The Greater Journey – Morning Meditations, May 19, 2018

We have become accustomed to the idea that we seek spiritual freedom, and that it is what we want, but somehow there are forces against us.  Even if, on an intellectual level, we acknowledge that those forces must be within us, we still displace them by calling them the ‘ego’ or something else.  So we can never really take full responsibility for what is going on within us.

We know that we are busy using our minds to create a reality that isn’t truly real.  We understand that there is a deeper reality that is always true and real and is the source of our life.  And we long for the freedom, joy, and peace of living in that truth – but why is it so difficult to find?

We must remember that this thing called the ego is not a separate force, is not the devil, and not a power against us – it is of our own making, carrying out our demands and our commands.  It is our mind at work.  We have given it the task that we claim we no longer want it to do, and yet we continue to empower it.  It seems impossible to believe that we could turn it off in a moment.  It has no life of its own – only the life that we give it.  It has no reality of its own – only what we imagine for it.  We talk about the ego as if it is separate only because it is not real.  But it does indeed keep our attention distracted from reality, for that is the job we give it in every moment.

How are we to reconcile our longing for truth and peace and our constant construction of barriers to it?  There is that within us that has not been soothed and reassured enough to trust that everything will be okay if it relinquishes what seems like its only form of protection.  And the truth is that we find that part of ourselves very distasteful.  We see it as weak, as vulnerable.  We judge it.  We do not want it exposed and so we often undertake our spiritual journey the same way we have done everything – by sheer will.  We are going to overcome our resistance by sheer effort and make it go away.

What we find, which seems to deepen our struggle, is that our contrast between happiness and suffering grows deeper as we are determined to find peace and yet keep control.  We think that the spiritual journey is only about finding peace at the cost of everything else.  But really there is the journey of getting to know every aspect of ourselves, becoming at peace with every aspect of ourselves, becoming free to be whatever we are in any moment without judgment.  This is the greater journey.

Who would not feel good about themselves if they were at peace all the time?  That is the way we see it.  But who would feel good about themselves when they see those parts of themselves they have kept hidden in the dark – those parts of themselves that are capable of much darker feelings and thoughts?  It is impossible to find spiritual peace while keeping aspects of ourselves hidden.  In fact, truth is much easier to find than that which we do not want revealed.

Of course our longing for peace is authentic.  Of course we want peace.   But we must understand that it is the ego – that make believe world – that tells us we don’t have it and must continue to seek it, keeping us entirely distracted from the plain and simple truth that we are hiding something.  How else can we explain the effort we put in, the hours of study, practice and meditation, only to find ourselves back in the resistance?  This is no call for judgment, blame or shame.  It is a call to reality, a call to truth, authenticity and honesty.

We say we want to be free and yet we resist it.  How can we reconcile these two seemingly opposed ideas?  There is one simple answer.  There must be something about ourselves that we really do not like.  We say that letting go is hard, surrender is difficult, but coming face to face with that within us which has led us on a path of loathing and misery is more difficult than any task.  There will be nothing to let go of once we have accepted the truth.

So here we are in this moment, desperate for peace, and yet apparently blocked by something barely even recognized to be true.  What are we to do?  Our effort has not been in vain; our practice has not been a waste – far from it.  We have learned to accept, to release judgment, to question our thoughts and beliefs.  We have learned and experienced surrender and letting go.  The truth is that we have come a long way.  And now the truth is that we are a moment away from peace.  That moment of self-awareness where we realize there is nothing within us to hide, nothing to protect.

It sounds frightening that there is something within us that we are so afraid of.  But in reality it is nothing.  It’s an idea, a thought, a belief system.  It has no substance, no reality whatsoever.  But we must be conscious of our fear, our efforts to keep this aspect of ourselves hidden.  For it is the basis of the ego, the purpose of the ego.  We cannot blame the ego for doing the job its been given.  We have to look at the job its been given and realize it is not needed anymore.  We can face that and be free.

And so, in this moment, we must acknowledge the shortcomings of the efforts of the ego, which is the mind that we use when we believe we are anything but at peace.  We must come to peace at this moment just as it is.  We must choose to allow ‘what is’ to be for if we are resisting ‘what is’ we cannot experience the truth – we cannot allow that which is true to be revealed when we are fighting ‘what is’.  Our resistance, our struggle, and our suffering are all efforts to resist ‘what is’.  Give in to it.  Let it take you over, whatever is alive within you right now.  Just give in to it.  Trust, for in fact there is only one thing that is real.  If we come to complete acceptance and allowing, that’s what will be revealed.  That is our journey.

The Truth About Being Nobody – Morning Meditations, May 31, 2018

Imagine if one day you found out that you had been switched at birth and that the family and background you came from was not where you belonged.  You found out that your rightful inheritance was beyond all your expectations of possibilities for you.  Everything you thought was true about where you came from, your heritage, your ancestors, was all wrong and was never true – that nothing about you was true.  Imagine the shock to your system to find that your name was not true and your family was not yours.  Everything that you had created in your mind because of what you thought was your family story was not true.  It would not be easy to accept.  Part of you would insist, “that was my family that raised me and I belonged to them.”  To find out such a thing was not true would be disorienting and would shake your worldview.  The things you thought you knew would be questionable.  And yet, that is the truth about you in another way.

When you say, I am, what are you referring to?  For most of us, the automatic reaction to I am is that we are the person who has the story of where we came from, how we grew up, what we have been doing, and where we live.  Yet none of that is who we are.  Consider who you are referring to when you say I am.  Ask yourself now, who am I?  If you meet someone on the street and they ask you who you are, what do you say?  Consider the list of things that you would tell somebody, where you’re from, where you live, what you do, what church you go to, what school you went to.

Can you imagine if somebody asks you who you are and you answer by saying nobody and meaning it?   The story is what has to be released.  The idea that who you are is somebody.  You may be hoping that you will find enlightenment before you have to give that up – before you have to live and be nobody.  That is what keeps you being somebody – the unwillingness, fear, and reluctance of being nobody.  We are not somebody because it was forced on us by some external force.  We are somebody because we would rather be somebody than nobody.  We never give up the idea that we will make this somebody something that works, something that is successful, peaceful, or good at something.  The truly strange, bizarre, and sad thing is that we are nobody no matter how much faith we invest in being somebody and it is never true or real.  It is only happening in our mind – its not happening in some world where we are living a life of being somebody.  It is a dream.  We are already nobody and always have been and always will be.  Nobody means no body.  What we are has nothing to do with our body.  Who we are exists in timelessness and infinity – eternity.  These are not qualities of the body.  There is no space and no location.

We will come to see that the world is a dream, a product of our imagination, created in the mind.  The physical reality is an idea happening in consciousness.  Consciousness is not happening in the world.  The world is happening in consciousness.  In consciousness there is no time or space.  The world has been one momentary idea just like when we dream and can live for days, months, weeks or years, but we wake up after being asleep for only an hour.

The physical reality is a dream.  But who is the dreamer?  It is not your body.  It is not consciousness.  Who is dreaming the world?  It is the mind that believes in separation.  It is the mind that has created duality, and believes it is alone.  It is the mind that has willfully separated itself believing in its own existence as a separate entity.  It is the mind that has not awakened, that is asleep.  The mind does not want to open its eyes and find that the world it has created is not real.  In its separation it has come to believe that its world is preferable to reality.  It is addicted to the reality cloaking distractions of its world.

We can see the lengths the mind will go to to insist the world is real, to insist that we are ‘somebody’.  And yet it is apparent that we aren’t.  To be ‘nobody’ carries is a negative connotation – ‘no body’ means death and ‘nobody’ means insignificant.  The mind that creates the world cannot grasp a world where there is no such thing as significance, no such thing as death, no such thing as time and space.

We cannot leave the decision of what is real up to this mind.  It only knows what is not real – not what is real.  We ask what other mind is there – I only know this mind?  The answer is that there is only One mind.  Everything happens in that One mind.  Everything is of and in that One mind.  There is nothing outside of it.  That’s impossible because there is no ‘outside’ of it.  There is no time.  We are already of that One mind.  We always were and always will be.  We cannot bring that One mind into our dream.  The One mind knows nothing of time and space. We can bring our dream to the One mind where it is revealed for what it is – nothing.  How do we bring the dream to the One mind?  We do it when we see the dream for what it is.  We see how we have been distracted and misled by our own ideas.  When we become clear in our own minds that we are not somebody, that this world is not reality, and our thoughts, beliefs and ideas are not the truth – and we are willing to accept there is only One mind, only one truth – then we are free.

 

Only Consciousness is Real – Morning Meditations, June 15, 2017

As we know, the greatest source of stress is our belief, faith and trust in our identity and conditioned mind. Particularly in challenging times we become more entrenched in the idea that we are ‘somebody’: we have responsibilities and obligations; we are treated unfairly; we have problems. The identity is then strengthened. It is nearly impossible for the conditioned mind to conceive that the identity is not real, that this thing we call ‘me’ or ‘I’ is not real. Nevertheless that is the simple truth.

Consider all the things you think about you. What are your obligations, responsibilities, failures, and inadequacies in this moment? Now consider this question: where do they live? In what part of your body are they to be found? Where do they exist? Where do any of the ideas that you have about who you are exist? Of course they can’t be found; they are just thoughts, ideas – patterns of mental activity. So what can be found that is true about you? There is one thing that is certainly true; you are aware, you are conscious, you hear these questions, you can reflect on them. Something in you thinks. Something within you can answer questions. But what is that? Where is that found? Something in you is aware of many things in this moment. Something in you is listening, looking, and feeling. Is that the same as what you call ‘you’?

Take the time to notice that that which is observing and aware is also observing and aware of those thoughts but it is not the source of those thoughts. Something observes when you say, “I have too much responsibility”. Something observes when you say, “I failed”, but it is untouched by your sense of failure, your despair, your level of responsibility. The one thing we can confidently state is true about ourselves is that we are conscious. We know that we are conscious because we experience it right now. We are aware.

If someone you have never met walked into the room right now and examined you closely without any input from you, what could they know about you? Where could they find all the things that you call ‘you’? Even if they could open your brain and look in it they would not find anything that they could say you thought ‘you’ were. None of it exists in reality. There is a body, there is a mind, an activity of intelligence, a consciousness.

How can we come to accept and experience the truth? We must recognize the illusion of all sense of identity. We must strip away everything until the only thing that is left is that which is incontrovertably true – that about which there can be no argument, no disagreement. What can be proven to be true in this moment? You can say, “I am a failure and I am inadequate” but you cannot prove that to me. You cannot make that true. You cannot make me see that as indisputable truth.

So what is absolutely, unconditionally true right now? Consciousness. Consciousness is here right now. The only thing that remains absolutely true in this moment that would strip away all ideas, thoughts, and beliefs is consciousness. We are conscious. We can hear ourselves think. We can call it awareness – we are aware of consciousness. We are aware of many things. Our conscious mind is receiving all kinds of information but there is that within us which is observing even that.

So we can see without a doubt that this moment is real. What are the qualities of this moment? When we fully pay attention to only this moment we realize that it never ends and it never began. This is the only moment there is. When we truly engage our consciousness and awareness fully in this moment we can experience the truth of unity. In this moment, the moment can be neither bad or good, right or wrong – it is just what it is. The only thing that is true about me in this moment is that I AM: I AM not something; I AM not somebody; I AM. There is nothing else. Everything emerges from I AM. Everything is made new in this moment.

The Spiritual Journey Is Not A Quest – Morning Meditations, June 13, 2017

We are accustomed to think that the spiritual experience is something rarified and just out of reach most of the time, something that is somehow higher and better. It’s the nature of the human mind to calculate, compare, analyze, contrast – it looks for difference; higher and lower, bigger and smaller, less and more. When we use the mind in our spiritual practice and study we apply those comparisons to ourselves as well as to others and life. We think the spiritual experience is higher and better. But in reality we know that can’t be true. The simple truth is that nothing can be better or worse, lower or higher, bad or good.

The spiritual experience is actually more ordinary than non-spiritual experience. In other words, the spiritual experience is the basis of life, the source of life, the experience of life – it is life. What we call life is just an idea in our minds and has no basis in reality. We see life as suffering, struggle, hard work, pain and loss, up and down, big and small, better and worse. And yet, that which is the source of life, all of life, knows no such ideas.

It does not make us better people to be spiritual. It does not mean we have failed or not. It does not mean we are good, wrong, bad or right. But it certainly impacts the quality of our experience, not as a good or bad thing, but the quality of depth and richness. It is important to understand that being spiritual is not better and being non-spiritual is not worse. We use that judgment against ourselves.

The identity has learned very well how good it makes us feel about ourselves to say we are spiritual seekers. There is hope that we will be better and our life will be better if we are spiritual enough. But it is inevitable when something is good, something must be bad. So we judge ourselves, failing to meet that good standard. It is happening in every moment, the judgment of failing to meet the standards of high spirituality, good spirituality. And this is how we stay distracted.

For at the same time we are so obsessed about the spiritual search or our spiritual betterment, the simple truth is that all that is true is true in this moment. Nothing has changed from the beginning of time in terms of what is true and what isn’t. Nothing has changed since before the beginning of time. Truth remains the same; it is absolute, timeless, spaceless – it is everything.

It is a good idea for us to give up becoming spiritual, being spiritual, and just be what we are. We are already a perfect expression of perfect power, of a perfect source. Our true spiritual journey is to come to complete agreement with that statement. So that we may then let go of our need for control, judgment, duality, and simply trust and enjoy what is already real, what is truly authentic. In this moment right now, we can choose to believe the universe can be trusted. There is nothing but a perfect power, perfect unity.

We can accept that we have been conditioned and acculturated to the point that to trust in a bigger power is a bigger task, but its not impossible. This is not a moral process. It has nothing to do with good or bad, right or wrong – it is simply a state of being that is connected with reality. We are not going to make the world perfect; it already is. We are not going to make ourselves better; we are already perfect. We don’t think that and don’t believe that on many levels; that does not matter. Don’t fight it – accept it. It’s only temporary. It can only last as long as we allow it to.

The creative power of the universe is at work in you, through you, around you. It is the only power there is. Everything else we think is true is simply a thought – it’s not a power, it’s not reality. You can allow yourself to become present in this moment to what is truly real and stop the judgment, the effort, the resistance, and just pay attention to this moment. We are so afraid if we give up our control it will be the end in some way, as if we were making the world happen right now.

The intelligence that is creating this world right now is far greater than ours, so how can we insist that we know what is best? We only know what is best to keep ourselves scared and in control. We don’t seem to know what’s best to live a creative, flourishing, nourishing life. At least its so it appears. The more we open, give up and trust, the more the greater intelligence guides us. We can feel that in this moment. We can experience the presence of that supreme intelligence and love. It is here right now.

Moving Out Of Distress – Morning Meditations, June 4, 2017

There are times when it seems the stresses and traumas of being human are the only thing there is and that it is too difficult to find peace.  It’s these times we are most likely to find fault with ourselves.  We think something must be wrong with us since we ended up here in this state of frustration, depression, despair, or rage – feelings we have been taught or conditioned to control.   We learned very quickly that they were not welcome in our tribe.  And in these moments when they surface, they bring great difficulty and confusion for us and very little clarity and peace.

At times like this the sympathetic nervous system is activated and we are in survival mode – the body is ready for action.  This brings great confusion in the mind because we don’t know what we are supposed to do or how to act and resolve this emergency.  So our goal is to transition back to the parasympathetic state, the creative mode, to get our body out of emergency alert.

There will be some emotional component to this transition.  We may feel much grief – grief allows the body to make the transition from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic system.  It is how we come back to peace.  Despite our confusion and mental distress, it is possible for us to activate a higher self that can soothe distress.  It takes much focus and concentration and it takes a faith and trust that we can be soothed.  It takes an acceptance of ‘what is’ in this moment exactly as it is, even if it feels terrible.  The goal is to stop fighting ‘what is’ and just let it be.

The body perceives danger, but in fact there is none.  The mind and the identity have perceived danger and threat but there is none.  There is that within us which knows there is no threat.  There is that within us which is already at peace, already knows we are safe, already knows that there is nothing wrong.  There is that within us which knows the reality and truth of a divine perfection that is true right now.  Even our distress is somehow perfect.  Even our confusion is somehow perfect.  If we will not judge it, if we will not find fault and are willing to accept and not fight, we move our faith and trust to that which already knows that everything is okay.

In times of distress and confusion we may hear many thoughts and voices telling us all kinds of things.  There is another voice within us which we must choose to activate – the voice that can say, “I know that all appears to be chaos and distressing, bad and wrong, but I know this cannot be the ultimate truth.  I know this is true.  I accept that it is hard to see this is true, I accept it doesn’t feel true, I do not judge my perception, but I affirm there is another truth, a bigger truth – the truth of reality.  I may have no experience of that in this moment but I still claim it is true.  I am not denying my distress, I am not denying ‘what is’.  I do deny there is something wrong or bad in this moment.  I do not have to be obsessed with what is wrong or bad; I can let that go.  I can move to a state of acceptance.  I will simply remember there is no need for judgment, no need to fight, no need to resist.  I know that there is that within me which knows the truth in this moment, as remote and elusive as it might seem, it is unquestionably and certainly real.”

You can choose now which voice you will activate.  You can choose where you will place your faith and trust.  You can choose to accept or resist.

Let This Voice Guide You – Morning Meditations, June 17, 2017

If you will listen to these words and you will let them be true, if you will not try to analyze them, if you will not try to make some kind of meaning, you will be guided to a deep experience of your authentic self – the truth.  Make up your mind right now if that is what you seek.  The journey begins right here, right now.  No one is rejected.  All are welcome.  The journey begins with the willingness to say “yes”, the willingness to recognize that we are saying “no” when we are saying “no”, and we want to change that to “yes”.

To begin the journey we must stop – we must give up everything we have been trying to do, and come to rest.  We must give up the idea that we can do something, that somehow we are able to control.  We must come to an acceptance of the fact that of ourselves we can do nothing.  The only truth is that there is only one power – we have no power of our own.  We are not the source of our life, at least not the “we” that we think we are.  There is only one source of life.  That one source is universal; it is not particular to the individual.  It is the same source of all life.

The only power that we have exhibited is that of controlling, limiting, denying, dissociating, disconnecting from the truth.  That is not power.  And so we must stop right now trying to do anything.  We may not be conscious of our effort, but if we do not feel the peace of the one power of love, then we must be making some effort against it.  We do not want to become obsessed with our resistance; it is not necessary.  We will just recognize if we are not at peace there is a “no” in us – we are saying “no”.  We will not make meaning of that or find fault with that.  There would be no purpose in this meditation if we didn’t have “no” – there would be no purpose in meditation at all.  We are here right now because we are saying “no”, but let us be clear there is no fault, failure, weakness or inadequacy in that.

It is a miracle that we are waking up, that we are here right now to become conscious of our “no” – to consciously choose “yes”.  It is a miracle of awakening.  If we were awake we would have no need for this meditation.  So we recognize this miracle as much as a struggle it may seem, as intractable as our resistance and our “no” may seem, something is giving way right now.  Energy is transforming always.  The path of unfolding is always leading to greater and greater expansion and freedom.

And so, right now, right here, in this moment, we are becoming more and more conscious, more awake.  The moment we acknowledge our “no”, we change it to “yes” – the energy is transformed.  We do not transform the “no” through will and effort, but through acceptance, recognition and the end of denial.

Because we are steeped in duality, separation, we believe that our “no” is bad.  We must view everything from the lens of the one consciousness, the one source, the one power.  There is no such thing as bad.  There is no such thing as wrong and there is not any such thing as separation from God.  Many of us have been betrayed at such a deep level, we feel we can never trust, we can never open to the idea of trusting again.  We have used our will, our effort, our intellect, and that is where our faith resides.

We must acknowledge that the betrayal was deep, was painful beyond our ability to process.  We cannot blame ourselves for closing the door and deciding that we were on our own.  We cannot find any fault with that whatsoever.  The simple truth is that we are not separate, we are not alone, no matter how much our trauma and pain has caused us to build a wall between ourselves and truth – a wall that is only of the mind.  It is not real.  It exists nowhere.

We are not separate.  We are not alone.  We are not who we think we are no matter how real it seems.  There is this voice, the voice that speaks the truth, the voice that knows that you are not separate, that duality is not true, that there is so much more to you than your physical being, that you are created as an expression of the perfect power and source.  You have the ability to be conscious of who you are.  It is a simple process of awareness.

You are aware right now of many things.  You are aware of this voice right now.  There are many other things you many be aware of right now.  If you will allow yourself to stop making effort, to stop distracting yourself with effort and judgment and just be with awareness, you will soon begin to experience a bigger part of you, a more complete and whole experience of yourself.

The truth is the only thing that is real about you.  No matter how much you may resist, you cannot make the truth untrue – that is simply an idea of the mind.  But it has no reality.  You are not separate.  We try to make ourselves separate but in the end we must fail, for it is impossible. Always in the end we will know the truth, so why wait?  There is nothing to be lost by giving up our efforts to prove we are alone.  We will never win.

This voice is alive within you – the voice of truth.  It calls to you always, calling you back to being authentic, to knowing your true power, to knowing your true self.  Stop fighting.

Moving From “No” To “Yes” – Morning Meditations, May 29, 2017

Our journey of waking up and becoming conscious often leads us to a recognition that what we have believed about ourselves has only been an illusion – an illusion that was designed to cover up and distract us from an uncomfortable truth. The simple truth is that we are not who we think we are, who we have tried to make ourselves. In this moment right now, if we have any lack of peace or freedom, if we are missing any joy or love, if we are not experiencing the wonder, awe and gratitude of being alive, then we are saying “no”. This does not fit easily with who we think we are.

So many of us on the spiritual journey like to think we say “yes”. But we wouldn’t be on a spiritual journey if we were saying “yes”. We would have already arrived. So the task of becoming conscious, awakening, requires us to come to a recognition and acceptance that we are saying “no” – acceptance without judgment. We need that “no” to not be an abstract concept but we need to experience it, feel it, and see the truth of it. Otherwise we will struggle to change it to “yes”. For all that we will say “yes”, the “no” will still prevail if it is unconscious.

How do we experience that? How do we do that? We can feel the “no” in many ways. It is structured in our physical bodies as contraction, as pain and suffering, as discomfort or symptoms. We can feel that “no” in a sense of panic if we start to consider giving up control. We can feel that “no” in a sense of fear when we think about being nobody. We can feel that “no” when we are struggling to accept events in the world around us, people we know, and with our life circumstances. We can really begin to see our “no” when we are judging, complaining, and feeling like victims.

Allow yourself to experience that “no”. Can you feel it? Can you feel how you are holding on, blocking, controlling? Can you feel panic if you try to let go? We move through levels of consciousness and sometimes it seems that everything is unconscious. We are living totally in the illusion of our mental activity – we are not present to what is real in this moment. Sometimes we are intensely present and very conscious of our state.

One of the biggest blocks to releasing our “no” and changing it to “yes” is our judgment of ourselves. For as soon as we begin to experience how we are saying “no”, we find fault with it. It doesn’t fit with our idea of who we are. The conflict is too great; we feel shame or guilt. Our belief is that we should be perfect and yet we don’t believe in perfection. We believe we can never be good enough no matter how hard we try.

In this moment right now, become conscious of whether you are judging yourself or not. Do you really want to tie up your energy punishing yourself, judging yourself, and putting yourself down? Now you may feel shame about that. How do we break this cycle of always saying “no”? The challenge is to move out of this state, this conditioned state, of the addiction and obsession with the identity, to accepting and allowing this moment just as it is.

We must give up our quest to make ourselves better, which is part of the same process that judges us. The two are not separate – that is duality at work. Our experience of “no” is the opposite of giving up. You know what it feels like to relax some body part that has been tense. If you have had to hold something for a long time and you finally get to let go, you know that feeling of releasing, relaxing and sighing a breath of relief.

That is the same principle that we employ to get to “yes”. We are freed from our burdens. We are freed from our judgments and expectations. There is no judge other than own minds. There is only unconditional acceptance and love. All that effort to be good, to do the right thing, to be right, can be released now. Imagine letting go of all that. Imagine in this moment that nothing matters and no one can judge you. Let go of all that mental noise trying to figure out how you can do the right thing, how you can get it right, how you can be the right one.

In this moment there is no judge. There is no failure. There is no guilt. Let go now. Say “yes”. Say “yes” to the presence of grace, “yes” to the light and love. Say “yes” to what is truly real and what is really true about you. Let go of the “no”. Become the “yes”.

Remove the Blinders of Illusion – Morning Meditation, February 23, 2017

As we may already know, the true source of our struggles and suffering for so many of us is the cultural conditioning and emotional adaptations stemming from a primary emotional wound: the break in the bonding – or the lack of bonding – with those whom we relied on to care for us. Most of us have no conscious memory of that wound and no experience in our lives of a similar nature. It is the job of the identity, the ego, to keep that memory and experience unconscious.

The natural movement of spirit and form is towards healing. And that which is wounded continually seeks to be healed. This puts pressure on the ego and the identity to keep distracting, keep managing, controlling and manipulating the world, to be in charge so that that which was too painful, too distressing, never surfaces. The strategy of the ego and the identity is not fool proof. We are triggered by events and circumstances. We are reminded of an awful feeling of aloneness or separation, hopelessness or despair. When we experience them the ego and identity panic. We are left feeing there is something terribly wrong, terribly bad. We are very likely to feel there is something wrong or bad about us. In reality, by our very nature we are seeking wholeness again.

When we experience physical wounds they require attention – we must keep them clean and insure they are not re-injured. We pay attention and we care for them. But when we re-experience emotional wounds, we are more likely to judge and criticize. What we may not realize is that these re-surfacings, these emotional breakdowns, are doorways back to truth. They are openings, cracks in the identity. The identity is brutal in its judgment about these times. But in fact they are part of the healing process. They give us an opportunity to come to know ourselves at a deeper, more experiential level.

The suffering we experience when we are triggered like this is not due to the emotional content. It is due to the judgments and criticisms of our conditioning – our idea that this is something that is wrong with us, something that is bad about us. If we could see the effort we went to to divorce ourselves from the reality of our emotional pain, if we could clearly understand the cost of this separation, if we experienced the depth of the betrayal, loss, and fear that was the source of our dissociation from our true selves – the love and beauty and creative power that is our true nature – we would be much more compassionate with ourselves and others.

There is no need for regret, for judgment. There is always an order and harmony to the unfolding of life and it is unlikely that we see the complete picture. Our task is to allow, to get out of the way of the healing and growth process which is always at work, always guided by divine intelligence. Our task is to recognize that what we think we are is not real, who we think we are is not real. Our task is to support the end of the dissociation, to welcome the healing, to remove our trust and faith from control and place it in the infinite one, the perfect source of our being. Our task is to recognize the illusion of a separate personality and to affirm the unity of the one consciousness, to accept that there is only one power, one consciousness, one intelligence, unified and expressing in form in such a way that it can recognize itself through awareness, conscious awareness.

“I Am” is the fundamental quality of our existence. It is the basis of our life. It is the source of our being. In this moment we can choose to recognize and allow the truth of our being to be the only truth about us. This is the moment we can release all the clutter of the identity, thoughts, ideas, concepts, all the shoulds and shouldn’ts, all the do’s and don’ts, and experience this moment exactly as it truly is.

We are not seeking to control our experience – we are freeing ourselves from all obligation to be or do anything except what is true in this moment. We are not seeking something separate or outside of us – we are allowing to be revealed what is always true. We are removing the blinds of illusion and opening to the light of truth.

True Spirituality – Morning Meditation, April 2, 2017

It is tempting to believe spirituality is some kind of conceptual structure that has concepts and belief systems, ideas about what is right, wrong, true, and false. And indeed many conceptual structures call themselves spiritual. Some might say that even the idea that there is an absolute truth is a conceptual structure, but that is not the basis of our experience. Our quest is based on experience, the experience of truth. Not an idea of truth or a belief of truth, but an experience of truth. We seek that which is revealed when we leave behind the concepts, ideas, and beliefs.

When we become conscious of our constant distracting ourselves, occupying our minds and awareness with thoughts and ideas, we see that this is a form of dissociation. When we live in the rarified atmosphere of our thoughts, there is no end to our seeking what is right or true, for it can never be found. The very process is blocking our awareness and view of the truth.

It is not that we shouldn’t question our thoughts, ideas and beliefs, for the use of our minds is part of life, of living in the world. So to question our assumptions has real value. But we cannot find the truth in our mind as long as we may seek.

We live in two worlds it seems: the physical, earthly, and the world of consciousness and awareness. Consciousness and awareness are what set us apart from the physical world. We are conscious that we are; we are aware we are more than just an animal existing and surviving. We know this. We have been aware of it forever.

Our awareness of our difference has caused us to believe in duality. We thought our awareness made us better, higher, which meant that others must be worse or lower. A simple truth is that our human form and expression gives us the ability to recognize our non-physical source. We have used this capacity for self-awareness to create an image of ourselves based on experience, thoughts, ideas, and beliefs; we have come to believe that the image is real. It is nothing but the product of our imagination; it has no reality and exists nowhere. But our attachment to it is fierce because we believe it is who we are and that we will be nobody if we don’t have it.

So the ability to be aware of ourselves – self-consciousness – has been turned to an instrument of delusion. Perhaps we remember how easy it is to become lost in a daydream, completely oblivious to what is happening around us. This is the effect of our attachment to the image of ourselves: we have become oblivious to reality – not the reality of the physical world but the reality of unity, of one consciousness, one source, one power, one love.

We can see very clearly how we delude ourselves; we can see it in our friends, relations, family and we can see it in ourselves. We can see how beliefs, simple ideas or thoughts, become hard and fast truths that we will not give up. It is important that we are conscious of what we think, believe and hold as true; it is also important that we are conscious of the distraction of those thoughts and beliefs. It is important to be conscious that there is something else that is more real, more true, than anything we can think.

Consider who would we be if we had no image of ourselves, if we had no thought about who we are, if we had no thought about right, wrong, right or wrong ways of being. Who would we be if we only were present to what is real in this moment? The human world now contains an overwhelming conceptual structure of what is true, what is false, what is right and what is wrong, of responsibilities, obligations, rights, duties, complex beyond understanding. Nature does not figure in this structure.

For many of us, our best hope is that we can deconstruct some of this structure, change it, tinker with it, or manage it. But if we were able to dissect the human, we would find no evidence of any of that. Where is the basis in reality for all of that structure? That is only in the mind. None of it is real, none of it is true. Who would we be if none of that was distracting us in this moment? Can you imagine yourself free of all responsibility, all moral consequences, all duties and obligations?

True spirituality has no structure, has no conceptual framework. It is the return to spirit – spirit being the source of life. There is the recognition of our unique ability to perceive that which is not physical, that which comes before the physical, that which is experiencing the physical. Something is having a physical experience. That implies there is more than the physical experience. The true focus of spirituality is the revealing of that spirit. It is not a moral duty or obligation. It is an inevitable journey.

When We Are Triggered By People – Morning Meditations, Jan 30, 2016

When we are triggered by people in our lives, particularly those with whom we have some kind of relationship – not necessarily strangers on the street – what has been activated?  It is an idea about ourselves that is unpleasant or unwanted and may not necessarily be conscious.  We may see qualities in that person that we dislike, we may feel we may never be able to be honest or free with them, we may feel we may never be free of them.  But in the end, it is really something about ourselves that is making us so uncomfortable and that is why these people come to us.  It is hard to see them as a blessing but they are in our life to provoke growth.

In the tangle of emotions and thoughts and ideas that are stirred up in these relationships, it can be very difficult to find the space within ourselves to come to know what is true.  The first thing we must do is find a way to release any judgment about what is happening.  Shame, blame and self-criticism pile onto each other as we find that somehow we are not able to solve the problem of this person – we begin to feel a sense of failure and there is shame for that.  So we must get back to affirming the truth that all is perfect and some good will come from all of this – that this is not an indication of some flaw, failure or weakness in our character but rather an opportunity.

When we are triggered with wounds that are deep, it is confusing and hard to imagine that there could be any good in what is happening.  We must take the focus off the person who is triggering us and instead come back to ourselves, come back to what is real and alive within us.  Our task is to become present to what is real, whatever it is.  Inevitably the trail leads to our own fear of death.  This is not necessarily a straightforward path that we experience. On this path there is anger, hurt, jealousy, loss.

We do not have to unravel this all on our own.  We do not have to be our own therapist.  We do not have to have all the tools and skills to unravel complicated emotional traumas.  We can trust, and let the intelligence within us guide us.  When we are entangled in all that is going on we have forgotten where our trust and faith really belongs – we are in fear – fear of something being exposed, something coming undone, or something awful happening.  If we become present and acknowledge this fear, if we acknowledge that there is something else besides this entanglement – something permanent, infinite, eternal – an intelligence within us is still active, we will be moving towards peace.  Despite all our fear and all our confusion, there is a place of peace within us and if we will trust and allow for guidance, the clarity will come.  If we will just allow ‘what is’ to be without judgment, we will indeed be able to let go, relax and allow the confusion to dissolve.  We will gain insight and understanding and become more conscious, more awake.

We know beyond any doubt that there is truth, that there is something that is always true, something that is infinite, eternal and timeless, something that is unchanging and pure – the source of our lives, the setting for our lives.  Our lives happen within it – not outside of it.  There is an intelligence at work in us always guiding us towards consciousness.  We may fight, we may resist, but it never gives up for it is the very essence of its nature to evolve, expand, express and create.  Being human includes from time to time, confusion, chaos, emotional whirlpools and whirlwinds.  They will pass and we will gain clarity and we will return to knowing who we truly are in more and more depth, and more and more consistently.

We will see that those who cause us the most turmoil bring us the greatest gifts even though it doesn’t possibly seem true at the time.  So in this moment we can relax and let go. We can trust that there is a power and intelligence at work guiding us forever deeper and deeper into connection, openness and knowing.  Our task in this moment is to return to this truth.  All else will be revealed and resolved in time.  Nothing can change what is true.