The Gift of Life

 

I asked for strength, and challenge befell
I wanted to know love, and I needed to learn about death

Ask and receive
Yet know, the world works in mysterious ways

The gift of life is a surprise
If only we could see if with clear eyes

The truth is, every moment is a flower, each blossoming is a unique phenomena
Never to be repeated

Each moment is a new

Every time a flower blossoms is a celebration
It is a surprise, that each day the sun rises
One day it may not
That is reality

You are living
This is a gift

each moment of your existence is unique
Why then does life lose its flavour?
Why do we not react to life as if each moment is special?
Why is each and every flower that blossoms not celebrated as a miracle?

How does one return to their original nature? When life was a great mystery
How does one embody a human who is fully switched on to life
They must be present and aware
Open and receiving to life
All of life…as it is
The moment one does not accept life as it is, they create a resistance in themselves to the natural flow of existence
When we do not accept life, we fight against it
We cloud our vision
We move away from the truth, from true seeing
Life is as it is, not as we wish it to be

How does one return to freedom?
Freedom from judgment, shame, and guilt
They allow themselves to be

You are free
So long as you choose to be

When we move beyond judgement, we become a witness
It is from being a witness of thoughts, emotions, and sensations that we see them for what they are
They are the stream of energy, we call life
When we simply witness it without judgement, we allow it to be as it is, not as we wish it would be
Without attachment, thoughts, emotions, and sensations move like water
To accept life, is to be with it
It is to be with whatever is moving
Part of this human incarnation -this human experience- is a range of emotions
From sadness, to give depth
To Joy, to give height
We become expanded beings as we reach too great heights and great depth

Part of this process of existence in a human body is to die

We are aware that we will die
That we will leave this body we call home

To accept life, is to accept death – without resistance –
Wisdom traditions around the world have created systems of meditation to deal with this most basic fact
When we accept our death, we are free

The gift of life is precious
As I sit in gratitude, I am humbled to know that ~150,000 people will pass on from this earth each night
150,000 families will lose someone they love
And 360,000 people will be born into this human existence
There are 7.2 billion on the planet
And our dear earth has enough to feed us all
There are an estimated 963 million people who go without food

Who am I?
Why am I on this planet, orbiting the sun, in a bed of stars?
Why are we here?
To grow, eat, reproduce, and die?
What about love?

Questions are never answered
They are guiding lights

Want to change your life?
Ask good questions

Ask yourself, why am I grateful in this moment?
And this one
And this one
What does it feel like to be grateful?

We can never get answers, because life is not made purely of language
Life is experience
You cannot know life through language, like you can know wetness through the word water
You cannot know love by reading about it, you must feel it in your being
Love cannot be spoken of
Not in prose
Not even in poetry

Love must be felt
Love can awaken every cell in your body
Yet, they don’t advertise that on TV

Love is a gift
For you to find, in your own heart
Then share it with the world
What a gift it is, to have love within us
What a gift it is to know life
To live this human incarnation, from birth to death

What a mystery.

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Gratitude and Liberation

Gratitude
 
Gratitude is a state of receptivity
 
It is a state of:
Surrender & letting go
 
Gratitude is an openness to receive
 
Because gratitude is a state of surrender and letting go, it involves moving out of one’s own way
 
It is a meditation
 
The way most people approach meditation and gratitude is to try and Do it. They effort their way into it.  The effort is pure, but the practice is ill-guided. Meditation and gratitude are not goal orientated, there is nothing to achieve.  They are simply processes one can become aware of.
 
The funny thing is that you can technically effort your way into meditation and gratitude, but it’s a long winded way. The way to do it is to try reaaaaally hard to meditate.  It is to buy all the crystals, change your name to ananda, and go to Himalyans.  The way to do it is to effort so hard with the will and mind to become grateful, and at some point you’ll try so hard you’ll finally give up and surrender and enter into true letting go. Then there is meditation, then there is gratitude. 
 
This is the way I see many patterns of meditation, gratitude, spiritual practice, and breathwork. It’s representational of The Western World’s way of being in the world. We are Doers. The ancestors of the West are the bold doers who got on a boat an sailed to a new land to start a new life. The culture we have created is one tilted toward the Doing mode of being in the world. 
 
It is beautiful.  Look what we have created.
 
Yet, there is opportunity to step back, and enter into greater balance by inviting in some receptivity.
 
‘All work and no play, make jack a dull boy’
 
‘A time to work and a time to rest’
 
Rest does not mean work all day, then go effort in the gym or on the mountain or at any other activity and then rest all night. 
 
There are 3 types of rest: Active rest, like qigong or walking, where the parasympathetic nervous system is active.  Passive rest, like meditation or sitting and fishing in a pond. And total rest, which is sleep.
 
By introducing more rest into one’s life, there is a more optimal balance of energy.  Seemingly paradoxically creating more energy. 
 
When we forget to take time to rest, we don’t activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us rest, digest, and repair our body and keep our nervous system balanced.  When we are out of balance we put ourselves af risk for disease. 
 
When we do not take time to be receptive to life, to take a step back and listen, we miss out on the depth of life, lived in the moment.
 
Doing mode says, life has a purpose, the ends justify the means.
 
Being mode says, life is purposeless art, each moment is eternal, here and now is a precious flower, blossoming with beauty and rapture for those who sit in its presence
 
Questions to ask? Am I always doing something?
 
Do I make time to listen to life?  To become receptive? to be Grateful?
 
Am I trying to achieve something in my meditation? Am I chasing experiences of bliss?
 
I’ve had dozens of experiences fasting in the forest, going to the jungles of Peru, Costa Rica, heading to great land of Bali, and reaching all manner of far out blissful and psychedelic states of consciousness. But there all just experiences, and you can go on chasing them, as I once did, thinking I was achieving something. There will always be another medicine circle, or spiritual practice to chase, thinking you have gained something. Yet, these are all things you Do, you do them to receive.  Yet at some point, there is an opportunity to learn that we don’t need to effort to surrender. This is when we stop doing meditation, and our lives become meditative.
 
When I stopped Doing meditation I began to sit with life.  All of life. In kind, loving, mindful awareness. I realized I had been chasing pleasure, and avoiding pain. When I became truly receptive to life, I began to sit with my pain, and observe it, with curiosity.
 
The pain never disappeared.  If anything it can more pronounced as I allowed myself to be with it. Yet, as I gave into it, It lost its power over me. 
 
When we are no longer motivated to avoid pain and seek pleasure, we step into our power. 
 
When I stopped Doing meditation, I began to sit with life.  All of life. In kind, loving, mindful awareness. I realized I had been chasing pleasure, and avoiding pain. When I became truly receptive to life, I began to sit with my pain, and observe it, with curiosity.
 
The pain never disappeared.  If anything it became more pronounced as I allowed myself to be with it. Yet, as I gave into it, It lost its power over me. 
 
When we are no longer motivated to avoid pain and seek pleasure, we step into our power. 
 
Liberation is freedom.  It is a place beyond pain and pleasure, the eternal ties of this human incarnation.  When there is liberation, pain and pleasure do not disappear, the Buddha wept, Jesus raged, lama Yeshe struggled as he died.  Liberation is not about going beyond being human, it means being fully human.
 
It is a state of non-resisting. It is a state of complete acceptance of life, which allows one’s eyes to see life clearly, to see truth. In order to get to this state of non-resisting, one must surrender to the process of life, one must let go. Yet as discussed is the beginning of this article, the whole spiritual game, and much of its activity is based on effort and Doing.  It’s beautiful, in the way that comedy and tragedy are lovers.
 
here’s the punchline, life is an eternal process.  Without beginning, middle, or end. Remember, Doing mode, are ends and means, it is based in time. Being mode is eternal. Which means you can spend your whole life, you can spend 10000 lives Doing, you can spend them chasing pleasure and avoiding pain, this is samsara.  And one day, you will let it all go, and enter into simply Being with all that is, here and now, in this eternal moment.
 
You’ll have nothing to do but laugh. You’ll laugh, like those statues of laughing buddha. You’ll laugh like the rascal sage of zen, Bodhidarma laughs.  You’ll laugh with your whole body, like Sadghuru laughs. You’ll laugh like Alan Watts laughs. Because you’ll realize there was nothing you could have done or not done, the individual effort and Doings you thought were necessary were a way of resisting letting go
 
In the end, you simply surrendered, you let go.
 
It gets funnier …
 
Upon letting go, you realize it was never you, there was no Individual and separate “I”  that needed to let go.  It was all a dream.  You were dreaming to be separate from the process of life, and not the whole. You were dreaming to be John doe, who lives on 22nd street, who mows his lawn and drives to work. You were dreaming to be a clerk, a painter, or a saviour of the world. All are ego.
 
When you awaken, you will still be a clerk.  You will still have emotions, highs and lows, pain and pleasure. Yet they will not pin you in patterns or guide you. This is freedom.  Free from Karma.  When you awaken you will no longer be pressured to save the world and do good things and avoid bad things.  If good things arise, they will blossom from out of your own heart. When you awaken, your life will blossom from the center, like a seed awakens into a flower.  You will flower and grow, as all of life grows, from the inside out. No longer a hungry ghost, seeking sustenance from outside of oneself, no longer incomplete, seeking wholeness, you are the whole. 
 
When one awakens to the truth of reality, they realize there is nothing to do.  And yet, you are still in the world, in Taoism they call this effort-less action Wu Wei. You still have an identity, yet you are not tied to this identity.  When one enters this mode of being in the world they are bound to become peculiar, because they live in the world, but not of this world. There is an aloofness, that is palpable in the air. it’s similar to when you hang out with an infant, and feel free, knowing that the infant is not judging you, they are simply there with you, wholly present.
 
freedom is accessible to each and every person. The gift of life is available, here in now, in the present…it does not ask you do anything to achieve it, it simply asks you are present to receive it.
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Love is an Imperfect Dance

Our four feet shift across the smooth wooden floor.
Her blond hair has its way with the wind as she twirls.
It’s a beautiful dance
Step back,
now step into me.
Our bodies begin to ignite, our eyes make love as the music moves through us.
Two bodies, two beings, dancing as one.
Then in an instance we are broken, my foot twirl as I’m supposed to twist, I’ve lost the rhythm and we stopped moving with elegance.
A bird loses its wing.
She just smiles and chuckles through her eyes. -She’s too kind to laugh out loud-
till I do.
And soon enough we’re holding our bellies bellowing joy and we are one once more.
A bird learns to fly.
We are dancing
It is an imperfect dance
We both play our roles, I’ll take you as you are because my heart chose you, not my mind.
What other way should we move?
There are no mistakes in life, not every seed that falls free from the tree is meant to be.
If it was, then it would be.
There are those who see the world as it is, and those who see the world as they wish it could be.
The ladder never know deep intimate love.
Love is messy.
It’s 4 a.m. fighting, then It’s making Love as the sun rises.
It’s an imperfect dance,
yet all of creation moves this way.
Love is the story of creation.
It has three parts.
The creation, the maintenance, and the destruction.
It’s a cycle, you cannot cling to it, and you cannot resist it anymore than you can prevent the day turning into night.
Love has no rules.
You can say your vows, you can stay up all night with the light on pretending the sun is shining, but creation will continue creating.
You will love, and you will lose.
Life is as it is, not how you wish it would be.
See the beauty in it.
If love never changed, what a bore.
Love knows nothing of security. Life is not about security.
Love is like life, it can end at any minute
Your love is as volatile as a caged cornered lion.
To live in this awareness is to keep love fresh.
To live in this awareness is to keep your soul vital.
If you’re not ready to give up everything that you are and merge into the messy center of another Soul, then you’re playing surface games.
Love is the most precious gift a person can receive.
It is sacred when it is total. This love, is not common, for millions marry each other each second, and this is not necessarily love.
Love is not premeditated and planned
It falls upon you like grace
To know true love is to be transformed, it is a kind of transcendence of the soul.
In this way, love is a kind of death, a death of the small self, for love dissolves the boundaries of one into another.
Love is like death
There’s no way to know when you will die.
You need not know.
Love knows no bounds
love is patient, love is kind
love can also be a little bitch that will tear your lungs out and leave you breathless.
If love was always cordial and kind, she would not be worth giving up everything for.
If love was too soft it would simply make love in the missionary position over and again
Love is sometimes soft, but love is also the Kama Sutra.
Love is dangerous. It knows no taboo, and knows nothing of the bounds of marriage, age or gender.
Love is kinky with bloodlust,
love will leave you lost and broken, but this life is an imperfect dance, and you will make mistakes, or you’ll sit on the side watching it all.
In the end life is as it is, and not how you wish it would be
Enough for today.

Life, Love, and Death

If I time this wrong the ocean waves will crash into me and call me back into the sea.
I can see panic and fear in the girl I’m with as she watches in the safety of the shore.
I know this was a dangerous idea, that’s why I did it.
The waves here are minute mountains that crumble on the shoreline rocks.
If you time it just right you can run between the breaking waves and venture into caves and onto tiny desolate Islands.
The tiny Island I am perched upon caught my eye from above.
My heart was set on it, and I follow my heart.
Making it here was graceful, the tides were in my favor.
But I wanted to meditate and rest on this unique place and surrender into mindspace.
But I lingered too long in the void and the tide came in.
Soon enough the waves are crashing over my Island and I’m left clinging as each wave tries to drag me into the deep blue.
The ocean mother is a giver of life, and a devour of her own children
Every dozen seconds I am bashed and beaten like a drum.
I’m struggling and she can see it.
We catch eyes and I cannot hide or lie, I am scared.
I have two options: I can try and predict when the two smaller waves will hit, then sprint between them, cling onto the rocks, and continue to dash between rocks praying a large wave doesn’t rip me out from under. Or I can try to climb the near vertical cliff and make it through the tenacious and prickly plants.
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I choose the former.
My adrenaline is punching, and there is no ease in my heart as it is pounds. Again and again, the waves pulse and roll over me. If I wait much longer I will be torn into the sea. I try and surrender to my body, but I’m pulled from my center.
“There’s no fucking small waves”. I begin to panic.
I looked over to my friend and I can see that she is praying
A dark cloud forms in my mind’s sky.
I can’t do this
I revert to option number two, and begin to climb the rock wall. Heights aren’t my Savvy, but neither is drowning. My body is fired with electrical energy, and I’m shaking as I reach my four limbs higher and higher. I reach a quiet spot near the top and I catch my breath.
You can’t buy this kind of silence
I look to my friend and I read her eyes, they scream, “I can’t believe I followed you on another one of your stupid adventures, if you make it out alive, I’m going to kill you.”
I can’t help but smile, and allow some joy to creep in.
I think to myself, “I didn’t put any sunscreen on, I’m probably going to burn.”
Life is a dark comedy
Tuning back into my situation I inspect my environment and my heart drops.
The ease is ripped away.
The final portion of the uppermost cliff is impossible to climb. This time, I think to myself, “just don’t look at her, she’s way too intuitive, she’ll read your fear like a book.
Fuck, I’ve wasted a lot of time, the tide is crawling in and my body is beginning to tire in this hot sun.”
I make up my mind, there’s one option, I know what I need to do. I climb down with meditative mindfulness. I reach my now tiny rock spire, and the first big wave that hits rips me from my grip and tosses me down onto a lower spire.
Like a wild animal I crawl on all fours and sink my claws back into the rock. I hug it like a lizard and look out into the sea. My eyes cannot see which waves are big or small they’re all tall terrors.
Every cell in my body becomes aroused and the message is clear
Now!
I leap from my rock and dive into the ocean. My mind is 2 ft in front of me, I see only success. Holding my breath I find a surface to hold as the next wave bites me and rips my legs towards the ocean’s dark mouth. My body is pulled out to sea but my will to live is strong and I hold onto the rock. The water vacuums and I’m left with some space to hustle to the next rock. A large wave hits but does no damage. I make one last run and then I’m safe.
I laugh.
I laugh from my belly for all to hear.
For what else can you do?
I run to hug and hold my friend and she returns my gesture but not my emotion.
My heart is calm and hers is still pounding.
We make love on the beach as the waves crash down all around.
The greatest moments of life are lived in death’s shadow.
Death -the unknown- impregnates life with meaning.
Your life is momentary, you live and you die, forget this and fall into a deep sleep.
Live in the awareness of death and awaken.
You have 37 trillion cells.
37 trillion centers of awareness, each a separate ‘I am’, and in moments of danger, and in deep love and passion, every one of your cells becomes awakened.
Live only in the soft security of mediocrity and your cells sleep.
Rest is good, routine is good, sleep is good. But rest only and you are already resting in peace, you have died before you have died. You have become a rock. Your heart is stone, it knows not love.
As we develop we pass through stages, a newborn becomes a child, a child a teen, Etc. In each of these stages there is a pressure to push qualities aside from the former stage to allow for new traits to emerge. When the child becomes an adult there’s a pressure to push aside play and to grow up and become mature. Yes, we must make room for new responsibilities, but the mistake is to lose the precious qualities of the former stage.
A sage never loses the wonder of a child.
He never loses the risk-taking of his teens.
He ages, but he never gets older, just wiser.
It’s sad to see an adult who is merely an adult. He has lost his play, he has lost his heart, he is in a deep sleep, he works, he reproduces, and then he dies.
He may design software, he may be married, but he is in a deep sleep. He has forgotten himself, he has forgotten love, and he passes his slumber onto his wife and his children.
He may crave romance, to dance, and to make love to a new woman, but he will not admit it to you, or even to himself. What is his truth, his desire, and his true emotions are guarded even from himself. They may surface in dreams, he may coax his desires with compulsions, he may even appear happy, but he lives in a cage.
He was born free, and he has imprisoned himself.
At one time society told him something and he listened, and now he is grown, he does not realize he’s keeping himself from waking up. He may meditate, he may pray. He will be in the churches, he will practice yoga, and do good deeds. He will teach spirituality, and he will do it all while sleeping, what a beautiful dream he is having, if only he could wake up and live it.
It does not matter what you do, or what you think you are. To know the Self is to know that you are not that. You think you are a king and you are a beggar. You think you are good and you are the devil. One of realization knows that he is not, he is not this, or that, he is free. One of realization has no religion or laws. Each moment he is awake, and each moment he makes a decision, there is no rule, no gita, he lives in the heart of the moment.
Religions push laws, for they keep society in balance.
One of realization sees the unity behind beyond Good and Evil. They are beyond duality. They see that there can be no black without white, no day without night, and no shadow without light.
Then why do so many realized beings do great good?
Some do. Some don’t.
It’s all perspective. The great do-gooders cause wars down the line. Good turns to bad, bad turns to good.
People of realization are free.
People of realization have so much to give because when your cup is full, you share it, it is a natural impulse. If your heart is full of a love which never ends you simply give it away and it makes no difference. You give it because you can, not because you have to, you simply give it away and it makes no difference. You give it because you can, not because it is law or because of karma. You are free. You have nothing to prove to yourself or others in this life, you have nothing to attain to. You are free and full, so you give, it is natural.
Those who pretend to love are lying, they are sleeping, they are dreaming that they are loving.
Honesty and Truth is the way.
Be authentic and allow love to blossom in you. You cannot effort and will yourself to love someone, don’t ever pretend, love is too precious to lie to. Look inside yourself, there is Love in your Heart, find it, water it, follow it where it leads you, whether that’s into dangerous shores near the ocean, or into a romance that will one day die. This is not religion, there is no path, no destination, no rules, just the faith to follow what moves you.
Enough for today

How to Find Timeless Bliss Through Yoga

Be present with all sensations that are moving through you

the body is the vehicle by which you experience bliss
turn in, tune in and be

Why? Throughout most your day there is a series of brain structures known as the Default Mode Network that are active

Functions of the Default mode network include:
– autobiographical memory
– giving a sense of time and space
– recursive thinking
– contemplations on self and other

The Default Mode Network is also involved in circular thinking, which is the habit we have to think in loops, and negativity bias, which is the notion that, even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than neutral or positive things.

The default mode has many other functions and research on it is still underway.

In a yoga class the default mode is of little value. If one is stuck comparing yourself to others, or the mind is moving in circular patterns, perhaps thinking about old memories, then one is not in yoga, one is not in union.

To reach union, one must tune deeply into their mind, body, emotion, and spirit as a unified field of awareness. Which is to say they must be wholly present in the sensation of being here and now as a stream of moment to moment awareness. If there is absolute atunement to the practice, then the default mode deactivates and the sense of being a separate self in time and space can fade, judgements of self and other can fade, the sensation of being a seperate self can simply fade. When the awareness of the separate self is released there is only bliss left, sat chit ananda.

When awareness is pure like a mirror, it reflects a beautiful emptiness; a void. The buddhist have a term for this void, they call it shunyata, and it means void, but not an empty void, it is the void from which all existence springs out of. Or like the void of genesis “Now the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Yoga is the way back
The way back to who you were before you had a name
The body is the vehicle to awaken
There is bliss at the center of your being
turn in, tune in, and be

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