Category Archives: AWARENESS

Too smart for your own good?

albert-einstein-miracle-quote

There are so many people, that are so smart — so knowledgeable about what is going on in the world (or other important topics); but at the same time, they have allowed their brilliant mind to paint them in a corner. They fully acknowledge the power of knowledge, but they have completely forgotten the power of a miracle.

“Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar.”
– Pablo Picasso

We could say that religion diluted and twisted the use of the word miracle, to use it to their benefit. Most religions paint a picture that miracles happen through God (a god they labeled and created), or through their religion, or through some dogmatic concept. As a result, many people lump miracles in with religion and think that both religion & miracles have little to no merit. Some scientists have also influenced people’s view of the word miracle, they have trivialized it or view it as hogwash. For them, because they can’t fully comprehend it and because it can’t be repeated over and over and over (and predicted), it simply doesn’t exist. How many things have happened for you that you couldn’t fully understand, or that you couldn’t repeat or predict? I find that life is full of unexplainable and unpredictable situations and things. Life itself is a great example. “Why are we here?” seems to be an unanswerable question, even for the brightest mind.

albert-einstein-lifeI think that the best way to form an opinion about something is to get to know it personally. To meet it in life, to experience it firsthand. Not by writings or findings by others, not by data or theories or tradition, but to see it with your own eyes, or feel it through your own body. For it to happen to you, while you are fully aware.

When I look at my life, I can see so many miracles. Things that happened that seemed impossible initially. Things I couldn’t predict or create. Things that I or others said “no way” — that later happened with ease. No crazy work or insane pushing and pulling to cause massive change or to make something happen, just a steady flow in the right direction. Sometimes that flow starts with small consistent steps, sometimes that flow happens by simply getting out of the way (which usually means, getting your mind out of the way). In either case, without us dominating or manipulating a situation — things happen. Incredible things.

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control.”
– Albert Einstein

I personally think that in years to come (maybe many — but eventually) people will fully embrace miracles. They will be able to tune into them and work with life’s flow & power. This is a quote from Why Science Can’t Accept Miracles (Even if They Really Exist):“Since earliest times, people had regarded lightning as supernatural. Benjamin Franklin showed that lightning was electricity and furthermore devised a way to control it. For the first time, a phenomenon went from supernatural, not just to natural, but to something controllable by humans.”

When I say miracles, I’m not speaking to any specific ones. I’m definitely not speaking to any biblical ones, or any based in tradition, or mythology, or storytelling. I’m just addressing: the things that happen just in time; the things that happen when all hope is lost; the things that happen so perfectly that they seem intentional; the things that seem to only make sense in hindsight; the things that make us scratch our heads; the things that make us humble; the things that make us give thanks with full gratitude. If you are familiar with any of those things, that is what I am referring to.

Albert-Einstein-HappyIt does take a certain amount of awareness to experience or acknowledge miracles. Being on autopilot, being distracted or constantly busy, feeling your life only happens according to the ‘facts’ you learned in school, thinking that you always have bad luck, and great things or easy solutions only happen to other people, living from a place of preoccupation with fear or cynicism — all of those will bring down your level of awareness, and will cloud or dull your abilities to see/feel/hear in subtle, yet very powerful ways. Also, instead of experiencing the depth of a multidimensional existence or multidimensional reality, you might dwell in a boxed-in one-dimensional mindset, which creates your sense of reality and limits you.  Like the Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”

I’ve met many people that say they have no idea how to follow their intuition or to listen to their gut. I’ve also encountered people that question why adverse things happen to them over and over again. I think both challenges have to do with a level of awareness. Being still and going deeper, practicing more expansive hearing/seeing/feeling, learning to make space for subtle sounds and clues to be acknowledged — all are very important. When subtle feelings or clues go unnoticed or unheard for too long, they can turn into something very dangerous and alarming. Often, health scares were present as subtle clues, long before they turn into life threatening situations that can take over one’s life — or take one’s life altogether! The same goes for relationships. Minor problems unacknowledged (unheard/unseen) early on, turn into major unavoidable problems that can take a lifetime to fix, or can end relationships forever.

  “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. ”
– Albert Einstein

The state of our planet is another example. Our level of awareness was (and still is) minimal. We didn’t see/hear/feel what we were doing to ourselves or to the planet early on. The result is, eventually it will be alarming (it is already in many ways.) It will change our lives drastically and take a lifetime to fix, or …we’ll just be wiped out eventually. Humanity will be a thing of the past, as the planet goes on and heals itself without us. But if we were more subtle, more sensitive, more aware, more observant early on, in the early stages, we might have changed the way we were being to avoid the mess that we are in now. But then again, it takes a certain level of awareness. And again, miracles could happen at the very-very last minute to our benefit. But one never knows.

“We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.”
– Ray Bradbury

I don’t recommend waiting for miracles, and I don’t recommend dismissing them either. A healthy sense of balance between the subtle and unsubtle is all I think it takes for one to live powerfully. (It’s like being a perfect balance of spirit and form.) I think taking action (small steps consistently) and living with a sense gratitude for everything, is very helpful and very transformational. As well as, practicing being still. Slowing down (the body and mind, this includes all fears). Making and taking time to just be. Practicing hearing/seeing/feeling, learning to make space for subtle sounds and clues. All that I mentioned are excellent ways we can raise our level of awareness. Our culture is so dominated with loud sounds, constant movie watching, video game playing, TV viewing, as well as, shopping, eating, socializing and working in excess — that one rarely has a chance to get still or just be. To be quiet and to listen, not only to the subtle sensations that are there, but to the clues, answers, or gifts that are being given everyday.

We can sometimes be so preoccupied, so programed, so afraid, so hasty, that we can simply gloss-over everything — even our own life. Including all of the once-in-a-life-time opportunities that come with it. We are living in a very interesting time. Things seems to be happening faster than ever. And as a result, I believe that people are learning and adapting faster.  I’m very excited about all of it. If there was any time to think that miracles exist, now would be a good one. If there was any time to get humble and ‘tune in’ to the existing power of that which can’t be predicted or explained, now is a good time. But regardless, one can always benefit from a bit of unlearning. Abandoning old pattens that no longer serve one’s life, as well as moving from a heavy way of thinking and being, to a lighter more refreshing one. Being open and flexible not only feels good, but it can make space for amazing things to happen — inside and out. Enjoy how expansive your mind and your life can be. Try it, and see what happens.

[This blog post was originally written and published in June 2013, but I thought it would be good to share again. Sometimes revisiting old blog posts are great reminders. Living with more awareness is something I always need to be reminded of.]

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I have a question…

i have a question _

I often feel guilt for being who I am. It’s something that I’ve struggled with for many years. I wrote this email to a friend, earlier in the week:

From: aimeelovesyou
Sent: Wed 4/15/15 12:20 PM
To: SK

I often feel so much guilt. I have for years. Guilt for not making better use of my talents; Guilt for sometimes not wanting to go through the monotony of life; Guilt for abusing my body in the past; Guilt for not saying what I feel or guilt for hurting people’s feelings when I do; Guilt for not being more grateful for all the love & luck I have in my life. There is much more that I could mention — but it’s basically a resistance to life. Some sort of internal struggle or fight. I am not embracing, accepting or allowing what is. I’m turning it into something good/bad/right/wrong/better/worse. And none of it matters. None of it’s real. Real beingness is effortless. It feels like spaciousness and unconditional love. It feels open, indifferent and empty, yet intimate, and timeless. I know it. I am it. But only between the words, and only in moments of spontaneous allowing (non-resistance).

Each year of my life I feel like I allow more, and struggle less. But there is still a fight. Still a part of me that goes kicking and screaming. Still a part of me that refuses to allow, and looks for a way to shake things, until they settle in a formation that suits me better. The effort it takes to control or fight life, is the very thing that prevents one from living it fully.

It’s like being on the floor, sweaty and bloody, with your opponent, side by side. Completely spent, completely vulnerable. Looking at each other in exhaustion. Feeling foolish for having expended all that energy in the fight. In that state of surrender, what the fight was about is immediately forgotten, and completely irrelevant. At that moment, one can experience the bliss and effortless of being. The joy of just being with what is. Accepting that one is only fighting life itself — which is who and what we are.

I’m babbling. ;) But I just wanted to share my thoughts. To accept all that is. To allow myself to be me, and life to be life (which is also me). I’ll have to ponder this more, and maybe turn it into a blog post. ;) For now, I’m just going to focus on having an effortless day, full of life living life.

Love,
A.

Shortly after that email, I received two emails in the same vein, from two different friends. They were not related in any way, had no idea what I was feeling or communicating earlier that day, and live on opposite sides of the USA. One email was about an ‘inner light’ and acceptance. The other email was about embracing vulnerability. My life is often synchronistic in this way. Whenever I open, and become vulnerable and true to myself, the Universe sends me flowers. It sends me messages and signs. Confirmation that I am on the right path.

After spending more time on guilt, and why I find it challenging to truly embrace myself — which is to embrace life. A few things came to mind. Why do I make myself wrong so much? Why do I always view myself as ‘the bad guy’? I think I do this because I see myself wanting different things than most people (obviously we all want to be happy and loved, but we choose different ways to address that need — my way is often considered odd). Living in a way that’s not the norm. Thinking things that aren’t necessarily mainstream.

There is a quote that comes to mind: “If everybody likes what you are doing, you’re doing it wrong.” (I’m not sure who the author of that quote is. It’s seems unknown.)

I wouldn’t say wrong — I would say why? Why are you doing things just like everyone else?

Instead of feeling guilty for the choices I make, I should question myself: Who gave me the idea of how things should be done? Where did I learn it?

I question what it means to be a friend.

I question what it means to be a lover/partner.

I question what it means to be an artist.

I question what it means to be a family member.

I question what it means to be loving.

I question what it means to be compassionate.

I question what it means to be loyal.

I question what it means to be honest.

I question what it means to be human.

I question what it means to be alive.

I question what it means to be me.

Is it possible that I can create my own definition of those words? Could I not love people in my own way? Could I not be an artist in my own way? Could I not be a friend or family member in my own way? And if I did, and I fully accepted myself….. Would I ever feel guilty for being me? The question itself sounds absurd. I’ll have to question myself more often. To remind myself that life is not a program. And being human doesn’t have to be a blueprint we follow.

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The World Is Yours: Alan Watts

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Igor Kufayev : Aesthetic Rapture

Igor Kufayev
Aesthetic Rapture CeremonyAesthetic RaptureAesthetic Rapture Tea

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The Question Shaping Your Life

question shaping your life

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post titled On Your Best Day. As I was pondering and researching the idea of changing my daily routine, I came across something that seems to follow me. It’s basically a mix of quotes that have been sprinkled under my nose over the last decade. The general idea of the quotes are; that your life is based on the question you are currently asking. I’ve heard it said in many ways, and not all of the ways are related to each other, but in my mind it has coalesced into a uniform idea. I’ll take two authors and quote them, just to give you an example. Then I’ll make my summation of how it fits into my head and thinking.

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”Thomas Pynchon

“If you want a better quality of life, ask a better question.”Tony Robbins

I prefer Robbins’ quote over Pynchon’s, simply because it points inward instead of outward. Both authors suggest that your reality and life is shaped by the questions you are asking.

This is an example, it’s a drastic one, but an example. There was a man in a Nazi concentration camp. He watched his family being murdered, most of them gassed, one of them shot. Being the only one from his family left, he was certain that if he stayed in the camp, he would follow suit and die. But unlike most of the people around him, he asked a different question. The question he asked was, “How do I get out of here today?” He continued to ask the question in his mind until the right answer was presented to him. All day he entertained the question, phrasing it in various ways. Half a day passed until he finally got the answer he was looking for. He looked up and saw a huge pile of naked corpses. They were all thrown on the back of a truck inside of the compound. Instead of asking the question “How could Nazis be so heartless?” or “How could God create such evil?”, he asked a different question. He asked, “How could I use this?” “How could I use this to escape?” He immediately got the answer. Without hesitation he ripped off his clothes, dove into the pile of corpses, and pretended that he was dead. He stayed absolutely still for hours as more bodies were being tossed onto the truck. Eventually the truck departed the camp, it was making its way to an open grave site. After the truck dumped the bodies, he remained in the pile until the night became completely dark. When he was certain that no one would see him escape, he ran naked to freedom.

On that day, the only difference between him and other people in his same situation was that he asked a more empowering question. His question presented opportunities and changed the course of his life. The questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis do the same for us.

In a nutshell; if you want to change your reality, change your focus. If you want to change your focus, change the question you are asking.

So what kind of questions should we be asking? According to Tony Robbins, he believes we should consider the following; Does our question create new possibilities? Does our question empower or disempower us? Is our question focusing on the solution instead of the problem? Does the question inspire us and move us to action? Does our question make us responsible and give us the power to make a change? Does the question teach us anything useful? Does our question empower those around us?

As I say in most of my blog posts, awareness is always the first step in transformation and lasting change. Starting today, just notice yourself. Notice what questions pop into your mind. Catch yourself asking “why me” questions (which are the most disempowering and worst type of questions one can ask). Catch questions based on Pynchon’s quote, where the media & government have cow herded you into asking useless questions. Notice if your questions are based on scarcity thinking or obsessing over money. Notice if your questions are body fixated, or preoccupied with the ideal home or car. Notice if your questions place a lot of blame, or are centered around what other people should or shouldn’t do. Don’t immediately change any of this, just notice it. Then slowly begin to shift these questions back to yourself, asking yourself to be empowered and to take responsibility. It’s a matter of noticing what you are focusing on and changing your focus.

Life is always a process, whether it’s redesigning your day or asking better questions. It’s all the same. It’s learning as you go along and making necessary changes as you get in touch with your personal power. This power is your intuitive self. The self that is unchanging and connected to the source that is Life itself. When people have ah-ha moments, or they do something unimaginable, or they witness something that leaves them in awe, or when super-strength seems to come from nowhere — they have tapped into something that is always there. It’s just a matter of awareness. In moments when there is a timeless stillness within us, something magical happens. We experience the phenomenon that is life. We are that phenomenon. But sometimes we forget. And it’s OK to be reminded. That’s why life is an ever-unfolding ever-expanding process. How powerful and amazing is that?! I’ll leave you with that question.

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Tao Te Ching & Nisargadatta Maharaj

Tao Te Ching Nisargadatta Maharaj

There are two approaches, or two views, you can even say two books, that sum up what I innately know; Tao Te Ching and I Am That, or you can say the views of Lao Tzu and Nisargadatta Maharaj. When I teach mediation, I reference them, or when I want to be reminded of what I know to be true, they both bring me to clarity and balance. They instantly answer any problem, any confusion, and any disharmony I could ever have. Even though one is from the 6th century BC, written by a sage — and the other is from the 1970s, written by a beedis (leaf-rolled cigarettes) shop keeper — they both speak similarly to the same unspeakable truth. They both communicated something beyond words in a way that is supreme.

Below I will list quotes by both Nisargadatta and Lao Tzu (also spelled Laozi and LaoTze). As you read the quotes, feel the finely balanced infinitesimal thread they dance upon. It’s the thread of complete surrender and unconditional love. To most of us, it’s the invisible thread that is rarely seen. The one we seem to trip over, in a clumsy manor on our worst days. Usually suffering, pain and death bring us the eyes to see what is always there. But anguish is not needed to be reminded of true wisdom. One only needs to see, and be reminded of what they already know, but have forgotten.

Tao_Te_Ching_Lao_Tzu

“To understand the limitation of things, desire them.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.”  ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial. If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked. If you want to become full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“When there is no desire, all things are at peace.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“The Tao is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds. It is always present within you. You can use it any way you want.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Nisargadatta_portrait

“In order to let go of something, you must first know what it is.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj

“All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be, are longing for happiness. Basically, you wish yourself well …desire by itself is not wrong. It is life itself, the urge to grow in knowledge and experience. It is choices you make that are wrong. To imagine that some little thing; food, sex, power, fame — will make you happy is to deceive oneself. Only something as vast and deep as your real Self can make you truly and lastingly happy.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj

“The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj

“It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet, you just find your way between. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj

“You will receive everything you need when you stop asking for what you do not need.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj

“You have put so much energy into building a prison for yourself. Now spend as much on demolishing it. In fact, demolition is easy, for the false dissolves when it is discovered.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’ Between the two, my life flows.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Russell Brand: The Trews

russell brand the trews

I stopped watching the news years ago. I began avoiding it in the late 90s, and then more stringently (including magazines, newspapers, etc.) when I started to live a more bubble-like existence starting in 2002. So at this point, it’s probably been almost 25 years since I’ve followed the news. But recently, that has changed. About 5 months ago I stumbled across Russell Brand‘s, The Trews. It’s his take on the current news. After all these years, I finally found a news outlet that resonates with me. An outlet that isn’t puppet-like, manipulative, fear mongering or ruthlessly depressing. But one with a blunt sense of humor, that takes a closer look at what is happening in the world. I’ve been a subscriber to Russell Brand’s Youtube channel, and have enjoyed many of the episodes of The Trews.

The Trews Introduction:

Obama’s Bombs:

End The Monarchy:

Naked Celebrity Photo Leak:

The Apple Watch:

Robin Williams Suicide:

David Cameron & ISIS:

Link to subscribe to Russell Brand’s The Trews: http://tinyurl.com/opragcg

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