Category Archives: awareness

Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

Call Me By My True Names

In Plum Village in France, we receive many letters from the refugee camps in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, hundreds each week. It is very painful to read them, but we have to do it, we have to be in contact. We try our best to help, but the suffering is enormous, and sometimes we are discouraged. It is said that half the boat people die in the ocean; only half arrive at the shores in Southeast Asia.

There are many young girls, boat people, who are raped by sea pirates. Even though the United Nations and many countries try to help the government of Thailand prevent that kind of piracy, sea pirates continue to inflict much suffering on the refugees. One day we received a letter telling us about a young girl on a small boat who was raped by a Thai pirate.

She was only twelve, and she jumped into the ocean and drowned herself. When you first learn of something like that, you get angry at the pirate. You naturally take the side of the girl. As you look more deeply you will see it differently. If you take the side of the little girl, then it is easy. You only have to take a gun and shoot the pirate. But we cannot do that. In my meditation I saw that if I had been born in the village of the pirate and raised in the same conditions as he was, I am now the pirate. There is a great likelihood that I would become a pirate. I cannot condemn myself so easily. In my meditation, I saw that many babies are born along the Gulf of Siam, hundreds every day, and if we educators, social workers, politicians, and others do not do something about the situation, in twenty-five years a number of them will become sea pirates. That is certain. If you or I were born today in those fishing villages, we might become sea pirates in twenty-five years. If you take a gun and shoot the pirate, you shoot all of us, because all of us are to some extent responsible for this state of affairs.

After a long meditation, I wrote this poem. In it, there are three people: the twelve-year-old girl, the pirate, and me. Can we look at each other and recognize ourselves in each other? The title of the poem is “Please Call Me By My True Names,” because I have so many names. When I hear one of these names, I have to say, “Yes.”

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second to be a bud on a spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,in order to fear and to hope, the rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river, and I am the bird which, when spring comes,arrives in time to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond, and I am also the grass-snake who,approaching in silence, feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks, and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate, and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands, and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people, dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life. My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills up the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,so I can hear all my cries and my laughs at once,so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up, and so the door of my heart can be left open, the door of compassion.

* * *

There is a Zen story about a man riding a horse that is galloping very quickly. Another man, standing alongside the road, yells at him, “Where are you going?” and the man on the horse yells back, “I don’t know. Ask the horse.” I think that is our situation. We are riding many horses that we cannot control. The proliferation of armaments, for instance, is a horse. We have tried our best, but we cannot control these horses. Our lives are so busy.

In Buddhism, the most important precept of all is to live in awareness, to know what is going on. To know what is going on, not only here, but there. For instance, when you eat a piece of bread, you may choose to be aware that our farmers, in growing the wheat, use chemical poisons a little too much. Eating the bread, we are somehow co-responsible for the destruction of our ecology. When we eat a piece of meat or drink alcohol, we can produce awareness that 40,000 children die each day in the Third World from hunger and that in order to produce a piece of meat or a bottle of liquor, we have to use a lot of grain. Eating a bowl of cereal may be more reconciling with the suffering of the world than eating a piece of meat. An authority on economics who lives in France told me that if only the people in Western countries would reduce the eating of meat and the drinking of alcohol by 50 percent, that would be enough to change the situation of the world. Only 50 percent less.

Every day we do things, we are things, that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our lifestyle, our way of consuming, of looking at things, we will know how to make peace right in the moment we are alive, the present moment. When we pick up the Sunday newspaper, for instance, we may be aware that it is a very heavy edition, maybe three or four pounds. To print such a paper, a whole forest may be needed. When we pick up the paper, we should be aware. If we are very aware, we can do something to change the course of things.

* * *

In my temple, I was the first monk to ride a bicycle. At that time, there were no gathas to recite while riding on a bicycle. We have to practice intelligently, to keep the practice up to date, so recently I wrote a gatha you can use before you start your car. I hope you will find it helpful:
Before starting the car,
I know where I am going.
The car and I are one.
If the car goes fast, I go fast.
Sometimes we don’t really need to use the car, but because we want to get away from ourselves, we go down and start the car. If we recite the gatha, “Before starting the car, I know where I am going,” it can be like a flashlight-we may see that we don’t need to go anywhere. Anywhere we go, we will have our self with us; we cannot escape ourselves. Sometimes it is better to turn the engine off and go out for a walking meditation. It may be more pleasant to do that.

It is said that in the last few years, two million square miles of forest land have been destroyed by acid rain, and that is partly because of our cars. “Before starting the car, I know where I am going,” is a very deep question. “Where shall I go? To my own destruction?” If the trees die, humans are going to die also. If trees and animals are not alive, how can we be alive?

“The car and I are one.” We have the impression that we are the boss, and the car is only an instrument, but that is not true. With the car, we become something different. With a gun, we become very dangerous. With a flute, we become pleasant. With 50,000 atomic bombs, humankind has become the most dangerous species on earth. We were never so dangerous as we are now. We should be aware. The most basic precept of all is to be aware of what we do, what we are, each minute. Every other precept will follow from that.

* * *

We have to look deeply at things in order to see. When a swimmer enjoys the clear water of the river, he or she should also be able to be the river. One day I was having lunch at Boston University with some friends, and I looked down at the Charles River. I had been away from home for quite a long time, and seeing the river, I found it very beautiful. So I left my friends and went down to wash my face and dip my feet in the water, as we used to do in our country. When I returned, a professor said, “That’s a very dangerous thing to do. Did you rinse your mouth in the river?” When I told him, “Yes,” he said, “You should see a doctor and get a shot.”

I was shocked. I didn’t know that the rivers here are so polluted. You may call them dead rivers. In our country the rivers get very muddy sometimes, but not that kind of dirt. Someone told me that there are so many chemicals in the Rhine River in Germany that it is possible to develop photographs in it. We can be good swimmers, but can we be a river and experience the fears and hopes of a river? If we cannot, then we do not have the chance for peace. If all the rivers are dead, then the joy of swimming in the river will no longer exist.

If you are a mountain climber or someone who enjoys the countryside, or the green forest, you know that the forests are our lungs outside of our bodies. Yet we have been acting in a way that has allowed two million square miles of forest land to be destroyed by acid rain. We are imprisoned in our small selves, thinking only of the comfortable conditions for this small self, while we destroy our large self. One day I suddenly saw that the sun is my heart, my heart outside of this body. If my body’s heart ceases to function I cannot survive; but if the sun, my other heart, ceases to function, I will also die immediately. We should be able to be our true self. That means we should be able to be the river, we should be able to be the forest, we should be able to be a Soviet citizen. We must do this to understand, and to have hope for the future. That is the non-dualistic way of seeing.

* * *

During the war in Vietnam we young Buddhists organized ourselves to help victims of the war rebuild villages that had been destroyed by the bombs.

Many of us died during service, not only because of the bombs and the bullets, but because of the people who suspected us of being on the other side. We were able to understand the suffering of both sides, the communists and the anti-communists. We tried to be open to both, to understand this side and to understand that side, to be one with them. That is why we did not take a side, even though the whole world took sides. We tried to tell people our perception of the situation: that we wanted to stop the fighting, but the bombs were so loud. Sometimes we had to burn ourselves alive to get the message across, but even then the world could not hear us. They thought we were supporting a kind of political act. They didn’t know that it was a purely human action to be heard, to be understood. We wanted reconciliation, we did not want a victory. Working to help people in a circumstance like that is very dangerous, and many of us got killed. The communists killed us because they suspected that we were working with the Americans, and the anti-communists killed us because they thought that we were with the communists. But we did not want to give up and take one side.

The situation of the world is still like this. People completely identify with one side, one ideology. To understand the suffering and the fear of a citizen of the Soviet Union, we have to become one with him or her. To do so is dangerous-we will be suspected by both sides. But if we don’t do it, if we align ourselves with one side or the other, we will lose our chance to work for peace. Reconciliation is to understand both sides, to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then to go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side. Doing only that will be a great help for peace.

During a retreat at the Providence Zen Center, I asked someone to express himself as a swimmer in a river, and then after fifteen minutes of breathing, to express himself as the river. He had to become the river to be able to express himself in the language and feelings of the river. After that a woman who had been in the Soviet Union was asked to express herself as an American, and after some breathing and meditation, as a Soviet citizen, with all her fears and her hope for peace. She did it wonderfully. These are exercises of meditation related to non-duality.

The young Buddhist workers in Vietnam tried to do this kind of meditation. Many of them died during service. I wrote a poem for my young brothers and sisters on how to die nonviolently, without hatred. It is called “Recommendation”:

Promise me,
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
promise me:
Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember, brother,
remember:
man is not our enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion-invincible, limitless, unconditional.Hatred will never let you facethe beast in man.

One day, when you face this beast alone, with your courage intact, your eyes kind,untroubled(even as no one sees them),out of your smilewill bloom a flower.And those who love youwill behold youacross ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.

Alone again,I will go on with bent head,knowing that love has become eternal.On the long, rough road,the sun and the moonwill continue to shine.

To practice meditation is to be aware of the existence of suffering. The first Dharma talk that the Buddha gave was about suffering, and the way out of suffering. In South Africa, the black people suffer enormously, but the white people also suffer. If we take one side, we cannot fulfill our task of reconciliation in order to bring about peace.

Are there people who can be in touch with both the black community and the white community in South Africa? If there are not many of them, the situation is bad. There must be people who can get in touch with both sides, understanding the suffering of each, and telling each side about the other. Are there people doing that kind of understanding and mediation and reconciliation between the two major political blocs on the earth? Can you be more than Americans? Can you be people who understand deeply the suffering of both sides? Can you bring the message of reconciliation?

* * *

You may not be aware that your country has been manufacturing a lot of conventional weapons to sell to Third World countries for their people to kill each other. You know very well that children and adults in these countries need food more than these deadly weapons. Yet no one has the time to organize a national debate to look at the problem of manufacturing and selling these deadly things. Everyone is too busy. Conventional weapons have been killing in the last thirty, forty, fifty years, very much. If we only think of the nuclear bombs that may explode in the future and do not pay attention to the bombs that are exploding in the present moment, we commit some kind of error. I believe President Reagan said that the U.S. has to continue to make conventional weapons to sell because if you don’t, someone else will and the U.S. will lose its interest. This is not a good thing to say. It is off course. This statement is just an excuse, but there are real factors that push him and push the whole nation to continue to manufacture conventional weapons to sell. For instance, many people will lose their jobs if they stop. Have we thought about the kind of work that will help these people if the weapons industry stops?

Not many Americans are aware that these weapons are killing people in the Third World every day. The Congress has not debated this issue seriously. We have not taken the time to see this situation clearly, so we have not been able to change our government’s policy. We are not strong enough to pressure the government. The foreign policy of a government is largely dictated by its people and their way of life. We have a large responsibility as citizens. We think that the government is free to make policy, but that freedom depends on our daily life. If we make it possible for them to change policies, they will do it. Now it is not yet possible. Maybe you think that if you get into government and obtain power, you can do anything you want, but that is not true. If you become president, you will be confronted by this hard fact. You will probably do just the same thing, a little better or a little worse.

Therefore we have to see the real truth, the real situation. Our daily lives, the way we drink, what we eat, has to do with the world’s political situation. Meditation is to see deeply into things, to see how we can change, how we can transform our situation. To transform our situation is also to transform our minds. To transform our minds is also to transform our situation, because the situation is mind, and mind is situation. Awakening is important. The nature of the bombs, the nature of injustice, the nature of the weapons, and the nature of our own beings are the same. This is the real meaning of engaged Buddhism.

Being Peace (1987) by Thich Nhat Hanh

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Dying in 6 Weeks

dying in 6 weeks

Just hear me out and take it seriously… but also, be light about it.

Imagine you are dying in exactly six weeks from this moment.

Get still, tune into your body. Feel what this plight would truly be like for you. Listen to whatever guidance and clarity might arise from a predicament where you are forced to take your life and fulfillment seriously.

Tune into your gut (or heart). What does it want for you? What does it consider more important than anything else? What does it crave for you? What does it want you to do or experience while you have the chance?

Please answer the questions below. Just let the answers flow. Don’t think deeply. Do not ponder or dwell at all. Just let answers quickly raise to the surface (without thinking, only feeling, let it be reflexive and automatic) and then immediately move on to the next question.

If you were to die in 6 weeks…

What time would you wake up tomorrow?

Where would you have slept?

What will you do as soon as you wake up?

What will you wear?

What will you eat for breakfast?

Would you exercise? If so, what type of exercise?

Would you ask anyone to join you? Or would you exercise alone?

What do you want to do today?

Would you spend most of your time indoors or outdoors?

What plans do you want to make for tomorrow? And the next day? This week? (You only have 5 more after that.)

What type of work will you do?

What would you make sure you got done?

Who are the people you would definitely need to see in person?

Who would you want to spend the most time with?

Who would you like to speak to? Even if it was only for a few minutes?

Is there anyone you would want to have a serious conversation with?

Is there anyone you would want to help?

Is there someone you’d like to ask to help you?

Are there any songs or music you would love to play/hear?

Are there any places or countries you would like to see?

Is there anything you would love to create or record?

Is there a message you would like to leave behind?

What would you like to be known for? How would you like to be remembered?

Are there any changes you’d like to make to your appearance or home or business?

Is there anything you would like to leave to someone?

Are there foods or drinks or restaurants you’d like to try?

Are there any classes you would love to take?

Is there anything you would like to give?

If someone asked you what you loved most about your life, what would you say?

If someone asked you at the end of your six weeks, if you regret anything — what would you love your answer to be?

:) I hope your answer would be a joyous “nothing”. That you did, saw, heard, tasted, felt and lived all that you wanted. That you gave all that you wanted to give.

Your life is yours to be loved and lived. Use it wisely.

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The Hidden Benefits

the hidden benefits

I thought Radu Antoniu did a great job on the video he recently made, so I wanted to share it with you.

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Rain -and- Shine

rain or shine

For two weeks I’ve been sitting on this point I want to make. I tried writing about it several times. I just keeping thinking about it and not being able to fully flesh out the idea. So instead of being stuck on it, I’m just going to share it. Here it goes…

We often hear the phrase Rain or Shine, it’s basically saying; it’s happening regardless of good or bad, ideal or undesirable. Which is a good thing. I like that idea. But why is it that after all these years, we can’t see that both exist at the same time? Life is always both at once. It’s only our thinking that makes the two feel separate and distinct. And of course that is totally okay and normal, but the problem is, it kind of f*cks up our lives at times. It causes us to be disappointed or feel victimized, or wonder why life could be so cruel and deal such bad hands. No one wants to play a game where they feel they will suffer or receive unfair treatment.

The other day I was walking home and I was looking at the mountains. It’s an amazing view, I wish I could share it with you right now. But see if you can imagine it. The southern Oregon mountain vista was vast, and it was peppered with trees dusted in white snow. In addition to that, there was a rolling stark white mist that looked like dense San Francisco fog. This white fluffy opaque mass masked much of the view. It made it seem as if there were no mountains, much in the same way that the clouds or moon can fully eclipse the sun. If I were only focused on the mist, I would not know that the mountains were right behind it.

When I was crying in the emergency room about my dog being ill recently, if someone were to tap me on my shoulder and say, “Aimee, wow, don’t cry or fear the situation. It will be resolved soon and everything will be okay. Help will eventually be on the way.” At that time, when I was so angry and distraught, I couldn’t see it. All I could see is what I was focusing on. And focusing on it only brought me more suffering, not solutions. It wasn’t until I changed my focus that things started to change for the better.

The same goes for people that were alone during Christmas Day. I was so happy to be alone! It meant that I could do whatever I wanted! But I knew people that told me Christmas Day was very sad for them, and they wished they could have spent the day with friends & family. I thought that was interesting; two people, same day, same situation, but one loved it and the other hated it. Nothing was different. Only our thinking was different. Only what we were focusing on was different. This is why experts advise people that are overweight to not focus on losing weight, but focus on a higher goal. Make it about something else — something more inspiring and empowering.

If you focus on being fat, and how sad or hard it might be to lose weight — you will get more of the same. I think the same would be the case for anyone lonely, broke or in trouble. If you focus on what you dread, it’s only going to bring you more of it. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Bringing it back to my main point, if you are broke, fat, sad or lonely — abundance, health, happiness and companionship do exist in the world. You just have to go out and connect with it! Just like the mountains existed beyond the clouds, or hope existed for me in the emergency room. It was there! It was simply hidden, but it could have been seen if I changed my focus or investigated a bit further.

Another point I want to make is… If you want to shine, you have to go through the rain — literally! Life isn’t always easy, it’s not supposed to be! If we stop thinking in polar opposites, or in a constant state of duality, life would be so much easier. Because we would stop being so hard on ourselves and so hard on life.

No one ever did anything great (or anything gorgeously human) without risk — without rolling up their sleeves and getting all up in it! You have to get up and get in life’s face. You have to challenge it. You have to see what is behind the clouds. We forget that each day of our lives we are at risk. Nothing is ever a given — ever. Tomorrow everything could be different, or over.

We are vulnerable. It’s what makes us so exciting. Think of a rose or a fine meal, or a shooting star, or a baby’s laugh — it’s magical because it’s transitory. Just like our lives are. We are nothing but flowers living for our best season. That’s why I suggest we aim ourselves towards the light and bloom the best we can. We can stay hidden or tight in a bud — that’s actually gorgeous too. Sometimes I like buds, but it’s often undesirable because it’s too safe. It’s too tight, too restricted, too withholding. There isn’t enough self-expression or risk there. There isn’t enough unfolding. In order to do that, we have to be uncomfortable and risk falling apart. Did you hear that? (I should say, did you read that?) You have to risk falling apart. Life is about falling apart. Life is about letting go. Life is about only seeing clouds but knowing that everything else can exist at the same time. It’s not either or. It’s not, Life is Perfect or Life is Imperfect — therefore I’m happy or miserable, I’m either extremely pleased or suffering terribly.

Right now there is so much pain and suffering in the world. I hate to bring this up, but it’s kind of haunting me. Last night I watched a video titled Shaming Fashion Victims on the Street of NYC. (<– click link to view it.) It’s about wearing fur and how cruel it is. At one point, about 3 minutes into the video, there is a scene in a fur factory, where they rip the fur off of animals while still alive. During this scene the animal (who is on a pile of other animals), is alive but skinless, with all of its muscles and ligaments showing. It tilts its head up and looks directly into the camera, with blood dripping off of its doe-like eyelashes. It was alive and fully aware, being completely present and intimate with the camera — and it had an expression on its face that I will never forget.

After watching a video like that, of course I have the thought “How could people wear fur?” As well as, “How could people create factories like that?” and “How could anyone do this to another living being that is completely innocent, fully alive, feels pain and wants to live?” Those are all good questions. So are “How could evil like this exist in the world?” and “How can I go on living with injustices like this happening all around me?” And the best question yet, “How can I help?”

Yes, all those are great questions. But another question might be, “Is there a way I can fully realize that life can appear both bad and good at the same time — and if so, how can I help to make a positive difference in the world, while loving life as it is?” This is what unconditional love is. It’s love in its highest form. When we love like that (and live like that), we have compassion for the animals, and compassion for the one’s that are torturing them or exploiting them out of ignorance. It doesn’t mean that we don’t work towards putting a stop to it. We do! It simply means that more suffering (or more hate) isn’t going to make it any better. That’s the part we let go of, or that part we fall apart to. It’s the part that requires our patience, acceptance and surrender.

Nature allows it all. It allows everyone to live and learn. And because of this, it is the most powerful and most beautiful force I know. I doubt nature has a bad day when it’s raining, or falls into a depression when people are misbehaving or being cruel. I think it just keeps going. It keeps things moving and evolving. It’s wise enough to know that the bright sun and dark clouds can both exist.

This blog post was very hard to put into words. I hope somehow my feelings and thoughts came through in a way that made sense for you. Just know that whatever you see, do, feel or experience in the world — you are loved and your life is precious. Enjoy it the best way you know how. Try to make space for all of life to happen through you. Try to see that the best of life can also happen while the worst is also happening, and that it’s a choice to focus on what will bring us the most fulfillment, joy and peace.

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Allowing Grace

white-horse-grace

This post is the meat of a blog post I wrote about grace in 2010. In that post I shared numerous quotes from the website Art of Grace. This week I wanted to be reminded of those quotes, and I also wanted to share them with you, again. I hope you are like me, and feel like when something is pointing to a truth, or to the essence of who we are — we can never hear it too many times. For me, each time feels new, and each time is an opportunity to live with more awareness.

“When you are in balance, you are in grace. This balance is dynamic equilibrium rather than a steady state. Often, this balance seems a paradox: joy and sorrow, fear and love, give and take, dark and light, yin and yang. Yet a Heraclitus noted, opposites are necessary for the balance of existence: “All things come into being by conflict of opposites.”

“A person living in grace depends upon no one person or thing, nor do they feel independent from all. Instead, the person living in grace realizes the interdependence of all existence.”

“Grace is awakening to the natural order of the universe. This awakening allows you to understand, appreciate, and accept reality rather than clinging to illusions. Awakening to reality creates cognitive harmony, in which everything makes sense, as opposed to cognitive dissonance, in which conflicting world views collide. Grace is a prolonged “ah-ha” moment. Grace is awakening to the paradox that we can never be fully aware of reality as it is, only as we, with our limited perceptions, can see it. This awakening may initially be perceived with terror, because at first, greater awareness can be disorienting, just as walking into the light can be as blinding as walking into the darkness. Yet expanded awareness inevitably leads to intense gratitude and actions motivated by compassion.”

“Grace is the realization that you are connected (immersed) in perfect relationship with the ultimate source of existence. In unity with the ultimate source, you are able to let love flow through you, allowing for deeper intimacy with others.”

“Like a ballerina, a person has grace if she possesses strength. As a spiritual strength, grace allows a person to realize their convictions, to do the right thing, even when it is difficult to do so. As with muscular strength, strength of spirit comes from practice, stress, good nourishment, and rest. Grace is cultivated by exercising right actions every day, nourishing your spirit, and taking breaks from the travails of life.”

I’m also sharing a video and quote from Deepak Chopra.

“When the rhythms of our body-mind are in synch with nature’s rhythms, when we are living in harmony with life, we are living in the state of grace. To live in grace is to experience that state of consciousness where things flow effortlessly and our desires are easily fulfilled. Grace is magical, synchronistic, coincidental, joyful. It’s that good-luck factor. But to live in grace we have to allow nature’s intelligence to flow through us without interfering”.

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The Power of Outrospection

Roman Krznaric's Outrospection

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John Frusciante – Oneness Revisited

John Frusciante - Oneness Revisited

While having a conversation with a friend, I was reminded of the Oneness of everything. Not in the way we usually hear it, “we are all one”, said in a euphoric tone. We’ve heard that so many times, I think most people are num to it. What I was sharing in that conversation I had, is that there is no beginning and no end, and we really never go anywhere. By ‘we’ I mean spirit. I think of it (us/spirit) like water. There is no such thing as new water. Scientists are constantly correcting themselves, and currently declare water to be billions of years older than previously thought. Right now, the theory is that water is older than the sun, older than our solar system (which means that water is older than 4.6 billion years). I think scientists simply don’t know, and may never know exactly how ‘old’ water is. In my mind, water simply is.

Water takes many forms; some seen, some unseen. From the visible sweat on your skin, to the invisible air you breath — there is water. Water is everywhere. Sometimes you see it, sometimes you don’t. It takes on many forms, and it makes up what we are, and where we are. It’s constantly changing & shifting. Water is integral to our lives, and when we (our bodies) die, we (our spirit) take on a new form. Just as water becomes vapor — transitioning from the seen to the unseen. I think of life/water/spirit as ever changing, and seen or unseen at various stages — with no final stage.

Once something is apparent to us, we feel that we know it. We take it as truth. As final. As having a beginning and an end. When something is unapparent to us, we are unaware and that unseen/unknown something doesn’t exist (to us). This lack of awareness can create confusion and often fear. This is why most of us fear the unknown and don’t like when things become too unpredictable. It makes people uncomfortable, vulnerable — it gives us the feeling of being out of control (which we are). This is why people live their lives in fear of death and endings, and often live their lives from a place of confusion.

Somehow this ‘all is one, all is connected, all is seen or unseen, all simply is’ rambling reminded me of a blog post I wrote in 2012, titled John Frusciante: It’s all one thing. I’m going to re-post it for you below. I’m only sharing it to say, that some things are beyond the mind. Beyond the telescope. Beyond our imagination. When I talk about Oneness, I’m simply saying that we/it/everything is connected on every level. Some of those levels are clearly seen, but most are not. If something appears to happen to a piece/person/thing, and not the whole — it is in appearance only. If something appears to age, there is a part of that something that never ages (spirit).

Anyway… this is all just me sharing thoughts. Let’s just leave it as that. If you’d like to read the John Frusciante blog post. I embedded it below for you.


I was trying to explain the unexplainable this week. I was teaching meditation online, as I do from time to time, and it’s always such a strange thing to try to describe the indescribable, or explain the unexplainable. Saying things like: “Moving away from the idea that someone is doing something, or that someone needs to do something in order for something to happen” and “If suddenly I tossed a ball your way, you would catch it without thinking. It would be effortless & thoughtless.”

We get so wrapped up in the ‘survival of I’ world. So embedded, even lost, in the world of distractions, that we have drowned out the subtleties of life. Our innate & intuitive knowing, and our spontaneous effortless nature, has become a mystery to many of us. Beingness & awareness have become words to explore, instead of who we are as a whole.

No one does anything. No one makes anything happen. There are so many factors involved in everything — in even the smallest most minute thing/action. It’s all joined forces together at work beyond our comprehension.

If I think of the greatest things, or most significant things in my life right now. What I love most, what means the most to me, what is truly contributing or important to my life. If I make a list — not one thing on that list would be anything I would have/had control over. Nothing on that list would be something that I solely put together or chose for myself. They are things that happened for whatever reason. Things just fell into place. They all happened because of many factors and many things at work in unison.

I stumbled upon this John Frusciante video a day or two after that meditation session. As I listened to John speak, it reminded me of so many thoughts that I had.

As John Frusciante was speaking, I felt such an affinity to so much of what he was saying. Many mental notes of past thoughts I’ve had ran through my mind…
Nothing is new
Love is unconditional
Creativity births itself

They would pop into my mind as he shared his ideas.

John also exuded an energy like he had so much more to say, but that it couldn’t find its way out. Somethings can’t be expressed in a structured limited language. The written word can never fully describe what one can only feel or intuitively know. But as I continued to listen to John’s interview, I continued to jot down thoughts…
We have no control
Get out of the way
Give up control
Embrace the moment (as it is)
Love who you are
Trust the unknown
Have compassion always
It’s never about you
Don’t take it personal
Allow life to flow
Spontaneity is the key
There is only now
Stop thinking start listening
Intuition is everything
Follow your feelings
Let yourself be moved
Don’t be afraid to risk (you have nothing to lose)
Understanding is overrated
Live without reason

It’s all so interesting. The paradox that life is. How simple life can be when we stop trying so hard. How effortless life is when we allow ourselves to be.

Just like we look at earth like it’s one thing, or the solar system, or our bodies — why not see that It (Life) is all one thing? From the micro to the macro, it’s all the same force. Everything is moving, everything is being moved.

[Photo credit: Nabil]

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