reflections on the way


There are no "beings" to "free" from "suffering". Life simply is. Is and is and is.

The only thing to do is to be oneself, as completely as possible. If there's anything that life is asking of us, it's this.

memory files

Meditating really makes it clear how everything the senses encounter can get filed away indefinitely, along with whatever feelings they stirred. Try to sit in silence and you'll be assaulted on all sides with old memory files - nostalgic ones, anxious ones, happy ones, horny ones, scary ones, sad ones. On and on it goes in an endless stream while you're just trying to sit and breathe for a couple minutes.

Maybe that's one of the reasons the wise suggested guarding the senses. Being mindful of the input so the present moment can actually permeate awareness without being crowded out with so many obsolete junk files.

hypnotized by appearances

I was walking through a mall today and suddenly noticed the absurdity of what was going on around me (one layer of it at least). Thousands of us were passing through a building filled with objects created and displayed solely for the pleasure of the human eye.

Aside from visual features like colour and style, what difference is there between two identically sized shirts, let alone thousands of them? Why so much variety? Shop after shop of them, drawing our gazes, beckoning us towards them - to touch them, to adorn our bodies and spaces with them, to possess them and make them our own? What purpose do they each serve aside from pleasing the senses?

"Look how beautiful I am," they whisper from the windows. "Have me and you can be more. More than you are, more than others are..."

This effect extends to living beings too. How easily we can be seduced by physical beauty in a person, whether by circumstance of bone protrusion, skin pigmentation or other incidental features of genetics. What do these have to do with the being we're looking at, with their nature or character? Nothing whatsoever. What we're responding to isn't the individual but the effect they're having on our senses and our thoughts. In some part of us stirs that same desire to possess. The hypnotic effect takes hold.

If you've had many beautiful things then you've likely experienced varying degrees of disappointment over the reality of possessing them - their tendency to fail to live up to the promising fantasies and instead to simply be what they are. Similarly if you've been physically attractive you may have come to notice after some time that, despite the social advantages and temporary pleasures it can initially provide, the reality of the experience tends to be as fleeting and empty as appearances themselves. Particularly since you're far more likely to attract the superficial.

So what to do about it?

It might be enough to be aware. Noticing the tendency to seduce and be seduced by appearances, and the tendency in each of us to conjure fantasies of what could be were we to possess the beautiful. Keeping in mind that appearances are little more than a play of light - wonderful to see perhaps, yet insubstantial in themselves.

choosing to feel

For the past while I've been learning what it really means to feel. For most of my life I essentially considered feeling an emotion to be equivalent with expressing it (or more accurately, reacting to it). Feeling anger = stomping, yelling, losing patience. Feeling sorrow = crying, withdrawing, shutting down. Feeling joy = smiling, laughing, doing a little jig. Things like that. And since I'd learned to stop expressing I eventually considered myself to be unemotional, which has turned out to be far from the truth. The actual energy of it was just moving outside of my awareness.

For a time, regaining awareness and access to my emotional energy made me feel way more reactive. Lately I've been practicing tuning in and feeling what comes up while disengaging from the narratives playing out in my mind. I've found that if an emotion is really felt and given space to run its course, its expression can be far more nuanced and a matter of conscious choice. I can feel intense anger and choose to express it by slowing down. I can feel deep sadness and choose to express it by dancing. I can feel profound joy and choose to express it by weeping.

There are no rules. I can even choose not to express anything at all, allowing it to be a private movement occurring entirely within.

living the dream

Life as a human is pretty funny. It just starts up one day and then a couple rotations later abruptly ends. Yet we spend so much of our time and energy running around feverishly trying to get things, hold onto things and keep things away.

I'm looking around my room right now. There are some cupboards, plants, notes and artwork on the walls, a bed, table and other assorted things. I have a white noise machine running and I'm wearing two sweaters. I'm incredibly comfortable. I'm starting to feel hungry and it's fine since there's a kitchen full of food waiting for me. All of it is for me - just me. This one person has all of this. This one life is so full, so overflowing with pleasures and comforts.

And it so often doesn't feel like enough. I even have friends and a family - autonomous beings who choose to be and share with me - and it so often doesn't feel like enough. How strange is that?

When you think about it, there's really nothing to worry about. Life isn't so different from a dream. It's here now and soon it'll be gone, as if it never was. Every experience along the way is as valid as any other, whether we get the special shiny things or not doesn't make much difference. There's so much else to enjoy. We can turn a corner and continue our relentless march to the end of the dream in some other direction.

egolessness and boundaries

Efforts to "dissolve the ego" are for the purpose of dissolving the dysfunctional and reactive patterns developed in childhood.

In the space that emerges as it's grip is loosened, a new ego can then be created and deployed to replace it. Most come to identify with this new ego but you no longer need to be it, you can just use it.

In the act of asserting a boundary, ego is used to repel an outside force from our psychic space by providing a clear sense of self and not-self, of your interests/beliefs/needs/desires and mine. Without this clarity, we're vulnerable to manipulation by externals. If one is aware of their boundaries, ego can be deployed to assert our own preferences. We can then return to the reality of egolessness, since it's really only by pattern and repetition that the illusion of a stable egoic identity is maintained.

With codependents and those in cults, the parent, partner or guru diminishes the ego of the other to the point that their needs and desires can be overriden by the will of others. They become easily controllable because they lack the awareness, boundaries and ego strength to assert personal will and autonomy.

Neither is necessarily better or worse. Some may enjoy and be suited for the roles that come about through surrender to another and in some cases it can be beneficial. The potential for abuse is enormous though, so the capacity to self assert is useful.

houses of cards

We're all constantly scrambling around trying to build and maintain a foundation of safety and security around us.

Houses of cards! Constantly falling away. We never feel at peace, waiting for the next one to fall, already looking for the next replacement. Always afraid, always breathless.

And none of it is real! All objects of the mind. Ideas.

There is no safety and no unsafety here, no security and no insecurity. All is dead and deathless.

thinking and thinking

The less you say and do in the moment, the more you'll think and think later on.

Overthinking is the result of stopped up truth. It happens in the space that fear and self-doubt create between impulse and expression.

All this thinking and philosophising is a substitute for living, for being deeply engaged with life.

What are you afraid of? Why the doubt and hesitation? Look into it.

Start dealing with life as it arises. Speak up! Do!

to live is to be challenged

There is no situation in the future in which there are no more problems and everything is all good. You can only choose which situations to be involved in and which problems to have as a result. Life is challenge in it's very nature because challenge = growth, and life is always growing. Any attempt to escape this is futile.

Do, but don't expect it to make life any better than it can be at this very moment. It will only have a different external form with it's own set of things to enjoy and to deal with.

neither dimming nor performing

To perform and try to be pleasing in order to make others enjoy my company more is completely self defeating and makes relationships a drain because they come to expect and feed off this. Before long their company becomes a burden.

I need to accept and bring myself as I am with others. It's the only way I can be with them without it being a drain. It's the only way to find love and friendships that will nourish and last. If I can be at peace with others. If I'm neither entertaining them nor suppressing myself. If I'm at rest, giving only myself as I am in each moment. If I am myself and I allow them a chance to see and love that - not what I'm doing for them.

The right ones for me will see and love that. I already know that I have the capacity to see and love that in others. That's what I need, and it starts with me. It starts with me letting others have their expectations and needs and judgements and staying rooted in myself regardless. Picking myself up when things don't work out. Reminding myself of my inherent worthiness and okayness, even with all the flaws and mistakes and awkwardness. Neither dimming nor performing. Just being. Simply being and letting the energy flow where it will. Letting myself emerge naturally.


When you experience unity within yourself, you experience it with all that is. Separation occurs within our own selves and must be dealt with from there. Unity will not be found outside.

We only become hypnotized by our sense perception. The things we see, hear, feel, etc pull us out of our centre. If consciousness returns to abiding in the self, separation dissolves and all is held in oneness.

the true self

Who "I am" is pure potentiality. There is no self in it. It simply is.

Seeking a self, investigating the past to create a self, is folly. It only produces a construct composed of interpreted events.

The true self manifests in and as each moment.

words create the illusion

Language and concepts are the illusion. Words create the illusion. When we speak, we communicate on the level of that illusion. When we get identified with the words, try to find truth in the words, try to find ourselves in the words, try to find life in the words, we become confused.

There is nothing in any of it. Words are only pale reflections, yet they consume all our attention. Life is silent - wordless. Life is underneath and all around the words. They only represent conceptual realities of our own creation. Truth simply is. I simply am. Life simply is. That's all there is to know. The rest is purely practical.

I am as I am. There has never been anything personal in anything that has happened "to me". It's all a collection of stories and interpretations. They have as much reality as I've ascribed to them.

If I can be like the duck, able to receive a peck on the tail from another, flap my wings and move on, knowing there's nothing personal in it, that I am as I am and "the other" is as they are, then what is there to hold onto? I can simply be, let others be, let everything be.

The only useful words are yes and no. It's either a yes or a no, in all things. This is all that needs to be identified and communicated, with no ill will or animosity. When is it a yes for me and when is it a no?


(note: wrote this by some ducks)

pain and growth

Everything has it's place in this world, even the tormentors and unfair situations. They can be turned into a gift, a reason to find strength and wholeness. With them around you can't afford to be complacent. You can't afford to be weak. They become fuel for potential rapid growth and transformation, and this comes with a cost.

Life is a dance of polarities and perfect balance. Pain is intrinsically tied to growth. They exist together. They are part of the same pole.

moving beyond personality

"i just wanted to let you know, i know you said moving beyond personality and into who you are makes you worry it makes you seem empty but i like how you're able to take everything in and transform it in yourself and send it back"
"wow thank you, i was worried i seemed unsettling or something"
"no i don't find that at all"

i fall backwards in a deep pool of water and sink to the bottom, trusting i'll be able to breathe the water. he falls in too and sinks to the bottom, i put my arm around him and laugh and say "well this is cosy. are you holding your breath?" and then realize/suspect that we can't breathe and push us to the surface.


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