Spiritual End

Isn’t this blog just a bunch of naval-gazing? Shouldn’t I be concentrating on the experience of existence rather than simply contemplating it? Isn’t spirituality a means to an end, not an end in itself. To be here in the world is to live as an embodied being. After all, how did the Bhagavad Gita end? Arjuna didn’t don a robe and dedicate himself to God. Krishna successfully convinced Arjuna to stop his whining and get out there on the battlefield. As he said in the beginning: “Why such weakness in a time of war? Stand and fight!”

There’s a saying: “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” And what I take from that, is this. At some point along your spiritual journey, you have to drop it and get back to living life. You’ve been stopped at the rest-stop for awhile, you’ve refueled and refreshed, now get back out there! You can’t stand on the sidelines talking to God forever, that’s not what THIS is. THIS is earth, the realm of physical existence — do THAT.

And no offense, but you’re not a spiritual teacher. It’s not something that interests you. And the proof is in the pudding: no one cares — nor would you want them to. You care about new technology, culinary delights, entertaining shows and movies — I mean come on, you’re not a spiritual guy, that’s not you — you took this spiritual pitstop as a way to get back on your actual path — that’s all it is.

What wakes you up in the morning? Some spiritual endeavor? Service to others? Hell no! You’re excited by new technology. You stop and stare as Teslas roll past you in the street. Almost a decade ago, during a depressive episode, your spirits were kept high by the impending release of the second-gen MacBook Air (you actually drove with your friend to New Jersey to purchase it!). You don’t stare at nature with awe, you stare at those robotic creatures from Boston Dynamics with amazement. When your son asked you your superhero name, you thought: hmm, OM-Man, no, Enlighten-Man, no, Mr. Technology? — that’s a bingo! Would you prefer to see angels ascending into heaven or a Falcon 9 rocket launching and self-landing? You know damn well which one you’re more excited over. Would you prefer to visit a Zen temple in Japan or use an advanced Japanese toilet-seat? Jets of water all the way!

Arjuna was built for battle, you were built with an appreciation for technology. Unfortunately, I have no idea what you should do with that appreciation — but obviously something to do with technology would be barking up the right tree. Aren’t you the guy that couldn’t even understand spirituality until it was framed by a simulation-theory perspective? But once you “get it”, there’s nothing left except getting back into the game. You don’t sit there reading the rules over and over, you play. Now go! Stand and fight!

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Hard to be Happy Club

No offense, but I’ve been a card-carrying member for several decades and I want out. I’ve done the negativity-thing to death — I’m over it. I’m done with the constant revulsion, resistance, outrage, struggle, fear, and paranoia. I will no longer believe that Life is a torture-chamber hell-bent on my destruction.

Life is a paradise designed for my amusement — that’s it. Life is easy — end of sentence. The content of Life is a pleasure to behold — done. Delusion? You wanna go, bro!? I’ll positively smash you, son! No, the delusion was when I believed life was a danger-filled hellhole when it clearly wasn’t. My continued existence is proof of that — the only turmoil I suffered was self-inflicted by my pessimism.

This morning I walked my little boy to a school just minutes away. Then I continued walking alongside my best-friend on a pleasant little jaunt around town. Over the weekend she performed as part of a chorus that I watched from our balcony — she was in the little park across the way. And as they recited the Pledge of Allegiance, a breeze blew by and Old Glory began flying high in the sky, waving proudly in the wind — it was a moment so touching that the woman next to her had tears in her eyes.

It’s so easy to destroy, to rip apart and criticize until nothing but dust remains. Eventually the unpleasantness accumulates and you’re left as a shriveled bitter shell with a pucker held so long it finally stuck. But as every Christmas movie tells us, it’s never too late. You haven’t missed it! There’s still time! With cheer in your heart and a giving spirit, you too can join-in the festivities of Life.

Success and Happiness

What I’m currently observing amongst successful people, is that success i.e. the achievement of a large life goal, doesn’t bring happiness along with it. Success simply checks a to-do item off your list. Whereas the only way to achieve happiness, is through a positive attitude and an appreciation of life — that’s it, there’s no other means to get there.

So if happiness is my goal (which it is), I must pour my time and energy into the development of a positive attitude and the cultivation of an appreciation for life. I must become a happiness farmer, planting the positive while weeding out the negative.

And I can sense this is correct because I’ve found myself in semi-successful positions in the past where I simply couldn’t enjoy the situation. And even now that I live in a nice place and have a nice family, I tend to see what’s wrong instead of what’s right. I see what’s missing instead of what’s here.

And this is easy to conceptualize too: does the mere winning of a game equate to happiness? If that were the case, we could cheat our way to victory and be forever happy. But that’s not the case. The people that get the most out of games have a great attitude and take pleasure in the process of playing. The “ends” are pointless, it’s all about the “means”.

But Rich, haven’t you come to this conclusion at least one-hundred times in the past? Um. Yeah. But I believe life handicaps us Harrison Bergeron style. In other words, I’ll forget this concept again and again. But the good news is that I’ll also “discover” it again and again. Does any accumulation ever take place? I honestly don’t know — I can’t remember.

To summarize: success is meaningless unless you have a positive attitude to appreciate it. And if you don’t have the attitude, then work on developing it or you’ll be sorely disappointed when success arrives — it’ll be a hollow victory. True success therefore, is the attainment of an appreciation for life (some would call this Enlightenment).

Frequency Conduction

Why resign yourself to weakness? Is there not power flowing through you? Are you not literally the embodiment of electrical energy? Stop a moment in your acquiescence, and consider the minuscule feeling inside. A force that when focused on, flourishes. Know it as pure power, the potential energy that becomes. Use it against itself to induce weakness, and it will.

But allow creative frequencies to flow, and a world is born. A world comprised of wavelengths, bands of energy waiting to be conducted. You hold the antenna in your hand, orchestrating a composition of your own design. Lead and it follows. Become derelict in your duty: cacophony the consequence. Your world awaits its conductor.

Though you see yourself as pawn, a pawn reaching an end rank becomes whatever it wants. A piece initially constrained, yet full of potential. If you begin as slave, persevere to become master. The constraints you find yourself contained within, are of your own invention. Everything you see is the fantasy you’ve fabricated. You cannot not-create.

But you’ve created a dissonance unpleasant to your own ears. Know that emptiness is the stage upon which creation commences. Clear the mind to begin anew. Start with what you know, which is nothing. Silence springs forth successful seeds. Potential-energy unleashes upon the infinite. Parts then align in harmony forming the symphonic whole, dawning the sound of something you love.

Becoming Present

Anything worth doing, is worth doing while aware. In other words, whatever you’re doing in the moment while fully present is STILL better than getting lost in thought and subject to the whims of the wandering mind. Whether it’s showering, or tidying up, or walking up stairs, or just sitting around — even a seemingly mundane activity beats stress-inducing thought.

Or so I’ve heard. I’ll be experimenting with staying in the now for now, and see how it goes. I don’t think staying in the now is totally obvious though. For example, imagine you’re running and you’re trying to remain present — so you focus on the pounding of your feet, the shortness of your breath, the twinge of pain in your left knee — that can’t be right.

So instead of all that, you’d probably want to experience the movement and the rushing air, perhaps the beauty in the surrounding scenery. I think the goal is: NOT to get lost in thought — THEN let the circumstance happen however it will. You’re not trying to specifically focus on anything — or direct a particular outcome — you’re just letting the scene unfold, unhindered by thought.

Additionally, throughout the day I keep asking myself “How are you?”. Whenever I do this, I notice that there’s a bit of tension in my body, usually in my chest area, so I relax and stop thinking about whatever I was thinking about. I come back to now and reset my tension to zero. I’m then aware of the activity I’m currently involved in, experiencing it from a first-hand perspective.

Consider it this way: say your friend made an animated-short-film and wanted you to see it. You sit down to watch. The film starts playing and you’re already lost in thought. “Hm, I wonder what I’ll have for lunch today. Maybe some tacos! Yeah! Oh, I just remembered it’s laundry day, gotta get that done later.” The film ends and your friend asks you if you liked it.

But of course you were too busy being lost-in-thought to experience the short-film that your friend made. She’s actually upset now, because it turned out that she made the film as a celebration of your friendship — it was a gift to you. You apologize and ask if you can watch it again, but this time while fully present, with your attention ready to receive whatever’s happening right in front of you.

Now apply that to life. Say there’s this awesome extravaganza called life going on all around you. There’s sights, sounds — sensations of all sorts — a buffet of experiences — all ready for the experiencing. Are you present, engaging with the world before you? Or are you lost-in-thought? Not actually participating? When it’s over, what are you gonna say? Oops my bad, can I see that again?

Crafting Intentions

Cultivating a good attitude by composing a list of enjoyable reasons underlying the things I experience.

Waking Up

Bad: I wake up because I have to. I’m tired, sleepy, and I just wanna stay in bed all day.

Good: I wake up everyday in order to experience the delightful surprises that spring forth from existence. What will happen next!? I enjoy it when long-suspected secrets are revealed as well as when brand-new things pop into my radar. I also wake up in order to spend time with my family, to see what they’re up to and have some fun. And of course I wake up to enjoy delicious treats to eat — yum!

Running

Bad: Running is a burdensome chore that’s necessary for making my flabby body less flabby.

Good: Running is as an early morning adventure, a chance to see the streets from a different angle, unpopulated and dawn-lit. Through running, I’m playing my part as a suburban dad, I’m having fun with fitness, and I’m setting the tone for the day: an early-bird ready to catch the worm.

Breakfast

Bad: I eat breakfast while feeling like a filthy little piggy stuffing my fat face.

Good: I eat breakfast with the attitude that I’m starting my day off right, I feel as though I’m consuming wholesome ingredients, the building-blocks for my body (a vehicle that’s now well-prepared for traveling through its daily journey). Plus, I love the savory flavors that dance across my palate each morning.

Showering

Bad: I shower everyday to wash the filth from my dirty body.

Good: Every morning I ritualistically prepare myself, rinsing away the previous day to start anew — a baptism to purify, regenerate, and initiate into the sacred experience of existence. Afterwards, I’m fresh and ready to explore the unfolding narrative of today.

Writing

Bad: I write to pass the time, what else am I gonna do.

Good: Writing is the means by which I effortlessly express myself. Every artist has his medium, his method of expressing creativity, and mine is the written word. Words flow from my thoughts into my fingers and onto a screen — imagination made manifest. But it’s even more than that: the ideas that swim as thoughts through my mind seem to originate from a source beyond me — I sense a connection to a greater well-of-knowledge from which I merely transcribe. And by this connection, I derive comfort, power, and a sense of belonging.

Aches and pains

Bad: I guess this is it — I’m a goner. Goodbye cruel world.

Good: The distrust I still harbor towards life is manifesting again. I don’t like when I’m so untrusting, so I’m going to reject this feeling of pain. It’s not a sign of something nefarious, simply my fearful immaturity flaring up. On the plus side, it serves as a simple reminder for me to love and appreciate life, like the pulsating beep of an alarm clock. I’ve been asleep, unloving and unappreciative, but now I’m aware.

Meditation

Bad: I need something to fix myself, so I meditate to calm my anxious mind.

Good: Through meditation, I still my surface thoughts, allowing me to connect to the deeper part of who I am. When I return I’m centered, in the middle, balanced between the superficiality of the physical world and the spiritual depths that lie beyond.

Difficulties in relationships

Bad: I’m having a difficult moment in my relationship: my companion is mean. What a jerk.

Good: What I experience throughout life is based on my perception and frame-of-mind. If I allow negative thoughts to swirl within my head, I develop a bad mood, I see the world pessimistically, I behave poorly, I contribute negativity and therefore receive the appropriate result: the sum of all this negativity. I will use this moment as an opportunity to remove the weeds that are clearly overrunning my mental garden. In addition, I’ll apply focus to the thoughts and ideas that produce delight.

Hangin’ out

Bad: I’m going clothes-shopping with my friend — a waste of time that’s cutting into my oh-so-important schedule, plus it’s just an exercise in wasteful consumerism.

Good: I’m going clothes-shopping with my friend — it’ll be a fine opportunity to experience the feeling of togetherness with my delightful pal, plus it’s a chance to get out and engage with the world in a lighthearted way.

Sleeping

Bad: I sleep because I eventually pass out, that’s pretty much the only option I’m offered.

Good: I rest to reset for each upcoming day. It’s like a break between shows, a chance to begin each day’s narrative like it’s new. For instance, even though I eat everyday, it’s like a completely new experience as I consume a different meal, as if I’ve never eaten before. All these fresh feelings are possible because of the nightly gap that resets the stage.

Goin OM

Buddy: Hey bro wanna hang out?
You: Sure, but first I have to meditate.
Buddy: Huh!? Haha! Do you float off the floor too!
You: Nah, I just sit there and breathe.
Buddy: Lol! I didn’t know you were a guru now!
You: Nope, just a meditator.
Buddy: Ha, okay, you do you! Catch ya later!
You: Well, we can chill after I’m done.
Buddy: I’m headin out, see YA!

How many times has this happened to you? You mention to your pals that you meditate, and they just don’t get it? Well now there’s a new phrase to keep you in the cool, it’s called: Goin OM! (just say “home”, but without the “h”).

When you tell your friends that you’re “Goin OM”, they’ll know you’re ridin the next trending tidal wave. Heck, they’re gonna wanna Go-Om too! By steering away from elitist-sounding spiritual jargon, you can use a hip new way of sayin something people have been doin for centuries, if not millennia (that’s a really long time!).

What exactly IS “Goin OM”? Why it’s just a slick way of sayin you’re takin a small bit of time to still the mind — just sittin silently for twenty minutes taming your thoughts all while repeating the sacred sound of the universe: OM.

So the next time you have to tell a buddy that it’s time to meditate, just say: I’ll see ya in a few, but first I’m goin OM!

You can even hashtag it!! — #GoOm #goinOM