Foggy Start

Oh man, what a morning. Ugh, and last-night too. Not the best. I won’t bore you with the details, but it was rough. My first thought and interpretation was: “this is definitely not going to be my day today, bad-day here I come.” But do you know what interpretation I settled on instead? “Witness my power, ye mighty, and despair!”

Through my ability to manifest the world I experience, I created a tsunami of unpleasant scenes. The sky itself was overcast while the streets were masked in fog. That’s true power right there. Of course it’s a dumb way to wield my creativity, but at least it demonstrates my ability to shape the life I’m living. If I want a horrible time, then so be it! It is done! Voila!

No, I didn’t specifically wish for a bad time — but that’s the problem. I didn’t specifically wish for a good time either — and the turbulent mind, when left on its own, undisciplined, will take you on a wild ride filled with dips and dunks. And boy, did I let my messy mind lead the way. Unpleasantness was the product of my unconsciousness.

Later that morning was a lot better, I had a fine time walking my son to school, then met up with my wife and we walked around town for about an hour. It was great. I couldn’t have planned it better and the temperature was just right. And the fundamental thing that changed was my attitude: from helpless pawn of life’s cruel game to absolute creator of my own reality.


Life in the Slow Lane

When in love, nothing changes except for the perception that she loves you too — and from there, the entire world alters before your eyes.

And just imagine if the signal you received was only a mistake, a misinterpretation on your part, suddenly the world darkens once again.

Interesting no? That an entire world brightens or darkens on such a simple thing. That’s all the proof you need: what you’re perceiving “out there” is nothing more than a fanciful fiction manipulated by your mood.

YOU create the world you inhabit, of this there can be no doubt. So induce a positive interpretation. Encourage feelings of love and satisfaction and triumph — and whatever else you enjoy.

You can always feel loved by a benevolent power that creates this world for your amusement. And in every face you see, you can interpret love. In every hint of warmth, you can feel a hug, love’s tender embrace.

This isn’t hard. On one hand you can allow your ceaseless thoughts to take you on a rudderless journey through an intensely turbulent world, while on the other hand you can purposefully direct your interpretations to perceive nothing but resplendent glory.

The entirety of freewill boils down to this decision: engage in the practice of discipline and direct your mind to see the glorious garden before you — or simply concede control to an erratic mind that takes you on a wild ride.

If you can handle it, go right ahead and feel the thrill of such an unpredictable experience. But for those that prefer quiet-pools and kiddie-rides, there’s an option for you too. You haven’t been left out in the cold. Seek it, and hot-cocoa by the fireside awaits.

Over-examined Life

Dear Rich, if I’m so smart, why am I so miserable? Shouldn’t I be able to think my way out of this?

Why dear reader, the very source of your misery IS your thinking. It’s your over-analyzing that is robbing you of so much fun. Thinking and analyzing doesn’t make you smart — if anything, such dull diversion makes you dumb. How is it smart to preoccupy yourself with blathering nonsense while engaged in the great extravaganza of existence?

Happy people are such, because they don’t think — they experience. My apologies dear reader, in regards to your stupidity, but it’s the greatest folly to believe yourself smart when in actuality you couldn’t be any dumber. You need this blow to your ego for it has set you up for failure in the highest regard. Like a con-artist, your thoughts have fooled you into believing in their preeminence.

Yet nothing could be further from the truth. You’re an ignorant idiot. But luckily for you dear reader, you have just heard the truth. Now you can finally get to work on shutting down that mental chatter and start living the good life! Congratulations! Why to finally have that mental blockage out of the way — the good-times are surely coming your way.

Can you believe it? Those ever-present thoughts have been slowly poisoning your experience this entire time. But through the power of discipline, you will now shut them down, turning off the spout that’s been spreading toxicity. Now is the time to demonstrate your superior ability and outwit those mischievous musings — that is, if you’re up to the challenge.

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.

Practicing Presence Update

So it’s been about a month since I’ve been focusing on presence — how’s it going? First off, I have noticed some benefits, so I’ll be continuing the practice. But after 30 days I’m still not encased in a golden glow of pure bliss — kinda disappointed about that. But I think my mood is lighter and my reactions are more mild — so that’s good.

And I’m not living a tough life right-now by the way. In fact, it’s idyllic in many ways. But can you enjoy paradise if you have a bad attitude? The answer is: NO, you cannot. So I’m currently trying my hardest to enjoy the delightfulness I’m surrounded by. Isn’t that a ridiculous situation to find yourself in? Life: “Here! Enjoy!” Me: “Um, Uh, well I guess….”

The video-game I’m finding myself within is sending me obstacles in the form of dissatisfaction. And my role is to overcome that negative inclination and develop an appreciation for all the treats in my path. It’s a strange premise. Experience situations that should entertain you, yet feel anxiety and revulsion instead.

The source of that sourness is my over-thinking mind, so it is my duty to shut it down. That’s what the practice of presence is all about: stopping the incessant thoughts from polluting the experience of existence. And boy, I’ve been noticing the toxic-waste my thoughts have been excreting lately — nasty stuff. I lose nothing by shutting them down. But man are they persistent!

Now – Chapter 10

This is my interpretation of the book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle.

Chapter 10

Should you approach the experience of existence distrustfully, constantly on-guard, waiting for the doom-hammer to fall, belligerently opposing everything that comes your way? Or, should you willingly allow the experience to unfold before you, surrendering yourself to existence?

In other words, do you say, “OH NO!! What is this place?! Someone get me off this crazy ride! No! Get that away from me! Keep everything away from me! I don’t trust it! It’s gonna hurt! Ahh! Noo!” Or, do you say, “Wow, this place is kinda cool! Whoa would ya look at that! Neat! Aw man what a weird sensation! Ha! This place is wacky! I love it!”

Surrendering to the experience of existence is not the same thing as quitting or giving up. Surrendering in this context essentially means approaching life with a good attitude — with acceptance and appreciation. You can do what you want as long as it comes from a positive spirit whereas you’ll want to avoid acting out of fear or anger from a bad attitude.

Whenever you notice that you’re in an unpleasant situation, you can use the power of surrender to turn things around. Essentially, you’re saying, “Ha, I’m okay with this! Let’s do it! I’m ready for the rollercoaster, baby! Yeeha!!” And with that attitude adjustment, everything from that moment forward improves — you’ve positively altered your future.

Negativity and unhappiness creep in when you’re unconscious. Whereas when you’re conscious and aware, these things readily dissolve. When present, you’ll observe that your unpleasant state naturally goes away. And through surrender (the practice of an accepting attitude), you’ll notice the external world improving right before your eyes.

Your choice is this: resist life or surrender to it. In other words: Bad attitude or good attitude — you decide. When you interact with the world while maintaining a bad attitude, you’re going to have a bad time as you denigrate and disparage everything in your path, you’re going to attack and defend as you navigate an imagined minefield.

When you surrender, you’ll feel clarity and peace of mind. Then from that vantage point, you can act or not-act as necessary — it is the most powerful position to proceed from. Surrender isn’t saying, “I must accept the crap I’m given”, it’s saying “Obstacles? I freakin’ love ’em! Give me more!” It’s not abandonment of life, it’s you being yourself but with a better attitude.

And if you’re not feeling well, don’t label it, just use the irritation as a reminder to remain present. What you’re trying to change is your perspective of the world and thus change the way in which you perceive and experience the world. Of course the world looks horrible when you have a horrible outlook. But have an awesome outlook, and the world seems suddenly better.

Again, there is no problem “out there” — your lack of consciousness is the problem. The thinking-mechanism of the mind is taking you on a wild ride through the rapids, resulting in an upset stomach. Consciousness is the realization that you can simply stand up in the middle of the rushing thoughts — it’s shallow, you were only imagining the danger — oops.

Fighting against the rapids is where struggle and pain originate. Whereas if you stand and look upon the flow from an elevated position, you see that there was no problem — your readiness to fight was the problem. And if the pain is already there, then focus on the feeling itself — don’t think about, don’t craft clever narratives around it, just feel the sensation and stay present.

The thinking-mechanism of the mind is the origin of your resistance and bad-attitude. Surrendering, i.e. adopting a positive attitude of absolute acceptance, removes the authority of the mind, stripping it of its self-appointed leadership position. Look, you can continue suffering until you can’t stand it any longer, or you can consciously choose to remain present from here on out.

Now – Chapter 9

This is my interpretation of the book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle.

Chapter 9

From a broader perspective, situations and circumstances cannot be considered good or bad — they just are. And your goal, is to attain this perspective. To be at peace, you forgive and you accept every moment. You let the past dissipate to allow the present to flow in unhindered.

Drama regularly comes to those that live unconsciously. You are unconscious when you let the thinking-mechanism of the mind lead the way. This thinking-mechanism encourages you to believe in a faux-you, a scared and lonely creature subject to the ills of a hostile world. This mechanism manufactures an endless amount of fictional problems — yet your unconsciousness is the only real problem you have.

Whereas if you consciously accept everything as it is, the drama ends, there’s literally nothing to fight against. Drama is caused by resistance, and if you don’t resist, there’s no conflict. Let life happen, ride along with acceptance — watch without judgement or opposition as you go up and down and all around.

The thinking-mechanism of the mind believes that complaints can force the world into compliance. In other words, it can get what it wants through criticism — by pointing out everything wrong with the world, sharp and undesirable edges will be chipped away. But this is an incorrect assumption of the mind — a more effective path is to avoid negativity.

The only valid use for negativity is as a reminder to become present. Just like an alarm, irritation can serve to jar you awake. You cannot solve your dissatisfaction with life by pouting and complaining, by resisting. You must allow situations and circumstances to pass right through you. With this power of transparency, you cannot be ensnared.

Surrender is complete non-resistance. When you surrender, there is an end to conflict, the only option left is peace — and you attain it. Through acceptance, everything you accept becomes the greatest option possible. This allows you to find fulfillment within — you are no longer trapped on a treadmill chasing after mind-created fantasies.

The world you perceive is influenced by your perspective. If you believe in a harsh world, you’ll experience the fear and fighting you expect. The world is subject to different interpretations based on perspective and level of consciousness. Therefore, to improve the world, you must broaden your perspective and increase your consciousness.

Improving the world begins within. Without an internal change, the ills of the world would simply start again each day. Your goal is to seek enlightenment and go from there. Become present in every moment. Be the beacon of peace encouraging the unconscious to safe harbor.