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.

Meditation is like a Diet for your Mind

Meditation is like a Diet for your Mind

Meditation is like a Diet for your Mind

When I meet people here and there and the conversation always turns to meditation (usually prompted by “what have you been doing lately?”), I’m often asked questions like “What is meditation? What do you do while you’re sitting? What do you think about while you’re meditating?” 

It’s kind of hard to explain meditation, because we’ve not been exposed to such inward spiritual things in our society, and most of the time “being quiet” is imposed as a sort of punishment.

The best way I can think of to explain it is by using the term “Self Control”. We’ve heard that term all our lives. What does it mean? Well, it means to resist temptations of the body, like eating too many chocolate cookies, drinking too much alcohol, or mental self-control, by not doing things we know aren’t right such as spreading malicious gossip or perpetuating negative thought processes when they arise.

So, there IS something other than our minds and our bodies–it’s our SELF. It’s the force that is directing our minds and bodies when we have “self” control. The only way we can have self-control is to be in the present moment. There’s no way to control your sugar cravings tomorrow or yesterday–it’s only good for right now. Think about it, and it really makes a lot of sense.

Meditation is simply a diet for your mind. You sit still for a while and don’t think about anything. Yep, nothing-nada-zilch. If (when) your mind starts off on a thought spree, reel it back it, just like you’d slam the fridge door shut right before you grab the ice cream.

As in dieting, it takes time to see the effects of meditation. You don’t lose weight right after eating a healthy meal, but if you keep eating healthy over a period of time, you’ll definitely see the results in the mirror. You won’t feel results after one meditation, but if you persist, just like in dieting, you will experience results like less stress, more creativity, and just an overall happier outlook on life. Come on people, it’s time to put our minds on a diet! – Theresa

Standing for Truth

Standing for Truth

Standing for Truth

When you are confused, always take the side of truth. Nothing a human being has ever done matters more than this. Truth is, was and always will be the yardstick on which we are measured. While the truth is the best path to take, it is also one of the most difficult paths to stick to. You can be pushed away from the path of truth very easily.

The world has become a complex and confusing place. The sheer pace at which things are changing makes it easy to get confused and lost in this fast-paced, ever-changing, shape-shifting reality. The only reliable source of strength and inspiration for the individual is the truth he or she believes in.

Now, why is it so important to discover our truth and stick with it? Apart from the moral argument that truth is right, there is also a very important practical aspect to the truth. Truth provides us a sense of direction; it acts as a guiding light to help us make sense of the confusing darkness around us. The moment we decide to compromise on our truth and integrity, we simply lose the way.

Truth offers us the internal certainty that is necessary to face the daily challenges of external reality. We are living in a world where everybody is fighting for our attention. We have to constantly choose between our influences and focus on what is important to us. How is it possible to focus when we are not sure about what we want, and how we can be certain about what we want if it is not deeply rooted in the truth we believe in?

Without internal truth, honesty, and integrity we are like a dry leaf that is drifting in the wind. Without this internal certainty, our future, fate, and destiny are simply a matter of chance. We will not have any control over our present or the future. We will not have the necessary strength and motivation to pursue our dreams and desires.

Truth fills us with incredible energy and enthusiasm. Truth lifts us when we fall. It cushions our fall and puts us back on the path. Truth gives us meaning and purpose to our actions. It helps us to weed out unwanted distractions and helps us to stay clear and focused. Truth is the best friend who will walk with you and support you in your most challenging situations.

Just reflect on the lives of some of the most creative and successful people of history; Einstein, Da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo, and so many others. What drove them towards such incredible excellence and success? The common connecting factor of their lives is the truth. They were all possessed by the truth they believed in. They were guided by an internal truth that shaped their lives. Without a clear sense of the truth that we believe in, life will always be uncertain.

Don’t Worry About What you can’t Control

Don’t Worry About What you can’t Control

Don’t Worry About What you can’t Control

why not just live in the present moment and enjoy life as it comes?

I’m pretty sure that everyone reading this remembers where they were and what they were doing when 911 happened.  I had just walked into a conference room at work to attend an all-day “Stress Management” class with about 20 other colleagues. The guy sitting next to me asked if I had heard what happened…

Stress Management.  What an appropriate topic for the day! Turns out that the guy teaching the class was retired military and had worked at the Pentagon for 20+ years, so he was particularly distracted by the entire event.  We didn’t have smart phones then, nor even television in the room so we had to go to our cars to listen to the radio at breaks to keep up with what was happening. 

He did an amazing job with the class, but the one take-away I’ve never forgotten was “Don’t worry about things you have no control over”.  That is so true!  Hard to accomplish, but true. 

What is worry, anyway? It’s such an important word that it’s used as a verb and a noun. As a verb it means  to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” As a noun, the definition is “A state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.” Worry is simply allowing the mind to have its own way concerning a particular event or train of thoughts.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you’re depressed you’re living in the past, and if you’re stressed you’re living in the future.” Think about that saying, and you’ll realize how true it is. We have no control over the past because it’s already happened. We can definitely learn from it, but don’t relive it or dwell on it. We can shape our future, but the future can’t happen until it’s in the present moment, so why not just live in the present moment and enjoy life as it comes? When you think about it, if we’re “in the moment” then it is impossible for us to worry, period.

As Avi teaches, the most effective way to step away from worry is to be in the present moment. To get into the moment, sit quiet, breath slowly, and watch your breath. Your body is always in the present moment, so just focusing on your body or a part of your body will keep your mind from wandering everywhere. Every time your mind starts to go to a worrisome thought, bring your focus back to the breath or your body. It’s a continuous battle, but being mindful and living in the present moment is without a doubt the ultimate weapon to combat worry. – Theresa

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