3D


What’s the difference between a lunatic playing the piano and a concert pianist playing the piano? After all, they are both playing the same notes. The difference is the same as between Zen and organised religion. Like the concert pianist, the Zen person is in flow; everything is in order; there is acceptance of “what is”.  When a madman plays the piano, the notes may be the same, but they are bashed out at random; he is just playing fragments.  This is the same with organised religion; it is a fragmented series of stories that are someone else’s experience.  These stories have been packaged and pedaled to the masses in the hope that the masses will believe blindly.

To practise organised religion, you need the three Ds; doctrine, dogma and deity. All are creations of the mind and are therefore of the ego. The only purpose they serve is to keep the individual in ignorance. The religious person is constantly seeking the unseekable; something that is in the future, whereas the Zen person knows there is nothing to seek. The Zen person knows that spiritual awakening is the understanding that you are already awake.

Listen to the music of silence, it will tell you everything you need to know.

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Blasphemy Anyone?


Fancy a bit of blasphemy?  Well, you’re out of luck because it doesn’t exist.

Oh, go on then, it does… but only in people’s heads.  How can you insult a deity that is apparently above and beyond anything we can imagine?  Being “insulted” is something that us humans feel because of the presence of our egos.  It’s the relative opposite of feeling smug due to being praised.  In fact, there isn’t even a deity to blaspheme against.  There is however, Infinite Consciousness; which transcends the human condition, is therefore without ego and cannot be disrespected.  Even if we try we cannot insult consciousness.

The only deity that’s of any relevance is the one you can see when you look in the mirror.  Don’t be fooled by religious dogma!

Here’s a picture of a rainbow for you; completely random!  Wishing you sunshine and happiness!

A Rainbow in the Cairngorms.

 

 

Out Of My Mind


Confused?  You will be…

Wow!  What a statement, “out of my mind”.  There was a time when that was all I wanted to be; but it usually involved engaging the help of some really good drugs or a rather cheeky red.  These days being out of my mind has a whole new meaning.  I’ll rewind a bit first.

I remember when my true self was in the early stages of emerging.  I was quite involved with Spiritualism, and meditations were wonderous experiences with crystals, colours, angels, animals and spirit guides etc.  I remember thinking that I had really arrived somewhere; not realising that the experiences I was having, although very pleasant, were of the mind.  The universe soon blew away any delusions of grandeur that I had about having “arrived”.  I believe it’s fashionable to refer to these kind of meditations as “visualisations” these days.

It was some years before I was to learn the true meaning of being out of my mind.  But eventually, Zen found me, introduced me to a state of “no-mind”, and took me in a whole new direction.  These days I very rarely meditate in the traditional sense, but quite often experience myself being nothing more than an observer as the shenanigans of life play out before my eyes.

However, I also find myself as confused as ever, as the universe (or whatever you want to call it) constantly highlights all the things that are still holding me back.  I am incessantly reminded of all my personal prejudices (as much as I try to deny them); they are constantly there, glaring at me, almost tormenting me and daring me to give them up.  They say that awareness, where there once wasn’t any, is half the battle.  But the universe is truly relentless in its efforts to completely send me out of my mind.

I hope this post finds you… out of YOUR mind.

 

 

Spuds!


The humble potato. As you can see, this one is in mid-peel…

I recently found a cyber-friend of mine on another well-known social media site (you know who you are!), and on viewing her page, I came across the most wonderful post.  I liked it so much, and it provoked so much thought within me, that I wanted to share it with you here.  I am not quoting word for word, but I think you will get the gist; it concerns peeling potatoes; or as I like to call them, “spuds”.  It goes something like this..

Religion based spirituality – Peeling potatoes, thinking about God.

Zen spirituality – Peeling potatoes.

At first glance you would think that the religious person is a goody-two-shoes; thinking about God whilst engaged in a fairly mundane task.  However, unless you have an understanding of Zen and are able to look deeper into what is being said, there is a good chance that this is the only conclusion you will draw.

In the first example, the person’s mind is active; and is therefore giving life to the non-existent ego, or false self.

In the second example, the person is simply Being and is therefore at one with “All That Is”.

It has occurred to me that Zen is the direct experience of our own Divinity.

Putting The Cart Before The Horse


I am prompted to write this post by the current plight of a very dear friend of mine.  The truncated version of events is as follows.  I have known my friend for around seven years, and it seems that for approximately the last five of those, she has been incessantly and systematically bullied by her manager at work.  It also seems that a couple of other people have stuck the knives in as well; if you’ll pardon the expression.  The culmination of all this, is that roughly two months ago she phoned me on a Saturday evening in a bit of a state, and asked if she could come round.  She arrived at around 7.45pm and did not leave until 3.45am.  Seven hours of being absolutely in bits, pouring her heart out and telling me that it has got to the stage where she no longer wants to wake up in the morning.  Finally, a couple of weeks back she resigned; having managed to find a suitable similar position with another employer.  The situation has not been helped by her being in an abusive relationship with a man who also works for the same company, and who has seemingly (to an extent) been in cahoots with her tormentors.  She managed to end the relationship around the same time she came to my house and poured her heart out; but she has since gone back to him.  Phew!!!

So, what has all this got to do with carts and horses?

Nothing really, but I thought it would make a great analogy.  If we think of the horse as the Self and the cart as a self-created burden (ego), it illustrates aptly how we as a species cause ourselves so much pain and suffering, simply by the fact that we have forgotten who we are.  I can relate so much to my friend’s story because it is very similar to my own.  As you can probably guess, I have tried my best to offer guidance, but my friend’s tunnel vision and “tumble dryer” mind are adamant they are not going to listen.

We blame external circumstances and other people (the cart), for the way we feel emotionally (the horse).  However, the reality is that our external circumstances are a mirror of what’s going on inside us, and all too often we project our past experiences onto the present moment; thus creating our pain and misery.  We forget that no other person is responsible for the way we feel.  This is something I learned the hard way; which brings me onto forgiveness.

It will help us greatly if we can look at forgiveness from a different angle than we are used to.  We tend to think that being forgiving means that we accept other people’s seemingly unfair behaviour towards us, or that we have to be tolerant of selfish or unreasonable behaviour.  But forgiveness is the understanding that no one but our self is responsible for the way we feel.  When something arises, we form a judgement based on past experience and project it onto the present moment.  This produces an emotion, which we then “out-picture” as our reality, whilst at the same time remaining oblivious that we are creating this reality.

This concept is extremely difficult to grasp when you are experiencing the pain that my friend is currently experiencing.  But the universe works in a very precise manner, and as I found out, once I accepted that I held the key, things started to change.

The horse gets by very well on its own; it doesn’t need the cart.  But as long as we believe that things outside us are responsible for the way we feel inside, then the cart of ego will continue to torment us.

My dear friend, my heart goes out to you…

PS  I’m now off to the Scottish Highlands, so I’ve posted a couple of pics here for your enjoyment.  I hope to have some more for you on my return.

 

A Eureka Moment!


I had a bit of a pondering today whilst listening to a very profound extract of a Rupert Spira video.  It goes without saying, especially in relation to my earlier life, that watching such videos and reading spiritual books is very valuable in helping us to see the light in this crazy world.  But the more I take in from such media, the more I realise that I never needed the media in the first place.  It’s an old chestnut, but it really is just like being an actor in the theatre who takes on the persona of their character, and when the curtain comes down the actor realises that they are in fact, someone completely different.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my experience today was like a very proficient swimmer diving into a swimming pool, but they decide to wear a rubber ring anyway; just in case.

I really love having Eureka moments.  I think today’s can be summed up thus; all the knowledge that we gain from books etc. is already contained within us.  All we have to do is allow ourselves to Be.  In doing so we are allowing the higher power to work through us on a “horses for courses” basis.  So, whatever we need in any given moment, by way of knowledge, will simply bubble up from the soul.

But, having said that, I can’t deny that I do love the process of actively seeking…

Left Or Right? Does It Matter?


Those of you who followed my story of personal evolution, will know that I come from a working-class background; and indeed, you may have deduced that I am proud of my roots and would not swap my life for anything.  My politics have always been very left; simply because I have always detested bigotry and prejudice of any kind.  In the UK (I can’t speak for any other country) we still have a ridiculous class-system that should have been confined to the rubbish bin centuries ago.  Indeed, the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” seems to be growing wider by the second.  Also, unless you have been living in your own bubble this last few weeks, you will be aware that the UK had a visit from a certain POTUS recently, that caused a stir, to say the least.

These days I try very hard to look at things from the bigger spiritual perspective, although I must admit, that if I see something on social media that appeals greatly to the old me, I can’t resist the odd retweet or repost here and there.  So, what is the bigger spiritual perspective when it comes to the murky world of politics?

Well, I’m sure it may mean different things to different people, but what it means to me is this.  Everything in this illusory world only exists in relationship to its relative opposite; in fact, if it ain’t got a relative opposite it don’t exist!  To take that a step further, you can only experience or express something in this world if it has a relative opposite.  Without grief there would be no joy, without the bitter there would be no sweet; the list is endless.  So, the implications are that when you express something, a political view for example, you are actually helping to endorse its polar opposite.  The left can only exist because of the right, and vice-versa.

We must also remember that old chestnut, “as without, so within”.  So, when the circus comes to town, as it recently did in the UK, what we are seeing, and in our case what the majority of people ridiculed, was only a reflection of what is going on within ourselves at some level of our being.  Making that statement doesn’t mean that I agree with the person in question’s views.  But, what I am saying is that right and wrong are only relative in relationship to each other, and are concepts constructed by the mind about a certain thing.  It is also worth bearing in mind that nothing can happen unless the collective consciousness of our species wills it so.

So, what’s the answer?  Once again, this is just my personal point of view.  First of all, scroll up and read my opening paragraph again.  Did it seem quite negative in parts?  My use of the word “detest”, for example?  Even though I only wrote that paragraph from the perspective of my actual experiences in my own country, there was a hint of aggression in there; and the left are supposed to be the good guys! (There I go again).  I honestly believe that the answer to this conundrum is in my good friend, Zen.  Zen is a state of Being; or pure Consciousness.

There is no relativity in Consciousness, and Consciousness is our true nature; therefore there is ultimately no left or right, no right and wrong etc. So, whoever you are and wherever you find yourself at any given time, simply act from the perspective of Consciousness, to the best of your ability, and be an example; a shining light, to others.  That is all any of us can do really.  Once we understand that the world and all its shenanigans are simply the crazy construction of our own minds, we can go about helping to reduce its craziness.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I want to finish by using an old Zen saying that I’ve used many times before.  “Be as a hollow bamboo”.  In other words, don’t “do”, don’t be left or right, right or wrong; just be as a hollow bamboo and allow the higher power to work through you.  Allow magic to work through you; indeed, allow yourself and the example you set to those around you to be magical.