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Orlando, Florida, United States
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On Enlightenment



“Enlightenment means waking up to what you truly are and then being that.” 
~Adyashanti

Is there effort required on this path? Personally I find I have less and less energy to make an effort in any direction.

You can't make an effort without rension. But why do you make an effort?  Only because you're looking for some result, for something outside yourself. Once you really know that what you're looklng for is your real nature, you lose the impetus to strive. So first, see how you are constantly making an effort. As soon as you are aware of this process, you are already outside it. And it may come as an original perception that you are really stillness.

But doesn't seeing this require some effort?

No. This seeing is your natural state. Just be aware that you don't see. Become more aware that you constantly react. Seeing requires no effort because your nature is seeing, is being stillness. The moment you're not looking for a result, not looking to criticize, to evaluate or conclude, just looking, then you can perceive this reacting, and you are no longer an accomplice to it.


Wellbeing Podcasts

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NOTICE THAT HAPPINESS IS HERE



Happiness isn’t something to attain or achieve, but something to notice. If you are busy trying to achieve happiness, you are probably overlooking it. The ego tries to get happiness from doing, having, or being someone, while the spiritual ego tries to get it from transcending all of that. For the ego, spiritual freedom, or enlightenment, is just another thing to be achieved. Wanting happiness and freedom from the suffering of the ego are worthwhile desires. The problem is that wanting anything implies you don’t already have it. You believe you aren’t free when you already are. You believe you need to do something to be happy, and you don’t. This truth is very difficult for the ego to grasp. The ego doesn’t notice the happiness that is already present in the moment because that happiness doesn’t look like the ego imagines or wants happiness to look.

Lake, Gina (2009-04-19). What About Now? Reminders for Being in the Moment (p. 126). Endless Satsang Foundation. Kindle Edition.

What Time Is It?



At this moment if you set the alarm to get up at 3:47 this morning and when the alarm rings and you get up and turn it off and say What time is it?
You'd say:

Now. Now.
Where am I?
Here! Here!


Then go back to sleep.

Get up at 9:00 tomorrow. Where am I?
Here!



What time is it?

Now!


Try 4:37 three weeks from next Thurs.


By God

It is - there's no getting away from it -

That's the way it is 
That's the 
Eternal Present

You finally figure out that it's only the clock that's going around ...
It's doing it's thing but you - you're sitting
Here
Right Now

Always


~Ram Dass

Give Up Your Stories


When you are in the flow, you experience whatever you are experiencing without telling a story about it. Thoughts may arise, but you recognize them as thoughts, as an attempt on the part of the ego to define the moment because that is what it tries to do. Meanwhile, you just stay in the experience of the moment, which is forever changing into something else. When you are in the flow, you know yourself as that which is aware of the thoughts, not someone who is thinking them.

Lake, Gina (2009-04-19). What About Now? Reminders for Being in the Moment (pp. 107-108). Endless Satsang Foundation. Kindle Edition.

Simple Meditation


Meditation is as simple as just noticing, or being aware of, what is coming into your senses, what thoughts and feelings are arising, what intuitions or inspirations are arising, what motivations and urges are arising, and what energetic sensations are being experienced without getting involved in the mind’s commentary about these. Notice not only what is coming in through your senses, but also the impact it has on you subtly and not so subtly. The goal of meditation is to experience your true nature, or Essence, and Essence is this noticing, aware Presence that you imitate when you sit down to meditate. In imitating Awareness by being aware of everything you are experiencing in the moment, but not identifying with it, you become that Awareness; you drop into it. Noticing without getting involved in any mental commentary or thoughts about what you are noticing aligns you with Essence.
  • Lake, Gina (2009-04-19). What About Now? Reminders for Being in the Moment (p. 99). Endless Satsang Foundation. Kindle Edition.



True freedom and the end of suffering is living in such a way as if you had completely chosen whatever you feel or experience at this moment. 

This inner alignment with Now is the end of suffering.

Tolle, Eckhart (2009-03-25). Stillness Speaks (Kindle Locations 746-748). New World Library. Kindle Edition.

Anger


You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
Siddhartha Gautama

Pigs


I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Winston Churchill

The Other Side


One day a young Buddhist on his journey home, came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours on just how to cross such a wide barrier. Just as he was about to give up his pursuit to continue his journey he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river. The young Buddhist yells over to the teacher, "Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river"? 
The teacher ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, "My son, you are on the other side".


from: viewonbuddhism.org

Mystical wisdom:

How do we become who we already are? An excellent article from Huffington Post.
Link

The Wisdom of Yogi Berra



Yogi Berra quotes:





95% of this game is half mental.




Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.




Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded.




I want to thank all those who made this night necessary.




I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.




You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.




Slump ? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hittin'.




This is like deja vu all over again.




It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.




I couldn't tell if the streaker was a man or a woman because it had a bag on its head.




You can observe a lot just by watchin'.




In baseball, you don't know nothin'.




How can you think and hit at the same time?




In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.




Nothing is like it seems, but everything is exactly like it is.




We have deep depth.




We made too many wrong mistakes.




If people don't want to come out to the ballpark, nobody's going to stop them.




It ain't over till it's over.




If you can't imitate him, don't copy him.




A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore!




Congratulations on breaking my record. I always thought the record would stand until it was broken.


Everyone I know drinks Miller Lite. And if they don't, I probably don't know them.




If there's one pitch you keep swinging at and keep missing, stop swinging at it.




If you don't know where you're going, when you get there you'll be lost.




I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.




Right-handers go over there, left-handers go over there, the rest of you, come with me.




So I'm ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face. 




The other teams could make trouble for us if they win. 




There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell em. 




Well, I used to look like this when I was young, and now I still do. 




Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel. 




Why don't you pair 'em up in threes?




You give 100 percent in the first half of the game, and if that isn't enough in the second half, you give what's left.


What Lies Within



emerson

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

On Compassion

Once you realize that compassion is useful, that it is something really worthwhile, you immediately





I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.~Lao Tzu

Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.~Albert Einstein

Make no judgments where you have no compassion~Anne McCaffrey

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.~Thomas Merton

Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.~Henry Ward Beecher

A bodhisattva is someone who has compassion within himself or herself and who is able to make another person smile or help someone suffer less. Every one of us is capable of this.~Thich Nhat Hanh

Small minds select narrow roads; expand your mental vision and take to the broad road of helpfulness, compassion and service.~Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. ~Albert Schweitzer

Compassion is the basis of all morality. ~Arthur Schopenhauer

Let judges secretly despair of justice: their verdicts will be more acute. Let generals secretly despair of triumph; killing will be defamed. Let priests secretly despair of faith: their compassion will be true.~Leonard Cohen

Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.~Hubert H Humphrey

Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.~Francis Schaeffer

Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.Eric Hoffer

He who feels no compassion will become insane.~Hasidic Proverb

The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines. ~ Charles Kuralt

If you haven't got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~ Bob Hope


Once you realize that compassion is useful, that it is something really worthwhile, you immediately develop a willingness to cultivate it. ~ HHDL

The Wolves


An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life: A fight is going on inside me, he said to the boy. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too.


The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,Which wolf will win? 


The old Cherokee simply replied, The one you feed.


~Native American Proverb

Nothing New



When we have learned to look at the world and see God's fingerprints all over it, when we have learned to look within ourselves and sense the spirit of God moving us to be good, to be generous, to be compassionate, when we can gather on this day of the autumnal equinox, with exactly twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness, and learn to relish the daylight with gratitude and to welcome the darkness unafraid, then we will know that we are alive.
~Rabbi Harold Kushner


The more I read, the more I'm convinced that there's no truly new information in my area of interest -'feeling better about things'- only new ways of packaging the information.  It has become even clearer to me that there are strong commonalities coming from diverse disciplines and traditions spanning the centuries.


Looking at the above quotation by Rabbi Kushner, the phrase,'learning to find God's fingerprints' seems to take many different forms. To my way of thinking it reflects a prominent  theme within the writings on self-help, stress reduction, etc. and all spiritual traditions. That is, our ability to tune in to a source of inner wisdom which is typically unavailable because of our usual mind-set. This 'source' concept can stand alone without reference to a deity. The proposition could even be couched in scientific jargon --- eg. 'left brain' vs.'right brain'.


We can always find another way to describe the same thing. The metaphors seem to be largely a matter of personal taste. But it's all about the same thing --- an inner source of wisdom and joy, a higher type functioning which can be accessed, just by learning to sit still and listen. The message seems to be everywhere I look. How to get there is another story. But, the encouraging thing is that it looks like many individuals traveling many different paths have reached a place which they felt was worth the trip. 


Shall we call this place enlightenment? Nirvana?  Knowing we are alive? How about 'feeling better about things'?


Your call.

My Religion



My heart has become capable of every form:
It is a pasture for gazelles,
And a monastery for Christian monks,
And a temple for idols,
And the pilgrim's Ka'ba,
And the tablets of the Torah,
And the Book of the Qur'an.
I follow the religion of Love:
Whatever way Love's camel takes,
That is my religion and my faith

~Ibn Arabi

White Noise


 lovely article & so true by @charlottev ow.ly/1LCuC8 Using mindfulness to cut through the white noise of life

Being Quiet

All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.

Your Nature Is Seeing




Enlightenment means waking up to what you truly are and then being that.” 
~Adyashanti



Is there effort required on this path? Personally I find I have less and less energy to make an effort in any direction.

You can't make an effort without tension. But why do you make an effort?  Only because you're looking for some result, for something outside yourself. Once you really know that what you're looklng for is your real nature, you lose the impetus to strive. So first, see how you are constantly making an effort. As soon as you are aware of this process, you are already outside it. And it may come as an original perception that you are really stillness.

But doesn't seeing this require some effort?

No. This seeing is your natural state. Just be aware that you don't see. Become more aware that you constantly react. Seeing requires no effort because your nature is seeing, is being stillness. The moment you're not looking for a result, not looking to criticize, to evaluate or conclude, just looking, then you can perceive this reacting, and you are no longer an accomplice to it.



 You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
~Gilbert Chesterton



No amount of logic can keep you from having ridiculous ideas if you start with ridiculous premises. The real truth of things is a matter of direct observation, unencumbered by our conditioned prejudices. In this regard, what has been said of the 'tao' could also be appled to the 'truth' when it comes to our essential nature:

He who knows does not speak.
He who speaks does not know.
~Lao-tzu

Meaning, that when we speak, we use language, which by default, imposes false assumptions upon what is actually a subtle process of discovery.


If You Think




...wanting big business to play by the rules makes one a Socialist.

...not joining an organized religion makes one an atheist.

...wanting clean air and water for your children makes one a tree-hugger.

...believing that women should be in charge of their own bodies makes one a murderer.

Give Up Your Thoughts of Wanting

At this moment is there anything lacking?
Nirvana is right here now before our eyes.
This place is the lotus land.
This body now is the Buddha.
~Hakuin

Giving up our desires is nothing more than giving up a thought of wanting. Giving up our thoughts of wanting simply means not giving those thoughts our attention --- ignoring them. Such thoughts have never helped us to get what we thought we wanted. Wanting isn't valuable, so giving up wanting is giving up nothing except for our suffering. Are you willing to give up your suffering? That's a question worth examining because, the truth is, the ego doesn't want you to give up your suffering, since the ego has no purpose without suffering.

  ~Gina Lake from What About Now?: Reminders for Being in the Moment

Finding a Piece of the Truth



One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants. He saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up in wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara's attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth." "Doesn't this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?" his attendant asked. "No," Mara replied. "Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it."


From 108 Treasures for the Heart: A Guide for Daily Living by Benny Liow

The Guest House



Being human is like a guest house.
Each morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame,the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi  (Wiki link)



Recommended reading:


365 Nirvana Here and Now: Living Every Moment in Enlightenment

Music and Life - Alan Watts





There it is! The circus is in town and if you're too busy climbing the ladder of success, you're going to miss it.