Monday, March 26, 2012

Understanding Oneness

“In the stillness of your presence you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form.  You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature.  You can look beyond the veil of form and separation.  This is the realization of oneness.  This is love.” – Eckhart Tolle

Beyond all the thoughts we have about ourselves, beyond all the concepts and ideas that shape our personal identity exists the core of who we really are.  The formless and the timeless reality grounds itself in the soul of each person and every creature.  When the mind is still you can feel this energy, the formless and the timeless reality, moving through you.  This is the awareness of source energy.  Yet, the vast majority of people seldom become aware of source energy.

Generally we tend to focus our awareness solely through the mind.  This blocks our awareness from sensing the presence of our own being.  Therefore, when we focus our awareness purely on our thoughts we minimize our ability to function optimally.  To be a seer into one’s life, to see your path clearly, requires an awareness that transcends the limitations of repetitive thinking.

The thoughts that we identity with make up the relative self.  The relative self only comes to know and understand itself through comparison and judgement with other people and things.  This is the basis of duality.  Of course everyone is differentiated in the sense that we all have special talents, unique physical attributes, and specific weaknesses which to transcend, but when this sense of relative existence all what we identify with a formula for inner and outer conflict arises. 

In the isolation of our own minds we lose sight of the formless and timeless reality that holds all of life together.  When awareness is filtered solely through our mind’s concepts and abstractions we diminish our ability to connect with the flow of life and create with life in the way that life itself operates.  Life is not an abstraction.  It simply is.  Therefore, your being-ness is the same as nature and it's is-ness.  So can you be with what is as opposed to being with what you think is?  Can you be more like nature?

The restless mind, with all if its constant analysis, comparison, and judgment, keeps our focus purely in the relative world.  This is the core of human suffering because in our isolation we seek out salvation by judging our selves as superior to another.  Or we mask our illusory inferiority and the pain derived from this sense of lack through addictive and self-damaging behavior.  Yes, it is damaging to incriminate yourself on the grounds that you could have done something better, or that you feel as if you are not as good as someone else, etc.  You did as only you knew how in that given moment…Nothing more, nothing less.  Self-forgiveness is an access point into your enlightenment.

Beyond the mentally defined and operated world is a sense of perception that transcends relativism.  Beyond our self-imposed isolation is our true nature…it is a feeling that we come to through pure awareness uninterrupted by the mind.  This sense of self cannot be judged.  It can only be experienced. So therefore, simply experience your life and stop trying to judge it.

Eckhart Tolle consistently states that only within a state of stillness, when we feel the self beyond the mind, will we come to know true love and peace. 

What does Eckhart mean when he speaks of the unmanifested life that animates your physical form [from the opening quote]?  What is he trying to convey when he states that this is something we can feel? 

What I believe he is saying is that there is an energy that resides within us that contains the source of unlimited potential to make manifest what it is that we are intending to become.  He states that this same energy that resides within us also resides within everything.  This is the unmanifested because it is the energetic all that has yet to be.  It is the all will be.  All aspects of existence flow through life together, evolving together, whether we see this or not.  This is what it means to see past separation.  He does not mean that you necessarily see this with your eyes, although this unity is something you can see, and in actuality it is all that you do see, but he means that we can see through feeling.  To feel with your eyes

Judda Krishnamurti, one of my favorite philosophers of all time, posed the question.

"When we say we see a tree or a flower or a person, do we actually see them? Or do we merely see the image that the word has created? That is, when you look at a tree or at a cloud of an evening full of light and delight, do you actually see it, not only with your eyes and intellectually, but totally, completely?"

I believe that this is type of perception that Eckhart is talking about.  Both Eckhart and Krishnamurti emphasize seeing life without the interference of mind identification.

I will close this piece on one more of Eckhart’s insights.  He states,

“What is God?  God is the eternal one life underneath all the forms of life.  What is love?  Love is to feel the presence of that one life deep within yourself and within all creatures.  To be it.  Therefore, all love is the love of God.” 

So I ask you, for the sake of your own peace, to seek stillness.  Give yourself the space and time to get to know the real you.  In your stillness observe the mind, but do not give thought and abstraction your clinging awareness.  Do not let it become your identity.  If only for a moment seek to feel the life energy that brews within you.  That is the real you…And maybe then you will remember that you are already everything you need to be and become.  Maybe then you will remember that you are life…why not create your life from the sensation of self that is uninterrupted by the mind?  Create your life in the flow of your experiential experience in this moment and this moment only.  The mind cannot know the unmanifested and the energy contained within you, but your heart sure can.  This is were faith comes into to play.  Trust your heart.

Realize the oneness within you and all around you.  This is what love is.  How then would your life change if you walked the path of life with this realization in your heart? 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

To Change Your Life You Need to Face Your Reality; A Story For Us All

Sometimes we simply just don’t want to deal with the things that have us feeling out of balance.  Yet, there comes a point where our mental unease brings about a life that is no longer enjoyable, and believe me, I know what that feels like.  But could it be that the emotions we hide from contain a message we need to hear?  At a time not so long ago this spoke very true to me.

For me, this unease came to a threshold when I quit my job on October 7th of last year [Ironically on my birthday].  For months I was battling in my mind with what I thought was right and what I felt was right in my heart.  For nearly a two-year period I was working for my father at his successful textile company.  Everything was set up for me and all I had to do was learn to love it.  I was paid well, the atmosphere was laid back, and eventually I was to become the owner.  But the whole time I felt unsatisfied.  I kept saying to myself, the money is great, I love the people I work with, and I was working in the heart of New York City, how could I not love what I was doing?  I had it made, but there was one thing missing…passion.

On a daily basis I interacted with fun and creative people to whom I sold some of the world’s most beautiful fabric.  Yet, on the inside I was miserable.  Interestingly enough, the house of cards fell for me during the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  On typical workdays last summer I would take the subway downtown after work to rally and march in support of making known the injustices of society.  In a way it seemed hypercritical, but I was doing what felt right.  The Occupy movement connected me with a passion that had lay dormant within me for years.  Subsequently, this passion had awoken me to what I was really feeling about my career.  And so it was, on a mild fall evening in October, I quit the family business.

That evening as I was packing my stuff and saying goodbye my friend Juliette called me.  “Are you going to meet me tonight at the meditation circle down at occupy tonight?” she asked.  We met that evening and she sensed my unease.  Like a good friend, she stood still with me, calmed my nerves, and assured me that I did the right thing because I followed my heart.  As we walked into the occupy camp that night I saw a “sign” that I will never forget.  In a pile of cardboard signs, depicting peoples art, quotes of empowerment, and signals of social and economic injustice, I saw one that literally stood out.  It was on a stick that stood out higher than all the others and all it simply said was “coaching.”  I gave out a lighthearted laugh and in that instant I knew I was destined to become a life coach. 

Prior to this experience I had finished all the life coach training courses I needed to, but because of my busy work schedule I did not have the time to set aside to create and build my business.  But here it was, my “sign” on a sign! It told me exactly what I needed to move towards.  It was incredible to say the least.  Furthermore, a few weeks prior to that I had an experience at Occupy that supported this life changing decision.  You can read more about it here [Divine Synchronicity].  Regardless of the clarity that set upon me that evening, this change had been a long time coming.  I had become complacent with my reality and these feelings of misery became normal. 

I don’t think I am the only one who knows what that is like.  Even if we do not want to admit it, feelings of miserable complacency may happen to all of us at some point or another.  It may occur during a relationship, or like me, in the midst of a career.  At this point it usually takes a life experience or a pivotal point in ones relationship with another that makes you feel what it is that you are unaware of inside so that you make a change.  For me, it was the experience of Occupy, the love of good friends, and a latent desire for a new life.

I admit getting in touch with the whole gauntlet of human emotions is not always easy.  On the surface, it may feel as if nothing is wrong, but brewing in the realms of our unconsciousness is a state of emotional unease.  Think of the times when you have had to have another person point out to you how sad or angry you were before you actually became aware of what you were feeling. 

Again, it usually takes a humbling realization or a crucial life experience to “tip your scales” and awaken you into a state of self-realization; whereas we allow ourselves to feel what it is that we are feeling.  In the dawn of this often painful and humbling realization you are given the choice.  At this point you can either take ownership for your feelings and create the change you need or you can continue to disregard your unease and make excuses for yourself.  You may justify your unease and misery by saying things to yourself like “the world is just not fair” or, “it is just normal not to love what you do.” 

Believe me, I only come to write this material because I know what it is to come to the realization of my own unconscious self-ignorance.  It was a very humbling process to realize how complacent I was with feeling miserable and having a career I did not feel passionate about.

No one is perfect and no one is immune to the emotional ebbs and flows of life.  But each time emotional unease brews within you it creates the platform for our own evolution.  Without our ignorance there would be nothing to evolve into.  Our ignorance gives us the ability to know deeper aspects of ourselves.  So with that being said, forgive yourself!  You can move towards passion instead of feeling triumphed by fear.  It is Ok to be afraid, but it is up to you to conquer this fear.

Any misery or emotional unease you may feel is your inner guide trying to communicate something to you.  Of course this is not the only way in which your inner guide communicates with you, but it is a necessary one.

All of this is part of the journey, but what at speed do you want your life to unfold the way you want it to? Remember the statements we heard as children, such as “dream big,” or “make your dreams a reality?”  Well, what is your life for, but if not to make manifest your desires?  Is your life for someone else or is it for you? 

Acting out of self love as opposed to heeding your fears speeds up your evolutionary process.  Creating the life situation you really desire is all about having the courage to defy your fears and having faith that your self-love will propel you into the experiences that will bring this desired change.  Step by step life will test these convictions, but your courageous actions in each successive moment change everything.

It is important to realize that your goals are never ending.  There is never an endpoint that is going to liberate you.  There is only following in this moment what your heart is telling you.  What is really going to liberate you is being grateful for what the journey has presented you with. 

We do not always have control over everything in our lives, but we certainly do have control as to how we interact with what occurs.  We will always be in a cycle of ignorance and awareness; we will always be within the movement between unconsciousness and consciousness.  But see that this cycle is not circular movement, it is a spiral one…and the more intent you put into consciously creating the life you want the more quickly you will evolve up that spiral.  That is the journey.  You may take a step back, but you will take two steps forward…remember, taking that step back was necessary.  There is perfection in in-perfection!

So I ask you, are you grateful for this moment?  This is the moment that presents you with the ability to make manifest what it is that you desire for yourself.  Being grateful shifts your energy and inevitably shifts your life.  All interactions with people, places, and things, present the opportunity to step into a state of awareness that grants you control over your internal disposition.  What it is that you feel on the inside declares to the world who and what you are.  And who you are declares what you will become…

You have control despite whatever it is you may think or feel now.  Find your control in the faith and knowing that your life will advance if you seek what is natural for yourself.  You can find what is natural for you though only in the depths of your heart.  So seek your truth and so shall you be free from your misery…

For me it was not natural to be doing what I was doing for those two years.  And I know now it takes being what you’re not to find out who you are.  I am grateful for that experience in retrospect.  It allowed me to tap into a sense of courage that I used to only idealize.  In the culmination of those two years I was granted with the greatest birthday gift I ever gave myself...self-honesty...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You Are The World

Do you ever feel as if you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself?  Thing is, you are already are, we all are.  We all are because we a part of life and the movement of creation.  Bob Marley made this clear in his song exodus when he stated, “So were going to walk, all right, through the roads of creation!”  And yes, we are the generation that will “trod through great tribulation.”  No matter how intense things may get and no matter how big the yearning grows inside of you to contribute to “changing the world,” we cannot forget that the world is not something outside of us…it is within us.  This then hints to the process as to how the world actually changes…do you see where I am going with this?  I will give you a hint, look within!

I admit, sometimes I forget how profound this realization really is.  Getting caught up in my daily responsibilities or in focusing my attention on “how messed up things are” only draws my attention away from this experiential realization.  Yet, when I set aside my restless mind through focused awareness on the now I bring myself into a state of cognitive liberation.  It seems to me that only in this state of cognitive liberation can I deeply feel a sense of peaceful community and powerful unity with my surroundings.  When we feel this together we start changing the world through our everyday interactions because on the inside we are profoundly aware of what is and not just what we are thinking about.  This is what the great global awakening is all about.  It is the empathic movement.  As we “trod through the great tribulation” we walk in unity.

What has thwarted unity for centuries now is the mind and its dogma.  Our minds, our belief structures, and our repetitive modes of perceiving life have hindered us from feeling the interconnectivity of all things.  It is important than to not let the mind use you through its engrained and repetitive ways.  Why not use the mind in tandem with a deep penetrating silence.  Internal silence opens up your experiential awareness to witness the all encompassing what is.  At this point of awakening the mind will absorb new awareness as opposed to recycling thoughts…your life will take on new meaning because your receptivity will enhance your awakening.  This is how the internal guide evolves.

Granted it has been our differences that have led to segregation, brutality, and war, but regardless of how diverse we all are we are nonetheless linked by something that transcends our diversity.  It is something at the core of who we are as individuals and it is something we all share in common as a collective.

When we realize we are humanity we come to realize how equal we are to everyone and everything.  Our superficial differences are shattered through this perceptual awakening.  As liberating as this concept can be it can also be very humbling.  It would be humbling to admit to yourself that you are equal to the beggar on the street, the lunatic in the asylum, or the thief who robs the innocent.  How about the person with severe mental retardation, severe schizophrenia, or the billionaire standing on top of his or her empire?  What is it that actually makes us believe we are to be separated, categorized, and ranked amongst each other?  It seems that we often separate ourselves based on the measures of our I.Q., our bank accounts, our jobs, our belief systems, and the part of world we come from.  But do these differences really separate us?  They may make us different, but do they separate us?  All these labels, categories, and ways of being are nothing but mind creations that perpetuate themselves through unconscious adherence to stagnant social norms.

Granted, there are people doing terrible things, but they are not doing terrible things out of their own isolated agendas.  People do horrible things because they have been conditioned to see the world the way they do. The thief acts through the compulsions in his or her mind.  People who commit evil acts typically have had countless interactions with others who have traumatized their sense of self worth and or have conditioned them to see that power over another is the only way to gain control. These people unconsciously relive what has been done to them, in the same way a child who was abused abuses their child.  Yet, the only way to reverse this evil is through forgiveness.  Forgiveness of another unconscious act is the only way to show them that they no longer need to hide behind their superficial sense of power.  Forgiveness and acceptance create the foundation of human evolution.

I know this all sounds overly optimistic, but we must look deeply into all of this, the good and the bad.  The world is not a cruel place for no reason...There is evil in this world only because there is fear and fear is nothing but a mind creation.  I do not want us to get this mixed up with caution.  The body instinctively protects itself through caution.  But what I am talking about is how we generate fears inside of us based on pre-conceived ideas about people that are different than us.  We fear these differences.  We fear the unknown qualities of another.  Yet all this consumption in another’s differences distracts us from seeing the inherently unity that we all share.  So I ask us all to ponder, would fear diminish if we realized that we are all apart of the same "human organism?”  Would the world then change if we, as a collective, acted in a way that protected the human organism’s integrity to the best of our ability?

I know I am posting my own beliefs here in this entry but I do feel that there is nothing out there, no life status, no test, or any self-story that would justify someone as "better" than someone else.  I come to this belief because I realize that everything is tied together and that the only boundaries between you and I are physical.  But why should a physical boundary denote separation.  Physically speaking we are not so physical.  Quantum physics has empirically proven that we are mostly empty space.  The illusion of physicality is simply that, an illusion.  Everything is energetically tied together.  This is how we feel empathy not only for each other, but also for the world, and creation it self.  Yet the basis of the post is not about quantum mechanics, so I digress [I will post an article about that soon].

The shape of the world is the way it is because of all of our collective actions.  This will always be the case.  Yes, I realize that some people are more intent on "changing the world for the better," and I grateful for them, but at the end of the day this pursuit can only satisfy their own life mission.  Remember, the world is within you.  There is no level of comparison.  No one human is better than another, no matter what they do with their life.  Human potential is unlimited and it can only be awoken through individual pursuits.  Every person is an individual expression of creation itself.

Ironically it is our diversity that unites us.  Our answers to a peaceful tomorrow are found in our diversity.  Each person has an answer, but only when we combine our answers together do we solve the human dilemma.  If we would stop seeing our differences as things that differentiated us, and began to see them as aspects of creation that bring us closer to a solution we would move closer to peace.  I am not talking about the differences we hold in our minds, those are just abstractions.  I am talking about our differences in the ways in which we express our creativity.  When we funnel our creative actions together we will project humanity into a new dawn.  So that is how you can contribute to world peace.  Simply be you.  Express who you are without fear of condemnation.  Those who condemn you exist, to their own dismay, within the isolation of their own ego.  Your reward in stepping outside the limitations of cultural separatism is love.  And it is this love that will not only change the world, it will change you…because you are the world…