Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Excerpt from a letter to a friend, pt. 3

The social environment I was born into took for granted that I would identify with 'my' name and body and understand these things as my 'self.'  Likewise, it took for granted that I would identify with 'my' bank account, and understand this as my worth. Living in this environment resulted in a deeply-felt yearning to connect to something much more integral and essential than my name, body, and bank account. Investigating this yearning-feeling within me led me to a deeply-felt knowing - I am not my name or my body, nor is my bank account my worth. 

These are not mind-blowing revelations, it's pretty run-of-the-mill sort of stuff. However, to extrapolate from those two understandings and to then make decisions and live one's life holding an entirely different understanding as 'true' IS mind-blowing. And that's what I've been doing. 

I have been cultivating a new perspective, investing my self in the cultivation and stabilization of an entirely different way of living my life. Not simply an intellectual understanding that denounces identification with name, body, and money, but an understanding grounded in experiential truth. And the only way to cultivate that understanding is to take risks, to see what holds up and what doesn't. I have been cultivating this new perspective, primarily, by investing in my prayer life, as well as my meditation practice, my relationships, and the work of TaKeTiNa. (Which is, essentially, a contemporary expression of an archetypal shamanic journey most probably performed by all of our ancestors as well as indigenous peoples worldwide.)

The systematic and, above all experiential dismantling of externally-imposed belief systems within me, and the replacement of those untruths with consciously chosen, True beliefs: this, in a nutshell, has been the point of my journey. So, what have I dismantled, and what have I cultivated instead?

Our worth, along with our ability to experience happiness, joy, abundance and prosperity, has nothing to do with our monetary value. We are our worth, and to that worth nothing can ever be added, nor taken away. Much of our society is based on the notion of accumulation, which is a fallacy - we collect nothing. Our possessions, learnings, experiences and relationships are all passing through us as we are passing through them - part of the ongoing continuum of giving and receiving. 

Our essential nature, which is the same as the essential nature throughout all of creation, is a temporarily individuated facet of the Whole, born into linear time and physicality and imbued with free will. This free will allows us the possibility of consciously expressing that which we have always been, are right now, and always will be: God. This thus creates the possibility of God experiencing itself as God, while simultaneously knowing that it is experiencing itself as God. 

God, un-individuated, knows itself as God yet it is unable to experience itself as God - it is simply abiding as what it is. By individuating itself into multiple expressions, thereby creating the possibility of relationship, the possibility of simultaneous experiencing/knowing arises. This opportunity necessitates free will, for if we had no choice but to express ourselves as divinity incarnate, we would not know that we were doing it - we would be the equivalent of a computer program executing it's commands. 

In order to experience ourselves as God the many obfuscations, confusions, discolorings, and wounds that we have experienced throughout all of our previous and current incarnations must be integrated and healed. Paradoxically, these energies, which initially appear to keep us away from knowing ourselves as divinity incarnate, are in fact the bridge to that very knowing. It is by 'sitting in the fire' - by fully and consciously accepting, experiencing, and expressing our pain - that we move through it, it moves through us, and our experience of ourselves grows into something greater than it was before. Without the *apparently* contrasting experiences of disconnection from / connection to our true nature, there would be no possibility of the conscious recognition and knowing of our essence. 

This apparent contradiction - THIS is God, THAT is not God - could, perhaps, be said to be the source of our collective disillusion... our collective 'forgetting' of our true nature, and thus the true nature of existence. By living our lives and making decisions from a polarized belief system which categorizes certain relationships and experiences as good and others as bad, we have already separated ourselves from the truth that God is all things, just as God is us and we are God. By seeing a particular person as undesirable or bad, we immediately create the possibility of having a 'bad' experience. Fundamentally, this results a perpetual need to pursue good experiences and avoid bad ones, leading us into a never-ending downward spiral of misunderstanding. 

There is, of course, still choice - leaving us with the question of how to make choices from a non-dualistic perspective. The answer is to go within - to tune into the energetic currents of one's own being. These energetic currents, being always in communication with the energetic currents of the wider world, will constantly be offering guidance to our conscious mind. By tuning in, we can feel a flow which is always in motion, and choose to allow ourselves to 'go with the flow.' It is by honoring the flow of our intuition that we discover the possibility of living a life beyond the confines of duality. As Rumi said: 

"Beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field.
I'll meet you there."

This, essentially, is what he was talking about. 

The hardest part of cultivating this understanding is stepping into the living of this truth. To trust that everything will be ok if we do tune in and 'go with the flow' can be the biggest challenge of our lives, especially if 'the flow' seems to be moving in a direction that appears unsafe. And indeed, as we commit to this path there will be many, many moments that feel unsafe, many many moments when it will feel as if we have decided wrongly or moved incorrectly, many moments when 'the flow' may lead us to a particular place, person, or experience, only to seemingly vanish, leaving us stranded, wondering if, in fact, we're just fucking crazy.

If one is persistent, and continues to trust, what eventually arises is the realization that THE FLOW NEVER GOES AWAY. What occurs whenever we feel disconnected is the triggering of our 'stuff:' our emotional baggage, karma, issues, neuroses, fears, whatever. Because 'going with the flow' means flowing in the direction of our true nature, it is inevitable that along the way we will encounter e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that stands between us and our true nature, which gives us the opportunity to fully experience these emotions and energies, allowing us to integrate them. It is by not fully experiencing something that we allow it to come between us and the conscious experience of our true nature. 

In my own life this time around, by far the biggest example of this is the psycho/sexual abuse I experienced as a child. As a child, there was no way I was able to stay present and allow myself to fully experience those moments. This resulted in those experiences lingering on as energetic baggage, and it is only by allowing myself to experience the *energy* of that past trauma that I have been able to integrate it and it has dissolved. The word "energy" is highlighted to differentiate "experiencing the energy of a past trauma" from "re-living a past trauma."

Traditional therapeutic approaches often maintain that people need to talk about their past trauma, to go back and re-visit the experience. Unfortunately, this can often re-traumatize people and doesn't necessarily lead to the dissolving and integrating of the energy. What has worked for me has been movement practices, prayer, and TaKeTiNa: safe spaces wherein I can allow repressed energy to arise, and as it arises I can then fully experience it and allow it to move through me as I simultaneously move through it. This often looks like screaming, wailing, sobbing, and thrashing, and the result is remarkably effective. I have consciously gone into, and cleared, close to 100% of my current-life and past-life energetic 'baggage' with this approach.

To offer a clarification on the way in which we experience ourselves as individuated expressions of the One True Thing - it is what is commonly referred to as the ego which allows us to know ourselves as individuals. If I was not able to experience myself as 'me,' I would not be able to experience you as 'you,' meaning I would not be able to enter into a relationship with you... leaving us in a state similar to the un-individuated One True Thing, knowing itself as God without experiencing itself as God. The ego is the self-aware component of our consciousness which enables me to know that I am me, and therefore to experience you as you, therefore creating the possibility of experiencing both my self and your self as divine while simultaneously knowing that I am experiencing both my self and your self as divine.

Obviously, from many perspectives one could say that our world, currently, is pretty fucked up. To cultivate and sustain this understanding while simultaneously engaging in the wider world, without turning away from all the pain and suffering, is not easy. Yet it is the only real way, because if we were to isolate ourselves for the sake of being able to sustain our perspective, that would indicate that we have labeled certain parts of life 'bad,' and thus launched ourselves back into the never-ending downward spiral of duality. God is all things.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How we will heal our world together? This is how.

Dear Reader,

Sometimes I'm afraid. Sometimes I feel I haven't done enough, I haven't faced everything within myself I need to face, I haven't been committed enough, devoted enough, been willing enough to face my fears.

And then I remember that whnever I'm facing my fears alone, my commitment to "facing everything I need to face" pulls me into a state of perpetual self-absorption. And I remember that that's not the point.

Life is also about listening, and being present to others. And it's about facing our fears - sitting in the fire - as well.

It's about giving, and service, and bearing witness... and it's about feeling the full fire of one's desires, the intensity of one's Truth with a capital 'T,' and moving through that heat and allowing that heat to move through us.

If I don't do that, I stagnate. It's why I am here: to evolve through that process. And I am learning to find the balance as I dance these two dances.

Because you know what, Dear Reader? The plain and simple truth is that many, many people are not interested in sitting in the fire of their full truth. They would rather stay small, and doggy-paddle through the safe, shallow waters in the kiddy-pool end of life.

And that's their choice, because their journey is their journey.

And... that's not what I choose. I choose to sit in the fire, to go through it all and come out the other side. Simply because it is my highest joy to do so. So how, Dear Reader, to find the balance in this dance of being present to others and sitting in the fire, when the simple truth is that many people do not choose to sit in the fire?

I'm not interested in dragging anyone there, or judging them for choosing not to go there.

Yet often, when I'm engaged with others and relating to others, 'stuff' comes up. Strong emotions get stirred up and stimulated, and from my perspective, an opportunity arises -

"Here's some fire! Here's some juicy goodness, game on, let's dive in!" 

And while I'm hungry to explore the fertile growth-ground that has been exposed, what do the people I'm relating to choose to do?

They pass right on by. The opportunity arises, emotions are stirred up, we have the chance to step into some fiery growth together... and they choose not to. And that's fine.

What is not fine is because they choose not to, I choose not to. 

Because the people I am interacting with, the people I am in relationships with, often choose to ignore the fire and continue on as if nothing happened... oftentimes I find myself playing pretend right along with them.

FUCK playing pretend. I'm not interested in it.

And... fuck judging others. I'm not interested in that either. Nor am I interested in wasting any of my energy trying to force my choice onto someone else.

So, Dear Reader, this is the balance I am sitting with in this moment.

When I choose to shy away from the fire, I experience that choice as a contraction within myself - I experience this choice as a decision to remain small.

And, whenever I judge someone else's choice or waste my breath trying to convince them to do what I want them to do instead of what they choose to do, I also feel small. I feel small because I feel myself living under the dominion of a belief system that states:

"Because someone else chooses to be small, I cannot choose to be big."

Intellectually, I know that this belief system is not true. Yet experientially, this belief system still arises - at times I experience myself as bitter and judgmental, angry at others for their choice because I allow their choice to dictate my choice.

How to invite others into a larger space of being, and love them wherever they choose to be, whether they say yes or no? How to know that I can always chose that larger space myself, regardless of anyone else's choice?

I think you just decide to do it. So here we go: I choose that greater space. No more excuses, and no more 'poor me.'

I choose to live the greatest experience of myself possible, and I choose to step into my highest joy.

I'm going to have the biggest, boldest, most dancefull lovemaking life I can possibly imagine. My voice is going to be sweet, beautiful and pitch-perfect. My body will be strong, flexible, and irretrievably in rhythm. My poems will be awesome.

I joyfully devote myself to these goals, and I rejoice whenever I 'lose it' - whenever I mess up a yoga pose or sing off-key, because it means I'm learning and coming that much closer to 'finding it' again.

And I will give, and receive, and give, and receive, and give, and receive - and be present, bear witness, and listen and support others in service to the Greater Whole, knowing that it's not about me, it's about US.

And when some fire arises and nobody else wants to go there, when I notice myself judging someone else for choosing to stay small, I will recognize that their choice does not determine my choice, and know that I do not need them to do what I want - I am free to choose to stay big and continue to relate to them from a place of integrity, even if that means stepping away from them in order to give myself what I need. Because I cannot love others, I cannot truly love others, if I allow myself to stay small.

So, Dear Reader - while I will unconditionally love and accept the many, many people in my life who choose to stay small, when it comes to you, please allow me to say what I long to say to everyone:

"Step the fuck up."

Because I love you. Not just gently, but fiercely. Because what will heal our world is not economic reform or some new political party, what will heal our world is our light. And I will sit in the hottest fire imaginable to heal our world... not because I'm some amazing saint, but just because I want to. Because it brings me joy to do it. And I want you to do it with me.

So please, Dear Reader... tell me to step the fuck up too.

Remind me that I can be big, remind me that sitting in the raw fire of our most integral inner experiences is where it's at - all the fear, pain, and grief... all the agony and ecstasy, uncensored and on full display. Remind me to support others, regardless of their choice, by slapping my across the face with the Truth and insisting that I always take full responsibility for my life and my choice.

Dear Reader, This is what I am doing for you. I am inviting you into a larger space of being, and if you choose to meet me here I will love you fiercely, and I will not be content as long as you choose to stay small.

And I invite you to do this with me. So write back, post comments, email me, and connect. Love me fiercely right back. Because doing it along sucks.

Dear Reader, we will heal this world - and it starts by getting connected, and stepping into the fire together.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Here is the only place we can start, and now is the only time to begin

A place to sit and talk together.

A place to make messy and clean up
and make messy again
and clean up again
many, many times.

A place to stop, and reflect,
and be by oneself.

A place to curl up
with the warm bodies
of those closest,
without pretense or guile.

A place of no agenda
to return to,
a sacred space wherein
those who would erect thrones for themselves:

- those whose eyes are blurred reddish-green
from staring at ticking dollar signs,
those whose fingers
are permanently clutched
around the handles of inflated gavels
banging out their own self-importance
all in the name of 'the system,'
'law and order,' or 'the good of the people' -

...a sacred space wherein the pure waters
of true perception
wash away all such illusions
and every vain,
small-me construction of self
is turned to ash and rinsed away
in love's cleansing fires.

A space we know.

A space whose life-giving resonances
are to us as water is to whalesong,
a medium through which
we may sing our hearts into expression.

A space we know -
a space where every lungful of air
recalls the fragrance
of the One we desire most,
a space that causes our feet to grow roots
and wings to burst out of our shoulder blades.

A space where we find it easy to be generous,
a space where "No" is not the answer
and there is always room for one more
around our table.

A space we may search for,
for a long time,
before settling in and remembering
that right here, within,
is the only place we can start.

A space we call forth together,
by inviting each other in
and saying:

here you may be You.

Here there is room enough for all of You,
your broken smile 
and your perfect laugh,
your habitual concerns,
small-minded moments,
and your budding voice.

Here, because I choose to,
I declare that none of you
shall be rejected,
that every piece will be embraced.
Even when I'm cranky.

Here is where I declare 
I want you to be
all of You.
Here is where you are allowed,
for it is my deepest desire
to learn the many pieces of you so well
that someday I may come to know 
the greater Whole.

Here is where you may share all of your secrets,
those you already know
and those you have yet to be given.

Here you may belch,
fart, and cry.
Here you may scream,
here you may make unreasonable demands
when you feel afraid
and exaggerated claims 
when you feel boastful.

Here you may forget yourself,
and lie in my arms.
Here you may slam the door behind you
and run away if you need to.

Here, there is space for you.

Here, there is someone who knows you.
Here there is someone 
who has seen the Truth:
that we are all greater
than the sum of our parts,
and that every part is needed.

Here is someone 
who says "Yes" to you,
every time.

Here, we know
we cannot do this alone.

Here, we do it together,
because we choose to.

Here is where we make our home."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Possibly the Most Amazing Thing You Will Ever Read... EVER

How do we gain true insight into ourselves, our relationships, and the situations we find ourselves in? Faced with the infinite number of responses available, how do we choose what to do? How do we take appropriate actions in our relationships with others - actions that allow everyone involved to have a deeper experience of health and well-being?"

These questions do have answers. There is an approach available to us that, if cultivated and practiced consistently, will inevitably lead us towards making choices that honor self, other, and whole in the highest and best way possible. I have been learning this approach for years and am still learning it... although perhaps 'remembering it' would be a more accurate description, because I have found that when I allow this approach to be my modus oprandis, in fact it feels quite natural. However, I did not grow up with it, and chances are you didn't either. To speak in generalities: contemporary western society is founded upon the antithesis of this approach. Thus, for those of us raised in the 'mainstream,' (for me, the middle-class American mainstream) it can be a long journey of remembering to return to this way of engagement. Additionally, it may be quite scary at first, because approaching our lives in the way I am about to describe means letting go of control ("But what if something bad happens?") and surrendering our desire to live life 'right.' ("But if I don't live life right, doesn't that mean I'll get it wrong?")

None of this is new. I am not going to say anything that hasn't been said before, over and over again, by the wisest among us in every era. I'm saying it for me just as much as I'm saying it for you: I'm saying it now because I'm learning how to live my life this way and I'm utterly dedicated to following this path. I'm saying it because I need to hear myself say it, I feel ready to say it via this blog because I'm practicing everything I'm about to 'preach.'

First of all: know that you don't know. Anytime we're confronted with a situation, whether it be one that we're witnessing from the outside or one that we're participating in, our minds will instantaneously do exactly what it is they are intended to do: they will reference all of our past experiences in order to try and make sense of what we're experiencing NOW. Our minds will then project then onto NOW, leading us to conclusions about our current experience that are primarily informed by our memories.

This wouldn't be so bad if the process went something like this:

"Ah-ha, I see that this person is telling me to leave and not come into work tomorrow. Hmm, I remember a time in my past when one of my former employers did the same thing. This person is saying that they're sorry, but they're not able to continue to employ me... that's very similar to what my former employer said as well."

That would be a very Spock-like analysis of the situation: just the facts. Unfortunately, what actually happens is something more like this:

"Fuck, I'm getting fired again! This always happens, I screwed up again, just like last time... I'm such a failure. I always mess things up."

Or this:

"Is this one seriously firing me too?! What an asshole! Just because someone has enough money to be the boss, they think they're god almighty. Everyone in charge is such a jerk."

These are exaggerations, obviously, but you get the idea. The stories we tell ourselves about what's happening in our lives, for the most part, aren't real. They're mental projections arising from our past 'experiences.' Our past 'experiences' themselves were likewise not real, but mental projections arising from older past experiences.

We live in a world wherein the dominant paradigm is one of good vs. bad, right vs. wrong. As such, we come to view ourselves through that same paradigm. Of course we all have our own unique definitions of 'good' and 'bad,' but generally speaking most of us want to be 'good,' not 'bad.' I'm not speaking of a classical definition of 'good' here, as in: be nice to your neighbor, always brush your teeth, etc. For some of us those qualities may be part of what it means to have succeeded, but for others of us 'winning' at life may mean getting laid as much as possible, getting shitfaced on a regular basis, and knocking the other guys teeth out.

This dualistic framing of life, this cognitive valorization of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g into one of two categories (good or bad, essentially) may or may not be happening consciously. It depends on the individual. Every individual is dynamically phasing through varying degrees of self-awareness, and many individuals are not even aware that:

a. they are maintaining a dualistic perspective of life
b. what their personal definitions of 'winning' and 'losing' are within their dualistic perspective
c. that they are constantly seeking both to 'win' and not to 'lose'

(and most importantly)

d. that a non-dualistic perspective is even possible

Still with me?

So, back to our mental projections: our mental projections onto our current experience of NOW are what perpetuates our unique personal 'story' about our life. In most of stories, we cast both ourselves and others into the role of a 'winner' or a 'loser.' One or the other. I'm using 'winner' and 'loser' here as templates: there are an infinite number of forms these two archetypes assume in all of 'stories.' Think of words like fat vs. skinny, rich vs. poor, healthy vs. sick, smart vs. stupid.

Now go back up a few paragraphs, and re-read this line that I wrote:

"...Every individual is dynamically phasing through varying degrees of self-awareness, and many individuals are not even aware..."

You see? Even aware vs. unaware becomes another dualistic paradigm, another set of definitions we overlay onto our experience of life in order to determine whether we are 'winning' or 'losing,' and to help us figure out what we need to do in order to win.

NOW, still with me?

I've been laying the groundwork here, which is the conceptual equivalent of building a mental high-dive platform for us to then leap off of. I'm trying to articulate an conceptual framework which will allow us to proceed beyond it, into the space that exists beyond all of our judgments, beyond our need to judge. Beyond our fear of messing up or getting it wrong, beyond our attachment to winning or getting it right.

Let's revisit our original inquiry, which was:

"How do we gain true insight into ourselves, our relationships, and the situations we find ourselves in? Faced with the infinite number of responses available, how do we choose what to do? How do we take appropriate actions in our relationships with others - actions that allow everyone involved to have a deeper experience of health and well-being?"

And now, back to the first clue. Remember? First of all: know that you don't know.

Unless you're already living your life from a fully stabilized non-dualistic and story-free perspective, chances are good that many of the choices you're making about:

a. how to understand the circumstances and relationships of your life
and b. how to participate in the circumstances and relationships of your life

...chances are good that many of those choices are arising from the idea that there's a 'right way' and a 'wrong way.'

(PS. If you are already living your life from a fully stabilized non-dualistic and story-free perspective, email me. I want to hang out with you.)

Why are chances good? Because unless we train it to do otherwise, that's how the mind works. 

That's worth repeating. Once again: unless we train it to do otherwise, that's how the mind works. 

More specifically, that dualistic analysis is one way the mind can work. I don't know how our minds 'naturally' work - I suspect that our minds do not have a 'default' modus operandis, I suspect that they are plastic and malleable and the 'operating system' we end up with is primarily contingent upon the relational environment we were born into. The social/cultural (i.e. 'relational') environment of contemporary western society shapes our minds in such a way that most of us end up perceiving life as a win/lose scenario, whether we are aware of it or not. Fortunately for you, me, and everyone else, we ALL have the ability to CONSCIOUSLY re-program our minds.

That's worth repeating. Once again: we ALL have the ability to CONSCIOUSLY re-program our minds.

Why re-program our minds at all, why cultivate a non-dualistic paradigm? There are two answers to that question, the personal answer and the global collective answer.

On the level of the personal, I can only share my experience with you. I don't know where you are in your life, or what circumstances and relationships you find yourself in. I can only tell you that for me personally, at this point in my remembering, a non-dualistic paradigm is what I am growing into. In every, literally, EVERY moment I find myself evaluating my self, someone else, or a situation in terms of "That's good." or "That's bad." I feel a sense of dissatisfaction. I feel uneasy, and keenly aware that I am not experiencing the fullness of life in that moment. I am unable to shake off the knowing that I have taken something whole and complete and fragmented it, and as such I have cheapened and reduced my experience of it to something less than what it is. My highest, most joyful vision for my self is to experience life in it's fullness and to consistently participate in my circumstances and relationships in a way that allows everyone involved to have a deeper experience of health and well-being. So, that is my personal answer. Your personal answer may be very different, or perhaps you may feel that a dualistic understanding is working for you: you may feel that you are 'winning,' and not be interested in cultivating an entirely different understanding of life.

Which leads me to the answer on the level of the global collective. It's a simple answer: As long as someone is winning, someone else is losing.

That's worth repeating. Once again: As long as someone is winning, someone else is losing.

For many of on the planet at this time, this is our experience. We are either winning or losing. For those of us unwilling to turn away from the pain and suffering of others, this is intolerable. ANYBODY 'losing,' no matter who it is, is intolerable. Anybody living in poverty, anybody without living without access to the basic necessities of life, anybody prevented from having a voice in our collective decision-making process, anybody being physically, mentally, or emotionally brutalized affects us and motivates us to make a change. In order for our global human collective to truly outgrow this pain, that change must take place at the most fundamental level of our understanding. That change must take place in our consciousness, it must be a deep cleaning of the very lenses through which we gaze out onto our world.

How 'bout NOW... still with me?


Back to invitation # 1: know that you don't know. 

If you think you already know, then chances are you have overlaid one of your 'stories' onto the present moment, which means you are not following invitation # 2:

Be present to what is.

That's it. Just be present. Don't analyze or come to any conclusions about it. If there is mind-talk at all, do your best to limit it to straightforward observations such as:

"I see this mother raising her voice with her child. The child is screaming, lying on the ground kicking his feet. The mother's face is red, she's bending over the child, pulling on his arm, trying to get him up on his feet and off of the sidewalk."

If you feel the arising of reactions, you can then endeavor to use the tool of your mind to observe and be present to those reactions as well. This is a deeper level of self-awareness, which entails witnessing your own individual reactions without identifying with them:

"I notice my self judging this woman. I notice all of the thoughts I am having about why she must be a bad parent. I notice that although I know nothing about her or her son, (in fact I do not even know that it is her son) I am coming to all sorts of conclusions about their relationship. I notice that my own ego has inflated - through my judging of her I have managed to convince my self that I would be a much better parent than she is."

If you are able to rest in this place of presence and observation, if you are able to practice this and cultivate using your mind in this way, eventually you may notice the arising of something in you which is qualitatively different than either of these two levels of analysis.


Abandon this line of thought for a moment, and let your mind drift into recollections of your live life. Remember a time you said: "I love you." and really, truly meant it? When you had to say it, when the impulse to say those words to that person swelled up from your chest through your throat and out of your mouth? Maybe it caught you by surprise, maybe you weren't expecting to say it at all. Maybe it wasn't the first time you felt that impulse, maybe you resisted and swallowed it down a few times before allowing yourself to speak.

Speaking those words, in that way, is the kind of action I am talking about. That is appropriate action, action that arises not from our mind, but from a greater non-dualistic knowing. That knowing allows us to be a channel for whatever thoughts, words, or actions would best serve the health and well-being of everyone involved right NOW.

We always have the ability to be such a channel, however that ability becomes clouded over and obscured by our mental projections. In order to reconnect to our own greater knowing, we must cultivate a quality of presence and self-awareness which is grounded in right NOW, as opposed to our past experiences.

Once again, we must: know that we don't know.

Building upon that, we must: be present to what is... both inside and outside of us.

As we rest in the truth that we don't know what action would be most appropriate, and as we simultaneously stay present to both our external and internal environments, we can learn to sense the subtle stirrings of our own greater knowing.

It is this process which moves us into utilizing the tool of our mind to it's fullest potential. The fullest potential of the mind is not to 'decide' what to do, but simply to observe and collect data.

That's definitely worth repeating. Once again: "The fullest potential of the mind is not to 'decide' what to do..."

We don't 'decide' what action would be appropriate, we don't 'conclude' what action would best serve the health and well-being of everyone involved. We allow ourselves to know.



That impulse that (hopefully) we have all experienced, that impulse to say "I love you." is the arising of that knowing. It arises in that intimate space of romance, and not so often in the other spaces of our life, simply because the arising of that knowing into our conscious mind requires certain conditions. I have already articulated three of the most important of those conditions, and they are most certainly worth repeating. Here they are again:

1. Know that you don't know.

2. Be present to what is... both inside and outside of you.

3. Allow yourself to know.

As tricky as it can be to cultivate these first three conditions, there is a fourth condition that must be met in order for us to move beyond knowing into taking action. This fourth condition, for many of us, is even more nerve-wracking than the first three. This condition, of course, is to:

4. Allow yourself to act.

Remember that "I love you." impulse? Have you ever felt it, and then stifled it? Have you ever had the urge to step out onto the dancefloor at a party and then thought: "Nah, I'll look stupid." and sat back down instead? Moving into bigger territory: Have you ever had the urge to kiss a complete stranger, quit your job, or fly to another country and see what happens? I have felt all of these things in my life, and I have both resisted these urges and embraced them. My kiss with a total stranger stands out as one of the most memorable lip-lockings of my life, no idea who she was. I've quit many of my jobs based upon this knowing, simply by allowing my self to act, and every single time that choice has opened up space in my life for a more joyful opportunity to emerge. Not too long ago I flew to another country, wildly unprepared, and that choice has resulted in the greatest and most profound learning of my life - the ongoing, never-ending learning which is allowing me to write this blog right


Moving into even bigger territory: What about our relationships? What about our children, our families, our lovers, our friends? What about circumstances we are so intimately intertwined with that we feel like we might lose everything, so we most certainly don't want to risk making the wrong choice?

Ahem: we might what, everything? 'Lose' everything, huh?

Ahem: the what choice? Ah yes, the 'wrong' choice... there's that old paradigm, creeping in again.

I'm not saying this is easy, or that it's a transition we can make overnight. But it's possible. Trust me - it is absolutely, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt possible. For every single one of us.

Remember our four conditions:

1. Know that you don't know.

2. Be present to what is... both inside and outside of you.

3. Allow yourself to know.

4. Allow yourself to act.

In those situations where you feel as if you have everything to lose, condition number 1 may be the most difficult. It can be really, really hard to cultivate a beginner's mind when we are still processing fear-based belief systems which are insisting on things such as: "Don't fuck up, or else she'll leave you!" or: "I can't live without this person!"

But the only way out of that dualistic, win/lose paradigm, is, well... out of it. We've got to let it go, and trust that if we endeavor to allow ourselves to know, there will be something there.

It may take time, but there will be. As I said earlier, we are all dynamically phasing through varying degrees of self-awareness. Our ability to consciously engage in this process and take action grounded in our greater knowing will vary from day to day, hour to hour, and moment to moment. For most of us it's an entirely new operating system, and it takes getting used to.

In my own experience, it also takes a great deal of faith and trust. I cannot possibly count how many times I have had to remain in observer-mode, trusting that a knowing would arise, when parts of my mind were literally screaming at me "You fucking idiot, it's all going wrong - DO SOMETHING!" 

Whenever I have been able to remain in witness mode and observe those screaming voices without identifying with them, at some later point (sometimes a much later point) I have always been able to take action arising from, if not a pure place of greater knowing, at least a place of equilibrium.

In other words: this process works. Call it what you will, give it whatever name you like, and by all means seek out as many different articulations of this process as you can in order to (quite literally) wrap your mind around it. Don't let it be 'mine,' make it your own, and apply it however you wish.

Whatever form it takes in your own life, do give it a go... because this is the way forward for our global human collective. The essence of this, of what I have done my best to articulate, is the essence of the path that has the potential to carry our world beyond it's tired and worn-out 'winners vs. losers' paradigm.

It's time for something new.

(Well, again, none of this is really 'new...')