Do we have change? :-)

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Last post for the year. Will be on vacation… :-)
Many thanks to Bill Watterson and his “Calvin and Hobbes” cartoons shared here. Thanks to his wit, I’ve learned that the “funnies” could be the deepest. The beauty of art mixed with a touch of depth and imagination creates something which is timeless… as Calvin and Hobbes.

In life many avenues are open to be explored. It is through those experiences how our consciousness will change naturally. If we are aware of those changes as they happen, we will know. Religious practice and beliefs will protect the seeker for sometime until the urge to change and move on is overwhelming. At that point, the inner child has grown and is ready to come out of the playpen of protection. The “new” inner path starts with that freedom and the responsibility that this newness entails.

Last items to share this year that I’ve learned while walking the life walker’s journey:

1. The rapidly changing images of a TV has an effect in our speed of thoughts. Many thoughts are induced through that “reality.”
2. Smartphones are detrimental to our health if we charge them in the same room that we sleep. To use a hands-free cord to talk is advisable.
3. A seeker embraces discipline as a way to recharge and energetically “clean himself.” It is not something compulsive that must be done everyday at the same time. Routines embrace change for newness to appear. A discipline is not a routine.
4. Meditation means to move our consciousness to another location. That movement will bring different experiences. As a sage mentioned: “The greatest meditation is the mind that lets go.”
5. Nothing is “good or bad” unless we believe so. Life is greater than our trivial morality. Consequences of actions are related with our intention.
6. To embrace Nature is to reconnect with ourselves. The experience of Totality is understood in that experience.
7. When something comes to our life, it is because something else has gone away. Thus, let us enjoy what it is now, for it will change.
8. We don’t lose youth or maturity. We lose our sense of change. To be attached to something means to resist change.
9. When all ideologies and beliefs are abandoned without feeling rejection towards them but appreciation for what they brought to our experience, we are free to explore. Not before.
10. Life does not have a trademark from anyone thus, our story is unique but not especial.
11. Life in oneness means to know the one who is one with himself. Some could find that in themselves, while others will seek that in God. To each its own.
12. Repression and self-denial are tools to find out our limits. Just like to indulge in something. The experience of the extremes is what motivates us to find a balance.
13. If we don’t enjoy life now… it will not happen in the future.
14. True communication and communion happens through feelings, not through words. The heart listens. The mind talks.

Enjoy the ride! Thank you for being there… Until next year! :-)

The illusion of “practice” to be virtous

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A sage once said: “ If you make spiritual knowledge yours… you will forget it.”

It is obvious that intellectual understanding will take us into believing that “we know.”
That is an illusion, which creates the need to “practice” that knowing.

Intellectual knowing is not BEING and that is the main issue as to why we see people who “talk the talk but who do not walk the talk.”

That is called plain and simple hypocrisy.

Jen was going to visit some relatives for the holidays. She confessed that her sister “pushes her buttons” a lot.
Jen was kind of anxious about this upcoming “test” in her life.

Once Jen discovered that her own expectations were the core of the issue and not her sister’s ability to trigger emotions in her; Jen said: “ I will practice not to have expectations with my sister.”

Is the “practice” of not having expectations truly a practice?
Just observe the expectation. Be aware of it without labels. As Guru Porky pig said: “That’s all folks!” :-)
Once we know an expectation is there, then we could follow it or not. Easy!
“I must not have expectations!” That is repression.

In the realm of “doing” we could get into many practices. We could practice hatha yoga to be limber, we could lift weights to be stronger, we could run to gain stamina, etc.

In the realm of “being” which is what Jen is dealing with; there is no such a thing as “practice.”

Our core, our essence already knows. It is already full of what we call “virtues.”

Practice mindfulness. Practice compassion. Practice being happy. Practice detachment.

All of that is a big mirage.

What we would like to BE is not obtained through practice, through DOING an action by repetition… That is a great misconception!

When we realize that all those virtues are already in us, then why is there a need to “practice”?
Perhaps the need is to clean up the layers of ego covering those virtues; until we discover and dilute those layers, the light will not be visible.

In other words, dilute that ego through awareness/observation and virtues will arrive by themselves. No need to make labels such as: “This is detachment, that is tolerance, this other is joy, etc.”

That is where all sincere inner work starts, by seeing “what is” without repression or labeling.

Practice a virtue and…it will be all fake.

A Tiger is tenacious without “practice.” A tiger does not know what tenacity is.
A human being realizes that his own ego is not allowing for a virtuous behavior to appear. That is it.

If we use our thinking and intellectual abilities to define the words that we would like to be or to practice, that is totally artificial, that has no value for what we ARE in that moment will come out when the “practice” is stopped or forgotten. That is dependency.

If there is a dependency on anything to obtain a higher consciousness, then we ARE not that consciousness. We are just pretending and become dependent on a method to be someone who we ARE not.
Honesty anyone? Starts with the self.

Best wishes and good feelings: The depth of honesty

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If “karma” is not truly about “good or bad” actions, but rather about the feeling-intention, which is indescribable but the primary source of how we actually feel without intellectual masks; then we could finally discover that this source is the root, the beginning of the action.
It is a feeling not a thought.

That is why, there is a teaching about having “good wishes and pure feelings for all.”
Why?
Because when our primary feeling without thought is of goodness for the Totality, then through that feeling our intention is automatically aligned and thus our activity.

Nevertheless, even that teaching as simple and powerful as it is, will be misrepresented.
How?

“That person wasn’t kind to me in the past so when she showed up yesterday, I had this resentment inside me, but I had to practice the teaching of good feelings for her, so I sent her good feelings.”

The above even though it sounds “good” and worthy of practice it only shows a repression of who we actually ARE in that moment. Not only that, but it also shows dishonesty by trying to change something which we do not actually feel for something which is supposed to be “right.”

To have “good feelings for all” is not a practice but it is something natural when we discover that just as when we reject something about ourselves because we believe that to be “bad;” in the same way and with the same dishonesty, we pretend to reject someone else for whatever reason not understanding that by doing that we reject the Totality… and thus us.
Rejection is the way to make something stronger.. until it is accepted.

How?
Because we are all interrelated. We are all mixed in the same plate. There is Oneness.

“Wait a minute. If I don’t “practice” to change that which I find to be “wrong,” how is it going to change?”

Definitely not by repression.
That is the greatest opportunity to observe what actually happens inside us. We need to observe it as a “detached observer” because it is not “ME” but it is that “ME” in that moment only.
It is that observation without labels and rejections how an understanding will emerge of the “true” self in that moment and the trigger of that appearance.

We will discover that which in theory we call EGO and its different facets. Let it be. Let it manifest and just observe it. Become fully aware of it.
That is the beginning of being aware of that which we call SELF.

From that point, it is all about uncovering that ego; that is observing how it appears rather than repressing it by changing it with a belief of what is supposed to be “good or proper.”
That is the inner dishonesty, which every seeker needs to be able to see in themselves.

Moreover, we can “practice” for many years to have “good feelings for all” but it will continue as a practice for we will keep hiding the “real” feeling, the real “me” at that moment, with a practice.
Do we see that?

It is the same principle with ”positive thinking.” There is no need to replace “bad thoughts with good thoughts.” There is no need to practice for this is not about “doing” but about “being.”

How are you going to discover what you ARE?
By uncovering the layers of EGO, which are in top.
That process of self-discovery does not deal with repressions or mind-games, it is all about observation and awareness.
Good wishes is not a thought. It is not something that “we think that we are doing” …it is for God’s sake, BEING and feeling it.

Karma: The inaccuracy of simplicity – part 2

Is Euthanasia “good or bad”?
Isn’t that killing?
There is a big debate on that. Different laws in different countries will say different things. In Nature, to kill is neutral.
A falcon will kill to eat. The intention is to feed himself, to survive. It is not a business “for profit.” It is not to keep carcasses for another day and sell it or to teach that animal a “lesson.” On the other hand, humans have cynical reasons when it is about killing.

For instance, humans will kill deer (The nice label used is “hunting”) to manage the growing population of deer. Humans have killed the natural predators of deer as well.
Humans believe that human lives are above any other species.

Nevertheless, Humans will suffer the effects of those actions, as Nature requires a balance of species, which happens naturally without the thinking “help” from humans.

For Nature, there is no difference between a human life and an ant’s life, for those species are not seen as separated but are interdependent.
It is the belief of human beings to be “superior.” Thus, the intention behind the activities of humans will be tinted with that “superiority.”
That “Superiority” complex is depicted in human thought and belief systems.

As the intention behind human killing is hiding behind “economical reasons” or to preserve their own species overlooking others, then Nature will respond to balance those issues with a Natural disaster or humans themselves will kill each other as in a war.

Paradoxically, the “economical progress” and all perceived benefits in killing other species will be, washed away once Nature does its “cleaning job.”
It is called “zero balance.”

Of what help is human morality in “real life” (Nature)?
Not much. But yet, as a society we have selected a particular view of the world. We have created the “Office World.” That point of view is not an absolute by any means.

One last item: An intention is not a “whishy washy” thought. Something like: “I had the intention to help you, but something happened.”
That is not what I am referring to as “intention” although the dictionary may say so.
An intention is a feeling. It is what some will define as “inner voice.” That feeling which is the real drive to perform an action could be dressed up with thoughts and rationalization.
That is what thinking humans are good at. Rationalization is to come up with reasons to justify as to why we are acting in a particular way even though that inner feeling, feels otherwise.
For instance, John may voice how much he likes cows. Although his real intention is not to keep the cow alive but to kill it so he can gain profit. That greed is his real intention which could be rationalized in different ways to “look good and proper.”

Once we observe how tricky it could be for a society to pinpoint the real intention in an individual, then it becomes easier to come up with a line between “good actions” and “bad actions,” and to make a story as to why something is “good or bad” and thus “karma.”

When we understand that our human tendency is to “dress ourselves up” to look good, then spirituality is no longer a “practice” or something “to do to groom ourselves” but rather it becomes an issue of stripping down every belief, every learned story, every point of view, every thing that we could hold on to as a “savior” for the sake of being completely naked… then we could see that Nature is not separated from us, but us.

Karma: The inaccuracy of simplicity – part 1

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“Truly, one becomes good through good action, and evil through evil action.”
—Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 3.2.13

“Karma” is not fully understood.
Karma means “action” and from that word, we could establish a system to define what is “good and bad.”

If we do “good actions,” we will receive “good things.”
If we do “bad actions,” we will receive “bad things.” Or in religious words, If we do “good,” God will reward us. If we do “bad,” God will punish us.

Simple enough?

Here comes the controversy…

Are lies “bad”? :-)
Yes?
What about “white lies”? Not bad…huh?
Is to lie an “action”?
No.

Then, if to lie is not action, why is it “bad karma”?
Framed in “bad actions,” “good actions” and “neutral actions” we forget about the underlying force behind any action or thought.

That is our intention.

It is so evident that the intention of a lie is what makes that lie “good” or “bad.”

“The law of Karma” as it is mostly explained, brings by necessity the labeling of some actions as “good or bad.”
That is inaccurate.

“The law says, we must stop on a red light while driving. If we don’t do that, we will be punished by paying a steep fine.”
In that “black or white” statement, there is plenty of “life in between” that could happen: The red light may not work properly, there is an emergency in the road, someone’s life is in danger, etc. There will be plenty of scenarios but our intention is the driving factor for experiencing the return of our activities.
In life, there are those individuals who will stop on a red light no matter what happens around them. Their belief is to be “righteous” by following words to the dot.
The irony is that we do not follow life and its changes, but words and their “static reality”…

An action performed by itself does not determine how life will give a return. Please experiment with this. Don’t merely accept it.
As expressed many times already, life is not interested in complying with our petty “black or white” morality.

Intentions hide behind actions.

Someone may say “ to rape someone is bad. Rape is a bad action.”
Rape is a sexual act by force. Notice the intention of the action: Force, abuse, domination, selfishness.
Q:Is the sexual act in itself “good or bad”? :-)
A: Depends on your belief.
Life is not about beliefs, it is about intentions.
A sexual act is neutral until the intention of the “doer” arrives.

It is the intention what gives the quality of that action and thus the return.

To be continued….

The world is equal to our consciousness

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The paradox of being and not being is the beginning and the end.
Some say: “You are a soul. A spirit. A person. An individual. You are a thing separated from everything.”

That consciousness will become aware of “his” actions. When living in society, a line must be drawn.
That is the beginning of the duality of “good and bad … right or wrong.”

With that duality the representatives of those extremes will arrive: God, the angels the seraphims, the religion which represents them on Earth are “good.” The Devil or Maya or Lucifer or Satan along with everyone who opposes a Godly religion are “bad.”

The above is the collective consciousness of the majority of individuals on this planet. It is so easy to follow. It is so easy to understand. Very logical. Very reasonable.. It is the “battle” between good and evil!… but yet that consciousness is just a perception of “what is.”
Major religions, cults , sects and philosophies follow that line. In “Democracy,” majority rules. Therefore, that collective consciousness rules.

In the above, the need to reward some and to punish others arises automatically and with that the sense of guilt, forgiveness and fear. The need to create this “system” for the afterlife is imperative.
Otherwise, there is no motive to obey.
That is the bottom line.

It is that “self” which has been nourished by that conditioning.

When consciousness changes, then perception changes.

The monotheistic God all by himself as the “superior” being does not need a believer or a non-believer.
It is not about that. That is to be trapped in duality.

It is about that which we call “I.”
Other religions and systems will take the opposite approach.
“The “I” does not exist. We are empty;” will say.
When this description becomes just an intellectual exercise to believe in; the “concept” is completely worthless.

To believe in whatever without an experience… it is a trap, which will teach us about self-honesty. That is why beliefs are not “bad.” :-)

“I believe in this. I believe in that.”
Senseless.

“God is not omnipresent” is as good as “ God is omnipresent.”
Senseless , meaningless words.
It is not about an intellectual exercise to debate about and to proselytize a dogma. It is about that “I” which can be perceived without the mask of intellectual knowledge, thinking and reasoning. Can we see that?

As some individuals have experienced another “reality” beyond the collective, their words have been misinterpreted.
Grossly misinterpreted, by those who only excel in intellectual endeavors but have no “real” experience on what they are interpreting.
Then, the “belief” must continue. The Intellectual “steps,” the Do 1 then step 2 and then you will be enlightened if you do them right...That “catch” makes the game interesting.

Let me quote this guru. Let me read this “best seller,” let me watch this “spiritual movie,” let me believe that “I am learning.”

Nothing wrong with the above; but consciousness does not change through those means. Consciousness changes through life experiences and there is no life experience which is the ultimate, for life does not evolve into perfection when it is already perfect, as it is.

“We” are not separated from life. We are life itself and because life changes, we need to change.

It is in the contemplation of that “perfection” how we realize that if we feel like worshiping someone or to practice devotional love… we should start with life itself and by doing so, God is included and so are “you” and “I” as well.
That is called Totality, completeness… Perfection.

We shall not repress but transform

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As more individuals are waking up to the effects of a “black or white” mentality of “good and bad,” then the observation that every process happening in our self needs to be observed without using our reason, but by going deep in our feelings to find the issue.

The ‘truth’ is not an intellectual game of words when we understand how paradoxical life is. The ‘truth’ cannot be a concept or some commandment or some philosophy for whatever is written is static and even though may be logically grounded, it is not necessarily the way life itself operates.
Life is fully paradoxical.

A paradox is to be realized but it cannot be fully explained for it escapes the way our language and mindset has been conditioned to “think” as being “true.”

Truth is then to have the capability to go deep in our feelings by putting the mind-games aside along with all beliefs and to look at what our core being is letting us know.
That which we hear is not the “truth” to be put into a commandment but it is the “truth,” “my truth” of the time, which will change, which will evolve as we evolve with life.

To be that “truthful” is not as easy as it sounds. It requires our willingness to be completely alone, completely left aside in a society where the “majority wins” and the “truth” becomes just a paragraph to cite.

Whenever we learn to repress, we have learned to rationalize and to comply with the perception of the “majority” for the sake of belonging.

The energy of anger is neither “good nor bad.” It is not a matter to catalogue it into a convenient box.
If we find that it is “bad,” we will try to repress something, which will be experienced regardless of our philosophical or political mind game of the day, then we could feel guilty, bad, in need to ask for forgiveness, etc. which are nothing else but the consequences of the way we believe the world to be. Full of “black or white” duality.

That energy of anger could be “good” if it is transformed into strength. The Mom who witnessed her kid trapped under a car, had no problems lifting it to save her kid. These cases of “hysterical strength” are increasing in number. Sports are another outlet for anger. When that energy is focused, humans could do wonders.

Nevertheless, when that energy of anger is not properly channeled it becomes suicide for the one experiencing it.
Every human energy that we could feel is there just because it has a reason to exist and it depends on how we transform it to be able to live in harmony with it.
That could be the teaching to embrace and not to repress it because it is “bad.”

The same goes with lust, with fear and with rage.
To observe how those energies come up and to be able to use them when it is proper, becomes the art of managing our own energies. It is not a matter of “reacting” like a small kid who could not contain himself before getting to the bathroom.

It is in this way of looking at things without judgmental labels but by honoring what goes on in observation, how inner mastery is a possibility.

Enjoyment of life does not reside in repression, but in expressing at the adequate time with the right energy.

That is the reason why discipline exists, (teaching the kid to use the toilet) so it will allow us to enjoy life to the fullest rather than repress our existence.