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Aspiration

Day to day we interact with people, places, spaces and feelings. All that becomes apparent to us due to chemicals in our body that interact with our brain to provide a subjective view of the world in which we exist. An existence that our mind tells us that is real without any empirical proof that what our mind says to us is as it is.

Our consciousness observes this parade of images as it plays out as the soap opera of our life. Our relationships, our inspirations, our pain and our joy as they filter through the lens of our perceptions.

To have that lens clear of stain, to know our mind and our perception as things truthfully are rather than we perceive them to be is a joy to aspire.

Values

Day by day we are exposed to messages from modern mass media that implies, directs and judges us on what we should or should not value. What we wear, what we have, what we drink, consume and do for entertainment is, if we are to believe the doyens of judgement, the values by which we can take our place on this earth.

This smoke screen of ludicrous social white noise distracts us from the values that underlie the way in which we walk upon this earth and this current existence. My value of a person is based on which phone I use? How does this stand up to the value of a child in Ghana that is sold into slavery for the total value of $400. Or a girl in Nepal is taken into prostitution to pay off a relatives debt. How does this relate to the social value of a mobile phone?

Our values reflect whether we walk heavily or softly on this earth and this existence. The accumulation of values that we carry and that influence our behaviour are not hard wired or carved into our psyche but are fluttering in front of the lens of our perception like butterflies or transient dust that we can cleanse at any time once we realise that what we are, in fact, seeing/perceiving is not truth but our version of truth.

The premise of our existence is that we are all in this fish bowl of breathable air together. The breath that I take as I write this has passed through the lungs of many sentient beings before me just as my DNA has been passed down to me from my ancestors long buried and forgotten. Also, we have this one earth that sustains this biological transportation vessel for this consciousness/soul that we all share and that if we walk heavily on this earth then the consequences reverberate in ways that we can not conceive.

Our values in order to promote a life worth living should be, I believe, premised on giving thanks for our ancestors, this land on which we tread, those that are the traditional carers of this earth and the realisation that our breath and blood are common to all.

Being Friends with the Person you spend the most time with – YOU.

Today I wish for all of us to make friends with our own set of aggregates.

In a visualisation of yourself, wish to you that you are well, that you are happy, that you are free from suffering and that you live at ease. Then give yourself a hug.

Being nice to yourself is a step in the right direction towards all that is good.

A’ha, its not all about me!

All about me

As we progress on our spiritual practice we have quite a few a’ha moments. These include the many and varied realisations about: our practice, our friends, our job, the nature of existence and the futility of our existential angst.

After we experience one of these moments of realisations it is common to have that self talk and self congratulation of “I have realised …”. However,,,,, the true realisations are those that are able to be experienced without the filter of perception as we see the true nature of the phenomenon that we are contemplating.

For this reason a true realisation is the furthest thing from “I” or “me” as you can get because you have managed to eliminate all of “you” in the understanding of that phenomenon. Therefore, it is not a matter of “I have realised …” or “now I understand” as that has immediately welcomed the ego dog into the process.

The true realisation is a matter of “so THAT is the nature of that phenomenon!!”. To speak of that understanding is to bring the perception and filter of language. To speak of that realisation in specifics is to bring the ego back and to drive away the realisation.

To hear, to know, to realise.

Intention

prayer

Today as the Sunday sun rises and announces a new day in whichever part of the world you might be in. Take the time to be thankful for whatever that you have.

If you had a place to sleep, give thanks and develop the wish for all people to have a place to sleep.

If you have food, give thanks and develop the wish for all people to have food.

If you have health, give thanks and develop the wish for all people to have health.

If you are happy and free from suffering … well, you know what to do.

When we sit to our worship and our prayers, request not for ourselves but for others that they may be well, may be happy, may be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, and may they live at ease.

Wish this for loved ones, acquaintances, those that we might call enemies, and for all those that are in times of famine, crisis or war.

This is my wish.

Mindful Absentmind

All traditions show that prayer brings you closer to the concept of God. The minimisation of the ego in order to allow the soul to soar. There is also amazing benefit in the practice of being mindful as we go through our day. Mindful of our thoughts, words and our actions.

When we learn a new activity we are mindful of our thoughts and actions until it becomes second nature. Actions such as driving a car, learning a new language, or even as a baby learning to walk. In the same way the key to removing our ego from controlling our day to day actions is to be mindful of what we think, say and do until it becomes second nature.

Start with setting aside small periods during the day such as during a meeting, or before interactions with specific people. If you know someone is going to particularly confrontational make a point of using this as an opportunity to be mindful, even develop a sense of compassion before the meeting.

From these small practice sessions will come longer periods of being absently mindful just like when you master that golf swing or have your first conversation in another language without having to resort to mental or physical dictionary.

Mindfully absentmind.

The Example, The Method, and The Community

Spirit Dog and Ego Hound

 

The procession towards gaining a pure understanding of the reality of existence while minimising the influence of ego and perception is a task that takes dedication and motivation on behalf of the seeker.  Most seekers start out by realising that, to borrow a line from a fibre advertisement, there is a “better kind of normal”.  This can be due to a large number of individual reasons which prompts the seeker to initiate the search.

The search can be the self inspection/introspection in order to “find oneself” or to shop around the well known, and not so well known, spiritual and religious traditions.  This often brings people back to the teachings of their culture and/or parents or to experiment with more non-traditional teachings.  At this stage the seekers are prime targets for cults and destructive teachings that isolate the seeker from the community for the betterment of the cult or its leaders.

But how do you know when a cult is a cult?  Most belief systems have three elements:  The Example/Teacher, The Method/Teaching, and The Community.

The Example/Teacher.  Is the person that delivered the teaching and showed the efficacy of the teaching as a living example of the effectiveness of the teaching.  There are specific qualities that make for a good teacher – certainly how they live their life is an example.  Their life should not be at odds with their teachings.  They should not be claiming a higher status than that of a teacher or coach for the seeker.  This includes those that claim that they are incarnations of Jesus, Living Buddha’s, the next coming, etc.

The Method/Teaching.  The method/teaching that is espoused should be logical and provide more than just “have faith” by providing a daily practice that provides a base of behaviour that is conducive to spiritual development that is based on service to others, reduction of ego and the stripping of learned behaviours and criticism.  It should not be based on indulgence or damage to self or others.  The teaching is more important than the teacher and the teaching and the behaviour of the teacher will provide the proof of the teaching.

The Community. The Community is the community of seekers that support the journey.  The identification of the community can be difficult in that there is a community of seekers, of teachers, of practitioners and of people outside of the community.  All of them need to work together and be accepting of all and the teaching should provide guidance for those that are outside or critical of the community of seekers.  The key to this guidance is that ultimately we are all connected in some way and therefore to be discriminatory of others is to foster discrimination of self.

The journey of reduction of the Ego Hound to allow the Spirit Dog to thrive is not easy and very threatening to some who value their own perception of “self” in that the journey results in the destruction of what they perceive and value.

Which dog will you feed today?

Belonging

A true sense of belonging is not dependent on others.

The ability to generate loving kindness for others creates the sense of belonging.

Back to Basics and Messiahs I have known

Gravity

When looking to the various traditions and the teachers that have taught lessons that have stood the test of time there appears a common theme – unity.

From Abrahams single deity to the teachings of the Buddha that we are all subject to the same natural laws, to Jesus’ rebellion against the rules of the day that only the well to do may enter the temple, to the trials of Mohammed who fought against the practice of individual deities to bring all of the tribes under a unitary system that sees different methods of worship but with one god head.

They all taught that we are all subject to a natural law regardless of our status, colour or wealth at birth and that there is a way to obtain the best from this natural law which usually involves caring for others and to eliminate the momentary bliss of physical satisfaction.

However, it is apparent that there are other teachings that speak to the ego, the sense of different, invidualism and that I am better than you because I am blessed with: wealth, colour, status, etc as a benefit of birth. Or my people are suffering because we are being tested by the one true deity over the falsehoods of your belief system. In all of these the intent of the original teachings and the historical context is overlooked, forgotten or see as irrelevant.

We are all subject to a natural spiritual law whether we believe or not in the same way that we are bound to this earth by forces of nature, whether we believe it or not.

Care for others as only through interdependence in belief and action do we maximise our existence and those around us.

Loving Kindness

As I sit in contemplation

Ego diminishing and thoughts of loving kindness arise

For my self as separate I wish

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

 

 

For those I love and hold dear

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

For those that I see and meet with no particular thought

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

For those that I have falsely developed a fear or thought to despise

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

For all sentient being in all parts of existence

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

This is my wish

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