Some questions we need to ask ourselves when finding out who we are and how to live in the world in an enlightened way include: “What are the various states of being in which we exist?” and “What ultimately is our true, primordial, foundational state of being?”
As human beings we exist in three states. The first one is wakefulness, the second is dreaming and the third is sleep in which no dreaming occurs. These are the three states of being that we exist in throughout our lives.
Typically, what we do as we live our lives is assume that the world is real and we just perceive it as it is. What we think is that the world is tangible, factual and we just exist in it. But what if we inverted this, and asked, “Could there be a world if … Read More »
When we desire something, we first have to work for it. Often we find ourselves spending a large amount of mental energy thinking about it, wishing for it and wanting it to happen. But after working for it, we should let go and just be.
Living in a state of beingness means that we do the actions which lead to our desires and then we let go. For instance, let’s say we’re dating someone who we really desire to have as our permanent partner. At first we date them, we spend time with them, and we tell them that we love them. We might do things that help them to love us back. But when we’re not with them or doing those things to win over their hearts, we just be.
If we are washing the dishes, we’re simply washing the dishes. … Read More »
When we think about our lives, the people in our lives, the work we go to, the city we live in, the galaxy we’re a part of and the whole universe, we think of it as so real, tangible, ever present and everlasting. But because we perceive it in our minds and we can only perceive that which our minds can grasp, it’s actually a very small universe. It is also transitory – it doesn’t last. It only lasts and exists when we think about it. If we see it as a dream then we can locate truth.
There’s a song that goes, ‘Life is but a dream.’ Take this to be the truth: that life is just a dream. All that we experience is just a dream on which the dreamer is who we are trying to find. Then our … Read More »
#31 Enlightenment-What Is The Ultimate Reality of What Is?
As we go through life, sometimes we have beautiful experiences. They are so wonderful that we are filled with a desire to hold onto them for as long as possible. But why we can’t hang onto them and why they go away is because we can only remember them in the mind.
The mind itself is not stable; it isn’t consistent. We can’t hold onto those experiences because the mind often changes. The question to ask ourselves is: “What is consistent? What is stable?” We have to go beyond the mind to find that which is stable and always is. But, how is it possible to move beyond the mind?
The key here is to reach beingness and to move into that place which is present before the mind conceptualizes and critiques things. The mind is constantly providing commentary for things that … Read More »
Everything that is, everything that ever will be, everything that has ever been, can only occur because we are bearing witness to it. Everything exists simply because we are aware of it. Without us, nothing can be. The entire universe unfolds from our true self: our consciousness, which is also known as the ultimate self, or the ocean of awareness. Whatever words we use to describe it will be inadequate, however, since words are limited. They are only able to be a part of our conscious mind, and even our conscious mind arises out of that which we truly are.
Often we think that the universe is and we merely became aware of it. But unless we are aware of the universe, it is impossible for the universe to exist. This can be a little complicated and difficult to wrap one’s … Read More »
I began meditating almost thirty years ago. I think at first I began just out of curiosity. I had been studying meditation in my academic training and learned how science has shown that meditation is very beneficial to us.
When I started meditating I found it to be a very relaxing, peaceful experience. Over time as I grew and discovered that meditation is really helpful for our spiritual growth, I really dived into it. I now consistently meditate every day, usually once in the morning for about an hour and then in the evening for about half an hour.
How does meditation help us live life to the fullest? The primary purpose of meditation is self-awareness: to really understand who and what we are. In that discovery we find that at our core we truly are the ultimate source of everything.
Most of … Read More »
In this life, the most permanent thing we experience is witnessing awareness. It begins when we are born and it goes away when we die. But beyond this witnessing, beyond the most permanent thing that is part of our life, is that which truly is.
That which we ultimately are cannot be described, yet it is a foundation of everything that is, will be or has ever been. What we experience is witnessing, but the knower and the known arise out of our ultimate true self. It’s similar to when we are asleep. We may not be aware of it, but after we wake up we are aware that we were asleep.
Another example is being in a dark cave. I love caves and can remember once being in a cave when the lights were turned off and everything was completely black, … Read More »
What causes things to be the universe, us, everything that is? Time and space play a huge role in causation. Physics, Einstein and scientists around the world have concluded that we live in a space-time continuum.
The only way we’re able to conceive of this, however, is in the mind. The universe in which we live is a conceptual one; it can only be envisaged. Without the implementation and cognition of thinking, the universe as we know it wouldn’t exist. Although we might think that everything simply is and we discovered it, we forget that rather we have interpreted it through our mind first. Without our conceptualizing it, there would just be awareness, presentness, but no sense of causation.
Causation is created via the space-time continuum. Without that concept there really is no causation possible. In a sense, everything is connected but … Read More »
#30 Enlightenment-The Three Big Steps Towards Spiritual Enlightenment
In life we experience two main emotions: one is pleasure, the other is pain. They come and they go; they are a normal part of the human experience. But what happens is that our minds try to maintain the good and push away the bad. It’s a kind of tug-of-war where we say “I want this” and “I don’t want that.” This has the result of causing struggles in our lives.
The mind tries to hold onto pleasurable events and push away or control painful events. It becomes restless and tries to dominate our experiences. What happens is that we suffer because we are hanging onto that which ultimately isn’t real. The mind tries to categorize, separate and divide events; it tries to seek pleasure and drive away pain. This process causes suffering. But what is real at the deepest level … Read More »
Knowledge is one of the things that prevent us from awakening. Why? We think we know many things and knowing these things keeps us from being awake. To gain awareness we need to unlearn what we know, or think we know. We need to let go of every piece of knowledge and just be. In the East they call it the way ‘neti neti’ which means ‘not this, not that.’ In the West we refer to it as ‘via negativa’ which means a way of nothingness.
We should see our lives as a passing of events without getting attached to anything. We should witness those events as they pass, but not lay claim on them. Rather, we should be a part of them without identifying them. We should experience them without saying, “This is mine” or “This is who I am.” … Read More »
Ironically, one of the main things that keeps us from awakening to our true nature is knowledge. We think we know things, and knowing these things keeps us from being awake. Our belief that we have true knowledge keeps us caught up in our perceptions, labels, and opinions, making them appear as realities rather than the biased points of view they actually are. If truth is a matter of perspective, can we call it truth? If situations change depending on how we look at them and on who is doing the looking, can we really trust our judgments to be true knowledge?
Getting past the assumption that we have all the answers is the first step in moving toward a higher, more inclusive truth than the one we currently perceive. In the Far East, they call it neti neti. It means … Read More »
Before anything can be known, before anything can come into existence, there must be someone who is the background to all that exists. When we wake up in the morning, everything blooms in our awareness. But would it all be there if we weren’t around? Can there be anything without us first being aware of it? The “I am” is present before anything else exists. Thus, you are before everything else can be.
Once we start giving labels to the “I am”, problems arise. Food, clothing, shelter, personality – all of these things exist only because we have identified with them. But before we identified with them, who or what, are we?
We are the background on which everything occurs. Although we identify with the body upon waking, we are not the body. Even before identification with the body and any labels … Read More »
#29 Enlightenment-The Journey Towards Enlightenment