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Friday, November 17, 2017

Back to Basics II

Meditation is one of the most popular practices in the world.  It extends across the boundaries of beliefs, religions, and dogmas and it is practiced by billions of people, Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and even by Atheists.
It is also one of the few spiritual practices that have been scrutinized and validated by the scientific community. 

The numerous positive benefits of meditation are widely known and documented but we are not going to elaborate on that aspect here, or maybe we will, but another time.
What I really want to talk about is the practical aspect of meditation and in particular some of the more problematic and misunderstood aspects.

People starting the Buddhist practice usually come from other backgrounds, Christian, Jewish come to mind, and they are usually either disappointed by the unsatisfactory answers their former religion give. Like “What was God doing during the Holocaust?” 
Or does a guy that rapes and murders a child goes to heaven if he accepts Jesus as his savior? 
Or they are looking for a practical solution to their worldly problems like people suffering from drug addiction, anxiety, depression etc.

Unlike the religions that offer you heaven but only after you are dead Buddhism offers peace of mind and ease of human suffering right here and now.
Because their religious background students starting the practice of Buddhism put a lot of emphasis on the dogmatic side and less on the pragmatic side which is totally wrong.

To truly understand Buddhism a student should start by understanding what Buddhism is and who Budda was. It should be a mandatory requirement that all Buddhist students should read “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse before studying any of the holy books and sutras.

There are some major points not mentioned in the holy texts and that the teachers, Gurus will not mention to the students like the fact that After studying for thirty years with the best teachers India had all that Buddha got was disappointment and disillusionment and that only after meditating for forty days and nights under the bodhi tree Gautama awaken and attained enlightenment.

Buddhism is something that you do like cooking. 
You may study as many cookbooks you want you are not going to become a chef unless you get in the kitchen.
Yet the Gurus insist on pushing the students on the scholastic path to enlightenment which takes you to nowhere. 

I have met people that have studied Buddhism for 10 -20 -30 years and when I asked them how long till the end of the path they gave me the BS answer that is not the destination but the journey.
That is Ego talk defending the Egotrip, not the eternal soul seeking liberation from the material world. But will leave that discussion for another blog.

So probably you are wondering how much scholastic knowledge does one needs to attain enlightenment. 
The answer is zero, zilch, nada. 
The scriptures are like maps and very confusing because nobody seems to agree on the topology of the human spirit and how to navigate it. 
Even without a map if you keep wandering around you may accidentally find enlightenment, even if that wasn’t your intention at all. 

Pick up this book at your local library “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. 
This is the real account of a spontaneous enlightenment. The guy is real and the even is real, you have to trust me on that. 
But be careful although the event was 100% genuine the way he translates his experience has some major flaws. Once again will maybe talk about that another time.

Back to meditation. 
Short of having a spontaneous enlightenment or a near-death experience the only tried and trusted path to enlightenment is MEDITATION.
So let’s start talking what meditation is. 
To me is the process of awakening. 

I hate labels because people confuse the labels with the reality and getting attached to words makes us miss the meanings.
The process of awakening is a journey from point A the material, dualistic Ego reality and prison of reason to point B the non-dualistic ideal plan of the spirit and free unbounded, infinite existence.

I will not bore you with my 35 years of trial and errors so let’s go directly to the good stuff.

STEP 1 – Shutting down the rational – reasoning Ego mind. 
We are all familiar with the disease plaguing humanity of constant mental chatter AKA rumination. This constant incessant brain activity is the reason for many human mental conditions and just by learning this first step anybody will be greatly rewarded.

The principle behind shutting down the reasoning mind is the fact that the brain can only process one task at the time. 
Multitasking is a misnomer we do not multitask we just switch between tasks really fast giving us the illusion that we are actually doing two or many tasks at the same time.
If you don’t, believe me, there is a very easy way to blow away that misconception 
Next time you feel like you are multitasking start counting backward from 5000 to 1 
That will stop your multitasking dead in its tracks.

So how do you stop your mind from reasoning? 
Very simple you find something to keep your mind preoccupated like watching the clouds drifting in the sky, the flow of a small creek or the flickering flame of a candle. All those things and much more like that are very good mental relaxation techniques and like I said very beneficial in destressing, alleviating anxieties etc etc.

For our practice, however, I found out the most effective method way of quieting the mind is OM chanting. 
You can find OM Buddhist chanting on youtube and can download it on your computer and from there put it on an MP3 player or a smartphone.

Before going to sleep play the OM chant. Join in the chant. 
Note: You don’t have to hit the perfect note or keep up a certain length just find a comfortable tone of your voice that will harmonize with the voices of the monks. 

I recommend you practice only this step until it feels natural to you. Don’t worry if you fall asleep and don’t try to force to stay awake. 
Remember the only purpose of this practice is to quiet the mind nothing less nothing more. I am emphasizing this because the meditation is a naturally progressive chain and if you don’t master the first step the following steps will fail. Also once you master the first step the second step will fall in naturally.

STEP 2 – Contemplation. 
Although we have stopped the mind chatter chanting OM is actually still a brain process so if we keep chanting we are stuck at that level forever so while the OM chant is still playing you drift out from the active chanting, this should happen naturally and when its happening you just let it be. 
You switch your focus to a contemplative mode you are there as a witness with no other agenda other than letting it be. 

Things will start happening, actually, the things are always happening but this time you will become aware of your subconscious mind activity. 
In the beginning, your Reason mind will try to pop out of its inactive mod and try to grab, dissect and judge what’s going on. 

No need to panic just go back to the OM chanting and calm her down. 
You should keep your practice at level two until you are not experiencing any of those pop-ups. 
Like I said once mastered the level you will naturally be attracted to the next level.

STEP -3 Detachment. 
Like I said do not get attached to the labels you need to understand the principle behind the label, II just call it detachment because that is what resonates in my mind. 
So when you are in step 2 CONTEMPLATION you are witnessing your reality as you are watching a movie. 

You have to understand that at this point there are two entities involved The Observer and the Observed. 
Step 3 DETACHMENT is a step in which that difference is erased. 
You should naturally move in a mind experience where there is no observer and observed or that you are both. 

This will translate into a detachment from your corporeal existence. 
Some people in the new age spirituality will call it out of body experience, third eye opening etc etc. IT DOESN”T MATTER. The words mean nothing. The only important thing is that you understand what was going on. At this point, your consciousness is expanding beyond the limits of your physical existence.

Note: The first step is always the shortest, The second will be longer but not extreme, The third step is usually the longest. You are exploring the vast regions of consciousness and that is a lot of exploring to do. So be patient enjoy the experience and as always don’t force anything.
And finally 

STEP 4 -Transcendence. 
Although in step 3 you have escaped the limits of self you are literally still in the dualistic reality you are still not free of the concept of self. 
Step four is where you are going to die, The construct of self has to vanish before you can become one. 

You know that joke about the Buddhist monk asking the hot dog vendor “make me one with everything”? This is it. This is the place where the AWAKENING and subsequently the Enlightenment happens. 

How do you do it? 
I don’t know I haven’t passed that threshold yet but when I'll do it I’ll let you know.

Good luck with your practice. 
Be patient an persistent. You should do your meditation religiously every night before bedtime. 
You may practice it anytime as many times you want but pushing it will not work or make it faster it will be exactly the opposite making it longer So you practice once in the evening every day without exception or excuses and whenever you feel its right and natural.

Good luck and if you reach enlightenment first  I’ll be your first student!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Back to Basics I

I am a very practical man and as I am getting older and have less and less time on my hands to waste, anything I do has to have a purpose and it has to work, to give results, in order to be worthy of my time.
So, I don’t care if it is the Bible, the Quran or the Buddhist sutras, I am expecting that the teachings they impart to be beneficial to my life and if they don’t then too bad because I’m not putting up with the BS anymore.
So instead of concentrating on holy texts and books, as I use to do when I was young, I now concentrate on my practice, my meditation, my affirmations, and visualization.

I found out that you don’t need a Bible to talk to God. He will talk to you anytime you want. 
You just have to learn how to do it, how to stop listening to your mind chatter, stop listening to your Ego, and create the mind silence in which God can address you and can be heard.
I know it sounds simple, maybe too simple but believe me it is much harder when you meditate and actually are trying to stop the chatter in your mind.

So, let me share with you some of the things I found out from my daily practice.
Prayer, meditation, chanting, mantras, yoga etc etc are just names for the same process we are trying to affect in our subconscious mind. 
Basically, there are two things we can do: Erase old programming or write new programming. Obviously, we want to erase the “bad” programming and add “good” programming but as you know hell is paved with good intentions and sometimes things turn out just the opposite to what we want to accomplish.

By practicing forgiveness, thanks giving, gratitude, charity, and compassion we can remove some of the negativity we have accumulated. 
By practicing affirmations, visualizations, hypnosis or self-hypnosis or NLP we can introduce new programming in our life. 
Most people just do one of the two without realizing that you have to do both and not in just any random fashion but in this precise order: First, erase then re-write.

It is essential to first decide what we want to accomplish and make a plan on how we are going to accomplish it rather than jumping in and do a lot of things in the hope that something will work.
Like I said if you don’t know what are you doing you can end up screwing yourself up and trust me I’ve seen some very fucked up “spiritual” people.

The other thing you have to know before actually doing anything is the “language level match” principle.
It states that in order to communicate you have to speak the same language with the one you are trying to communicate with. It sounds so basic that many people don’t even consider it.

So, let me ask you what language does your subconscious speak? English, French, Chinese? Whatever your answer is it is probably wrong because the subconscious doesn’t speak an abstract language like words or images. 
The only things that our subconscious understands are emotions and feelings.
If the words of your affirmations and the images of your visualization do not trigger any emotions it is exactly like saying blah, blah, blah to your subconscious.

In order to make your affirmations and visualization work, you have to find the words that trigger the desired emotions in us.
 There is no given script since the same words trigger differently in different people but you can read some affirmations or listen to some on YouTube and make notes of how you respond emotionally or you can try the old method of trial and error,
 Just experiment with your affirmations and take my advice, do not assume anything just go wildly random.

The second and maybe the most important IMO is the meditation practice but for that, you’ll have to read my next post. 
Until then good luck with your practice!



Monday, November 13, 2017

Love Love

Love has a very bad reputation.
Love has been accused, put on trial found guilty and condemned for a crime it has never committed.
That crime has been written in books and poems, sung in songs, painted in paintings and depicted in movies so much that it is taken for granted.
Love is a heartbreaker.

But has Love ever break your heart?
Don’t just jump to the answer. Before saying “YES” think about it.
Have you ever had so much love that it actually broke your heart?
No? I didn’t think so.

Love never broke any heart.
We broke it and instead of pleading guilty, blame it on Love

First of all, we don’t know what Love is.
You may think what it is but your puny infatuation and libidinous lust are not love.
You have to go to an animal shelter and rescue an abused or abandoned dog.
Only people that have done that know what Love is.

Only an animal can love unconditionally
We, humans, can’t.
We used to know what unconditional love was, but then we became “civilized” and losing Love was part of the price for the “civilized life”
The promise of “civilization” to make our lives better was a lie.
Instead, we have become slaves to the “civilization”, to the system.

I remember when my daughter was born.
I was in love from the first second I saw her face.
I thought I knew what love was but I was wrong.
I would have given her everything, my blood my organs my life, but not my unconditional love.

She was about 2 years old. I was ready to go to work when she came to the door and grabbed my leg.
-          Daddy, please don’t go! She said with big wet eyes.
Did you know what I did? I turned around and went to work while she watched me with tears rolling down her face.
She was 2 and I broke her heart. I broke her heart, not Love.

Don’t give me the bullshit that love has broken the heart s of the people you loved.
That you have never done it.
Love has never broken a heart.
It is time we set the record straight. It is time to atone for our crimes.

Before it is too late we have to remember, learn how to love unconditionally.
Before we lose our humanity completely we have to bring it back in our lives in our society.
I think it is time to let the machines do the work and for us to return doing what we were supposed to be doing in the first place.
Let’s put back Love in the formula of our society
Life, Love, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


Friday, November 10, 2017

We are not Humans

We are not humans, and I don’t mean we are more or less assholes, I mean we are NOT humans.
Being human is an illusion, a dream a falsehood programmed in our brains by social conditioning.
This error is the only reason we can judge, dislike, discriminate, hate, torture and kill another human being.

It is this false belief that there is an I and a YOU, a US and a THEM.
This disconnect, this anomaly that tells you that, is called the Ego.
The Ego is the reason we believe we exist independent of everything else.

Not to state the obvious but we are just “embryos” living in mother’s Gaia womb like unborn fetuses.
Without her loving protection and nourishment, we wouldn’t last a minute and that is a scientific fact not a figure of speech.
Yet we don’t give a damn about the pillage and destruction we perpetuate every day to the very thing that gives us life.

What makes the Ego think he is the most important thing, the center of creation, that everything in the universe revolves around “ME”?
Being “human” is an act, our bodies mere costumes, the world just a stage where the very complicated drama with billions of actors is playing for millennia.

You did not create yourself, you did not create your character and nobody else is taking that credit.
So who is the actor behind your act?

We are mere waves on the surface of an ocean of consciousness.
We are divine and nature and human only in form.
We ebb and flow and each time we forget where we raised from and where our journey will return us.

Birth and death are not beginnings and ends, they are just costume and role changes, but behind every human experience, the actors remains the same.

I once asked a Rabbi  “What was God NOT doing when six million Jews were butchered in the concentration camps?”
He could not answer me because he saw himself as “human”
He told me that a “human” cannot understand Gods plans.
I told him “God died six million times. And you cannot see or comprehend God as long as you see yourself separate from me, and us from HIM.”


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

No Regrets

Living your life with regrets is like driving a car looking in the rearview mirror.
You may have good intentions, think positive thoughts and envision a better future but the “aim” of your actions will be determined by your view.
It is all the could have, should have, regrets that are guiding your course, not the I am and I will.

We all have made mistakes, we all are making mistake and we will continue to make mistakes no matter how hard we try to avoid it.
Life is a continuous learning process and just when you think you have figured it out it will throw a new challenge at you. So don’t sleep on your laurels and don’t expect boredom in your future.
As long as you live life is a constant challenge.

But that is not a problem. I love challenges and I don’t understand the people that go out of their way to avoid them, to do nothing.
I don’t agree either with the people that work all the time and never stop to smell the roses.
I mean after hard work and struggle everybody deserves a vacation.

I also believe that the only bad experiences are the experiences from which we have learned nothing.
And that seems to be the big problem; we keep on making the same mistakes again and again.
These bad experiences accumulate in our mind, in our memory, as negative luggage as regrets and after a while, these regrets will drag us down.
So from time to time it is necessary to go through this negative burden and throw it out of our mind any regrets we may have.

You should live your life with no regrets.
Whatever you have done you have done. The past cannot be changed no matter what you do.
The only thing in your control is our present and in how we handle this present is the secret of our future. So stop driving your life looking in the rearview mirror. It is just a recipe for more accidents to come.

There is an interesting study done by the phycology department at Cornel University.
The researchers have looked at videos of Olympic medal ceremonies and compare the way the winners reacted.
You would expect the happiness to be tied to the value of the medal but your assumption would be wrong.
Of course, the gold medal winner will be happy but to everybody’s surprise, it was the bronze medal winner that was most excited and the silver medal winner that was the list excited. Why is that?

We look at ourselves by comparing us with the other people around.
The bronze medal winner is looking down. One second less one small difference and he could have not been an Olympic medalist.
The silver m medalist, however, is looking up. He is thinking one second, one minute difference and  I could have been the gold medal winner.

It is the regrets that take all the joy out of our experiences.
We torture ourselves with “I should have” and “I could have” while keeping the same mistakes again.

I remember an incident in my high school years.
We were having a dance ball.  It was an annual tradition for our school to invite the neighbor high school which happened to be a girls-only high school.
Needless to say that all the boys in my school were looking forward to this dace.

I can still see us, the boys, aligned on one side of the ballroom and all the pretty girls aligned on the opposite side.
The music started and with the exception of a few boyfriend-girlfriend couples, nobody was brave enough to invite the girls to dance.
I started making fun of all my colleagues. I was the unofficial class jocker and it was my duty to ridicule them.
I was having fun calling them names until one of them fired back. “If you are so smart and brave why don’t you do it?

I realized there was no way out so I did the best I could think of.
I said I’ll go and ask a girl to dance but no matter what happened they all had to go and ask one girl to dance. They also had no choice but to accept the challenge but to make it even harder for me they asked to pick the girl I have to invite.
So they picked out what they thought was the most beautiful girl guaranteed to refuse me and shut me down.

Here I was walking to a certain defeat and humiliation but determined to do it just to take them down with me.
I reach the girl and blurred out the prepared invitation and to my shock, she said yes!
So here I was slow dancing with the most beautiful girl in the room looking at my friends looking at me from the side. Life couldn’t have been more wonderful.

So I learn a very important lesson that evening: It is better to regret making a decision than to regret never making that decision.
It was a very good lesson and it served me well in all my youth and young adulthood but somehow somewhere I lost it.
I became fearful of the future or just too complacent, too lazy. I got stuck into a dead end job and inevitably found myself on an unemployment line.

I let regrets taking over my emotional life and pretty soon worries and negativity joined in to take me down to the deepest darkness of depression.
Do not let regrets of the past determine your future.
If you have any regrets write them down. Look at the list and for each regret write next to it the lesson you have learned. Post that list on a visible spot on your desk or where it would be impossible not to see it every day.

At the top of the list write in bold capital letters:
I WILL LIVE MY LIFE WITH NO REGRETS



Monday, November 6, 2017

Words to live by

If you are not willing to learn, nobody can help you.
If you are determined to learn, nobody can stop you.
Action without knowledge is futile and knowledge without action is useless.
Don’t despise what you’ve been through. You needed the lesson

All things happen for a reason.
God made you for a reason. Your task is to find out why.
When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.
You don’t need a new day to start things over; you need a new mindset.

Only two people are happy in this world: The mad man and the child.
You have to be a mad man to achieve what you desire and to be a child to enjoy what you have.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


You cannot control what life throws in your path but you can always control how you react.
Pain is unavoidable; suffering is your choice.
The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.
No! You cannot have the cake and eat it too.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
The “old you” has to die and a “new you” has to be born in order to change
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
At the end of life you will not regret the mistakes you have done but the mistakes you have not done

Rather than always focusing on what’s urgent, learn to focus on what’s really important.
The Ego says “once everything fall into place, I’ll find peace”
The Spirit says  “find peace and everything will fall into place”
What would you do if you knew today was the last day of your life?


The deeper the darkness; the brighter the light of God.
You cannot win an argument with an ignorant person. Only an intelligent person can accept a new idea.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
Is better to have an intelligent enemy than a stupid friend.

Challenges is what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
Don’t practice until you get it right.  Practice until you can’t get it wrong.
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Never lie to someone who trusts you.
Never bite more than you can chew.
Never say never


Friday, November 3, 2017

The Nature of Hell

I was a very young boy growing up on my grandparent’s farm when I had my first thoughts about “Hell”
My grandmother, a very religious woman’ used to take me every Sunday morning to church, to the Greek Orthodox church to be more specific.

I hated everything about that experience. Starting with the Sunday clothes and shoes that were stiff and uncomfortable to my young body use to run almost naked all summer long.
The nauseating smell of burning candles and incents would be the second on my list – I still have a bad reaction to burning candles and I had to explain my aversion several times, which will kill any romantic mood)
And last but not list the depictions of hell that orthodox churches are famous for – If you are not familiar with the paintings you may want to Google it.

Anyway, the whole setup was designed to put the fear of God in my young heart and make me an obedient church follower.
But the whole thing backfired because instead of becoming a zealot I became a rebel and choose not to have anything to do with the orthodox church.
The second time I seriously thought about hell was sometimes in 2012 when I had the fortuitous encounter with chronic depression and when I call it fortuitous I.m not being sarcastic, let’s just say for now that, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

It was one night right before going to bed, I put on my PJs brush my teeth and was ready to go to bed. I was by the door where I turned off the light and suddenly from one dark corner of the room a shadow pilled off and although it was dark in the room this shadow was so dark, darker than dark so I could distinctively see its humanoid silhouette.

That shadow attacked me and although there were no words exchanged I knew instinctively that it wanted to kill me. It grabbed my heart and I felt this sharp pain in my chest. 
My breathing stopped and I don’t know how I managed to flip the lights back on and the shadow dissolved in the light and when I say dissolve I mean like smoke blown by the wind, not like a sudden disappearance.

After that, I only went to bed with a nightstand light on although my friends give me a bible a crucifix and holy water nothing helped but that light. Maybe because I don’t have much faith in the church, so if you have a similar problem I wouldn’t say don’t try it if it works for you, do it.

That close encounter of the evil kind made me think seriously about Hell. What is Hell and where would be Hell located?
According to the Bible and pretty much all other religious texts Heave is located in the sky ad Hell is somewhere below us.

If you think about it, it makes complete sense.
The Heaven is an ideal ethereal place were old age, disease or physical pain do not exist.
On the other end, Hell has to be located in the material world otherwise how are you going to experience physical pain?

Earth is the only place where you can burn, bleed, drawn, be tortured, raped, abused, starved and generally speaking experience all imaginable pain and suffering?
I mean if you don’t have a physical body how are you going to experience physical pain?
So, the only unresolved mystery about Hell remains the location. Good news I figured that out.
Hell is in Australia that is if you live in North America if you live in Australia it will be the opposite.
Tadah!

I know hard to believe but I figured that out too.
We don’t believe in Hell on Earth because we don’t fully accept or understand the nature of Hell.
The nature of Hell is punishment, not retribution.
In other words, we believe that we should be punished for the crimes we have done not for being a sinner.

For example, you stole a car then a car should be stolen from you.
You beat up somebody. somebody should beat you up
You cheated on your spouse your spouse should cheat on you.
But that is not punishment that is retribution

If you stole a car and the same thing happens to you and you knew why it wouldn’t be much of a punishment. You would simply accept it as a fair punishment, but when you get lung cancer and you have never smoked in your life then it is very painful. 
Then you ask yourself why is this happening to me? You demand an answer and because you don’t get an answer you get mad at God, not at yourself.

If this doesn’t make it clear let me explain the nature of Hell in another way.
You come home and your wife or girlfriend has that mad look on her face.
You know that you have done something wrong but you don’t know what.
So, you go through your memory banks. Is today her birthday or an anniversary and you have forgotten?

Did she find out you used her toothbrush or did she find out you slept with her best friend?
You don’t know what your sin is and you don’t want to give any unwarranted information.
Now just replace spouse or girlfriend with God.

God doesn’t want an admission of a specific sin. God wants atonement, your admission of being a sinner or in the spouse/girlfriend scenario the admission that you are a jerk.
That is the nature of Hell.

Retribution is not going to save you only atonement, total and absolute acceptance of your punishment will save you
In other words, you should accept your pain and suffering without any mental reservations.

You should accept that whatever it is, you deserve the punishment.




Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The vicious cycle of Life

Life is a learning experience.
Being aware of this fact will make your life much enjoyable and allow you to avoid a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering.
How does the learning occur in your life?
Very simple; you get a problem, you find the correct solution, you get rewarded with pleasure.
OR
You have a problem, you don’t find the right answer, you get rewarded with pain then you get the same problem again.

This process can turn into a vicious cycle of pain and suffering you are not aware of the learning meaning of life. 
If you believe that life is about making money or getting laid or becoming famous etc you are wrong.
All of those scenarios are just the background on which the learning experience occurs.
Which means it is nothing wrong in having a successful life IF your life is full of rewards BUT it is very wrong to pay for that success in neverending pain and suffering.

So, going back to the learning process.
If you get a problem and solve it correctly you get a reward but also you get a new problem different from the first one.
Thye problems given are increasing in complexity and difficulty and meant to elevate your consciousness one step furder.
Also, the problem given is always in your range of abilities. You will never be given a problem you cannot solve.

The biggest problem with most of us is that we are not aware of this process of learning and its natural progression.
Many of us get stuck in a vicious cycle of repeating the same mistake again and again without realizing what is going on

Usually, we blame that reoccurrence on bad luck.
If let’s say we have a string of bad relationships we do not think “I’m making the same mistake again and again and to get out of this cycle of learning I have to find the right solution”
Instead, we persist in making the same mistake. 

We, in this particular scenario, believe that by choosing more carefully will find the right person next relationship.
The problem with that logic is that the very process of choosing is the cause of our problem.

Your ideal partner is not based on certain criteria you read in a Cosmopolitan or GQ magazine.
Your ideal partner is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that when found it will fit and complete you perfectly. Your soulmate can't be chosen by a rational mental process. 

If you want to find that soulmate you have to stop searching stop fighting and go with the flow.
You will attract that one special person because that person is your soulmate and naturally will fit you.
The problem with having a preset idea of what you want your partner to be will stop this very natural process and make you fail.

The Same scenario applies for anything else in life. You may have a string of bad job experiences. That is because you don’t allow you to connect to the right job for you. You are forcing the outcome thinking that you know better than God what you need.
Well, if you know it better how come you have this string of bad luck with your career?
It is God’s fault by not doing what you want right?

So, to summarize this little talk about lyfe’s vicious cycles:
If a certain occurrence seems to appear in your life, again and again, you are facing an unsolved problem.
You have to stop and figure out what you have been doing each time and consider that your solution is actually the very thing making you fail.

Usually, the mistake we make is forcing things and trying to control the universe instead of learning how to flow with the universe. And by universe I mean the situation you are in whatever your scenario may be/


Monday, October 30, 2017

Zen Rants IV

I see myself as a two-part entity.

One the material self, the product of social programming. The "I think therefore I am" a.k.a the Ego.

The second part the immaterial, spiritual, immortal soul, The "I am therefore I think" a.k.a the "I"
Without that distinction all my arguments are nonsense. 

Without that duality the search for one true self or true nature is futile.

If you are that you are, then there is nothing else to it.
There is nothing else to figure out.


But the question still remains "What was “you” before you were born?"

Because nothing comes out of nothing and nothing turns into nothing.
Birth and death are transformations not sudden appearances from nothing.
What were you before you became “I”?

There is something more than meets the “I”
And your purpose in life is to find out who you really are.


I know the path is tough and convoluted.
I know sometimes it feels like you are being punished by an unfair God.
I know you sometimes just want to give up.

But pain and suffering are necessary.
How can you climb to the top if there is no mountain?
How could you overcome pain and suffering if you didn’t know what pain and suffering are?

You have to step out of your experience and look at it with a nonjudgmental mind.
What would your pain and suffering mean a hundred years from now?
Nothing, absolutely nothing.

Then you can look at pain and realize that pain is just an experience like anything else.
You may not like it but the way you react to it is up to you.
Pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice.

What good is suffering? It doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t solve anything.
It is just the Ego bitching and moaning, “why me, poor me!”
But you mustn’t let the Ego control your life.
It is the Ego that mostly gets you into trouble.

Enlightenment is a state of non-duality when a consciousness rises above good and evil above the duality.

An enlightened person sees pain and pleasure, suffering and joy as the two sides of a coin. As defining each other.

A buddha or a christ are consciousness returned to the source.
They are above gods and demons they are the ultimate realization of the universe

It is my life purpose to attain that state before another death.
These are my vows:

“There are innumerable sentient beings in the universe.
I vow to help them all to awaken
My imperfections are inexhaustible.
I vow to overcome them all.
The Dharma is unknowable.
I vow to know it.
The way of the Awakening is unattainable.
I vow to attain it.”



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

Zen Rants III

The idea of creation is based on the premises that the material world exists.
It is a common illusion like the illusion of solidity.
There are no solid objects.
They appear solid but under a microscope, you can see the empty space.
The material world is both existence and nonexistence blended together.

We have a bias in perceiving the "existence” part of it.
Our mind automatically discards the non-existence out of our perception.
We hear the sound but not the silence; we see the light but not the darkness.
But silence and darkness are nonexistence yet we don't count them as such.
We only see the YANG and not the YIN, We see the mountains but not the valleys.

For every + there is a - They could not exist without the other;
Pleasure cannot exist without pain, hot without cold, high without low, good without evil God without Satan.
The ONE that defines everything but cannot be defined is nonduality,
It is above and beyond existence and nonexistence.

Let’s have a little experiment
Please take a blank piece of paper and look at it.
What do you see?

Do you see a blank piece a paper?
I hope so, otherwise, we are in deep trouble with our little experiment.
But do you also see the “nonexistence” the hole?
No?

Then, take a pair of scissors and cut a hole in the middle of the paper.
Look at the paper again.
Do you now see the nonexistence the hole?
Yes?

What about the other non-existence, can you see that too?
(hint; the one outside the paper)
Nope you don’t, because your mind, our mind is programmed to see only what exist and not what it doesn’t exist.

Our brain cannot comprehend the nonexistence and that is reflected in our language.
We say: “There “is” a hole in the paper”
How can something that doesn’t exist “be”?
And if you still think the hole exists, try to pick it up from the paper and move it.

We see light but not darkness we hear sound but not the silence.
We see around us solid objects which in fact are mostly empty space.
We see the reality as existing when in fact the reality is both existence and non-existence blended together.

Try to imagine non-existence, an absolute nothingness, an infinite hole.
You can’t
Your brain tells you that a hole exists only if defined by something.
Nonexistence and existence are two sides of the coin. They define each other.

The funny part is that an infinite existence, an infinite universe is an accepted concept.
Although you have to realize that an infinite universe is as absurd as an infinite hole.
Just think about it: Millions of galaxies, made by zillions of stars and planets made bazillions of atoms made of god knows how many particles.

Do you have any idea what kind of energy it takes to make that machine tick, to move all that around at cosmic speeds?
How about this: Zero, nothing, nada.
The universe is effortless.

Have you ever seen “running” Chrisman’s lights?
You know, the bulbs do not actually move, right?
They just turn on and off. The movement is just an illusion.

Just think the universe as an ocean of quanta popping in and out of existence.
I don’t know about you but to me, that feels like a more plausible reality than the huge moving clockwork model we’ve been indoctrinated to.


You may not understand it but you know that to be the truth, because you are experience it, here and now.


smile


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Zen Rants II

Truth is a word, like apple. 
Apple is not an apple is a word. 

How do you define an apple?
"the round fruit of a tree of the rose family, which typically has thin red or green skin and crisp flesh"
But that isn't an apple either, that is just the definition of an apple"
Only an apple is an apple.

If I say "I've eaten an apple this morning" you know what an apple is because you have eaten apples too.
Try to define "apple" to a being from another planet with no fruits and trees.

How do you define truth?
The definition of truth” is the definition of truth.
Any other definition of “truth” would be not true.

The One is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Lies do not exist. A lie is just the absence of the truth.
When the truth is present lies disappear like the darkness when the light is present.

Confusion and ignorance are the qualities of the Ego.
The “I” doesn’t lack anything. You already know everything you need to know, you already have everything you need to have.
Poverty is a quality of the Ego

Scientifically speaking you don't exist, and neither anybody else for that matter.
When you look in the mirror you see a highly structured bag of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and a whole bunch of other different atoms.

Technically you are nothing but talking solar dust and so am I.
Technically speaking we are the universe talking to itself.

So who is "I"? What is this “I” everybody is taking for granted?
Has anybody seen it?
Has anybody seen a picture of their mind?
What proof do you have that what you call "I" exists?
Is God a dream of your mind or is your mind a dream of God?

The body is the domain of the Ego.
Like the body, the Ego is limited, imperfect, fragile and temporary.
The “I” is not limited by the body. The “I” is perfect, indestructible and immortal.

Science is the creation of the Ego.
The wisdom of the “I” is Spirituality.
The “I” believes in God because it knows God.
The Ego doesn’t believe in God because it cannot understand it.

You cannot teach and learn faith.

When the teachings of our Ego fail to deliver the promised success we return to faith.
Spirituality is the path to happiness.
The material path is the path to living hell

You may not understand it but you know that to be the truth, because you are experience it, here and now.



Monday, October 23, 2017

Zen Rants I

If you are not the Creator you are the Creation.
How many religions there are? Hundreds!
How many gods there are? One: The Creator.

You cannot choose your God.
If you go to an ice-cream parlor that serves only one flavor ice-cream “vanilla” you can only have vanilla.
Since there is only one God “The Creator” you don’t have a choice.

How you worship God is irrelevant.
When you will meet your God what you think about him is irrelevant.
The only thing that matter is what HE thinks about you.

Separation is an illusion of the Ego. There is no separation. 

All consciousness rise from the One like waves from the ocean.

Distinct but not disconnected. With specific qualities but with the same nature.
We are God but we can’t remember it until we return to the One.

The One is non-duality. The One is unbound, therefore amoral. (not to be confused with immoral)

When we are born (which is a transformation, not a separation) we have the quality of the source.

Newborn are unbound.
We experience lies, deceit, and betrayal in order to learn what truth, sincerity, and loyalty are.

We are exposed to sickness, violence, war, prejudice, racism, injustice, pain and suffering, not as some form of punishment for some imaginary sin but in order to see and learn the difference between good and evil. Our purpose is to elevate above good and evil, to evolve into a superior consciousness.

Siddhartha the buddha and latter Jesus the christ have become self-realized beings and taught us the path of enlightenment. Unfortunately, the Gnostic teachings of Jesus have been suppressed by the church and replaced with the dogma “you pay us will give you a heavenly pass” The Buddhist teachings have fared a little bit better. We still have the Buddhist Sutras and the 8 fold path but even those have been contaminated by endless interpretations and turned into religious dogma.


Ephemeral and illusory is the material world.
All humans die. Animals die, plants die, the planets and the stars in the sky; we all die.
Rich men die, poor men die. How rich is a dead man?
Sick men die, healthy men die too. How healthy is a dead man?
Powerful men die, weak men, die. How powerful is a dead man?

We seek money, power, and fame. Fascinated by the glitter of the material world we rush to our demise like moths into the fire.
Escape the grip of desire, shed your Ego, free yourself from the prison of reason and you will see the truth.

All teachings are false. Words cannot encompass the truth.
A dog cannot understand the mind of man. A man cannot understand the mind of God.
You cannot cram the universe into the hollow of your skull.
You cannot know the truth, you cannot know God.
You can only experience it.

Love is the bond of the universe.
Love is the thread between dog, man and God. Love is the universal language.
Only what can be expressed in love is true.  Everything else is false.


You may not understand it but you know that to be the truth, because you experience it, here and now.


Friday, October 20, 2017

How to get high and higher

The easiest and cheapest way to get high is using a flat of stairs or a ladder. The only shortcoming of that method is that you can get high only a few feet from the ground.

If you want to get higher than that you have to use an elevator but still to only a couple hundred feet.
Higher than that it gets more expensive; you have to take a plane.
Anything above that gets ridiculously expensive and also dangerous.

N]I know, not very funny I'll admit but if you look past that you can see something very important:
The basic principles of getting high.

1)      The “More” principle.
No matter the level you are at in order to get high you need more.

If you are doing a line of coke to get high pretty soon you will need two. If you are doing two you will need four and so on and so forth.

Same thing with everything else; money, power fame etc.
If making 100000 a year gives you a buzz you will need to make 1 mill if you want to keep the high.
If you are making 1 mill you will need 10 and so on and so forth.

2)      The “Cost” principle.
The higher you get the costlier it gets.
That may seem obvious for getting high in space or getting high on chemicals but how can that be true when you are making more money? After all the more money you make the richer you get. Right?

Well, the cost is not necessarily money. If that would be the only cost drug addicts would never go to rehab. But when the price tag is starting to cut into your career, family and your health not everyone is willing to pay.

Same thing in making more and more money you have to give up something.
Usually, the price starts with fatigue and stress but it goes up into anxiety depression, health, family and relationship and so on and so forth.

3)      The “Ceiling” principle
If you go high enough you will hit the ceiling
It is easy to see the ceiling when you are a drug addict it is called “OD death” and if you don’t want to stop getting higher that ceiling will certainly stop you.

It is much more difficult to see the ceiling when you are hooked up with the other drug “success”
Yes “success” is drug and an addiction and we all have been pushed into it and sadly enough many are pushing their children into it.
Success or any other drug will not bring you happiness just a high and a high price.

There are millions of people that are not super rich, powerful or famous but are genuinely happy.
The promise that success will bring you happiness is totally false.
Wanting more, or as Buddha put it, “desire” is the source of human suffering.
Trust me, I’ve seen too many “successful” people having miserable lives, some even pushed to suicide despite all the money power and fame, despite all the success they had.

4)      “What goes up must come down” principle
Maybe not so obvious in my example but better known than the other principles.

Once you have hit the ceiling you will inevitably crash.
You may stop the fall and avoid a total disaster, you may recover and start climbing again, but you will hit the ceiling again and again until the day your time is up and you are out of the game without ever winning anything.

5)      “Get down off your high horse” principle
Getting high is not bad if you can get off while you are still ahead.

If you have paid attention all “get high” scenarios end up badly.
So if you are getting high and want to avoid the crash, hear my advice:
Take a year off and join the peace core. Go to Africa and build water wells for the poor or something like that.

It is really hard to explain why you should do that.

All I can tell you is that I’ve been known to go out on camping trips quite often and when I come back home after four days in a tent without a toilet or running water.  A hot shower feels almost orgasmic.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Going Insane

We all have heard the famous Albert Einstein quote “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
According to that definition, we are all pretty much insane.

Our lives are the result of our actions. That pretty much goes without saying.
Nobody will argue that given the opportunity to go back in time we would do things differently, the second time around.
But here is the conundrum: We all know that in order to change our lives we have to change the way we act, but very few of us are doing it.

That new job you dream about will not come knocki9ng at your door. You have to do your due diligence and go to that interview that will open the door for your dream job.
Unless of course, you have a rich relative that will hand it to you.

Same thing goes for anything else in your life If you want to start a business, if you want a new relationship or whatever you want in your life, will not happen until you start acting.
Yet we go day in day out doing the same routine and expecting somehow by some miracle a change will happen.

Well. Things eventually change but usually into a worse situation and it is usually at that time that we are forced to act and save the day.

So why it is so hard to change?
It is because you are not Einstein.

Einstein thinks and speaks from a superior level of consciousness.
For him, change is a necessity. Breaking the rules, a way of life. He is a genius that has raised above the human animal.
The rest of us are still trapped in the conditioning of our primitive ancestors.

If you have a decent life, maybe not the dream life you want but a safe existence you don’t want to change it. As bad as you think your life is you have become used to it just like a pair of old shoes or jeans you know you have to throw away but they are just very comfy.

You see we are conditioned by our instinct of preservation.
Survival has been imprinted in our genes for thousands maybe millions of years.
The unknown is the human greatest fear. To give up something you know for something you don’t know is pure insanity. Unless you are an Einstein and have risen past your animal instincts.

But we don’t live in a jungle anymore and the perils that our instincts were supposed to protect us do not exist anymore.
What would be the worst that could happen if you changed your job?
You are not going to be eaten by a sabretooth tiger, you are not going to die.
In the worst scenario, you will have to take a less paid job until you put yourself back on the tracks.

Make it a task to overcome your instincts and go for the changes you desire.
Give yourself permission to go insane from time to time.
Just make sure it doesn’t become a habit.




Monday, October 16, 2017

Destiny

Do you believe in destiny?
Do you believe that every word you say, every thought you have, every decision you take and every action you make, has already been decided for you and you are just acting like a puppet on a string?

Or, do you believe in free will?
You believe that you are the master of your mind, that everything you think and every decision you make is up to you and you are responsible for your own actions?

Well, if you don’t believe in free will, I have some very bad news for you.
You have to believe in free will – You have no choice!
Right?

I often talk about the Western thought and the scientific method of looking at the world.
As westerners, we tend to see the world as black and white, one way or the other, free will or determinism.
We don’t see the universe as an infinite rainbow of realities; we only see reality as true or false.

So there is another point of view I would like to tell you about, where free will and determinism are not absolutes but rather gradients, nuances, variables in a universe of infinite possibilities scenarios.

Let’s look at life as a game of cards:
At birth, you are dealt a hand. Some of us are lucky some are less fortunate.
Some are born rich some are born poor. Some are born in big powerful countries some are born in small insignificant ones. Some of us are white, black, male, female etc.

I have to make a small parenthesis here.  In the Buddhist thought of reincarnation, you chose the state of your birth and the problems of your life according to the lessons you have to learn.
So the hand you are dealt is not random at all. But that makes little or no difference.

Once you are born you start playing your hand.
In the beginning, you are actually not the one making the decisions but your parents.
Eventually, as you grow older you gain more and more independence and finally, you become the master of your own decisions, of your destiny.

Now regardless of how you believe the game is played, regardless that you believe in destiny or free will, the rules of the game does not change:
You play your hand badly, you lose.
You play your hand correctly, you win.

Looking back at your life, in retrospective, you can see the instances when you played your hand badly and you can see when you took the right decisions.  You are aware that if you have played your hand correctly if you have taken all the correct decisions, your life would have been totally different than what you have now.

I define destiny as a perfect scenario of your life, as what your life should be if playing all your hands perfectly.
The purpose of your destiny is to teach you all your lessons you need to escape the wheel of reincarnation.
The purpose of your destiny is to attain enlightenment in your lifetime.
Failing to do so will result in your death and subsequently a new reincarnation.

So how do you play your hand perfectly?
How do you know that your life is on the right path?
How do you know you are manifesting your own destiny?

When you are on the right path you know it by the way you feel.
When you are on the right path you are in what I call “the zone”.
You feel different, you are energized, you have clarity, you have energy and joy.
When you are on the path of your destiny you are confident, optimist and fearless.

When you are in “the zone” you start developing “premonition”, you start sensing the future.
You start feeling, knowing instinctively what to say and what to do.

Another sign of being on the path is “deja-vu”
You start having more and more deja-vu episodes to the point that you will experience your life like a cinematic experience.
Like watching your life unfold rather than the usual “I have no idea what’s going on” feeling of your regular life.

So, are you in the zone?
Are you playing all your hands correctly?
Are you manifesting your destiny?

If not it’s time to rock the boat, break the rules, change the course.
Like Stephen Colbert said:
“Attack your life! It’s going to kill you anyway”