Sunday, 28 September 2008

To become Enlightened.....get into a street fight with YOURSELF

Enlightenment which is the aim of all those on a spiritual path is only going to be achieved if we are willing to get into a street fight with ourselves. I am aware that this can read as radical but in my experience it is during those times when I am most hard on myself that the greatest peace comes at the end. When I can admit (not make wrong) all of the nastiness that underpins my apparent niceness and give it up then and only then is the space available for enlightenment. Getting into a street fight with yourself is not pleasant. It involves coming from the place where everything lies within me and not anywhere else. It is not 'out there', but 'in here'. Nobody can push my buttons except me. To enter into this enquiry and really take on the kind of street fight which is necessary to become free is not easy. The best way of doing it is to treat it like a game which in fact is what it is. The whole of life is a game and to make anything that happens throughout the course of the game which is one's whole life to be significant is to cause suffering and discomfort which is totally unnecessary.

Yes, taking on this street fight with myself is vital for enlightenment but it doesn't have to be this heavy, bad and wrong thing. It can be a process of playful discovery and an acknowledgement and acceptance of what is there. Acknowledgement and acceptance are hugely powerful in creating the space for enlightenment. Enlightenment is nothing more than 'lightening up'. I assert that the reason why the much coveted and sought after state of enlightenment is not common is because of the seriousness with which it is pursued. Lighten up, play with discovering how you have been put together as a human being, experience the beauty of being out of which the state of doing arises. Enlightenment is not possible from 'doing' it is only possible from 'being'. We can't 'do' intimate, we can only be 'intimate', we can't 'do' happy, we can only 'be' happy. Enlightenment is not common because of our emphasis on doing at the expense of being.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A strange you my readers..

A number of posts on this blog have been about a one year team management and leadership programme that is run by Landmark Education. The purpose of the year is to cause leaders. I must be honest and say that I had never seen myself as a leader. Being a leader was not something I ever thought about. In fact, throughout my childhood teenage and early adult years all I ever wanted to do was belong but all I seemed to do was stand out.

An experience on a 10 day silent meditation retreat in Devon in 1998 changed all that. From it I recognise the power of the experience I had and its transformative effects. I am not unique and if there is a deeply buried and dormant energy present within me, then it is within everyone. When this energy rises safely to the brain and then rests in the heart what is experienced is a level of connectedness to all things that it is hard to do justice writing about. As a result I have made this experience mean that I am a leader. However I then asked myself 'how do I get trained as a leader'. I didn't want to take myself off to an ashram and be under the guidance of some guru, that path just didn't appeal. The one year programme which Landmark Education offers seemed to tick all the boxes and it does in terms of understanding the ontology of human being and the ways in which the identity works in preventing spiritual realizations and insights, all within the context of a game (if that makes sense). I must stress that the technology that Landmark provides is not of a spiritual nature, it is promoted as education but I have found since doing the programme that my spiritual insights, intuitions and realizations are more frequent and intense.

I have also written about the dilemma I feel between a part of me that wants to play small and the other part that wants to play a big game. One of the requirements of this year programme is that the participants play what is called a 'Team Game in the World', this is a game that is played with a team of 5 other people (they cannot be on the programme). There is a requirement that there is something added to the world when the game has finished.

I have been so resisting this part of the programme. I haven't been in action around putting a team together and yet I am so inspired about the experience I had and how I can best give it away to others that I want to put on an event in London in early November to speak about this experience and also to have some research to present around the phenomenon of rising energy from the base of the spine.

My request through this blog is for any members who are reading this blog regularly and would like to be a part of getting my story out into the world and who are London based, to join my team to give hope and inspiration for the journey of spiritual transformation.

I have never done anything like this before and as I write this I am scared but also excited about the possibility of what could be available in the world following this event.

The deadline for me to put this team together is tight. I would need to have emails from anyone interested by Friday at 12pm. I don't envisage a huge commitment to have the event happen. A first face-to-face meeting of the team and then a number of conference calls to put the event together and arrange everything that needs to be done. So if you are inspired by what you read and would like to be part of my team then send an email to by 12pm Friday 26 September 2008.

I am aware of the unusual nature of this blog entry and the nature of the request, but I also know intuitively and at the deepest philosophical level that life is a game and I am playing for the highest of stakes..... the spiritual transformation of life itself.....

Thanks so much to everyone.....

Monday, 22 September 2008

Faith and power......what is the relationship.....

I received a comment to what is the most read of all my posts - my visit to Mother Meera. The comment explained about the correlation between faith and power. The comment asserted that power is in direct relation to the degree of faith, the more faith there is, the more power is manifest. I have been thinking about this assertion over the last couple of days and what has struck me is that while faith is vital for any kind of spiritual development for me it is not in direct proportion to the amount of power I have. I want to assert that this blog is about my own journey of spiritual transformation, in some ways it is universal and in others it is unique as are all of our journeys. The unshakeable faith to know that the state of enlightenment which is nothing but the experience of unconditional and unbounded love is possible in one's lifetime is necessary. After that it is a question of working on oneself, or more particularly one's identity or personality. It is seeing that we are not our thoughts and feelings, we have these, but this is not who we are. Given that.....then who am I?

I was interested in the 1% that the comment mentioned. In the early stages of this path I used to say (to who, I wasn't sure')- I am clear that 1% of me is well intentioned, take that 1% and make it stronger and let me continue to work on the remaining 99% of me that doesn't work'. I feel sure that it is this humility that has pulled me through some very strange thoughts and experiences I have had on this journey of spiritual transformation. I would equate humility with power and not with faith so much. Humility is esssential on this path, without it there is only ego inflation and then insights which are meant to function to expand and transform consciousness just become tools of the ego. With humility the ego inflation that can be common in those who profess to have spiritual experiences and insights is kept in check. I have also been asking myself 'what is power in the context of spiritual transformation'. For me power is making a difference, giving insight into the nature of human consciousness such that the clarity and grounded nature of what is written touches, moves and inspires those who are reading this blog. This is what power means to me.

For me, faith is not the basis for power, integrity is. Doing what I said I would do, when I said I would do it and doing it in the way it should be done, is the foundation of power. I have never been busier but yet somehow everything is getting done because I hold as my mantra integrity and I know that as long as I am not out of integrity that everything will continue to work....

So thank you to the person who left me the comment. It has set me thinking and I see all comments as a valuable contribution to the never ending and constantly fascinating path of spiritual transformation.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

When the external shifts and changes.....the internal remains constant

The title for this blog entry came to me in the early hours of this morning. With the demise of Lehman Brothers it really brought home just how impermanent and changing our external environment is. Looking to the external environment for transformation and to fulfill an internal spiritual urge is never going to work. The inner world and understanding the workings of the inner world is the access to transformation and to having a life that is magical. This is the access because of our potential as creators of our environment. I would assert that it is now time for everyone to accept this responsbility and to take ownership of the potential of the consciousness to create the reality in which we are are living.

As I have often written I am currently doing a one year programme that is aimed at causing leaders. At the end of this gruelling programme the aim is that I am going to emerge a leader. This is nothing short of ironic because I have never seen myself as a leader but I had a powerful experience on a meditation retreat in Devon in 1998 that I have made to mean that I am a leader. This is why I am putting myself through a programme that on a moment by moment basis I have to make the choice between operating from my identity that wants to play small and not speak out openly about this experience and what it might mean and my possibility that wants me to give up all concerns about playing it safe, and looking good and just SHARE. I am clear about one thing though and that is that I would not be on this programme if that event had not happened. Since then my life has been about searching for the meaning of that experience and in that way I am a victim of the experience. Instead of being able to leave it and move on it has left me like a rabbit in the headlights, kind of frozen as I dropped everything in the pursuit of a meaning for the experience.

What is it about one single event that could completely turn me from someone who was only concerned with things external into only being concerned with the enormous power that lies within me and if it lies within me it also lies within everyone who is reading this blog. This is the power which unleashed can enable the transformation the world is so desperately seeking. But I do not know how to unlock this power and in that lies my frustration. To know and yet not to be able to make a difference in the way that I know that I can given the power I have experienced gives a new meaning to frustration. Even with this power my identity and wanting to look good to people is still stronger than my possibility and herein lies my conflict.

But every event like the demise of a 158 year old institution that was Lehman's strengthens my resolve to continue with my own inner transformation and to continue with this path of training to be a leader even though I experience strong resistance to most of what it involves. I will continue in the trust that the experience I had of what I now understand to be a safe spiritual emergency (well safe in the fact that I don't have some of the well documented side effects that are often associated with this kind of experience) was my turning point to be on the path that I am on.

When everything external shifts and changes.....the internal remains constant.....

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The ultimate pretence.......

The ultimate pretence is to identify with our thoughts and feelings and then decide 'this is me' and 'x is mine'. This is the ultimate pretence because there is no 'me' or 'mine'. 'Me' and 'Mine' are constructs of the mind and are not real. This is the ultimate pretence and from these all other pretences in life arise. Over the past week I have been going through something. This has manifested itself in the presence of a large red and angry cyst on my stomach. For the past week I have been so restless and unsettled. Last night that all came to a head as in the early hours of the morning I had the insight that I have entitled above. The pretence of the boys toy being 'mine' is the same pretence as the man's Ferrari being 'mine'. It is the same pretence only deeper and more established in the latter.

I also found myself re-visiting the 3 main Buddhist concepts and getting a completely new understanding in the light of the insight of the ultimate pretence. The three pillars on which Buddhism is placed are Anicca, Anatta and Dukkha. The most accurate translation into English is impermanence, no Self and suffering. For the first time I understand these concepts. This is in spite of studying and practicing Mahayana Buddhism for many years! The ultimate pretence which is the nature of human being is to identify with our thoughts and feelings and then proclaim 'this is me'. This pretence leads to suffering as it is identification with something that is not real. When we identify ourselves with something that is not real we suffer. This suffering is what Buddhists call Dukkha. The suffering that comes when we know deep down that who we think we are is not who we are. Anatta is the doctrine of 'no Self'. This means that when we follow back the 'Me' and 'Mine' to where it originated we see that it comes from the larger 'I' and that there is no individual separate Self. Then Anicca is the doctrine of impermanence. That nothing that is identified as 'me and mine' is permanent it all shifts and changes.

What I have seen is that I have identified myself with my spiritual thoughts and feelings and have been attached to these believing these to be who I am. This identification with spiritual thoughts and feelings has caused me as much suffering as being identified to the material things of 'me and mine'. In the early hours of this morning I saw all of this and this morning am giving it all up to come from nothing. Identification with the spiritual is just another form of identification and results in just as much suffering and confusion.

The path of transformation takes courage. I'm not calling this path a spiritual path anymore but it is a path of transformation. By making this shift I am disidentifying with my spiritual thoughts and feelings. This is a huge shift for me and is an example of what can happen when this path is taken and pursued seriously. I'm hesitant about being definite about it because I recognise that there is still a huge amount hidden from my view about this path and what it involves. What I am slightly regretting now is not having the courage to write this blog as I was going through what I was going through last week, the tiredness, restlessness for no apparent reason, feeling a sense of frustration and an impatience and not knowing why. What I see now is that I was going through the conflict of what I call the game. The game between the identity which wants to run the show and the possibility that is evolving to shift consciousness to enable another level of awareness and insight.

This is in my experience a confusing process until the insight shows itself like it did for me in the early hours of the morning. In the early hours of the morning all became clear when I saw just how attached I was to my spiritual identity. I have often written how 'we have thoughts and feelings but this is not who we are and the words have come easily. In the early hours of this morning I had a direct insight into how the subtle identification of anything causes suffering and a feeling of being blocked. It causes this suffering because it is attachment and identification to things that are not real.

So today marks the first day of my life of service and contribution to others. In this way I can begin to dissociate with my own attachment to what I thought is 'me'. I can deepen the 'I' out of which the first 'me' came and on top of which all the other identifications have come and I can truly and honestly come from nothing.......with everything being possible.

Monday, 1 September 2008

What we don't know.....that we don't know...

I have discovered something rather alarming recently. On this blog I have written about the many years I have spent studying and practicing Mahayana Buddhism. The ego operates differently on a spiritual path than it does on a materialistic path. It tends to be more overt and transparent for the materialistic path in that the person will experience the drive to acquire more and more wealth and it is quite obvious to everyone around what the driving force for this is.

Ego operation on the spiritual path is a more subtle process. The very first touch of realness of the spiritual path is that moment where something shifts so that the consciousness changes from being focussed on external things and turns within. There is an experience which shifts the consciousness to within and to identifying the power that lies within. It is at this point that the ego also shifts its focus. The spiritual path is far more threatening to its survival than the materialistic path and so in order to sabotage it, the ego has to act in a quite a subtle way. This first turning of the consciousness can result in an thought of 'being special' in that this event which admittedly is not very frequent or if it is not many people write or speak about it can begin the start of a spiritual ego that is determined to halt if not prevent the progress of the consciousness to the ultimate goal which is that state of enlightenment through the tranformation of the ego.

A spiritual ego can convince the consciousness of anything. In my case it was that I am such a loving, generous, and open soul and this is the image that I harboured of myself for many years. I was in someway special, better than everyone else. I stopped short in my own head of being able to walk on water! I convinced myself that I was travelling the same well worn path of mystics when the truth was that I was hugely ego inflated. All of this doesn't take away from my conscious intention to be all of the things that would result in the enlightened state of consciousness. That intention was genuine. What was always going to sabotage it however was that whole area of consciousness of 'what I don't know, that I don't know'. This was where the ego was going to do its best and deepest work.

In spite of the best intention to be a good person and live a good life this whole area is so powerful in sabotaging the best held intentions unless what is operating in this area is brought to light and transformed. It is because of this spiritual persona that I have found it difficult to identify what has been going on in this huge area that is hidden from my view. What I have seen and which has shocked me is that I pretend to be this kind and caring person that spiritual people are meant to be and what is really there is how jealous and resentful I am of people. Seeing this has been a huge shock but it has also shifted my consciousness to another level of understanding.

What I now understand is that there is a deeper conflict or battle going on which is not even personal. It is outside out conscious intentions for what we want in life. Creating consciously what we want in life is personal, we do it and are aware that we are doing. What goes on in this whole area of 'what we don't know, that we don't know', is deeply unconscious and is not personal, this area has its own agenda. I have seen this so clearly over the last few days. Having said that it is no reason to despair that every conscious choice I make is in someway going to be hijacked by activity in this area that I are not even aware exists. It depends on the level at which the consciousness is operating. It is the progression of the spiritual journey that this area works to prevent. This is how it is occuring for me and I am aware that it is not the truth just the way it occurs. But for some reason I felt the need to write the blog entry this morning on this topic.

What to do when this is revealed to the consciousness. Like any insight, the first thing to do is not to judge it or make it wrong. It is what it is and no more. Then don't run away from the impact of what has just made itself known. For me the impact of the truth being that I am jealous and resentful while pretending to be this spiritually enlightened and awakened consciousness made me feel sick and explained why I don't contribute the insights and understandings. It's because I don't want others to have what I have because then they might be better than me and I would be jealous. After sitting and really getting the impact of the nastiness that has been beneath the nice veneer I am now creating the possibility of being generous and loving. I know that each time I remember and bring this possibility into existence that the activity that continues to go in in the area of 'don't know, what we don't know' gets weaker somehow. It's like now there is now another strong energy to balance out that other energy. While there is no possibikity activity in this whole area goes on as normal, hidden from our view and outside of our awareness.

Vigilance on the spiritual path is so important but what I have learned is that it doesn't matter how vigilant we are with the thoughts, feelings, behaviour that we are conscious of that the whole area of what we don't know that we don't know is running and will continue to run the show unless this whole area is brought to consciousness and transformed.....