Tag Archives: meditation

Life Transformation

Imagine life as a continuous stream of moments, where you feel joy in your every movement and in stillness. 

This life stream feels so natural that it is indistinguishable from you. 

You move, and you feel the true nature of your movement as a gesture of relationship. Your life is timeless. 

You live one long day, and then you move on, always rooted in happiness – regadless of what situations life presents.

It is easy to dismiss this possibility for living. We are taught that happiness is about what we have and how comfortable our lives appear. Power, money, people who say they love us, and a legacy become our goals so that we can someday be happy. So, if life does not present us with the right circumstances, we buckle in misery. Our lives are not sofragile, and our ability to be happy is not conditioned by how much we have achieved, or how much pain we have avoided. 

It is all too easy to fall into a pattern of living where we drag ourselves forward, focusing on discomfort, fear, frustration, and setbacks. This kind of relationship to life is disconnect. Awareness is trapped  inthe palace of the mind, and we watch our lives from a distance. Every situation and feeling is dissected and critiqued, and we react to every judgement.

There is an alternative possibility to living. In this possibility, you are rooted in happiness first – as happiness itself. And this state is not disturbed by any life event. 

You are naturally drawn to explore and feel as fully as you can. Then, life’s ups and downs don’t color perception.

You see clearly the dynamics of life’s situations, and you work with these to the best of your ability. Although you are  innocent, you are not naive. As taught by many masters, such a life is our natural state. This state is real and can become permanent.

The process of meditation restores us to our natural state. While many talk about  meditation as a relaxation technique, this was not its original intent. Instead, meditation with an enlightened teacher was a way to strip away all that was false until our natural state of happiness was all that remained.

Many people talk about spiritual practice as a way to restore health, acquire wealth, and attract people who will love us. However, anything we can acquire – including our lives – is temporary and fragile. That is just reality.

Many people talk about love and service as the basis of life. Thus, spiritual practice can become about acting more loving and offering time and money to others. However, even this approach can result in a feeling “holier than thou,” or feeling entitled to receive only the “good things in life.” 

For many, practicing meditation and cleaning up imbalanced relationships is beyond difficult and even unimaginable – especially if this process takes years. Instead of feeling good and relaxed during practice, you are agitated as  illusions burn away. Instead of feeling satisfaction in money, food, and sex, you feel confused about what is really important. 

So, why bother? Why engage in practice if it does not provide instant gratification of feeling like you have it all? The simple answer is “You don’t need to – just live your life as you want.” Being on a path to transformation does not make one any better than anyone else.

However, you may feel like you have no choice but to be in the world without being of the world. At some point, nothing in life satisfies, and you begins to yearn for freedom. 

With the help of a teacher, you eventually feel freedom from life’s changes – you remain steady amidst any and all storms of life. Service becomes a natural disposition of the heart. Love deepens beyond attachment, and you are more interested in loving than in getting someone else to love you. 

You no longer feel lonely or bored. You love yourself  enough to take good care of yourself and surround yourself with people who are balanced and care about you. 

You use your mind as a tool and are no longer a slave to endless, circular thoughts. You have a clear picture about what is dysfunctional and appropriately stand up for truth without self-righteousness. You feel everything, but emotions pass through you and do not stick to you. And all of this – your natural state. 

Many of us have forgotten that we are not our pain, discomfort, frustration, or reaction. We are also not our thoughts and judgements. We are not our imbalances or beliefs. None of these things need to define us for us to feel real. If we take away our reactions to life and our drive to do, what is left is relationship without any filters or blinders.

From the perspective of happiness, even the simplest actions are awe-inspiring. Every gesture we make expresses our connection to life and to our existence. One simple gesture, sparked by awareness, can ignite a chain reaction of connections, and can only deepen. Every moment has the potential to be expansive.

Ultimately, living is a relationship to everything of which we are conscious. You feel what inspires you, and then you move. You simply allow the next movement, and the next, and lose all interest in judging yourself because you are relating and naturally moving toward emerging needs. 

With every gesture, you forge a stronger bond to your simple committment to express. And that really can be everything because it is always new.

Communication and Innocence

If we and our world are evolving, where are we headed? What would a more evolved civilization look like? What does it mean for humanity to be more advanced than it currently is, and how would this influence our lives?

Change on our planet has been a result, in part, of the earth’s forming, shaping, and cooling. The earth is a body that undergoes various processes while serving as our home. 

While our earth lives its part in the cosmos, we live on the earth. Our contribution is our communication with our environment – how we give, how we receive, and how much ownership we project over what we have. We communicate our position by speaking, whispering, yelling, and silence. We write, sing, and create art. We move our weight around, sometimes softly, and sometimes like bulls in a china shop. We reach out to touch, connect, push away, or hurt and destroy. 

We are primal and emotional. Many of us  lack the kind of awareness that brings us into balance within and without. We have the ability, but have not yet felt a conscious need to shift our awareness beyond self absorption.

Imagine being in the presence of a person and, with their permission, experiencing life from their perspective – even if just for a few moments? Imagine this empathy developed to such a level that every living being and object is perceived on its terms. Imagine all people with the ability to truly connect and feel each other, while still maintaining  uniqueness. What would it be like to know our individuality without all of the pain and guilt we layer on top of our experience? What if we knew the feeling of being truly complete and explored the world from that origin? Would our globe map still look like a rag sown together from scraps?

Somehow, we are hardwired to possess or to want to possess something. We assign value according to our whims, and we obsess to acquire what or who we find valuable. Like in Indiana Jones, we like the thrill of finding the treasure and taking it. We like secrets and puzzles. And often we like the attention to pour in and to feel big, which is also a kind of treasure. 

Many of us, maybe most if us, are on this earth to find our treasure. The more  we are skilled at communication, or the more forceful, we tend to find success. However, the feeling of emptiness persists and we crave gratification even when we “possess” so much. Like small children crying for milk, people of the world emit a loud cry for what they feel they lack. 

The cry is deafening and pained and omnipresent. However, there is also the glow of our potential yet untapped, enveloping us with its warmth and happiness. This potential is already fulfilled, but it awaits our attention. Imagine if we were all to hear the humanity cry and be overcome with compassion. Imagine if we knew we were already happy.

Unlike pity or a kind of personal judgement, compassion is communication. Compassion transmits an understanding that can only be found through union. Compassion is a force that shifts the world from its inability to feel others. We can align ourselves to compassion and to the unwavering feeling that we are complete, and then we  will communicate only the energy of love, on automatic.

To truly love others means to also love oneself, and vice versa. Stripping away the layers of self absorption and an insatiable want, while feeling life on its terms and letting go into this sea of diversity, makes it clear that one is innocent. With innocence, everything is possible. What if the next step for us and our world is innocence? It can be, if we invest in compassion as the communication of choice with all….

What’s on a spiritual path?

A spiritual path awakens the sleep of illusion…

At some point, you may start to feel like life has lost its luster. You may feel yourself wondering why you are here, why everyone and everything is here, and what is the purpose of life. You may begin to yearn and long for the truth about existence, even if you are not sure how to go about looking for this truth. At this point, you have taken the first step toward a spiritual path….

A spiritual path begins with an intuition that there must be something more to life, and its practices aim to free us from prior conditioning and illusory perceptions. It is a path of awakening and stripping away the layers that block our awareness of existence. Over time, we become less reactive to life and more aware of who we really are. We identify less and less with our aches, pains, frustrations, and discomforts, and begin to see ourselves beyond our life experiences.

We begin to relax into life and relate to everything with greater ease. And, as this continues, we start to feel a living stream that pervades us all, as the fabric that is – literally – living all existence. With this awareness, we feel joy, freedom, happiness, and relationship in its true form. Our lives begin to reflect this awakening more and more. “Love” takes on a whole new meaning, transmuting from a conditional emotion to the living force that is reality.

Awakening to the fundamental relationship with and among all  becomes the basis of our existence. When we truly let go into this connection to reality, the Light in all becomes our identity, and This is what lives our life through the body and mind. Service to others, care, connection, and joy arise naturally and spontaneously.

A spiritual path moves us out of the endless chatter of the mind…

Although you may initially enter a spiritual path through the mind – by asking questions, analyzing spiritual writings, and thinking about your life –  this mind approach is ultimately limited and must be surrendered to the emerging faculty of the intuition of reality.

Our culture emphasizes the training and education of the mind. Thus, it is no surprise that intuition is not considered an intelligence at all. Furthermore, our intuition is frequently clouded by the lack of clarity of how we perceive reality. However, as our perception clears and our intuition is trained, intuition becomes a channel for transformation.

The mind is still useful, but it takes its proper place on the tool belt of experiencing reality, rather than being the primary way to make sense of reality.

 A spiritual path can be uncomfortable…

True transformation that unites with the living Light stream, when it occurs, is unmistakable and permanent. This transformation changes how you perceive the world around you and your relationship to it. You feel the living Light physically as your body.

Until you are transformed, the feeling of the infinite may come and go. At some point, It stays….You will know this, and others will feel it from you.

The path to transformation can be extremely uncomfortable because who you think you are is being dismantled. All of your attachments, insecurities, and hurts – regardless of how deeply buried in your unconscious, are brought into the Light – one by one – to be surrendered. Our spiritual teachers offer us the energy and inspiration we need to help us break free.

Practicing connection to ourselves and the world is a channel that leads to awakening. However, this heartfelt connection can also stir up what we want to block, forget, avoid, and run from. The process of becoming aware of the totality of ourselves can be very uncomfortable and even scary. When you deeply identify with a certain perception of yourself, it can be very challenging to let go.

I remember how I defended, fought, ignored, and denied insights about myself offered by my teacher and life situations. In many cases, an insight from my teacher felt like an attack. Now, I see those confrontations for what they were – a gift of force to help me break through my illusion. The closer the Light got to my core illusion, the more resistance I felt to letting it go. Eventually, the resistance itself dissolved.

Without proper preparation for the spiritual path and the help of an awakened teacher, you may become overwhelmed by the intense energies running through you. Preparation for this path is essential.

A spiritual path is easier with proper preparation…

Preparation for a spiritual journey is about cultivating a soft and gentle heart toward ourselves, others, and the planet.

I did not properly prepare for the spiritual path when I started. I entered with a hardened heart and fiery intensity. I pushed and pushed toward – what I considered – a “goal.” One of my teachers called me Agnibhakti – a devotee of fire. Regardless of how much my Ego was confronted, I stayed in the spiritual burning state and worked through it – always coming back for more. While perseverance and steadfast resolve to keep coming back to the practice is important, I could have tempered this fire with a loving and caring attitude toward myself.

Since a very young age, I did not like myself. I felt that, if transformed, I would become more lovable, more worthy, and so on….It is this dissatisfaction with myself that pushed and pushed me on the path. My intensity was good for getting a job done, but not for truly connecting with people.

In hindsight, this made my transformation process much more difficult and more painful than it could have been. Although the transformation softened me to some degree, I had to let go of much more for years thereafter to continue to soften. Perhaps this is the way it had to be for me – learning to balance intensity and softness. The more I soften, the more deeply my body entwines with the living Light stream, and the more focused is my intensity.

A spiritual path is easier with an awakened teacher…

A path to awakening usually involves the help of an awakened teacher. Forging a relationship with a teacher is probably unlike any other relationship you may have experienced in your life. Although, you always want to present your best side to your teacher – your sweetest, most “spiritual” self – you know that your teacher sees completely through you. You feel transparent, with all of your bullshit and beauty exposed. Curiously, the resistance you feel to seeing yourself as you truly are may cause you to feel like you are being attacked.

My teacher presented me with insights about myself through words, gestures, and looks. Although I did not talk to my teacher very often, I always felt the connection. Despite my best intentions, I felt uncomfortable. Later, I learned that this discomfort was really the discomfort I felt with myself, and the experience of being more aware of what I was really doing. I was not just experiencing my words and actions. I was also beginning to become aware of my intentions. In many cases, this discomfort felt like burning.

My teacher gradually listened to less and less of my bullshit and often gave me uncomfortable insights about my bullshit. Intellectually, I knew that my teacher was helping me, but I resisted the help because I thought I was my bullshit.

Even those who have been on the path for a long time often question their resolve when the spiritual heat is on: “I don’t need this shit.”, “What does this teacher know anyway.”, “I am sick of feeling like crap about myself.” Many abandon the path even after years of working diligently. It is difficult to not take things personally, but it is necessary – if you want to come out on the other side of this process….

This cycle of confrontation, burning, and coming through on the other side happened over and over and over….Coming back, over and over, is key and depends on your own intention and the level of your preparation to embrace all that you are – before you can let it go….