, or images may come. Notice that all of this is observable.

More thoughts will arise, that is a given. They might say I do not know how, or I cannot do this, etc. Stay connected to observing what is happening, instead of being in the movie, watch it play out. Do not identify with anything, and do not imagine. Now the mind may come in and say this is hard. You observed that as well, now let it go.

Once you feel ready, ask any question you want. For example, from what was said above, is this true for me? Perhaps you will hear a reply, feel something, or come into more clarity. If it seems nothing has happened, be watchful of your thoughts not getting caught in a new story. Trust that something has happened and watch over the next few days to see if anything is revealed or changed in some way. It will not come through the mind but will reveal itself in a moment of insight. You already know what it feels like when the truth is shown to you. You just know somehow, don’t you?

The One Truth That Never Changes

There are so many people on social media today that know the truth. They become frustrated, even reaching states of anger, anxiety, and depression, why because they know they are right, and the other person is wrong. And these truths that each believes are opposites from one another. Who is right, you ask yourself, and you say why I am, of course!

We find and post articles and studies that support our beliefs. We post videos of others who say what we believe, and therefore, that makes us right, and that rightness becomes even more locked into our psyche. We see ourselves as our beliefs, and we lose connection with our true nature, our heart, our soul. You may think I am exaggerating here, but anger, anxiety, and depression do not arise from our true nature, heart, or soul, it arises from who we believe ourselves to be.

You cannot see clearly if your mind already knows the truth. You hold onto those beliefs so tightly that nothing else can be seen or heard. Nothing else can get past the wall of beliefs you have built. You will fight to the end to make your point because YOU are right.

Any parent has experienced this with their child at some point. The five-year-old wants what they want, and they know they are right. The teenager has done the research; they know what is right, and no one can tell them otherwise. Our age does not matter. Perhaps you can remember being that way as a teenager. Are you still that way, or have you become that way?

Has everything from your past that you thought to be true still valid today? Can you find examples throughout history and the world where someone’s truth caused death and destruction? Have wars started from believing that something is right, and then it turns out not to be true?

Have you ever thought about this? Probably not much, most people don’t. We quickly move on to the next thing that keeps us distracted from being present and staying connected to our hearts. We spend all our time in the mind following its guidance without awareness of where it is leading us.

The mind works this way, jumping from one thing to the next all day long, all lifelong. Without awareness, we identify with the thoughts, and then we create beliefs, concepts, and stories around them, and then we become right, and everyone else that does not believe the way we do, is wrong.

Is there a truth that never changes? Yes, we can find them but are they valid for everyone or just for those who believe them. The one truth that never changes is that many things condition us. If you can see this truth or feel it in your heart, you are waking up. Continue to question your thoughts. Are they true, or are they a distraction from truth? Observe them as they arise entirely unsolicited. Only the unconditioned-self can answer truthfully; your mind will only find a way to convince you otherwise; to mislead you and distract you from living an honest, authentic life.

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.

 

Navigating the World of Personhood

“If you only use your intellect and let your mind and emotions rule your world, then you will surely suffer.”

Your Mind and It’s Trickery

The God-Field from which all creation births and dies is where we observe the activity of personhood. From this field, we look from the True-Self and see our anger, pride, and fear, in addition to all the other feelings and disruptive conditionings that impede our life and cause us to suffer.

Once we begin to use our innate ability to observe thoughts and emotions consciously, we can use awareness to awaken from the deceptions of the mind.

We must start to question our thoughts. Through this questioning, we can expose the influence that the mind has over our life. Then we will begin to see its obvious and sometimes subtle trickery that prevents us from awakening to the truth.

Rumi points to the truth of who we are so eloquently in the following quote.

“I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside.”

Waking up is not a journey to somewhere as the mind tells us, this is another misleading thought and keeps us lost. We mistakenly think that we have to get somewhere and that it requires many years of practice or hard work. The mind will confirm this wrong and misleading advice. So first, it lies to us, and then it tells us the lie is valid. Can you see this is true? I guarantee that this thinking, at some point, has influenced your life in a way that was not for your highest good.

If you see this playing out in your life, then stop falling for these lies and begin to use your awareness to wake up. If you THINK this has not happened to you, then pay closer attention to your thoughts throughout the day, and it will be revealed.

I do not want you to believe me or know this intellectually but to experience it for yourself. Intellectual knowledge of this will not get you very far, as you may have seen from your years of studies.

Once you have direct experience, the mind will lose its control and power over you. Know that it may not give up quickly, so be watchful for its trickery. If you have a thought like, ah yes, I have it, you will stop watching and fall for another subtle but effective trick to keep you stuck from using your awareness to root out the real problem, which is believing or attaching to everything your mind tells you.

Remember that all things in personhood come and go and the experience is not reliable or steady. Daily we can see this played out in our lives and we are too attached to our identity as a person. Our real nature, on the other hand, is peaceful and wholly stable and dependable. It does not rely on anything, has no conditioning or beliefs and therefore is not responsive to the trickery of the mind.

Your mind will try to tell you that a life like this will be dull, but I assure you this is also a lie. Find out for yourself and know that it is not for just a few, but for anyone who wants it. Therefore, if your life feels unsettled or you are called to find something more profound, then follow this pointing to something higher than a life that is dictated by the mind and your conditioned beliefs.

Have You Been Tricked Already?

We are often tricked by the mind to think that we have to figure things out or understand them to let go and heal. The truth is when we think this way; we are destined to hold onto our problems in hopes of finding the answer. However, what if the answer never comes; this is how we become saddled with our problems.

What I’ve learned through my work and life is that if we are meant to know something, the information will always show up. You must ask yourself what is more important, to figure it out or to let it go. Your answer should always be to let it go and then trust that if you are meant to know something useful, it will come to you with ease. Do not make the healing process more difficult by always having to know everything because sometimes you will never figure it out.

 

For the Seeker of Enlightenment

The spiritual seeker who seeks enlightenment for himself or herself to help everyone else is being misled by their own ego and thoughts. In a covert way, it perpetuates our separation. We must recognize that this is a collective journey. The future of spirituality will not be found in the “enlightenment” of a single person or group of people, it will arrive through us collectively.

Therefore the phrase, “we are all one” is not just a catchphrase, but brings to light the totality of consciousness. Our recognition and experience of this truth brings our energy into alignment with the creative force of the Universe. This shift in thinking is more valuable than our efforts up to this point. Once we embody this truth, any action we take from this higher level of understanding will accelerate the ongoing evolution of our collective spiritual journey and it will accelerate the arrival of enlightenment on the collective level.

The recognition and experience that “we are all one” is shown to us through an internal knowing, intuition or personal experience, and is accessed in a state of non-thinking. A state of non-thinking can be reached in many ways, meditation, contemplative prayer, time alone in nature or any other way that quiets the mind.

You do not seek this experience, but allow it into your awareness by awakening to what is. When we are awestruck by a beautiful sunset we do not seek the feeling out it just happens, because the awe that you experience is in the sunset. This is also true when experiencing the totality of consciousness and our oneness. However, if you are too busy experiencing the busyness of life, your thinking will never slow down enough to connect with your True-Self, which is one with the totality of all things.

Do not allow the thinking of your False-Self to tell you that you do not have time or that when you do take time that it is not working. Because this is how the cunning False-Self keeps us looped in a perpetual state of busyness. From here we cannot experience our oneness, release our conditioning or see the truth that is all around us.

Love and Appreciation

Love and appreciation are identical vibrations. Appreciation is the vibration of alignment with who-you-are. Appreciation is the absence of everything that feels bad and the presence of everything that feels good. When you focus upon what you want – when you tell the story of how you want your life to be – you will come closer and closer to the vicinity of appreciation, and when you reach it, it will pull you toward all things that you consider to be good in a very powerful way. -Abraham

In addition, this is where we run into trouble many times because we are waiting for something bad to happen. We feel like we do not deserve it or we send out some other kind of energy that pushes it away. We must recognize when we have fallen out of appreciation; when we have fallen out of love and re-frame our thinking so we can move back into appreciation. This repeated action retrains our nervous system and mental habits to stop falling out. One-step at time please, do not expect to do this overnight, but with continued practice things shift. Enjoy the little victories because they lead to massive change.