The Power of Music

The Power of Music

The Power of Music

Nothing can be as beautiful as silence, but if something can help us recognize that silence, connect with that silence, have a conversation with that silence, engage with that silence, then whatever is helping becomes very valuable to us. 

Between two notes, between two sounds, interspersed rhythmically, even mathematically; groups of twos, groups of threes – what are we trying to do? We are trying to connect with the same silence in as many different ways as possible. The silence that I’m talking about is peace; it’s not the absence of noise. It’s the silence that is filled with aliveness. There’s something there, invisible, in the universe. 

As a meditator, as someone who has spent so much time in meditation, I can say that that invisibility, that something that we keep on searching for in everything we do, in all our activities, and in music; that is the only thing that exists, yet it is beyond our grasp. When you figure out a process, a way of connecting to it, a way of going deeper, a way of turning inward and experiencing that something that is within you, you will very clearly realize that music is the ornamentation for that something that you’ve been searching for. 

Music is the jewelry of silence, it is the clothing of silence, it is the grandeur of silence, just like we like to embellish things that are beautiful, that are valuable, and we find joy out of it. It’s the same way. We don’t look at music this way, we simply enjoy it, but the underlying process is that music is drawing us closer and closer to that silent space within us. 

When you are captivated by music for those few brief moments, you are escaping the constant noise, pain, and chaos of the mind. Silence, by itself, doesn’t seem to be that valuable. Okay, it’s just silence, so what? But what is silence in comparison to the unbearable torture of never-ending thoughts that you are not able to escape?

Thoughts are constantly bombarding you, and you want to find some respite, you want to find some escape. Compare that with silence, then you will see how wonderful silence is. Listening to music, according to me, is the second most simple thing that you can do as a human being.  The first thing you can do is to sit quiet and try to connect with your own inner silence, without any music, without any noise, without any aid, just being in a meditative state. That is the simplest state of being. The least chaotic state of being is when you are not thinking about the future, when you’re not worried about the past, and when you are not scared. 

We’re all the time in some sort of fear. Our minds are engaged in a conversation about how to deal with fear; fear is always there in the mind. The seat of the mind is fear; it is trying to escape something, it is trying to chase something. Either it is scared of the past or of the future, but it is always there in the agitated, disturbed state. What is the easiest way to draw yourself away from that scary environment and to simply be? You need a device that is not made of words, that is not made of ideas, because the mind is already filled with words and ideas. The mind is addicted to words. When you are listening to your mind what are you listening to you? You’re listening to words. You don’t even need sentences, you don’t even need stories, you just need disconnected words to keep you agitated and disturbed. Words like past, future. 

Now, just imagine how real a word has become in our consciousness. In reality, past is totally imagined; it doesn’t exist. How can past exist – it’s gone. Whatever that has happened has happened, and it has gone. Similarly, the future; it has not even come. You don’t even know what’s in store, and yet the very use of the word past or future triggers a flood of emotions. Just asking someone, “What are you going to do about your future?” is enough to ruin their whole day. It’s just an idea, but such a simple idea. Words can shift you from the present moment and into an imaginary space like the future or the past. 

You cannot listen to music in the future. You cannot listen to music in the past. When you are listening to music, you are in the present moment. The most important quality of music, why there’s such a deep addiction to music, is because it is reminding us of the present, which we are totally unaware of. We are oblivious to the magnificence and beauty of the present moment. We have become so addicted to the past and the future that we look at the present moment as almost an obstacle for the future: “I’m not too much interested in what’s happening now. I’m interested in where I’m going. I’m interested in what I will be doing, what I will become” – the pursuit of goals all the time. 

Music just shatters all that in a single moment. It speaks directly to our soul, it speaks directly to the innermost core of our being. Not to the mind, not to the body, music speaks to the Self and says, This is who you are. You are a musical note. Life is about finding the tune that you can enjoy producing. The whole of life is a rhythmic movement. Music cannot happen without rhythm. In fact, the word rhythm is another word for music. If you take away rhythm from music it is just noise. What is rhythm? Rhythm is repetition; repetition of experiences in a consistent way, in a rhythmic way, in a cyclical way. 

Now, look at life. Everything that we experience in life happens rhythmically. I’m not talking about the human construct of life, or our desires of life, but nature, seasons, the core phenomenon of life. The way the body regenerates itself, the way the mind goes back to certain experiences, the way we learn – everything is rhythmic. Even sickness is a rhythm; we are not healthy all the time, nor are we sick all the time. If you pay close attention, health and sickness come in cycles; it’s a rhythm. It flows with the seasons. 

Music reminds our Being of the simplicity of life; it reminds us that life is not made up of ideas. Although you have substituted ideas for life and you live in the world of ideas, music reminds you that you are something else. More importantly, music reminds you that you are the space where music is possible. Music cannot happen to a machine. A computer cannot sit and listen to music. It cannot appreciate music. We can enjoy music because we are something different; we are not a rigid fixed physical entity. We are the space we occupy. We are the present moment. In the presence of music we are in the presence of ourselves. In fact, we are closest to ourselves. 

Music does all this without using any words, without using any concepts, and without big philosophical discussions. In fact, music is having a conversation with you; it is teaching you. You’re learning the most when you’re listening to music, but in a completely different way: In an intuitive way. Music is not just enjoyment, it is not just entertainment; there’s a deep transformation that is happening when you’re listening to music. Music can heal. Music can shatter the limitations that you have set for yourself. Ultimately, if you learn how to listen to the greatest of music – the music of Silence, then you can liberate yourself fully. You can transcend even that little bit of bondage you have to that device, and to that musical instrument. You can transcend even that, where you yourself can become your music.

What is the price of peace of mind?

What is the price of peace of mind?

What is the price of peace of mind?

Life is a disturbance. Can you imagine a life without any disturbance? What would such a life look like? What would such a world look like? It’s hard to imagine, but disturbance is always there in varying degrees. Let’s try to understand what is the meaning of disturbance. The definition of disturbance says, There is something that is troubling us, that is bothering us. 

There’s no disturbance for a person sitting in meditation. A person who is deep in meditation, irrespective of what’s happening around, is in a blissful state. I can just sit here, close my eyes, and forget all disturbance. I can completely forget what’s happening in America right now. I can completely forget that there’s a president who was trying to overtake the country using force; I can ignore all that. I can just sit and meditate and go into my inner space.

The source of what we recognize as disturbance outside of us is definitely within us. We have the power and control over how much we want to get disturbed by the external environment. The external exists only to disturb you: To pull you out of your meditative state, to pull you out of your connection with life so that you can engage in something else. We are so addicted to this process. We are addicted to politics, religion, our family lives, our social lives, our work lives. Our life: That’s our engagement. I’m not saying that it’s right or wrong, what I’m saying is because we are addicted to it, we have to face the consequences of the disturbance that comes from there. 

There is a choice. You have a choice, provided that you exercise that choice. You also have the choice to exercise the choice. Yeah, that’s the beauty of life: You are free to not only choose, you are free to choose what you’re choosing, and how much you want to do. You can choose how much meditation you want, how much peace you want, how much bliss you want, how much success you want, how much name and fame you want. Life is no rocket science. Life simply says, I’m a shop. You have come to me. I can give you anything – this is a shop of endless items. Everything is here, provided you pay the price.

You cannot expect to be the richest man in the world and not pay any price for it. That’s all life says. I’m not denying anything. Everything is there. What is it that you are offering in return? Just like you, there are so many others who are asking for the same thing. If I had two of the same thing, and if there were only two people asking for it, I would have just given it to them. You don’t have to pay any price, you don’t have to put in any effort, you just go to the shop, ask, and life will give it to you. 

But there are so many of us, and all of us are desiring for those very specific things. Life only has a few of those items to offer. It has an abundance of other things: It has abundance of peace, and an abundance of happiness. What you are asking for is limited; whether you’re asking for a house, car, bicycle, or whatever, it’s limited because these are all created by human beings. Because these are products of human creation, there is a price for it. 

Because we have chosen a certain way of life, we want to be involved in this way of life. We want to be a part of the human community. We want to be worthy of our human rights; we want to be seen as worthy in their eyes, not just our own eyes. That’s where the conflict comes from. When we realize that everything is available, and when we know what the price is for each item, then we can choose: “Okay, do I want this? If I want this, I’m going to pay this price. If I’m willing to pay that price, then I should not be complaining.”

One of the key ingredients, one common currency that everybody pays with, is peace of mind. When you ask for something from the external world, the first thing that’s asked for in return is a little bit of your peace of mind. Ultimately, what is the bargain? The bargain is our peace of mind, our happiness, our relaxation, our mental well-being, our physical well-being. That is what the world asks for. If you’re willing to pay that price, then it’s willing to offer something.

Choice is what separates us from others. It’s what separates human beings from animals; it’s what separates us from all the chaos and confusion that is happening around. The most important thing you can choose is to step away, but if you actually think about it, a lot of us don’t even think that it’s possible to choose to step away. We are so attached to our way of life, so entangled in the process of life, that detaching almost feels like life-negating. It almost feels like you are denying life. No! You’re not denying life, you’re denying certain ways of life. Like a person who is fond of going on cruise ships; if you ever tell him, “I’m not interested in going on cruise ships because I don’t like the idea of it” he might think you are life-negative because he has found a way of enjoying life and you are

denying that. It’s the same with a lot of things; it’s the same with a lot of the luxuries of life. Because people have become used to those luxuries, and have learned how to derive pleasure out of those luxuries, they expect everybody to have that. If people are denying those things, they think it is life-negative, which is not at all true. 

Life is so complex and so varied. Each individual’s life is unique. I’m not saying that you should not be pursuing material things, and I’m not saying that you should not be pursuing worldly goals and desires. But, it cannot be at the cost of you. It cannot be at the cost of your experience of life. Ultimately, life is short. Sooner or later, you will find yourself on the other end of life where your life will simply be a reflection of what you’ve done. You know life is like that; you cannot be desiring for things throughout your life. 

There will come a point – a midpoint – where life will turn inward, whether you want it or not. Your attention will turn inward. More than looking at what’s happening on the outside, you will start seeing how you reacted to those experiences; what you did when you were a child, what you did during your growing up years. You’ll start reflecting on things. Already life is short, and then it only gives you half the time for creating, to desire things, the rest of the time it leaves you to quiet contemplation and reflection. Now, what would you do during that time if you have lost all your peace of mind, if you have lost all your stability, and if you’re still thirsting and hungry for things that don’t matter to you anymore? You simply have to force yourself. You know they don’t matter to you anymore, but you continue to push yourself. 

Now that is the point, the midpoint, where you will choose disturbance or internal peace. That’s the moment when an individual does not choose that internal reflection, he simply chooses chaos and 

confusion. Disturbance will always be there, because humanity is an unsolved problem. We are the problem. Wherever we go, we create problems for ourselves, for people around us, or for the environment. Amidst all this we try to retain a positive state of mind and we try to create things, we try to build things; that comes from our inner-spirit. There is something within us that is really positive. Just the world, the way it is, it’s a very chaotic place, a very confusing place where you’re dealing with unresolved emotions and unresolved thought processes. You can only help so much and beyond that, even if you have the desire to help, you would not be able to, and that only disturbs you more. “I wish I could do this.” 

You know the solution for a lot of problems people are facing. You know you can give a piece of wisdom and advice to a lot of young people because you’ve lived through those experiences, provided they’re willing to listen. Nowadays young people are living in their own multiverse – not even universe. We live in the universe. We come from one universe, one reality; they come from a multiverse. They don’t know whether to listen to Facebook or Twitter or to human beings. I mean the world is becoming more and more complex. There is a flood of information that is coming from everywhere. 

There was a time when information was limited to our environment, our workplace, our home, our community, so we could focus. Focus was easy before. In fact, we didn’t have to put any extraordinary effort to focus. A fisherman’s son was a fisherman; he did not have to focus to be a fisherman. A carpenter’s son was a carpenter. Plain and simple. Because he was born and brought up in a certain environment, learned certain skills, didn’t have YouTube to learn how to cook or drive a car or anything else, he was just stuck in his world and there was no need to focus. He would wake up in the morning and live in an environment that induced him to do certain things. 

We don’t live in such a world. We live in a world of choices. Too many choices! Every moment we can choose what to do, and we can be doing so many different things. All these ideas are flooding in from everywhere. I mean, the Internet has completely opened up the world for us. It has given us a lot of power and a lot of ability, but at the same time it has made the whole experience of life very chaotic. When you don’t know what to keep your focus on, what to put your finger on, ask yourself this question: “What is my life?” You will not be able to find it. Your life will be very similar to the lives of people around you, the experiences of people around you, because we are all being conditioned by the same thing: the media – social media. Again, there’s nothing right or wrong about it. Without all this we would be very primitive, but intelligence is annoying. How do we use all this? 

You have to use technology for your benefit. You have to use social media for your benefit. You have to use it not in a negative sense, but you have to use it for your benefit and for the benefit of people around you. Otherwise, you will simply get sucked into it. It’s very easy to lose your state of being, your sense of aliveness, and just become lost in it all. It’s a lot easier to lose focus in today’s world because you don’t have to do anything; just wake up in the morning and don’t have any goals, don’t have any desires, don’t have any purpose, just live. You would be lost, because somebody is there to grab your attention. 

Even if you want to step away from everything and just be by yourself, the world will not let you because it has invested in you. You can look at Google, Facebook, Twitter, and all of that. They all look like very innocent creatures, just being there to provide you all the information you need. But there is another side to it: They are dependent on you more than you are dependent on them. They are dependent on your attention. You have to go on to those platforms and spend your time, and energy. Now you are paying the price – the ultimate price. People don’t realize what that price is. The way they make money is by grabbing your attention. Because you are paying with your time, with your energy, you have to understand that every moment you spend engaging with the social media you are paying the price. Nothing is free; it only appears to be free.

Basically, the time that you’re spending there could have been used for something that can help you. You could have used that in your meditation. You could have used that in some creative work. We should realize that entertainment is a tiny part of life. Entertainment can be a part of life, but life cannot be a part of entertainment. You cannot put entertainment as the most important thing and then attempt to arrange your life around it. Your primary focus, your primary goal, your primary vision should be sculpting that image of who you are: This is me. Whatever that image might be doesn’t matter, but that identity has to be clear. Whatever it is, once you pick that identity and you hold on to it, that is your stability. 

From there, you can deal with all sorts of disturbances, because when there’s too much disturbance you can fall back on something that is your own. As of now, the problem is that a lot of people are not aware of that most important thing: Who are they? What is most important to them? They get very easily sucked into other things.

How to Cope with Changes Brought by COVID-19

How to Cope with Changes Brought by COVID-19

How to Cope with Changes Brought by COVID-19

Humans are naturally resistant to change. It’s a survival instinct, seared too deeply into our minds to ignore. For millennia, consistency was what kept us safe. Eat only those berries, the others are poisonous; avoid that stretch of grass, snakes nest there. The little routines our ancestors needed for survival defined the ways our brains function to this day.

As a result, a change in our routine scares us on an instinctual level. That’s part of why so many people — even those without prior mental health conditions — are experiencing extreme anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fear of getting sick or infecting others is our logical response to the virus. It’s the primal fear of the unknown, however, that creeps beneath the surface, touching every moment of our lives.

It’s important to have coping tools in the face of massive worldwide upheaval. Activities like meditation, mindfulness and yoga can keep you grounded, as can a cleaner home. Meditation Farm offers a few ways you can keep yourself sane and steady in the midst of it all:

Practice Mindfulness

One of the simplest and most powerful tools at your disposal for combatting anxiety is a daily mindfulness practice. As little as ten minutes of mindfulness a day makes a huge difference in how easy it is to cope with difficult emotions. The reason for this is simple; often, our anxiety stems from thinking about the past, the future, or things that are happening far from where we are.

Taking a 10-minute break to notice the way the light hits your curtains or the sound of cars outside grounds you in the current moment and reminds you you’re safe. You can be mindful at any time — it’s not just meditation — and you will notice a difference when you start. If you want to add on to this practice for a whole-body experience, try incorporating a daily yoga practice.

The breathwork and movement of yoga coupled with the benefits of mindfulness and meditation can help eliminate feelings of anxiety. The beauty of these practices is how they can serve you now and beyond the pandemic.

Address the Atmosphere

When we’re smushed together inside our homes as long as we have been, tension among the household is surely flaring. With nowhere to really go and not much to do in the coming winter months, take stock of what needs to change so everyone has a little more breathing room, and to lighten the mood. Find ways to clean and organize your home to remove clutter and any negative energy. Open the blinds every day to let in plenty of sunlight, and encourage your family to come up with ways to spend quality time alone and together.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

Our world is in a state of collective griefboth for the loss of life and the loss of normalcy. Even things we might want to dismiss, such as a favorite cafe temporarily shutting down or a bad quarantine haircut, can be legitimate sources of pain. Forcing yourself to push this grief away is only going to compound your misery; ignoring difficult emotions does not get rid of them.

Instead, give yourself permission to feel the sadness of the moment. Do not push the feelings away or cling to them — simply feel their rise and fall. You can do this as the feelings arise, or you can even schedule a time to sit mindfully in those emotions. The important part is giving your mind an opportunity to process the grief it’s experiencing.

Accumulate Positives

Fight the anxiety COVID-19 is causing by accumulating positive experiencesThis can be something as involved as adopting a pet from a struggling shelter or as simple as starting a meditation routine. The important part isn’t the grandness of the experience, it’s the decision to make it happen. By creating positive moments for ourselves, we train our brains to find opportunities for happiness. The ability to seek light is more important now than ever.

This is a time of turmoil, but it’s also a time of opportunity. The world is changing. Figure out how you can change with it, for the better.

If the weight of the world continues to consume your thoughts, meditation can be a powerful tool to help you find clarity and perspective. If you’re new to meditation, online programs like those offered by Meditation Farm can help your mind find stillness and inner peace.

Submitted by guest author: Sheila Johnson
sheila@wellsheila.net
wellsheila.net

 

Feels like the First Time

Feels like the First Time

Feels like the First Time

Meditation is Scientific

Meditation is very mysterious. It is scientific. It is precise. If you are dedicated to the practice, if you’re putting in the necessary time, the results will show. In that sense, meditation is spectacularly precise. Just like any other law of nature, gravity doesn’t alter itself. There is a law and it applies in all circumstances. If you know the mass of an object, if you know the weight of an object, if you know the size of it, you can pretty much calculate its gravity; how much gravitational force it’s going to exert. It’s precise. Nobody can alter it. It’s the same way with meditation.

If you are sitting in meditation, if you are watching your thoughts, it is a scientific fact that over a period of time you will begin to experience a sense of relaxation; you’ll begin to feel a sense of freedom. This is all real. These changes are real and permanent, and it’s not just momentary glimpses. It takes time because it’s real. Once you experience internal freedom or internal peace of mind, there is no going back from it. It’s always there. You can choose to forget it but you can always go back to it whenever you want to. In that sense, meditation is very scientific.

Meditation is Mystical

At the same time, meditation is something more than just a science; it is a mystical experience. A mystical experience does not fall within the boundaries of linear time and logic. That’s why it’s mystical; it happens quickly, it happens suddenly, it happens in a moment, it happens without notice. If you can explain it, then it’s science. If you cannot explain it and yet you can feel the effects of it and you can experience something, then that is mystical. One part of meditation is all about the method: Practice, dedication, focus, and continuing your practice. You can track your progress in months or in years. This is all part of the science of meditation.

Another part of meditation does not happen from the past to the future. It does not move in a linear fashion. It happens from this moment to a deeper moment. While you are thinking that you’re going ahead in meditation, you’re actually going deeper. This going deeper cannot be measured, because we have no way to measure the depth of anything. We can measure things that move from left to right or top to bottom; we can measure things that move in our spatial dimension. All of the things that happen within that other dimension, the fourth dimension of space where emotions and feelings happen; where the depth of perception happens, cannot be captured.

The most important thing that happens to us as human beings, as we grow into something, as we evolve into something, cannot be captured and cannot be seen. That part is the mystical part of meditation. It is beyond our comprehension. It is not just “ABC”; it is something else. The real part of meditation is a jump from this moment to this moment. That jump can happen anytime. When it happens, it happens to you as if it’s happening for the first time. That is why the real shift in meditation happens as if you were sitting in meditation for the first time.

Your Original Bliss

In meditation you’re not going anywhere; it only appears that way, and you feel like you’re going somewhere. You feel like you are changing, your transforming yourself, this and that, but in reality, What is meditation? It is getting back to your original state of bliss. That is why meditation is so beautiful. It is not to change you into something that you don’t want to be, it is to simply introduce you to your original nature. What is your original nature? Your original nature is the nature that you possess on the first day of your meditation, on the first day of your birth. Your original nature never changes. Your original nature is not your name, not your form, not a quality. It is simply you.

How can meditation be anything other than an experience that happens for the first time every time? In fact, the best experiences of meditation are the experiences that happened to you the first time every time. Every time you sit in meditation you have to feel like This is the first time I’m sitting. This is the first time I’m watching my thoughts – because it is true. Life, existence, or meditation does not understand time. They do not understand how many hours you’ve spent in meditation. They don’t even know that you sat in meditation a few days ago because that is what you’re trying to transcend. All these things are part of your mind: “I’ve meditated for 6 months, I’ve progressed this much.” You’re accumulating all these things in your mind while trying to go beyond the mind. You have to drop this perception of continuity because meditation has no continuity. In fact, it is one of the greatest experiences of discontinuity.

It’s an Illusion

If you are able to experience a single moment of discontinuity in this continuous flow of thoughts, continuous connectivity to the past, you will experience a transcendental reality which will give you a glimpse of who you really are. As of now, you have trapped yourself inside the perception of who you are, which is bound to your past and future. While you are sitting in meditation you are still believing in the illusion that you are making something happen. You are sitting in the illusion that you are moving towards enlightenment. You, sitting in the illusion of you that is connecting all these things, is an illusion. That is what you’re trying to go beyond.

If the you that understands time, that understands progress, that understands science, that understands things, is the very thing that you’re trying to go beyond, then how can meditation feel like anything other than an experience that’s happening for the first time? That is why the best experience that you can have in meditation is the feeling that you have not progressed, the feeling that you’re not going anywhere. That frustration is good. That frustration is the fuel for your meditation because you are trying to make a fundamental shift in the direction of your perception. It can happen at any moment, and you’ve been waiting for the moment for days, for months, or even years. It just doesn’t matter. When it happens, it happens to you as if it has happened to you for the first time. I’m not talking about enlightenment or awakening. I’m talking about the deepening of meditation; even a momentary bliss; a momentary glimpse of ecstasy. This is what you’re searching for.

You think that because you are meditating regularly you are progressing and eventually, you will experience it. In reality, ideas like: I’m progressing in meditation, I am sitting in meditation, are illusions. It’s all part of the mind. The “I” is an illusion, “am” is an illusion, “sitting” is an illusion, “meditation” is an illusion, your mind is an illusion, everything is an illusion. As long as you’re stuck in that illusion, you will only be stuck with an idea of you. Remember, this is the continuity that you have nourished, that you have cared for and have lived with.

Break the Flow of Thoughts

From the moment of your birth until now there has not been a single moment of absolute discontinuity in your thought process. It has been flowing like a continuous stream with no gap: While you’re sleeping, while you’re awake, while you’re talking, while you’re breathing, while you’re eating. In all moments it has been a continuous process. Those moments when there was a possibility of a breakage when you were closest to that absolute moment of discontinuity, you were so blissed out and you were so shocked with the experience that you could not be there for more than a few seconds. For example, the orgasmic ecstasy of sex. That is when you are closest to the discontinuity. You are in that bliss. It’s such a shocking experience because you have not nurtured yourself for that experience. You’ve just fallen into it without your knowledge. You’ve just figured out that If I do this, this, and this, at the end of it this will happen, but you don’t know how to get to that actual thing directly. That’s the only moment where you are somewhere close to the vicinity of the discontinuity. In that moment of bliss, what are you thinking about? Nothing. That is why immediately afterward, the entire episode of sex feels so ridiculous.

After that moment of bliss, the illusion comes back. When you think about it, to get to that reality of that moment you have constructed an elaborate structure of illusion. The pointlessness of it just hits you. People have asked me, “Why do I feel guilty after having sex?” The guilt is not because sex is wrong, the guilt is not because society has this idea that sex is wrong, the guilt is because you are able to see the ridiculousness of it all. To experience that single moment of bliss, what nonsense you have to do. That is what jolts you. “So I’m never going to have sex again, this is ridiculous. This makes me feel so weak. I’m so pathetic in those moments and what the hell have I been doing?”

The glimpse of bliss is so powerful, so intoxicating because it’s the Truth. It will draw you to it again until you find an alternative, and meditation is an alternative. Meditation is a way to get to the bliss directly. If you’ve not found meditation, then you will always be going back and forth, in terms of experiencing a single moment of bliss and spending most of the rest of your time feeling guilty about all the things that you’re doing. That is why a lot of your actions also seem pointless; all the things that you’re working toward in life.

In fact, if you ask me, the entire journey of life is a pointless exercise in trying to find the bliss that you are born with. It’s the thing that you have; you possess it! You missed it and you’re searching for it in all your experiences. So, the best experiences are the ones that happen to you as if they’re happening to you for the first time. That is what you are searching for.  Even when frustration is happening, even when you’re not liking the idea that you’re not progressing in meditation, know that all these things are happening here, now, for the first time. Don’t get into the continuity.

Searching for Discontinuity

You are searching for a universal discontinuity from things. You want a single moment of gap between a continuous flood of thoughts. In that gap, everything is revealed to you. In that space, reality is revealed to you. You will know This is who I am, and that’s enough for you to know everything there is to know about life. What is birth, what is death, why are you here, what is the human journey, what is an ant, what is a butterfly? The entire Cosmos reveals itself because you’re simply falling into that gap of reality. As of now, you’re in the flood of illusions: Thoughts and thoughts and thoughts, more thoughts. Whatever you have grasped through your thoughts is only a perceptual reality, not actual reality.

When I see something, when I perceive it, I have perceived it based on the limitations of my senses. It’s all about perception. We live in perceptual reality. Our world is a perceptual world, and who’s perception? Human perception, our perception. We need to shift from perceptual reality to actual reality to know what life is, to know what the purpose of life is. It can happen any moment, without any continuity, without any support from the past and future. It will happen for the first time, so feeling like you’re meditating for the first time and that you’ve not progressed much is one of the best feelings in meditation.

Focus in a Chaotic World

Focus in a Chaotic World

Focus in a Chaotic World

What you want to do vs. what you can do

When you pick up any new habit, be it meditation or something that you’re interested in like reading or a new hobby, you will quickly realize that there is an inherent conflict that is built into the nature of how things are. The conflict is between what you want to do and what you can do.

If we had all the time in the world, if we had all the resources or even the basic structure that allowed us to be ourselves even for a few hours every day, then practicing meditation would not be that difficult. Sooner or later, you will discover that there are only a handful of things that you can do that can help you, and there are a million ways to get distracted. It’s so easy to get lost in things that you don’t want to be doing. You simply get sucked into it only to realize later that that is not at all what you wanted to do. There are too many things like that; especially today, especially now.

Avoid Distractions

We are living in an age of information overload. The problem is not finding something and sticking with it. The problem is how do you stay away from distractions? There will always be a conflict between what you want to do and what you can do. Sometimes, it’s just the circumstances: The number of hours you have to work, and the time that is left after you take care of yourself and people around you. Unless you’re willing to make some fundamental changes in your lifestyle it is difficult to accommodate any new habit and stick with it. Focus is as much about in-the-moment concentration as it is about consistency.

It’s not that difficult to pick up a habit and say, “All right, for the next half an hour I’m going to focus. I’m going to dedicate this time for my meditation.” It’s actually not that difficult. You can simply decide and choose to focus. The problem is, how will you continue that over a period time? You can focus for one day, two days, or three days, but things like meditation – or whatever it is – that can truly transform you, have to be consistently practiced over a period of time. You cannot just do it for a few days and say, “Okay, I’m done with it.” Consistency comes by bringing in couple of factors: One is clearing out that space that is necessary for your growth. This means saying, “No” to people, “No” to certain activities, and distancing yourself from excessive indulgence in social media or watching television, or whatever it might be. First, you’ve got to create that space.

When we grow up, we grow up like a small seedling amidst lots of weeds. We begin to grow, and then we realize that we don’t have enough space for ourselves; there’s too much happening around us, too many people around us, and too many ideas. We don’t have that breathing space. The first thing you need to do is figure out a way to clear out a patch of fertile ground. The hardest part, the most difficult part, is to say, “No” to things that you have indulged in, that entertain you, or that you have involved yourself in. It’s not like somebody has forced things upon you. In your unconsciousness, in your own awareness, you have picked up a lot of things. Distancing yourself from those things is the first step. Clear out that fertile ground. Once you have that fertile space, the next thing you need is how to consistently keep in touch with your practice?

Supply Knowledge to Support your Meditation

Meditation is as much about intellectual inquiry as it is about practice. You cannot continue your practice beyond a certain point if you’re not consistently supplying it with knowledge. You have to surround yourself with meditative knowledge. You have to either be reading books, meeting people who are interested in meditation, watching videos, or things like that. You have to keep one part of yourself involved in the knowledge of meditation; otherwise, you will lose interest.

How to Make Time for Meditation

Make a simple list of three or four things that you want to say no to. It could be saying no to sleeping eight hours a day. If you’re able to take down your sleep from eight hours to six hours, you will have two more hours for your meditation. Say no to watching television every day for maybe an hour or a couple of hours. These are just a couple of examples. In your life, in your circumstances, it might be completely different, but you can always see that there will be a few things that you can cut down on to find that time. Initially, it will seem difficult and it will seem rude to a few people, but eventually you’ll realize that it was necessary. If you want to keep everyone happy, everyone comfortable, then you will be uncomfortable; that’s the law of nature. At some point in time you have to put things in perspective and say, “Okay, I want to keep people around me happy, but how will I be able to do that if I’m not happy? Meditation is for my happiness, my peace of mind, and for my Realization, and I’m in it for the long run. I don’t want to meditate just for a few days and question its benefits. I would rather pick it up as a habit, and keep learning.”

Meditation is a completely different universe; there is no end to the exploration of meditation. You can only begin your meditation. There is no such thing as, “This much meditation is enough” because meditation is self-introspection. It is not just another activity; it is a catalyst to all other activities. Meditation is a way of making sense of everything that is happening in your life. If meditation is a way of understanding life, then the more you meditate, the better it is.

Meditation is Transformation

How much understanding is enough for you to live happy? Nobody can put a boundary on that, and there isn’t a boundary. The more you understand yourself, the more you will feel like understanding yourself. The thirst to know yourself increases, so instead of thinking of meditation as another practice that you want to bring into your life, look at meditation and mindfulness as the platform on which you want to build your life. Don’t think of it as just sitting and closing your eyes and watching your breath or listening to music. Meditating is not an activity. Meditation is a lifestyle. It’s a complete change in the way you look at life. It’s a complete transformation in the way you look at your life every moment. A meditative way of living is a different way of living. It is to be in the present moment, it is to enjoy the simple things. It is to appreciate the simple joys of life. It is to constantly be aware of your life getting complicated and drawing yourself back to the simplicity of life. That is what meditation is.

With all the things that are happening, I can see how difficult it is for people to step away from everything that is happening around and just focus on themselves and meditation. That is a challenge because we have created a very guilty society where an individual’s happiness and peace of mind is sort of looked at as selfishness. It isn’t. I’ve spoken about this several times. Selfishness is good if it is for self transformation. You have to be selfish internally to be able to find the time for yourself, to be able to focus on something that can transform you.

Eventually, the knowledge that you gain for yourself will help others, but if you’re not willing to take that selfish time for yourself and practice your meditation, you will be just stuck with this idea of selflessness. You’ll be talking about problems, you’ll be talking about all the things that are happening in the world; you will be a part of the problem, but you will not be a part of the solution. The solution comes from a completely different space of our mind. Problems and solutions are not together; they are two different trees on two different soils producing two different fruits. If you have climbed the tree of problems, you can be on that tree for the rest of your life. You will not find the solution. You will find all kinds of problems, different kinds of problems, but you will never find a solution. Finding a solution means to recognize that you’re on the wrong tree. You’ve got to climb down from that tree and search for the tree of solution. Meditation is the tree of solution. Silence is the solution. Internal peace is the solution. Relaxation is the solution.

Chaos, confusion, comparison, competition, struggle, and ambition – all these are part of our conflicts in the mind.  Yes, we are drawn into it, it’s a part of life, it’s at work, it’s in the family, it’s everywhere. You can see that you’re being sucked into all these things. That’s where your choices become important. You have to make some firm decisions and stick with them. You have to become a man or woman of your word when you say, “I want to practice meditation every day for one hour.” You have to practice it. There is no compromising. There is no question of explaining things to yourself in a way that is convenient for you. You can’t say things like, “I don’t want to meditate today because this is happening, or I don’t want to meditate today because it’s Friday” – it’s the excuses that we give ourselves that make us fail.

Watching the Movie of Your Life

Meditation is a little uncomfortable. It’s not like watching a movie; you can watch an engaging two-hour movie easily, but to sit and watch your thoughts for two hours is extraordinarily difficult, because it’s reality. You’re watching the movie of your life and there are things that you don’t like. There are things that you don’t want to see. You cannot completely detach yourself from what’s happening in your mind, so it’s painful, it’s difficult and it’s exhausting. That is why sitting quiet for 15 or 20 minutes or even an hour is an extraordinarily difficult thing. You have to confront your mind and your pain, and you have to confront your challenges. That is what growth is.

If you ask me, “What is the best way to understand life? What is the best way to make sense of my life and live the best possible life? The answer is very simple: The way to understand life is to forget about “the” life that is happening outside and simply focus on your life. The problem is there too much of “the” life happening. We are told “Life should be this, life should be that.” There is no such thing. There’s only one life that matters, and that is your own life – the way you look at things. If someone were to capture all your thoughts, project them onto a screen like a movie, and show it to you every day for about an hour, at the end of two or three years you would know everything about your life. You don’t need any other knowledge. You don’t need to read another book. You don’t need a teacher. You don’t need anything. If your own life is projected onto the screen and you’re just sitting and watching it, you would learn from your experiences.

All that you’re searching for, all that you have gone through, is within you. Your entire experience of life is within you. Imagine that you’re watching this movie, whether you want to or not, and at the end of one hour you’re learning something: These are the mistakes that I made, and this is how I’m treating people. This is how I’m treating myself and this is where I can make some adjustments.

The problem now is that we don’t give ourselves that time to watch our life. We are too busy trying to create a life. We are too busy trying to become something else, and we are not giving enough time to reflect on the life that we have already lived. Just think about all the experiences that you have been through, and whatever you are searching for is already there. All you need is for someone to take all your thoughts and project them onto a screen and show it to you. That is what meditation is. Meditation is not about the breath; it is not about listening to music. Those are just props. The real process of meditation is watching your thoughts. When you close your eyes and watch your thoughts, you are learning. Your life is being illuminated in front of you. Whether you want it or not, you are becoming richer in your experience and you’re learning so much.

Learn through Everything!

So, supplement your meditation with knowledge, with reasoning, with logic, and with science. Keep inquiring about it. Find different teachers. Learn from different people. Just let go of your ego a little bit and learn from all kinds of people – from people you don’t even like. Learn from people from completely different religions, completely different communities. Open up your imagination and try to see what meditation can do for you. The more you learn about meditation, the more you’ll become interested in it. That I can absolutely assure you, because there’s so much to it. As I said, meditation is not another activity. Meditation is the foundation of life. Meditation is nothing but you, your consciousness, and the present moment; that’s all.

Nothing can go wrong in meditation. What can go wrong? You’re not jumping off a building, you’re not bicycling. All you’re doing is sitting quiet and watching your thoughts. What can go wrong? If something can go wrong in the world of your thoughts, it’s better that it goes wrong and you watch it. That’s why meditation works. It’s pure. It’s just you, your consciousness and your awareness. How do you stay focused with it? Clear out unwanted distractions, be firm with your practice, keep supplementing your meditation with knowledge and with more understanding, and slowly, over a period of time, your focus will improve. Focus is also like exercise; you have to keep focusing to become more focused. You cannot simply snap your finger and say, “Starting today I want to become more focused.” It’s not possible. You have to build it over a period of time and you have to be willing to face the failures of not being able to focus. When you begin to focus you will realize how little you have exercised your focus. You will feel disappointed: “I’m not even able to focus on such a simple thing.” But that’s the learning. Over a period of time your focus will develop, and once you have enough focus, it’s just a matter of choosing: This is my meditation, this is my practice, this is my life, and I want to stick with it.

Challenge your Perception of Reality

Challenge your Perception of Reality

Challenge your Perception of Reality

I’ve always loved engaging in a psychologically-stimulating discussion with someone. Thinking “outside the box” should be a regular practice to keep ourselves from getting stagnant. Once you step outside, you’ll realize just how small our boxes are.

Since I’ve become a student of Avi’s, my mind hasn’t for one minute been in a thinking rut. He has stirred up thought processes that I would never dream up but that are so easy to embrace because he speaks the truth, and you know what they say, “the truth will set you free”! His knowledge of existence and life and thoughts is never-ending and so very fascinating. It all makes so much sense!

I’ve selected a very thought-provoking video from our YouTube channel for this week. It’s only a little over 8 minutes long, but will have you traveling different pathways in your mind….. take the challenge.

Theresa

https://youtu.be/9ehtdgR2ac0

To get updates as we add videos to the channel, remember to subscribe!

“The Silent Path” – An awesome book review!

“The Silent Path” – An awesome book review!

“The Silent Path” – An awesome book review!

We recently received a professional book review from Midwest Book ReviewThe review will be published in the May issue of their publication, Midwest Book Review. 

The review is a great summary of the key points of Avi’s book, pointing out what a reader can expect to learn. 

Check out the review. The book is available on Amazon at the provided link.

The Silent Path: Awaken to Your Highest Possibility

Avi

Meditation Farm

978-0-578-63706-8                $16.95

Ordering: https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Path-Awaken-Highest-Possibility/dp/0578637065

Website: www.meditationfarm.com

The Silent Path: Awaken to Your Highest Possibility provides the perfect introduction to meditation for newcomers to the practice. It speaks about cultivating individuality and purpose in life against the onslaught of collective thinking pressures.

Avi points out that few modern systems “are working for the liberation of the individual.” Most are juggernauts of collective melding that work for themselves. This is why meditation can provide answers that society cannot. It’s individual-centric, and just as society cares little about inner pursuits, so the foundation question “Who am I” cannot be addressed by society, but marks a path of self-inquiry that meditation supports.

Those who embark on this journey will realize new possibilities, from renewed purpose and identity to revised approaches to life itself. And that’s what The Silent Path is all about.

Readers already contemplating a personal journey towards enlightenment will find The Silent Path intriguing in many ways. For one, it points out that a spiritual path and a religious path are different: “Spirituality has nothing to do with religion. If spirituality is a living garden where beautiful flowers are growing, religion is a museum where all those once-beautiful flowers are now wilting…While religion emerges out of the mind of man mostly for his selfish desires, spirituality takes birth in the longing heart of an individual. Spirituality is an existential longing to know who you are; it is the desire of the universe to know itself through you.”

Later discussions synthesize and further illustrate this concept: “Spirituality is always a leap of faith. It’s like walking to the edge of the mountain and jumping off without worrying whether you are wearing a parachute, or if someone is down there to catch your fall. That moment of trust when you reach deep within and take the leap, is the moment of your spiritual liberation. The rest of the journey is simply to realize the fact that you have already found what you are looking for.”

Readers unfamiliar with these processes may initially believe this discussion will revolve around philosophical or ethereal concepts of higher purpose, but there’s a grounded benefit to many of these approaches that translates to improved everyday life. One example lies in pain sufferers: “When you watch the pain intensely, the energy of watching completely transforms the way you experience pain. Although the source of pain is in the body, it is the mind that makes it real. Mind controls everything, including the sensations of physical pain. When you gain control over your mind, you gain control over physical pain as well.”

As Avi applies the concepts and approaches of spiritual enlightenment and meditation to every facet of daily living, readers come to understand that the benefits of following this silent path go beyond enlightenment on the spiritual realm to permeate every facet of life.

As an anecdote to the Culture of Doubt, The Silent Path: Awaken to Your Highest Possibility is more than just uplifting. It’s simple, achievable, and easy for anybody to digest. It offers a course of action and a set of admonitions that should resonate with a wide audience, lies within no single religious realm, and can be understood and applied to all lives, across the board.

Those with an interest in self-help and spiritual growth will find The Silent Path an excellent beginning to embarking on a different life journey grounded in the pursuit of happiness and renewed purpose.

Jumping off the Train

Jumping off the Train

Jumping off the Train

Isn’t it kind of a revelation to know, “Wow, there is something real?” We don’t know it, because we’re distracting ourselves with so many other things. We can all get something from the beautiful passage … “You cannot find yourself: You’re not a ten-dollar bill that is lost somewhere in a jacket pocket to find.” You are already found. You only have to step away from the distractions.

We are the sky that is always cloudy; that is the human experience. It’s always filled with something. A cloud is filled with something –  that is all a cloud is. If what it is filled with disappears, the idea of the cloud disappears, and the sky behind it will automatically reveal itself. If we are able to understand the nature of our identity, the identity of the body, the identity of the mind, and how we are using this identity to accomplish things in the world, then we would ask, “What is it that we are really trying to attain to?”

We are constantly thinking about tomorrow. We are reflecting on what has happened, we want to change a few things, we have certain desires, and we are projecting that into the future. That is the very nature of the mind, and that is how we have always been, at least in this life. That has been our life: Constantly keep thinking about something, and keep your entire attention and focus on doing those futuristic things. Once you accomplish that, you start dreaming about other things, and you keep on moving on.

If we can clearly understand: Is this the only process that we call life, or is there something more to life? Is the experience of life all about moving on, moving ahead, or is there something in reality? Is there something in this moment? We keep distracting ourselves because once the clouds have gathered, you look up – you’re looking for the sky, No matter how hard you try, you’re only looking at the clouds. Once thoughts have invaded us, we have chosen to attach ourselves to this world, this life, this thinking process. That itself is the distraction. There is no other distraction. In that sense, there is nobody who is not distracted. Even the most peaceful, relaxed, individual is still distracted by his thoughts, if you want to use the word distraction.

In a way, finding ourselves is going beyond the most basic assumptions that we have made about life. That requires a very strong will that requires consistent effort, consistent learning, and consistent understanding. We would not be able to just do it using a momentary thought. But what is a thought at the end of the day? All thoughts are connected to each other. When one thought is giving instructions to another thought, they’re still secretly conspiring to keep you blinded.

Our thoughts are the most dishonest of all things that you can find in the universe. Everything in existence is honest, if you think about it. Existence lives by the law of life, it dies by the law of life, and it’s always straight. It’s always honest. It says, “This is who I am. This is what my situation of life is. This is what I can do.” As long as we are close to this process, we have some hope, but we are not in that process.

We are constantly – every single moment – fooling ourselves into believing in our own thoughts. Whatever our thoughts tell us, we simply listen to it. Then, when we try to go beyond this process, we just use another thought (that is also our own). It’s our game, our mind, our thoughts. We keep on justifying our actions for ourselves. The Truth is there somewhere, and you have a desire to search for it. Because you are alive, because you’re born spiritual, there will always be a desire.

There’s a lot of difference between that desire becoming a reality and you just simply staying with that desire. For a lot of people, Awakening will simply remain a desire, because they’re not willing to be ruthlessly honest with themselves. And poor creatures, they don’t even know how dishonest they are with themselves. If, even for a single moment, we can sit and watch our thought process and see how dishonest we are to ourselves – forget about others – because they don’t know you. Whatever you tell them, they listen. If you tell me tomorrow, “I did this, I did that, this is what I’m doing,” that is what I will believe. I cannot get into your mind and see what you’re doing, what thought process is running.

Leave out others.  We’ve made a living out of fooling others; that’s the whole world. You will not be able to find a new motivation to stay away from that because everybody’s in the same mess. We’re all concerned about our own self-interests, our own individual realities, and we will be like that. At least, when you decide to pick up the spiritual path, when you decide to search for the Truth, you have to internally become extremely honest with yourself. That is the only way you can continue to see how you are being tricked by your own thoughts.

You are a victim. You are not the perpetrator of a crime, you are a pure soul. You are a pure self. You are the most beautiful thing that can ever happen. You are aliveness. You are Consciousness. You are Divinity itself. When you can trick, when you can deceive yourself, when you can keep lying to yourself, then you should very clearly know that that is not you. Somewhere, something has gone wrong. Your mind has entered and has completely taken over you.

Now, the whole challenge in this process is, how do we stop somewhere in the middle? This freight train of thoughts is going all the time – going at breakneck speed. To be able to stop this train, and reverse its momentum, or to step away from it – literally, stepping away from thoughts is like jumping off a moving train. That is what is so difficult. Thoughts have momentum. Desires have momentum. Our Truth has momentum. Our lies also have momentum. So, they are carrying us in some direction. All of our desires have given us some destination in the future, and it is carrying us toward that at breakneck speed. You are sitting on the train, and somewhere you have figured out that, “No, this train is not reality. I have just been tricked into getting onto this train.” There’s another reality outside, which is perfectly still.

We are all like children who were born on the train, will live on the train, and will die on the train. All the time we’ll be feeling the vibration of the train, we’ll be moving back and forth, and we have learned everything by being on the train. So what is the train? It is a train of thoughts. Imagine how honest should an individual be to be able to say the very thing, “I am relying on my own mind, my thoughts are my enemy.” You can do that only when you put something else above your idiotic individual mind and thoughts.

        

Creativity: The Flow of Life

Creativity: The Flow of Life

Creativity: The Flow of Life

When we talk about emotional intelligence, we’re talking about a higher form of intelligence. It is not only higher when compared to other animals, it also has a hierarchy within the human race itself. Most people actually don’t exercise this ability to watch their emotions and direct them in a certain way. When you are in control of your emotions, when you are observing your emotions, when you can direct your emotions in a certain direction, you can see the impact of emotions on your life.

Emotions are the glue that binds two thought processes together. Two thoughts have no relationship with each other except through some emotion. If you take away emotion, then two thoughts are simply random thoughts. If you don’t connect the clouds and the rain with the body, there is really no emotional connection at all.

All these are random processes: Someone is mowing, a flower is blooming, a bird is singing somewhere; life is happening all around us. If you were to take away the emotional glue that connects you to this process, everything is simply a momentary process: There’s no life here. Life is a connection. If you take away connection, then it’s just a painting with no meaning. That’s what life is: It’s colorful, it’s changing, it’s a three-dimensional painting and everyone is painting, but there is no connection to the painting, and there’s no relationship to the painting.

Emotion is what binds everything. Emotion is what gives us meaning. Emotion is what helps us to reflect on our place in this whole scheme of things. Most people don’t even know that they have all these emotions. Most of us think that We are victims of our emotions; we don’t have any control over our emotions. When anger takes over us, we simply have to react in an angry manner. We don’t have the choice to stop that anger. Emotional intelligence is the power to exercise your choice to stop an emotion and channel it in any direction you want.

This is not a totally alien concept, because a lot of us actually know what this is. Some of us actually use it but a lot of us know what it is. A situation happens, you get angry, and immediately some other force subsides that anger; it helps you to control that anger, and immediately a sort of intelligence comes in–a sort of thought process comes in–where you say, “Oh, I’m getting angry. Why am I getting angry?”

The moment you start interpreting your emotions, you are choosing to be intelligent. Because emotion is a force, it just happened to you. When you are able to pause that emotion, when you are able to say, “Now I’m getting angry, now I need to do something about it,” or “I want to see why this is happening.” Whatever it is that you do with that moment of anger (except for totally bursting out in anger) is a sign of emotional intelligence. When you burst out in anger without exercising any control over it, that is the sign of lack of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is a fancy term we use, as if it is something totally separate; as if it is something that we need to acquire. It is within us. We are all emotional creatures and we think we are right. We actually think that logic and reasoning and systematic approach is our whole life, but in reality it isn’t. In reality our life is shaped by our emotions. Knowing how to direct these emotions in a certain direction is emotional intelligence.

If a tree falls ….

If a tree falls ….

If a tree falls ….

The fundamental question is: “Is there an independent existence that goes on all by itself whether you exist or not?”

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody was around, did it really fall? That’s a very fundamental, existential question. Why do you ask such a question, when we have absolutely everything in existence happening all by itself, and you are just a small part. When you have absolutely assumed that the forest is already there for you to take a walk in, the sky is already there for you to contemplate on, and everything around you is ready-made and you’re just one person in the middle of the game of life, then that question doesn’t make any sense.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, we still ask the question, Did it fall? When you understand the nature of reality for what it is, can you understand that existence is pure perception? Without the perceiver there is no perception; without the watcher, there is no watching; without the one who is inquiring, there is no inquiry; without the one who is listening, there is no song. So, if a person is not there to hear a tree fall in the forest it did not happen.

Everything that you have perceived in your life, you have perceived through your own personal experience. When somebody says that a tree fell in the forest, you have to imagine a tree falling in the forest. There’s got to be a sound that’s already in you to be able to imagine that tree falling in the forest. If you don’t have that imagery at all, if you have never experienced it, then it is impossible to even talk to you about such things. That itself means that you supply something very important to the process of creation.

There’s a difference between your imaginary world and your real world. In your imaginary world, you can create whatever you want. You can imagine a tree falling, you can imagine dinosaurs gathering themselves up from bones, you can imagine a lot of things. But for something to actually happen you need to participate in the process. To experience a tree really falling you have to be there watching and listening. The question is not about the tree, or the tree falling, or you listening to the tree falling. The fundamental question is: “Is there an independent existence that goes on all by itself whether you exist or not?” Every time you think about this, if you think that you’re just this reality or just this physical body, then you’ll miss the whole point.

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