Thursday, 26 June 2008

No-mind.....the space of happiness

The mind that is continually describing and explaining cannot be happy. Happiness is that state of no-mind. By no-mind I mean that there is a lack of thoughts. It is the constant barrage of thoughts that prevent experiencing the state of happiness. At times the state of happiness breaks through but the mind will immediately attribute it to some external event. So when we're unhappy we attribute it to an external event or circumstance and when we're happy we do the same. This is the trap that human being is born into. It is a trap because while we attribute a state of being which is inherent and intrinsic to something external we can never claim ownership over the state of happiness.

Thoughts mask the state of happiness. The state is always there, it lies at the bedrock of our being but thoughts act like a cover over it. Begin to reduce the number of thoughts and there is a corresponding rise in the experience of happiness. So no-mind is more than just no thoughts it is the direct experience of the state of happiness without attributing it some external event or circumstance. To have this direct experience of happiness is to be free because in this state one realizes that the state of happiness is not dependent on anything external. How often do I hear my friends say 'If I had the perfect relationship, a bigger car/house etc then I would be happy. But this is greatest lie. The mind more specifically the ego mind has no interest in striving for the state of happiness because then it and its thoughts lose their power so it is thoughts that determine whether or not we experience a state of happiness or unhappiness.

It is never an event or circumstance that give us whether we are happy or unhappy but our thoughts about it. To be happy the number of thoughts has to drastically reduce. How does one reduce the thoughts or more appropriately stop the constant commenting from the voice inside the head that is always, judging, setting one thing against the other? The first thing to do is to notice it. This is the first step in the awareness that the thoughts that are there are not who I am they are just the thoughts that I have. This is really the only thing there is to do. Once awareness comes into consciousness there is the beginning of control.....

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The resistance of the everywhere

I went to see a play last night called 'Afterlife' by Michael Frayne. I was particularly interested in the opening lines of the play which were something along the lines of 'the human condition does not allow for the experience of our infinite possibilities', this may not be the exact quote but it captures the essence of what the spiritual path is about. It's about no longer being fooled that we think we know who we are. It is seeing through the thoughts and feelings to the essence that lies underneath. This realization that we are not our thoughts and feelings doesn't come through the mind but through the no-mind - largely through meditation and or reflection. But it is this that the mind will do anything to avoid. I understand that this is the reason why I find meditation so hard, the mind doesn't want it so when I sit down to meditate I will suddenly find more thoughts than I ever have when I'm not meditating, paradoxical as that might read.

I was struck by a conversation that two of the women were having behind me at the interval last night. One was analysing the play, commenting on where bits of it could be cut and I could see immediately what was happening. The mind could not allow quiet at such a critical time. The process of evaluating, judging, commenting all prevent the state of reflection and receptivity that would give the space for spiritual insights and understanding. The mind that cannot be still and absorb without commenting and evaluating can never be peaceful. I once asked my friend who has a beautiful garden with the most gorgeous of flowers which he has lovingly tendered whether he ever looked at the flowers without there being anything in his mind, without any thoughts of 'how well they're doing', what needs to be done etc. To look and be absorbed without any involvement from the mind. His answer to me was 'no'. This setting one thing against the other and the forming of opinions is used by the mind to prevent the quietness that is essential for spiritual development. I was so struck by how much this person's analysing of the play seemed to inhibit her enjoyment. For me, I just became absorbed and in that absorption I was aware that there was 'no thought' and in that space of 'no thought' is peace.

So be vigilant over this impulse of the mind to evaluate, comment, form opinions and see it for it is the desperate attempts of a mind that fears for its survival. It is not concerned about spiritual knowledge or awakening. If it has to do this it will largely do it by reading and then creating alot of intellectual thoughts about whatever is being read, complicating it so that it gets lost in the analysis instead of seeing the spiritual journey and its insights as simple. The more the mind can complicate something the better it likes it. I find this strongly when I attend conferences that are put on by the Scientific and Medical Network of which I am a member. I have a long and strong fascination with the brain and I assert that much of what is termed the spiritual journey is down to shifts and changes in brain activity and behaviour. Because I call myself a spiritual scientist I listen eagerly to the latest brain theories but I am also struck by how sterile and how mind controlled such discussions are.

But as I have said before, this is all a game, and there is nothing ominous in the game, it is fun. It is a game between the non-self and the self where each wants to win. The non-self wins if we get to the end of our life and we haven't been able to experience the Self which comes about when we no longer see the non-self as who we are. The Self wins if there is a freedom, joy and ease brought about realizing the transitory and non-permanent nature of the non-self. But either way, it is only a game, a game of hide and seek.........

Monday, 16 June 2008 obstacle to insight

The title of this post has come from a comment I received to my last post about the recorded interview with Eckhart Tolle. I was moved by the trust which the comment seemed to put in my spiritual judgement. The comment was beautiful and has prompted this post this morning. I want to apologise for not allowing a comment to the post, it was an oversight on my part. In my opinion the greater the resistance there is to something the more powerful is the insight to be had. There is an on-going and continuing game (I don't want to call it a battle) between the mind and the no-mind. The tools that keep the game in place are the chattering noisy mind which prevents the access to the calmer quieter no-mind and the compulsion of the mind to 'do', to keep busy to not make the time for reflection and/or contemplation.

Spiritual awakening is nothing more than the quieting of the noisy mind. The end of the incessant and continuous mental chatter. When the mental chatter stops the peace and calm which has always been there but has been covered up can emerge. The mind will use any ruse it can not to begin the journey of spiritual awakening. In the case of the comment from Tony it was because of a non-affinity with Oprah Winfrey who had recommended Eckhart's writings which prevented him from getting what is possible from this transformative writing. I look at all of my resistances very carefully. In my experience my resistances have been a cover up for some major breakthroughs. I can remember once having a terrible tiredness when going up to a Landmark training evening. With resistance it's so easy to give into it. The mind will quickly produce thoughts like 'you've had a hard day', 'don't bother going up tonight', give yourself a break and have a nice hot bath'. This can appear to be loving and well-meaning but don't be fooled - there is a payoff to the mind when resistance is given into.

I persevered on these evenings through intense tiredness and then had an amazing insight that I didn't want to be powerful. I was doing a training programme where I would be powerful in creating the life I wanted and I was resisting it with everything I had, this was why I was tired. Once I saw this I could give up the resistance and free the trapped energy that was keeping this tiredness in place. What this has made possible is so much energy and now tiredness is something I rarely experience and when I do my first question is 'what is it I am resisting'.

So to all readers I would recommend to look carefully at those areas where there is resistance. The reason for the resistance is not important, so in in this case a dislike of Oprah Winfrey is not the reason it is the tool used by the mind to prevent the important insights that are possible. The mind needs an object for its resistance. I have found that it is those people who I am most resistant to who I learn the most from when I let this resistance go.

This is not to say that having a feeling that something is not right, or not for you, is only resistance. It takes careful examining to discern whether something is just resistance because of the power of what is possible or whether it is solely that it's a message that it is not part of one's path at that particular time. I always find it fascinating when I speak to people about what the Landmark training in distinctions makes possible. When I first begin to speak and share the no-mind seems to recognise the possibility and gets all excited and the person wants to know lots about it. Then they say that they will think about it and let me know. The next time I speak to them there is a level of wariness and 'not for me' that I now smile about because I understand exactly what is going on. The mind has seen the possible future for itself which is an end to its domination and control which is why it suddenly puts up resistance and that resistance takes the form of thoughts like 'you don't need that, it's for losers and you're not that'.

I would assert and I don't know this is true but I would assert that all that is happening is the playing of the game between the no-mind which sees the possibility of the happy life that arises out of getting an access to the constraints which the past has imposed on our view of life and giving them up to become free and powerful and the mind which is desperate to maintain the status quo. There's nothing wrong with this game but for the sake of a happy and connected world more people have to wake up to the game and its potential for happiness or destruction depending on the winner.......

But I believe that as we come up to 2012 that more people are gaining an inner awareness of this game. There is an awareness of the inner tension and a yearning for something more that is not materialism. This momentum is going to gather force as we approach 2012 I feel sure of that....But why wait until 2012 why not start the journey of transformation NOW.....

Monday, 9 June 2008

The Simple Truth.......

The title of this post is taken from an indepth interview by Eckhart Tolle which I came across on DVD over the weekend and I bought. I had already read the 'Power of Now' and I had been struck forcibly when he recounted how his spiritual transformation had come about. Hearing him speak about this on the DVD had immense power. I have written before how the shift in consciousness that brings about spiritual awakening usually involves some kind of shock to the mind. I assert that spiritual awakening demands this shift of consciousness before Awakening is possible. It is not possible through the mind, it comes about through no-mind. No amount of intellectualising or reading books will make it happen. Reading and thinking is preparation so that when it happens the body and mind is strong enough to withstand the profound shift, but the reading and intellectualising of itself will produce nothing only more fodder for the mind.

Listening to Eckhart speak about the moment when he was deep in a depression and having the thought 'I can't live with myself any longer' and then being so lost in that thought 'am I one or two' and the insight of the I and myself that arose out of that was enough for him to lose consciousness and when he woke up the next time his consciousness had shifted to the degree that years later he is now a revered spiritual teacher. He speaks about the lack of balance he underwent after this experience, not able to do anything but to sit on park benches just being and absorbing for 2 years. Then gradually he returned and from speaking to small groups his first book 'The Power of Now' was born and then his second which I have just finished reading called 'A new earth'.

I consider both of these books to be transformative reading. Transformative reading is different to intellectual reading. Transformative reading is where reading something, for me, it has usually been books that have been channelled like the Conversations with God books, especially book 1 which has been transformative. Transformative writing shifts consciousness because the Soul recognises the One truth. Many paths but the ONE TRUTH. When the Soul gets access to this through the transformative writing or hearing the voice of an Awakened Soul such as Eckhart Tolle the higher energetic vibration either through the words on the page or the resonance in the voice shifts the consciousness.

On this tape Eckhart speaks about people telling him that they felt an inner calm when they read his first book 'The Power of Now'. This doesn't surprise me because the writing is coming from a state of being and not of doing. Any action arising out of being is powerful and transformative. Writing that arises out of doing is largely for the mind and has little effect in bringing about spiritual Awakening. I was encouraged to hear Eckhart speak about the inability of the mind to bring about spiritual awakening. He speaks about how the mind has got far too much control today and that there is an urgent need for the balance to be re-dressed. He speaks about the shift that is coming for humanity. I thoroughly recommend this DVD as it gives his whole background and why he is the amazing Avatar that he is today.

I am discerning of claims of spiritual awakening and enlightenment- there are a lot of claims about and I think it is so important to be able to distinguish the claims that come from the mind and doing from those that come from being. I have been lucky enough to hear Eckart speak on 2 occasions. The first time I went up to speak to him after his talk and briefly explained that I had experienced the shift of energy that he spoke about. There was no ego in his answer back to me. Looking at me intensely and earnestly he said 'don't feel the need to do, just be'. Then and as I write it now there was something so simple and powerful in those few words. Now many years later I bring being into doing and so from a state of being, I then do and then I have the rewards that acting from a state of being makes possible, a happy and vibrant life.

The tools I am learning about clear communication from the Landmark team management and education programme also come from this state of being, they come from a state of nothingness. The tools of acknowledment, dancing in a conversation with someone, not forcing an outcome, all of these come from the space of nothing and in the space of nothing, everything becomes possible.

I will leave this post by giving the ISBN for this DVD which I consider powerful transformative listening to. It is 1-894884-80-9. I recommend listening to it with the eyes closed even though it is an interview and so you can see the man. To listen with the eyes closed is to create the space in the brain that will bring about spiritual awakening when the time is right.......

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Playing small.......with big insights

The title of this blog came to me when I was sitting quietly at home. The minute it came into my mind I felt an overwhelming shame because this is exactly what I have been doing. I haven't been writing this blog because I haven't wanted to play big. This has came into sharp focus since I began the management and team leadership programme with Landmark Education. In a number of posts I have spoken about the technology of distinction which the Landmark programmes offer. For me they have given to me the distinction 'human' and how it is designed. As a result I am now aware and have distinguished the decisions I made as a child which made me into the adult I am today. Some of those decisions empowered me and some held me back.

The team management and leadership programme however is different. It is based on becoming a master in communication from a model of communication that is based on integrity, responsibility and generosity. It begins with the assumption that everything is whole complete and perfect so there is no need to fix or change anything. Most communications in my life before I became aware of the new model of communication were all about surviving or else trying to fix or change what I thought should be different. Getting the distinction that there is another way to communicate, a way in which there is no need to force an outcome and as a result communication can be a dance instead of being fraught with anxiety and tension was so liberating. The team management and leadership programme is about becoming a master in the distinctions of the new model of communication. It is a year long programme and the new model is practiced in teams. This means being in teams, creating teams, managing teams and it is so challenging for me.

For most of my life I have told myself 'I'm not loved, I'm alone' all based on one incident when I was a child of 5 where my mother shouted at me. In that minute I said to myself 'I'm not loved, I'm alone'. Seeing it now, it is completely ridiculous because I know without any shadow of a doubt how much my mother loves me. But when I look at how my life has gone after I decided that this was the truth it will show the power of a decision made as a child and its drive in determining the kind of future that is put in place. I can remember trying to run away from home at least once .

When I was 11 I put myself into the Irish catholic boarding school. Because I was this kid with an English accent in with a school of Irish pupils, this point of view of 'I'm not loved, I'm alone' became even more strong as I was bullied and excluded.. Then fast forward to this day up to now. I live alone, my relationships haven't lasted long but the difference now is that I am aware of it and it doesn't have to be this way for one minute longer. Somehow this view when I wasn't aware of it, had the power to create the life I had. The minute I distinguished it by which I mean it came into my consciousness and I became aware of it, it has lost its power. Now it requires a lack of awareness on my part to exercise its power.

The strange thing is that somwhere in my subconscious I was vaguely aware of something odd about how I would always go to a row of empty chairs and sit there when there were people sitting in seats in other rows. This point of view I had meant that I would always find myself sitting alone. Now when I walk into the room I recognise the urge to sit alone as what it is, just a view and I force myself to go against it and sit with other people. Before this realization my degree of isolation was becoming so extreme that I had myself convinced that I was somewhere on the autistic scale.

But this view turned me to the spiritual at a young age. I doubted the love of everyone else towards me yet I never doubted the love of a higher power. It is this love that has grown stronger and more present in me since childhood. I could look back and think, what a tragic waste of a life but I will never say that. That isolation and loneliness created the birth of the spiritual child. Now I find myself in a programme where I have gone from not really bothering too much with anyone to having any one of 60 people call me to request me to be on a team or create a team and it's a real challenge to my view of 'I'm not loved, I'm alone'. Yet I know that if I am going to be a master in the kind of communication that can transform consciousness and bring about a connected and not a fragmented world, that this is my next stage. I only started this programme mid-May and already I can see how I'm not so concerned about how I look to others anymore. This was always a big reason why I didn't play a big game given everything I know and more importantly have experienced. I didn't want to stand out, I just wanted to be a team player, not a leader. This programme is changing that.

I'm not going to promise that I will now be writing this blog every evening but I think that there will be something in the challenges I will face and the breakthroughs I will have that may be least that will be my intention.....