Sunday, May 31, 2009

Benefits of Being in Present

Being present is a fundamental key to true awakening. But even if you are not on a spiritual path, you will benefit immensely from becoming more present in your life and in your relationships.


As you become more present,


You will heal the emotional traumas of the past.

You will free yourself from the limiting beliefs learned in childhood.

You will not react so emotionally.

You will be free from blame, guilt, and resentment.

You will be more in touch with your feelings.

You will feel more empowered.

You will feel less anxious about the future.

You will be less judgmental of yourself and others.

You will not lose yourself in seeking acceptance and approval from others.

You will feel less afraid of death, and more available to life.

You will be more spontaneous and adventurous.

You will be more open and loving.

You will be more aware and conscious.

Being present will enhance every aspect of your life!

Leonard Jacobson


The Ordinariness of Awakening

Today I live a very ordinary life. I like to walk, I enjoy a good movie, I like a good meal, I love being in nature, and I often enjoy the activity of the world. Before I met Poonjaji, every activity in my life was a search for some kind of self-fulfillment or self-definition. Whether it was searching in the peace of nature, or in the excitement of relationship, or in the mundane thrill of acquisition, it was always a search for who I was, most of the time looking for a positive answer and running from a negative one.

I am not searching now. I know and I continuously realize deeper every day that no thing can define me. However great the joy is of spending time in a in nature, however harmonious my relationships are, however delightful the experiences of the world, that from which it all arises, that omnipresent field of pure consciousness, is so much greater, so much more profound, blissful, and sublime.

On the outside, much of my life looks the same. Eli is still my husband, Sarah is still my daughter, and I know some of the same people. What’s different is that I am not looking to any one or any thing to give me what I want. I know what I want, and luckily what I want is what is already here. It has always been here, because it is who I am.

Many people have asked how it was possible to integrate these realizations into my day-to-day life. My response has always been the same. It is not possible to integrate truth into anything else because truth already exists as everything and it always has. You cannot take vastness or infinity and integrate it into some object in life, such as a day or a workspace. What you can recognize is that your life is already inside that; it is already a part of that integral whole. Then every situation in life is an opportunity to recognize the ground of beingness that holds it all.



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Core of Krishnamurti Teachings

When asked in 1974 by his biographer, Mary Lutyens, to define his teachings Krishnamurti wrote the following: "The core of Krishnamurti's teaching is contained in the statement he made in 1929 when he said 'Truth is a pathless land'. Man cannot come to it through any organisation, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophical knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection. Man has built in himself images as a fence of security - religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man's thinking, his relationships and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual.

Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. It is man's pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence.

Thought is time. Thought is born of experience, of knowledge, which are inseparable from time. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past.

When man becomes aware of the movement of his own consciousness he will see the division between the thinker and the thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past . This timeless insight brings about a deep radical mutation in the mind.

Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things which are not love - desire, pleasure - then love is, with its compassion and intelligence."

London, October 21, 1980
Copyright © 1980 Krishnamurti Foundation Trust


Monday, May 25, 2009

Don't waste a single moment in anything else

Man is born only as a potential. If you don't develop your potential, if you don't grow spiritually, you are just like an ox. The body will go on becoming bigger and bigger, but that is not growth. Growing old is not growing up, growing physically is not growing spiritually. And unless you grow spiritually you are wasting a precious opportunity.
Man is the only being on the earth who can attain to buddhahood. Elephants and lions and tigers can't become buddhas. Only man can become a buddha, only man can become a thousand-petaled lotus, only man can release the fragrance called God.
Don't waste a single moment in anything else. Do the necessary things, the essential things, but pour more and more energy into watchfulness, awareness. Wake up! Unless you become a buddha you have not lived at all, because you will not know the great poetry of life, the great music of existence. You will not know the celestial celebration that goes on and on, you will not know the dance of the stars. It is for you to become part of this celebration. This bliss is for you! All these flowers and all these songs and all these stars are for you. You are entitled to miracles -- but grow up, wake up! Enough for today.

Source: from Osho Book "Dhammapada Vol 5"


Sunday, May 24, 2009

First be selfish, first transform yourself.

Your life in peace, in joy, in health, can be a great source of nourishment for people who are starving for spiritual food. People are not really starving for material things. Material richness is very simple: just a little more technology, a little more science, and people can be rich. The real problem is how to be inwardly rich. And when you are outwardly rich you will be surprised -- for the first time you become more acutely, more keenly aware of your inner poverty. For the first time all meaning in life disappears when you are outwardly rich, because in contrast, the inner poverty can be seen more clearly. Outside there is light all around and inside you are a dark island.

The rich man knows his poverty more than the poor person, because the poor person has no contrast. Outside there is darkness, inside there is darkness; he knows darkness is what life is. But when there is light outside you become desirous of a new phenomenon: you long for inner light. When you see that richness is possible outside, why can't you be rich inside?



Monday, May 04, 2009

Question your Thoughts Change the World

A feeling is like the mate to a thought appearing. They're like a left and a right. If you have a thought, there's a simultaneous feeling. And an uncomfortable feeling is like a compassionate alarm clock that says, "You're in the dream." It's time to investigate, that's all. But if we don't honor the alarm clock, then we try to alter and manipulate the feeling by reaching into an apparent external world. We're usually aware of the feeling first. That's why I say it's an alarm clock that let's you know you're in a thought that you may want to investigate. If it's not acceptable to you, if it's painful, you might want to do The Work.

Thoughts are friends, not enemies. They're just what is. They appear. They're innocent. We're not doing them. They're not personal. They're like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. Thoughts arise like that, and we can make friends with them. Would you argue with a raindrop? Raindrops aren't personal, and neither are thoughts. It's the meaning you attach to those thoughts that you think is personal. Inquire. Meet them with understanding. Once a painful concept is met with understanding, the next time it appears you may find it interesting. The next time it appears, you may find it funny. The next time, you may not even notice it. There will be no attachment. I meet thoughts the way I would meet my children. I meet them with love, gentleness, and a quiet understanding.

Byron Katie

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

On Meditation

Sharing thoughts about meditation seems like a contradiction. Isn’t meditation all about "taking out the trash" and ridding ourselves of rambling thoughts? Well . . . not necessarily.

Many of us have tried meditation, but grew discouraged and after a time, stopped practicing. Maybe because it seemed boring or we didn’t have time to just sit — but more likely, we decided that we weren’t good at "quieting the mind."

As if that were a realistic goal.

I suggest that we don’t need to quiet the mind any more than we need to plug up a bubbling hot springs. It is the nature of hot springs to bubble and the nature of mind to do the same, boiling off random thought-static, a kind of discharge that may serve a function similar to dreaming.

Thoughts happen. Emotions happen. Weather happens. We may prefer certain thoughts, emotions or weather over others. But none are directly controllable by our will.

Thoughts only become a problem when we mistake them for reality. We live in two worlds: An objective world arising within our nervous system and outside of our bodies, perceived by our senses. We also live in a subjective world of the meanings, associations, fears, beliefs and interpretations we make about that objective world.

Meditation enables us to discover the nature of mind, of thought, and to see them as a sort of illusion, a complication we impose on what the Zen masters call "isness" or "suchness" prior to mind.

Many people both misunderstand and idealize this practice we call meditation. But after all, it is a practice — an exercise — like doing push-ups or learning to juggle. As with any practice, it can be done well or poorly and can improve over time.

Doing push-ups over time will predictably strengthen the upper body. Meditation practice also brings noticeable benefits: an enhanced ability to relax, focus and concentrate; more patience; a sharpening of the senses (as we learn to pay attention); enhanced creativity, self-awareness (shadow-work), and insight into the nature of mind. An experience of no-mind.

Meditation is not, however, a path to enlightenment; rather, from the first moment we sit, meditation is the practice of enlightenment — a fundamental means of adapting the body-mind to an enlightened disposition of non-reactivity.

We sit with spine erect — not leaning forward into the future or backward into the past, but stable in this present moment. Meanwhile, our awareness takes on its ultimate role as Witness: We simply observe arising phenomena: thoughts, emotions, physical sensations. Yet we do not react to any of it; we merely bear witness to passing phenomena. Relaxed. Serene. Simply being aware. Being Awareness.

This is why some Zen masters, when asked "What is enlightenment?" may respond, "Just sitting." When beginners first sit, they fidget, think, react, wonder, daydream. As it turns out, "just sitting" is not so easy.

Most meditators use a technique or device to help focus their wandering attention: We turn our attention to our breath, or to a mantra (repeated inner chant), or to inner sounds (nad yoga), or we gaze at a visual image such as a yantra or mandala or just a single point.

Since many thoughts tend to impose physical tensions, the body naturally relaxes as we release our attachment to (or investment in) passing thoughts and impressions. Giving mind-stuff no energy or attention, we slip into a sleep-like or trance-like state in which "time flies."

Some call it the void, the quiet mind. Various studies suggest that spending time in this state provides deep, refreshing rest from the usually active state of the body-mind — doing, pushing, wondering, remembering, imagining, fretful with regrets of the past and anxieties about the future.

Meditation opens doorways to a temporary state of peace, a mini-vacation from self, mind, world. Many people quite enjoy this time out. The practice of sitting meditation, central to a number of eastern (or inward-directed) spiritual traditions, balance the western (outward or extroverted) orientation. In this way, meditation it provides a balancing effect for most active men and women.

In the approach to reality that I teach — the way of the Peaceful Warrior — we can enjoy this meditative disposition, this sense of divine detachment, even after we open our eyes, stand up, and go about our daily business. Various kinds of moving (dynamic) meditation provide a bridge to every-moment meditation.

The Zen masters teach kinhin, or mindful walking — the most basic form of moving meditation. Then there are the mindful Zen arts, like the tea ceremony, or the martial arts (including Taiji), and kyudo (Zen archery), flower arranging. Even western sports provide moments of deep immersion in the present.

But even these more active rituals, which pull attention out of preoccupations and mind-stuff and back to the present, are a form of training wheels. As peaceful warriors, we don’t just practice a sport or martial art — we practice everything.

In each moment we turn our attention to every action, to breath and relaxation. In this way, we transform everyday life into the ultimate meditation. It is not an escape or respite from daily life, but a way to transform daily life.

All meditative practices bring awareness back to the Present Moment, which is itself free of thoughts. (We can only think about the past or future; in the present there is only awareness.)

Meditate for pleasure and for balance — for a whole-body remembrance of the peace that waits for us in the eternal present. Here. Now.

But do not put this practice up on a pedestal as a special "spiritual practice." If we do so — if we treat certain times or activities as special or spiritual, we fall into the trap of treating other times as ordinary. Whereas in truth, all moments, all activities, are equally important. There are no ordinary moments; every moment deserves our full attention.

Let meditation become a way of life, a quality of attention we give to each moment of our daily life. It is a gift that returns to us a hundred-fold. Peace. Serenity. Reality as it is.

Dan Millman

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Saturday, May 02, 2009


In the moment before you began reading this sentence, there was only awareness looking. As soon as you began reading, it appears that awareness became obscured by thought. Awareness never becomes obscured. You could not even read this page or have a thought without awareness. It is the screen on which all of the phenomena in life appear and disappear. The word “phenomena” here includes thoughts, emotions, sensations, states, experiences, buildings, computers, dirt, apples, planets and every other form. When the phenomena appear, awareness does not go away. There is no oscillation between awareness and thought or some other phenomenon that arises. Awareness is what allows the phenomena to be seen and experienced.

Let’s keep it simple and remain with the phenomenon of thought. Thought arises in awareness. When each thought disappears, awareness seems to appear again in place of thought, even if only for an instant until the next thought appears. But awareness itself does not appear and disappear. It is thought that appears and disappears in awareness. You cannot find or lose awareness and it cannot actually be obscured by thought. It only appears to be obscured. Awareness is what actually allows every thought to appear. Thought is not even independent of awareness. If awareness is the screen on which thought appears, how can thought have a totally independent nature from the screen that allows it to appear? It can't. So when thought appears, it is reminding you that you are aware. You are not a person that is aware. The person or "I" thought is one of the images on the screen. It is clearer to say you are awareness itself (although be clear about the fact that any word you use to describe what you are is an image on that screen including the word "awareness).

So why is there so much seeking for awareness if awareness is always and already here? Awareness, when it is fully recognized to be what you really are, contains within it relentless love, compassion, humility, and peace. This draws "us" into a spiritual search for what we already are. Seeking is based on a misperception that is naturally corrected when it is realized that what we are seeking is what is seeking. Awareness is looking for itself. It tends to look in every object that appears on its screen. In that way, it misses the simple and obvious recognition that awareness is what is looking right now (and always). It never leaves. It is what you already are. The search itself is a complete illusion. The search arises in awareness. If you look closely, the search is comprised mostly of thoughts about future, fueled by a sense of lack. These thoughts arise in awareness. The thoughts will never find anything called “spiritual awakening.” Awareness itself is already awake. All that can happen is a recognition of that which is already awake.

Perhaps the most compassionate thing this website or any other website, book, or pointer can do is point you to what you already are and then help you see that the pointer itself is merely an object appearing in what you are. This is so subtle it is often overlooked. Words like “awareness” and “presence” are objects appearing in what they are pointing to. There is a tendency of mind to believe that the word is the thing it describes. The word is never the thing it describes. Relentless compassion includes not only pointing you to what you are, but also deconstructing the very concepts used to point. This entire page of pointers is nothing more than phenomena arising in what you are. The words “what you are” are phenomena arising in the actuality of what you are. No one owns awareness. The notion of a person, as well as the notion of ownership, arise is the actuality of what you are. Nothing that can be said here or anywhere else is the truth of who you are. You are not a description.

If there is a tendency to intellectualize this message in any way, just notice the tendency. Notice what is looking. What is looking is awareness. The intellectualizing appears in awareness. It may be helpful to take a moment and suspend thinking completely. Simply look without thinking. Drop the intellectualizing about spirituality completely and notice the space that transcends and includes all duality. There is a simple feeling of being that the space reveals. That space is fully awake. Simply notice that awakeness. It is who you are.

Be careful with the word awareness, or any other words used to point for that matter, because language is naturally dualistic. The moment there is some attachment to a word like awareness, there is a risk of believing that the objects that appear in awareness are somehow separate from the awareness. Duality itself is illusory. Every form, including every word (that includes the word "awareness") is a temporary appearance that is not independent from awareness itself. The distinction between the various forms as well as between awareness and its objects is illusory. The forms are empty just as awareness is empty. Not seeing this creates a dualistic split in which there is identification with the idea that you are awareness and that the appearances in awareness (the forms) are separate from what you are.

If seeking or intellectualizing about spirituality arises again after you do this, then come back to that restful state of no thought. Do it over and over if you have to. At some point it dawns on you that what you are is not a concept. You are not even the greatest pointer you’ve ever heard. If you have read really rich spiritual writing or pointers from some brilliant teacher or sage, none of those words are who you are. Be clear about that. Once that clarity is revealed, you see that what you are is appearing as absolutely everything, that includes every form, idea, belief, interpretation, frog, squirrel, wall, building, and river.

Scott Kiloby

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